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Apache Web Server Forum

Don't know where to begin: MS zombie considering first linux server
Age: 50; Admin 2 Win2K servers; Command line challenged

 4:32 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Should I stay or should I go . . .

Where do aging beginners go to learn to manage Linux servers, mostly for hosting websites - fast and deep?

Is there a Linux refuge for the GUI dependant?

Is there a readable O'Reilly Linux bible? No? Whose then?

Who won the battle for Linux? Apache? Other? Why? (Easy answer, right? Sorry. Don't even know what to ask.)

Does anyone have a list of favorite WebmasterWorld threads on Linux?

Is there a place to play with Linux before actually leasing a Linux box? My end game is either dedicated or colo Linux boxes.

Gives me an idea for a personal's ad: "Old dog willing to learn new tricks. Just learned Linux." (Probably only manage to attract Wilhelmina, Dark Mistress of Microsoft. :-(

Replies here or by sticky welcome. Will understand if you totally ignore this post. Not looking for all the answers. Only good places to start finding answers.





 4:43 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can't be of help, but wanted to say I'm in the same boat. I got a job in which I will be managing our website servers which are all Linux. I'm looking forward to it though I've totally been a MicroSoft girl to this point. I have some time before I start the new job so I'm going to hop on my hubby's machines which are all Linux of differing flavors and try to make sense of it all. Right now, he swears by Ubuntu. He has a (costly) subscription to a UK Linux Journal mag. The mag comes with dvds that are loaded with Linux goodies though so it pays for itself.

Good luck with your endeavors! I wish you all the best in trying to make the transition. I will feel yer pain!


 6:55 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is there a place to play with Linux before actually leasing a Linux box? My end game is either dedicated or colo Linux boxes.

Sure, get an el-cheapo x86 box, install linux on it, and play with it. If you shop around, you can usually find older (like a year or two) hardware for a couple of hundred bucks. (note: this link may get killed by the moderators, but I'll try it anyway) ebay has a 400-650mhz desktop pc category [computers.listings.ebay.com], which has some decent stuff. Install linux. break it, fix it, lather, rinse, repeat.

Apache is certainly one of most the most popular webservers of choice out there, if the webserver survey [news.netcraft.com] is any indication. It's not the fastest thing out there, but it's one of the most flexible.

As far as books go, it's very hard (although not impossible) to go wrong with an o'reilly book. For generic unix information (most of which applies to Linux), Unix Power Tools [oreilly.com] is always a good choice; I'm sure there are others. Read the Apache Documentation [httpd.apache.org]. Then read it again. And again. =) Learn how to build things from source. In the process, learn how NOT to build things from source. =)

Learn how to write small scripts (shell scripts, perl scripts, etc). A *nix admin needs a wide range of talents to be any good. Learn about security. Subscribe to mailing lists; there are several good ones on various security-related topics at [securityfocus.com ]. Be aware that any opensource product, from operating systems to applications, generally has a mailing list. Know where they are, and how to use the archives; they're invaluable.

That's for starters, anyway. =)


 10:57 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Very helpful start. :)


 10:43 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am going down the same path. I know that I will need to install Apache, FTP, and MySQL on the box. I've seen someone do it with Red Hat but by doing the above, I should be able to figure out how to do it?


 7:43 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rute User's Guide - an excellent free online resource.

[icon.co.za ]


 11:34 pm on May 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Where do aging beginners go to learn to manage Linux servers, mostly for hosting websites - fast and deep?

hmmm...I'm in the middle of hacking at my new server and I'm fairly lost. if you are interested in trying to fix a couple things, I'll happily let you fool around on my server :)

Is there a Linux refuge for the GUI dependant?

check out Webmin. it's *supposed* to be great, and it looks like it is, but I can't tell for sure because I have no idea what the heck I'm doing right now.


 1:19 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is more a post for the Linux forum [webmasterworld.com] than anything... I heartily recommend going down the Linux route - it's incredibly adaptable, unrestricted, and very powerful.

If you want to learn Apache, you can start by installing it under Windows. Once installed, take a look around the httpd.conf file - it is very well-explained, it is backed up by some truly excellent documentation, and like most Unix programs, the configuration is done within a plain text file so you can edit it in your favorite text editor whether via a gui or via the command line.

I would strongly agree with some of the other comments recommending a test server to try things out at home first - in reality any old thing will do, especially if you are going to give up the graphical environment. You say that you're GUI dependent - if your test machine is powerful enough then you can install something like Mandriva [mandriva.com] (formerly Mandrake Linux) which has a superb graphical management for all major admin tasks. However, you really need to break that GUI dependency, as managing remote servers is much easier if you get some command line knowledge. Rather than learning arcane command-line text editors such as vi, try nano or pico. Get your test server on your local network and connect to it via telnet or ssh (get yourself a copy of Putty [chiark.greenend.org.uk]) and just try things out. Here's a good site about learning the command line: [linuxcommand.org...] . For the basics about setting up virtual servers, I posted a basic guide over here [webmasterworld.com] a few days back.

A big advantage with most Linux distributions is that they come fully-equipped - package management is the key to Linux way of working, and as the vast majority of the software is available under a free license, all the programs such as Apache are included within the distribution itself, usually pre-configured and ready to go: and the distribution manages security patches too for all the packages.


 3:35 am on May 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I feel my brain getting . . . less senile.

Thank you for the nourishment. More food. More food. ;)

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