[thelist] Server Administration

Matthew Lewis matthewhse at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 15:30:59 CDT 2005

Hi all, I haven't participated much on this list yet, but I've learned a 
lot and would like to thank everyone for all the great posts!  It's been 
a pleasure to read so many of them, even though I haven't had a lot to 
contribute on my own so far.

However, I find that my job is moving in the direction of eventually 
needing to administer a dedicated web server, probably the home of many 
individual domains.  I consider this beyond my ability at the moment, so 
I'd appreciate some advice on getting started.

To start with, I'll definitely be using some flavor of Linux, as I 
wouldn't touch IIS with a ten foot pole after all the bad things I've 
heard about it.  I've heard that a Linux/Apahce/Cpanel/WHM setup, if 
kept patched, is pretty well locked down without the admin needing to 
know much about server administration.  Is this true?

Or, assuming I don't go with a Cpanel setup, what kind of OS or software 
combinations would be good for a beginner?  Security is my main concern 
here; I can't afford to have my server get hacked into and I don't want 
to take this on until I'm sure I can handle it.

Finally, I've asked around different places about how easy or hard it 
really is to run one's own server.  The answers have been many and 
varied, but have never been very specific.  So, I'd appreciate some more 
opinions.  If you consider it easy, I'd like to know why. If you 
consider it hard, I'd like to know just what's so difficult.  And most 
importantly, what skills are indispensable to a server administrator?

I'd appreciate answers to any or all of these questions, or if anyone 
has some good online resources to point out (that are understandable to 
a beginner), I'd like to know about them, too.

Thanks in advance,


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