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  • User profile image
    Angus

    I have just uncovered an old server that I hope to use for a simple web server for my PHP, etc. projects. The server has Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition installed, and I have the manuals, etc. for reference. My question is: "Should I install some form of Linux OS for the server, which would be more up-to-date than the Windows one I have currently, or stay with Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition?".

    I am hoping to have Apache Web Server installed, along with MySQL, PHP and the other necessary applications for development.

    This may sound a little pointless, but I am doing mostly because I need a little project that I can work on, and I enjoy this sort of thing, so it is good, however, I don't want to make the mistake of installing a Linux OS when the current Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition would be better for the job.

    By the way, the server has a 700MHz processor (Intel Pentium 3 I think), and 512Mb of RAM. The hard drive is of sufficient size, about 40Gb. The Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition is quite an old install also so it is a bit cluttered, and I don't have a re-install disk.

    Thanks in advance.

    Angus Higgins

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    The machine is more than capable of running Windows Server 2003 (let alone 2000 Server) for modern development needs. NT4TSE is 99.9% useless in this day and age.

    ....I understand the price of Windows NT Server is already appreciating in collector's markets. If you don't want it, you might get a handsome sum for it on eBay, even more so since it's the rarer Terminal Server edition. With the money earned you could get a second-hand Server 2003 for it (but these are hard to find, 2000 Server is much cheaper).

    The going rate for Windows Server 2003 Standard on eBay is ~£400, you'd be better off going with Linux, it'll look good on your resumé too.

  • User profile image
    Angus

    Thanks, I was thinking of going with Linux, but now I have to choose the distribution. Tongue Out (I already have some ideas for that though)

    Angus Higgins

  • User profile image
    martin_lovi​ck

    i use ubuntu on my PC, ive found it quite good + you can get the cd sent out for free with support for a few years.

    there are a few enterprise distros around, if you want that kind of facility

    generall linux makes better use of older hardware

    try www.distrowatch.com for a start

  • User profile image
    Angus

    martin_lovick wrote:
    i use ubuntu on my PC, ive found it quite good + you can get the cd sent out for free with support for a few years.

    there are a few enterprise distros around, if you want that kind of facility

    try www.distrowatch.com for a start


    I was thinking of using Ubuntu Server for a few reasons, namely that I have the disk for it (albeit, the 5.10 version), and thus I will be able to skip the download and burn time for the other distributions, and also it seems to be very easy. I have a dual boot system on my main computer with Ubuntu, and I have found it very nice, other than a few problems it has been great.

    Thanks for the URL.

    Angus Higgins

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    If you go with Linux, you'll definitely want to go with some form of SUSE (openSUSE, SLED, or SLES). I'd recommend openSUSE 10.2, due December 5th (if you can wait).

    Why SUSE?

    YaST comes with a great selection of tools for setting up and managing different types of servers and has AppArmor, which is probably the easiest MAC (Mandatory Access Control) solution for Linux.

    There is also an Ncurses version of YaST. This is useful if you wish to perform a small, console-only installation.

    Good Luck.


    Regards,
    Vincent

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    If you go with Linux, you'll definitely want to go with some form of SUSE (openSUSE, SLED, or SLES). I'd recommend openSUSE 10.2, due December 5th (if you can wait).

    Why SUSE?

    YaST comes with a great selection of tools for setting up and managing different types of servers and has AppArmor, which is probably the easiest MAC (Mandatory Access Control) solution for Linux.

    There is also an Ncurses version of YaST. This is useful if you wish to perform a small, console-only installation.

    Good Luck.


    Regards,
    Vincent


    I'll have to second this one.  YaST is nice.  (And works both in X and on the console with no reduction in functionality, which is good).

  • User profile image
    jolson88

    Well, I would love to recommend a Windows Server (like Windows Server 2003), but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable runnign one on that old of hardware. I mean, sure, it can be done, but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with it. Plus, remaining on NT4.0 is just out of the question, I wouldn't even consider it. So, your choices are really Windows Server 2003 and Linux. And I've already expressed my concerns about Windows on that hardware Tongue Out (I'm making the assumption that you are going to be doing something like running a web site off of it as a production server or something of that ilk).

    Sure, Windows has come along way when it comes to Security. However, it has a LONG way to go when it comes to Modularity and being able to strip the OS down to its bare bones (especially to take advantage of that older hardware). Of course, I could say how much Longhorn Server is a GREAT step in the right direction in that regard, but that doesn't exactly do jack squat for you Tongue Out.

