What's server setup is best for a new PHP coder?

I'm not new to site design, but mainly HTML pages-nothing heavily technical. I'd like to expand my knowledge of PHP coding almost like I did with HTML by working with what's already been developed, meaning installing and working with PHP scripts. Then moving to developing my own from seeing what I want to learn in action.

What I want to know is how the virtual server I have compares to what I want to do, and the limitations it places on my learning of PHP. I have a Linux virtual server from godaddy that has Apache 2, with CentOS and a Simple Control Panel.

Let me know what my advantages and disadvantages are of working with PHP on this setup, as well as any advice you can give me.
ddhuttoAsked:
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XorlevConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No, I use CentOS5 myself. I'd recommend it. Windows servers are evil and are an impediment to learning PHP. PHP on Windows has lots of pitfalls and problems Linux does not.
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XorlevCommented:
If you're working with the VPS (Virtual Private Server), your learning will be nearly limitless. You'll be able to recompile PHP at your leisure, use PECL extensions, PEAR scripts, and anything you need. You'll be able to pretty easily install MySQL and play with it as well.

VPS is just like a normal server, just with smaller resources. There's little downside.
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ddhuttoAuthor Commented:
So it doesn't matter whether I use the CentOS 5 that I selected, in comparison to the redhat or CentOS 4-or the Linux  I selected over the Windows?And if it does matter, just a brief explanation of why? I'll accept your answer as a solution as soon as you post back.

Thanks
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ddhuttoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the info. If you're around a lot look for my posts. I'm sure I'll have further PHP questions.
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