in Hacks, Lost & Found

Setting up a vps on yourserver.se

I was looking for a cheap vps to host some small apps and play around a bit more with python & cgi. After I created the mlg soundboard with bootstrap my aversion to HTML diminished.

On a bitcoin wiki I found a company called yourserver.se which offers a vps for 2 Euro per month. Yes, TWO EURO ($2.75).yourserver.se vpsYou get 256mb RAM, 5gb SSD(!) disk and unlimited transfer. You can choose between CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu and pay by Paypal or Bitcoin. You also get a free IP address which is absolutely crazy for this price.

Getting started

After I decided on the distribution I just paid and was immediately logged in and my vps was ready. Super easy, so uncomplicated. Somehow the locals were a bit broken. However, this should fix them (for debian-based distributions):

Afterwards I just did the usual stuff: setting up users, importing config files, securing the server, etc. You can check out linode’s guide which is pretty good though a bit outdated.

I quickly installed zsh which is my favorite shell. Its auto completion features alone are worth installing it. I also run cronjobs therefore I installed bsd-mailx and postfix so that the system can send me mails if some errors happen. If you want to set up your own MTA there are many tutorials out there and it’s also covered in the linode guide. However, it can be a pain in the ass. A lot of people use google app or other services for handling emails.

If you work via ssh you should also install screen. It’s basically a window manager for the shell. I’m connecting from a mac and each time I pressed tab screen answered “Wuff —- Wuff”. You can get rid of this by setting TERM to rxvt. Just include this in your .zshrc or .bashrc.

The next installs where pip which is a python package manager and sqlite. SQLite is a great database which is basically enough for most people and it doesn’t suck up as much resources as mysql or postgres and is super easy to use. I mainly use it in python. You can use it for web apps without problems – especially if you use a ORM.

SQLite usually will work great as the database engine for low to medium traffic websites (which is to say, 99.9% of all websites). The amount of web traffic that SQLite can handle depends, of course, on how heavily the website uses its database. Generally speaking, any site that gets fewer than 100K hits/day should work fine with SQLite. The 100K hits/day figure is a conservative estimate, not a hard upper bound. SQLite has been demonstrated to work with 10 times that amount of traffic (Appropriate Uses For SQLite)

So yeah, if you have less than 100K hits a day you are fine. Which is more than I have in a year…

These are my basic tools. Then I started playing a bit with lighttpd (I want a lean server) which was surprisingly easy to install and configure and works pretty fine.

I felt quite comfortable doing all this stuff although the last time I used linux was about 5 years ago. But after somehow I remembered it.

Speed test

So you have a solid 30 – 40 mbits connection and a fantastic connection to Sweden where the server is hosted.

VPN?

You can either use OpenVPN where you have to enable the TUN interface. I tried it yesterday and it worked pretty fine. If you want to use PPTP you just write them a support ticket and they will enable the module. So you have both options available.

Conclusion

Yourserver.se is incredible cheap, fast and easy. You can even pay by bitcoin. I don’t make any money recommending them and I didn’t even want to because they are so cheap. I sincerely feel a bit bad. Seriously, grab one before they raise the prices.

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