A web admin evening

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (475 Words)

Well, I spent the whole of this evening testing security updates to various bits of software that the OGRE website uses and applying them rather carefully to the real thing. I intend to script a sync from the main site to my local copy on a regular basis (I already transfer database dumps) so it’ll take less time to get the test setup running in future.

Once again my tiny multi-purpose Gentoo box bore the brunt of the work, being as it is a mail server, database server, proxy server, web server, file server, router, OGRE release builder and probably a few other things too (it used to be a print server until I got my standalone wireless printer earlier in the year). And it all happily runs on an 800Mhz C3 (Mini-ITX form factor) equipped with paltry 128Mb without swapping or complaining. You just gotta love Linux for servers, they can just do so much with so little. I have to constantly contrast this with the occasional bit of Windows server admin I have to do at work, and have to really grit my teeth as a box grinds through it’s perilously slow startup / login process (especially on remote desktop, which you’re generally forced to use since there isn’t a remote console that’s of any real practical use in Windows) even though it’s doing less than my box here and is a multiprocessor machine with 2 Gb of ram. I can see why Intel partner with Microsoft, they make you want to buy faster machines all the time 😉

I must admit that if I eventually upgrade that server - and when I do, it’ll be because it breaks or because I just fancy something new to play with, since performance wise I have no issues - I’ll install Debian instead which I’ve grown to like since the OGRE server runs on it. Gentoo fitted this box nicely, since everything is compiled specifically for the C3 chip, thus eking the maximum out of a modest box, but when it comes to installing software, coming from a 10-second wajig (apt-get wrapper) on Debian back to a several minute emerge on Gentoo does grate a little. Of course, since the OGRE server is on a gratuitously fat pipe, downloads from Debian mirrors from there appear almost instant anyway 😀

It reminds me, I really must get around to reinstalling a desktop Linux install sometime. I enjoy using desktop Linux (SuSE and Gentoo were both pleasant to use, I might try Ubuntu next due to its Debian origins), but it is very much an option for me, since MSVC is still my preferred development environment and therefore the major Windows anchor for me on my workstation. This is the same reason I haven’t bought a Mac Mini, even though I’d really like one. Time, time, time….