Setting up dedicated server

Hi,
first of all apologies for any "unclear" statements as I am not a "server" guy.
Before we get a person to manage our server we first need hints on how to proceed with the "fresh" dedicated server setup (as we are under time preassure here).

The server is going to be used for Appache, MySQL, PHP based portals (eshops, social site, etc)

We have this HW:
IBM 4x Xeon 2.7Ghz; 32 bit
8GB RAM; 2x 160GB

Two days ago we were provided wit this new Linux dedicated information:

OS Distribution: Debian
IP address: 88.2222.44.8  (not our real address, this is for illustration only)
user: root
pass: xyz8822 again for illustration only (FIO)

Additionally we were told that all what is initially installed on this server is:
the system (Debian) and SSH server (all I know is that this is needed for access via Putty SSH client).
When I type in my FireFox the IP address: 88.2222.44.8 it brings me nowehere (Server not found).

We have a domain ready for this server: xyzhost.com (again FIO)
We are also ready to buy a 3 year Cpanel/WHM license.

When I'm logged via Putty and go to the main directory I can see this:

bin   etc         initrd.img.old  media  proc  selinux  tmp  vmlinuz
boot  home        lib             mnt    root  srv      usr  vmlinuz.old
dev   initrd.img  lost+found      opt    sbin  sys      var


Further as stated above I found no Apache, Mysql, PHP, ImageMagick, etc..

So probably some initial setup is needed.

Now what to do first?

My thoughts:

a) To install WHM/Cpanel
   The installation of WHM and Cpanell is included in the 3 year license price.
   My question - is it sufficient to provide them with our initial IP address (88.2222.44.8)?
   Our domain xyzhost.com is not pointing to ns1.xyzhost.com and ns2.xyzhost.com yet as we don't have our nameservers set up (I believe this is going to be done in WHM once installed)

b) once we have WH/Cpanel - we setup xyzhost.com nameservers and point our domain to them. Or should we do that before even though we don't have those nameservers ready yet?
Once the domain resolves to the nameservers -> in WHM/Cpanel we will be able to set up the web space, ftp and mail for our xyzhost.com domain

c) Appache, MySQL, PHP installation?
 Do we need to buy any license for MySQL (our server center only provides the basic server, no software licenses)
 Which versions of Appache, MySQL,PHP are recommended?

Any other recommendations on what basic software/applications we should not forget at this stage (firewall ?)

Thank you.

J.
janimeAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
ppfoongCommented:

Try to issue these commands as root in your server:

# apt-get install update
# apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5
# apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client php5-mysql
# apt-get install phpmyadmin
# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

This will install Apache, PHP, and MySQL into your server, as well as the web based PHPMyAdmin to administer the database.

Try this in your browser after that:
http:// 88.2222.44.8/phpmyadmin

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janimeAuthor Commented:
Thanks ppgoong!

I got an email from the server provider that the additional applications (he probably meant apache, mysql, php) can by installed via the utility called  "aptitude"

example:
aptitude install apache2

I assume that the "apt" command represents that aptitude utility.

So I tried to run: # apt-get install update
Ad I got:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
E: Couldn't find package upadate

So is it ok to proceed with
# apt-get install apache2 php5 libapache2-mod-php5


Anyways what about my first questions - should we go ahead and buy/get installed WHM/Cpanel?

Thank you.
J.
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janimeAuthor Commented:
So I continued with all the commands and looks like Apache2, MySQL, PHP5 and myphpadmin are installed now.
However http:// 88.2222.44.8/phpmyadmin still shows me nothing (Server not found)... I tried that multiple times (Apache2 server was restarted)..

Any thoughts?

So now should we move on and get the WHM/CPANEL installed?

Thanks.
J.
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ppfoongCommented:

Perhaps you can put a PHP file with the following content, and try to access it from browser:

File: /var/www/info.php
Content of the file:

<?php
   phpinfo();
?>

Try accesiing http://88.2222.44.8/info.php


cPanel will provide you a GUI interface to administer the server. It is something good to have to make your live easier.

