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How to build a web server

You will need:

  • Half-a-dozen fresh geeks
  • One motherboard
  • One CPU
  • One case
  • One floppy drive
  • One CD-ROM drive
  • One keyboard
  • One monitor
  • As much hard disk and memory as you can lay hands on
  • Cables to taste
  • One OS install kit - we used RedHat 5.2 with patches
  • Enough cool stuff to distract half the geeks - we used a 100Mbit network of three high-powered computers running an assortment of games

Optionally, you may add:

  • One internet feed
  • Vast quantities of Coke[tm], beer (sweet, sweet beer!), cigarettes and munchies.


  1. Separate the geeks into "builders" and "distracted".
  2. Cliffy Fluffy JoeV
    Mix the distracted geeks with the cool stuff. We found that simply placing them in the room together worked surprisingly well; the distracted geeks spent a fair amount of time simply getting the network working, which proved to be sufficient distraction that the rest of the srv-building could go on undisturbed.
  3. Take the remaining ingredients to an entirely separate room.
  4. a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind
    Clear your workspace of all unnecessary and/or harmful items.
  5. Commander Bob at the
    If you've got an internet feed (optional ingredients, above), use it to download as much information about your components as possible. At the very least, you'll need motherboard info to figure out where the jumpers go, and disk info to figure out what size partitions you can set up.
  6. DSPsrv.com,
	take #1
    Assemble the components carefully.
  7. fierce
	concentration, pictured
    Boot the machine. If it fails to boot, rip out all the parts and repeat the previous step.
  8. installing
	RedHat partioning disks
    Once the machine is booting, begin the OS install process.
  9. While the OS is installing, check on the distracted geeks to make sure they haven't become bored. You may need to replenish the munchies; we used a local pizza service to do this.
  10. presto!
    When the OS install has completed, presto! Your new webserver is ready!

Post-build, you may wish to strip the machine of all unnecessary software and have a security expert lock it down for you before hooking it up live. You may also wish to leave it lying around various apartments and houses for a fortnight or so while reassuring people it'll be "ready soon".

Warning: This build was performed by experts, except Waider who is a complete cowboy and shouldn't be left near anything more technological than a plastic fork. Kids, don't stick random stuff in your computer WITHOUT AN EARTHING STRAP!

Waider / April 19, 1999. Pictures by Bob, Diarmuid and Waider.