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Old 05-06-2008, 04:46 AM   #1
vbsouthern
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Question What ver. Linux server to use on small, low power home computer?


Computer Information:
HP Pavilion 3265
Phoenix BIOS 4.0 Release 6.0.5 (c) 1985-1997
Western Digital Hard drive WDC AC12100L Size 2GB
Intel Pentium MMX 233HHz
96MB RAM
Asus Motherboard TXR 1.12

A friend gave this computer and I thought I would play around and see if I could add a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, CGI server to my home network.

This subject is open for discussion to anyone who would like to chime-in.

What would you do? What's the best version of Linux to use for this? What do you think?

Give us your
 
Old 05-06-2008, 04:51 AM   #2
Moriya
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Slackware?

No gui to bog down the system and it should be able to run all of those servers.
 
Old 05-06-2008, 06:18 AM   #3
IsaacKuo
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Registered: Apr 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Distribution: Debian 4.0 Etch
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There are any number of linux distributions which will suit your needs. I'd recommend Debian 4.0. It has install options for installing a web server out-of-box. When you get to the software selection screen, unselect the "Desktop Workstation" box, and select the web server box (and probably also the file server box, since it will be convenient for you to directly access your files from the local network).

With 96megs of RAM, you technically have enough RAM to run a GUI, but you shouldn't install the Desktop Workstation suite because you only have 2gigs of hard drive space. With your limited hard drive space, you'll want to keep your install fairly minimal, and use "apt-get clean" after installing software to conserve space.
 
Old 05-06-2008, 08:15 AM   #4
redgoblin
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I too would recommned the currect Debian stable. But don't install the web server (or anything else) out of the box.

During the install just choose 'base system', nothing else. Then you'll have a nice simple command line only system. Like Moriya suggested you'll have no gui to slow things down and it'll work fine on that hardware.

Then take your time to install what you need when you need it. OpenSSH, Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc. It's a great way to learn what's going on and how things work.

Of course if tinkering and configuring isn't for you, then maybe the default web server is the way to go.
 
Old 05-06-2008, 01:14 PM   #5
vbsouthern
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Seeking the best Linux

Thank you Moriya, IsaacKuo and redgoblin for your replies.

Slackware and Debian. I think I will give them both a try. I agree that I should not install a GUI but my knowledge of Linux line commands is very limited. Does anyone know of an online resource that has a list of commands?

I am going to download and install Debian today. I will report back either late tonight or tomorrow.
 
Old 05-06-2008, 07:24 PM   #6
chrism01
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Try these:

http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
http://tldp.org/LDP/Bash-Beginners-G...tml/index.html
http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/
 
Old 05-07-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
Moriya
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I use this page when I need a command:
http://www.ss64.com/bash/

chrism01's links look more like tutorial type pages tho.
It may be good to check them all out.
 
Old 05-08-2008, 05:17 PM   #8
vbsouthern
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Angry What ver. Linux server to use on small, low power home computer?

Thanks Moriya this is exactly what I was looking for,
http://www.ss64.com/bash/

also thank you chrism01 for these links
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
http://tldp.org/LDP/Bash-Beginners-G...tml/index.html
http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/

I can never have enough information. I bookmarked all four pages.

I went to http://www.debian.org/ and downloaded the small "netinst" image file, burned it to a CD and tried to install using the Internet.

I ran into a stumbling block. The computer needed a network card and while I was shopping at Walmart I found one and bought it. I should have read the system requirements a little closer because it's not compatible with Linux.

I went back to the Debian site and downloaded the full package. Wow! 21 CD's for the OS plus 4 CD's of updates and 2 other CD's called kde-CD, xfce-CD. All together 16.4 GB.

I tried again to install but because I did not have an Internet connection (Broadband through my home network) the setup program would not allow me to setup the Package Manager. Because I don't know enough about line commands I probably could have installed the GUI and then install the Package Manager afterwards. However I want to avoid the installing the GUI if I can.

So that means I will be going to the links chrism01 sent me and read and read and read. After I get another network card (Sat.) I will try again to install.

In the meantime any suggestions are welcome.
 
Old 05-08-2008, 06:56 PM   #9
redgoblin
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Sorry about your network card. It's always a pain when that happens. I have a spare WIFI card here because the chipset changed from what I thought it would be and therefore I no longer had a driver for it. Hardware developers are slowly 'getting it' and either producing Linux drivers or even contributing to the kernel drivers.

Just to fill you in (and it sounds like it might be too late) You wont need all of those CDs.

Debian is by far one of the biggest free software distributions around (I'm sure someone will now correct me on that one ) and includes a lot of software packages that you'll probably never need. To help organise all those packages many users participate in the popularity contest. It's a small piece of software that periodically submits a list of what official packages people have installed (this is all open and voluntary). Packages are then arranged on the CDs in order of how likely there are to be installed.

The first few CD's will have nearly all of what you want and as you get toward the last few CDs you start finding rare and odd packages that only a few people ever use. The upshot of this is if you're still burning CDs you can probably stop now unless you really need that obscure 1978 scripting language.

The KDE and XFCE ones are simply CD1 but install those desktop environments instead of GNOME if you ask for a GUI during the install. Netinst is just a small version of CD1 (you can use the normal CD1 for a net install) and businesscard is a _very_ small net install disk for small CDs (32mb).

The update disks you could ignore if you're not online at the moment as they're security updates since the initial release of Etch last June. Once you get online you can just download the updates for the packages you have installed.

If you want extra reading don't forget to look through the documentation and the installation guide, they will explain a lot of whats going on. Debian Administration has a good collection of howtos and the Debian forums along with the Debian User mailing list already have a lot of answers to common questions.

Of course the obvous place to start is LQ's own Debian Forum.

Good luck.
 
Old 05-09-2008, 09:30 AM   #10
Moriya
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I am glad that site is what you were looking for.
It definately helped me when I got stuck and couldn't find a command.

If you think you need GUI, try Ubuntu. Its easy to set up and SHOULD fit on one cd. :P

For a comp with those specs tho, I would think you want something that is very minimal like Slack...most of the distros with full blown GUIs call for atleast 256 mb of ram.
 
  


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