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Old 07-08-2019, 06:27 PM   #1
mooselane
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What is the best Linux server to date? How difficult is it to set up and maintain?
 
Old 07-08-2019, 06:38 PM   #2
dc.901
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooselane View Post
What is the best Linux server to date? How difficult is it to set up and maintain?
Wow; this is a super loaded and VERY vague question.
"best linux server" - this depends on what the server is for...
"How difficult" - this depends on your expertise...
 
Old 07-08-2019, 07:31 PM   #3
berndbausch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooselane View Post
What is the best Linux server to date? How difficult is it to set up and maintain?
If you are asking for software: For me, clearly and without doubt, Centos 7. Why? Because I know it best. And for me, its very easy to set up and maintain. You may have other criteria.

Hardware: HPEs Proliant brand. Same reasons as above.

An analogy: Which is the best car to date? Ferrari, Hino truck, Honda Accord, Smart, Toyota Prius, Tesla model X? what do you think?
 
Old 07-08-2019, 07:59 PM   #4
frankbell
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mooselane, the answer to your question depends on what you want the server to serve.

I have a friend who manages a thin client network with approximately 250 users. He's looking to replace his current servers (a primary and a backup), which are quite long in the tooth, with two HP machines costing several multiples of ten grand running RHEL. (His organization uses RHEL for the support and the machine price includes extended hardware support from HP--the site is a hospital and reliability is critical.)

On the other hand, I know persons who are simply looking for a home file server who have found RaspberryPis to be adequate for their needs.

Provide a little more information about what you want this machine to do, and you'll get more specific answers.

Oh, and welcome to LQ.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 09:49 PM   #5
mooselane
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Wow I am in awe of how many answered my questions so quickly thank you all for that. I would be using the server to host my website mostly and for email handling. I am so new (or green some would say) to Linux and when looking for a program to just replace windows (not capitalized for a reason) I was overwhelmed in trying to figure out which Linux distribution to choose. I finally settled with Ubuntu. So I am self employed and have been hosting my website with Godaddy and for the most part happy with them. But I thought I would experiment. Another question is, should I? Thanks in advance.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 10:12 PM   #6
frankbell
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I got into Linux because I wanted to self-host my website; at the time, the site was on AOL (remember AOL? This was a long time ago). I used Slackware quite by happenstance on one of the original IBM Pentium 300s. It was definitely not brawny.

When I stopped self-hosting, I was using a P3 and the P4s were already out. You don't need a brawny computer to self-host. Adequate it good enough.

Before you go forward with this, check the TOS of your ISP. In the US, at least, most ISP's forbid public-facing servers on less than business-level accounts (this is primarily a defense against spam and spammers). Some enforce this more actively than others; the ISP I have now actively blocks port 80 (there are ways around that, but, in my opinion, they aren't worth the effort), so my website is now on GoDaddy. Someone I respect recommended GoDaddy and I must say I have no complaints after almost a decade. Their tech support is excellent (I know--I used to wear a headset).

If self-hosting your website is your primary goal, any fairly decent computer will do, and any mainstream Linux distro should work, but I would recommend something really stable, such as Slackware, Debian, Mageia, CentOS, or a Ubuntu LTS.

You do not need a "server" distro or a "server" computer. A server is just a computer that serves up data. Beyond that, it's the intended purpose and the software that matter.

What makes a "server" distro in most cases is the absence of a GUI, as most servers in datacenters sit in racks and are administered via SSH. If your server is sitting in your guest room and not in a rack somewhere, having a GUI can be a useful thing, even if you use the GUI only occasionally.

Also, XAMPP is your friend. Just make sure you set up the security properly, as, out-of-the-box, it is not secure.

Last edited by frankbell; 07-08-2019 at 10:18 PM.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 10:23 PM   #7
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
If self-hosting your website is your primary goal, any fairly decent computer will do, and any mainstream Linux distro should work, but I would recommend something really stable, such as Slackware, Debian, Mageia, CentOS, or a Ubuntu LTS.

You do not need a "server" distro or a "server" computer. A server is just a computer that serves up data. Beyond that, it's the intended purpose and the software that matters.
Agreed.

Ubuntu is a good start and will be all that is needed. I haven't checked lately but if it runs on a Raspberry Pi that will be more than enough power for basic web services. Unless you're doing it wrong, web services are rather light and don't require much power. Maybe a lot of throughput for popular sites but usually not much else.

For the site itself, I'd go with basic Apache2 or Nginx using static XHTML pages (for speed and security) decorated with CSS and maybe pimped out with Server-side Includes (SSI). There's not much that can't be done with that combination unless you are collecting input from visitors, say managing orders and sales or curating comments.

All of that is available in Ubuntu or any other distro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
Also, XAMPP is your friend.
I vigorously object to any implications that XAMPP is beneficial in the context of GNU/Linux. The standard packages from the distro's own repository are far more appropriate in terms of ease of installation, maintenance, configuration, and (probably) security. Standard Apache2 is in the distro's repository use that, or the Nginx found there instead.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 10:32 PM   #8
frankbell
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Quote:
I vigorously object to any implications that XAMPP is beneficial in the context of GNU/Linux.
All I can say is that, after securing the passwords, I used it without issue for several years and it worked quite smoothly. It was convenient and I experienced no issues nor breaches.

But, again, it's been a long time since I self-hosted.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 10:50 PM   #9
berndbausch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooselane View Post
I would be using the server to host my website mostly and for email handling.
...
But I thought I would experiment. Another question is, should I? Thanks in advance.
To experiment (yes, you should!), try a virtual server. The big cloud providers give you a one year free deal for a small server, plus you may have to pay a modest sum for things like a public IP address and network capacity.

Smaller cloud providers charge 3$/month for small servers; check Digital Ocean, Linode and many others.

If you want to try this at home, create a virtual server on your PC, for example with Virtualbox. Or deploy a Raspberry Pi or similar credit-card-sized server.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 10:52 PM   #10
JJJCR
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooselane View Post
Wow I am in awe of how many answered my questions so quickly thank you all for that. I would be using the server to host my website mostly and for email handling. I am so new (or green some would say) to Linux and when looking for a program to just replace windows (not capitalized for a reason) I was overwhelmed in trying to figure out which Linux distribution to choose. I finally settled with Ubuntu. So I am self employed and have been hosting my website with Godaddy and for the most part happy with them. But I thought I would experiment. Another question is, should I? Thanks in advance.
If you host your own website, make sure you don't get hosted.

What I mean is try to make it secure as possible, a hardware firewall (a properly configured fw) on top of the server is a good option provided a budget allows it.

Check out links below:
https://www.process.st/server-security/
https://services.geant.net/sites/cbp...ed_systems.pdf
https://www.plesk.com/blog/various/l...est-practices/

Good luck.
 
Old 07-08-2019, 11:41 PM   #11
mooselane
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Thanks for all the information! I do appreciate it! I will check it all out. Homework ahead.
 
  


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