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He guys I got an extra box laying around and thought I might dive into Linux I am new to linux, and by new I mean I have never even attempted to install linux on any computer. I have run web servers using XP and apache (as a hobbie just a couple of small scale sites). Now I am looking to run the web server on a linux box and wanted a few suggestions. I have see a bunch of "which linux distro is best" pages etc but what I am really looking for is the best distro FOR A BEGINNER to run a stable, reliable web server on. Any input would be much appreciated.
You're still going to get a hundred thousand answers to this (and maybe a flamewar to boot). All the distros can do this stuff. If it's just a hobby box, you could even just install a desktop distro and add apache to it.
But generally for servers, it recommended to use Debian, Slackware, or FreeBSD (which isn't linux, but a different unix based system called BSD).
As far as a distro I think you might like Ubuntu (popular Debain based distro) (www.ubuntu.com). It only has one ISO file to download, so you just burn that to disk, stick it in the tray, and boot from cd, and install once it is booted. The installation is quite simple (like many distros), and it has a very clean gnome interface. I've put it on computers belonging to several newbies, and they have immediately been able to do just about anything they want. To get apache on there, you can search through the program list of the application manager, so you can install it without having to compile any code. As far as stability, I haven't had any problems with it yet. I'm sure other people will have different opinions, but I think Ubuntu is a distro you should definitely consider. I hope this helped.
Yeah I figured I would get a lot of different answers. I appreciate both of your answers. Ive researched some and just cant seem to find the best fit. I need a stable, reliable webserver, but I also need it to be easy to learn on. Crashsystems, When you are talking about Ubuntu are you recommending the server or desktop installation? And plvaldez How easy would it be to learn on Debian?
Your distro chooser both recommend Mandrake and Ubuntu first with Debian and Suse close behind. Can I have some input on which of these would be best suited for a new user that will be using it solely as a webserver? Also when you recommend a distro are you recommending a desktop or server version of that distro?
Crashsystems, When you are talking about Ubuntu are you recommending the server or desktop installation?
If you are just going to use this box for a web server, the server version would probably be best, because its going to have less unneeded packages on it, plus if I remember correctly, it automatically installs with apache (I believe that on many occasions, laziness is a virtue). However, no matter if you go with Ubuntu, Debain or something else, one of the cool things about linux is that for most distros a newbie can try out a live cd before actually installing it (something I'm sure you've read about by now). So if in doubt, get live cds for a bunch of distros, try them, and pick which one you like.
And plvaldez How easy would it be to learn on Debian?
I'm a bit biased, but it was much easier for me. I started with Red Hat and really struggled. For me personally, Debian was much more intuitive and the package repositories are perhaps the largest of any distro. Debian stable branch is rock solid. I've never had a package fail to install from the repositories using apt-get (or now aptitude). There also is a nice mix of doing things just in config files like Slackware and some ncurses based tools that make system configuration a cinch. Upgrading to the next stable release has thus far been flawless (twice), where as trying to upgrade from RH7.3 to RH9 was a complete nightmare for me.
I have been running a Debian web server for 2 years but did have 2 years experience of Debian on the desktop before that. I would highly recommend The Perfect Setup to install a webserver. You will experience a big learning curve in running a server from the command line. My own server is headless and I do all work on it from my desktop via ssh using a sftp client (KBear) but you can also do the same from a ms32 box using Putty. Doing it this this way is not onerous as most of the work is done on my own desktop and uploaded to the server via sftp. I do go into the server once a week to do security updates. I upgraded from Woody to Sarge a year ago and the whole procedure was very painless.
Thanks guys! Well I'm taking pieces of all your advice. I installed ubuntu server and found it rather frustrating, I did have it running but found myself going to forums every 30 seconds to ask questions. I got it running on local host though. Next I tried FreeBSD, a little tougher, I got PHP, mysql, and apache installed but apache wouldnt start on bootup and I could never could access using http://localhost. Now I am going to try Debian see how I like it, if I dont Ill try Mandrake and Suse. Eventually I will have to pick one I guess
Well, if you've never installed or used linux before, you're going to have to do some running to forums. But before you going asking a bunch of newbie questions, you really should do some googling and forum searching before you ask. There's a lot of newbie questions that have been answered over and over and you'll get a more receptive response from people if you've tried to sort it out on your own.
Yes, I figured I would, but when I said I was running to forums asking questions I meant researching/asking questions etc. Ive heard some distros are more user friendly than others so I was trying to get a feel. FreeBSD is where I had to ask most of my questions bc the resources arent as widespread and it seemed as though some of my problems werent common or werent written about.
Mandriva 2006 Seems to be the best Ive used so far (for what Im looking for). The tutorial at The Perfect Setup - Mandriva 2006 was extremely easy to follow. The Perfect Setup has tutorials on a lot of distros however, this was the first one that I could actully run all the commands and get everything working right on. Not to say that they are bad, Im just a noob so it takes a little more explaining. Anyways, I got it all up and running with minimal problems (I had to run dhclient command to get urpmi to work still not sure why) But I am all setup. thanks guys.