I think you're in a tough spot, and I feel (or have felt) your pain.
You're right in some ways that, from a server perspective, 10.5 was the better product. 10.6 marked a turning point where Apple really stripped down the server admin GUI tools to be almost useless (IMHO).
That said, it doesn't mean you can't do things the 'normal' way - at least normal from a UNIX-style perspective. That's what you'll get if you go the Apache/PHP/MySQL install path. To be quite honest, though, learning that way may serve you better (no pun intended) in the long run - it's a more marketable/portable skill - and even some parts of 10.5 administration required some command-line components.
It was hard enough to get PHP/GD working when 10.5 was current, and I'm not surprised that some of the links are dead. However I would expect you're able to find the parts you're looking for with a google search.
I think you need to pick your battle, though. The later OS versions do come with better support and security. 10.5 is already 6 years old, and getting older. You'll find fewer and fewer 'current' tools will work on it, so you might be better off biting the bullet and going with something more up to date, even if it doesn't have the nifty GUI.
Thank you for the well written response to my overall problem...
I completely agree that usually the best thing to do is stay "upto date". However, even the latest server software from Apple yields some very disappointing reviews... My understanding is 10.6 server still did not offer the PHP GD module as well..... I even read an article about 10.7 server being the "beautiful server that does nothing" or something along those lines.. pertaining to the issues..
I completely agree that UNIX commands would be a great skill to acquire.. However, I also must admit that is something that will take great effort, sincerity and a mind geared for that knowledge.. Sadly, My focus is more on getting a server up and going so I can move forward with what I need for a web forum and file storage... That's not to say I would not mind learning a little more here and there about UNIX... However at this time... I need the server up and going before anything else..
Also, my up front cost I have just spent on this G5 along with the server software... Has kind of turned me away from making any further investments into another server and another OS purchase...
Is there still any hope in getting the GD to work in PHP? Like I said before.. I have done a lot of Google searching and click well over 20 links... Most of them ending in command prompt errors or when I try to download dependencies it usually times out with what I would be I believe no file found from the host..
I have looked into MAMP... yet they have since pulled support for PPC software.. Plus I read that that is more for developers wanting to test sites...
Is there something else recommended for my setup that has perhaps a GUI?
I hate to say it but the thought of going back to my old Server 2003 machine with IIS is entering my mind a lot.. Don't get me wrong though... I really want this to work!
I saw something online a couple times about some guy that developed a script that would do the install all for you.. Yet.. Every time I try the link it comes up dead now.. Some how I hope I can locate the script he developed..
Thank you very much!
Actually.. I have to say there is some hope!
Still determined.. I tried again.. This time thinking the process a little more through.. One of the points that was not mentioned is I needed to be a root user.. Always logging in with my user name created and never using "root" to log into the system.. Or using the SU command for that matter.. I managed to fined other dependence working links..
So now I am to the point where gd.so is installed on the system.. However, when you log into IPB to try and install the forum software, it still bounces back stating GD library is not installed.. I believe this will be a php.ini issue..
I am giving up for the night.. though.. I feel much better I made it this far and feeling happy again..
Well! I got it to work!
After trial and error of three times of reformatting and copy of line commands.. The software bounced back and said it has GD support!
It was was a tuff hill to climb... yet... the fix was actually not that much work.. just a learning curve for me.. I am glad I did not give up! So now my journey begins with a outdated Server OS! I look forward to it!