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New Server

Cheap Bastard

New Member
I'm going to start running a server in a few months, so i'm trying to get some info...

The server will be run on a P2 350 with 128mb ram and an 8Gb HD. It's a 'few' years old, but still good.

From another thread i got the suggestion of using FreeBSD 4.5, so i downloaded the 4 ISO's and burnt em.

From yet another thread i got this webpage explaining how DNS will work (unless you guys suggest i run my own DNS servers on the same machine):
http://dslwebserver.com/

The server will be run behind a Router/Switch, so i'm not sure whether or not i'll need additional firewall software. From the previously mentioned website i also gathered that i should only open ports:
21 (FTP)
25 (SMTP)
80 (HTTP)

I'm wondering if i need to open port 110 (POP3) as well, since i want to read the mail on my own machine, but a different machine than the server (there will be 2 machines on the router, so it will be LAN, but not the same machine).

As far as software goes, i'd like PHP 4.x, MySQL 3. ... errr... something recent, and FTP server so others can update the site as well, SMTP software for formmailing and stuff, CGI (perl), and POP3 if needed, together with any mods you suggest (like maybe the .gz mod to save bandwidth).

<edit> It would also be nice to be able to host other people (especially since i'd like to host two of my sites, not just one); an extra would be a bandwidth meter for each site (although i suppose logs would take care of this...) </edit>

<edit2> also, how would subdomains work? </edit2>

Thanks,
Kirsten
 
Last edited:

Cheap Bastard

New Member
I'm also looking for the best uptime possible... Which means i would like the best stability. Can anyone give me an estimate as to how long a server could run without being restarted?
 

Robert

NLC
NLC
Well..FreeBSD is a good OS.. probably the best.

But in this case, I would recommend Redhat 7.2. It's easier to use and much easier to get started.

Here's how I do it:

1) Boot my server using the Redhat 7.2 CD #1.
2) Go through the Installation.. I select a Server when asked what kind of server, and I only install the X System.

Once the installation is complete, it restarts. I sit at My computer and open up Putty (do a search @ dogpile.com for Putty).

I connect using SSH to the server's internal IP and log in as Root.

I goto http://www.linuxguruz.org/z.php?id=31

and follow the directions to get Apache/MySQL and Php running.

I don't install MySQL the way linuxguruz.org does it, I install using rpms.

What kind of connection do you have? Does your ISP let you run a server and is Port80 blocked?
 

Cheap Bastard

New Member
Yes my ISP lets me run a server as long as the traffic isn't too much. No ports are blocked at all.
SSH would be cool, but i'm using a KVM switch, so if i had that feature, it wouldn't be for me.

As far as RedHat goes, i preferred Mandrake (easier to install), but since i want uptime... Well, is asking for a month uptime without restart a lot to ask? (redhat vs FreeBSD).
I really don't care about the ease... I've got plenty of time to work out the quirks and another machine to go on the internet and figure out what i did wrong...

Thanks for the reply
 

Robert

NLC
NLC
I prefer SSH... That way I can surf the net and do my everday stuff while managing my server. My server www.pcrob.net is housed by me on my cable connection (1.1mbps upload).

It runs Redhat 7.2. I installed Redhat 7.2 and the only thing came installed was SSH. So I went ahead and installed Apache/Php and MySQL. Oh yea and Webmin (http://webmin.pcrob.net) and Wu-FTPD (so I could ftp to my site).

My server has gone up to 2 months without rebooting. I recently took it down so it's only been running for 17 hours and 1 minute (visit the Server Info page on my site for that info).

my server has an internal IP of 192.168.1.101 and Apache is on port # 85. So I went into my Linksys Router configuration and forwaded ports 1-90 to the IP 192.168.1.101. That way, I included httpd, smtp, pop3, ssh, telnet, and all that stuff. However, telnet is disabled.

My domain is hosted by mydomain.com. I use mydomain.com to stealh fwd my domain to my ip and port #. My ISP blocked port 80 because of the code red worm.

Redhat is very easy to install. Just download the iso.. there are 2. Boot from the first cd. Than simply go through the steps, telling it you want it to be a Server and what packages - only the X System and Kde or Gnome. Than you can install apache at a later time.

Any linux os can go days without being restarted. I, however, restart my server once a month.. takes about 2 minutes to shut down and reboot.

If you have any questions, you can contact me at Ballers512 on AIM.
 

Robert

NLC
NLC
If you burn all four BSD cds, than you get the complete installation (standard installation). If yo burn the mini cd, you only get the boot cd, so you can boot up the system in Freebsd and than u can download the setup through FTP.
 

atlas

New Member
1. Don't run wu-ftpd. It has far too many security problems. In fact, don't even run ftp
2. Uptime isn't a problem with RedHat. At work we have RH servers with hudreds of days of uptime (these are servers with heavy loads too).
3. SSH is preferred over FTP and telnet. This will allow you to securely login from anywhere. If I were you I wouldn't run FTP or telnet.
4. If you really want POP3, run a SSL-wrapped version. Clear-text passwords are always a bad idea.
5. Subdomains can be created in your DNS, and then it's up to your software to do things with it...
6. Don't run your own DNS. It's too much of a hassle -- especially if there is even a remote possibility your box will go down or change IPs. I use zoneedit.com for my personal domains.
 

