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I have a few hobby websites that I currently host on CentOS 6. Apache, mail serving, PHP, MySQL nothing special.

In the past I used Windows XP to do this same task, for years, and I was OK. I switched to Linux and for the last few years it has been such a pain. updates break, certain apps only support certain distros without compiling from source. It prevents me from working on my hobby sites more because I am always fixing something. With Windows I locked it down, I run a hardware firewall and packet analyser, kept up on updates and A/V and never had a problem. I dont allow RDC from outside the local LAN, no FTP open, run OpenSSH on an obscure port..

I am considering switching to Windows 8 (since it is a cheaper license now that Windows 7) and running apache, HMailServer, PHP, MySQL, just like my CentOS install.

My questions:

  1. I am not familiar with Windows 8, can the above be done like XP? No new security restrictions or the OS preventing this from happening?

  2. The machine is a Athlon 64-bit X2 with 32GB of RAM. Will Windows 8 see all of the RAM?

Technically the machine came with Windows 7, and there is a serial number on it but I am sure I wiped away the Windows 7 recovery partition when I switched to Linux....

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In addition to the info. below, if you use the cheap Win8 Upgrade version you'll need to have Win7 installed, whereas the costlier full System Builder edition is meant for PCs without Windows. – Karan Dec 13 '12 at 17:04
@Karan, so I could use the $99 64-bit version? – Jason Dec 13 '12 at 17:07
Yes, the $99.99 Win8 x64 or the $139.99 Win8 Pro x64 System Builder versions will do. If you install Win7 once, you can also get the Win8 Pro upgrade for $15 if you bought your Win7 PC between June 2, 2012, and January 31, 2013. If you bought your PC before June 2, 2012, you can upgrade for $39.99. – Karan Dec 13 '12 at 17:16
@Karan, I have a Windows 7 key that is on the box, but no restore media. Best way to get Windows 7 to use my Key so I can take the $39.99 upgrade? – Jason Dec 13 '12 at 17:20
The solution is to install the Windows 7 installation then upgrade to Windows 8 Professional x64 for $39.99 otherwise it will cost you $139.99 for Windows 8 Professional x64 System Builder or slightly cheaper Windows 8 x64 System Builder – Ramhound Dec 13 '12 at 17:21

Short answer is yes. Windows 8 ships with IIS so you can configure as a web server. You need to turn on the IIS feature and associated items.

There are several tutorials online found with a quick search. try here.

As to RAM, the 64 bit versions will address the RAM you have installed. 32 bit versions will address approximately 4GB

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You will need Windows 8 in 64-bit edition. It will read all of the RAM memory. Windows 8 has built-in this feature - IIS. Internet Information Services. You will need to start that feature manualy, because it is not started by default... It is easy. Same thing with Windows 7. Simple, yet basic.

To get windows on your existing system you will need to contact teh system vendor for media to re-install with the key you have. Other than that you need to buy a full version of something (WIN7 or 8)

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