Run Your Own Web Server Using Linux & Apache


I am fairly new to the web, but want to try hosting my own pages on my linux server.

Regarding the book in the string title, is the date of this book is 2005, I am wondering if it is too far out of date?

  1. Is it worth buying / doing? or not
  2. Any other suggestions.

Kindly note that I am looking for a ‘book’ or ‘substantive introduction’ at this point.

Many thx

I’d definitely think a 10-11 year old book could be improved upon, as both Linux and Apache have both moved on a fair way in that time - whilst the basics may be much the same, there will be plenty of areas in which the details either won’t be covered, or may have changed.

For the purposes of hosting pages though, are you thinking about it this from a development server perspective, or are you wanting to put the server on the internet? If the latter, then I’d suggest taking a very serious look at the security side of things. If it’s just for development, getting the Apache side of things going is relatively straightforward to get going, and a couple of online articles would be enough to get you going.

Which Linux installation are you using right now?

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I plan on renting a server from a hosting company and putting up a site with registration, payment and
purchase options (PayPal).

I am doing development with Xampp locally and have been teaching myself the M
(Mysql) and P PHP) portions of LAMP (plus JavaScript, html, css) etc to
get there.

I should be ready to launch by May (all to plan)…

I am at the point where I need to learn to basic L (Linux) and A (Apache) to
put my website up

For the record, my background is business attempting to do IT … Not the other way around.
So, the goal is to host a website on a rented sever? I need to know how to do that.

Yes, I am worried about security.

Cursory research suggests I will probably use Red Hat once big enough but think that fedora is the best road to get me there (all untested assumptions).


You do not want to use Xampp for local development if you are just learning. Because renting your own server, you won’t be running Xampp on the server you rent. You will likely be running a Linux Operating System. I strongly recommend you look into using Vagrant or setting up a Virtual Box Machine that runs the operating system your server will be using. That way you can figure out how to setup Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc in a way that benefits you when you run the site live.

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Have you considered installing Linux on your personal computer?

I think Windows and Xamp are a hindrance to learning how to manage a Linux server.

Once you are familiar with Linux I can recommend a Vps and they are usually less expensive than an equivalent shared hosting plan.

Tablet typing is tedious and I was beaten by @cpradio :frowning:


Great thx,

I had been considering, but will make the migration over this week.

Jump into the puddle :slight_smile:

Also, cool idea on the Vps


Ok, Iw ill look into using Vagrant.

Thx again for your time!

Hi Karen,

Another 2¢ for your consideration:

  1. Your expertise is business, not hosting. For instance, you are apparently not aware that you must monitor and react to attacks on your server 24/7. Use your business background to research the hardware and software required ($$$) as well as the oversight to manage a hosting business.

  2. The hosting arena is over-populated with people who know about hosting and their cost cutting measures are numerous as well as based on a large customer base (very low margin). Unless you can establish your client base quickly, you will be overwhelmed by the competition.

  3. You apparently didn’t know enough to mention managed hosting (making you a third party host) which I believe you must have to offer even the most basic services. Managed hosting should partially relieve you of the 24/7 aspect but you still must deal with your clients QUICKLY when they have problems.

IMHO (MBA and many years as a webmaster/host), you’ve gone about looking for a niche backward. In other words, use your business background to compliment your expertise in a niche market in which you excel AND is not already overwhelmed by competition.

On the other hand, I give you credit for trying to make it on your own but, PLEASE, research your market and competition before throwing a lot of your resources into it.

Good Luck!



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Hi dklyn,

I am not sure where you go the impression that I wanted to start a hosting business. I suspect that it is because I do not know how to explain what I am working on using the correct terminology - a source of endless frustration to those who know what they are talking about :slight_smile:

I have zero interest in starting a web hosting business. I just plan to rent a dedicated server somewhere and use that to host my system. I had presumed that I would need to know and understand how to do that in order to make it work (i.e. my system is more complictaed than a WordPress site) - so I will need to SSH into the linux and fuddle about - host / etc.

My website will be an online learning community with a number of unique aspects. Is it a sustainable long term competitive advantage? Who knows. But, Iam having a heck of a lot of fun with it, am endlessly creative and no doubt will end up miles from where I launch. I think it is a neat idea and have not seen anything like it out there.

By the way, do you know how come my .htaccess file is hidden when I try to view the folder structure on my xampp localhost? I have enabled both the mod_rewrite and the allow all… commands in my config doc.

ps - I would love to hire you to hack into my sytem when we start and expose the multitude of holes that will no doubt be present.


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Hi KK,

My apologies - I misread your first post.

IMHO, you don’t need much more than a “common” shared account to be able to access your own directory structure (albeit you cannot modify the server’s applications (because others are using them, too). I only say that because the cost structure is minimal for shared accounts, reseller accounts are a fair step up, VPS is a major step into “real dollars” and dedicated servers are very expensive. If you’re not too sure whether your scheme is affordable, start small and work your way up.

It sounds like you ARE creating your own niche … GREAT!

An XAMPP localhost? Argh! I learned from an early Kevin Yank book and created my own test system with individual applications in an attempt to match what my online server was using (but I’ve been too lax … or lazy … to keep up with the online server updates). The “canned apps” like XAMPP get close to “the real thing” but have some weird differrences. As for your .htaccess file, my first guess is that WinDoze is set to hide file extensions (finding the hosts file in the Windows\system32\drivers\etc directory is a real PITA) AND you’ve got to “Run as administrator” if in a directory that Windows thinks you should not be playing in (a MAJOR PITA).

I’d love to try to hack into your system but I’m badly out of practice and not sure whether my ISP would allow me to use the tools available to hackers online (I could practice via Wi-Fi on my neighbor’s system but that would be ILLEGAL and UNETHICAL so I’ve not done that, either). Just be aware that you cannot protect your server alone: Hacker attacks can come from inside the host’s staff (social engineering), their daemons (be sure they keep their software updated), their data center (hardware and software) and KNOW that each piece of hardware has a known way it handles code it receives (iincomplete or improperly formed TCP/IP messages) and all you can do is (1) use a professional host with leading (NOT bleeding) edge software and a great staff, (2) keep your code as tight as can be (and TRIPLE check any input received before processing it) and, finally, (3) be ready to recover from the inevitable hack attack which succeeds. NOTHING is safe … just ask Sony!



Things are rolling fast here, so your 2005 book is most likely outdated in most ways.
An virtual private server (VPS) have very affordable price now (starting from $5/month or even less) and you can configure it the way you need to without much restrictions. So you’ll have your very own Linux server you can configure any way you need to!
You’ll probably need to install webserver (Apache/nginx), database (MySQL or MariaDB) and configure DNS if you’re already bought a domain.
Look for short how-to’s here:
Installing LAMP
Configuring MySQL
About DNS
You can try to use ServerSuit as cloud control panel for your server later, or install all packages yourself to have some practice and keep yourself involved.

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