New Hobby: Server Administration

I work with several very good server admins who let me play on their hardware for very little money. I am very grateful for them and owe them both a debt of gratitude (as well as some money to help them upgrade their setups). Thanks Russ
(that is: Wombat) and Mike (Konsole), and special props to Tony for some work he does (esp. PlanetRock).

However, I am not content to simply be agnostic to how servers work, and e-mail the admins every time I need something done. I would love to delve into the world of Server security, hosting, and administration.

I prefer to work with a LAMP platform.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get started into this? What kind of hardware is required, what kind of connection will I need. Software? Security considerations?






3 responses to “New Hobby: Server Administration”

  1. Russ Avatar

    To get started: Make a LAMP server.

    Hardware: Anything, really. You could do it on a SE/30, but it’d be really, really slow. A decent P2 would be fine to start.

    Connection: Uh… just use it internally, till you get the hang of it.

    Software: Debian.

    Security: Not a big deal if you’re just playing with it, if it’s in production with a public IP you probably want to move SSH to an odd port number, eliminate unencrypted connections, and make sure things are updated.


  2. Shane Avatar

    I personally do everything of my own on a LAMP platform.. although most server equipment runs FreeBSD, still basically the same.

    To get started you really don’t need anything. I put Linux/FreeBSD on an old PC and connect it with a 10 or 100mbit NIC, and start hackin. Security? SSH of course like Russ said. is a good place to keep up with all the latest security flaws.

  3. Mike Wesner Avatar

    Matt, just call me sometime and come over and help me with the Konsole Network stuff. I have a few machines ready for Linux installs and I can show you exactly how to install the OS, all the hosting server software and what types of security policy I use to keep things tight.

    I work with things like: Apache (virtual hosting, security, SSL, etc), Tomcat (J2EE container), PHP, MySQL, OpenLDAP, SASLAUTHD, Postifx, Cyrus IMAP, ProFTPd, OpenSSH, Samba, Heimdal Kerberos, Spamassasin, Clam Antivirus Server, Amavisd Content filter, and the list goes on :)

    I should even be able to give you SSH access to a linux box and let you do whatever you want on it.

    Just give me a call.


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