100 Tips and Tools to Set Up Your Own Home LAMP Server

LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) servers are very popular for their ease of use and flexibility. They’re also easy to initiate, because the components are easy to aquire and there’s a lot of documentation available to help with getting started. Read on to find some of the best resources available for creating your own home LAMP server, from installation to maintenance.

Tips

Follow these tips for a simpler and easier installation experience.

  1. Use localhost: If you don’t know your IP address, you can just use localhost, https://localhost:10000/, to access your setup on the machine you’re using, specifically with Webmin.
  2. Have at least 256MB of RAM available: If you go any lower than 256MB of RAM, you just won’t have enough memory to run your server.
  3. Avoid using HTTP GET: GET may set you up for problems with search engines and users, so use POST instead.
  4. Turn off unnecessary services: There are a number of services on most distributions that are just not needed to run a LAMP server.
  5. Don’t forget to set up a firewall: Protect your LAMP server with a firewall that has strong settings.
  6. Create a junk database: Give yourself a database for things that don’t need backing up, such as views, caching tables, and session states, and you’ll save yourself time and bandwidth when backing up the stuff that matters.
  7. Don’t forget to update: Make sure you’ve updated all of your necessary packages before you get started installing your server.
  8. Consider removing default installations: If you plan to install LAMP from scratch, you’ll want to remove default installations of Apache, MySQL and PHP.
  9. Check the status of your PHP installation: Point your web browser to http://yourserveripaddress/testphp.php after you’ve set up your PHP installation to make sure everything came out OK.
  10. Keep all of your database code together: Keep all of your database calls in a single source file if possible so that you can easily modify it later.
  11. Set up redundant components: Be sure to have a redundant power supply, RAID, and ethernet adapters.
  12. Be sure to choose manual partitioning: With manual partitioning of your disk, you can create seven partitions to be used for specific functions.
  13. Don’t forget to set up Wins Support: Make sure that you can access your server from a Windows machine by enabling Wins Support.
  14. Set up directory password protection: Use .htaccess to set up files in a directory to be protected.

Software

This software is helpful for managing and installing LAMP.

  1. Ubuntu: Download Ubuntu to get the operating system your server can run on.
  2. Webmin: Use Webmin to set up a web-based Unix system administration that will allow you to set up user accounts, DNS, file sharing, and more, either from your computer or remotely.
  3. VPSlink: Get a virtual private server package from this host.
  4. PuTTy: If you’re accessing your server through SSH, you can use this terminal emulator application to act as a client.
  5. phpMyAdmin: With this software, you’ll be able to manage your database from the web.
  6. BastilleLinux: BastilleLinux is recommended for security hardening measures.
  7. Balance: Use this open source software to load balance for your servers.
  8. Apache Friends: Use this project’s easy to use LAMP installation for minimal hassles.
  9. eaccelerator: Use this PHP extension to save on processing and perform page generation.
  10. VMware: You can set up a virtual machine on your computer with this player.
  11. VMware Utilities: Add a few bells and whistles to your virtual machine with these utilities.
  12. DYN-DNS: Use this dynamic DNS service to create an address that others can bookmark and connect to your server with.
  13. OpenSSH: Use this free SSH connectivity tool for secure access to your console.
  14. Webalizer: With this web server log file analysis program, you can get detailed usage reports in HTML format.
  15. psPictureViewer: This tool offers a simple, effective way to present images on a LAMP server.
  16. XAMPP: Set up this Apache web server that has MySQL, PHP, and Perl pre-installed.
  17. Samba: The Samba network fileshare tool can be easily accessed.
  18. Samba Web Administration Tool: Simplify the process of configuring Samba by using this tool.

Tutorials

Here you’ll find a variety of different distributions and approaches to getting started with a LAMP server.

  1. Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) LAMP Server Setup: Here you’ll find out how to install and set up a LAMP server in about the same time as it takes to install the Ubuntu Server Edition.
  2. The Perfect Server-Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon: This tutorial will show you how to set up the perfect server for what you need it to do.
  3. How to install a LAMP Server: Visit this wiki entry to get detailed instructions for setting up a LAMP server on NetBSD.
  4. How-To: Add a LAMP Server to Your Linux Desktop for Development: Alexander Grundner explains how to set up a LAMP server for development testing purposes.
  5. Ubuntu LAMP Server-Setup Guide with Desktop GUI: Follow this guide to learn how to create an Ubuntu LAMP server.
  6. LAMP Installation On Ubuntu 6.06 for Linux Noobs: Linux newbies will be able to easily follow this LAMP tutorial.
  7. LAMP Server: This coder explains the process of a recent Ubuntu home server installation.
  8. Setup LAMP System: Here you’ll find LAMP documentation aimed at RedHat users.
  9. How to Configure an $80 File Server in 45 Minutes: Here you’ll find out how to set up a LAMP file server in a quick and simple way.
  10. Ubuntu 7.10 (Gusty Gibbon) LAMP Server Setup: Use this tutorial to set up a LAMP server on the Gusty Gibbon distribution of Ubuntu.
  11. Installing LAMP Server Using TASKEL: Install an Ubuntu LAMP server with TASKEL by following this tutorial.
  12. How To: Set Up Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTS LAMP Server: Here you’ll find an incredibly detailed 4-step guide to setting up Ubuntu Linux.
  13. Howto: Setup a Debian/Ubuntu LAMP Server: Find out how to do an easy DIY installation with this tutorial.
  14. Setting Up Your PHP Server Environment Using Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP: This tutorial is geared towards Dreamweaver users.
  15. LAMP Setup: spideR Net offers a customizable guide to setting up a LAMP server.
  16. Building a LAMP Server with SSL and mod_perl Support: This tutorial offers a few extra touches.
  17. The Perfect Setup-CentOS: Find out how to set up a CentOS LAMP server in this tutorial.
  18. How to Set Up LAMP on Ubuntu Desktop Edition: This is a friendly tutorial for creating a LAMP server that also functions as a desktop.
  19. Ubuntu LAMP Server Guide-Configure Apache, mySQL, and cgi-bin: This tutorial explains how to get LAMP components set up the way you’d like them to be.
  20. Installing LAMP on Ubuntu for Newbies: Get a newbie-friendly guide to LAMP installation here.
  21. Set up your own server with Ubuntu 7.10 server edition: This tutorial explains how you can set up an old piece of hardware as a LAMP server using Ubuntu.
  22. Ubuntu LAMP Server With TorrentFlux in VMware: Follow this tutorial to set up an Ubuntu Server box as a web server and torrent client in VMware.