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janimeAuthor Commented:
Hi it looks like it works now..
Now should we move on with WHM/Cpanel?

Are there any other applications you would recommend to install?

For example  (according to my friend's recommendation) we will need ImageMagick.
To which directory it would be good to install it (bin, media, sbin, etc??) Is there any standard approach?
Just to keep the things on the server nicely organized.

Thanks

J.
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ppfoongCommented:

If you install packages using apt-get or aptitude, it will install for you nicely, and eliminate the conflict of files.

You won't need ImageMagick in your server. You can install it in your working PC instead. ImageMagick is for editing graphics/photos.

You can install webmin instead of Cpanel. Webmin is free and you can find more info about it here:
http://www.webmin.com/

To install webmin, use this command:

# apt-get install webmin
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janimeAuthor Commented:
Hi ppfoong,
so you are not recommending Cpanel? We are looking for some secure management solution here. I've been through many forums and articles and Cpanel wins big as a solution for Linux.
So you are saying that we should use another management panel?

We just need a secure management.

Thanks.

J.
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ppfoongCommented:

It depends on your need.

Cpanel is good if you want to host for multiple sites with multiple domains in the server.

For single site, webmin is good enough, although Cpanel also can be used.
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shaunakCommented:
If you take cpanel server, many things like DNS, spam policies, service restart, etc. can be managed directly. As ppfoong rightly said that cpanel is used for multiple sites.

For firwall i would suggest you to go with configserver. (csf) and what about mail server? I would recommend exim.
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janimeAuthor Commented:
Hi,
I thought exim would be included within Cpanel/WHM.
Of course we want to have a mail server.  What would be the proper way to get that installed?
I just checked http://www.exim.org. If I download this on my local drive what would the next steps be to install it on our dedicated server?

I just need more detailed instructions on both installations - http://configserver.com/cp/csf.html (firewall) and exim.

Thank you.

J.

P.S. - and yes, we will be using the server for multiple clients/ domains hostings.
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shaunakCommented:
Then go with the cpanel. It comes loaded with exim and if not then you can install  it by
yum -y install exim*

CSF has a very simple to follow step by step instructions at : http://configserver.com/free/csf/install.txt

exim and csf can  be managed from WHM itself so WHM will act as a central place for managing all services.

When you create  hosting in whm, all necessary entries in dns, httpd.conf, etc. are automatically added.
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janimeAuthor Commented:
So do I still have to install that firewall myself or is it included in WHM?  (http://configserver.com/cp/csf.html- firewall).
If this is a separate application should we install that firewall first and then WHM and CPanel? Or first to install WHM/Cpanel and the it'll be ok to install  the firewall afterwards.

Please, advice.
Thank you.
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shaunakCommented:
WHM doesnt come preloaded with csf (configserver firewall). First Install cpanel/whm and then install csf through putty or any other ssh tool.


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janimeAuthor Commented:
How do I install csf (firewall) through putty?
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janimeAuthor Commented:
also I forgot to mention that when I restart the apache with the command above (# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart) I get this:
"could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 127 .0.1.1 for servername"

Now I am wondering when and how should I point/assign  the domain we have for this server? Or should I first install that WHM/CPanel?

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janimeAuthor Commented:
No-one?
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janimeAuthor Commented:
I was just told that Debian does not support cPanel/WHM... And no-one here mentioned anything about this.. So what now?
We need to manage multiple domains and sites.. I am debating to transfer to CentOs.
I am looking for EXPERTs advices here. Please, point me to the right direction.
Thanks.
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janimeAuthor Commented:
ok I see that this is getting nowhere. I am going to open a new thread with Linux Centos questions. Anyways I appreciate your efforts, so I am gonna split 500 points
Thanks.
J.
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janimeAuthor Commented:
I was disappointed to find out that no-one pointed out that cPanel is not supported by Debian.
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