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I have an extra computer lying around, so tomorrow I'm taking it to my dad's office and going to set it up. I plan on using it as a development box and to host some of my in-the-works projects. I'm not planning on using it as a production device and I should be the only one accessing it, so it won't get very much traffic.

This is my first time setting up a server all the way and I'd like to do it right so I thought I'd ask for your advice.

I plan on installing Ubuntu 10.10 on it, setting up SSH daemons, and configuring a LAMP stack. That should allow me to do any other administration remotely as well as sever the relevant files that I want. Are there any good pages on common setup procedures for this or any "gotchas"? I'm a little bit concerned I'll botch the LAMP set up.

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For one, change the A to N in LAMP: use nginx. Easier, better, much faster. – ringø Oct 11 '10 at 0:54
There is absolutely no point in using nginx for a development server for one user... – Geraint Jones Oct 11 '10 at 0:55
I tend to agree with c10k here. While nginx is a great server, for someone that's just cutting their teeth, I think apache is preferrable. There's a vast amount of more information/documentation out there on apache, and being able to grok apache's configuration is a valuable skill to have going forward. – EEAA Oct 11 '10 at 1:07
@c10k nginx is growing rapidly (5.1% of 1M top sites migrated to it, or used it in the first place) [July 2010]. nginx is not an inferior tool, it more looks like it is the future, with growing features. There are many apache existing installations, but learning directly nginx - which configuration style sounds more practical (even logical) - is not a waste of time, in 2010. – ringø Oct 11 '10 at 15:57
I am well aware that it is getting more popular, but if your going into the sys admin field and say you work for 20 companies over your career, based on 5.1% you will end up using Nginx a total of once, you would use apache 11.4 times, iis 4.8 times and something else the other 2.77 times. I know that this isn't exactly scientific but if i looked at 20 random clients of mine the numbers are about the same. This is not a bashing of nginx in any way shape or form, it is simply the truth - if you want to get your feet wet with web servers you need to start with apache. – Geraint Jones Oct 13 '10 at 5:21
up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. Burn Ubuntu Server CD
  2. Boot From CD
  3. Once installed and on the network run sudo tasksel install lamp-server

Its that simple ;-)

Bookmark this : it will likely help you a fair bit if you get stuck

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Very neat! I never knew there was a package for that ready to go. Is it easy to add new modules into Apache with that package? – samoz Oct 11 '10 at 0:58
Sure is most of the useful ones are in apt. and you can use PECL for php stuff that isnt. – Geraint Jones Oct 11 '10 at 1:02

You can also try [Virtualmin][1], or just Webmin ( Either will provide you with a web interface to remotely manage the system. I would suggest going with Virtualmin. It can either run on top of Webmin as a module, or it can be directly installed. It will install also Webmin but it will not be directly dependent on it. Also, the developers are putting more time working on Virtualmin.

You will not only be able to manage the machine, but also most other software you will use, especially if you are planing to do LAMP projects. You can control and configure each of these right from inside the Virtualmin/Webmin interface.

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