Resources

Use these resources to learn more about installing and using LAMP.

  1. LAMP on Wikipedia: Check out this Wikipedia article to learn the background and details of LAMP.
  2. LAMPware: This user community is all about LAMP.
  3. ApacheMySQLPHP Community Documentation: Turn to this Ubuntu community documentation to get some guidance on setting up a LAMP server.
  4. Adding New User Accounts to MySQL: This guide explains how you can set up new user accounts in MySQL.
  5. O’Reilly ONLamp: ONLamp is a great resource for finding LAMP information.
  6. QuickStudy: LAMP: Learn all about LAMP details in this informative article.
  7. PHP Documentation: Here you’ll find useful information for making sense of PHP.
  8. How to Configure Wake on LAN and Broadcast Magic Packets: Find out how you can set up your server to wake on LAN. This is a convenient way to avoid having to physically turn on your server.
  9. LAMP vs. LAMP: This article compares LAMP using Perl and LAMP using PHP.
  10. LAMP lights the way in open-source security: Here you’ll find out why LAMP servers are so secure.
  11. Your LAMP Server GUI: Find out what other server administrators are using as their interface for LAMP.
  12. LAMP Server Layout: This diagram and explanation offers an easy way to visualize your LAMP server.
  13. MySQL Documentation: This resource is a great place to start when you’re looking for help with MySQL.
  14. Hard Drive Size Limitations and Barriers, The Basics: Make better use of the hard drive space you’ve got with this guide.
  15. Securing the Initial MySQL Accounts: This resource explains how to lock down your initial MySQL accounts.
  16. Strong Passwords: This guide offers a good look at using strong passwords to protect sensitive information.
  17. Benchmarking your LAMP server: Find out how well your LAMP server performs by following this tutorial’s method.
  18. Apache HTTP Server Documentation: Check out this documentation to get all of the little details you need for Apache.
  19. How to Configure a Low-Cost Load-Balanced LAMP Cluster: This resource will show you how to create a load-sharing cluster that distributes Web requests over a number of different servers.
  20. MySQLPasswordReset: If you’re having trouble setting up your MySQL password, check out this resource.
  21. Hardening the TCP/IP stack to SYN attacks: Read this article to beef up security a bit.
  22. Open source LAMP a beacon to developers: This article explains why LAMP is such a great tool to use.
  23. Three simple tips for LAMP web site developers: Here you’ll find some common sense tips for developing on a LAMP server.
  24. Securing your Environment, Part One: Use these LAMP tools to beef up your security.
  25. Fine Tuning a Linux Apache MySQL PHP (LAMP) Server: Read this resource to learn how to fine tune LAMP for your usage, load, and more.
  26. LAMP Performance for Dummies: This LAMP user shares his tips for dealing with slow performance.

Hardware Resources

Use these resources to find good parts for a LAMP server.

  1. Garage sales: Garage sales are excellent places to find old computers that you can strip for parts or use whole as a server.
  2. Freecycle: Check out Freecycle, where you can often find old computers that people don’t have a use for anymore.
  3. Curbside trash: Take a drive around your neighborhood on trash day to find old unwanted computers that your neighbors are throwing away.
  4. Intechra Outlet: Here you’ll find used and refurbished computer hardware that you can use for a LAMP server.
  5. Craigslist: Craigslist is a wonderful source for finding free or cheap computer hardware that can be brought back to life.
  6. eBay: eBay is another great place to find cheap computer hardware.
  7. Woot: This deal-a-day site often features computer hardware that’s well below market value.

Books

With these books, you’ll have a wealth of LAMP knowledge at your fingertips.

  1. LAMP Server Setup & Maintenance Essentials: Find out what books a systems administrator uses for LAMP reference.
  2. Professional LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP Web Development: Find sample scripts, applications, and in-depth discussions in this LAMP reference guide.
  3. Apache Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for Apache Administrators: Use this cookbook to find common solutions to Apache problems.
  4. Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache All in One: This book will help you learn how to use PHP, MySQL, and Apache at once.
  5. Apache Security: Use this book to make sure you’re running a tightly secured Apache ship.
  6. A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux: Follow this guide to learn more about a popular Linux distribution for LAMP.
  7. Run Your Own Web Server Using Linux & Apache: Web developers who want to set up a home server will appreciate the information in this book.
  8. PHP Cookbook: In this cookbook, you’ll find a number of solutions to regularly-faced problems in PHP.
  9. Linux Bible, 2008 Edition: This book will help you get started with 11 different distributions of Linux.
  10. Setting up LAMP: Getting Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP Working Together: This book offers a single volume that will help you set up a LAMP server of your own.
  11. Open Source Development with LAMP: Using Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl, and PHP: Here you’ll find a practical guide to LAMP technologies with plenty of useful information.
  12. Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL: Follow this guide to learn more about using PHP and MySQL together.
  13. MySQL Cookbook: In this cookbook, you’ll find out how to set up databases for queries, table manipulation, data formatting, transactions, and much more.


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