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setting up a server - recomendations

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Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

setting up a server - recomendations

Hi folk,
Excuse me if Im in the wrong place for this - but I havent posted before.
I have just purchased a second hand Proliant ML370 G1 FD71 server for home use. I want to install Linux as the ops. (It will control 3/4 windows based pcs). Can anyone give any guidelines and recomendations on which version of Linux would be best for a newcomer? And any problems I am likely to meet.
Thanks all
Antony
51 REPLIES
Vipulinux
Respected Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi
On a Proliant server you can go with either a. redhat linux
b. Fedora
c. White Box Linux

If you dont want to buy support go for fedora core 4 or white box, download the latest update version, its same as redhat.

Cheers
Vipul

Vipulinux
Respected Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi Antony

What else are you looking at?

do u want the server to be a domain controller, ??

Rgds
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

eventually I want to be able to run my own web page from it. Not sure at the moment how that works - but more than anything at the moment I need to know the most likely problems I will face in setting up the operating system.
Thanks
Antony
Vipulinux
Respected Contributor
Solution

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi

There should not be any issues while installing the OS if you use the latest update cd's.
Proliant always had issues with smartarray controller but the latest cd's have the drivers within.

(for how to install check this:
http://www.linuxcdmall.com/redhat-screenshots-1.html

During installation check the web server package, this will install the packages that will help you in publishing web pages (httpd)


Rgds
Vipul
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Thats great - thanks
Antony
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Just a curiosity, but is this web page/site going to be internal or external (intranet vs. internet)?

If you plan on making it available only to the internal network, then you are under no real pressure to get it all secured from the beginning and you can easily take your time in learning all the ins and outs to doing this without putting your private network in danger.

If you are planning on making this an Internet server, you have some serious security issues to consider.

Since I do not know your intentions and the suggestions for a publicly accessible server can be lengthy, I will simply await input from you on what you intend to do.

Knowing that will also help us point you to what you might run into when setting up something like this.

Either way, I would suggest you go with an RPM based distribution such are Red Hat or Fedora. I have found it very easy to keep up with and fairly simple to learn.

One word of caution on Fedora Core is that they seem to be rather pro-active on the update front. This is both good and bad. Good because it keep you up on the latest-and-greatest of most everything. Bad simply because the latest-and-greatest is not always the most stable and battle-hardened.

Learning to use both up2date and yum effectively will solve these issues for you in the long run. Even my wife is learning to love her new FC4 x86_64 box and she has never used anything but M$ prior to this. {she has nothing to do with the administration of it, nor did she ever understand the administration of M$}

Of course, asking Linux folks what they suggest for a distro and why is almost as dangerous as asking for religious or political preferences and reasons :-)

These are simply my thoughts and opinions.
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Thanks John.
Initially the website will be for intranet as I do not know enough yet to consider deploying for internet. Although that is the ultimate goal. I am aware that the security is far more important when deploying for the internet, but I think I need to take it one small step at a time. Just reading the manual for the deployment of the server has made me realise that although Ive used computers for many years, my knowledge of the workings of the server is very limited. But then I have some time to hand and Im willing to learn so I will get stuck in just very slowly to start with.

Antony
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Shalom Antony,

I would add Centos, http://www.centos.org to the list of Linuxes to consider.

Centos is a binary re-compile of the open source sections of RH Enterprise Linux, which is to an extent industry standard.

You will need the Cd that ships with the ML370 or download a replacement prior to installing Linux. Any disk attached to the system must be set up prior to the OS installation.

As far as newcomer issues, you have found the right place, post the specifics as they come up.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Thats great Steve, thanks.
I may have administered a network at the school I taught at but administering it is very different to setting it up. And besides that was Win NT not Linux. I guess my biggest concern is that Linux is still largely unknown to me.
Most of what Im reading from the official documents from HP relating to the ML370 either refer to the newer models or to earlier versions of Linux (RH 8, enterprise 2.1 etc). So deciding which files I need to download to prepare the serve itself is stretching me (but that is most welcome challenge).
One question I could do with an answer to, is to do with the snartstart from HP. It lists the os's that it is compatible with - but like I said its the earlier versions of software - Will it still work with the recomendations I am being given here by you good folk?

Thanks
Antony
Alan_152
Honored Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

I would start slow and non permanent. A great way to experiment would be with a LiveCD linux. I've used Knoppix LiveCD as a temporary web server before. Easy enough to set up, and if you really goof up just reboot and start over again.

Another recommendation I have is that if you are more familiar with the windows world and want to step into linux web serving, get yourself a windows workstation and install apache for windows (www.apache.org). You'll need to, at some point, learn how the httpd.conf file works in Linux, so learn it in an environment you are familiar with. This is how I teach my students who are new to Linux -- start them off with something they do know and integrate a little linux into it.

Another hint I would give is that you should get ahold of, install, and use, a copy of VI for Windows (aka VIM for Windows). Get used to working with VI, and *nix becomes a whole lot easier.

