Thread: Homemade Server

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    On my PC I have Apache, MySQL and PHP from a bundle that I got from firepages.com.au, as recommended from a previous question. I use it to test pages. I have heard of people converting old computers to Linux boxes and running them as web servers, and I'm wondering if I can use this bundle that I have on another Windows 98 computer and run it as a real server, with a real domain name and connection. If this is not possible, what are some of my other options other than using Linux (no experience) for setting up a cheap server?
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    Gödelian monster
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    Well... yes, you could use a Win98 box to serve a website with a full domain, but you are just begging to be hacked, not to mention the performance problems you will get if your website starts getting visitors.

    It is possible to serve a website with a full domain from your residential internet connection if you have:

    1) a fixed IP address (some DSL or cable providers will give you this),

    2) Access to a DNS server somewhere which will point your domain to that IP address.

    For example, Telocity DSL (USA) provides DSL service with a fixed IP address, but no DSN pointing. If you work for a company that has a DNS server, or if you purchase DNS pointing services (there are some who provide this cheaply), then you can purchase a domain, and enter a DNS record that points to your IP address.

    As far as your server, I recommend that you either move to Windows NT/2000, or just bite the bullet and learn Linux or FreeBSD. There are a few Linux distributions that are really not hard to get set up and running right away with Apache/PHP/MySQL, since they provide it as an option right on the CD (RedHat, Mandrake, Slackware, TurboLinux). In fact, they probably all provide this choice by now. Also, FreeBSD is surprisingly easy to get up and running, if you just do a little reading first, and it also provides the Apache/PHP/MySQL combo in the Packages area.
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    I am fairly new to Linux also, but in the last 3 months, I have got my linux box up and running. It actually hosts two web sites(low traffic/test server type sites), and acts as my internal networks primary DNS server. I am using Caldera OpenLinux 2.4 . So two seperate Domain names are pointed to the machine, and the Virtual Host part of Apache lets each domain know where it is supposed to go. The BIND DNS server is set as my primary for all 5 other networked machines, which allows for slightly quicker lookups(from what I have seen), and allow me to connect to each machine much easier(I don't have to type in my Private Network IP addresses, just a quick name). I would recommend taking the time to install whatever Linux distro you feel comfortable with, and picking up a book, something like Linux Unleashed by SAMS. You will get the hang of it quick, and soon learn to love it.

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