Or, why you shouldn’t reformat your laptop before your morning coffee.
Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! You have a server powered by open-source software that you can access from anywhere in the world, safely and securely. Now that you have a solid foundation in Linux and networking, you can start playing with different applications and services. Our final post will look at some tips for making the most out of your new server.
If you’ve been following the previous steps of this guide, you should have a secure, freshly updated installation of Ubuntu Server which you can access from another computer on the network using SSH. If that’s the case, you can safely unplug the keyboard and monitor from your server – you won’t be needing them. If you’re running your server behind a router (e.g., on a home network), chances are your server won’t be accessible from the outside world. This section explains how to make your server available to the public Internet so you can access it from home or while on the go.
At this point, you should be able to access your server through your local network. You won’t be able to access it from the Internet, but don’t worry about that just yet. There are a couple of important security steps before your server goes public that we’ll get to later. In the meantime, let’s focus on the real reason you’re here: hosting your own file sync and music streaming services locally.
Now that you know how to use your shiny new Linux server, it’s time to make it accessible over the network. After all, the client-server model mentioned earlier doesn’t work very well if the client and the server are the same machine. This part of the guide explains how to set up your server to communicate safely with other devices.
You scoured through old computer parts to put together a server, and you trudged through the process of installing Linux. Now you’re looking at an interface reminiscent of a B-rated hacking movie from the mid 1980’s. This part of the private server guide teaches you the basics of using Linux and interacting with the command-line.
You have a big box full of complicated-looking electronics, a monitor, a keyboard, and cords going all over the place. Now what? If hardware can be considered the body of the computer, then the operating system can be considered its soul. The operating system acts as an interpreter between you and the hardware, translating your actions into instructions that the machinery can understand. It does everything from reading the keys you type to displaying text on the screen. More importantly, it’s what turns a pile of metal and silicone into what we consider a modern computer.
Continue reading “Private Server Part 2: Installing the Operating System”
Let’s start with the obvious requirement for any computer-related guide: hardware. In the computing world, hardware refers to the physical components that make up your computer, from the case to the speakers on your desk. Luckily, hardware is relatively cheap, and you won’t need much to get started.
As a way to keep myself up-to-date with trends in networking and web design (and as a way to keep myself occupied on really boring days), I run a private server. Many of the services we take for granted – email, online calendars, address books, chat programs, and media streaming to name a few – are provided by companies in exchange for access to the information used within them. In networking terms, this is called the client-server model: the client (your web browser, smartphone, etc.) makes a request to a server, which is run by a service provider such as Google, Apple, or Microsoft.