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Newb-Friendly Linux Flavor For LAMP Server? 382

Posted by samzenpus
from the setting-the-bar-low dept.
First time accepted submitter bhcompy writes "I need to setup a system to serve 2500 users and I've been looking at a LAMP setup. This is not commercial, more of a personal side project for some friends. I've no experience configuring or administering a Linux server having worked with MS and PICK based solutions my whole life, so I'm looking for something that will be relatively straightforward to implement and not a chore to manage and preferably not completely CLI. I will be serving a forum(phpBB 3 suits my needs and seems adequate) and a variety of PHP driven content with a MySQL backend. Requirements are PHP 5.3.0+ and MySQL 5+. Suggestions?"
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Newb-Friendly Linux Flavor For LAMP Server?

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  • SME server (Score:3, Funny)

    by Raleel (30913) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:42AM (#37507872)

    I haven't verified that it has all the versions that you want, but I've used SME server on and off over the years for such things. It's quite newb friendly, and not completely command line. There are quite a few other options as well.

  • Wow (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by asto21 (1797450)
    You sure have a lot of friends!
  • I suggest Virtualmin on top of Ubuntu. Its easy to configure and setup and maintain.

    http://www.virtualmin.com

  • There's a nice article here on setting up the LAMP stack on Fedora (or its relatives, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS):

    http://fedorasolved.org/server-solutions/lamp-stack [fedorasolved.org]

    • by bahstid (927038)
      Don't have much to compare it with, but its easy on Fedora.... only commandline you need at least as far as LAMP goes is setting up your mysql root password. Although Ubuntu has historically been the noob-friendly version, changes with the latest version has been chasing a lot of people away. That said I'm a KDE user anyway, so don't know if the Gnome changes have affected Fedora too.

      On any modern Linux, think LAMP is going to be pretty much part of the install process anyway... the part that might fru
  • by dbIII (701233) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:50AM (#37507928)
    For a completely unknown platform I'd suggest mucking about with a very small project with just yourself as a user or maybe a couple of others that don't care if it's down or broken. Once you know your way around you can then move on to something else.
    Making stupid mistakes in front of an audience of 2500 users would be embarrassing no matter how trivial the subject matter of the site is. You are better off making the stupid newbie mistakes where only you can see them. Having test and production environments only go so far if there is nobody in the project that really knows what you are testing for - if you don't know what you are doing your stupid stuff will go live.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      I was thinking in those lines too. Why go for Linux when you have experience with Windows? And why doing your first-ever Linux deployment for a 2,500 user set-up?

      The answer for the first is probably either cost or philosophy. But still I'd start much smaller when talking about a totally unknown system.

      • It has to be philosophy, Windows Server Web Edition is pretty reasonably priced. I run about half linux, half windows on my own server(s), Linux host OS with VMs. I would say it depends on one's needs. Though, not fond of PHP in general.
    • by mrmeval (662166)

      You can go with what you know but also leave yourself room to do a drop in replacement of a Linux stack when needed. The only reason I can see in not using what you know is excessive cost. If you cannot recoup those costs and cannot afford them then you can use a Linux solution. I would however point to a corporate Linux solution such as RHEL and only use what they recommend.

  • CentOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by firegate (134408) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:53AM (#37507946) Homepage
    CentOS and RHEL have become the industry standard for LAMP setups, for whatever its worth. Given that you probably don't need a support contract, CentOS 6 would fit the bill nicely. A free control panel like Webmin would probably make your life a bit easier in the configuration department.
    • Be very careful on how you expose Webmin though. It wields a lot of power - both for you and an attacker who discovers the open port and a weak password (or other exploit). Personally, if I were to use it at all, I'd only expose it on localhost, and require using SSH port forwarding to access it.

      CentOS 6 is a good recommendation though if you have background with Red Hat, or want to pursue a future support career with a RHEL based environment. If not, Ubuntu is equally well supported.

  • by Nemilar (173603) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:54AM (#37507948) Homepage

    I'd suggest that you go with one of the mainstream/common Linux server distros: either RHEL (for which you can use CentOS, which is essentially the same, minus the RedHat-copyrighted bits) or Ubuntu Server.

