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GUI based Linux Server

I'm sick of Windows, and I want to give a Linux server a try. I tried Ubuntu server a while back, and I did have FTP and Apache running, but it's Ubuntu server and there was no GUI. I can only look at black and white for so long.

I'm looking for a Linux server to replace my Windows one, and it needs to be optimized (or can run it very well) for Apache. I've read that Windows servers for Apache / any web development aren't very productive. But, it needs to have a GUI. I've heard a couple of options, CentOS being the biggest. While I'd love to give CentOS to try, just 3 GB for an operating system is quite a big download.

The computer I plan to run Linux off of is a 733 MHz, 512 MB of ram computer. It's old, and crappy, but I don't have the money to dish out to get at least a dual core (or if anybody can find one under $100 than would be nice - but it's never going to happen).

Does anybody have any good recommendations that they think would run on the specs listed above? Or should I just go out and buy a new computer for a server (still please leave what you think is best for the future)?I know Fire Boar will have a good post on this one. : )
Agent ME
You can install the GUI on the Ubuntu Server version. I believe just "sudo apt-get install gnome-desktop-environment" will do it but you probably should google and double-check that.
A quick Google search reveals the following LinuxQuestions thread:

It should contain the answer you seek Smile

Let us know if it works or not.
Try this.
Use OpenSuSE, but do a somewhat unusual install:

1- Go to
2- Download, burn, and use the NETWORK install CD. (Under "installation medium", choose network) (It includes only the installer, basic components, and software to connect to the download servers.)
3- Select a lightweight WM (like windowmaker) during the install when given a choice of KDE or Gnome. (under 'other desktops')
4- Before installing, use the detailed package selection to get rid of all the stuff you don't need, just the basic GUI, the server software, and the programs you want. That way you don't waste space and time downloading stuff you don't need, like you will for any entirely CD or DVD based installation.

Doing that, you should be able to download a relatively small amount, and use a GUI without overwhelming your older computer, while still having a modern, up-to-date OS version. (And yes, SuSE comes packaged complete with web and FTP servers, just select them in the package selection, and configure them with YaST after install is complete.)
Just use your Ubuntu installation and type "apt-get install xfce". Gnome is completely unrecommended for a server and a computer of that speed.
I would recommend Debian with windowmaker (WM)... Debian is a standard server distribution, and until you get the hang of doing everything via command line you can have the GUI. I do suggest you learn how to manage via shell - it's much easier and frees up system resources from having to run a GUI.
I remembered this the other day, and have been kicking myself ever since, but what about Webmin? Instead of running it on the server, it's a HTTP browser-based "control panel" (although, really, it just provides a nicer web interface for programs installed). Two advantages of using this on your server would include that it's accessible wherever you are and also that it's much, much quicker to load/use/process without having to constantly run X.
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