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Hosting your own website,


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Most of the time, I've been using either my collage servers or my the server at my workplace to host my files and do my stuff. But all of those were already set up and I basicly just ftp over and run it. I have very little knowlage of networking and such.Anyway, my parents want their lovely little IT wiz kid to make them a website, and I am not very sure of how to host it. Whilst I am aware of sites that offer hosting services, I was thinking of using my PC at home to be my server and host the site since it is basily on 24/7.So can anyone point to me a guide on how to host a website using your own computer as a server? And getting domain names etc.

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the problem with using a computer for all you use it for now AND a server, is that it will use a lot of resources (memory, CPU, etc.). you should probably get a used computer or something to do the server with.it might be cheaper to just get hosting. you can get free hosting at several places, and a domain name can be as cheap as $3.00 a year. (yahoo domain name registration first year is like 2.95)

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I agree With little goat. your server should be just a server. once you get another old computer or something you can download fedora core 5. then you install that os on your computer. now download apache. install that. now you can download a ftp program of your choice and install that. you can install php if you think you ar going to use it. you may have to do some configuring but it should all work together nicely.

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Running your own server requires a static ip address which you do not get with residential internet service. Also you should have high speed internet if you are going to host.There are ways around this issue if you do not have a static ip. You can use services like everydns.net which manage your domains and give you a script to download that will update your ip address when you set it as a windows task.A very cheap and easy way to go would be to use Windows and Apache. You will want a seperate PC though and a routre with a firewall.Anymore questions just ask.

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once you get another old computer or something you can download fedora core 5. then you install that os on your computer. now download apache. install that. now you can download a ftp program of your choice and install that. you can install php if you think you ar going to use it. you may have to do some configuring but it should all work together nicely.
I like how easy you make that sound. "Install Fedora Core 5. Now install Apache." This stuff is very complex to set up, especially if he is unsure how to make a website in the first place. Installing, configuring, and administering a Linux web server is something that people get paid upwards of $100,000 a year for if they can do it well. It's no easy task, and the various groups who write Linux distros have yet to come up with an installation process as simple as Windows. With Windows, you put the CD in, tell it what language you speak and which timezone you're in, and a half hour later your computer is running. I spent so many hours trying unsuccessfully to get Debian installed on inferior hardware (I blame both Debian and the hardware..).And this doesn't even scratch installing, configuring, and administering a web server like Apache. It might be fine if you just have a personal server in a small town like Mankato, Minnesota and host some of your friends on it, you're probably not going to get attacked. But if you are expecting any decent amount of traffic, you will want a good connection, a static IP like aspnetguy mentioned, and a very secure setup. You people saw what happened here, there are people all over the world running programs to scan for vulnerable servers and either deface them and shut them down, or install their own FTP server and start loading kiddie porn on it, or install a keylogger or distribute their trojans or whatever they want to do. Running a good web server is not as easy as installing Linux and then installing Apache. Like I've said before, there are entire college programs that teach how to do this stuff, that's how much there is to know. Here's a sysadmin book from O'Reilly with almost 1,200 pages:http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/esa3/And another book strictly about security with almost 1,000 pages:http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/puis3/And that doesn't even cover administering email, or PHP, or a database, or FTP, or anything else.So, the way I see it, your options are either to learn and understand everything it takes to get an OS, web server, email server, PHP, database server, maybe FTP server installed, configured, and secure, or you can pay $2/month for professional hosting and just skip right to the part where you develop your site.
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100% right, don't get me started on fedora core. I got it installed after many tries and that is were it stopped...I couldn't even get the internet connection cinfiguraed let alone run it as a webserver.I have been playing with Unbuntu but haven't made much progress there either. In the end I went back to windows for my server. On the bright side I did get my copy of windows server 2003 runnning. No more apache (not that it is bad...I just work with IIS at work everyday) and I can finally have ASp.Net again.

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Yeah, Apache is a good server, it does it's job really well if it is properly set up by someone who knows what they're doing, and it's very powerful. But there is a lot to be said for the usability of Windows. And even more so for IBM. I thought the Windows install was easy, and then I installed a new 1U IBM eServer like this one, and holy crap! The IBM pre-installer totally made the Windows installer its #####. You answer a lot of questions in the IBM utility, including everything Windows setup asks you, and even more specific things about the server settings and what you are going to use it for and software you want and things like that. When you are finished, the pre-installer tells you to put the Windows CD in the drive, and an hour later your server is up and running, and totally configured. It even configures Windows for you to act however you chose. Pretty slick.. IBM needs to make a Linux distro with a decent installer and GUI, if they did then I would use it.

