Wednesday, May 14, 2008

slicehost, trac, wherecamp

I have a development "server" here beside me. It's actually a budget laptop that sold for $799 2 years ago. It's a xubuntu machine, hosting a trac instance, a development server for mapping stuff, postgresql/postgis, mapserver, mysql, and couple svn repos, anything I do for contracting, etc. Oh, and it's also hosting a couple of sites for the multi-national company that my gf works for! all of their servers are windows machines (long rant suppressed).
It used to get warm, so propped it up on 4 tuna cans, 1 for each corner, now it stays cooler. Yep, it's a sweet setup.
Anyway, I pay AT&T or SBC --or whatever they are now called-- for static IP's and a supposedly faster internet connection. My 1 year contract for that is nearly up, so I'm switching to slicehost.

I'm not a sys-admin, I sorta do that for 4 gentoo (not my choice) machines at $work, and my strategy is to set up, rsnapshot and never, ever emerge -u world. ever. So far, it's mostly working. When I have the choice, I use (x/k)ubuntu, I don't care if they do magical stuff (or even if I had to redo my ssh keys today), it just works.

Anyway, I want something easy and idiot proof. I'd heard the hype about slicehost when it came out, and figured it was just that, hype. It's not. I've never used shared hosting before, but this was pretty simple. From entering my payment to ssh'ing as root into my slice took ~ 2 minutes. /proc/cpuinfo shows it's a machine with 4 opteron dual-cores. I started with a 256 slice with back-up. You can start new slices and restore from the backups. That's cool, and less $$ than I pay AT&T for static IPs and faster uploads.

I ran a script to apt-get all the packages I use, and had a base, working system in under 1 hour. They have a lot of articles about how to set stuff up, mostly basic (even for me), but I followed their info on setting up iptables. Predictably, I forgot to leave open port 22 and locked myself out of ssh, but they have a web-based console, so, not a problem. It seems to be idiot proof...


Also, in the theme of things that just work as they should, upgrading to Trac 0.11 (still in rc).

sudo easy_install -UZ Trac==0.11rc1
cd /path/to/trac/project/
sudo trac-admin . upgrade
sudo trac-admin . upgrade wiki
sudo apache2ctl restart


I'll likely be at wherecamp, it'll be good to learn some stuff, and meet people I only know from IRC. If anyone needs a ride from the east-bay, let me know.