Joble's suggestion is the way I figured it out.
If this is just for fun, I would recommend www.no-ip.com for your DNS name. Free service and they have always been great for my needs.
Well, there's one part of the rub. I was hoping to do it as simply as possible, and not make any use of DNS at all - a standard 32-digit IP address would suffice, but all the 'guides' I've come across so far seem to assume that I must set up some sort of DNS, and so they don't explain how to do it on a more basic level.
Just how were you planning on doing this with out DNS? Do you have a static IP address?
I wish it could be as easy as installing some sort of forum app; something very simple and self-contained, with barely any setup required - but I've not yet seen such either, alas. The only forum software I've looked into so far is this very Simple Machines Forum one; however, it assumes that one already has a configured LAMP server to install it upon. I have no idea if it would run properly with anything simpler than Apache,
What does the SMF software say that it needs to work?
or if there are simpler forum apps available elsewhere.
At any rate, I do thank you both, regardless - and tonight I shall endeavor to read through some of the Apache documentation that Joble has suggested.
All in all Apache is not hard at all to install a get to run. After you installed the task-lamp from synaptic did you try to see if apache was working at all? In you web browser, on the machine that is suppose to be running the web server, type in http://localhost
if it is running and listening it will respond with a display of "It work's" If you see that than congratulation Apache is working. If you do not see that or get some sort of error, make sure that Apache is running. In a console window as root type
service httpd start
if you see the following
[root@laptop dwmoar]# service httpd start
Starting httpd: OK
If you see [root@laptop dwmoar]# service httpd start
Starting httpd: httpd: Could not reliably determine the server's fully qualified domain name, using 127.0.0.1 for ServerNameDon't panic!
it still started Apache but could not figure out the servers FQDN, because you don't have one, so it using the loopback IP (localhost) for running.
We can fix it by editing the following file as root
look for the ServerName line
# This can often be determined automatically, but we recommend you specify
# it explicitly to prevent problems during startup.
# If this is not set to valid DNS name for your host, server-generated
# redirections will not work. See also the UseCanonicalName directive.
# If your host doesn't have a registered DNS name, enter its IP address here.
# You will have to access it by its address anyway, and this will make
# redirections work in a sensible way.
ServerName 192.168.10.117 <-----
This is what you will need to change**** NOTE **** DO NOT use some made up FQDN for the ServerName
Remove the # that is in front of ServerName
In mine above I used my local IP address as seen above
When you have made your changes, save the file. It a terminal window as root enter in the following
service httpd restart
you should see something as follows
[root@laptop conf]# service httpd restart
Shutting down httpd: [ OK
Starting httpd: [ OK
Your web server is now running as it should be.