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*nix Thread, using Linux for a web/intranet server in Technical; I need some advice about what' the best system to fulfil these requirements. It looks as if the school is ...
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    beeswax's Avatar
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    using Linux for a web/intranet server

    I need some advice about what' the best system to fulfil these requirements. It looks as if the school is going to buy a server just to run the our website and intranet, and that the os is to be based around Linux. The school has asked me to do some planning/research and report back to them. I want to run moodle as the foundation for the sites (I still haven't managed to get it working in my web space - can I also say a big thankyou to Matt and Geoff for their help?)

    cheers
    beeswax

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    @Beeswax: Moodle isn't too bad to install on your own server and there are lots of HOWTOs about.

    I like Debian as a nice stable (and to me logical) distro but everybody has there favourites (I know Geoff has a Gentoo fetish). If I was you I would dig an old machine out and install some downloaded ISOs until you find one that works for you.

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    Any major distro would do they make it pretty painless to install apache, MYSQL and PHP. Debian/Gentoo/Fedora etc.

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    I've always prefered OpenBSD myself, but its a little bit trickier to get running. I'm going to be using debian in the future as the vmware tools are needed for VMs to play nice with ESX server, and, fun as recompiling everything would be........ I'm going with something that works.

    David

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    Certainly if you use Gentoo I'll be able to help with the setup. If you use another distro then you're probably better finding someone who uses that distro regularly. Things like the Apache/Samba/etc configuration should be generic across most distro's so we can all club together for that.

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    I'd like to follow up this post because I am considering doing a few similar things.

    I have moodle installed on school webspace as a test and I now want to convince the powers that be that its the alternative to anything else out there. I would also like to start a linux network at the same time.

    I currently have around 900 kids, 50 teachers all with laptops and 70 windows workstations currently, wireless network implemented already and new building work just under way. I want to keep my 70 windows workstation and server for the IT department but for every other department like Science or PE I want to use linux to make the learning more fun

    I would want to run most things from the linux server and have thin clients. I have 8 machines donated at the moment, usually with 500mhz cpu + 64-128 ram, plus I would turn all the windows 95, 98 and NT machines to linux which would increase the total to about 20 machines. They could run across the wired network but anymore donated machines I would have to wirelessly connect (could be slow) to the server.

    Would it be best to have 1 server for moodle and 1 for network or just 1 combined ?
    What spec of server(s) am I looking at ?
    Would you suggest not using the thin clients or wireless ?
    Would the school not like this idea because anyone they employ after me would have to know linux and thus want more money ?

    Obviously running linux would have huge benefits as I'd like to see it control the internet, printers and allow students to log in from home.

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    I seem to remember a recent article I read in the press covering the use of Linux by a Manchester school, Parrs Wood, also a specialist college, extolling the virtues of Linux and the costs saved in licences. You may be able to find them on the web, get some advice there. On one of your other points, with my experience of wireless technology I wouldn't want to run thin clients over it, I do not know for certain but I would guess this could be problematic.

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    I'd use webmin as well, it's a doddle to install, and it's such an easy way to administer the system!

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    I would definately have a seperate thin client application server. RAM is the major component to consider - the more the better. Expect to get 25 users connected to a server with 4Gb RAM realistically.

    Moodle also really needs a box of it's own. It depends on usage of course. I have a test site on my email box - which has yet to be taken up by staff. If it were to take of tho' advice is - seperate it off.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    also try case studies page at school forge uk

    http://www.schoolforge.org.uk/index.php/Case_Studies

    Russ

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    @mark: He's talking Linux so he should be able to get upwards of 40 users (depending on bandwidth).

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax
    I need some advice about what' the best system to fulfil these requirements. It looks as if the school is going to buy a server just to run the our website and intranet, and that the os is to be based around Linux. ....
    er..I've been given quite a fast box with XP Pro as the os to play with. In order to get this off the ground I'll need apache server, php and mysql. how easily do these integrate with windows?
    However, in the long run I'm still thinking of using debian full stop (meaning no windows), which I believe has all these bells and whistles thrown in (as well as moodle). I tried to install a download of debian 'sarge'(?) but couldn't get it to boot from the cd rom. I'm actually thinking of buying the 14 cd collection for myself but also using them in the school. From what I read you could install it from the cd, rather like a windows os (or am I missing something?). There are also security questions, though the box itself would be put in a dmz so as not to compromise the other servers.
    Hopefully, a server will follow once they get around to trusting me not to mess up, and this will hold the website, staff intranet and pupil intranet, so I'll need something that can handle a lot of traffic if, in the unlikely event, everyone logs into the sites at the same time.

    cheers,
    beeswax

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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    You can get installers off the net that will install and setup Apache + PHP + MySQL for you. Such as the excellent XAMP.

    http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html

    If you post information as to what errors you got during your attempt to boot Debian Sarge we might be able to help with your problem. As its something so basic I suspect your going to have trouble regardless of which LiveCD you attempt to use.

    You'll also need to check hardware compatability, you might have unsupported hardware in the machine. If its something like the sound card or the modem I wouldn't worry too much though. You can run without them.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    it just wouldn't boot from the cd at all. never got as far as error messages. I've burnt disks from iso images before without any trouble, and downloaded the image from 2 seperate sources (just in case). I'll certainly give xamp a go.

    beeswax

  15. #15
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    Re: using Linux for a web/intranet server

    Check out http://apache2triad.net/

    Installed this on a W2K3 box and had a Joomla site running in 10 mins. Has everything you need.

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