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I'm a fairly experienced developer, but when it comes to servers and network related stuff, I'm pretty green.

We are developing a web site, and I would like to set up a server that can host my SubVersion repository, and also host Bugzilla for when we release a testversion on some users.

So what do i need to accomplish this? I have an old computer that can be used. Can I run this on any OS? It currently has Win 7 installed, but I was thinking about going for Ubuntu instead. Any reason to go for one or the other?

I guess I need a web server, and I guess Apache will do fine. Do I need something else to let my computer be available from all over the web, or is a web server and a standard internet connection all it takes?

A link some good online tutorials would be much appreciated. And then I mean for real dummies ;). I usually find pages that try to explain setting up servers going way over my head.

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4 Answers 4

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I'd go with some kind of Linux. You can run what you want on Windows but it is more complicated and less supported. These are open source projects and their native environment is typically Linux.

You'll either need a static IP address on your internet connection, or you'll need to use some kind of dynamic DNS service that allows you to change the DNS when your IP address changes.

Subversion in general

These will help setting up SVN & Apache so the source control can be accessed externally (not sure if you want that)

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we're in a very similar situation here. I used VirtualBox as a virtualization solution and the svn runs in a virtual windows server 2008 machine. Virtual machines give you some added flexibility if the hardware crashes and you need your SVN up and running again badly.

I'd choose the OS you are more familiar with. I also use debian here and there, but setting up VisualSVN (http://www.visualsvn.com/) is just so much easier. It takes about 2 mins. I struggled quite a bit with the linux install in contrast.

In both cases, however, you should do some basic security checks, e.g. port-scan your machine (using 'nmap', see http://nmap.org/) and make sure only required ports are available.

To make the machine available to the internet you need to configure routing. That's where it becomes a bit more complicated. However, one simple solution exists if you have a router that supports a so called DMZ (demilitarized zone, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMZ_(computing) ) where you can basically enter the IP address of the server you want to show to the internet - done.

Last thing to do is adding a dynamic dns service like dyndns that helps people find your machine on the net. You basically need to sign up on their site and configure your router to update the external IP when it changed. Some routers also support this natively and with very little configuration. A linksys WRT 54 does great, for example and it works even better if you install a different firmware such as dd-wrt (http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index). That sounds more complicated than it is and as a reward you get an easy to configure web interface on an embedded router.

Perhaps you can elaborate your network infrastructure a bit?

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I have a linksys wrt54g w/dd-wrt and have it configured with dyndns.org and it works perfect. Event setup a home vpn connection so i can access my home network when i'm on the road. –  Tone Apr 9 '10 at 4:30

Ubuntu server is easy to setup and has install packages for all the features you require. Documentation is included in the /usr/share/doc directory. You can resize windows and install it to dual boot with Windows in case you decide you can't live with Linux

For both Windows and Ubuntu you will have some configuration to do. For Ubuntu this will mostly be setting up access and security related stuff.

You should firewall your server, and this is easy to do with the internal network stack on linux. I prefer shorewall, but the preinstalled firewall package on Ubuntu may easier for you to setup.

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I am in the process of doing the same thing (and almost finished). I started with Ubuntu server 9.10, got subversion over apache working. With dyndns configured so it's accessible outside of my home network. Although subversion was working fine i ran into some issues trying to setup bugzilla, something to do with the perl datetime modules. So I opted to reinstall with Debian 5 after reading a bit about the long term support benefits and in general the higher stability of Debian over Ubuntu. In general Ubuntu is ideal for desktop installs and Debian for server installs (just as Fedora and RHEL are, respectively). However Ubuntu server IS backed by Canonical and I've read about several good things about server installs, but for what it sounds like you are trying to do I'd go with Debian.

I still haven't completely figured out Bugzilla setup yet and welcome any links folks can share about setting it up on Debian 5.

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