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I like how easy you make that sound. "Install Fedora Core 5. Now install Apache." This stuff is very complex to set up, especially if he is unsure how to make a website in the first place. Installing, configuring, and administering a Linux web server is something that people get paid upwards of $100,000 a year for if they can do it well. It's no easy task, and the various groups who write Linux distros have yet to come up with an installation process as simple as Windows.
Man, I feel way smart now, knowing I can get it on the first try! Fedora Core 5 setup isn't hard, they just ask you question about what you would like on your new system... although I would suggest a short cut method. Also the best way to install FC5 is to install the minimum! Then you can just have yum install the rest later... so you don't have to worry about CD being corrupt and stuff.Hosting your own website is the way to go IF:You are logical, computers are based aound this... You don't give up... getting mad will not get you in the right dirrection.You want to, If there's a will, there's a way...Hosting your self costs alot less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Using myself as an example:DSL costs before server: $20DSL costs after server: $20Server power costs before server: $0/yr.Server power costs after server: $3/yr.Buying a computer to be a server $0 (didn't got one free 640MB of RAM, 40GB, 17" monitor...)time fixing server because network problems: 10 mins per year (man, I wish I had a static IP address... GRR)CDs used to install FC5... 15 ... I HATE WINDOWS, I HATE WINDOWS, I HATE WINDOWS, WHY CAN'T WINDOWS DO ANYTHING RIGHT... Like burning a simple CD. My Windows has a success rate of 1 for every 4 CDs. Or I could have skip all that 'hard work' and paid $1,000 per year to have the same service I give myself with hosting my self!Now I know what your thinking... eather I have a double magor in Computer Science and Programming, along with 8 years of college education, and 35 year of experance .................... or I don't even have my GED yet, and didn't even know html 2 years ago.so... an IT can't do it but a kid who was born yesterday can... what is this world coming too..P.S. the secret to installing Apache without thinking or any pain is "yum install apache 'enter' " ..wow..
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Go ahead and post your domain name or IP on some hacking newsgroups and take a look at what happens. Or, better yet, since it's so easy to do this, go ahead and get a job with a company who needs people to administer their servers, and see what they ask you to do. I guarantee it won't be typing "yum install apache". What do you think is in the 1,200 page book on "Essential System Administration"?It is arguable over whether or not hosting yourself costs less. If you want to set up a server in your room to host a personal site and a few friends, then yeah it will probably be less. If you want to run a site that generates income and supports SSL, credit card processing, and the backends required to run an e-commerce system, you will find that paying a professional host is money very well spent. One company I work for has a few internal servers on T1 lines, and some other servers hosted remotely to serve up high-bandwidth content.Also, if you're paying $1,000 per year to get a DSL-connected server with 40GB, you're a moron. One of the hosts we use, ev1servers.net, gives us 500GB on our own dedicated server running Red Hat, and their network has a total of 25GB of bandwidth, with each data center having over 14 backbone connections to the internet. We pay ev1 almost $300 per month, but get this. The people whose content we host on the ev1 server not only pay for the entire cost of running the server, but they actually pay more. That means that we are actually getting paid several hundred dollars a month to have someone else host a dedicated dual-Xeon server for us on a major network, as opposed to a free second-hand computer on a home DSL line. How about that?With my personal hosting, I pay $5/month for 700GB of space. That would be $60/year for excellent availability and no headaches.If hosting your own server is what you want to do, then by all means, do it. But if you do not want to host your own server, there is no reason to bother. The cost is not a factor, and it doesn't matter if you write that in red text or not.

CDs used to install FC5... 15 ... I HATE WINDOWS, I HATE WINDOWS, I HATE WINDOWS, WHY CAN'T WINDOWS DO ANYTHING RIGHT... Like burning a simple CD. My Windows has a success rate of 1 for every 4 CDs.
Didn't you just say something about not getting mad? I have been burning CDs with a Liteon drive using Nero for years with 0 issues, not a single underrun. A Sony drive 6 years ago, not so much, but today's technology is very refined.
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For my $1000 example I was taking http://www.v7inc.com/7GB Storage300GB TransferUnlimited Subdomains100 MySQL Databasesat $79.95 per month!! $960 per year... sry I rounded.---- ---Justsomeguy... you need to calm down. This guy wanted a server for this parents website... Not for NASA or the FBI. The chance of hacking is one in a billion or something like that for a server that small. If you have virus protection that automaticly update, and a firewall... I use Linux, few hackers target this market. I have a firewall and virus protection, so what's left is a very small hole. So what's the chance that some will be a hacker that wants to hack me, then find this small hole, without me finding out. I'm not stupid, I don't invite hackers... I keep up on patches and stuff, I also get emails from my server on what's happening.