    Either of these can be configured to use a GUI. I'd actually pick RHEL/CentOS over Ubuntu, and during the install (which is graphical), you can select to install a web+database server along with a Desktop (GUI). The installation is fairly straightforward; the most complex part is arguably the partitioning, although you can use the guided partitioner to just use all free space on the disk. Partitioning isn't something that's linux-centric, although the partition scheme for Linux is perhaps a bit more complex than what'd you would expect coming from a Windows world (dedicated swap device, LVM to virtualize the partitions, etc..). If you use the guided "do it for me" option, you can avoid getting your hands wet with this complexity.

    The primary reason I'd suggest going mainstream is that the support will be there. If you choose some OS that no one really uses, you'll be hard-pressed to find distro-centric documentation for it. If you go with Ubuntu or RedHat, you can use Google to get through any obstacles you may find. There are plenty of tutorials available when you google for a simple [do this task] on [this distribution]. For example:

    http://www.google.com/search?gcx=w&ix=c1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=install+phpbb+on+rhel [google.com]
    http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&safe=off&site=&source=hp&q=install+phpbb+on+ubuntu+server [google.com]

    While you could probably use this documentation to complete a task on another distro, it's helpful to have a tutorial for the specific OS you're using; all the commands will be the same, and any dependency problems, etc... will all be accounted for.

    Additionally, should you decide that you want to learn more and play around, having something mainstream installed means that your learning experience will be directly relevant to anything you want to do down the line.

    As an alternative, you could go with a pre-built phpBB appliance. http://www.turnkeylinux.org/phpbb [turnkeylinux.org] is a single ISO or VDK that is built on Ubuntu Server and comes pre-configured with phpBB (they have many other applications available as well - highly recommended!). It'll ask you a few questions during the install, and once complete, you'll boot up into a fully-functional Linux server with phpBB already running.

    • Well, Ubuntu Server doesn't come with a GUI, so I would suggest normal desktop Ubuntu and then download the servers from the Software Center that you need. Also, go with LTS.

      • Well, Ubuntu Server doesn't come with a GUI

        Yes it does. http://www.google.com/#q=ubuntu+server+gui [google.com] Hell, when I started typing "Ubuntu Server" the suggestion on google was GUI... And you will want the server kernel, not the desktop kernel with a few thousand threads going on.

        • Well, by default Ubuntu server doesn't have GUI, but you can install one if you want to.
          Also, what is the difference between a server and a desktop kernel (guess mainly scheduling and paging strategies), and how significant is it? (I have not much experience running Linux servers.)

  • Is that you, Zuckerberg? I'm not setting up any systems for you without a firm contract.
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:55AM (#37507964)

    www.debian.org

    The essential, and without any brown lipstick smeared all over.

  • by opportunityisnowhere (1877452) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:56AM (#37507968)
    These are arguably the best options for beginners. Both have great communities and any issue you have you can typically find a solution on Google in 5 minutes. Ubuntu even has a LAMP package that will setup everything(well, most everything) you need. Couple pointers: Disable root login via SSH as soon as possible. You're asking for a bruteforce attack if you leave that enabled. Set up something like fail2ban or OSSEC monitoring to help thwart bots that are trying to break into your server.
    • Disable root login via SSH as soon as possible.

      Already done on Ubuntu. There is no "root" account on Debian based systems unless you go to some trouble to make one.

      But good pointer on fail2ban. Good thing to have.

      • by HiThere (15173)

        Debian definitely has a root account, and the last time I checked, so did Ubuntu. Ubuntu *does* want you to do everything through sudo, which to me seems LESS secure, but they do have a root account. All you need to do to "activate" it is to assign it a password. (Well, this was back around hoary hedgehog or whatever it was called.)

        I used Ubuntu for awhile, but found it gave me no advantage that I was using over Debian. And I ended up going back to Debian over package availability. (Not a concern for m

    • by hjf (703092)

      Disable root login via SSH as soon as possible.

      How is this any safe than having a normal user be able to "su" anyway?

      How is it any safer than having root access with only certificates and no keyboard-interactive?

      Disabling SSH root acess is as stupid as blocking ICMP for "security". Man, all those ICMP-blocking fags are in for a surprise with IPv6...

