[Techtalk] Suggestions on setting new server up

Terry Roy tech at futurecourse.com
Tue Sep 13 17:22:05 UTC 2011


I've been using a VPS with cPanel and CentOS for about 10 years now and
want to move to an unmanaged VPS.  cPanel is serious overkill for what I

I've been playing with a Linode for about 6 months now and really,
really enjoy it.  The specs beat the heck out of any cPanel VPS I've
been able to find, service is remarkable, price is better and I have
total control.

My question now is what OS do I want to go with and what's the best way
to do things.  I know enough but then I don't.  I've had years of
experience with Exim, Dovecot, Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc, but I've never
really installed any of it, other than playing with my Linode.

My needs are:

OS - torn between Debian 6 and CentOS 6.  I'm trying to go with the
smallest Linode available to keep my costs down.  I'm used to CentOS but
have read that Debian, for a small VPS, is better in terms of size and
memory usage.

Mail - thinking Exim & Dovecot, with spamassassin and clamav.  Need
virtual users for several different domains.  Would like to use some
type of db, sqlite preferable or MySQL for managing users and
preferences.  I've seen some setups where the mail is stored in a db.
Not really sure that I need/want that.  I really don't want to consider
any other MTA as I don't want a steep learning curve for the mail.

Webmail - thinking Squirrelmail.

Web - thinking Nginx with PHP, sqlite preferable or MySQL.  I have only
a couple of sites with different domain names - 1 static and 1 with a
Drupal installation currently using MySQL.  Not too concerned about
having to migrate my current MySQL db to sqlite for Drupal.

Security, of course, is most important. After that, is mail. The plan
for implementation is to first get the OS installed, secure it and then
work on getting the mail server and associated packages up and running
then move all mail functions over to the new server.  I have a couple of
domains that I can test with that won't affect my main domains. Then,
once I've got the mail server functioning, I can then work on the
websites and transition over to the new server.

I've read so much stuff now about implementation that I have confused
myself about which way is the best to go. Any comments, suggestions,
experiences, links to resources, etc, that y'all can offer on any aspect
of the above would be very much appreciated.


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