Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Great Ubuntu Linux Adventure Begins

I'm not completely new to Linux. In 1996 when I worked at The Star newspaper, we had a Linux machine running the company mail server, and it was my job to maintain the mailboxes. So I got to create new users, change passwords, and modify some of the setup files using vi. I've never been afraid of the command prompt interface, and now that you can find out just about anything you want to on the internet concerning Linux, life is a lot easier, provided you are connected to the outside world.
Now that my ThinkPad G40 is back from repairs (they took 12 working days as expected, not the usual 96 hours) I simply can't trust it to be reliable any more. Two breakdowns in 2 years is not great for a machine that cost me R 20 000 to buy and another R 6 600 to replace at very short notice. So It has now been retired to my office to run as a LAMP server.
In case you haven't encounteed the term before, LAMP is an acronym for [L]inux, [A]pache, [M]ySQL and [P]HP. In my case I've also added Samba, so my server is a LAMPS server. My plan is to use Samba to make the spare space on the drive available for storing backup files and audio books. Then at a later stage I'll get MySQL working, and learn how to use it instead of Microsoft SQL Server for my database applications. The PHP and Apache combination will be used to administer the server and later perhaps I'll generate a web site to edit the data.
It's a whole new adventure and I've already got stuck twice. The first time I couldn't get out of the "man" program. Eventually I discovered you have to press "q". I tried Esc but that didn't work. The second time was figuring out how to install Samba, since it isn't part of the LAMP stack installation shown in the picture. Fortunately the Ubuntu Server Guide was easy to find, download and follow.

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