I'm trying to setup a linux server (Ubuntu, open to suggestions) over ssh and I keep running into walls, Googling, moving a bit forward, and then running into another wall, then running into a big wall like an install/mysql/user creation (It's pretty bad to run as root all the time, right?) messing up somewhere, getting frustrated, wiping and starting over.
What I Want
I'm still thinking this out, but eventually, I want a very secure/light/fast server to host static html (and maybe a Movable Type/Jekyll (static) blog?) at the root of my site: http://wiswanson.com (no-www philosophy, currently using S3 and a cname). I'm thinking I still want to host images and files on Amazon S3 (cdn.wiswanson.com cname? Redirect /img and /files with a mod_rewrite? What's better and why?), maybe eventually move that to Amazon Cloud Front. Ideally, this would somehow pull from Dropbox and post up the html when it's moved to a published folder. I'm very open to ideas and suggestions.
Are there any ssh/ftp/server setup tutorials or resources that are really solid & well written? Would this be better for Server Fault?