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I'm at the start of a new company in which the main activity is building internet web apps. I was very familiar with linux 8-9 years ago, but since then, I've lost a lot of touch with it (couldn't remember basic stuff like iptables).

I am trying to set up a web application server (I have chosen Debian). Do you have any practices/advices/recommendations for the setup of apache/ftp/mysql and the server in general. What apps to use (such as phpmyadmin for mysql administration ), etc.

The server configuration is an Intel E5200 with 2gb RAM wich I belive is more than enough for a start-up company.

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This question is really too broad to be answered in a QnA format where at least one answer is expected to be "correct". You don't supply enough information about the usage for even an experienced admin to configure a system and there are too many possible choices involved to reasonably suggest answers. Perhaps as you go along you could ask more specific questions about individual decisions you need to make. –  Caleb Jul 7 '11 at 6:43

2 Answers 2

That really depends on the kind of apps you are going to develop, the number of projects, the size of the team and to what extend you trust your colleagues. E.g. if a few people you personally know work on a single project you can set up apache/mysql/phpmyadmin and some version control system and give everyone SSH access.

However, if you plan to work on multiple projects with many people involved, IMHO it would be more convenient to have some sort of the web-hosting panel on top of that to reduce administration overhead.

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The number of people is 6-8. Type of projects-various from simple "building a custom website" to building complex CRM`s that works with data provided from other services/servers. You Were talking about a web-hosting panel. I was researching that, but didn`t came across any good one ( and free/open source :D ) - the best that i know of is cPanel but it`s $400 per year, so instead of paying so much, at the begining i preffer free/open source software. ( All computers have linux / netbeans / etc... you get the point ) –  Andrei Stanca Jul 7 '11 at 1:28
    
Totally agree, for 6-8 accounts paying for cPanel is an overkill. I guess I would start with some version control system and apache to serve the corporate web-site and then ask developers what else they need to be happy. –  Aleh Jul 7 '11 at 2:22

Learn principles of infrastructure management as soon as possible. You may not need each and every component they use, but the ability to capture all your setup steps and regenerate them in the event that you need a second server, to recover after a drive crash, etc. is invaluable. Configuration management software like puppet or chef is not strictly required, but can make things much easier in the long run.

My experiences putting that into practice are documented here. Largely Debian-focused. In the end, I've been able to

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