2014 Server Migration

Revision as of 23:20, 22 June 2014 by Vance (Talk | contribs)

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This page is to collect information about our current configuration and options for switching to a new server going forward. Please feel free to edit to add missing information or correct errors.

Server selection

We are currently hosting with Linode on the $20/month plan. The new $10/month plan will halve our costs and still provide sufficient resources. We currently are located in the Atlanta datacenter. This is good because it is still in the Eastern time zone and is not too far away but should be remote from any disaster that might occur in Pittsburgh. The only downside is they block some ports, which means Monkeybot needs to be configured to use an alternative port to connect to Freenode IRC. The Newark datacenter would be closer and doesn't block ports. However, a large-scale power outage could affect both Pittsburgh and New Jersey.

Other options are possible; for example Digital Ocean has a $5/month plan that has less horsepower but should still be sufficient for our needs. The main benefit is that costs would be halved again.

You can add your suggestions in this section. Note that web hosting is not sufficient; we need a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server to accommodate our mailing lists and IRC bot. Since we've been very happy with the service we've gotten from Linode and are comfortable with how it works, please support alternative suggestions with a compelling case for how they'd be an improvement.

OS selection

The WPLUG server currently runs on CentOS 5. This is still supported, but it would make sense to choose a newer distro while we're doing the server switch.

Service enumeration

Services that are currently running on the WPLUG Linode server. These should include things that are user-facing only, not infrastructure.

  • E-mail (Postfix)
  • Mailing lists (Mailman)
  • Wiki (MediaWiki)
  • Blog (Wordpress)
  • Monkeybot IRC bot (infobot) - maybe consider different bot software that can import monkeybot's database?
  • RSS aggregator (Tiny Tiny RSS, tt-rss)

Infrastructure software which supports the services above.

  • Web server (Apache) - it would be possible to use Nginx instead, but I (Vance) am not familiar with setting it up
  • PHP (Apache mod_php) for MediaWiki, Wordpress, and TT-RSS
  • Python for Mailman
  • Perl for Monkeybot
  • MySQL for MediaWiki, Wordpress, and TT-RSS - likely possible to use MariaDB instead, other DBMS not recommended for use with MediaWiki

Support lifetime

Software availability

This table is to track, for the different distros under consideration, whether the software we need is available within its repositories. We want to minimize the number of applications which have to be maintained manually.


  • B: in distro's base repository
  • A: in an additional repository provided by the distro
  • T: in a third-party repository
  • ~: not available in any known repository
  •  ?: availability unknown
CentOS 6 CentOS 7 Debian 7 Ubuntu 14.04
postfix ? ? B 2.9 B 2.11
mailman ? ? B 2.1 B 2.1
mediawiki ? ? B 1.19 A 1.19
wordpress ? ? B 3.6 A 3.8
infobot ? ? ? ~
apache ? ? B 2.2 B 2.4
nginx ? ? B 1.2 B/A 1.4
php5 ? ? B 5.4 B 5.5
python2 ? ? B 2.7 B 2.7
python3 ? ? B 3.2 B 3.4
perl5 ? ? B 5.14 B 5.18
mysql ? ? B 5.5 B 5.5 / A 5.6
mariadb ? ? ? (not B or A) A 5.5

Migration steps

Put some stuff here.


We have an archive of static web pages from the pre-2007 server "penguin" - it would be nice to make this history available somehow.