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the problem with using a computer for all you use it for now AND a server, is that it will use a lot of resources (memory, CPU, etc.). you should probably get a used computer or something to do the server with.it might be cheaper to just get hosting. you can get free hosting at several places, and a domain name can be as cheap as $3.00 a year. (yahoo domain name registration first year is like 2.95)
But on Yahoo geocities someone can hack your id and delete it and make your website go poof. Trust me I know from experince >.<
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Being a server admin is far more than installing the software ans getting it to work. Like justsomeguy said there are probably a million holes in your server you are not even aware of. You have to know how the OS works (completely) and the concepts of networking to understand the ways you can be hacked.My UNIX professer from college has a doctorate in Computer Science and was also the schools UNIX admin.He seriously is the smartest IT person I have ever met. He mad the Windows admins look like morons, and they weren't noobs either...they had been doing it for 5 or more years.Whenever anything witht he network went wrong he was the first person they went to. The things I saw him do with a shell script and 5 minutes was amazing.Hey let me get you his email...he could hack you in 30 seconds with his eyes closed.Seriously...just because I have a working wesever doesn't mean I consider myself a sysadmin....by no means....for now I am just playing.Also knowing HTML has nothing to do with knowing how to run a server or build one either.

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For my $1000 example I was taking http://www.v7inc.com/7GB Storage300GB TransferUnlimited Subdomains100 MySQL Databasesat $79.95 per month!! $960 per year... sry I rounded.
Well then that's a bad example. That's not a good choice of hosts. Try geekhosting.com, or brinkster.com.
Justsomeguy... you need to calm down. This guy wanted a server for this parents website... Not for NASA or the FBI. The chance of hacking is one in a billion or something like that for a server that small.
Believe me, I'm calm. I just don't take network security lightly. I don't work for NASA or the FBI, but that doesn't stop people from China and Russia hitting our servers thousands of times every day.Here you go:
sshd: Authentication Failures: ftp (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) root (125.250.248.130 ): 15 Time(s) news (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) apache (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) sshd (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) gopher (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) nobody (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) rpcuser (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) daemon (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) rpm (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) mysql (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 2 Time(s) games (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) unknown (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 209 Time(s) mysql (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) mailnull (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) named (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) lp (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) operator (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) root (222.92.30.8 ): 1 Time(s) smmsp (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) apache (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) unknown (203-144-229-199.static.asianet.co.th ): 4 Time(s) sshd (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) uucp (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) mail (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) adm (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) rpm (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) admin (125.250.248.130 ): 7 Time(s) smmsp (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) pcap (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) halt (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) news (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) games (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) bin (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) root (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 17 Time(s) adm (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) sync (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) admin (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 7 Time(s) operator (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) vcsa (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) webalizer (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) ftp (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) unknown (125.250.248.130 ): 118 Time(s) postfix (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) unknown (222.92.30.8 ): 1 Time(s) rpc (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) nobody (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) mail (c-68-41-123-217.hsd1.mi.comcast.net ): 1 Time(s) root (203-144-229-199.static.asianet.co.th ): 3 Time(s) nfsnobody (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) desktop (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) mailman (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) shutdown (125.250.248.130 ): 1 Time(s) admin (203-144-229-199.static.asianet.co.th ): 2 Time(s) Invalid Users: Unknown Account: 332 Time(s)
Run some of those IPs, see where they are coming from. You think those people are out to do us good? You want those people looking at your home machine? Because I sure as ###### don't. My home machine is invisible from everywhere except my home, and that's the way I intend to keep it.
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The chance of hacking is one in a billion or something like that for a server that small.
Actually they are higher because the sys admin is not aware of all the security issues thus does not have them patched.All it takes is for you to post your url in a forum and a hacker decideds to test your security.Depending on what this website is hopefully they are going to promote it and try and make it grow...it is just a matter of time before someone finds you and tries to hack your server
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Your never invisble someone out there can always find you.By The Way:I can't have my own server because one I have a very old computer possibley 1999 one thats windows 98 with a 5 gb and I have only 32% of memory left.....And from what I read at apache you need like a windows 2000 or xp to do that ######. I'm getting a xp and dsl in a month thoe so yeah.....

