I’ve always wanted to learn about servers. I have a neighbor that wanted to set up a home server. He is a coder and has setup several websites; so he knows all about httpd, php, etc. but ask for help in setting up the server software on the hardware for his home server. His main requirements were operating access to real storage, and WIFI to the internet.
I thought that since there are many folks around now with knowledge and experience setting up websites there are probably more folks that haven’t set up the server hardware with server software that would like to set up a home sever. There may also be some who want a home server and are trainable in httpd,php, etc. I concluded that the server should look and be friendly as possible for the one setting up and maintaining the server with the possible exception of the httpd and php stuff.
I started by trying server on Boxes. Then I tried VM servers set up with Cockpit and Cockpit-machines on Fedora Workstation. Next I tried fedora server loaded on bare metal. They were not exactly friendly. Then I tried loading httpd, php, etc. on a fresh install of F34 Workstation (about to change to F35).
Running a server on Fedora Workstation meets all our requirements: A friendly environment to work in. For instance:
Terminal and Nautilus are much easier to work with than command line on a tty and lots of nice editors to work with.
WIFI connection available instantly
Real storage available to server
Sure it is not exactly “Click and Done” there are some command line tasks, but some like firewall settings are done in a more friendly fashion with the app. As an option these can be done with a script
Even though our servers are on routers that use IP addresses that are not routed on the internet I decided that our servers should not have any potentially harmful data on the machines. Also the machine should not be used for any other purpose than serving the home website(s)
All in all, running a server on Workstation seems to be the easiest and cheapest way to setup a home server. WIFI is particularly useful for a home server especially if it is an old laptop stuck in a corner out of the way. I should mention we are both using old hardware that had been taken out of service. Home servers don’t need fancy hardware since the traffic load is very low. My application is reference documents and perhaps pictures of grand kids for easy cellphone access.