In this blog post you’ll learn how to turn that old computer you have lying around into a full-featured test bed for your websites. We’ll set up a typical LAMP server with Ubuntu Server 12.10 using Apache 2, PHP 5 and MySQL 5.5, and add in support for your Ruby on Rails 3 apps!
Get the latest version of Ubuntu Server (12.10 at time of writing) and burn it to a disk (or mount it in your VM software if you’re running a Virtual Machine).
Start up from disk, select your language then “Install Ubuntu Server“. Continue through the pages following the on-screen instructions. Enter a host name for your server when prompted. Something like web-server will do, and continue through partitioning your disk for install.
When asked, enter your full name, then a username. Make sure you enter a strong password. When asked to specify what software packages to install just press enter without selecting any packages.
We could have selected LAMP Server and OpenSSH Server which would install Apache, MySQL, PHP, OpenSSH and a few related dependencies automatically, but we’re going to do it manually to learn how it’s done.
When asked, ensure the installation disk has been ejected and restart to boot up Ubuntu.
You should be presented with a black screen and a login prompt. Enter your username and password when asked. When you type your password, you won’t see asterix’s or anything appear on screen to signify you typing, this is normal. Just enter your password and hit enter to log in.
You may have been expecting some sort of GUI interface, but as we installed the Server version of Ubuntu you get a command line instead :) A GUI just takes up unnecessary resources on a server –the shell is more than enough!