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Old 09-24-2007, 07:14 AM   #1
brunoskrebs
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Registered: Sep 2007
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Linux Distro and Hardware to a Server


Hello,

I am a application developer (actually studying to become one), and I want to learn more about setting up a linux server.

But I dont have to much money to buy a server or a good computer now, so I am wondering if I can buy an old pc like a Pentium 3, or amd athlon xp 2000, to start my lessons...

And which distro would you recommend me to install in the "server"? I don`t really need any easy install distro, because besides that computer I`ll have my laptop so I can go easy on internet to search if problems appears during the installation...

Thanks.

Bruno Krebs
 
Old 09-24-2007, 07:25 AM   #2
MS3FGX
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Location: NJ, USA
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A Pentium 3 machine would be considerably faster than many servers I have setup for relatively large organizations, so you would certainly have no problems learning on one. Unix doesn't work the same way as Windows in regards to hardware requirements, just because the software itself is modern doesn't necessarily mean it won't run on older hardware. You could learn just as much on a 200 MHz machine as a 2 GHz one.

As for the distribution, I would suggest either Slackware or Debian for the purposes of actually learning the ins-and-outs of a Linux system. Once you become comfortable with the core concepts involved, it would be safe to take a step back and use a distribution that "hides" the underlaying OS, like Red Hat. It is more than likely that you would be working with one of these distributions on any servers you are tasked to work with in the future, but it is a common mistake of the newcomer to work with a high-level distribution without understanding the underlaying concepts (or in other words, Windows Administrator Syndrome).
 
Old 09-24-2007, 07:29 AM   #3
brunoskrebs
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Registered: Sep 2007
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Hey this forum is fast, thank you very much for the answer...

I was looking in the internet for a cheap computer to buy and I found this one...

So you think that this should be ok to my studies?

And by the way, when you say "it would be safe to take a step back and use a distribution that "hides" the underlaying OS, like Red Hat.", you are telling me that Red Hat is more user friendly?? Or the opposite?

Thanks again,

EDIT:
I tried to follow the link but it didn`t work, so if you have the same problem see the details of the computer here:

Technical Details:
# Processor: 1 GHz Intel Pentium III
# RAM: 256 MB
# RAM Type: SDRAM
# Hard Drive: 20 GB Ultra2 SCSI
# USB Ports : 2x
# Operating System: Windows
# Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 17.1 x 5.4 inches ; 26 pounds
# 48x CD-ROM drive.
# Operation system: Windows XP professional
# Ethernet

Bruno Krebs.

Last edited by brunoskrebs; 09-24-2007 at 07:34 AM.
 
Old 09-24-2007, 07:50 AM   #4
MS3FGX
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Location: NJ, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian
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They are definitely more user friendly, but at the cost of distancing the user from the more advanced tools and information. For example, if you are running a program from the GUI and it fails, you would probably just get a generic "The program has failed" message; but if you ran the program from the console (this is where the more advanced knowledge comes in) you would see a much more verbose error message that would get you started on solving the problem.

The important thing to remember is that user-friendly is not a good thing for you, since you aren't just a user. You are a developer/administrator. To do your job properly, you need to have full access to the system, not a candy-coated version geared to people with less technical knowledge then you have (or will have).

So you will want to understand how to run a server without any GUI, how to configure devices without the aid of some automated tool, etc, etc. You can't be sure these things will exist in your application's target environment, so you can't rely on the completely.
 
Old 09-24-2007, 08:11 AM   #5
brunoskrebs
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Registered: Sep 2007
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Ok, Thanks again...

and what about this computer that I showed in my last post? I think it is ok to set up a Debian, with some tools like apache, php, mysql right??

Thanks.

Bruno Krebs
 
  


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