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        I'm shooting entirely from the hip here but I'm guessing that if you allow logins via root, the crackers already have at least one half of your username/password combo whereas if you disable it, they have to guess them both.
      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        It's not so much that it is "safer", per se. Forcing users to login as themselves and then use sudo allows you to restrict access to groups based on roles, as well as leaving an audit trail that allows for greater accountability. If everyone can go all willie-nilly around acting as root, then you're screwed when no one owns up to fucking something up. Of course, this also means needing to disable 'sudo su' for all but the lead admin or a couple of other seniors for the policy to be really enforced. However

    • Disable root login via SSH as soon as possible

      Serious question: Why is this routine advice demanded of all noob linux admins? If my root password is geka#r#t-epu6ramAthap_eke (that's not my password) people can feel free to brute force away. Perhaps in 300 trillion years, they might have a 50/50 shot at breaking it, but I won't lose sleep over that. Besides, there are a lot of perfectly valid reasons to log in as root. Off the top of my head, you can't escalate to root permissions using SCP, so right there's a fine reason to have a remote account with

      • Disable root login via SSH as soon as possible

        Serious question: Why is this routine advice demanded of all noob linux admins? If my root password is geka#r#t-epu6ramAthap_eke (that's not my password) people can feel free to brute force away. Perhaps in 300 trillion years, they might have a 50/50 shot at breaking it, but I won't lose sleep over that. Besides, there are a lot of perfectly valid reasons to log in as root. Off the top of my head, you can't escalate to root permissions using SCP, so right there's a fine reason to have a remote account with root permissions enabled. Running certain remote backup jobs often requires root permissions. I realize that these concerns have workarounds, but why turn a 1-step process of transferring a file into a 6 step process for no real gain in security?

        Because there is also a gain in n00b-insurance.

        If you are operating as root, it is a lot easier to screw up your entire system when you do something wrong. If you are operating where you have to run sudo, this keeps you from running commands you don't need root for as root. How many times are you changing directories, poking around in world or group-readable files, or otherwise doing things you don't need root for in the middle of a few commands you actually do need root for?

        A classic example would be rem

  • Learn the CLI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pcjunky (517872) <walterp@cyberstreet.com> on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:04AM (#37508030) Homepage

    A simple Ubuntu or Debian 5 installation will fill the bill nicely. Webmin will take some of the sting out of having to learn the CLI. However any true IT professional should learn and use the CLI (Even newer MS servers can not be installed sans GUI). Once learned, it is quicker, simpler, more powerful way to do things than any other method I know.

    Don't let the unfriendly reputation of NIX scare you away. I did 16 years ago when I started our ISP. Went entirely Windows NT servers. What a mistake! These things were constantly failing for various reasons. I began learning Linux and slowly replacing the failed servers with Linux systems and they just didn't fail unless some hardware failed (not nearly as frequent).

    Life is much easer now and I spend very little time on server maintenance.

    • Yeah, this. If you are set on wanting the L in LAMP, you are doing yourself a disservice by not learning a bit of bash. Some config file changes are easier to do in a web interface or similar, but if you use a CLI for most of your admining, it is a lot easier on the whole to track what you did wrong, what you changed on the test server (please make a test server - a VM will probably do) since last update of your production server.
      A CLI is also useful if you are AFK since most smartphones can run an SSH clie

  • I thought you meant you wanted 2500 users on the Linux system itself. That's a fairly big /etc/passwd file, and if they all log in at once then I suspect even a high-end system will crawl a bit.

    What you really want is a system that can run a forum that can support 2500 users, but you don't say how many simultaneously, or anything else useful. For 2500 simultaneous users, all posting and reading, you might need more than one box...

    So, proper requirements spec plzkthx.

  • I am nearly equally Linux-ignorant, I set up Amahi as a "home cloud" (googling for that is what led me to it). It runs on Fedora by default. It's been mostly easy to install and maintain, and I even managed to install Trac on my own with not too much pain (given that I already have installed Trac on MacOS and Solaris).

    phpBB is one of their apps that is in beta, where I suspect it will be for a while (it's volunteer-mostly), but the apps so far are click-and-go. I administer the box with webmin, which in

  • A forum and some custom LAMP pages ... soooo why not focus on that and leave the server/hosting/etc to someone else? There are a lot of LAMP hosting providers out there that you could use for a few $$ per month.. Go with a company that can give you SSH access so you can get familiar with some CLI management (or concurrently attempting to run the same stuff on a virtualbox linux setup) and perhaps down the road once your more comfortable with the LAMP config, then migrate the site to your own server.

    • by gladbach (527602)

      I'd agree with the hosted part. If you really want to roll your own, I'd personally go nginx and php5-fpm with mysql backend rather than apache. Its much more likely to perform well with a 2500 user phpbb than apache.

      • Re:Go hosted? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Ash-Fox (726320) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @12:34PM (#37508504)

        I'd personally go nginx and php5-fpm with mysql backend rather than apache. Its much more likely to perform well with a 2500 user phpbb than apache.

