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Old 03-04-2012, 04:36 AM   #1
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linux server vs desktop

Why would I choose one over the other? I want to install apache, PHP and mysql and be able to test my websites I am developing. What is my best option set up?
Old 03-04-2012, 05:16 AM   #2
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If this is your only one computer, then choose desktop. The difference is only that in desktop version you have already installed some desktop environment. You can install anything on any version: for example on server desktop you can add KDE, on desktop version you can add servers WWW, PHP, etc. And they behave exactly the same.

Last edited by eSelix; 03-04-2012 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:22 AM   #3
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Hi, c_mabiza

Not that I discourage the use of Linux, but if you're running Windos (like I see from your icon beside your name) it's a quite easy installation to do with Windows Easy Web Server
download -> "EWS.v3.0.0.AP2217.MY5154.PHP534.WS260.exe"
and "EWS300.PHP5217.addon.7z"

you will get Apache, PHP 5.2.17 and MySQL to run on your windows desktop with ease (I did try it and it took me about 10-15 min to setup all how I wanted - different dirs )

but like eSelix wrote:
- choose desktop, its almost the same as server setup except more packages for desktop environment are installes (KDE, gnome - whatever you choose)

good luck
Old 03-04-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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It probably makes little or no difference.

I assume that the question that you are asking concerns a distro which has both server and desktop versions (and, maybe, others) and you are wondering whether it would be better to install 'desktop' and then add various server programs that you are missing, or whether you would be better to install 'desktop' and then add your lamp stack bits.
  • the security thing probably makes less impact if this is only a test/development server - had this been a 'real' server, there would have been a strong argument to remind you that minimalism (not installing stuff that isn't absolutely necessary) is a good policy for servers for which security is an issue, and it is difficult to be minimalistic about the install, when you've a GUI - with loads of twiddly bits and open ports - installed
  • If you don't have enough memory for what you are attempting to do, then there may be a (small/negligible/unmeasurable) difference because it is likely that the server version sets up swappiness and maybe the scheduler up slightly differently. There is probably not a massive difference from these kind of issues, in any use case, but in a mixed usage case like this, the decision is 'do you want to have trivially more of a problem in the desktop scenario and trivially less in the server scenario, or would you rather have it the other way around?' And, in any case, 'have enough memory' is probably better advice, and usually is the important part.
  • If you install the desktop part first, you may find that the lamp stack stuff you want is available as a pre-packaged stack. Now, this probably isn't much of an advantage as you can probably install the lamp stack apps easily from the package manager, but in case you can't (eg, some app in the stack is unavailable, or is not available in the right version, for the distro that you use....) and a pre-packaged lamp stack will be configured to all work together. OTOH, pre-packaged lamp stacks often do odd things from a security point of view, so maybe you are better off avoiding them anyway. Although, on the other, other, hand, if it is a development server, this isn't such a big consideration.
Old 03-04-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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The primary difference between desktop distros and server distros is that server distros don't include desktop stuff. The guts are the same.

My preference for doing local testing is to use Xampp. It installs to a completely self-contained directory under /opt, so, if I break it, I can just delete it and reinstall it. I've used it with Slackware, Debian, and Ubuntu; it works like a charm.
Old 03-05-2012, 05:25 AM   #6
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1. With server OS you can manage desktop OS. Server OS is higher version of Desktop OS.
2. Server OS gives centralized administration for users shared resources higher security.
But Desktop OS gives local machine administration only.
3.Server OS is fully covered & managed security. For example Domain Controller application server print server etc. You can make server with security.
But for the testing purpose you can choose Desktop OS.
Old 03-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
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Hi all Thanks so much for the quick responses, I am overwhelmed!

The responses made it a lot clearer between the two, although I could feel I was my own culprit by not providing some of the basic staff. I am a programmer Microsoft technologies and worked in a setup where technical support department does all the set up and installations. I am doing my own things now with apache, php, mysql, using dreamweaver (Adobe suite) and having to deal with platforms is a challenge.

I have two dell desktops running win xp professional. I have XAMPP, adobe creative suit on one and nothing on the other. I also have a win 7 laptop. Now I was confused between dual boot linux and windows, client/server set up, have one dedicated for server only or that would be a waste of resource - considering its only a test server or load linux on top of windows??

OR What set up?
Old 03-06-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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I'd go for a VirtualBox and install, on a computer with the most power/RAM available, the "guest" Linux as a server (configuring network interface as Bridged). It's then acting as another computer in your network and it will provide you server functions to all other computers (serving HTTP, FTP ..)

good luck
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:03 AM   #9
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This is the flexibility of Linux on display.
You can

1. use a dedicated machine as a server
2. run server services on a (linux) desktop
3. dual boot with MS
4. load as a VM

It really is your choice depending eg on how much HW you have to spare ie can you afford to sacrifice an MS system to run Linux only (options 1 or 2) or not (options 3, 4)


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