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Webserver: go MAMP or LAMP in Virtual Machine?

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I have a 2nd core 2 quad hackintosh I don't use much since getting my i7, so I'm planning to turn into a webserver/internal fileserver. I want to keep it running osx, so it can also help out the i7 on large video/Maya renders, and well because I don't really know Linux and I don't want to worry about MS vulnerabilities.

So now I'm wondering if I should run Apache/MySQL/PHP from Mac, or if I should run a linux server inside a virtual machine (probably vmware fusion)? I kinda like the idea of the linux box as a stepping stone to learn Linux, but I'm wondering if the VM would take up too much system resources to make it useful as a rendernode?

The sites being hosted are just school projects and personal sites with hardly any traffic (although I'd hope eventually that will change), and the fileserving is pretty much limited to me watching a movie on a laptop in another room (not while rendering).

anyone with experience on a MAMP server or running LAMP in a box have any advice for me? If I go MAMP should I install Snow Leopard Server or is that not really necessary for my intended use? Or with Linux, any particular distribution that might be better for use on a virtual machine, or as a webserver only setup?

Machine specs are in my sig - thanks in advance to any who would share their wisdom with me! :)



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MAMP rocks. I use it and love it. With that said, I'd add that despite the overhead of another OS running, there are still advantages to running a virtual machine. One is the ability to take snapshots and easily restore. Learning to set up a Linux web server is never a bad thing either. For a quick and dirty LAMP install I'd look into turnkey linux. They offer VMs of basic Linux, LAMP stack as well as preconfigured scripts like Drupal,Joomlah, Magento etc. The URL is http://www.turnkeylinux.org/

BTW, if you want a nice GUI for MAMP then get MAMP Pro. Snow Leopard Server would be overkill just to host some web sites.

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