Setting up a home network for learning Linux


#1

I am working on learning Linux, and somebody suggested setting up Linux on a separate computer, and searching for answers to whatever may be needed, on a different computer plugged in to the Internet.

I have a Windows 7 PC, plugged in to a cable modem, and an old notebook, Compaq Presario R3000 (it was good, but it is already 10 years old, or so). I was thinking about installing the newest CentOS on the notebook (from a CD version), and connecting both machines to the Internet, through an xDSL router (this is what is needed, according to my ISP), which I would get for around $15-$20 (this is what it costs).

My overall goal is to learn server administration. I dont necessarily need to learn Linux as a whole (although I may go in this direction), and it is only the server administration part, which is important. I want to be able to get any UNMANAGED hosting plan (something like dedicated, which may cost $100-$300+ per month) and do everything by myself, on a professional level (administration, maintenence, updates, security, backups), similar to something that I would get with a regular hosting plan (so I want to learn everything, very good).

With this I would have a Linux and a Windows computer, both connected to the Internet, so I could work on the Linux one, and also check whatever would be needed, through the Windows one.

With this, I was wondering, if I could set up actual server on the Linux computer (LAMP, lets say), and start experimenting with hosting some websites there. I am not sure if the router would be what is needed for this, and how would this work. Router will computer both computers to the Internet, but will it connect them to each other, probably not…

I would like to be able to have both of the machines turn on, have websites on the Linux machine, and be able to access them from the Windows PC, lets say. This way I could experiment with it, just like I could with a regular hosting plan on the Internet.

So, the question is, is it possible not only to have two separate machines connected to the Internet, but also have these machines connected to each other, and work like I would work with a regular Linux server, on the Internet.

Thanks.


#2

I am working on learning Linux, and somebody suggested setting up Linux on a separate computer, and searching for answers to whatever may be needed, on a different computer plugged in to the Internet.

There is no reason why you cannot search for answers using Linux itself. This also sounds as a good beginner Linux administration challenge. Using separate computer will be eventually pain since you will also need to do lots of copy and paste and you will get tired of re-typing a text from terminal next to you.

I have a Windows 7 PC, plugged in to a cable modem, and an old notebook, Compaq Presario R3000 (it was good, but it is already 10 years old, or so). I was thinking about installing the newest CentOS on the notebook (from a CD version), and connecting both machines to the Internet, through an xDSL router (this is what is needed, according to my ISP), which I would get for around $15-$20 (this is what it costs).

Check with your ISP but you should be able to get router, plug it to your existing cable modem and then connect all your PC’s ( hosts ) to the router. This way you share the Internet connection with all hosts connected to your router as well as all hosts connected to your router will be able to see each other ( LAN ). I think the solution offered by you ISP is that you will be assigned additional IP address to get additional host connected to the internet. The router solution may be a higher upfront expense however it will pay off soon. Soon enough your network will grow and so there is no point to get an additional IP address for each additional host you would like to connect in the future.

My overall goal is to learn server administration. I dont necessarily need to learn Linux as a whole (although I may go in this direction), and it is only the server administration part, which is important. I want to be able to get any UNMANAGED hosting plan (something like dedicated, which may cost $100-$300+ per month) and do everything by myself, on a professional level (administration, maintenence, updates, security, backups), similar to something that I would get with a regular hosting plan (so I want to learn everything, very good).

$100-$300+ per month is awful lot of money to just get your sandbox up. If I can suggest, get FREE TIER server with Amazon Web Services. AWS is today part Linux System administration requirements anyway and this will also give you free of charge Linux server for entire year. But first play local and once you gain confidence sign up for a FREE AWS server.

With this I would have a Linux and a Windows computer, both connected to the Internet, so I could work on the Linux one, and also check whatever would be needed, through the Windows one.

With this, I was wondering, if I could set up actual server on the Linux computer (LAMP, lets say), and start experimenting with hosting some websites there. I am not sure if the router would be what is needed for this, and how would this work. Router will computer both computers to the Internet, but will it connect them to each other, probably not…

I would like to be able to have both of the machines turn on, have websites on the Linux machine, and be able to access them from the Windows PC, lets say. This way I could experiment with it, just like I could with a regular hosting plan on the Internet.

So, the question is, is it possible not only to have two separate machines connected to the Internet, but also have these machines connected to each other, and work like I would work with a regular Linux server, on the Internet.

Thanks.

Yes, as explained above, if you connect all you hosts to a router you also make them a part of Local Area Network ( LAN ) this they can see each other. Furthermore, using port redirection on your router you should be also able to host websites on your local Linux box with outside public.

Hope this helps

Lubos


#3

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