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Date:      Mon, 05 Sep 2011 16:56:14 +0200
From:      Jerome Herman <jherman@dichotomia.fr>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Best Server OS for Someone That Does not Want to Touch a Shell on a Regular Basis?
Message-ID:  <4E64E30E.9000309@dichotomia.fr>
In-Reply-To: <4E644637.1030500@pldrouin.net>
References:  <4E644637.1030500@pldrouin.net>

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Le 05/09/2011 05:47, Pierre-Luc Drouin a écrit :
> Hi,
>
> so I have a friend who is looking for the best OS for a web server, 
> that allows to configure services (I guess HTTP, PHP, MySQL and web 
> content) and do the OS maintenance (OS & package updates, firewall 
> configuration) without having to touch a shell. I was wondering if 
> something like PC-BSD + CPanel would be the way to go. Would there be 
> other BSD-based alternatives? I always do upgrades and configure 
> services through the shell and I am not aware too much about the GUI 
> alternatives...
>
> Thanks!
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Hello,

If your friend prefer to use a GUI rather than command line interface, 
why not. But I  am a little affraid that is real goal is to avoid 
reading the documentation, and keeping up to date with good practices 
and security alerts.

Truly it doesn't matter what OS you are using and what use you make of 
it, when your server is exposed to the internet, you must read the doc 
and check for security alerts.


If it is what your friend is trying to avoid, then I would strongly 
advise him to subscribe to a fully maintained platform, software as a 
service, or a mutualized box. Any other option will lead to a disaster.

On the other hand, if your friend is willing to accept a bit of shell 
here and there, and a good deal of doc reading, I would recommand using 
FreeBSD or Debian as the underlying server (lowest maintenance/usage 
ratio I know). If you go for FreeBSD I would advise to use this doc 
http://www.bsdguides.org/guides/freebsd/security/harden.php

The only easy to configure and to maintain web server I know is Cherokee 
(http://www.cherokee-project.com/ ). The web admin is quite easy to use, 
and a lot more intuitive than Apache.


Jerome Herman.





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