The basic purpose of a computer server can be made out from its name. A server is meant to serve the different users in the network. All the resources that the users need to access, are stored in it and the users can directly access those resources, without storing anything in their own systems. It is also used for providing security to the systems.
For example, putting a firewall to it, to provide facilities like anti spamming and protection against phishing, secures the entire network from the same. With these aspects in mind, let us try to understand, how to set up one.
How to Set Up a Web Server?
First of all, try to get all the basic requirements of a web server. It should have a high speed Internet connection and a large bandwidth. The next important requirement is that you need to choose the right operating system. Linux and Unix are the most appreciated operating systems for a computer server machine.
FreeBSD, an open source, Unix based operating system is one of the best options, that you can install. The next step after installing the operating system, is installing an HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) server. Apache is one of them. However, you will need to install it. You can run it using the 'http' command.
However, before doing so, you will have to configure the 'httpd.conf' file in your operating system. Here, you mention the settings for your http server, as well as the name of the website you are going to run. In most of the machines, you will find the 'httpd.conf' file located in the '/usr/local/etc/apache22/'.
Now type the IP address of the machine at the web browser. Type http, followed by the IP address. If you can access the web pages stored in your system, that means you have successfully installed the web and the http server.
How to Set Up a DNS Server?
The next step is to set up a DNS server. DNS is the abbreviation of Domain Name Server. It is the one that will convert the web address name into the IP address of the machine, where the web pages are stored.
Suppose if you type the url of Techspirited on your machine, your web server will check if the entry of Techspirited is present in its database tables, where the web address and the IP addresses of the machines are stored. If it is there, then it will transfer the web address to a web server with a larger database.
Now, let's get down to the installation of a DNS server. You will find the file 'namedb.conf' in the '/etc/namedb' folder in your machine, which has the Free BSD operating system installed on it.
Once, you open the file, make the necessary changes. The file can be easily understood, provided you have some expertise in Unix and Linux based operating systems. All that you need to do is enter the name of the website in that file.
How to Set Up a FTP Server?
For uploading files into your computer server, what you will need is an FTP server. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP can be used in any network that uses the TCP/IP model. You can get a lot of FTP servers, if you browse the Internet. For example, File Zilla software can be used for setting up one on any machine running on Windows.
In FreeBSD, you will find 'ftpd' or 'in.ftpd' in the '/sbin' or '/usr/sbin' directory. It is a single executable file. Once, it is installed, the FTP server will allow all the users added into your systems, to upload, download, and access files. These users have to simply type in their user names and passwords on the remote machines.
How to Set Up a File Server?
Setting up a file server in FreeBSD is not a very tedious task. You just need to download the Samba server setup. Setting up a file server in your network will allow the machines with Windows operating system logged into your network, to access the resources. You need to install samba in the '/usr/ports/net/samba' folder.
You can use the command make install to install it, once you are in that folder. Then you will have to make the necessary changes in the '/usr/local/etc/smb.conf' file. For initializing samba at boot time, you just need to change the line 'samba_enable:=NO' to 'samba_enable:=YES' in the file 'rc.conf' located in the '/etc' folder.
By following the simple procedures, you can learn how to set up a server network. However, it is better that before dealing with the configuration files, you ask a person with expertise in Linux, to proceed with modifying the files.