I am here and new to the web-development. I have just started studying “digital application development” at a college, where it is all about MS products. We have briefly covered HTML, CSS and will be going though ASP.NET, C#, VB etc.
I decided to do some self education starting from PHP and MySQL (reading Kevin Yank’s book). What OS software for the VS I should choose or should I just stay with the default - CentOS 5 with Plesk9.
You’ll want to use Windows for your course work as the Microsoft tools and languages are built to work with Microsoft’s web server software, which doesn’t run on Linux. There are Linux ports capable of running ASP code but it’ll complicate things while you’re learning.
As far as your spare time projects with PHP and the book, I would use the default out of that list. CentOS is RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) without the RedHat branding, something possible due to the open source license RH uses. It’s stable and you have a huge community and years of documentation available online to read from due to the RedHat heritage. It’s likely the most popular operating system for website hosting.
Plesk will relieve you of having to learn the intricacies of writing DNS zone files, configuring virtual hosts and Apache modules, and other cryptic server configuration tasks best left to system administrators unless you want to go that route as well. I’d use the control panel (Plesk) while that’s not your focus so that you can get right to working on the websites.