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Newbie wants a nix server

Web server and solaris/linux



9:35 am on Nov 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I am thinking about buying a server to play around with and do some web application and testing on. I'm just not sure what to get though. Does anyone have recommendations. I thought about getting Solaris operating system for it, to run PHP and Apache and Mysql. the reasons is when I looked up jobs in the job website I saw over 300 jobs for solaris and when I looked up ubuntu I saw 39 jobs.

All I want to know is, can I run a php database driven website on Solaris with apache? Is that not uncommon? What is a popular flavour of unix/linux used for a webserver?

Also any considerations on hardware if it is necessary?



11:26 am on Nov 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member topr8 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

i think one of the most popular is Red Hat Enterprise Linux,

which is what most of the big server companies like rackspace use.

i have used debian before (which is what ubuntu is based on) which is a less common choice despite being considered one of the more secure installations.


1:05 pm on Nov 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

yes, thanks. it just occured to me to look up what the hosting companies are hosting, just like you mentioned really. Why get good at solaris admin if I can't use it if I ever want to have a dedicated server which is not going to be solaris.

Thanks for your time.


7:19 am on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

You are making the wrong comparison or Solaris to Ubuntu, Solaris vs Linux.

I would say RHEL is probably the best for getting a job, and you can learn it using Centos (RHEL with the branding removed so its fre of charge). Debian is pretty popular two.

That said, the LAMP stack should run fine on Solaris: you can run it even on Windows.


7:32 am on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Graeme

I'm going to take your advice and go with centos.



6:11 pm on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Red had for work. Ubuntu for the desktop.

In the end, not a lot of difference. Skills should be relatively transferrable.


7:59 pm on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Why have ubuntu for home instead of centOS?
Is there more support for ubuntu? What is the reason?


8:06 pm on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

ubuntu is just a very very popular desktop distribution. I don't use it myself (I'm on mandriva), but most users rave about it.

No reason you couldn't use ubuntu on both. Or redhat on both.

Remember, linux is linux. There's not a huge difference between the distributions. Gui's might be a bit different. Updating process a bit different. Location of files a bit different. But overall operation, they're pretty similiar.

I use mandriva for everything for personal reasons, but there's no problem jumping on to a redhat server and working on it. The differences between distributions are a lot less noticeable than differences between windows OS's. Mysql is mysql, apache is apache, the kernel is the kernal and daemons are daemons no matter what the distribution.


8:50 pm on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Ok, thanks for your help.


6:25 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is a specific ubuntu that is server based though, has none of the gui business. and lamp installation/setup is a breeze. Then again lamp, wamp, etc. just make things easier for a quick basic setup.


8:48 am on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I prefer a rolling release at home since the new bells and whistles make me feel warm and fuzzy but for the production box Centos does the trick.

Also you shouldn't need to "buy" a server to start with, since many distros will run on limited hardware you may be able to scrounge up. You won't need much unless you are planning on running some serious Java apps.

My testing environment is Gentoo 2.6.34 Apache 2.2.15, PHP 5.2.14, and MySQL/Postgresql which all runs on an ancient dual p3 866 w 1 gig of ram.

The production box is a quad dual-core Xeon with 8 gigs of ram running the same Apache, PHP and Sql but it does more since it also runs DNS, a mailserver, ftp server, mailing list and has multiple accounts etc.

You could also install some VM software and run a virtual linux to get your feet wet.

Wheel is right, all in all the Linux distros are more the same then different but I would stick with more mainline distros if you are hoping the knowledge will get you work someday. I also wouldn't hold my breath thinking someone is going to hire you based on your playing with a nix server at home either. Work on the basics if you have absolutely no Linux experience your road will be longer but try and work from the command line as much as possible, most servers don't run GUIS, critical skills are moving, reading, deleting files, understanding file permissions, understanding basic DNS and networking, using some sort of terminal app to login remotely (i.e SSH), starting services, stopping services, restarting services and that's just the tip of the iceburg.

Good luck with your adventure.


1:20 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

That was very informative.


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