The question with NuSphere MySQL isn't whether the proven LAMP suite of tools is any good. Most open source enthusiasts accept that it is. The question is whether the free beer NuSphere presents in a tall glass with their product is worth the price of admission if you're already happy putting together a database-driven site on your own. Scott Courtney takes a look at the retail release of an open source favorite.
"Linux administrators can choose from numerous HTTP servers, database servers, programming languages, and administrative tools for creating web servers on Linux. Among the most prevalent, however, is the so- called LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) configuration. LAMP is great way to run a web site: It's fast, reliable, efficient, and flexible. It can also, however, be daunting to set up and manage for those not intimately familiar with Linux configurations. Just installing the pieces of the LAMP puzzle involves anything from a few RPMs (if you do it from binaries) to multiple source builds (if you prefer to roll your own). Configuration often consists of editing text-based files and restarting daemons -- not a problem if you're a Linux wiz, but intimidating if you are not. Perhaps most difficult is getting secure (SSL-based) web hosting to work, a task that can try the patience of anyone who is not a cryptography guru."
"A number of companies have taken on the task of automating the task of building and managing Linux web servers, among them NuSphere Corporation with their "NuSphere MySQL" product. NuSphere claims the installation process works on Windows 95/98/NT4/2000, Solaris 2.6 and 2.7, and Red Hat Linux 6.2 and 7.0. It turns out that it also works on Caldera eDesktop 2.4, though with a few caveats as you will see later. To make a long story short, NuSphere is an extremely easy way to build a fairly comprehensive Apache server with all the bells and whistles."
"Up until now, I had always built Apache, MySQL, and PHP from source tarballs. This isn't too difficult except that there are some odd interactions between Apache and PHP (you have to ./configure Apache, then build PHP through, then build Apache). With NuSphere there are four ways to install, and three of them don't involve building from source. You can run NuSphere's installation program locally, you can run it remotely using a web browser, or you can install the components manually from the provided RPMs. Last, but not least, you get the source tarballs on the CDROM and so you can install that way."