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Linux Is Fun and Stuff, but...

...setting up a Linux server, and evern worse, being the system administrator is a pain in the butt!!!111!!!11!one

Okay, here's the thing.  I am now hosting the OALUG site on my Ubuntu web server.  No big deal.  I am hosting 3 other sites as well.  Being a web admin is not that bad.  Lately, however, I need to set up a mail and DNS server for the OALUG group.  I'll get to that in another post as to why.

First, I asked a friend what packages I needed and what needed to be done, as he has done it before.  He gave me the link to an excellent howto, and for the most part, everything went smoothly, until I began installing packages I already had installed, like MySQL.  Don't ask.

Everything started breaking.  First it was MySQL, then PHP, then Apache2.  Then, after updating the repositories in my source.lst file, 280 packages broke, including the Linux kernel, the Ubuntu desktop, and a top more.

As you can see, MySQL, PHP and Apache2 are working just fine now, I hope (I'll really find out if this post doesn't submit).  All the packages that I broke, I have fixed.  But I was up until 2:30 in the freaking morning fixing them.  And that was before I even had the chance to get my web server as it was before all this mess.

Now, before all you Microsoft advocates come out of the woodwork saying, "We told you so Aaron.  Windows is easier and less cryptic to use than Linux", I have to say that I have learned a ton.  And, despite the lack of sleep, the 300 new gray hairs, and ulcers that I developed, it was actullay, in an odd sort of way, fun.  I got to see deep inside the server.  I edited config files, changed all sorts of permissions, added, removed and readded packages, and really got to know a lot better how my Linux server works.  I wouldn't trade that for an easy GUI that handles everything for me.

Am I finished?  No, I still have a little more to go.  And I will probably break more packages on the way, but, I will learn more than if I purchased a program to do to the job for me.  And I will be more qualified as a Linux/UNIX system admin.  I would never apply for such a job.  The stress would kill me, but my qualifications have just jumped through the roof.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Matthew Kimber using Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows XP | February 15, 2006 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Ouch! I've always thought Linux should build a better packaging system. Too many dependencies. It is fun to explore and feel "scientific" but in the end you're just sleepy and frustrated (oh, and with more gray hair). :)

  2. Aaron using Firefox 1.5.0.1 on Windows XP | February 15, 2006 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Actually, Ubuntu has a great packaging system. Because it is Debian based, it uses apt-get, which resolves all dependancies. My problem was enabling the wrong repository in my sources.lst file and commenting out three lines of code. Once I realized my problem, I was able to fix everything and get it back to normal. But it wasn't easy, as you can tell, and I did grow a lot of gray hairs.

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