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5. Internet Cafe and Financial Banking with "Diskless Linux"

You can set up Internet Cafe with diskless Linux. Internet cafes are immensely popular in developing countries like India, Thailand, China. In India Internet cafes are also serving as financial banking centers where people go to pay bills, trade stocks, transfer money and do online banking. In India people do not go to bank they go to Internet cafe for online banking!!

5.1 Setup IP Masquerading, IP Netfilter and Squid

To connect the diskless nodes to the Internet, you should setup the IP Masquerading on the main Linux server which is connected to the Internet. The main Linux server will act like a proxy server for the diskless nodes.

Configure Firewall and IP Masquerading : For Linux kernel version 2.4 and above, the firewall and IP Masquerading is implemented by NetFilter package. Hence in kernel config you should enable Netfilter and run the Firewall/IPMasq script. Download the scripts from Firewall-IPMasq scripts , main page of Netfilter is at http://netfilter.samba.org. Related materials at firewalling-matures and Netfilter-FAQ.

For kernel version below 2.4 you should install the firewall rpms from rpmfind.net or firewall.src.rpm.

See also http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/Kernel-HOWTO.html.

Setup Squid : You should install Squid on the main Linux server which can act as a proxy for the diskless nodes.

Squid is a high-performance proxy caching server for Web clients, supporting FTP, gopher, and HTTP data objects. Unlike traditional caching software, Squid handles all requests in a single, non-blocking, I/O-driven process. Squid keeps meta data and especially hot objects cached in RAM, caches DNS lookups, supports non-blocking DNS lookups, and implements negative caching of failed requests.

Squid consists of a main server program squid, a Domain Name System lookup program (dnsserver), a program for retrieving FTP data (ftpget), and some management and client tools.

Install the Squid from the Linux cdrom -


bash# rpm -i /mnt/cdrom/RPMS/squid*.rpm

You can see the port number where Squid runs by viewing the file /etc/services and search for word "squid". Says something like 'squid 3128/tcp # squid web proxy'

On the diskless nodes bring up the web browser and pick Configure and check the "use proxy". Put the hostname of main Linux server and port number as 3128. Now the diskless node can surf the internet web pages!


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