VPSLink, "Lighty"

I just signed up for a VPS (Virtual Private Server) account with VPSLink. I finally decided to get rid of my flaky DSL service and abandon my static IP’s for a cheaper, faster connection through Cox Cable. The only problem with doing so is that my Blog and a few other sandbox sites I have run off of a box at my house on a static IP that I’ve had through AT&T forever.

I could have got a traditionally PHP hosting account, which is all I really need, but I wanted something I could install what ever I want on it and hack the /etc files to meet my needs.

I’m very impressed with how easy it is to change your OS image on the fly and how large the selection of Linux Distro’s is. I can install almost instantly, ArchOS, Gentoo, CentOS, Fedora, and several other great distros.

Unfortunately everything didn’t go quite as planned. I was initially extremely excited they offer a VPS for only $7.95. Sound to good to be true? Well, it is true, but not really that good. You see, the VPS they offer at that price only has 64mb of memory. If you haven’t tried lately, it’s pretty much impossible to run a LAMP stack on 64mb of memory. It certainly isn’t possible with the default configurations available via the latest versions of CentOS or Ubuntu. I did a bit of hacking on the Apache and MySQL config files and was able to turn down the memory usage a bit, but I never got it close to being under 64mb. So I upgraded to the $14.95 package which offers 128mb of RAM and surprisingly, I’m still having issues getting Apache and MySQL to play nice in such a small space. I eventually dropped Apache for Lighttpd and got a bit of extra space and turned off innoDb support in MySQL and now I have a fairly functional PHP/MySQL server. I’m really loving Lighttpd. It was far easier to configure than Apache is and seems much leaner and meaner.

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