I initially posted the following on StackOverflow but I was told that the question belongs here:

I have a desktop and a laptop, both of which I would like to use to manage one common website among the two. Currently, I have XAMPP installed on my laptop (Windows 7) and it works fine. I would like to install XAMPP on my desktop (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS) too and have it manage the same website. Basically, if I don't have access to my laptop or it isn't running XAMPP, I would like the other computer (desktop) to keep the website up based on its server (kind of like load-balancing). I would also like to be able to add changes to the website from either servers (laptop or desktop), which must mean that the storage is in sync and all the programming uploaded from one computer can be accessed from another and that other computer can make changes to it.

I tried searching on Google for possible solutions, but I was unsuccessful. I also tried discussing with people in the SO chat room and the only solution that someone suggested to me was using SVN to "checkout" and "commit" changes so the code can be accessed from both "servers." Is that the only solution?


You have two separate issues: load balancing and synchronization.

Load balancing is handled by your firewall; the simplest, cheapest firewall I know that will do the job is pfSense, which I highly recommend. You haven't mentioned whether your website is public (i.e. accessible from the Internet) or is just for in-house use; either way, load balancing is a job for a separate appliance on the network. Once you've got pfSense up and running, here's a one-page tutorial for setting up load balancing.

For synchronization, probably the simplest solution would be Dropbox or one of its competitors. It provides basic version control (as long as you're the only person making changes), and it has the great advantage of being automatic and really, really simple to use. (SVN checkouts/commits are neither automatic, nor particularly simple.)

By the way, if your website is Internet-accessible, I sincerely hope you locked down XAMPP's security settings. Although XAMPP is a fully-functional stack, it's primarily intended for development, and so its default settings leave your website pretty vulnerable to attack...

  • I am trying to avoid using services such as Dropbox where I have to store all the information (including database information, code files etc) online. The site's temporarily for just in-house use, but I plan on launching it to the public. Jul 28 '13 at 5:50
  • 1
    If you were using Linux I would suggest rsync; just now I looked at the Wikipedia entry and it seems that DeltaCopy is a Windows port of it. (I'm going to try it out myself, now that I know about it!)
    – MT_Head
    Jul 28 '13 at 5:56
  • Unfortunately rsync and its clones don't provide version control, so you'd need to do that yourself. (Hmm... rdiff-backup is a possibility...)
    – MT_Head
    Jul 28 '13 at 5:59
  • This seems to be a pretty good tool/service which uses Git under the hood, so you can take care of version control and keeps your files "out of the cloud" (though I haven't used it, so I can't comment on its effectiveness): sparkleshare.org
    – Devin
    Jul 28 '13 at 6:01
  • After discussing with some other people, I have realized that its absolutely pointless to do what I am trying to do and might as well just use one server as is. Jul 28 '13 at 6:04

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