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Old 08-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
silents429
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Question Hosting a website with linux?


Question with more detail, is I have an old laptop that has no purpose, that I want to turn into a small server run on linux to host a website.

I prefer ease of use please.

ANYWAY.

Which distro should I use and do I need a server specific distro.

After that how do I go about hosting the website and changing or adjusting it.

A lot of questions that I am sure aren't easy for people to answer.
I got time. But I don't have time to go to crazy on learning. I am allll for ease of usage.

PS. I know when you setup a home website it has like your IP in the address bar. I am guessing it costs money to have that be something else?
 
Old 08-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #2
snowpine
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The "best distro" is probably the distro that you already know how to use. Tell us about your Linux experience?

We take a poll every year, and for last year, Debian was voted the #1 server distro.

A very popular distro for beginners is Ubuntu. Here is a link to their Sever Guide which will answer many of your questions: https://help.ubuntu.com/12.04/serverguide/
 
Old 08-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #3
silents429
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I remember Ubuntu as being bloated. But most of my experience would be with Linux Mint however.
 
Old 08-12-2013, 11:18 AM   #4
szboardstretcher
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Are you hosting the website from home?
Are you going to get a dns name for it registered? SSL certs?
Do you have a real firewall already, or are you going to rely on the computer's firewall?
What kind of uptime do you need?
is this personal, or for business, or development?
What kind of server software do you want? php, mysql, python, nginx, apache, mariadb, postgres?
Do you need mailing capabilities?

You have to provide a bit more info than "I'd like to run a website"

Have you researched into any of this? Do you have experience in the industry? Are you a windows person trying to learn linux? What is your level?
 
Old 08-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
silents429
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1. Hosted from home.
2. Undecided.
3. I will rely on the computers.
4. 24/7 most likely. Or at least when its on. (simply hosting files in an organized GUI)
5. I don't know.
6. I do not know the meaning of that.
7. I have researched servers to some extent, Part of furthering my knowledge would be to just run one and learn that way. I am technically a windows person but have steadily used linux more often the past few years, and consider myself just under average of any normal Linux User.

Scale of 1-10 10 being the most experienced. Probably 4.
 
Old 08-12-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
schneidz
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i host a few html pages on my fedora machine -- its an acer revo (low power) and i leave it on 24/7.

i use dyndns.com and use one of their free hostnames (not sure if they still provide but maybe google/duckduckgo will come up with others) and use the dynamic dns tracking feature of my wifi router.

you need to have a little networking experience to set up and maintain the apache (httpd) server and creating/modifying html files (or it will be like a doctor trying to land a plane).
 
Old 08-12-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
silents429
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Probably relook into this after this years network class, I suppose.
 
Old 08-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
TRUNoise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silents429 View Post
4. 24/7 most likely. Or at least when its on. (simply hosting files in an organized GUI)
If you're looking to simply share some files on the computer, have a go at Google for a php script to upload files to the server in the web directory. As for what distro you should use, it honestly depends on preference and what it is being used for. Ubuntu server and CentOS would be your best guess on a reliable distro since so many people use Ubuntu and CentOS (Not to leave out Slack, Debian, etc.) I would (And did) choose Ubuntu as my first Linux OS and still continue to use it today (Read my signature) running Apache (Web server) and game servers here and there with no problems. Not to trail off-topic, pick an OS between Ubuntu and CentOS (Or whatever OS you'll find to be the best), install the Apache web server (Pre-installed on Ubuntu- if it's not installed, type in the konsole "sudo apt-get install apache2". Not sure about CentOS but I would expect it to be "sudo yum install apache2"), make sure your home's router is allowing incoming connections to that computer on port 80, make sure that Apache is running on the computer, then go to that computer's IP address. If it can't load, it's most likely the port forwarding not being configured properly. If it loads, you should see an Apache generated page that shows all files in the /var/www/ directory. This is where you would place an index.php or index.html file, which would be displayed instead of that. If you need a GUI for server storage that uses a "organized GUI" you could look around CodeCanyon for a professional script for a couple dollars or try to find something on the Internet like a YouTube video. Hope I didn't confuse your or disconcern you with the such long post.

Last edited by TRUNoise; 08-12-2013 at 12:43 PM.
 
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:43 PM   #9
szboardstretcher
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Or use Dropbox. Or skydrive.

Or if you are interested in coding, use Nitrous.io and make a web app.
 
Old 09-10-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
dgeho1
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I like Ubuntu 12.04 LTS server running apache2.
If you like a remote GUI admin WebMin is easy and powerful.
I like clamAV for antivirus.
One note, the default boot partition for this distro is too small, when you create your partitions make the /boot partition at least 2gb.
When you first install the OS have your network cable unplugged until the attempt to obtain DHCP fails, then you can enter your network settings on your own. After you enter your network settings you can then plug in your network cable.
You will need a static IP address from your ISP and for an average of $10 a year you can register a domain name, then just have your registar point the DNS to the static IP of your ISP.. then in your router forward ports 80 & 443 to the static IP of your new server.

Hope this helps

Dave
 
Old 09-10-2013, 09:32 PM   #11
frankbell
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I self-hosted for about five years on Slackware with a LAMPP stack.

I didn't know a thing when I started, but I managed to get it all working, with lots of help from Google and the Slackware docs. I think I first got the idea in May 2005 from a fellow I met on a business trip and it was August when I brought it on line (I had done my first Linux install the month before). For dynamic DNS, I used no-ip.com and was quite happy with their service; they also provide excellent help files.

I continued to self-host it until 2010, till I moved to a location where the ISP is actively hostile to self-hosting (they block port 80, for example). (My previous ISP was merely passively hostile.)

It was one of the most intellectually satisfying things I have ever done. If this is not something that has a deadline, I say go for it. What you will learn will be ample repayment.

What distro you use really doesn't matter. I used Slackware simply because it was the first Linux distro I had installed and it was there.

Also, do not think that, because you will be running a server, you have to use a "server" distro. It's perfectly okay to use one with a GUI for a home DIY project such as this. However, a light-weight GUI would be wise, especially if the machine is light on RAM, and logging out of the GUI when you are not actively using it would also be wise. Note that you can install a distro with a heavy GUI such as Gnome or KDE, then install a lighter-weight GUI for day-to-day use.

Configuring the distro to boot to the command line, as Slackware does by default, so that you can log in and do simple tasks without starting a graphical interface, is also convenient.

The reason server distros commonly do not have GUIs is that, in the enterprise, servers are commonly headless, stuck in racks in a data center, with no keyboards or monitors, and are administered remotely with tools such as ssh and scp.

Edit: The reason it took me so long to bring my website live was that, in addition to bringing my existing members.aol.com website back home, I added a Wordpress blog with a customized theme, installing everything manually.

Last edited by frankbell; 09-10-2013 at 10:05 PM.
 
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