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What losers... I don't even want to know what they are thinking. Messed up people...
Who hackers??? They usally stael all your inormation and bribe you with it and or seal credit cards and then theres newbs who destroy comps for a bit of fun......
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I realize I'm coming on strong, but that's only because I feel strongly about this. I don't mean to be mean about it, and I certainly don't mean to insult anyone, so I'm sorry if you felt insulted dcole. Fact is you got your server running, and that in itself is an admirable accomplishment.But being a small site isn't a reason for lax security. Google knows about your server, and you have links to it all over the place here. If Google knows about it, there's no reason a hacker running an automated program would not find it.I just think that it is disinformation to tell someone that there is no problem with running their own home server, because there can be substantial problems. You claimed this above:

time fixing server because network problems: 10 mins per year (man, I wish I had a static IP address... GRR)
But I know for a fact that your server has been offline for several days.
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But I know for a fact that your server has been offline for several days.
yeah, it was offline for 2 weeks when I was switch servers. Not really, I was more like moving to a different CPU body... It was a mess. Then I added another HD before I installed FC5 and it cleared all the HD clean, so I lost data... But it did work better than DOS at clearing the HD. Clean, spotless, magical... One had drive had 3 OS on it... Windows 95, 98, and XP... no wonder is was so full.I'm always going to say do it your self... that's just me, it might not be the best answer for everyone. RISKS and REWARDS ... less risk, less rewards. With other people hosting my for free I got 12 MB of space, and could only use HTML, CSS, and Javascript. With Me hosting my self (parents paying for power and DSL... giving me old computers) ... it's still free but I get 40GB, HTML, CSS, Javascript, php, python, asp, external referancing scripts (What ever you call it but C, C++, java... secondary), Perl, FTP, HTTPS, CRON, full access to apache... so far unlimited bandwith (haven't reached the top yet..)computer, buy or build your ownbird house, buy or build your ownchair, buy or build your ownhouse, buy or build your own...guess your just have to weigh your wants and risks and time...If I had a large website like Wikipedia, I would use a datacenter. That always seemed like the best non-free way, that I would go in the future... "Live like your die tomorrow, and learn like your live forever.." I'm here to learn, not pay someone else.I want to hear what justsomeguy says about datacenters.
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The $300/month EV1 server is in a datacenter, EV1 has 2 datacenters in Texas. I love them, zero headaches for me, and I still have root access on the server through a shell, web interface, and FTP. It is essentially my server, I can even mail them hardware and have them install it for me. I can even reboot the thing through a web interface. But if it goes down for a reason that is not my fault, the datacenter staff take care of it after I submit a trouble ticket. They also handle all of the necessary firewalls and routers between the server and the net.http://ev1servers.net/Datacenters/But every computer I have ever owned I have either had custom built for me (my sweet $2500 386SX/25 with a screaming 2400bps modem), or I have built myself. I love building computers, it's fun to do. I like picking out and ordering all the parts, and building a system that I know exactly what it can and cannot do well. But I won't make it a webserver and put it online.

I'm here to learn, not pay someone else.
I'm here to learn how to program well and have my customers pay me more money than I pay for hosting their content. Also, I don't live with my parents, so electricity, cable, everything is on me. It's nice if you get everything for free, but that's not reality.
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Now everyone, before we go listening to Justsomeguy, remember he's "Likely to be drunk"Vs me, being an "Advanced Member"If this is shocking and you need proff... look under his Avatar and above his blue bar...

av-4190.jpgLikely to be drunkpip.gifpip.gifpip.gif
And as we know justsomeguy to be our movie star, he is going to act like a movie star... going to (quote) "say things he doesn't believe to be true" like the movie stars over in hollywood... because as we all know, being drunk causes you to lie, not tell the truth!
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Now you're getting personal.I added that title myself, so you can believe what you want to believe.If you have a counter-point to any point I made that you disagree with, feel free to raise it. But if you want to attack me other than attacking the points I make, then it's clear where your argument stands.In all seriousness (?) I'm here to have fun. I generally try to keep the mood light in forums, technical subjects don't always leave a lot of room for that. But you can always stop by the forums at context.cx and see me there. But I'm here to have fun, my sense of humor is pretty sarcastic, which doesn't always translate very well online. But I crack myself up, so I guess that's good enough.

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Nope, nothing to add... I was just looking at the page and it was like "likely to be drunk" and I was like "WHAT??"so you changed it your self? How did you do that? I didn't know you could do that... (maybe if you were admin, but not just a normal user...)

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