-   Linux - Networking (
-   -   setting up a server (

glevine 05-30-2004 09:32 PM

setting up a server
I am very very new to this. I've been reading a lot of articles on the Internet, but there is just so much information out there and so many opinions about that information, that I have no idea what to make of it all.

Basically, all I want to do is host a website that I am working on. I haven't registered the domain name yet, but I assume that is the first thing I need to do. I want to run the DNS server myself, mainly for my own knowledge. I have a book that I am currently reading about DNS and BIND. I am only a few chapters into it, but I was wondering how this related to running a webserver using Apache? My assumptions lead me to believe that I can set my server up as a DNS server with BIND and then run the Apache webserver on top of that. Please correct me if I am wrong here because it would be a shame for me to go too far before realizing that I can't do what I want to do. I have a couple of books coming about using Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl, but I won't get those until sometime after Memorial Day. Basically I want to be able to have total control over my website and server on one of my desktops, but also for it not to be too difficult to maintain with limited resources (money, knowledge -- until I can absorb all of the books I am reading, etc.).

I just set up a new machine with some spare parts I had lying around, so I need to install linux before I can do anything. I have mandrake 9.2 already on disks, so I plan to use that, but I need to know what are the best packages to select to do what I want to do (both from the package groups and the indivual package selection, if necessary).

I pretty much need some general help in every area, from the installation of linux (I have installed linux multiple times before, just not for this purpose) to serving up the website. I realize this is a lot to ask, but I hope that someone can point me in the right direction(s).

Any and all suggestions/help will be greatly appreciated.


Peterius 05-30-2004 10:54 PM

As you say, there are many different opinions on all this stuff so you shouldn't take any of them too seriously. By your post it seems like you know what you're doing but are hesitating on actually doing it.

Try to keep everything minimal. If its a webserver and a dns server, you don't need Xwindows. Download as few packages as you can. Also, you do know that you don't need a dns server to host a website? As I understand it, when you purchase a domain name, you can just specify the ip address to have that domain name point to, and theres your webserver. But I guess it is cooler to be part of that whole DNS infrastructure even if you have a very small network of computers and its not really necessary.

Apache is really easy to set up if your compiling from source, and its probably easier if you have a standard setup and get the package. As for specific packages, you can always get more later if you need them. Once you have apache serving webpages, then you can get these other things working in time.

My humble advice to you, is to just do it. This stuff isn't that complicated and sure you'll have problems but you can always google the error message in quotes and in a day or so you'll have this all up. You don't seem to have any real specific questions, so I hope this reply will lead you to think this whole thing is pretty easy which it is. Install Mandrake. Get the Apache Package. Get it working serving up webpages, even if its only to or whatever. Then get other web related packages as you feel you need them, and also if you feel you need a dns server, get bind up and running.

ToeShot 05-31-2004 02:27 AM

Your ISP will provide your DNS servers for you. You do not need to set up DNS, and if your planning on having your network access the internet, your ISP DNS servers will be needed. As for the Apache, MySQL, and PHP I must say it is a very good choice but I suggest getting started with the basics.

The Apache webserver is easy enough to install and get running but it comes to the configuration, security and what you want it to do that gets difficult. I suggest running Apache on your network and testing configurations and settings before going off into the WWW (World Wide Wonder).

MySQL has great documentation provided with it, and if your are new to the sql language the you will want to read section three of that documentation or find an online tutorial for sql. There are many of them out there.

As for the PHP I suggest Beginning PHP4 from WROX very easy to read and very straight forward. It is a very good book to learn PHP and how to use PHP with MYSQL.

I use RedHat myself and I do not install a webserver or the mysql database from the distro. It is easier tyo get everything working together from tar balls. bellow is an excellent website for you to get started with.


LAD2 05-31-2004 08:19 AM

Cool, I've been looking around for these information as well (setting up a server). I set up Apache, PHP, and MySQL fine. But I also want to be able to send & receive mail as well (mail server) plus FTP, basically like a web host.

First question though, normall when I purchase a domain name I put in the IPs of my host's DNS servers. So in this case of my own server, what do I put instead? Do I have to set up the machine to be a DNS server as well?

LuggerHouse 05-31-2004 02:39 PM

- For DNSs on you domain's machine, you should but your ISP's DNS
- Setting up a mail server: I strongly recommand POSTFIX instead of SENDMAIL, wayout easier!! You will then have to modify your MX record from your DNS. (make sure you make the difference between YOUR DNS (your domain name server or where to find you machine's ip) and DNS service from your ISP (where you get the IPs of the other domaines))
- FTP is quite dangerous... Make sure you are using something solid as ftp deamon.... Maybe PROFTP ??

Good luck, you seems to be quite near success!

esher2292 05-31-2004 03:41 PM

For mail I think QMail is the way 2 go. Anyway Qs look cool!

Go to for more info (that's not the official site but it has a package with all the tools that you will need.)


LAD2 05-31-2004 06:11 PM

Thx for the replies! Is there any website(s) that has detail instructions that you can point me to? I'm still a newbie :) and I wanna learn as much as possible.

esher2292 05-31-2004 06:15 PM

Go out and buy or rent a book on apache and dns..Then look on for info about qmail. Just a basic book that covers all redhat things (with sendmail included-Not that you have to use it!) is Beggining redhat linux 9 by micheal jang. It includes 2 rh9 cds though. It does describe apache and dns though some of the dns is with apache's dns tool. Red Hat is a good distro except that red hat stopped providing support, and I have yet to connect to the internet with it though! Your welcome and good luck!


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:00 AM.