        That's really a side effect of not setting up the OS and Apache properly.

        If you're expecting a large amount of simultaneous connections, configure the OS to provide that many file descriptors to Apache and configure Apache's MPM preforking accordingly to that ratio with mod_php. I suggest avoiding threaded MPM for security, recovery and stability reasons.

        You will suddenly find that nginx's performance is not so great in comparison and doesn't have the disadvantage of PHP-FPM's additional usage of file descriptors.

        Apache isn't very good against nginx when it's starved of file descriptors, but that's normally due to not configuring the system accordingly for the load expected. Regardless, by not configuring your system accordingly, you're generating additional CPU load as the software has to fall back on other more CPU intensive methods to deal with the lack of file descriptors. The extra load on the CPU usually costs more power as well as the potential capacity if it had more file descriptors available.

  • Conflicting goals? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm (69642) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:11AM (#37508074)

    not a chore to manage and preferably not completely CLI.

    Aren't these inherently directly conflicting goals?

    Easy to manage, is you change one little thing in your puppet config and puppet magically makes it happen, instead of having to babysit everything.

    Easy to manage is someone tells you "make /etc/apache2/apache2.conf look exactly like this" instead of "click on the 2nd icon from the right that looks like two mating centipedes, then look randomly about the screen until you find the icon that looks like a discarded kleenex, oh you're seeing an icon that looks like a black hole, well, then click two pages back" etc for about ten minutes.

    An analogy is "teach me physics, without any of that tedious math stuff".

    • Exactly - when I went to school they taught using Fedora 6 with Webmin and the non-working Fedora GUI tools for managing Apache and SSL. Even if the tool configured Apache to start and host a site, they NEVER configured SSL properly, no matter if you followed the textbook, or tried any combination or order of clicking buttons in the Red Hat tool or Webmin.

      After a while, I installed Debian 4 (right after it came out) one of my systems, looked around for GUI configurators, saw none, and so it seemed that t
    • Aren't these inherently directly conflicting goals?

      Easy to manage, is you change one little thing in your puppet config and puppet magically makes it happen, instead of having to babysit everything.

      Easy to manage is someone tells you "make /etc/apache2/apache2.conf look exactly like this" instead of "click on the 2nd icon from the right that looks like two mating centipedes, then look randomly about the screen until you find the icon that looks like a discarded kleenex, oh you're seeing an icon that looks like a black hole, well, then click two pages back" etc for about ten minutes.

      No, they are not conflicting goals.

      How do I put this gently... there is... *ahem* plenty of room to add value to open source projects. If you get my drift. Take Visual SVN Server for example. They didn't remove svnadmin, and you don't even need to know apache is there for the most part.

      Also, I can't think of any case where Puppet makes managing a single instance of something easier. At best it is as difficult as doing the underlying work yourself. It solves a different problem, of managing looooooooo

  • Why not WAMP? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:17AM (#37508106)
    Have you even thought about a WAMP setup? A poorly admined Linux box is worse than a well managed Windows one. - from a *nix sysadmin
    • by hawguy (1600213)

      Have you even thought about a WAMP setup? A poorly admined Linux box is worse than a well managed Windows one. - from a *nix sysadmin

      I've come across some WAMP setups, and in my experience, the AMP part is harder to maintain on Windows than on Linux... and, doesn't seem to run as well under load though part of that may be the poor administration of the AMP stack in the first place.

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      If you are smart enough to do Windows right, you don't need to use it as some sort of delusional crutch.

      A poorly managed Windows box is far more dangerous than a poorly managed Linux one and that's exactly what you will get if you try to tell people that they can use Windows if they want to be lazy. They will be lazy and disaster will ensue.

      I don't think I've seen anyone mention yet that the P in LAMP/WAMP is the most problematic thing here. It's not something to be trifled with. The new user needs to under

  • by TheSunborn (68004) <tiller@[ ]mi.au.dk ['dai' in gap]> on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:20AM (#37508130)
    How about just buying a webhotel instead of setting up a server?  I mean if you just need to run php5.3 and mysql there is really no need to setup your own server.
  • If you don't understand Linux and won't/can't want to take the time to learn it properly, then it would make more sense to get a hosting account from a reputable web hoster. Or if you insist on running the machine yourself, hire someone to do the initial setup for you.

