Looking to sign up for Linode VSP

Hi All,

I'm currently signed up with dreamhost, and they pretty much suck the brown out, so i've been looking into other hosts. I came across your site via rubyonrails.org, and they are recommending you as one of the preferred VSPs. Before i dive in a had a couple of question.

First, I'm coming from dreamhost where they do a lot for you, but the service itself is pretty crappy, they have one click installs, they set up the environment for you, etc,etc. If i move over to linode is it going to be pretty much i get a virtual environment, and i have to manage everything (setting up rails, mysql, installing gems, setting up svn/git, etc)? Or does Linode do some of the leg work?

Do you guys do email?

Is there a limit to the number of domains i can host with my node?

If it is just like having my own linux box, is it up to me to be a security expert so that my VSP doesn't get hacked?

I'm pretty comfortable around a command prompt and i follow HOWTOs pretty good so i'm fairly confident i can manage, i'm just trying to get an idea of what i'll have and not have to do.

Thanks so much for your time!


5 Replies

To answer your questions:

1. You get a baisic install of a linux operating system of your choice, which you are free to configure and use however you see fit. We don't provide any tools or "preconfigured" setups, but we do have a (growing) library of documentation that will help you get started <http://library.linode.com/>, and the community both on the fourms and in IRC is a great resource.

2. You can run whatever email server you like on your linode, (more documentation in the library coming on this soon), and you have the option of forwarding your email to third party email services like fastmail.fm or google mail for domains (no endorsement, and there are others) if you're not interested in running your own email server.

3. There is no limit to the number of domains you can host on your linode, and we provide a DNS manager to help make it easy to manage your domains.

4. Security is your responsibility, but running secure software (ie. keeping applications up to date), setting strong passwords, tweaking SSHd settings, making sure that unused services aren't left running, all help. You can also run a firewall for even more granular control, and we just published a firewall document if you're interested in this.

Hope this helps.



Since tychoish is required by his oath of office to be modest :-), I will note a few things:

  • The service is excellent, but you're responsible for your own systems administration. As a very big plus, this gives you the power to optimize the server for your application, since every application and workload is different.

  • There are providers that provide "canned" images with most of the prerequisites installed for, say, an Apache+MySQL+PHP system. Turns out installing the software isn't the long, time-consuming part, so you don't save much time with that.

  • Linode is on the "do one thing, do it right" end of things. The additional features they provide above and beyond the VPS service are things that are difficult for individual users to do and aren't widely available at a low cost from a large number of other companies. DNS hosting (which requires two or more servers, preferably in different locations) is one of those things. Mail hosting and domain registration aren't.

Is it work? Yes. But it's a good skill to have, and the learning curve is getting better and better thanks to the work of the billions of Linux developers and distribution maintainers. My one bit of advice: do it, but don't rush yourself. "I have 24 HOURS to MAKE THIS WORK!" is not a reasonable way to learn :-) Grab a 360 and learn how to fly at your own pace, so you can make some mistakes without affecting your production sites.

Thanks, tychoish, and hoopycat!

tychoish, that's for the info on email. i think that's the one thing i dread - having to set up and run a mail server. Sounds like forwarding to gmail is the easiest solution.

hoopycat, thanks for your input as well. i think you're right. i just need to sign up, and dive in, and enjoy the learning experience.

Thanks, again. I'll be signing up now!

Aaah someone else who came over here from Dreamhost, trust me you'll love it. I still keep a Dreamhost account only for the online real estate, that's it. I ran Dreamhosts so pseudo virtual server for I'd say close to a year and was extremely disappointed. Hell I had both a VPS for my host and MySQL, it blew chunks.

Anyway enjoy the power, flexibility and stability of Linode.


Yeah, Dreamhost really sucked the brown out, but i'm prepaid until 2010, so i may just try to use them for email for now.


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