Author Topic: Potential Migration, Coming Soon!  (Read 2188 times)

Spectere

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Potential Migration, Coming Soon!
« on: January 15, 2015, 10:12:43 AM »
Hey guys! Linux rant, incoming!

I'm most likely going to be changing the Linux distro that powers spectere.net in the near future. Right now I have it running on Arch but I've had enough systemd-related issues that it's gotten to the point that I'm afraid to update packages. It seems like 9 times out of 10, systemctl completely breaks after an update and keeps me from being able to, well, do much of anything. I shouldn't have to reboot my server (hard reboot, no less...when systemd freaks out everything goes to shit) to update Apache, dammit!

I've also had numerous issues on the VPS that hosts my Minecraft server, namely with the units breaking in very, very mysterious ways, and the logs are of almost no help. Every time I fire up a server instance or even try to restart one it's a nail biting experience. It looks like everything is correct with my units and shell scripts, and when it works it works well. The problem is that it mysteriously fails 25% of the time, requiring me to run around in circles for ten minutes. In contrast, I've set up little home Minecraft servers on Gentoo (which uses OpenRC on top of sysvinit) that work perfectly.

Of course, the natural question after this is: which distro do I go to? As much as I'd prefer not to have to build everything from source, I'm pinning for Gentoo at this point. Debian (and, by extension, Ubuntu) chugged the Kool-aid and is going to systemd with their next major release (no doubt because GNOME3 requires that travesty now), I'm allergic to RPM-based distros after numerous bad experiences with RHEL and Fedora (so that rules out openSUSE, Fedora, and CentOS) and I'm simply not familiar enough with Slackware to be comfortable using it.

So yeah, I guess I'm going to be rolling with Gentoo.

What does that mean for the site, exactly? Well, not a whole lot from a user standpoint. When I moved over to the VPS in the first place I was smart enough to throw the data on a separate volume. My migration plan right now is as follows (note that this server is named "freyr":

  • Spin up a new Linode.
  • Install and configure Apache, MySQL, PHP, et al.
  • Kill the MySQL server on freyr and unmount the data partition.
  • Throw a "WE'LL BE BACK AFTER THESE MESSAGES" thing up on all subdomains.
  • Clone the data drive to the new Linode.
  • Update DNS records.
  • After the DNS propagates, smite freyr with the fury of Odin.

As a result, downtime should be minimal: an estimated 30-40 minutes to clone the disk image to the new node and however long it takes for the DNS records to propagate (I'll crank the TTL down to a fairly low value before I do the migration so that it falls out of the DNS cache relatively quickly).

I don't have a specific date/time set aside right now, but I'll give you guys a heads up at least a few days before I transition everything over.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Zephlar

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Re: Potential Migration, Coming Soon!
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 10:27:53 AM »
Something tells me everyone will be alright during the transition ;)

Bobbias

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Re: Potential Migration, Coming Soon!
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 11:44:35 AM »
Gentoo, when every other linux distro sucks, you can roll your own.
This is going in my sig. :)


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Spectere

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Re: Potential Migration, Coming Soon!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 08:10:04 AM »
Something tells me everyone will be alright during the transition ;)

NOT IF I CAN HELP IT. Err...wait.

Gentoo, when every other linux distro sucks, you can roll your own.

Ain't that the truth. It helps that I understand the Gentoo package manager a lot better than I understand Arch's.

Pacman seems easy on the surface, but there are a ton of quality of life features that Portage has that most other package managers seem to lack. At one point one of my Arch VMs ended up breaking hard--some sort of breakage with the VMware video driver on X. With Gentoo that would have simply been a matter of masking the faulty packages out in /etc/make/package.mask. With Arch it required me to remove the driver, install a third-party utility that would allow me to retrieve and install an older version of a package, then cross my fingers and hope that nothing else would ever break in the future.

Some proponents of pacman insist that the reason it's like that is because Arch is a rolling release distro, ignoring the fact that other rolling release distributions (such as Gentoo) do allow you to downgrade with ease if everything goes down the shitter.

Suffice it to say, I'm hesitant to even use Arch on a personal desktop after some of those issues, let alone a server. The "if it breaks, you're SOL" mentality is a bit disturbing. I like having the option to go bleeding edge on a package (which is something that Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora/CentOS, and friends generally don't offer in an attempt to remain consistent) but I also like being able to step things back if things start breaking. Arch doesn't really give you options, it's bleeding edge (stable), super bleeding edge (unstable), or pick a different distro. Gentoo allows a few additional steps in the middle, probably as a result of it being a source-based distro. Despite compiling packages being a minor headache (not really a huge one for the most part; I was using it on a Pentium III at one point, after all), I think I'll stick with it simply because of that.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Spectere

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Re: Potential Migration, Coming Soon!
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2015, 11:22:15 AM »
After going through the flu, numerous busy spells, and crap like that, I managed to get everything working more or less harmoniously on the new system. I still have a bit more testing and cleaning up to do before I pull the trigger, but things are looking pretty good so far!
¯\_(ツ)_/¯