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  1. #1

    Setting up a home network for learning Linux


    I am working on learning Linux, and somebody suggested setting up Linux on a separate computer, and searching for answers to whatever may be needed, on a different computer plugged in to the Internet.

    I have a Windows 7 PC, plugged in to a cable modem, and an old notebook, Compaq Presario R3000 (it was good, but it is already 10 years old, or so). I was thinking about installing the newest CentOS on the notebook (from a CD version), and connecting both machines to the Internet, through an xDSL router (this is what is needed, according to my ISP), which I would get for around $15-$20 (this is what it costs).

    My overall goal is to learn server administration. I dont necessarily need to learn Linux as a whole (although I may go in this direction), and it is only the server administration part, which is important. I want to be able to get any UNMANAGED hosting plan (something like dedicated, which may cost $100-$300+ per month) and do everything by myself, on a professional level (administration, maintenence, updates, security, backups), similar to something that I would get with a regular hosting plan (so I want to learn everything, very good).

    With this I would have a Linux and a Windows computer, both connected to the Internet, so I could work on the Linux one, and also check whatever would be needed, through the Windows one.

    With this, I was wondering, if I could set up actual server on the Linux computer (LAMP, lets say), and start experimenting with hosting some websites there. I am not sure if the router would be what is needed for this, and how would this work. Router will computer both computers to the Internet, but will it connect them to each other, probably not...

    I would like to be able to have both of the machines turn on, have websites on the Linux machine, and be able to access them from the Windows PC, lets say. This way I could experiment with it, just like I could with a regular hosting plan on the Internet.

    So, the question is, is it possible not only to have two separate machines connected to the Internet, but also have these machines connected to each other, and work like I would work with a regular Linux server, on the Internet.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    - why don't you buy a cheap vps for learning? It is easier to set up and reinstall.

    In your case, you can configure your centos to use a static IP address and let your windows pc access it through IP address.

  3. #3
    A few points:

    1) Why would you take a 10 year old laptop and assume the "latest" CentOS will run well (or at all) on it? This would be the first item to research.
    2) There are basic concepts involved that should be understood that don't involve any particular OS or setup. This is a good place to start - server/client model, networking basics, name resolution, http basics... Understanding these makes your other design questions simple for you to answer.

    Your setup can also be achieved simply by using virtualization. By installing something like Virtualbox, you can run multiple operating systems on the same PC. You also have the ability to create simple or complex networking configurations virtually, without requiring extra physical hardware. Virtualization has its own requirements, but if you have a 64 bit CPU made in the last ~4-5 years it is likely supported.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru
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    It is quite easy to do what you want to do. I would expect your service provider will have provided you with a modem that you can connect a router to.

    At the moment I get service from a cable company. I have a router connected to the cable modem that provides wireless and ethernet. I have a laptop running linu connected by wire to the router and use dhcp reservation to assign a fixed address to it. Behind the router everything uses something called nat to provide a local area network. This allows far more devices to be connected then you are likely to need.

    Ther are a variety of ways to connect from a windows box to a linux one and then set up your lamp server. You can experiment to see what works for you.

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