After having many headaches getting a LAMP environment running on Windows Vista, many limitations were soon reached, and I decided to set up a local Linux development server. Keep in mind, I had zero experience configuring Linux, so it came with its fair share of roadblocks. Once it was up and running, however, I realized it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Here are the parts I used:
- MSI Barebones Case (includes case, power supply, Intel Atom 1.6ghz processor, motherboard, LAN) – ~$135
- 1GB of ram (200 PIN) – ~$16
- 160GB WD SATA Hard Drive – ~$40
- Samsung DVD Burner – $27 (optional, could use any old CD/DVD drive, or install OS from USB key)
- CentOS 5 – free (or any other flavor of Linux)
I am still tied to Windows Vista for my environment at work, so I needed a way to edit my PHP code, and view live web pages on Vista (testing in Firefox, IE, Safari). I realize this testing could all be done via VirtualBox with avoiding Windows altogether, but as mentioned, I need a Windows machine at work (for now).
I did the initial configuration of the server using a faithful KVM switch. After the nitty gritty was done, I set up Samba to allow a networked drive in Windows that mapped to the /var/www/html directory on my Linux server.
After Samba was set-up, even a Linux novice like myself was able to do the remainder of the PHP/MySQL/Apache set-up using an SSH client on my Windows machine. Using my favorite code editor, I was then able to start development, saving onto my mapped network drive, thus completing my local development environment.