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Setting up network

Dear Debian Friends:

I am working on converting several machines running W95 to a Debian 
system running Helix-Gnome. My plan is to use Samba to talk to the 
existing NT server. However, I am unsure as to what the best tool is for 

network configuration.  Some Linux distributions use linuxconf or 
netcfg. Is there such a tool in Debian?  Or should I just edit the 
network, hosts, and ifconfig files?  

Also, I often find it necessary to use ctrl-alt-f1 to open a virtual 
terminal and do some work.  I can never get back to the Gnome desktop.  
Any way to do that without shutting down X?

I very much appreciate any suggestions!


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