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Sticky: I am a complete newbie to Linux and web-development so please bear with my ignorance.

I want to learn developing web-apps and see how they run on a live server. I have chosen Ubuntu-Server 10.10 for this. However, I am worried if I can run it alongside Ubuntu-Desktop 10.10 which is already installed on my PC. Will it make my current desktop installation unstable?

If not how should I go about installing the server-edition on my desktop? Please list out the steps required. Please note that I have already downloaded Ubuntu-Server and burned it on a DVD.

Note: I don't have partitions on my HDD.

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It may be natural to try using Ubuntu as a server OS, particularly if you are already familiar with Ubuntu as a desktop OS. That being said, when building a Linux server, I strongly suspect that the ServerFault community would be almost unanimous in recommending the use of CentOS (or the supported upstream product, RHEL) unless you have a very specific reason to use a different distribution. –  Skyhawk Jan 5 at 3:33
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Upvoting @Skyhawk comment doesn't seem to emphasize enough using an Enterprise OS such as CentOS. I was in the same thought process as you are, until a Sr. sys admin broke down why Ubuntu (debian in general) isn't really an enterprise level OS when it comes to servers. –  BigHomie Jan 5 at 3:46
    
any links to support that statement @MDMoore313? I haven't used CentOS in a while, but package updates were not particularly speedy etc when i did use it a few years ago. The previous place i worked ran mostly Debian servers, we had no reliability issues, no security concerns etc, so I'm intrigued to read up about what you're talking about. –  drinxy Jan 5 at 7:02
    
It's like this: Consider any major vendor that provides compatibility with linux: It's most likely red hat, right? This is so that if you have any problems they can point you in rhel's direction and send you on your way. For an enterprise, when you have to interface to different pieces of hardware or software, the vast majority of it is going to be geared toward rhel. Microsoft publishes hyper v gigabit network drivers for linux guest OSes, but guess what? they're for red hat. Since CentOS is a direct fork of red hat, and stick close to it, most stuff developed for rhel will work in CentOS. –  BigHomie Jan 13 at 14:15

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

First of all, you don't need to install ubuntu server to learn and develop web apps. You can do this on your currently installed ubuntu desktop edition.

If you still want to install ubuntu server, you can do it without affecting the previous ubuntu desktop system. You can choose which one to boot (dual-booting) after that. The ubuntu server CD/DVD will guide you through the required steps to install the system.

It is very IMPORTANT to backup your files before starting the installation process to avoid data loss.

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Thank you Khaled. I want to add some server-handling experience so that I can understand how web-apps run on a server. This is the reason I want to use the Server edition on my desktop. I am going to try out your method. –  Harsh Vardhan Oct 31 '10 at 17:32
    
Thanks Khaled, I was able to install Server edition on the desktop successfully. The GRUB utility, helps me choose the OS I want to boot into every-time I start up my PC. –  Harsh Vardhan Nov 1 '10 at 14:39

If you have already installed Ubuntu Desktop, your Desktop machine can run all the components of a web server without having to install a separate Ubuntu Server. This guide shows how to use tasksel to install the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) server within a Desktop.

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Thank you, if I am unable to install Server-edition on my desktop, I'll take a look at that. –  Harsh Vardhan Oct 31 '10 at 17:33
    
I've put together my first Server and have the Ubuntu Server Package installed! You may have talked me into wiping the Server Install and putting on the Desktop Ubuntu??? This is one of the better answers I have found! Thanks! –  Stanley Bloomfield Jan 5 at 3:27

Everything included in ubuntu server edition can be installed and run on the desktop edition and vice versa the difference between the two is what is included on the disk and the default options.

If you aren't familiar with working only in the shell you're best option would be using taskel (easiest) or yum to install the server applications you need or want on your desktop version of Ubuntu. LAMP will include Apache mysql php and phpmyadmin assuming you want to develop in php that will be everything that you need.

Something else to consider is that you will want a graphical environment so you can test your pages as you are learning (assuming you want to see what the pages actually look like).

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How can I get a graphical environment on the server OS? –  Harsh Vardhan Nov 1 '10 at 14:40
    
sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment –  stoj Nov 2 '10 at 15:08

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