Configure a Webserver to start working on locally

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With an old computer or Raspberry Pi, a few open source tools, and a few minutes of your time - you can set up a local webserver to host your databases and start moving the data from Access to MySQL.

Here are the steps to follow to get the webserver up and running:

  1. If you are using Windows and have never setup a bootable USB drive, it is a good idea to grab RUFUS to start with. 
  2. Grab a copy of Ubuntu 22 or Ubuntu 23 (this is the easiest Distro to use). This can be obtained by visiting the Ubuntu download page.
  3. Using RUFUS, add the ubuntu distro to the USB drive and click start. This will take a few minutes.
  4. Install Ubuntu to your local machine by following the prompts. After it is installed, it is time to install the webserver on it. I recommend using HestiaCP as it includes several versions of php, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and a host of other options and the installation will take care of the configurations for you.
  5. From Terminal in the Ubuntu environment, type the following commands to remove the admin group and install HestiaCP:
    1. sudo su
    2. hostnamectl set-hostname mylocaldomain.local
    3. groupdel admin
    4. wget  
    5. bash  
  6. When the installation is complete, the install script will generate the admin password. Copy it and you are almost ready to go. The last step is grab the Ubuntu server ip address by typing