Mac Mini as a DIY Dedicated Web Server

March 16, 2005

If you’ve been suffering from having a dedicated server taste and a virtual hosting budget, you might want to check out this great little series of articles from Nerd Vittles.

Essentially, over the course of about a dozen or so posts, they take you through all of the steps involved in setting up a Mac Mini to run a web server, mail server, dns, statistics, database, etc.—pretty much everything you’d want on a dedicated server.  Everything is explained in detail, and if you can follow directions, you can turn your own Mini into a pretty full-featured hosting environment.

Here is the first article: ISP-In-A-Box: The $500 Mac mini

“Over a year ago, we undertook a similar project on the Windows XP platform. The difference in performance, security, and ease of deployment on the Mac platform is the difference in night and day so you’re in for a treat! For those unable to afford the move to a hosting provider at this time, you can use a Mac mini as your host for the time being. Functionally, there’s nothing a hosting provider would give you that can’t be replicated for free on the Mac mini. Other than bandwidth and slightly better performance, the Mac mini will provide an almost identical hosting environment to what you’d be using with a commercial hosting provider.”

Having run the technical side of a web hosting company for the past 8 or 9 years, I’ll be the first one to tell you that it’s not all beer and skittles – there’s nothing like staying up all night babysitting a server under attack to etch the glamour right off the idea.

That being said, if you’re jonesing to have your own server on the cheap, this series of articles is a extremely good place to start. 


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