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Old 03-14-2008, 12:55 AM   #1
Wolvenmoon
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Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Debian x86_64
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Easy to setup distro to use as a virtualized webserver


Hey guys,

I'm setting up an old A64 3000+ with 2 gigs of RAM. It's a project computer that will use IPcop and another distro loaded in VMware to act as a router/webserver for my network. I was going to go with clarkconnect for the webserver part, but something told me to look here first..

They're running on a win2K3 host OS, if that matters. The amount of traffic going through this is going to be pitiful at best, as it's going to host a family calender/CMS so that we can coordinate our schedules, and serve as a filesharing device between family and friends. (That's the explanation I have for having to use virtualization, well, excuse. I really want to mess around with a webserver, but don't tell anyone I told you that.)

My biggest hiccup is I'm currently a student and on that type of hectic schedule, and don't have the time to take care of a full blown linux distro. Ideally whatever I use would be either mostly self configuring for the rest of the stuff, and let me easily change server settings, or just be a command line with a web interface for remote control. Much like IPcop.

What would you all suggest? I have about a full day to configure this part alone...so a medium learning curve is acceptable.

(I'm hoping for SSL support, FTP, MySQL, and of course HTTP are a requirement, though if I have to I can go without mySQL until I can manually put it in.)
 
Old 03-14-2008, 01:12 AM   #2
billymayday
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Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, OpenSuse, Slack, Gentoo, Debian, Arch, PCBSD
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Most of the easy to install distros will do the job nicely.

Being familiar with CentOS (basically RHEL5 without logos) I'd recommend that. I could have a functioning server up in about an hour - including install (I can't quite recall how long the chugging along part of a basic install takes, but you get the picture).

No matter what distro you choose, installation should be pretty simple, and most if not all will come with apache and all the other bits you need. The time will be setting up those services you want - making certificates for SSL, configuring apache, etc. Ho long that takes depends on you, but could be very quick or very slow, depending on exactly what you want to do and how well you know what you're doing.

Perhaps have a look at something like CentOS, Ubuntu server, OpenSuse, and others will probably suggest Gentoo, Slackware plus more. Up to you really.

If you have a reasonable idea (and perhaps a good book/tutorial) a day should be fine.

Last edited by billymayday; 03-14-2008 at 01:13 AM.
 
Old 03-14-2008, 01:21 AM   #3
Wolvenmoon
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Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Debian x86_64
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Alright. I keep getting google hits to CentOS, so I'm going to try that first. Luckily this is all in virtual machines, and I have three capable systems...so I can try quite a few at once.

A huge huge plus for me would be a single configuration file that I could back up regularly, as I'm pretty sure I'm going to get blasted by some script kiddie at least once before I get it perfect.

Though four or five files wouldn't bother me too much as long as they were easy to get to.
 
Old 03-14-2008, 02:20 AM   #4
billymayday
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Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, OpenSuse, Slack, Gentoo, Debian, Arch, PCBSD
Posts: 6,678

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You'll end up with basically one config per service, plus certificates, databases, etc. With a virtual machine, you should be able to take a copy of the machine itself.

This site may be useful (based on Fedora, but things are in the same places most of the time)

http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com/

Note -when you install, don't install gnome or kde - just stick with the console - way faster to install, and for a server, the graphical tools don't really help that much.

If you have a problem in CentOS, first thing to check is if SELinux causes a problem. Turn it off temporarily with setenforce 0 and try what you were running, and trun it back on with setenforce 1. Clearly if it works with it off, you will need to fix the SELinix problem, if not, it's somewhere else.

Edit - I note the link I posted is down at the moment.

Last edited by billymayday; 03-14-2008 at 03:48 AM. Reason: Update
 
Old 03-14-2008, 08:45 PM   #5
Wolvenmoon
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Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: Debian x86_64
Posts: 47

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Got hung up today trying to get >4 network adapters in VMware GSX for the IPcop installation...no luck so far. Will update with what I do when I get there.
 
  


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