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I have an old P4 computer. I would like to use it as a test LAMP server and a need to find or build smallest LAMP server. I don't need anything fancy. If it can run popular CMS's like Joomla or Drupal or Wordpress that is all I need. No window manager or any other tools.

Any advice?

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PIV isn't really old. I used to run a LAMP server on a PIII 450 – Journeyman Geek Apr 30 '10 at 5:47
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Try Ubuntu Server and select LAMP during installation. No GUI, just text based. Plenty of documentation and resources on the web. Plenty of packages.

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I haven't tried it with LAMP, but I have used Damn Small Linux with XAMPP. Works very well.

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Whether or not Joomla/Drupal/Wordpress will run depends on the P in LAMP. If you mean PHP, then the distribution essentially doesn't matter, as you can install a PHP server on virtually every major distribution.

I've had the simplest time configuring/installing PHP as an upstream to Nginx; although Ubuntu Server does come with LAM(PHP) as an option right off the installation CD, which makes installation/configuration a no-brainer. Apache is very versatile, the drawback of it is that it loves to eat up RAM, but a Pentium 4, even with only 256MB of RAM, would be able to run a PHP server easily.

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I would second the use of Ubuntu Server. Takes only a few minutes to install as a LAMP server form scratch and walks you through lots of the config during setup. Use it virtualised on my machine and give it the barest minimum of resources and it works like a charm (using joomla). heartily recommend it.

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