Adventures in Linux hosting: Development setup at home

One option to do my self-designed Linux education would be to do everything in VMWare. But while I’ve done that in the past, it hasn’t taught me what’s going on when we’ve had problems with our existing boxes where the IT people tell me that they had to do something with the kernel, or when I’ve had to reboot and watch the stream of warnings or worse on the local monitor before Ubuntu even loads.  I suspect that some of that has to do with a long-gone IT employee screwing up the initial installation, but I’d like to understand it better.

So, with computers being reasonably cheap, I decided it would be fun to set up a version of our websites on our home wifi network, not accessible to the outside world. Yesterday I ordered a Dell PowerEdge T30 Business Mini Tower Server System, and was pleasantly surprised that it had free shipping to arrive on Christmas Eve. The system comes with 8 Gb of RAM and a 1T HD. Eventually, I will probably upgrade both of those if I can (I think it’s possible with this model), but even with that base configuration it’s comparable to what we are currently using on our Macs. 

Debby has gone to visit family, leaving me to look after the cats in Texas. This will be an opportunity for a nerdy Xmas break! Off to read Ubuntu manuals


The first question even before the thing arrives is about the appropriate installation. The Pentium G4400 dual core processor on the box I ordered is cheaper than the Xeon alternative. It seems that it falls under the Intel EM64T category of processors, even though the string “EM64T” doesn’t show up on the Intel page for that CPU.