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How to transfer domain name from remote server to personal server?
How to transfer domain name from remote server to personal server?

 6:25 am on Feb 14, 2008 (gmt 0)


I have a domain name, let's say example.com, and it is currently registered on a remote server/host (in this case, my host is the same as my registrar). Now, I am trying to set up my own server in order to host my own site. I am relatively new to linux and DNS settings, but I am running Fedora 8 on my linux server with apache, mysql, php, and all the basic necessities already installed.

Now that the server is ready (or should be), what do I need to do in order to direct my (already registered) domain name to my new server? Also, what additional settings do I need to make on my server to accept this connection and configure the DNS?

As an aside, I have briefly looked at easydns.com for a DNS server. Is this a good place to go for this problem, or is it possible to not have to transfer my domain name to another remote DNS server?

Help is greatly appreciated.



 10:58 pm on Feb 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

First of all, you really, really, really do not want to do this, unless your server in in a data center.

And even then, you would probably be better-off renting a managed dedicated server than having your own hardware and just renting rack space. When it breaks, YOU have to fix it, and YOU (or somebody you hire) has to go onsite at the datacenter to repair the hardware. Or pay the datacenter staff a hefty hourly rate.

Research the topic on "Web General".

Running your own server at home is OK for a small hobby site. Most will have some issues with the fact that they don't have static IPs at home, and will have to use a dynamic DNS solution. There WILL be lost connectivity for your users whenever your IP changes.

However, in most cases, running such a server is a violation of the Terms of Service of your ISP. In areas where one broadband provider has a monopoly, I wouldn't take the chance of losing the only good Internet access you have. (For example, Cox is the only way you will get 15mbit/sec where I live. Violate their TOS, and you are dead meat.)

Running your own server at your company is still usually not a good idea. Your puny T1 or DSL or whatever doesn't offer the burst bandwidth available in a datacenter, and you will not be able to offer good performance to your users.

As far as pointing the host(s) to your server, it's just a matter of changing your A (and possibly) CNAME record(s) at your DNS server. Presumably, you are using the DNS servers of your registrar, and I'd recommended that you continue to do so. (Don't set up your own DNS server. There are also many good reasons not to run your own.)

If you do host at home on a dynamic IP, then, yes, you will have to go to a third-party DNS service that provides dynamic DNS. Otherwise, you can continue to use your registrar's DNS.


 2:32 am on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thank you for your advice. It seems this process is much more complicated than I thought. I might take your advice and just rent a dedicated server, but I do have just a few more questions to ask. Now that I know having my own DNS server is not a good idea, then let's say, for example, I used a third-party DNS service for a dynamic DNS. With the DNS taken care of, would it still be a bad idea to host the actual contents of my site on my own server?

For a little better explanation on what this site is for, I am basically building a social network similar to Myspace and Youtube where I would like to host videos, pictures, and possibly music. As you could imagine, I would need massive storage space and resources on a dedicated server in order to do this. I also need to install programs such as FFMPEG to convert videos. And although I know how to build a fully functional website (using PHP and such), I really am very new to the linux operating system.

That said, would I still be better off renting a dedicated server?


 3:05 am on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

With the DNS taken care of, would it still be a bad idea to host the actual contents of my site on my own server?

Yes, for several reasons, some of which I have already outlined.

If you have a "high-speed" connection, it is probably asymetrical. You have much more bandwidth "down" than "up". For example, my Cox service gives me 15mbit/sec down, 1mbit/sec up.

Problem is, for a web server, your need is for bandwidth "up".

Further, you have a need for "burst bandwidth". Especially if you are serving video. While you may have sufficient bandwidth to satisfy the average need, you won't have enough for when 10 users hit your site at the same time.

Nor will any user get particularly snappy results. Users who, like you, have fast "down" speeds, (say, 10mbit/sec) will be limited by your inability to deliver more than, say, 1mbit/sec.

It's unlikely you will have more than 1mbit/sec up available to you at home. In a datacenter, it's uncommon to have less than 10mbit/sec, and quite common to have 100mbit/sec to 1gbit/sec etc. available in bursts.

And again, look at the TOS issue. Your ISP almost certainly doesn't want you doing this. I wouldn't take the chance that they would find out and cut-off your service.

That said, would I still be better off renting a dedicated server?

Since you seem interested in learning Linux and server administration, you haven't wasted your money. I'd keep the hardware you've accumulated as a development machine, where you can play without bringing down your web site.

I doubt you need a dedicated server to start. I'd start with a VPS. You will have root powers, and be able to exercise the flexibility you learn on your development system, and will be able to do a great deal more than those using shared servers, at a cost that is not that much greater.

When/if you outgrow the VPS, you can go to a dedicated server.


 4:17 am on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks again for the info. I will definitely look into Virtual Private Servers. But if you don't mind me asking, if a VPS gives you root powers, then what is the difference between a VPS and a dedicated server? I always assumed a VPS was the same as a shared server because I was unaware that a VPS gave you root access.


 6:23 pm on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Never mind, I believe found a sufficient answer <in wikipedia>.

Thanks for all the help. I think I can take it from here (hopefully) :)

[edited by: Webwork at 7:32 pm (utc) on Feb. 15, 2008]
[edit reason] Wikipedia hotlink removed [/edit]

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