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Re: Setting up to do repetitive installs on ONE machine (cf BabelBox)

Richard Owlett wrote:
> Andrei POPESCU wrote:
> >Richard Owlett wrote:
> >>Can someone point me to detailed instructions on setting up a client
> >>and "server" on a single physical computer. As a primary motivation
> >>for this whole project is learning Linux, I foresee lots of related
> >>reading :)
> >
> >Most (if not all) client/server software works fine on a single machine.
> >If your goal is to create more complex environments that your probably
> >want virtual machines (KVM, VirtualBox, Xen, etc.)
> You first sentence indicates I may know even less than I thought I
> might.
> To verify we are talking about the same thing:
> I'm envisioning a Debian repository on the "server".
> I will then use netinst to install Debian on the "client".

Use of the word "server" and "client" is difficult because there are
so many meanings associated with it.  A hardware computer.  A software
program running on a computer.  The side of a communication protocol.


When you asked your questions about installing onto a system I think
the common assumption would be that you meant you had a physical
hardware computer system and would be installing a Debian system upon
it.  It may be to a different partition on the disk so as to preserve
other systems but only booting one at a time.  In other words, it
isn't possible to install on hardware using the same hardware as the
source and the destination.  Only one is running at a time.  The
installation to the detination would overwrite the source.

If instead you already have a computer system running and you want to
use that same computer system for running an instance of Debian such
that you end up with *both* your currently running system *and* a
newly created Debian system running on the same hardware _then_ the
solution you need is a virtual machine running on your present system.
(As was suggested by Andrei.)  Because you would be wanting to
simulate more than one computer system on the same physical hardware.
One would be the host system.  One or more would be vitual systems
running upon it.

In that case you would want to create a virtual machine that will act
as your client.  Then you can install upon your client virtual machine
using your host machine as the server.  That is certainly possible.
People do it all of the time.

What is your host machine operating system?

Hopefully it will be Debian.  After all this is the debian-user
mailing list.  (smile) But from a technical standpoint it could be any
of a variety of host operating systems.  Some will be easier to work
with than others.  You would need to set up a virtual machine upon it
and then use it as your test client.

> Later a browser running on the "client" will be able to access an
> HTML page on the "server" or connect to a page on the WWW via
> dial-up.
> Recommended client/server software for a newbie?

This is a somewhat scary question to answer.  Scary because it is
really quite a simple thing to set up a web server and to browse it
using a web browser.  Surely you are already using a web browser.
Making it very confusing that you would even need to ask about a web
browser.  Just use whatever web browser you are normally using.  The
hard part is setting up a virtual machine, configuring the network and
networking bridge, installing an operating system on it.  In this the
task and mighty labor lies.

But to answer your question the most popular web server is Apache with
a variety of improved higher performance followers such as Nginx or
Lighttpd.  And for a web browser Firefox and Chromium are probably in
the lead with others such as Epiphany, Konqueror, Midori in the pack
behind them.  And there are text console web browsers such as lynx,
w3m, elinks which are very useful too.


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