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Build a Dynamic Web Serving Platform with FreeBSD

FreeBSD and its ports collection let you build a secure solution for hosting dynamic Web pages—without any out-of-pocket expense. Follow this step-by-step guide to installing and testing an open source solution based on Apache-modSSL, MySQL, and PHP. You'll serve dynamic Web pages quickly, reliably, securely, and efficiently from your own cost-free platform.


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ooking for a secure solution for hosting dynamic Web pages but don't have much money to implement it? Use FreeBSD and its ports collection to install Apache-modSSL, MySQL, and PHP. This open source solution will have you serving dynamic Web pages quickly, reliably, securely, and efficiently—without any out-of-pocket expense. All you need are the following:
  1. Root control of a FreeBSD box
  2. A FreeBSD box connected to the Internet
  3. An installed ports collection
  4. An updated ports collection via CVsup

Although this solution may sound like a lot of work, compiling each application from source is actually painless with the FreeBSD ports system. This tutorial offers a simple paint-by-numbers guide to this server installation, which any developer, from the curious newbie to the seasoned Linux or Windows veteran, can use. As an added bonus, because FreeBSD can run on a 486 PC with just 16MB of RAM, it also enables you to turn an old computer into a PHP testing environment.

Author's Note: Following the procedure outlined in this article creates a computer containing strong cryptographic software that can have severe legal consequences in certain countries. If you don't know the legal regulations in your country, find out before you install!



This article requires a running FreeBSD installation. To follow the instructions, you must be logged in as root and be able to navigate the command line. Some familiarity with both Unix and the computer you're working on is also required. The TYPE instruction means "at the root prompt." Do not type TYPE. Simply enter the data following the TYPE command ad verbatim on each line at the # root prompt. Press enter following each line of commands.



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