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Web Server at Home?

cphillips
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 02-05-2008

Web Server at Home?

Hi all
I am wishing to setup a web server at home that will be accessible from the internet.  I also wish it to be responsible for mail services (i.e. not pulling down mail from an ISP but actually having mail delivered/sent from it)
I have a domain name that I want to use (already owned).  I have the hardware and software to do this, both Linux (Ubuntu) or Windows 2003 Server.
I am confusing myself with regards to what steps I need to do to get this up and running.  Do I need to setup a DNS Server for my web name?
Any recommendations as to whether to use Ubuntu or Windows?  Reasonably knowledgeable in both!
Anyone?!  Embarrassed
Thanks in advance
Colin
8 REPLIES
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Web Server at Home?

Assuming that you have a PN static IP address. Yes you do have to set up the DNS records, both for the web site and email server. Have you all ready got a domain name and it's hosted? If so does the hosting company allow you to change the DNS records to add www. and MX records? If PN is hosting your domain than you may find this some help to configure DNS for web and email.
cphillips
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 02-05-2008

Re: Web Server at Home?

Hi itsme
Yes I have a PN Static IP address.  I also already have the domain, and I am able to change the items you mention above (www. and MX records)
Thanks for the swift reply.
Colin  Smiley
cp:quote
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Web Server at Home?

If that's the case you only need to change the records. No need to setup a DNS server on your machine.
As for you other question regarding Ubuntu or Window I can't answer. I run a web server and email applications on WindowsXP without any problems. I recently looked at changing to Ubuntu server edition but found that it would be a pain to setup as no GUI and with limited time to learn at command line level gave up.
cphillips
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 02-05-2008

Re: Web Server at Home?

Hi itmsme
Excellent, just had a look at the settings which I can change and it all seems rather simple now  Embarrassed
Will have a dabble with both Ubuntu and Windows 2003 Server and see which I prefer, unless anyone knows of any nice tutorials for either..
Thanks for your help, most appreciated.
Colin Cool
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,384
Thanks: 714
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Web Server at Home?

If you have your own network of machines then linux is the obvious choice for your web and email servers.
If you only have one machine then I'd say stick with windows tbh.
You have a static IP, so all you need to do is setup your domains DNS and MX records to point to your IP address, though MX records can be a little more complex than just using an IP... - typically you need to create a mail subdomain, associate it with an A record (IP) and then setup the MX records to point to the mail subdomain - It varies according to different setups but that was how I did it years ago with afraid.org (another DNS provider).
You can also move your domain to another DNS provider by changing the nameservers which can be very beneficial. Many domain registrars provide basic DNS abilities and can be a bit slow to update records. I used to use 123-reg but found that changing A or CNAME records didn't always take effect for a few hours. Eventually, using the change nameservers option, I moved the domain to freedns who provide a free DNS service. This allowed almost instant updates, round robin (useful for server load balancing) and a few other features. I combined it with the service from no-ip.com to get a squeeze a few other features out of my domain too Wink
Having instant updates also has another advantage - IF you move your website from one server to another all you change is the IP (which with some DNS providers you can do automatically without logging in) and your site is instantly live on its new server Smiley
Another option you might want to consider is to use a virtual OS - EG XP in VMware. That allows you to move the entire OS from one physical machine to another (EG if you have a hardware failure or something). It saves you reinstalling everything and moving backup files around etc. It probably wouldn't be ideal for a server that is used heavily though - unless you have a few GB of ram!
Hope that helps!
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
MickKi
Grafter
Posts: 543
Registered: 30-09-2007

Re: Web Server at Home?

Quote from: itsme
I recently looked at changing to Ubuntu server edition but found that it would be a pain to setup as no GUI and with limited time to learn at command line level gave up.
 
Aha!  You could install Webmin, which will give you a web based GUI to manage your server from your other computer(s) without getting your hands dirty on the CLI.
Prod_Man
Grafter
Posts: 286
Registered: 04-08-2007

Re: Web Server at Home?

Well,
Personally, I would go for Linux/UNIX
Just not Ubuntu, I've never found Ubuntu nice to use, but it does the job.
I say this because I use Linux more often with Servers.
(I use ~4 of PlusNets' Servers).
I'd say go for something like FreeBSD.
because there is no need for a GUI anyway unless you're really fussed,
you can do everything you need from a Command Line,
weather it be a Linux Shell or Terminal Service on Windows Server...
Both can do the job,
just be sure you set them up correctly.
As in, installed as a separate user, given only the required permissions for what the Systems need,
If you've done that then limit the FS to the htdoc / htroot to play with.
Can't really go wrong then. Smiley
Jim,
Antp
Dabbler
Posts: 14
Registered: 28-08-2008

Re: Web Server at Home?

Please give me info once you have set it up,
ass i would like to set a web server up as a school project
thanks. Grin