Instructables

Make Your Computer Into A Server in 10 Minutes (free software)

Picture of Make Your Computer Into A Server in 10 Minutes (free software)
This covers how to quickly set up your computer (running Windows) as a server. This will allow you to host your own website from your computer and will let you to make web pages with 'buttons' allowing you to control things in your home (robots, cameras, etc) from the internet (I'll cover that in future instructables).

We'll be using apache: very popular, free, open source server software.

While making your computer into a server will be very quick, you should read through the Apache http server software documentation to learn about how to set it up securely (so that people don't hack into your computer). I'll give this advice but read elsewhere for more:
1) best to install this server software on an old computer that you don't use for anything other than as a server.
2) best to create a seperate user account in windows with limited system access and install this software in that account.


If you want to do this on linux instead of windows (more secure, slightly more complicated) the best combination would be puppy linux and xamp for the server software. Puppy linux can be loaded off a usb jump drive or a CD, so you don't need to uninstall windows, just boot the computer with one of those. Here's easy setup videos for puppy linux: http://rhinoweb.us/
See this instructable for how to install xamp once you have puppy linux (or some other linux) working:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Server-Out-Of-An-Old-PC/
 
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Step 1: Download Apache Server Software

Picture of Download Apache Server Software
Download the apache http server software from this apache mirror site:

http://www.reverse.net/pub/apache/httpd/binaries/win32/
_Or_ go to http://www.apache.org/, navigate to the download from mirrors page, pick a mirror and download from there. As you can see from the above link, you'll want to navigate to the mirror's apache, httpd, binaries, win32 folder.

What To Download:
= You should download the newest version (highest version number), it's 2.2.6 as I type this. Check here to see what the newest version is if you want: http://httpd.apache.org/
= You want the .msi file, this is a windows installation file (like an .exe)

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Nice software.

http://twistwriter.com/

ghost25411 months ago
Can this be used as a regular website?
(removed by author or community request)
kdatta2 years ago
is there any other way of hosting a site........by making our site as server
kdatta2 years ago
reply me i need to start a server........ its not filling the boxes automatically.........
kdatta2 years ago
if it does not fills the boxes automatically what to do i am not understanding
ganeshjha2 years ago
kids know more than your post "Make Your Computer Into A Server in 10 Minutes (free software)"
.....
apatni3 years ago
i want to make 1 system as server n i have 10 system connected in LAN so how i can make a normal system into a server
could you please tell me the exact name of the file I should download
because there are multiple msi's with the same number
zebsolo3 years ago
where do you put the website html files
so if i have a dynamic dyns account using the adderess
aaaa.bbbb.ogr

what exactly should i put in the 3 blanks during install?
If you use ddns, you can get a domain free for a limited time.

Once you start using a web server, you will wonder why you never used one before. I run my private apache web server on an old an old pII. It is currently running Ubuntu though I prefer debian when I am not running centos. I had it on I think ubuntu server 6.x and have done in-place upgrades as they came along the way to 9.x. (i.e. no reformatting or disk wiping). This is an example of the actual web pages i run on it. http://www.instructables.com/id/Uses-for-your-own-private-cloud/ I have since added doing home automation on it. Keep finding uses for that legacy computer. Microsoft Windows Supporters said I should have thrown away a long time ago. It is not what you use, but how you use it.

Wampserver is an alternative to xaamp.
Bongmaster6 years ago
I wouldn't recommend using windows.. try Puppy Linux 8or whatever distro u like) and XAMPP.. fast and easy.. and a hell of a lot more secure..
(removed by author or community request)
no i mean puppy linux as in http://www.puppylinux.org/ ;)
leevonk (author)  Bongmaster6 years ago
it's a lot easier to do with windows, but yes it would be more secure with linux. I agree that puppy linux would be a good choice since you can load it off a CD so don't even need to uninstall windows.
I think I agree, i'd like to see it for Linux, perhaps Ubuntu or Suse.
ubuntu server edition...
Centos5.....
leevonk (author)  mikedoth6 years ago
hey, look, tada:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Server-Out-Of-An-Old-PC/

