[nycbug-talk] Setting up a home network with FreeBSD (not connected to the Internet yet)

pete wright nomadlogic
Tue Aug 30 11:37:33 EDT 2005

On 8/29/05, Maude User <maudeuser at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Hello All -
> I have a 1U rackmount server (running FreeBSD 5.4)
> and a laptop (dual-boot running WinXP-Pro and
> FreeBSD 5.3) and I'd like to connect the two in a
> home network (not connected to the Internet) so I
> can learn web development using Apache, PHP,
> Python, Plone, Ruby, MySQL, PostgreSQL etc.
> Later I'll co-locate the server in a datacenter. I'd
> like the home network setup to be similar to the
> eventual co-lo setup so that it would provide a
> realistic environment for learning and testing,
> with minimal changes once I migrate the server
> from my home to co-lo.
> The server has two 1000Base-T, 100Base-TX and
> 10Base-T Ethernet LAN RJ45 ports (Intel 82541GI
> and 82547GI controllers), supporting TCP, UPD, IPv4.
> For the time being, the only client connecting to
> this server will be the laptop. I don't have
> broadband at home, so neither the server nor the
> laptop will be connected to the Internet. There's a
> cybercafe in the neighborhood with broadband where
> I can download files, lookup documentation and
> burn CDs.
> I was able to borrow someone's keyboard and
> monitor to install FreeBSD onto the server - but
> after HTTP and FTP and NFS are set up I was hoping
> I could return the keyboard and monitor and be
> able to install and configure any additional
> packages using the laptop as the console. The
> laptop has an internal CD-RW. The server has a USB
> CD-RW - but no monitor or keyboard.
> Is this just a simple "intranet" I'm setting up here?
> Can anyone point me to documentation that would
> answer the following types of questions:
> - What sort of cables should I get?
> - Since the server won't be connected to the
> Internet for now, can I pick any old IP address,
> host name and domain name?
> - Once the network is set up, can I use something
> like SSH or Webmin from the laptop to install and
> configure packages on the server, without
> attaching a keyboard and monitor?
> - What security should I be setting up NOW, so that
> the server will be secure once it goes co-lo?
> Thanks for any help.
> Scott in Brooklyn

First thing I would check out is this URL:


This should also be installed on both of you FreeBSD systems (in 
/usr/share/doc/en/books/handbook). This will ans were %90 of your questions. 
Shortly, you do not need a keyboard and mouse to install or run any freebsd 
system. Provided it has a serial console. SSH should have been installed by 
default on your FreeBSD system, this is where you should do %99 of your 
administration on the system (IMO).

As far as networking goes this URL may be helpfull:

FreeBSD is a great OS, although the first place to start when using it is to 
read up on the available documentation. It will save alot of headaches in 
the future.

Pete Wright
www.nycbug.org <http://www.nycbug.org>
NYC's *BSD User Group
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