    Since we are talking PHP and all, I would simply recommend the LAMP stack. I mean, there's a reason the LAMP stack is so popular, and I can't deny that simply because I work for MS Tongue Out.

    I happen to love Ubuntu, but that's just me. Either way you go, I find it easier to go with a distro that has something like Debian's apt-get system.

    I'm sure Xaero_Vincent has a LOT more Linux experience than me, so I would probably say go with his recommendation (or at least go with someone who knows more than I do when it comes to Linux).

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    JasonOlson wrote:
    Well, I would love to recommend a Windows Server (like Windows Server 2003)


    You can get it quite cheap on a developer's license (effectivly £10 as part of the Action Pack), but for production use you have to pay through the nose.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    I've been using Ubuntu on all my servers and server VMs for about a year now (since 5.10) and I've been very pleased with it.

  • User profile image
    jolson88

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    JasonOlson wrote: Well, I would love to recommend a Windows Server (like Windows Server 2003)


    You can get it quite cheap on a developer's license (effectivly £10 as part of the Action Pack), but for production use you have to pay through the nose.


    I was just assuming he wanted it for Production. My bad Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    ploe

    I have an old PC with similar specs that I use as a server. It runs 2k server nicely.

    I don't think 2k3 will work that well on that hardware. I'd go with a Linux distro (I <3 Ubuntu) or windows 2k.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    Angus wrote:


    I am hoping to have Apache Web Server installed, along with MySQL, PHP and the other necessary applications for development.


    Well given that you are already looking at the AMP part, you might as well go LAMP. Although that really depends on how competent you are with Linux (or how willing to spend time learning).

    FWIW that box sounds like it would cope with Server 2003 as long as you aren't planning on putting a major load on it. If you are primarily interested in getting on with the web dev side of things that may be a better option if you have an MSDN sub or you can purchase a cheap license.

    Don't torture yourself with NT4 though, doubly so if at any point you might want it visible to the whole internet.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    AndyC wrote:
    Don't torture yourself with NT4 though, doubly so if at any point you might want it visible to the whole internet.
    I dunno, that sounds like fun. BTW Andy, what are you doing up at 03:40 on a weeknight?

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    W3bbo wrote:
    Andy, what are you doing up at 03:40 on a weeknight?

    Insomnia Sad

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    AndyC wrote:
    W3bbo said:
    Andy, what are you doing up at 03:40 on a weeknight?

    Insomnia Sad
    I'm up simultaneously fixing/writing a VBScript for server maintenance, and making a right mess of my AD in the process. But I'm done now, so off to beddie-bies for me.

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    F$%ck Linux, go BSD. 

    Angus wrote:
    Thanks, I was thinking of going with Linux, but now I have to choose the distribution. (I already have some ideas for that though)

    Angus Higgins

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    I actually set up a web server on a 600mhz Processor with about the same amount of RAM and a couple of HD's in it with Windows Server 2003 and it performed well.  Its not like he's going to be running a billion dollar business on it.

    JasonOlson wrote:
    Well, I would love to recommend a Windows Server (like Windows Server 2003), but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable runnign one on that old of hardware. I mean, sure, it can be done, but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with it. Plus, remaining on NT4.0 is just out of the question, I wouldn't even consider it. So, your choices are really Windows Server 2003 and Linux. And I've already expressed my concerns about Windows on that hardware (I'm making the assumption that you are going to be doing something like running a web site off of it as a production server or something of that ilk).

    Sure, Windows has come along way when it comes to Security. However, it has a LONG way to go when it comes to Modularity and being able to strip the OS down to its bare bones (especially to take advantage of that older hardware). Of course, I could say how much Longhorn Server is a GREAT step in the right direction in that regard, but that doesn't exactly do jack squat for you .

    Since we are talking PHP and all, I would simply recommend the LAMP stack. I mean, there's a reason the LAMP stack is so popular, and I can't deny that simply because I work for MS .

    I happen to love Ubuntu, but that's just me. Either way you go, I find it easier to go with a distro that has something like Debian's apt-get system.

    I'm sure Xaero_Vincent has a LOT more Linux experience than me, so I would probably say go with his recommendation (or at least go with someone who knows more than I do when it comes to Linux).

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