First time openSUSE server installation

Ok… So, There are some things that I don’t understand. I have a computer that I want to turn into a server. Basically I want to host my own website on my own machine. I believe that openSUSE is the way to do that. I have found this great tutorial that shows how to set up the server: The Perfect Setup - OpenSuSE 10.2 (32-bit) - Page 2 | HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials however it doesn’t explain anything. It just says, type this, type this, etc. I have a few questions.

  1. I don’t have a hostname nor a domain name. I want my site to be an ip address for now. (i.e. to view my site you would go to http://###.###.###.###/) So what would I fill in for this field?

  2. Static Address set up. So it says that I want a static ip address. I agree. But how do I determine what address to use. Do I just make up some numbers?

  3. Name servers. What are these? More Ip addresses that I make up?

  4. Default gateway. How do I figure out what this is?

I’m sorry to bother you all with what I’m sure are easy questions for you, but in my search of this forum and other OpenSuSE set up tutorials, they don’t explain these. Thanks in advance do for your help!

Re IP address, no you cannot make up an IP address, any more than you can make up a home address and expect visitors to be able to find you. It isn’t just a matter of etiquette. If you set the wrong address, you will not get any Internet connectivity.

And what’s more unless otherwise stated, most ISPs give out a dynamic address, one that can change when the lease expires periodically. Normally your home modem/router keeps track of this and your machines inside are unaware of this. Your modem/router also provides internal addresses and a nameserver service to the internal machines. To be able to use a name externally, usually a dynamic DNS registrar is used to maintain the association with the dynamic address. So this is a point you have to find out from your ISP before worrying about details.

Hosting a public webserver on a home machine is not something I would do lightly. You will get a lot of unwanted traffic, a lot of it trying to find weakneses in your website to exploit. You will have the responsibility to keep the software on the server up-to-date with security fixes. Unless, as it was not totally clear from your post, you meant a webserver for your internal network in which case it’s much simpler.

Yeah I’m planning on hosting an external website that anyone can see. It’s just temporary as part of a learning process. My goal is to set up a website on a separate machine that has no sensitive data on it whatsoever, just one website. And then I want to go to some other computer on another network and see that website. That’s it. Thanks for your comments. You had some good insights though it didn’t solve my problem or even give me a place to look to solve my problem.

To address your questions, I’ll get them in a different order:

  1. Static Address. This is preferred, but not vital, and usually costs more from your ISP. We’ll ignore it for now. As long as you can get on the web… you’re good. As our friend above said, no, you cannot make some up. Just accept what you receive from your ISP. That’ll work just fine.

  2. Name Servers. Can you browse to sites like ‘’, ‘’, and ‘’? Yes? Hooray, you’ve got a working nameserver setup. (whew!)

  3. Default Gateway. Uh… if you’re able to GET to the internet… your default gateway is working great.

  4. Hostname. No, you don’t NEED one, but they’re awfully handy. But that’s where having a static (non-changing) IP address would be handy, since it would always be the same. Of course, that’s why places have names… The names are looked up in a big database (figuratively, don’t flame me!) and used to resolve where something is, since the internet is really run by numbers.

There ARE some caveats to running your own server out of your home, but everything has caveats… and you’ll never learn until you try, and trying at home is cheaper, safer and a whole lot more fun.

You’ll need a web server of course, Apache2, lighthttpd, well, there’s a few. I like apache2, but I’ve been using it a while. Do you want pages built with perl? php? ruby? YaST is your friend, click to install apache, then using the webserver config tool in ‘network services’ (yast), choose which languages you want to use. Yast will even then install the modules you need to support those languages. Experience will help you determine exactly what you need. But you have to start somewhere right?

Now, to make things neat, and so your friends can view your very own “My First Webpage™” (Hey! No snickering! I had them!), you can get yourself a free domain name.

(shameless plug)
I use as my domain service, good service, good prices… AND they offer FREE domains. (didn’t want you to run away because you thought it would be costing money!)

Go there, register with them (FREE!!), register for a domain, like ( or something), and voila!! (it’s automatically set to your current IP when you set it up)

Of course, you’ll want to run a small program (ezipaddr or something) to automatically update your domain/ip address if yours was to change at some point (dynamic address, most common with ISP’s) Dyndns has how-to’s for that, but worst case, visit dyndns once a day and reset the ip address to your current one… that’ll work for short term until you learn more and are more comfortable.

Then you begin putting stuff into /srv/www/htdocs/ and taaa daaa… a web page!

Ah, a sidenote… if you have a router/firewall between your computer(s) and your dsl/cable modem… GOOD! now you have to open up a port between the outside world and the web-server machine. You’ll need the internal IP address of your web-serving computer (usually something like 192.168.1.x) and the magic port number… 80!

Welcome, and good luck.

@cabofixe For ppl new to web servers it’s very confusing. I made a web server on my SOHO LAN about 6 months ago to learn on before cutting my rented server over to the self-managed one. I’m still pausing before that last step. I hope you get up and running faster than me.

I had to get all my facts together and put them down for constant reference. Might be worth a read:
HowTo: Configure a Linux Apache Web Server on Suse/openSUSE (including SSI and CGI)


I to use DynDNS to handle my IP/Domain name resolution.
Apache Server and FTP server are dead easy to setup up in Yast.

I use the same domain name and machine name and SMB host name.
(links are broken on purpose)
So ftp://c58-108-234-? will get ftp access
HTTP://www.c58-108-234-?.xxxx.xx will bring up the start.html for the webpage
HTTP://c58-108-234-?.xxxxx.xx:5801 will allow VNC
smb://c58-108-234-? will bring up samba shares inside the LAN as the SuSE Box is also the default gateway/router.

to find the default gateway for the SuSE box.

Shell/Konsole route -n

It may seem confusing but my domain/machine/host name is actually “c58-108-234-?” a play on the actual IP address of 58.108.234.?

Your web page can be built on any machine (windows, *nix PPC). once built and published as html you just drop it into /srv/HTTP folder. Your ftp sight lives in the same place (well next door) /srv/ftp. You’ll need to be root to write here unless you change permissions (DONT DO THAT!!!). I have an entire 250GB drive mounted as srv/ftp/apps
Anything I need whilst out in the feild I can grab from home.

So, choose a name for your machine. Use this name to resolve all protocol requests. And use this name for your DYNDNS account and all will be sweet.

Once you become comfortable with things you can start changing different things for security reasons.

From memory your HOW TO**Perfect Install leaves you with a Command line/ no X server interface. It can all be done with the full GUI.

Good luck

I’ve poste dthis one elsewhere, but it will answer many of your questions around host names, DNS Names and gateways.

Cool Solutions: HOW-TO: Set Up a SUSE 10 Machine As a Router

its easy and very well written. There are others that are just as good (swerdna has a few good ones, check his link as is signature) but this one I have used many times

sorry folks, missed the time out on the edit…DO’OH