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Linux as a web server

Posted on 2004-10-24
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Which version of Linux is best suited as a web server?

Is there a certain version that has more advantages then another in this field?

I haven't used Linux before so im also looking for an easy interface for a new user.

Thanks :)
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Question by:MattMeister
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Lee W, MVP earned 100 total points
ID: 12394253
I don't think it really matters much.  Every version of linux can be radically customized to not run certain unrelated services and the web server component (MOST common, Apache), is available for all versions.  Here's an article for building, installing, securing, and optimizing Apache 2.0 (the web server)
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by:tanelorn
tanelorn earned 80 total points
ID: 12394258
Hi,
if your server is going to be in the open, I would suggest openBSD. not exactly linux, but its one of the most secure distro's out there.  http://www.openbsd.org

you are more than likely going to be running the apache web server...
apache is apache, and apache is good!!


if the server is for internal use only,  you can still go with openbsd, or one of the redhat variants.   fedora, mandrake, etc...
Tanelorn
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12394316
Actually, I've never used it, but you'd probably want SE Linux - Security Enhanced Linux - see http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/index.cfm
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by:Nirev
Nirev earned 80 total points
ID: 12394577
Hi, for a newbie, I would suggest going with Fedora Core http://www.redhat.com/fedora/ it's much easier to manage, package management wise. Most of it is point and click + some typing if you are new to linux.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12395312
Mandrake is generally considered amongst the easiest distributions of Linux.  In many respects, I'd say the install is the most difficult part.  You might well have individual issues with apps later, but knowing what to install and what not to, how to partition the disk, etc can be daunting.  Most distros have graphical setups and try - to one degree or another - to walk you through things.  

I'd suggest reading some things - much of this is general and not specific to web services, but if you're new to linux, it can't hurt to read through it.
http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,113746,00.asp
http://linux-newbie.sunsite.dk/
http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1186382,00.asp

You can also download a Linux distribution entirely on CD (Knoppix) that runs on the CD and boots from it.  Probably a good thing to do to familiarize yourself (keeping in mind that distros can vary and not EVERYTHING you learn in Knoppix will be the same in whatever version you choose).

Whatever distro you choose, you can more than likely download it from www.linuxiso.org.
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by:paranoidcookie
paranoidcookie earned 80 total points
ID: 12399260
As far of security and ability to host websites I would recommend debian or slackware both have  a lifcycled geared to the promotion of security and reliability above gui enhancments.

www.debian.org 

www.slackware.org

Debian has excellent package managment and security update system.
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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Caseybea
Caseybea earned 80 total points
ID: 12402529
You asked which version of linux.      It does not really matter, as you have to make your OWN decision.

Here is a web site DEDICATED to the various (tons!!!!!!) on Linux distributions.    http://distrowatch.com

When you are browsing the various distributions, pay CLOSE attention to, for example, which release of the Apache Web server is included.    To me, that's more important than the version of Linux.
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LVL 1

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by:angel_f
angel_f earned 80 total points
ID: 12402766
Hi MattMeister,

all Linux distributions can be used as a webserver. Mostly because the most common webserver (Apache) can run on Linux without many dependencies.

The best suited distribution for you will be the one that you feel confortable with, know how to administrate and mantain. This is mostly a sysadmin choice and not a must, but if you want to know what distributions is more used as webserver netcraft.com indexes all the webservers on internet and gives you some charts that can be usefull for you:

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2004/07/12/slight_linux_market_share_loss_for_red_hat.html

This shows Redhat as at the top, but also tells that Gentoo has growth in the past months.

My recomendation: Gentoo or Debian, comunity based distributions with online feedback support in lists and irc channels (responses in real time) and many documentation about them.
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