I'm completely new to setting up a server.
Which Linode StackScript is most suited (would require less configuration) for deploying web apps written in PHP as well as in Ruby on Rails?
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You should try to get a RoR instance, since it's more difficult to configure. PHP is quite easy to install/configure.
See this setup: http://www.linode.com/stackscripts/view/?StackScriptID=207