Local Web Server Setup

patriotaki

New Member
Credits
28
Hello all,

I would like to set up a web development server at my house, but I don't know where to start.
I want the PHP installations to be accessible from the internet, that's why I have bought a static IP from my ISP.

How do I install Plesk/cPanel on my local machine so I can manage the domains/pc?
How can I secure the php installations? I checked Open VPN Remote Access , so the server will be accessible only via specific VPN connections. However the cost is expensive. Is there any alternative?
 


dos2unix

Well-Known Member
Credits
4,599
You ask a lot of questions: this is good.

1. What distro? Some are easier to set up these things on than others.
2. Fedora for example will install apache/php already configured to work out of the box.
(some other distro's do this also, but not all) Sometimes these are configured to run
on localhost, but they are not bound to your external IP address.
3. Generally you will have a local firewall blocking ports 80 and 443 to your server.
You will likely have to allow these ports through your firewall. (It's possibly your ISP
router will have it's own firewall as well).
4. Do you want SSL encryption? Are you going to generate your own certs or go with
something like letsencrypt.org. Or full blown commercial like godaddy, digicert or globalsign.
5. Are you going to use DNS to access your site? Without DNS, people can likely still access
your site, but will have to type in the IP address ( i.e. http://212.132.99.104 )
6. If you use DNS you will have to register a domain (that isn't already taken) like patriotaki.com
or something similar. Then you will either have to run your own DNS server, or have someone else
run one for you.

When you ask "how can I secure the php connections".. this is a loaded question, but I will assume
you mean the web pages, this is normally done with ssl certs. It's possible you could also be taking
about something like a backend database, this often done via SSL keys as well.

You don't absolutely need cPanel or Plesk, they are added complexity and more security risk
beyond the scope of the original question. I think that should be answered separately.

As far as VPN access. There aren't really any cheap solutions. (Although some cost quite a bit
more than others). This is a pretty good starter page.

It usually comes down to cost vs security. You can go straight SSH without VPN, then it's free,
the downside is anyone who can reach your IP, can attempt to SSH in.

If you really want to have a shared dev environment, it might be cheaper just to have a hosted
server (i.e Azure or AWS) .
 

patriotaki

New Member
Credits
28
Wow, thank you for the answer
1. I prefer Ubuntu/Debian
4. Yes I want SSL, I am more familiar with letsencrypt
5. Not sure about DNS yet probably not, what I want to accomplish is to have my development apps on a machine that I will be able to access online wherever I am, in total 3-4 people will know the IP address to access them.

By watching the above video it made me realize that I may need a remote access VPN configuration to protect the source code from potential hackers. Is that the case? or I understood something wrong.

I am used to using plesk for my online installations, it's easy for me when i want to switch between php versions, test with nginx, and many other things. I am used to having a GUI to manage the domains so I prefer to have such interface.

The installations on my local machine will be used for development and testing integrations with third party software that's one of the main reasons i want to move online because some API's do not work on localhost since they need to communicate back with the server that made the Request.
 

dos2unix

Well-Known Member
Credits
4,599
By watching the above video it made me realize that I may need a remote access VPN configuration to protect the source code from potential hackers. Is that the case? or I understood something wrong.
No this is correct, VPN will protect you much more, than simply having open SSH access.
But as you mentioned, there is a cost involved.
 
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