I recently threw together a computer I’m converting into a server. Since Linux is the most stable OS for this type of thing, I decided “why not?” even though I have no experience with it. I figured I can’t go wrong with learning Linux, and I might even like it enough to give up Windows…
So I downloaded openSUSE 11.3 64bit and installed it on my new server with the intentions of setting it up as a web host for my site. I then started to follow the steps in the article “The Perfect Server.” Everything seems pretty straight forward, but I ran into a step I’m having issues with. I’m logically trying to work out the issue in my head, but I’m having a problem rationalizing what I’m trying to do.
In the “The Perfect Server” article, it talks about setting my network card address to a static ip instead of using DHCP so incoming traffic can always find my web host. If my Verizon FiOS router uses dynamic ip addresses, should I use DHCP on my server’s network card instead?
The layout is: server => router/gateway => internet
If I change the server to DHCP, will it automatically retrieve the ip address currently used by the router to connect to the internet?
I can’t set my Verizon router to a static ip without them charging me $100/month.
You are taking about more than one issue. Strictly speaking, you can give your server a static IP on the local subnet. You need to know what IP addresses in the control range of your Router are set aside for fixed IP’s and use one of them. For instance, my router is set to assign IP’s at 100 and higher, such as starting with 192.168.0.100 and higher. So, I can give my local server the IP address of 192.168.0.50 for instance, and the router will not give this IP address to any other device locally.
Now, the next issue, is getting to your server from the Internet. I would suppose there is more than one method, but, you most likely need to request two or more fixed IP addresses from your ISP. For instance, AT&T can provide you with five for instance. You can get by with one fixed IP, but having two or more IP’s is ideal where you can give the a secondary IP address to your Web Server. By that I mean, that with a single IP address, even when fixed, must be shared by all devices on your subnet and getting to the server would require using some odd port addresses. With its own separate IP, that would not be the case and the normal port assignments will work.
Next, you need a router that can map an external fixed IP address in the range you were assigned by your ISP, to the local IP address you assigned to your server. Doing this depends on the type of router you purchase or you can lease it from your ISP, which may ensure it will work properly with your service. Now finding someone with your ISP that can help you set this up, may be another interesting feat of magic.
So, setting your Server up for a fixed IP is one thing, but the rest is totally outside of the openSUSE Server’s control and lies with your router and ISP service you have purchased.
You can get a domain name from a dynamic DNS service, like [noparse]www.dyndns.com[/noparse]](http://www.dyndns.com/) - there are others. There are scripts and programs to automatically update their DNS records, so your server will be available under its domain name, even if your dynamic IP has changed. Some routers can also be configured to send their new IP directly to a dynamic DNS service. However I think that Verizon blocks port 80 (the standard port for web service). So you’ll have to set up your web server on an alternate port (e.g. 8080). A friend of mine had to do so with Verizon (2 or 3 years ago) . It worked.
Thank you for your quick response. That clears things up a lot. I see where I was getting confused. So I can assign a static ip to the server so it can always be located on the subnet once someone gets past the router from the internet, correct? But since my router assigns dynamic ip addresses to get to the internet, that’s the hard part. I would need something like a DDNS service to update my constantly changing networks ip address so others can find my router again when they type in my domain in their browsers.
Could I port-forward incoming port 80 traffic to my server and not have to worry about incoming traffic accessing the rest of the computers on my subnet? And if I downloaded a file from another computer on my server’s network (which is not directly connected to the server) would port-forwarding traffic on 80 affect a download on my computer?
Sorry for all the noob questions. I’m a little familiar with how all this works from a high level, but the details are fuzzy to me. Plus, I’d hate to compromise the security of my network for doing something stupid.
It’s irrelevant. Your router knows who you are. You do the port forwarding on the router level (I guess Verizon’s routers run a name server on the lan) … unless you decide to add a computer in your lan and use it as a router.
Yep. See my previous post.
Absolutely. But, as I already said, I believe port 80 will not work. You can use that simple script netinfo - Read Network & PC Information into a Local Text File to get you Internet IP (or look online) and ask a friend to portscan your IP from outside. It’s actually not the netinfo script, but another O.T. small script I posted in that thread. jdmcdaniel3 put it nicely together and explained how to use it.