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Unscrambling all these terms



7:50 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Where to begin? I have a dedicated server and I want to learn how to set up name based sites, add users, and e-mail accounts without a control panel. I can connect to the server with SSH and navigate, and I have a few commands, but where can I find an online tutorial or guidebook that gives an overview of what Linux is, what Apaches is, Fedora, etc. I've heard these terms forever but I really don't see how they all fit together.



8:11 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Linux is an operating system. Windows is another.

Fedora is a 'version' of Linux. Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian are others.

Apache is a program that serves files to users as webpages and images. IIS is another.


8:29 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for that. I've Googled but have not come across that explanation.

I did find this breakdown of the folder structure

So, if I want to add a domain to my server, in Ensim, I just click Add Site, and specify the admin name and password, and site name. To do that without Ensim, I SSH in and I go to home/virtual/ and add a directory with the name of the site?


10:05 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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To add a site to an Apache server, you create an entry in your httpd.conf file specifying what directory the site's files are stored in.

Don't take this the wrong way, but a dedicated server may be a lot to take on. If you've had no formal training it might be easier to start with shared hosting, then VPS to familiarize yourself with all the pieces of server administration first.


11:12 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No offence taken, mate. I've been using a dedicated server for 6 years, and most of the functions I can do through the Control Panel. But I'm interested in learning more, so the best way is to ask where an online tutorial or guidebook can be found. I've found some good sites, someone told me Webmaster World was a good resource, too.

It seems like there would be book or something that outlines all this stuff. I've read a few but they are usually too advanced. I'd like to see a more beginner's version.


11:17 pm on Mar 15, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Oh btw, for any other noobs who find this thread, this is awesome: [linuxnewbieguide.org...]


3:44 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The hosting automation panels such as Plesk, cPanel and Ensim do quite a bit behind the scenes. When you add sites in Ensim, the software adds the user, creates the virtual site container, configures sendmail, apache and mysql. It then restarts all of these services to enable the changes etc.

There is a huge learning curve when you first get started. If you are new to Linux, then I would not start with trying to setup hosting. If you are not careful, you could open up the system to security risks.

I recommend starting with some Linux basics, like how the file system is organized, how services are managed, where configuration files live.

The Dummy series of books are actually pretty good for starting.

Also, I would just get a copy of VMware Workstation for your desktop. Download a copy of CentOS or other linux distribution. I recommend CentOS as it is like Red Hat and a distro that you would likely use in a production environment.

You can then have a local test environment with easy rollbacks etc.

If you are really serious, consider taking a class somewhere. Many community colleges have IT courses in Linux and there is always online training from places like Red Hat.


3:46 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Keep in mind that for someone to become very proficient in managing a system from the command line can take many months. I am not sure of the time track on the current Red Hat Certified Technical program but I suspect it would take a fast learner 6-12 months to just become comfortable in managing shared hosting from the command line. I've been doing this for more than a decade and I still consult documentation on a near daily basis.

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