Finally, get ahold of "unix for dos" and get used to using commands like grep, ls, head, tail, etc...
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Thanks Alan, that sounds like a great idea. In fack my wife has just found me a cheep copy of Win NT to set the server up with to start with and your suggestions will allow me to try a few things out.
But as much as Im familiar with MS Win - I do want to make that change over for the reliability and security I I know is there in Linux.

Antony
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

To anybody really paying attention to my previous posts, you will no doubt recognize the following from a previous thread I responded to. Please forgive my lack of gumption in retyping the whole thing.

***************
Thought I might expand on the idea of Knoppix.

Knoppix is what is considered a Live CD. What this means, in a nutshell, is that they entire distribution is bootable and will run directly and completely from a CD with no need to alter your hard drive at all. For those who are searching for a Linux distro that they like, this is a WONDERFUL thing.

Now, while Knoppix is one of the best-known Live CDs, it is NOT the only one available. There are many out there that will give you all kinds of different experiences with many different types of Linux. For a rather extensive list of Live CDs, I suggest you check out this URL: http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php

One other thing to consider. No matter what distro you choose to go with, your experience will be much the same if all you do is use the GUI (Graphical User Interface) on each of the available distros due to the fact that a large majority of them will use either KDE or Gnome for a GUI. Once you get used to them, then you will see very little that is really different until you start digging "under the hood" of each of them and finding out how they do things (updates, installs, removals, etc.). This is also the most important place to look when you really start the decision process on what to actually install on your hard drive. You need to be sure that you can manipulate it with relative ease and get the basics accomplished with that distro before you make big changes to your hardware.

Just my $0.02 on the subject...
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Thanks John,
I have a copy of Mandriva 2006 which seems to fit into that catagory so I shall start with using that as a live copy.
I guess I feel like I did many years ago when I first booted up a dos computer and stared at a screen of info I didnt understand. The advantage I have now is that there are many people out there that can respond to my lack of knowledge and guide me through while I learn a new system.

The help from all you good folk is very much appreciated and gives me hope that the journey this time wont be quite so bumpy.

Antony
Yogeeraj_1
Honored Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

hi antony,

Whatever linux distribution you choose, the truth is that until and unless you start working with it you will not appreciate the operating system.

Indeed if you can partition your server (dual boot) such that it can run both the Windows Operating system and Linux.

You can try both environment in this way.

good luck.

kind regards
yogeeraj
No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave (clavin coolidge)
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi all
Well heres the first of I guess what will be a series of silly questions to those of you that know what your doing.
Ive booted up the server and set the array to 5 (apparently it does have an integrated raid array). Ive inserted the smartstart disc but nothing seems to be happening (cd light is active flashing on and off occasionally). I assume that the smartstart is a bootable cdrom so I am guessing I have missed something in my reading. I have assumed that this is the first step? or am I meant to put in the boot disc from the os first? or am I meant to create a particular disc first?

Thanks
Antony
kcpant
Trusted Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi Antony,

If you have already setup your disks for RAID, there is no need to boot the system with SmartStart CD. That is required only if you want to setup RAID, HDD, date& time and Windows OS. For linux setup, you start booting your system with your distros first CD (make sure it is bootable, and also check whether the CD drive is good or not). You can also change the OS setting of your server's BIOS from Windows to "Other" or "linux", if there is an option to do so.

regards,
PreSales Specialist
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Back again :(
Ive put in a copy of Mandriva 2006 live. It started the boot no problem but part way through it gives me the following:
------------------------------------
Mounting loop image on /initrd/loopfs: mount: mounting /dev/loop/0 on/initrd/loopfs: failed
:invalid argument

ERROR: Unable to mount loop filesystem, Dropping you to a limited shell.
Commands were:
Iosetup /dev/loop/0 initrd/cdrom/livecd.sqfs
mount -r -t squashfs /dev/loop/0 initrd/loopfs
Loading /initrd/bin/ash

BusyBox v1.01 (2005.09.06-17:31+0000) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

/initrd/bin/ash: cant access tty: job control turned off

-------------------------------------

Im presuming nothing here as my understanding is too limited but I suspect that the hard drive is not formated? tty? network? I dont have the network cable attached as yet.

Antony
Vipulinux
Respected Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi

Did you got any errors while you were installing ??/
Also try an fsck from the limited sheet that you get.

Cheers
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

that was the first error that I saw.

fsck not found

Antony
Vipulinux
Respected Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi

May be fsck is not in path..

try
/sbin/fsck

else do:
find / -name fsck and then execute from the path where fsck is found.

Cheers
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Thanks.
I found I had a set of RH 9 discs so Im installing that at the moment. So far so good.

Antony
Vipulinux
Respected Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi
Pleaase share if RH9 worked directly with Proliant ML370 G1 FD71 server...
It might not be able to see the raid controller.
cheers
Antony Wright
Frequent Advisor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

I guess from your comment it hasnt been tried yet?
But yes I will let you know how it goes. Ive decided to let it install everything rather than me being selective so I'll post as soon as its up.

Antony
Vipulinux
Respected Contributor

Re: setting up a server - recomendations

Hi

Actually I had that though as Proliant ML series doesnt work directly with RH 2.1 and Rh3 unless you have the update 1 or above. that why I though tit wont work with RH9 unless you have the smart array modules,


Cheers