    In todays environment, you need to understand a great deal about many OS level things, most of which revolve around security. Firewalls, mail configurations, etc. Not setting these things up correctly can have bad consequences. For example

  • Make sure your installations are up-to-date and *easy* to upgrade, and follow any program-specific "security" FAQs, instructions, manual chapters, etc...

    A LAMP System with common server applications and without careful configuration is basically begging to be cracked. Following the basic instructions for tightening it down (limiting system access of www-data user, limiting database permissions of the database user your web applications are accessing the database as, making sure strong input validation is u

  • Another approach (Score:5, Informative)

    by Will.Woodhull (1038600) <wwoodhull@gmail.com> on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:36AM (#37508224) Homepage Journal

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned XAMPP or Portable XAMPP yet.

    I used Portable XAMPP under WinXP as a development environment for several years. It comes with a couple of GUI management tools and has an active community behind it. Advantages: you get a LAMP-like setup on a removable drive running under an OS you are already comfortable with. If things go totally weird, you can replace the XAMPP drive with one loaded with an earlier backup and be confident that none of the weirdness has been left in your system. I found that was a very comforting thought when I was going through the newbie jitters phase.

    XAMPP is probably powerful enough to handle 2,500 users doing typical Internet stuff (avoiding serving out hundreds of full length movies, etc). So it might be suitable for your production environment as well as development: install it on a fast fixed HD using Ubuntu Server as the OS and you will have a bullet proof operation that is easy to manage and develop for. XAMPP is plain vanilla and seems to play well with any of the Linux servers.

    Here is a link [portableapps.com] to one source of XAMPP goodness. Anyone who is still using Windows should think about exploring the PortableApps site, too. There are some FOSS gems there.

  • Ubuntu server is very good, but you really will have to deep-dive into Apache and the mail server of your choice which adds about 200% over just learning Linux. In your case, though, it sounds more like you are setting up to serve a few PHP apps. If that is the case, I'd recommend setting up on a Cpanel based hosting service (Cpanel runs on CentOS and has become a de-facto standard for serving PHP apps like PHPBB 3). If you need a dedicated server, you can find places where you can get a Cpanel server for

  • As other posters have pointed out -- Ubuntu is your best bet for a user friendly Linux distro, especially if you plan on using a GUI for administration.
    For the LAMP stack, Zend Server is your best bet, it's a free, self contained environment (installs to /user/local/zend) with everything you need pre-configured and packed up with an installer. It even includes a service monitor for easy access to log files.

  • If this is going to be on the public Internet, I'd question the wisdom of managing it yourself when you've admitted it's not one of your core strengths. Instead, I'd set up a cheap & cheerful shared hosting account - it'll be locked down thoroughly, it'll have a pretty sophisticated set of management tools and if you install phpBB through the management tool there's every chance any security issues will be dealt with by your hosting company. Considering the security history of most PHP forums (dire), ma

    • by Animats (122034)

      If this is going to be on the public Internet, I'd question the wisdom of managing it yourself when you've admitted it's not one of your core strengths. Instead, I'd set up a cheap & cheerful shared hosting account.

      Agreed. Shared hosting is about $5 to $10 a month now. Dreamhost and Hostgator are quite capable of hosting a forum system of 2500 users on a low end account. They handle server administration, backups, and replacement of the hardware when it breaks. And, importantly, they have a lot more bandwidth to the Internet than you do.

      There are reasons to run your own server, but none of them apply to your case. You're not developing new code. You're not running persistent processes like a game server or a virtua

  • After all, the installing of the server will be the main difference. Once it is installed, they will be basically the same.

    I hope you did not bite of more then you could shew. With Apache and MySQL you wioll already have your hands full to make it secure. Add php on top of that, which you do not know and it will become a leaking basked when looking from a security point of view.

    You are not even sure about phpBB as it only seems adequate.

    The selection of the Linux Distro would be the least of your problems.

  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @12:41PM (#37508552) Homepage
    Seriously, if you don't know anything about linux, and don't want to be bothered with securing and updating it, just go with a hosted solution like Dreamhost who has a GUI panel for most of your administrative needs. Getting something "simple" is a recipe for you getting hacked.
    • IMHO, this is a great learning opportunity and a chance to add to your resume. There are plenty of good howtos and tutorials to get you started. Securing it is not even that difficult. It just takes some willingness to do some reading and can be just as reliable as hosting. You might even continue reading more about failover and use a hosted site as a backup.
  • 2500 users doesn't say much. 2500 people that will log into a forum a few times a week or 2500 people that'll upload and download eachothers' entire lives in multimedia?

