Server Install/setup - replication

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Thread: Server Install/setup - replication

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    London, UK

    Question Server Install/setup - replication

    Excuse me if this is a little verbose or unclear and rambling. In that context I am very open to suggestions of an alternative approach to what I am setting out to do also!

    The background is that I am setting up a website and have a beta version on a server hosted for me by a friend, but one who does not want to be overly bothered and expects me to take care of business. I will then put the site live on another server hosted commercially (though again hosting is actually controlled by A.N.other and I do not have owner access). I do have sftp access to both, of course.

    The site is simple and will be largely html with minimal php for file transfer - you can see it here in beta and here live if relevant.

    I would like it to be trouble free in implementation and am considering using a spare PIII latitude C400 laptop (512MB ram) to make a mock up of the server on my own network to test - then save source and replicate target - then go live.

    Finally the questions:-

    will the server be viable on that hardware?

    Is there a simple way to replicate a server-side environment given my access level? (I think this may be the show stopper)

    Alternatively can you recommend a way to test file transfer functionality on both platforms? phpmyinfo is unavailable and this all begins from the premise that I need to have an upload button on the site and ensure file transfer will work on both.

    Yes - I realise it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut - but if I can make a test server on that laptop it will be a useful resource and I am not averse to the learning curve and would hopefully have a fair chance with tutorials and suchlike.
    In the process of arriving at Debian after seeing the light with Bucky Badger, which will date me if we ever have a Zany Zebra

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Rochester, MN
    A server should run just fine on that system - I ran my web server on a low end P4 with less RAM than that and it worked fine. It won't support thousands of concurrent users, but for testing it should be perfect.

    I would think that you could use SFTP to replicate your copy of the site to the live server. It's not the ideal solution, but it should work. I do wonder if you'll have permission on a shared host (which is what it sounds like you're using) to do uploading through the web at all, but there might be some way. The only thing that I tend to have problems with when moving sites between servers is when pages have references to absolute addresses, in which case changing the server address breaks things. How big a problem that will be depends on the site.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    New Orleans, LA USA
    You should be fine hardware wise. I had a php forum running on an old 1 GHz 512MB RAM that had about 100 users, most online at one time 20ish. You only need it to serve one page at a time for testing, so I think you'll be good.

    For the paid host, have you paid them yet? I ask because any professional hosting service should give you the option of a Windows or Linux server, with one or all of the following connection methods: FTP, SFTP, SSH, Custom Web Interface (click, select, upload). Your connection will restrict you to your folder so not full user access, but you can easily transfer files with SCP or a GUI program like SecPanel. If your host doesn't offer this basic service, look for another host.

    It is a little more expensive, but if you like you can have a host that is a Linux install just for you which you can configure how you please. Linode is the company - check their web site for more details.

    As for "references to absolute addresses", general rule I follow is use references that get a DNS look up instead of an absolute IP address ( instead of Then you just update your DNS service when you switch machines. Even better, the server should pick up the root regardless of where you are when on a remote host that is not yours. So make a variable at the top of your code that stores /var/www/sitename and use that for your direct assignments. Swap to / when you upload to the remote host and it should propagate to all your links.
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

    -Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    I'd go to and get one of their hosted "machines" - you have full root access, you pick which distribution you want, etc

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