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Bulletproof simple server?

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Veland

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2001
Location
Bergen, Norway
So, I've got no experience with other then Windows.. Thing is, I need a very simple yet stable server. When it's turned on, it stays on indefinately! Can't say that about Windows...

So, my wishlist:
Stable
Possible to set up even for someone like me
Must give me access to port programming
Must be accessible from the net

What it's for? Well, in the server cluster at work, we have some problems, namely some boxes that now and then must be turned off. The hard way, by pulling the plug... This has a tendency to happen at night, of course, and means that someone must drive in, pull the plug, plug it back in, and drive home.

Takes time and is expensive. So, I need a stable computer with a couple of relays hooked up to it that will cut power on command... Ideas please?
 
OP
Veland

Veland

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2001
Location
Bergen, Norway
Thanks! That first thing link looks great, but still, I'd like to do it myself :santa:

And auto reboot is something we already do on some servers. But we also have some firewall boxes that hangs from time to time. And they can't be directly managed and rebooted, other than pulling the plug.

So do send other recomendations and ideas!
 

MRD

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
I would go with freebsd or debian as well, gnufsh read my mind.

Both are excellent server distros.

Personally, I tend to put gentoo on my servers, but that's just because I know gentoo the best. Debian is really the better choice among linux distros. BSD isn't a linux distro, it's another implementation of unix for the pc. Totally different code base, but excellent for stability and security.
 

Scott9027

Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Location
NC
I think FreeBSD would be the ideal choice, but it would probably be difficult to set up. Since I have experience with Debian, I can say that it would be much easier to set up, and can be very stable. Just make sure you use the stable release!
 

MRD

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Servers that run guis are not as stable and secure as those that do not. A nice simple command line interface is the way to go. It doesn't use up system resources on frivolities either.
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
i wish all people had a system as stable as mine - file server, going on 7 years now - had windows 2000, now server 2003 standard since it's release - 2 years ? (got to love those MS conferneces and free stuff) and it has been running over 1 year as of 1 week ago when i had to reinstall my remote software - If i do have to reboot it was because my remote control software went screwy on me - or a power otuage.
 

MRD

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Debian really isn't hard to set up. BSD is trickier. A lot of the debian configuration is done through a menu system, although not in a gui (it's an ncurses based system).
 

fiji

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2002
Location
berlin
although gentoo is considered unstable -- its worked fine for me

ive had my server up for over a year running samba/apache/sshd/squid/proftp and some other misc **** (oh and all it is, 1 cat5, 1 power cord, 1 big square box, no monitor/keyboard/mouse -- its hot)

no maintenance at all so far, never locked up , anything, the only time it restarts is when the power goes out (once a month or something, but not like i even notice that its been restarted if it werent for the fact that the uptime reset :p )

also ive been running gentoo on my work laptop this year, and so far it has 95 days uptime, not only that but in the same kde session i started 95 days ago lol
 

Flamed_Chip

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2001
Location
Yorkshire, UK
fiji said:
although gentoo is considered unstable -- its worked fine for me
Gentoo isn't considered unstable by any means. If you don't use the ~arch keyword to unmask testing packages, then the packages are considered stable. Compiling everything is often less buggy than using a binary distribution because everything is built and linked against the actual libraries you have on your machine. You can make gentoo unstable by using over optimistic compiler optimizations, but that is not a fault of the distribution.

Gentoo is suitable for use as a server distribution, the only consideration you should make before using it is wether or not you can afford the CPU time spent compiling packages.
 

MRD

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
The advantage of a distro like debian is that they backport patches. Say that they find a hole in ssh. Gentoo will release an updated version of ssh with the patch and tell you to upgrade, debian will backport the patch to previous versions of ssh so you can maintain the version of the software you were previously using. This is preferable for servers, but of little value on the desktop.
 

klingens

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2002
Location
Xanadu
What is "Must give me access to port programming"?

Also from what you describe with your situation, you want something for the symptoms instead of fixing the problem. I mean I barely can understand some Windows based closed source proprietary horizontal (or vertical) niche app crashing constantly a server. Well I can't understand why anyone would use the software, but I've seen it happen often enough to acknowledge it.
But: a firewall that "hangs"? a firewall?
Can you tell us why those various servers and appliances hang or crash periodically?

As for a small and low maintenance server, I'd suggest debian as well: their long time between debian releases is to your advantage here since it cuts a lot of maintenance. *bsd might also be a solution. Others like gentoo are not so good: too many updates for something you don't want to care about. Just make sure you only install a minimal debian system only and only install stuff as absolutely needed, e.g. no GUI, sshd only, etc.