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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast MrTech's Avatar
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    Linux server vs. Small Business Server from M$

    Hi all, my coder keeps bugging me to setup a server in-house so we can play around with devel and things. So I'm going to cave and set one up but have never gone down the Linux road before.

    What I wanted to do is setup M$ small business server so we could host website, serve files and use exchange for email...but would rather have php, mysql, linux, apache and so on so I can teach myself linux in the process of setting up the whole sha-bang. Besides, the cost for M$ is just not affordable for the size of my (and my clients) business...when they say small business server it seems they really mean small business huge earnings...just to afford the price of the software/licensing.

    Can anyone point the way as to what flavour of Linux and add-on software that you would recommend based on your own experience? I hope you can help me look into this alternative so that I can find similar (if not better) options than M$ offerings in the Linux world?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot
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    i would say use either a redhat varient or CentOS - their both fairly simple to setup and come with everything required to run a server already
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard gate2vn's Avatar
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    CentOS is a stable OS. However, if you want to learn yourself, I suggest you choose minimum install, then install each software you want like apache, php, mysql... When minimum install, you may face some issues like lack of compilers... Using yum for installing it, that's very easy
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  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast MrTech's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice...I will look into CentOS as I've never hear of that flavour until just now.

    Anyone else have suggestions to make for a linux newbie? What do I use instead of exchange...sendmail?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard HarryR's Avatar
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    I will give you one tip regarding sendmail and newbies... Please just stay away from it. Have you ever wondered why the majority of Unix admins go bald? Sendmail

    CentOS is fairly easy to setup, so is SuSE Pro/SLES (and other offerings from SuSE/Novell such as OES).

    As for mail servers I personally recommend XMail or eXtremail as they combine both SMTP, POP3 and (for eXtremail only) IMAP into a single package. They also have fairly good third-party administration interfaces written in a number of languages (PHP & Perl etc.).

    eXtremail: http://www.extremail.com/
    eXtremail admin: http://freshmeat.net/projects/emm/

    XMail: http://www.xmailserver.org/
    XMail admin: check the 'XMail Tools' at the middle of the page.

    Hope that helps,
    Harry

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast MrTech's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice on SendMail...I did use it about 6 years ago on NT platform and you are right, nothing but issues getting it working just right.

    I've had a quick look at the two products you mentionned and it looks very promising....goes off to spend too many hours reading/researching these products.

    I'm a linux newbie, but not a technical/server newbie...would all of you still recommend the same flavours of Linux as mentionned above to get started?

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard HarryR's Avatar
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    Yes, I would recommend both CentOS (free) and SLES (commercial) for any level of admin experience because their well supported and have a fairly wide corporate user base (so they are proven in fairly demanding situations).

    Although personally I think Yast (SuSE's UI admin tool) wins hands down compared to the redhat interfaces (e.g. it saves me 10 minutes here and there compared to just editing files), both let you mix the provided configuration tools with hand tweaking etc.

  8. #8
    Snowboarders die even younger igor.kudela's Avatar
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    it is extremly hard to replace exchange with a linux alternative but from what you write you basically need only a few of the functions it really offers
    Igor Kudela
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