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Linux, Unix, and *nix like Operating Systems Forum

    
Unix noobie wants VPS
where do I look for information?
genem




msg:3295278
 12:17 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello all,
My intent is to rent a VPS server and be able to install Apache + php with various extensions. Plus I want to use squid proxy, graphic user interface (KDE?) with a VNC viewer.

I am already getting a taste of *nix by studing basic FreeBSD and it seems that the faster and more efficient way to learn is to just jump right into it.

I am currently scratching my head over these questions:
1. FreeBSD vs Linux for VPS?
2. If linux, what flavor of Linux? Ubuntu, Mandriva, etc, etc?
3. Is there maybe a good step-by-step guide online that takes you from installing the system to running your sites. (The information I found is scattered).

I don't really want to become a unix gury (unless I need to). As long as I have good control over the web server and can run basic software such as OpenOffice and Firefox over VNC I'll be happy.

Thank you for your help!

 

jtara




msg:3295484
 3:45 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

graphic user interface (KDE?) with a VNC viewer.

No, you don't.

Way too CPU and memory-intensive for a VPS. I don't know of anyone who offers this.

If you want a GUI development environment, find an old machine and install a Linux distribution on it.

If you are doing any software/script development, I highly recommend the Eclipse IDE - plugins for anything you can imagine.

"Best practice" really would be to do development first on a local machine and then move to the production machine once it is tested. So, a local development machine is a good idea in any case.

Most VPS vendors will pre-load the most commonly-used software (at least LAMP, usually much more) so there isn't too much you have to worry about installing, other than scripts.

I think you will find that Red Hat Enterprise and Centos are the most common choices available for VPSs.

genem




msg:3295662
 7:19 pm on Mar 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks, jtara.
So no GUI even with 256megs of RAM? :-( I was under impression that linux needed very little memory. A colleague accross my desk has 256megs on his PC and is comfortable with KDE and office apps.

The only reason I want VPS is to be able to fire up VNC for trully anonymous browsing and hook up OpenOffice functionality from PHP.

I will only need to use GUI every once in a while, 98% of the time I'll only need AMP. Will this help? Is there any workaround to this?

Thanks for bearing with my questions;-).

jtara




msg:3295892
 12:18 am on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only reason I want VPS is to be able to fire up VNC for trully anonymous browsing

Of course, it wouldn't be truly anonymous. It would be identified as coming from your web site, rather than from your home.

In any case, I would think installing a proxy server on the machine would be a much more efficient prospect than using VNC to command a remote browser.

and hook up OpenOffice functionality from PHP.

?

I will only need to use GUI every once in a while, 98% of the time I'll only need AMP. Will this help? Is there any workaround to this?

Well, you will almost certainly need to figure out how to install and configure it yourself, as I can't imagine a VPS vendor having this as a standard configuration.

vincevincevince




msg:3295911
 12:49 am on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm in agreement here - you shouldn't be running GUI software on a web-server. For a start, the server probably doesn't have hardware graphics support and would need to render everything to a virtual frame buffer (very slow), and secondly, the amount of memory etc. used by running X and KDE just in case you want to use it is a serious overhead on running a nippy server.

Be prepared for the VPS operator to throw you off unless the CPU and memory are fully segmented.

genem




msg:3296107
 9:13 am on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

and hook up OpenOffice functionality from PHP.

I want to play with .doc conversion through OpenOffice, i.e. [phpdocwriter.sourceforge.net ]

It looks like I will need to buy one and see how far I can push the setup.

Thanks!

jtara




msg:3296387
 2:46 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I see little reason to run a GUI on a remote webserver.

If you run Linux locally, you can access files on your webserver via SSH, using locally-installed applications. You can write scripts on your local machine that manipulate files on your server. You can open multiple shell windows via SSH. Much more efficient and less frustrating to use the local GUI.

genem




msg:3296416
 3:17 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Jtara,
Wow, are you saying that I can run a browser on local Linux machine but use the core files from remote installation? And it would appear as *if* I'm using the remote machine? I've heard that unix installation can be distributed, is this the case?

jtara




msg:3296459
 3:48 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

are you saying that I can run a browser on local Linux machine but use the core files from remote installation?

Not quite sure what you mean by this. I'll give you a couple of examples of what you can do:

- Open a text editor on your local machine. Edit a file on your remote server.

- Run a script on your local machine. It deletes files in a directory on your remote server that are more than 30 days old.

- Run a script on your remote server. Direct the output to a window on your local machine. You do this by clicking on an icon on your local desktop.

- Run a file manager locally, and browse the files on your remote server. (Perhaps this is what you meant?)

As long as you have sshd running on your remote server (with sftp enabled), you can access files on your server with any local application. For those applications that don't directly support sftp: locations, you can mount the remote filesystem using sshfs. Then you can access local files using any app that can access local files, since the app wouldn't know the difference.

genem




msg:3296576
 5:42 pm on Mar 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Run a script on your remote server. Direct the output to a window on your local machine.

This is what I need. Run a browser on the remote server and direct the output to my local machine. Is this possible without GUI installed on the remote machine?

lammert




msg:3297079
 6:27 am on Mar 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is what I need. Run a browser on the remote server and direct the output to my local machine.

You could install proxy software on your server. I use the proxy module of Apache 2.2 for browsing from my desktop PC via my webserver. Security is an issue though. You have to make sure that you don't configure your proxy as an open proxy available to everyone. I have limited proxy access to only a handful of IPs I use myself.

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