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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot JEmLAC's Avatar
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    setting up Linux web/ftp server

    I have an old P120 gathering dust in my basement. I doubt very much I could sell it for much, so I think I'm going to take a crack at setting it up to be a web server and FTP server. It won't be hooked to the outside world, just something for me to play with in my computer room. What I'm wondering is what sort of hardware I'm going to require. I assume a NIC for each computer and a chunk of cat-5. Do I need a router for a simple "this computer and that computer" setup? Ideally, I'd like to use it to practice some linux/apache/php/mysql development and a file store accessed via FTP (I know about Samba - ftp, though more complicated to use, I'd suspect is easier to setup). I'd probably like to look at some java-based app server development too (JBoss and the like), although I may be pushing it with the meager horsepower at hand. Would I be just pushing things too much to try setting up a CVS store as well (I'm brainstorming myself at the moment )?

    Any direction online or otherwise about how to go about getting started would be welcome. Thanks.

    B
    Morning person by habit, not by nature.

  2. #2
    morphine for a wooden leg randem's Avatar
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    A P120 can certainly be an adequate server for many things on a private network. The key is to set it up without the GUI (which is processor and memory intensive).

    Boxes with low RAM or small HDDs won't accept modern distributions of Linux. Depending on the machine's resources you may have to dig up a "less-than-current" version of your favorite distro... (eg, Red Hat 4.2 rather than 7), but these should be easy to find at Best Buy or Office Depot on the $10 rack. I believe the older versions are still available for free download on the public FTP servers as well.

    Using Red Hat as an example, I can say that I was able to easily set up a similar local test machine on a 486/66 with a 300 Mb hard drive. I used RHL 4.2 and had web and ftp services and mysql up and ready to go right from the install. Adding PHP is a simple download and install.

    I recommend upgrading the kernel as well as Apache, WU-FTPd, and mysql right from the start to make up for having to use the older install disk. Help with download and upgrade of these softwares is available at their respective web sites.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot JEmLAC's Avatar
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    The box is already running Mandrake 8.1 acceptably fast. As far as server stuff goes, it doesn't need to be blindingly fast; I'm the only one who's going to see it. I have other plans too, like setting up SANE and using it with my scanner. I upgraded the main machine to XP pro and it seemed to have screwed up scanning, so I figured it was time to brush up on SANE. The box will be multipurpose!

    Setting up the software is less the concern (at this point) than the hardware configuration. Can I simply run a chunk of twisted pair from one NIC to the other, or do I need a hub? I'm going to start digging into it eventually, and I have a few ideas of where to start (linux.org, linuxnewbie.org, others on Google as yet discovered). Any other thoughts would be appreciated.
    Morning person by habit, not by nature.

  4. #4
    morphine for a wooden leg randem's Avatar
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    You can't directly connect one NIC to another with standard CAT-5... it has to be a crossover cable to do direct connection.

    If you are making your own wire, you can find plenty of references for the pattern by a quick search at Google. Otherwise, if you're going to buy some wire, make sure it says crossover on it.

    Personally, I prefer a hub or switch, and the prices these days are certainly low enough.


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