Setting up 1 ghz iMac G4 as a Server

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by KUguy505, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. KUguy505 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #1
    I have a huge interest in creating a website to showcase the variety of media projects I have done recently and not so recently. I have a question regarding setting up a server on a Mac, though.

    The Mac I currently use is a DC2 Intel iMac G5, 3.06 ghz. I upgraded from my 2002 G4 17" iMac running at 1 ghz with an 80 gb hard drive, airport express card, and 768 mb of RAM. I believe the G4 computer is running the Tiger OS.

    I am definitely not interested in paying the extra money for an external hosting solution (such as BlueHost) for the website I am creating, so I thought of using my old G4 iMac as a hosting server. I am not sure how to go about this, though, or even if the specs are decent enough to warrant using this iMac as a server in the first place.

    The goal of this site is to showcase several gigs' worth of movies and music (personal projects that are not tied with any legal ramifications), so it's only for personal use. Due to the fact that this is a hobby site and not a business site, you can see why I would not be excited to pay the $7 or so per month for someone else to host my data, especially when that data usually comes with limits.

    So first, does my G4 iMac have the specs capable of becoming my site's server? And secondly, is there any shareware/freeware software available that I should keep in mind for setting up a second computer as a server? Obviously there is OS X server, but $499 is pretty steep. Networking is an area I have never fully understood so any help with how to set up this computer as a server would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #2
    http://mamp.info

    If you want to go the diy route you can just read how to edit the apache config file and download open source software then you spend less money for the same thing.

    How fast is your internet connection's upload? (It's generally slower than the download)
     
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    I use to host my own site, but found it time consuming and the slow bandwidth (more so on the upload as dmmcintyre3 hinted). Videos will load very slow from your home server. If you get a domain name you'll want to see if you can get a static IP address for it to point at, otherwise you'll need a service like DynDNS to take care of that aspect.

    The specs on the machine look good enough. Your home bandwidth is likely going to be the limiting factor for you.
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #4
    If you want to host videos then you will need to pay for web hosting in a professional data centre. It is extremely unlikely your home internet connection has the speed to cope with streaming video properly.
     
  5. KUguy505 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. MAMP looks like it will accomplish what I'm setting out to do. I'm setting up the iMac server tonight and hopefully everything goes smoothly.

    As for my connection, I'm running at 18 mbps download and 947 kbps upload.
    [​IMG]
    Will this work for hosting video?

    Also, let's say instead of streaming I give the option for users to download files instead of viewing them through their browser. Are their download speeds hindered by my upload speeds?
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #6
    Not really. Your upload speed is too slow.

    Yes your upload speed determines the maximum speed a user can download from your server. This is why most websites are hosted in data centres as they are connected directly via ethernet at either 10 / 100 / 1000mbit/sec speeds. Far faster than the vast majority of residential upload rates.

    Plus the other advantages of a data centre such as security, back up power generators, fire prevention systems etc etc.
     
  7. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #7
    Read your current cable internet contract over very carefully... most cable providers have far stricter limits than hosting companies do! In fact, most cable internet providers have rules against running servers at all.

    My old provider frequently did port scans across the network and I received several cease and desist letters asking me to turn off my FTP server, etc.

    Also note that your cable internet most likely has a dynamic IP... if you want to be hosting work to the internet with a consistent address (or have a domain name) your going to need a fixed ip. Some cable companies have commercial accounts where they make fixed IPs available, but you pay for it. Hosting is a much, much cheaper option.
     
  8. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #8
    Don't worry overly much about the dynamic IP. I've hosted a personal site over Comcast cable for about three years with a dynamic IP and my IP has changed exactly once.

    I use the site often enough so I noticed and made the adjustment to my DNS.

    I agree with the others that upload speed is going to be the bottleneck, especially if you're hosting video. If you get much traffic at all you can expect your ISP to squawk.

    All my retired Macs that get reassigned to webserver duty get reformatted with a fresh install of Ubuntu Server (no GUI). It's pretty much a plug-and-play LAMP setup and I dig configuring things via SSH and vi. I also make sure phpmyadmin and webmin are installed as well.
     
  9. KUguy505 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #9
    Thanks again for the replies.

    @Cromulent: Thanks for clarifying. I was afraid upload was too slow. As for the other advantages to external hosting solutions, I have several backup hard drives that are constantly updated. While there's always risk of losing everything to fire, I'll always have my data in at least four different places (including my iMac server).

    As for my ISP (Time Warner Cable), they do not have any bandwidth restrictions and everyone I have talked to said they currently don't have any restrictions against hosting servers or whatnot.

    Overall, I like the idea of having control over my media. I think that, along with cost, is one of the main reasons my own server appeals to me. Since my upload speeds are mediocre, I may look into embedding YouTube video on the site. However, I have always struggled with quality through YouTube and a couple videos are over 10 minutes long so I'm hoping that becomes a worst case scenario.

    I'll definitely keep Ubuntu in mind if I acquire some old PCs in the future. I'd like to avoid installing any other OS on my iMac at this stage, but Ubuntu looks like a great replacement for Windows. I actually was reading up on how to install Mac OS X on a PC if it came to that for my server and this looks like a much simpler solution :)
     
  10. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    #10
    I have a friend with a dreamhost account. It is cheap ($9/month) and gives you unlimited storage and bandwidth. He has been with them for years and never had any issues.

    You can start with your site on your server and if you get too many viewers, or performance sucks, sign up with a hosting company and move your page.
     
  11. pHreaksYcle macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    #11
    @Darth.Titan What version of Ubuntu would you be using for a iMac G4? 32 bit server? 64 bit server? I've been trying to figure out what to use and how to get it loaded forever.
     
  12. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #12
    This thread was a year old, so things might have changed since then...
     
  13. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #13
    An iMac G4 is going to limit you to a 32 bit PPC build of Ubuntu.
    Here's a link to the current daily 10.10 server build for PPC.
     

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