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Build an Internet Server on a Shoestring : Page 2

If you're thinking about setting up an Internet server but don't have much money, this article is for you. It describes how to build and deploy a Web server for under $250.00, using a broadband connection, Red Hat Linux and other free software—and a very small budget.


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Obtaining the Required Software
While you are getting your hardware together, you will also need to gather some software. Here's what you'll need:
  • Red Hat Linux. ($0 - $30). Any version will work. You can download Red Hat for free from the Internet, or you can buy a copy on CD for about $30. I used Red Hat Linux 6.2, which I bought at a local bookstore.
  • NIC Driver/Setup. ($0). This software should come with your NIC, or you should be able to download it from the NIC manufacturer's Web site. If you have a 3COM 3c509 or 3c579, you may need to get 3c5x9setup from Scyld Computing. If you have a Linksys LNE100TX, you should be able to use the Tulip driver that comes with Linux.
  • Roaring Penguin PPPoE. (0$). This software will establish your Internet connection and configure your firewall.
  • Web Server. (0$). This software serves up Web pages. I chose Apache, which comes with Linux, but you can download many others from the Internet. Consult the documentation that comes with the software for installation and configuration information.
  • FTP Server (optional). (0$). This software lets people download and upload files using FTP. I chose WU_FTP, which comes with Linux, but you can download many others from the Internet. Download and consult the documentation for the server you choose to get detailed installation and configuration information.
  • Dynamic DNS Client. (0$) This software will keep your domain name mapped to your IP address. You won't need it if you have a static IP address.
Installing Linux
Red Hat Linux is the first piece of software that you need to install. (Windows users unfamiliar with Linux may want to read the article The Windows Administrator's 10-Minute Guide to Installing Red Hat Linux. Others may want to start with the Red Hat installation guide.) You will want to do a server install, rather than a workstation install. That way, you won't install a desktop environment, which you don't need on a server, and you will have the option to install Apache and WU_FTP at the same time.

Configuring the Network
If you have a Linux compatible NIC, the odds are that the Red Hat installation program will find it and set it up properly when you install Linux. If not, you will have to do some research, and maybe check with the NIC manufacturer. If you have a Linksys LNE100TX, one problem you might run into is that the version of the Tulip driver that comes with your Red Hat Linux distribution is not the version that is required by the NIC firmware. The LNE100TX works with the Tulip driver, but it is picky.

If you have a 3COM 3c509/3c579, you may need to use 3c5x9setup to configure the NIC. It is fairly straightforward. For more information, on installing and using 3c5x9setup, refer to the documentation that comes with the distribution. After setting up the NICs, you need to configure and enable the network interfaces ("adaptors" in the Red Hat netconf utility). Note that you only need to configure and enable the interface you use to connect to your LAN. The PPPoE software will find, enable, and configure the interface to your ISP automatically.



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