Admin Digest: Setting Up Your Own Web Server - page 2
Why You Need Your Own Web Server
Making basic documents available is fairly straightforward. First, install a Linux distribution containing Apache. You can check that the server is up by pointing your browser (Mozilla, Konqueror, etc. on the same machine as the server) at http://localhost/. You should also be able to access this remotely with the machine's name. For instance, if the machine's domain name is penguin.org, then the URL http://penguin.org should work. Next look at the server's configuration directory. On SuSE this is /usr/local/http/htdoc/. Look for the directive DocumentRoot in the http.conf or srm.conf files. This will show the server's main document directory. A file (in this case file.html) placed here will appear at the topmost level, such as, http://localhost/file.html
By default the server also looks in users' directories for public HTML directories and makes these available on the web server. For instance, if you have a login code john with a home directory /home/john. Place some files in /home/john/public_html and they will become available at http://localhost/~john/
Next, we will look at a popular method to produce dynamic content based on a web user's input to a form. Normally, web users looking at your site will only see static HTML pages. The web scripting language PHP allows web pages to be built "on-the-fly" according to user input. PHP is very powerful and as programming languages go, is pretty easy to learn.