Robert

NLC
NLC
Originally posted by atlas

3. SSH is preferred over FTP and telnet. This will allow you to securely login from anywhere. If I were you I wouldn't run FTP or telnet.
You mean sftp?
 

Cheap Bastard

New Member
you can't transfer files using SSH, can you? I know you can create/edit your own, but i don't think you can upload/download em using SSH.

I've never heard of SFTP... Probably Secure FTP?

Also, why would FreeBSD be preferred over Redhat if Redhat has that good of an uptime... Since several of you recommended FreeBSD over Redhat (except for user friendliness, which i don't care about since i'll have to learn linux either way), so what's better about FreeBSD?

Thanks for the responses...
 

Robert

NLC
NLC
FreeBSD is the best.

But Redhat comes loaded with tons of programs that you need for any time of computer (workstation, server, etc).

You can upload through SSH .. called SFTP. get ssh from ssh.com (the program).

I'm instlaling FreeBSD (once again) in my system to see if it'll work. Hopefully si. lol.
 

Todd

NLC
NLC
For a windows client to upload through the SSH2 protocol take a look at CuteFTP Pro: http://www.cuteftp.com/products/cuteftppro/index.shtml

I'm sure there are more but that's the only one I've tested. RedHat and FreeBSD can both be great operating systems when configured properly. RedHat tends to install a lot more clutter in my opinion but if you want everything installed before hand it can be helpful. It also tends to cause more security concerns as the more software installed the more possible vulnerabilities you open yourself up to. That's not to say a custom RedHat install can't be secure, it's just that I don't care for the default installs.

A helpful tool for you RedHat users is up2date: http://www.redhat.com/docs/manuals/RHNetwork/ref-guide/up2date.html

FreeBSD users should cvsup often to stay current and use port upgrade: http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/handbook/cvsup.html
http://www.freebsddiary.org/portupgrade.php (Not the greatest but I didn't find many pages discussing it)

Bottom line is to keep your system up to date when security issues come up. Follow mailing lists like BugTraq, CERT, and any mailing lists that your OS provider may have for security announcements.

As long as you just need the basics such as Apache, Perl, PHP, MySQL, and such any OS should work as those programs have been ported to most operating systems. If you want to run other more unique software it's best to check it's requirements but generally software for Linux will run under RedHat as many developers work on it as their main focus. That's not to say you couldn't get it to run on other operating systems but that's another topic entirely. :)

So generally speaking, only run the software you need. Remove the extra stuff you don't need, keep your software up to date, and use an operating system that meets your needs.
 

Cheap Bastard

New Member
Thanks guys, that explains why FreeBSD is better (although i only got half of it, it gives me a basic idea).

Originally posted by Todd
Bottom line is to keep your system up to date when security issues come up. Follow mailing lists like BugTraq, CERT, and any mailing lists that your OS provider may have for security announcements.
How up to date should a system be? Would checking (and updating if necessary) once a month be sufficient?

Thanks for all the replies... They're really helping.
 

Todd

NLC
NLC
Hate to say it but once a month is pushing it. Usually once a day is more like it, it's not that you have to install new updates that often but you should check for them. Let's put it this way, when any remote exploits come out for a server you manage you may be exploited at any time when you aren't patched. Are you willing to take that risk? To me that's like a bank installing a state of the art security system to protect the vault when they leave a doggy door on the outside for anyone to get in. ;)

Your only as strong as your weakest link so be careful. Perhaps you should look in to a Debian system: http://www.debian.org

Haven't used it in ages but they have an apg-get system which can upgrade packages automatically for you. I've always been a bit uneasy with letting anything automatically install packages without me around but it may be what your looking for.

Didn't RedHat also introduce a pay for use service that did more or less the same thing? I don't follow RedHat as closely so maybe another member can fill in the details there.
 

Robert

NLC
NLC
I've found Redhat to be the simplest OS to install as a newbie. First off, Redhat has a GUI Interface when installing (graphic mode), freebsd doesn't. Redhat has RPMS, Freebsd has packages. Redhat has more help sites and better documentation, Freebsd is just bah.

I recommend FreeBSD anytime, but for newbies, I recommend Redhat. My server runs Redhat 7.2 from my house - www.pcrob.net

It's a regualr server. I wnder if it loads fast.
 

Cheap Bastard

New Member
i don't mind a non-GUI OS. Hell, i'll need to learn it sometime, now's as good a time as any to screw up :)
I know RedHat is userfriendly, but to me it's another reason not to use it. Besides, the GUI is nice, but it takes up a lot of resources. Granted, the machine has a lot of ram for it's age (p2 350 with 128megs of ram) but still, it's just an extra burden that really shouldn't be there. Not to mention if you're really wanting to do any admin, you'll end up at the command prompt anyway.

Yes, i'm a newbie, but i have had experience... I've installed 2 versions of redhat (not the 7.2 though) and 2 versions of mandrake... And i got all the hardware to run on all 4 versions, plus i think i actually got Apache to run on Mandrake 8.0.

As for security, the reason i'm asking is yes sure i could update daily or weekly (weekly's more likely since i'm sorta lazy), but i put in the monthly since i'm out-of-country for an entire month each year, and i'm not sure if i really want to log in to SSH to update the server files (... or if i can even do that). Not to mention if something goes wrong while updating, i can't goto the PC and push the reset button or anything (hey, it's only 10,000 miles away, but still).

An automatic update does sound interesting though. Any chance of having something like this for FreeBSD?
 
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