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Starting a webserver
starting a webserver on a low end machine

 7:00 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would like to know, is there anyway for me to start a webserver on a windows 98? All I need to know how to do is upload files. I know how to make them work as a website. I have hosted other servers on it before(teamspeak and ventrillo) and know how to port foward. Finding programs that work on it and getting them to work are the problem. Can anyone tell me what programs I can use and give me a list on how to use them? The machine isn't very good but uses low electricity and has HD space.

Thank you, CminicooperJ



 7:50 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Welcome to WebmasterWorld cminicooperj!

You can use the PWS (Personal Web Server) program which is part of Windows 98. It is not installed by default, but you'll find it on your original Windows 98 CD.

If this is for a test server, PWS will be fine, but as Windows 98 is not supported any more by MS, it will not be suitable for a public web server.

If you want a public server, assuming the machine is not used for anything else you can remove Windows 98 and install Linux, and use Apache. Something like Debian or Slackware will work well on a low-powered machine if you don't install a GUI, or FreeBSD is an excellent choice too. With a *nix installation and a bit of tweaking of the Apache configuration, old machines can handle a surprising amount of traffic.


 8:31 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

encyclo - Actually that's my next step when I grow beyond what my webhosting company supports, get a business fios at home, and use a machine running debian stable with apache.

I was reading an analysis on the internet from a couple of days, and one of the bussiest websites runs debian on a pentium II, and at any instant they have at least 200 apache sessions. That website is one of the very very old internet websites that provides free downloads shareware and freeware.

So I agree with you, small machines can really do a lot of work.

The only thing that I would advise you cminicooperj with is to read your internet service provider agreement, and make sure you can provde commercial services using your internet connection.


 10:37 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would have to purchase linux though, seeing as I don't have it. Is there any others that would work on 98? I tried PWS ( i should've stated that in the first post) but it doesn't work properly(the 98 CD I have is always haveing problems and I'm lucky that the computer runs on it at all). Why can't PWS work as an actual server? Is it not powerful enough?

My ISP(adam's cable/broadband, for the record) doesn't, to my knowledge, have a problem with webservers, seeing as how my friends do it and I've used the computer as a server before(for teamspeak and vent).

I'll check the agreement any way, to be sure. Just curious, but why would an ISP have a problem with someone hosting a server through them?

I'm sorry, i should have been more specific. I have windows 98 se(second edition)


 11:01 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would have to purchase linux though, seeing as I don't have it.

Not at all, Linux and FreeBSD are free software, available for download from the distribution websites.


You can also attempt to install Apache, however it is not built for Windows 98 (recommended Windows versions are NT4, Windows 2000, XP or Windows Server 2003). It will probably run, but may not be entirely stable.

A clean install of FreeBSD or Linux will give you a stable, simple and secure web server, something that Windows 98 will never manage.

[edited by: encyclo at 11:05 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2006]


 11:02 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh Really? I never knew that. I think I'll do that now. Thank you.

Oh wait...I'm sorry. I have a wireless card installed, as it doesn't have ethernet. The disc installs on windows,will I be able to make it work on a linux running program?


 11:08 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

You will need to check on the website for the distribution that you choose, but if it was supported in Windows 98, there is a very good chance it is supported under Linux.

FreeBSD and the two Linux distributions suggested above are definitely not the easiest to install for someone new to Linux or Unix in general, but they are choices which will run well on older machines.


 11:14 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry, I hope I'm not being an annoyance, but would you recommend one of them. I'm good with windows, but have absolutely no experiance with these. I would also take and tips or instructions(in a link perhaps?) to install one of these.

Again, thank you, this is realy helping.


 11:40 pm on Aug 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Personally, I would pick FreeBSD for this task. It's not particularly easy to install, but it depends on your computer experience - whether you have used Unix before, or even DOS. The advantage with FreeBSD is that it will give you a simple and robust system, help you learn Unix in the process, and the documentation is excellent.

Download the latest release (currently 6.1), burn it on a CD, take care to read the documentation for the installation process, and take the time to find out about your particular computer hardware using your current Windows 98 install to identify components.

The documentation is here:


Be prepared to fail at least once, but don't give up. :)


 2:04 am on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do what it tells me to to make the floppy disks. I have the destination and file locations perfect. But when I do it, a message comes up saying that c:\documents is not a proper command. What command should I use?


 12:59 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Do you really need the floppy disks? You only need to do that step if you can't boot from a CD.


 1:31 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi cminicooperj

Do you have a fixed IP from your service provider and are you expert with DNS?


 1:46 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

If you go down the ruit of wanting to install a *nix system on your pc you would be best to set up a duel boot pc. This means that when you start your computer you will be given the choice of what operating system you wish to book.

Many Linux installers do this during the set up procedure. Installing Linux is actually fairly easy. You can do so over ftp by burning a boot cd rom. This will act as your boot media and the setup will download the required files over the web as it installs.



 1:54 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I do have a fixed ip. I tried the boot CD but no matter what, it went straight to windows, even after changing bios. I have a boot floppy now, after a while of messing with. Would I have to divide my HD to run both programs? Because, like I said, the computer's old.

also, it needs the software for the wireless card to go over the web. Will it work if windows is still on there?

One more thing. How do I make partitions?


 2:13 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)


you may be able to install xampp (do a search), basic apache,ftp,php,mysql installer for windows, if all starts, you will have a websever running on windows. If you are going to do a linux install and you are noob, maybe you should put in a second hard drive for linux vs. partitioning which may be a bit dicey.


 2:16 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry for any trouble I caused, I just figured it out myself. If I need any help with apache, I know right where to find you.

Thank you, cminicooperj


 2:52 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

ok I have a problem now. I can't install through the network. It needs the softward for the wireless. How would I make a complete install cd?


 7:54 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Usualy the distro provider will have iso images you can download for the operating sstem yu want to install. This can be up to 6 cd's.

What distribution did you eventualy decide to go with?



 9:41 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'm with freebsd. If you mean where I am getting the files, its ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/i386/6.1-RELEASE . I'm not sure if thats what you mean. I made a CD with the iso file "disk 1" and it didn't work. It says I can burn it on there with my regular CD burner. The disk is fine, the file is on there properly. I used the floppies to boot and then chose the CD method of installation. Should I use a CD boot disk instead?

[edited by: cminicooperj at 9:46 pm (utc) on Aug. 17, 2006]


 9:45 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

The .iso file shouldn't be copied directly on to the CD, it is a CD image. What program are you using to create the CD? Does it have a "Burn CD image" option or similar?


 9:47 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Oh, I though I can burn it directly. I don't know if I have that option, I always use the built in one. I'll check nero.

If i say "make bootable CD", will that work?

edit:It says "boot image" in make bootable CD. I think that would work. But I don't want to waste more CDs. I want to know for sure.

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