How to setup web server at home

I have an old IBM Server 32 bit, I can install some LInux version on it. I want to make it as my webserver for php/mysql/apache and tomcat.
I want to run some applications on it.
I have dynamic ip address. Can you please guide me the steps how can I do that and which linux version is easy for this purpose.
Also if I want to keep my website also on it then how can I configure it for DNS Name server which I have to put on my domain register company.

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andreasSystem AdminCommented:
Usually those old servers conume a lot of power. If you want to self host at home consider buying a new system with an i5 and enough RAM 8GB. It will save you a lot of bucks in the end on your electricity bill.

If the web apps are not very demanding and you will not expect many users you even could consider to run it on a raspberry or similar SoC board (there are also intel compatiles out there). Those have a very low power consumption.

As a distribution I would suggest debian or ScientificLinux/CentOS. Advantage for ScientifixLinux/CentOS is the long support time, so you dont have to resetup everything once the distribution is out of support and does not get security updates.

After setup your server you should subscribe to some security nwesletters of the distribution running on the server and for the CMS/application software you are running, to get informed when there are patches/updates available.

Those updates should then be installed in a timely manner to prevent the server be hacked.

Furthermore you should firewall all services from the internet that are not necesary to use your server from the outside to minimize attack surface.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I have 13 plus web servers here at home for testing and development.  I would Never connect any of them to the public internet because I don't have the time to keep up with all the security problems.  Network and server security is a full time job at web hosting companies.

I am responsible for 50 plus hosted web sites.  On one of them, an 'intruder' was able to add 38,000 rows to one of my database tables because I had missed one thing.  They were trying to break and take control but I had written the code well enough to prevent that.

I do recommend having your own server to do development on.  I would never recommend that you connect it to the public internet because you will be unable to keep up the security required to protect it.  Shared hosting is cheap enough at $5 per month and some places even less.  The web hosting company will take care of many security problems so that you will never know they exist.
I would recommend you use Zentyal as the Server OS. It is based on Debian and is very easy to setup and maintain. After it has been installed, you configure everything via a web-browser. You select the server modules you want and they get installed, then you configure them.
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NerdsOfTechTechnology ScientistCommented:
Determine if hosting violates your Internet provider's TOS (most residential services prohibit hosting),  
If allowed, install os of choice and open an available port and route appropriately (port forwarding, etc) for port 80,
Obtain a DDNS,
Run a DDNS  service on the server,
Change your DNS to your DDNS in your domain registration settings,

Congratulations on your newly Internet connected server.

Now, have fun fighting hackers, hardware malfunctions, power issues, loss of data, and the myriad of other stuff that will likely happen.

Plan B: Save time and money (time is money)...  buy shared hosting.
student237Author Commented:
I agree with your advise. It is almost impossible to put proper security.
But cloud like Amazon is also expensive. So should I look for some data-centers?
I can spend 10 - 15 per month but want a sever where I can run at least 5 - 6 Magento application, some php/mysql based applications and few blogs.
Any advise for some data-centers or some cloud option or shared hosting whose performance is good.

NerdsOfTechTechnology ScientistCommented:
I see your need for dedicated hardware. Running 5 instances of magento would be extremely taxing, let alone 1 instance, on shared hosting.

For your example needs,  virtual server  hosting or entry level dedicated hosting, if these are sites that will be publicly available, would be your best bet; however, the costs would be more like 60/ month, not 10-15 bucks.

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