  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @01:14PM (#37508736)

    Also, if you are uneasy with a CLI, you need to ask yourself whether you can actually do this. Unease with CLI is typically due to lack of understanding how things actually work. In that case you should stay in the MS world, where people are (mostly) protected from making severe mistakes but are seriously limited in what they can actually do.

    If you are trying to break out of the MS-world corset, then do not fear the CLI, learn to use it instead. It is the only way to be free of those restrictions, as GUIs are not and cannot be powerful interfaces due to fundamental limitations. Remember, the CLI gives you the power to command (and shoot yourself in the foot), while the GUI just interfaces you, allowing you to do just what the GUI designer chose to allow you to do. Both terms are surprisingly self-explanatory.

  • not a chore to manage and preferably not completely CLI

    In my experience, you spend more time & headaches trying to avoid CLIs and config files than you would need to spend just learning how to use those tools.

    Debian does a *really* good job of making it easy to work with the CLI and config files. Don't fight that; just learn it. The knowledge is very reusable, and it remains useful for years (even decades?) rather than months.

  • Even if it's just for fun that's a heck of a lot of users to let down if you run into trouble. I'd be concerned that even if you get it set up and running, some day it will go down and it'll take several days to figure to while the community languishes. I'd host somewhere else until you are really comfortable and familiar with LAMP administration.

  • (1) The latest Ubuntu LTS
    (2) Webmin and Virtualmin.

    That's It! Nuff said.

  • Get an ISO, AMI, or VM image complete with LAMP already configured. Hell, they even have configurations that include apps already configured like trac, mediawiki or redmine. You'll have full control including root, so no worries about lock-in.

    I'd just test one of these out, get your deployment script tested, then roll out the AMI on Amazon EC2 (then apply your deploy script)... where you can scale up the capabilities as needed.

    Ultimately, cost/capability will determine whether you host locally, remote or

  • This is not something to do as a "newb", as you describe it. Such a large project requires attention to mirroring, high availability, backup, load handling, security, and API's for accessing the data that are beyond a weekend "just set it up and run" project. It's a good time to contact your local DBA's for their guidance, and their preferences, and let them help you save time addressing the concerns they will raise later, and which may not be on the original plan.

    Stability for a server class project would

  • Why use Linux? (Score:2, Informative)

    by taustin (171655)

    I know I'll get booed for this, but why use Linux at all? Apache, PHP and MySQL are all available for Windows, and run on any version. I use a Linux distro for my firewalls, but Windows for everything else, including two internal web servers, two mail servers and multiple file servers. Yeah, you can do the same thing with less hardware with Linux, and it's probably a bit more stable, plus less work to keep up to date, but if you know Windows, and don't know Linux, you're better off staying with Windows. You

  • The solution is obvious - just use some $1/month hosting company and spare yourself the stress of managing something you don't (want to?) understand and the embarassment of 2500 people seeing you fail.

    Not being rude, just not understanding why you would want to do that. Oh, and I'd rather go with a minimal FreeBSD installation with added Apache, PHP and MySQL instead, but that's purely CLI and therefore not what you want, plus it's not Linux. But I've used FreeBSD as web servers for more than a decade and a

  • You have no experience with Linux, and given the question you're asking you likely have no experience with either PHP or MySQL. Trying to learn on the job with a public-facing server running this software is a bad idea. PHP-based forum packages routinely have security holes, as does the language itself - and you're going to give it access to a MySQL server? You're gonna get owned pretty quickly.

    I really think a better solution for you is paying a hosting company to do this. They've got experience, and if th

  • This is exactly what you need. ignore all the tech speak and nerd lingo.

    http://www.opensuse.org/en/ [opensuse.org]

  • Debian Stable (Score:4, Informative)

    by Trogre (513942) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @08:37PM (#37510954) Homepage

    I may get flamed by the Ubuntu/Fedora crowd for this, but for servers I use and recommend Debian stable.

    There are two major reasons for this: great support and things don't change unexpectedly. Because of its long release cycle you rarely see the latest and greatest versions of anything in the repos, but if anything mission-critical is needed these can be installed manually. Some recent python libraries or Firefox builds come to mind. See http://bugs.debian.org/release-critical/ [debian.org] for a graphical view of recent Debian releases.

    The current Stable release ("Squeeze") meets your MySQL and PHP version requirements (5.1 and 5.3.3 respectively).

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