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Hi guys. It's my first post on here, which will hopefully lead to my questions being answered and me possibly answering some of your questions. Basically, I've made a site. ...
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  1. #1
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    What Operating system to run for a web server


    Hi guys.

    It's my first post on here, which will hopefully lead to my questions being answered and me possibly answering some of your questions.

    Basically, I've made a site. I am going to build a custom server (budget about 1000) and hopefully run Linux on it. I've used a lot of Linux in the past: obviously 'Buntu, mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Redhat (don't ask), and a few others e.g. Puppy Linux and Slack.

    However, these all had GUIs for my desktop, and I'm quite perplexed when it comes to Server OS's.

    I have a few requirements:

    1) Must be light
    2) Must be free
    3) Must be reliable
    4) Must be able to sustain thousands of requests a day (although I realise this is more hardware related)

    That's pretty much it. I've had Ubuntu Server installed on my rig for about a day just to play about with the commands etc. so I am swaying towards that but am open to suggestions.

    Thank you for all your replies.

    Mandex

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandex View Post
    Basically, I've made a site. I am going to build a custom server (budget about 1000) and hopefully run Linux on it. I've used a lot of Linux in the past: obviously 'Buntu, mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Redhat (don't ask), and a few others e.g. Puppy Linux and Slack.
    I have to ask: what is wrong with Red Hat?

    However, these all had GUIs for my desktop, and I'm quite perplexed when it comes to Server OS's.
    There is not much that separates a GUI desktop install and a server install, provided that all the server-based software is available to you. In other words, a server is basically, BASICALLY, the same machine as the Desktop version, without the GUI running (or installed), and with the services/daemons installed and running. Everything else (the kernel, terminal commands, initscripts, networking, etc.) is the same. You can even install a GUI on the server and configure it w/the GUI-based tools, if that is how you are more comfortable. Then switch back into text-only mode when you are done. Or, you can install the GUI tools on the server, but not Xorg, and then remote in from another Linux desktop machine and export your display back (thus running the admin GUI tools on the Desktop machine).


    1) Must be light
    Why, exactly?

    2) Must be free
    That shouldn't be a problem, as long as you don't require Enterprise Level 24/7 support. If you like SUSE, use openSUSE. If you like Red Hat EL, use CentOS or ScientificLinux, etc.

    3) Must be reliable
    There are many distros that will fall into this category.

    4) Must be able to sustain thousands of requests a day (although I realise this is more hardware related)
    You are right, it will depend on your hardware somewhat. But will also depend on the software, particularly the webserver. For example, nginx is an event-based webserver purported to operate better with more simultaneous connections, whereas Apache is a more fully-featured, process-based webserver.

    Having taken all of your requirements into consideration, I would recommend either Debian or CentOS as your OS. Both are free, stable, and have a great host of software at their disposal.

  3. #3
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    If you are building and supporting the web server then use the distro you are most comfortable with. Typically servers are RHEL (or Centos / scientific) or Debian. I have seen some hosting providers use Ubuntu so it must be OK. Personally, I'd choose Centos for a server.

    Note that if you have a full GUI'd version of Centos running then editing the file /etc/inittab and changing the default runlevel to 3 will stop all the gui services on next reboot. You can also run telinit 3 (or maybe it's init 3) to drop to an x-less mode without rebooting.
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  4. #4
    Linux Guru Lazydog's Avatar
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    If you are planning on using Centos then I would suggest you download the CentOS-6.3-x86_64-minimal.iso as this is bare minimum to get the machine up and running. Then install what is needed to host your web site. This way you are not going to be installing items you do not need or want as with the other distros that default into loading things you will never use.

    Regards
    Robert

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