When you are a novice at using your home computer, you do not quite realize all of the magic that it can do. And that’s okay. No-one does when they first start out. It takes time to be able to learn all of the things that your computer can do. But once you do start to figure out all of the magic that it can do then watch out. You are going to be surprised and be one happy camper. And the best part about all of it is that a lot of what you have seen other people do on their computers is not as hard as you may think it is.
One thing that people like to do on their home PC’s is to set up a server on them. When a person is getting used to the tech side of things, this is probably one of the first more complicated operations that they will do on the system. But it is also very satisfying as well. There is a lot that you can do when you set up your computer to be a server. And that is what we are going to talk about in this article. We are going to show you how you can set the server up and what you can do once it is set up.
Setting up the server
The setting up of the server all depends on what type of operating system you are running. If you are running a Linux or Mac OS X operating system then a lot of the operations is going to be the same. That is because they are both based on the UNIX operating system. When you go through a tutorial on one then the other is going to be pretty similar. What we are going to talk about here is setting up a server on the Windows operating system. Specifically we are going to talk about setting it up on some of the newer operating systems in the Windows family. But do not let that throw you off. Usually the instructions are the same no matter which operating system you pick. Now let’s go through the easy way and the hard way.
There have been many people over the years that have wanted an easy way to install server software on a Windows system. Most of the server software out there is based on UNIX protocols so switching it to Windows is a little bit difficult. But in recent years there have been some programmers who have made packages to be able to solve this set up. One of the more popular installations is WAMP Server. It allows you to install the Apache operating system along with PHP and the Mysql database with just a couple of clicks. It does this very quick and easily. But some people complain that it is a messy operation. They like to complain that the settings that come with the default is not what they would have picked. Also, they may like some of the components in the set up but not all of them.
For example, they might like the fact that it installs PHP and Mysql but not Apache. Or that it installs Mysql and Apache but they want Perl and not PHP. With installation packages like this, everything is easy to set up but you do not get to configure much. So some people like to go about it on their own.
That’s right, even on a Windows system you can set it up so that everything is installed one at a time. This is considered a harder way of setting up a server on your system but it also makes it more configurable. You can go to the web site of any server that you would like to use, the programming language that you need to hook into the server software, and the database you would like to use and install them all individually. Once you are at the web site, all you have to do is find the binary for Windows and install them like you would any other application. You still will have to set some of the configurations manually such as opening ports and getting it in the right Windows path but other than that you should be fine.
The solutions I have given you up above are all open source solutions. You can also set up the default Windows server IIS as well but if you ever need a license you will have to pay for it. The solutions I highlighted above are all free.
So why do I need this on my home computer?
There are several reasons why you would want this on your home system. If you ever needed to create a web page or any kind of web app, the tools you need are right there. But most people set up home servers so they can serve themselves files to anywhere in the house. You can serve up music, documents, and video to any machine that is hooked to the internet. People like to call this sort of set up a media server.
So there you go, setting up a server can be both educational and easy. And once you do it you will find many uses for it.