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Re: OT: (Web) server administration advice

From: Urs Liska
Subject: Re: OT: (Web) server administration advice
Date: Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:52:03 +0200
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Hi Martin,

Am 27.06.2015 um 00:23 schrieb J Martin Rushton:
> Option 1) Can you run a VM within your VPS?  Some systems work,
> others throw a fit if you try it.  If it does work, then you can
> build and model your desired main system within the VM.
> Option 2) A basic development machine like a Raspberry Pi will
> give you a machine to play with.
> Option 3) Will your home machine run up a VM?  You only need to
> access it from your real machine for test purposes.

Option 2) was quite charming, and I would have gone that way if I
hadn't decided to rather use the one-month money-back guarantee of my
ISP and just get my feet wet with the new server.

> Whatever option you choose I would recommend for the long term
> getting to grips with "raw" Linux.  With 10 years under your belt
> you ought to know all the basics, use the various fora and man
> pages to flesh out your knowledge.  Even consider buying "dead
> tree" documentation - £50 on a good book will quickly repay itself,
> it's less than an hour's chargeout time.

I borrowed a serious and current book from the library, and that seems
to give me what I want. Although being around 1.200 pages long it gies
quite concise introductions to the different parts, with quite
reliable walk-through configurations. With the mentioned 10 years this
gives me enough baby-sitting to help myself once their introduction
ends or if I encounter something unexpected in the preset configuration.

> The web server ought to be virtually out-of-the-box and all
> distros come with some sort of mail server: postfix is generally
> easier than sendmail.

Yes, postfix was there and mostly pre-configured, but I had to install
dovecot, spamassassin and clamav manually. I think the set-up is now
working properly, although I couldn't test with an actual domain yet.
(It's funny that you can fully configure the mail server with several
domains even if there's no DNS yet. So I can send and receive an email
through Thunderbird, and that doesn't even leave the server because
it's all routed internally.)


> HTH, Martin
> On 26/06/15 21:34, Urs Liska wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I'm in (some) need for feedback regarding the complexity of
>> (web) server administration. I am running a "virtual private
>> server", which is a virtual machine in a server of an ISP's
>> server farm. So I "own" root access to a full Debian
>> installation, with all responsibility for it but also all
>> possibilities.
>> This server is "managed" by Plesk, a comprehensive server 
>> administration tool. This has probably helped me a lot getting 
>> everything to run in the first place, but by now I'm rather
>> annoyed by the fact that it does so many things "the Plesk way"
>> instead of sticking to proven Linux ways. It significantly
>> interferes with domain and web server management, provides its
>> own mechanism to install "apps" etc. As a result it obscures away
>> tons of things and makes it very hard to find documentation and
>> assistance for more or less default tasks such as configuring
>> virtual hosts on Apache (to make web apps like Gitlab work).
>> By now I'm so annoyed that I consider changing this and "falling 
>> back" to a plain Linux server. But OTOH I'm reluctant to do so 
>> because then I would *have* to do everything on my own,
>> presumably all on the command line and without the convenient web
>> interface. So is anybody able to give me an estimate how big the
>> risks are that I end up with a system that doesn't do what I need
>> at all? Well, the basic things I'd need to set up properly are -
>> web server - a small number of domains and a bigger number of 
>> subdomains - mail server and accounts - mailman This is what I 
>> would rely on having set up more or less instantly in order to 
>> avoid outage. Everything else, from Git server and LilyPond 
>> building over dynamic DNS or whatever could wait and accept to
>> be more hassle-like.
>> I am by now a rather seasoned Linux user, having installed, 
>> maintained and used my installations on several computers for 
>> nearly 10 years. I have administered my current server through
>> the SSH console to some extent already. But of course I'm far
>> from being a competent sysadmin.
>> I know this is extremely hard to tell for anyone else. But maybe 
>> you *do* have some comments for me that might help me deciding 
>> whether to go in that direction or not.
>> Best Urs
> _______________________________________________ lilypond-user
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