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Chapter 3. Installing and Configuring a ... > Key Technical Terms - Pg. 117

Installing and Configuring a Basic LAN Linux 117 Linux is an operating system that is a variation of the UNIX operating system that runs on Intel- based PC hosts. Both Linux and UNIX are efficient operating systems. They can outperform a Win- dows server running on a 2 GHz Pentium 4 chip when running an older 200 MHz Pentium chip PC host. Linux and some UNIX versions are open source code software. This means that they are much less costly to license than Microsoft Windows server software. They represent a huge cost savings potential for small-office LANs with more than 50 users. The downside is that Linux or UNIX servers require specially trained administrators as opposed to more readily available administrators for Windows server software. Similar to NetWare, Linux servers work with Windows clients to form a client/server network. Samba provides full Windows Server Message Block (SMB) support for disk sharing, without any additional software required on the Windows side. As far as the Windows clients are concerned, Linux servers appear to be another Windows server. This completely bypasses the need for NFS software. Samba is readily available for Linux and is included in virtually every Linux distribution. SOHO LAN PC hosts using Web browsing software can access Linux servers running special Web serving software. Disk sharing is facilitated using Windows File Transfer Protocol (FTP) software. The downside here is that this software does not integrate with the Windows graphical user interface (GUI). The Windows FTP software requires the user to transfer data to and from a Linux server using DOS-like commands. In some Linux/UNIX installations special software was added to a Windows PC host to fully integrate disk sharing with a Linux/UNIX server into the Windows GUI. Network File System (NFS) software provided this capability for combined Windows client/Linux server SOHO LANs. The Samba soft- ware running on Linux servers implements the SMB protocol, which fully integrates Windows GUI clients with server disk sharing.