[okfn-help] Re: eu0.okfn.org

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Jan 8 13:31:44 GMT 2007

Saul Albert wrote on 2006-12-14:
> hi Rufus,

Thanks for all your help on this Saul and sorry for the delay in responding.

> On Tue, Dec 12, 2006 at 03:52:22PM +0000, Rufus Pollock wrote:
>>> Well, let's keep hosting things on us0.okfn.org. I can set up rsync to
>> That is possible though one reason for having the new machine was to use 
>> it for dev work (i.e. running/testing sites i didn't want running on the 
>> main machine)
> Ok, well that rules out using ispconfig really - which standardises the
> way that web hosts and mail services are set up and run.

Yes unfortunately this really is the case -- it is much more of a custom 
setup than a simple website+mysql install.

> If this is the case, I certainly wouldn't recommend ispconfig - I'll
> return eu0 to it's default configuration and just set up the rsync
> scripts.

Thanks Saul. I'm sorry that this wasn't clearer earlier -- I don't think 
i had quite understood how 'exclusive' ispconfig was going to be.

> However, given mattl's queries on irc the other night, it does seem to
> me that it would be far more useful and effective as an admin strategy
> to have a totally standardised 'package' of hosting for sites that can
> be distributed to people, so that we can all admin the server without
> having to document everything as if it was the first time someone set
> up a mysql root pw.

This is a good point (though I would note that anyone with sudo access 
can set up a mysql database (they don't need the password). The problem 
is that at least at present the ratio of standard to non-standard stuff 
is not that high. At present the 'production' okfn.org machine is running:

   * kforge (apache config is autogenerated by the software)
   * open shakespeare (running a cherrypy server to which apache proxies)
   * witbd.org: vanilla html
   * ckan.net: currently vanilla html but soon won't be
   * freeculture.org.uk: moinmoin but with some rubyonrails for 14plus14
   * okfn.org: kforge backend for some parts + moinmoin
   * www.wsfii.org: wordpress + moinmoin
   * publicgeodata.org: moinmoin

Also it would be nice to have a 'dev' machine for trying stuff out that 
can also act as fallover should the main machine go south at some point.

By the way I have now integrated all the sysadmin info into the sysadmin 
trac installation at:


And it is exactly this kind of information that I'll start posting there.

> To be honest, I'm not actually up for sharing administrative
> responsibility for a box that isn't standardised in this way because I
> really don't have that much confidence in my abilities not to fuck
> things up - and I know I'm too lazy to learn and stick to a new set of
> administrative conventions.

I quite understand. I've no doubt that this kind of thing is just hard 
to do. Nevertheless it would be really nice to have some sort of 
'backup' on the sysadmin side of things -- people occasionally go on 
holiday :). At least for basic stuff such as requesting a reboot if the 
machine goes down, restarting apache, apt-get dist-upgrade you don't 
need to know much about the setup of the machine. Anyway thanks once 
again for your help Saul which is much appreciated.



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