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Adrian Douglas December 16th, 2002 07:17 AM

Running a web server
I'm thinking of setting up a server here at home for serving my website and streaming videos. Is anyone running a stable set up? what specs/software are you using. I'm thinking about using Linux/Apache as the OS/web server.

Paul Sedillo December 16th, 2002 11:50 AM


Sun makes an interesting box. From what I understand it is not to expensive and is ready to go out of the box.

Here is a link:


Brian M. Dickman December 16th, 2002 02:09 PM

Linux and Apache are a great combination for an inexpensive, relatively trouble-free server configuration. You don't need a real fast machine to run it (in fact, you don't really need much of anything, so whatever you have spare will suffice), and once you get it configured and running it'll pretty much just keep chugging along with nearly zero interaction from you.

If you haven't used Linux or other UNIX OS's before, I'd suggest going with RedHat for now. They're the most universal on the Net when you need to ask for assistance, and it's going to be easy to install and configure, plus you have the option of professional support if you need it. If you think you can handle the install and configuration by yourself or just with Net resources, just download the .iso files from a RedHat mirror and burn your own copy. If you'd like to support RedHat and also have commercial support (I think 30 days with the standard package), go out and buy the boxed set from any computer software vendor.

I'm a RedHat Certified Engineer, but I certainly don't work for RedHat, and use other distributions on a regular basis. If you have any specific questions, let me know.

Rob Lohman December 17th, 2002 05:51 AM

All in all good advise, but I'm thinking about the streaming
part in your question. There are two ways to deliver video:

1. just as a plain file (things like QuickTime will make it look like
it is streaming, and it is more or less). You can also give a link
so that users can download it directly

2. run streaming server software. This software will communicate
with the player on the other end and that works on a whole
different layer. I don't know if this software is available for

So it depends on what you want to do

Robert Knecht Schmidt December 17th, 2002 09:12 AM

Welcome to OpenBSD, the proactively secure UNIX-like operating system.
These days there's little point to hosting a streaming server unless your content is continuously broadcast live content, viz., internet radio/TV. Windows Media and Quicktime both functionally stream, that is, they play as much as has already been downloaded. So if you're posting trailers or other pre-manufactured video clips, why bother with streaming software? And if you're doing live broadcasts, it's going to take more than an open source box to do so; you'll likely need a piece of dedicated encoding hardware that will probably cost a pretty penny.

For unparalleled security, OpenBSD is a better choice than Linux. See http://www.openbsd.org. OpenBSD also has excellent support through its user community and a wide variety of software is available through its ports tree (or as precompiled packages). If you install OpenBSD most internet features come built in, such as OpenSSH, Apache, and sendmail.

A secure internet server won't have X installed and won't be used as a second desktop.

If you decide to go the OpenBSD route I have plenty more hints and tips to offer, but you won't need my help to set it up, because the OpenBSD install is much more straightforward than any Linux install.

Did I mention OpenBSD is open source and completely free?

Brian M. Dickman December 17th, 2002 09:37 AM

Good point Robert. I often overlook OpenBSD when people ask about Internet servers, but it is absolutely more secure than almost any other OS out there. Personally, I find it more restrictive that Linux when it comes to available software though, as the userbase is quite a bit smaller. RedHat releases security updates when holes are discovered, plus almost every package out there for a Linux/UNIX system is going to work on it.

Anyway, I'll avoid the holy war. I certainly respect your perspective.

On streaming servers, you may want to look at Apple's OpenSource licensed Darwin Streaming Server. It's the opensource version of the same Streaming Server included in MacOS X, and can run on MacOS X, RedHat, Solaris and even Windows. I can't claim any personal experience with it, but if I was serious about getting a streaming site up and running, I'd take a good look at it.


Adrian Douglas December 17th, 2002 07:35 PM

Thanks for the info. What I've got is a spare MB (Abit BF6), a PIII667, 768 MB of RAM and an 18GB ultra SCSI drive, do you reakon this would do just for serving my personal videos/website.

Having a further think, streaming is probably out the question as when I check out my connection specs, I only have a 2Mb/s uplink.

I've never used Red Hat but have used Mandrake and a couple of other versions of Linux. I'm quite comfortable working at the command line so won't have any probs there.

Robert Knecht Schmidt December 17th, 2002 08:29 PM

2 Mbps up! That's plenty! Even with expensive ADSL I only get 256 kbps up and that's pretty good. How do you get such good bandwidth?

Adrian Douglas December 17th, 2002 09:11 PM

I live in Japan!! Techno-central!! All the cable connections over here are Fibre to the node so there is plenty of bandwidth to go around. I'm on the slower 8Mb(down) connection, Yahoo ADSL over here offers 12Mb.

Robert Knecht Schmidt December 17th, 2002 10:44 PM

Even in California, the most techno-progressive state in the union, most people think variable-bandwidth cable that maxes out at about 500 kbps is "high speed access." What you've got sounds more like our Internet2 which is restricted to academic and research use.

Was the internet infrastructure government-subsidized in Japan, or do they have enough paying customers buying 2 Mbps upstream bandwidth that AOL etc. installed all the fiber themselves?

Adrian Douglas December 17th, 2002 10:57 PM

As far as I know NTT, the major Japanese telecommunications organization was 100% govt funded, but it has now been split up into a number of commercial divisions. However, the govt still has a major piece of the pie.

There are also a couple of smaller organizations who maintain their own network. JCom, my provider, installed their own fibre network in most of the residential areas outside of central Tokyo.

Rik Sanchez December 18th, 2002 08:35 AM

I just upgraded from the 1.5 mbs to the 12mbs adsl, only notice a slight speed change, my friend has the fiber optic line(hikari fiber), 100 mbs, he says its very fast, they don't offer it everywhere, unfortunately they don't offer it in my part of Osaka, once they do, I'm getting it. I think he pays about 6,000 yen a month. Even though all the internet companies says its 12mbs, I have yet to get that fast, but at least it beat the hell out of using a dialup.

my friend Rob set up his old iMac as a server, maybe he'll chime in here, if he can get away from his fun new job.

Guest April 26th, 2003 05:44 PM

This is mind buggling. My web site hasn't been hit by those super high speed connection from Japan. All the visitor generally click on video then leave with 206 status. The amount of bit they recieved was so small, I figure they are all on dialup and can't watch videos. Most hit comes from Tokyo

So is this really true for all the metropolitan area in Japan? 6,000 yen for 2mb/12mb is a steal.

Rik Sanchez April 26th, 2003 09:40 PM

The price for the standard 12mb line is going down, the past going rate was about 4,000 but we've been getting telemarketing calls from different internet provider companies trying to get me to switch. There's a huge price war going on now. The going rate is probably about 3,000 yen. For 6,000 you can get a 100mb fiber optic line.

This is my friend's fiber line's download/upload speeds, 1696 / 951kbps.
My 12mb line line is 1042 / 715 kbps

Dan Holly April 29th, 2003 11:27 PM

Japan speed
I've seen you talk about your connection speed before....and I just wanted to say "I wished".

In Anchorage my 1.5meg/256k(2nd fastest local offering) is priced out of control.

And the cable provider has a pretty new direct fiber line from Seattle to Anchorage (originates in Seattle, terminates Anchorage, hops from there 2.5 Gbps / 10 Gbps digital
fiber optic cable) http://www.alaskaunited.com/index.htm

I'm running a file server on Win2k IIS, on a Pentium Pro 200, and 256k ram. IIS patches itself every day, so it's somewhat safe.

I back up the important stuff on DVD in case anyone hacks it, or get a nasty virus. (DVD is on the network, not the Pentium Pro 200 =)

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