looks like someone has already made a linux xamp installation instructable
dude, that links already in this instructable, go read it agiain. xD (thats a comliment coming from me BTW, i make stupid mistakes all the time) lol
if you get the dotpup of xampp its so easy.. it runs streaght from the get go.. i have been using puppy, and xampp for ages and have no problems. (appart form my hardware.. but thats old)
leevonk (author)  Bongmaster6 years ago
ok, maybe I'll try that, thanks for the advice :)
I agree Xampp with the auto install is much easier, that's what I use.. I like Obuntu linux system as well
REA6 years ago
im going to assume it works for Win 98.
Derin6 years ago
Oh No!It didnt fill in anything!
PureBreed6 years ago
if ur rich, go buy a 4,000 dollar server computer. xD wish i had the money
BloodRaven6 years ago
If you have a computer you use a lot, would it mess it up? I have a vista and wanted to make another account on it and use that as a server, but don't want it being destroyed because of it
cris11336 years ago
ill also host a AA server
cris11336 years ago
nice! now i can host an online game without paying $300 dollars per month
Dark_Helmet6 years ago
You should cover port forwarding for people without dedicated IP addresses for each computer.
I know, but I have a fixed IP, and not a Dynamic DNS or undedicated IP address, whatever you want to call it, so there is no way I can test it with my current configuration. Sorry, otherwise I would cover port forwarding.
ScriptKing16 years ago
Hey, I went and kept researching on how to do a couple things with the server, and once I had it done, I made this Instructable. Here
leevonk (author)  ScriptKing16 years ago
nice, good job, thanks for following up on that stuff. If you want to use a domain name (e.g. www.blahblahblah.com) instead of your IP address you can buy a domain name for around $10/year, pretty cheap. Just type buy domain name into google and you'll get a bunch of sites you can use, I used www.godaddy.com
ScriptKing16 years ago
Please make an instructable on how to upload your websites to the internet using Apache 2.2. Thank you. Good instructable. P.S If you don't want to make a new instructable for it, could you atleast PM me so that I know how. thanks!
leevonk (author)  ScriptKing16 years ago
great question, you can edit/replace the index.html in the folder 'htdocs' which is in your apache folder (wherever you installed it). after you've done that you should be able to access that index.html from any other computer on the web by typing in your server's IP address. If your ISP (internet service provider) uses static IP addresses you just type in the IP address every time to access your page.
If your ISP uses dynamic IP addresses you'll need to look up your server's IP address each time you disconnect/reconnect it to the web. There are free services that will do this for you: DNS2Go or dyndns.org. Sorry, I'll try to test all this out thoroughly and update the instructable in the future. Here are some useful references:

http://johnbokma.com/windows/apache-virtual-hosts-xp.html
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.infosystems.www.servers.ms-windows/browse_thread/thread/866bad569981327c/b1d7fb821ab94a8f?hl=en&lnk=gst&q=web+page#b1d7fb821ab94a8f
http://www.tivohelp.com/archive/tivohelp.swiki.net/31.html
THank you for your help and for replying!! = )
ooh, suckage, only apache http?
I have Apache2Triad on my machine, it has all the necessities, http, ftp, database, PHP, ASP, the works, and it can be found HERE it is all covered in a basic installer package, and generally installs within 10 minutes (keep in mind this package is pretty big, and it even includes a CPanel-like management interface, that is easily accessible, and user friendly. I advise it 110% for those of you that are remotely interested in running your own web server.
leevonk (author)  bleachworthy6 years ago
cool, I didn't know about that, maybe I'll do that and update the instructable with that program instead
xampp includes apache, php, ftp, pearl, and a few other things too.
and u can get it for windows too (if u really insist on using windows :P )
http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html
worth a look at least.
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