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Old 11-29-2007, 01:02 PM   #1
LinuxCrayon
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Registered: Nov 2007
Location: Georgia, USA
Distribution: FreeBSD
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Question Buying an Older Server; Need Advice


Hi everyone. I've been a long-time lurker here and the community is great. But now I'm really interested in getting to the meat in Linux.

I need to build a server. Well, want to, really. What does it need to do?
  • Mail server- I want to have an e-mail address at my computer and I want other people to be able to have e-mail addresses, too.
  • Web server- This includes PHP, MySQL, and Apache.
  • User authentication- In order for a user on the LAN to access the internet, it should have to authenticate a user name and password against the server.
  • Web Host- I'd like to host my friends' web sites. The extent of this would be FTP and a phpMyAdmin interface for them to create databases. No other web CP would be required.
There are some things I know how to do an some I don't. I'll cross those bridges when I get to them. My question here pertains mainly to hardware and where to find the hardware (all sites I know of sell only new hardware, and Google turns up only things you can turn old hardware into [clocks, rulers, etc]).

I already know the hard drives will be in a RAID 1 configuration. I also know the video card is of little relevance. In addition to the tasks mentioned above, the server box needs to be SMALL. There will be no peripherals attached--I'll be trying my hand at SSH (something else I'll have to learn about). It also needs to be low-power.

The operating system I'll be using will probably be Debian, without X. I'm trying to get my hands dirty with different distributions so I can be proficient in different areas distributions so that I can help others. I plan on cutting out any unnecessary packages and services.

Based on what hardware I need, I can figure out the power supply. So don't bother recommending that unless you just feel the need to.

I would prefer a dual-processor system. Mostly because I think they're cool and I want one.

Also, despite the requirements listed above, it should be mentioned that this will be a low-traffic server. I might host one person's website, I might have two e-mail addresses, and there will only be maybe two or three different computers authenticating for internet access. This is mostly a learning project.

So what CPU, motherboard, and RAM should I be using? And where can I buy it? Thanks a lot!
 
Old 11-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #2
tuxrules
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Chicago
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Honestly, I don't know the websites for used hardware but I'll tell you some of the specs since I use something similar to what you want. I use a P4, 768MB RAM machine (headless) for hosting two websites (personal and one for my dad's business). The machine also doubles as an email server(postfix) and a imap server(dovecot). This is basically so my wife and I can have personal email addresses.

Traffic on the websites is low...the personal website mainly holds family photos and some slackware stuff and uses php, mysql and gallery2 for photos. My dad's website is all xhtml/css so bandwidth there is pretty basic.

For all this work, I don't see that much overload on the server. Now I know 768 is kinda on the lower side but I can't go up anymore so I'll stick with this machine till it dies . Personally I would say go with 1 GB RAM and a mobo with on-board video. That should give you a good starting point.

BTW, the machine is running Slackware 12.

Last edited by tuxrules; 11-29-2007 at 01:23 PM.
 
Old 12-03-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
LinuxCrayon
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Shameless self-bump. I'd really like to know where I could find some old hardware (P3s, dual-cpu mobos, etc)!
 
  


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