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#1 2009-12-16 16:33:46

asheguy79
Member
From: Asheville North Carolina
Registered: 2009-11-23
Posts: 16

Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

First of all bravo on Arch this is an awesome OS.  Ok so here is the deal, I have using Fedora since I made the move to Linux and for the most part have been very happy with it as my OS.  As of lately thought I have grown tired of the constant kernel updates and all the crap that comes along with it.  I was a alpha and beta tester on F12 and as of yesterday we had gone through I think 9 or 10 kernels so far, although I might be wrong due to the time I had to spend on the couch after I had some surgery.  Again nothing wrong with it just time for me to move on.  I found out about Arch from Linux Format and tried it and now I am hooked I love it but can it run a home server?  I need advice on what desktop would work best for it as well, my wife likes icons.  I looked at icewm on Mepis Antix and I liked it but I am still unsure.  I have more than enough machine to handle running both a server and a desktop, my specs are at the bottom.  I really just need some direction so any help will be welcomed.

My boxes specs:
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33 GHz
8 GB of RAM
3 1 TB Western Digital SATA drives that run at 7200rpm and the have all have dual processors, may add another on soon.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 PCI-E 16X with 1 GB of dedicated RAM @ 550 MHz
NVIDIA hardware RAID controller and motherboard. 

Thanks for the help

Last edited by asheguy79 (2009-12-20 13:10:10)

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#2 2009-12-16 16:47:09

EVRAMP
Member
From: Czech Republic
Registered: 2008-10-03
Posts: 173
Website

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Hello there, I am also thinking about this. Not only we are, but this topic appears here on the forums almost every month. I think you might be very happy with arch on server, just plan your strategy!
Few of possible strategies are:
a) install it and let it be as it is (until a big security hole is discovered or gets REALLY old)
b) install it on server and another machine (desktop, laptop,...) and see what updates are critical. Update your server after things go stable.
c) update it as normal desktop, but read forums, mailing lists, announcements to be ready for changes the rolling system brings

I think the best answer is: Try it! You will like it or you will not. It's like someone likes Ubuntu, someone likes Arch. It's just your choice - it depends on your experiences with it. You have to try it yourself.

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#3 2009-12-16 17:20:55

Stythys
Member
From: SF Bay Area
Registered: 2008-05-18
Posts: 878
Website

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

as long as your server admin is capable, sure, arch works just fine as a server


[home page] -- [code / configs]

"Once you go Arch, you must remain there for life or else Allan will track you down and break you."
-- Bregol

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#4 2009-12-16 18:33:30

jerryluc
Member
From: Trondheim, Norway
Registered: 2008-05-20
Posts: 95

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

You could check out arch server
http://www.archserver.org

Last edited by jerryluc (2009-12-16 18:34:22)

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#5 2009-12-16 18:35:14

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 3,610

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

asheguy79 wrote:

As of lately thought I have grown tired of the constant kernel updates and all the crap that comes along with it.  I was a alpha and beta tester on F12 and as of yesterday we had gone through I think 9 or 10 kernels so far ...

I think Arch will not be a good choice for you then because packages are updated regularly, the kernel is not updated every day but also has regular updates (when there is a new release upstream expect to see a kernel update in Arch soon).

Install arch on a virtual machine or spare partition and give it a try for a couple of months and decide if it is the right thing for you or not.


R00KIE
Tm90aGluZyB0byBzZWUgaGVyZSwgbW92ZSBhbG9uZy4K

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#6 2009-12-16 21:01:28

Barrucadu
Member
From: York, England
Registered: 2008-03-30
Posts: 1,158
Website

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

I have a home server on Arch and it runs beautifully. However, I had been running Arch as my main OS for a year and a half beforehand (and as a secondary OS for a couple of months longer), so I knew my way around pretty when I set it all up. YMMV.

Last edited by Barrucadu (2009-12-16 21:02:29)

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#7 2009-12-16 21:23:50

Mr.Elendig
#archlinux@freenode channel op
From: The intertubes
Registered: 2004-11-07
Posts: 3,764

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]


Evil #archlinux@freenode channel op and general support dude.
. files on github, Screenshots, Random pics and the rest

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#8 2009-12-16 21:36:49

sand_man
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 2008-06-10
Posts: 2,164

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Is www.archlinux.org running Arch?


neutral

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#9 2009-12-16 22:44:17

Misfit138
Misfit Emeritus
From: USA
Registered: 2006-11-27
Posts: 4,170

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

sand_man wrote:

Is www.archlinux.org running Arch?

Of course, yes. :)

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#10 2009-12-16 23:00:37

scottuss
Member
From: England
Registered: 2009-02-20
Posts: 77

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

I have run Arch as a development and testing server and I'm getting involved with the Arch Server project, so yeah, I'd say Arch is good for servers. The clean, no added c**p philosophy is ideal. As long as you check if any major updates are reported to break things, you should be fine.

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#11 2009-12-17 01:12:54

fukawi2
Forum Moderator
From: .vic.au
Registered: 2007-09-28
Posts: 5,326
Website

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

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#12 2009-12-17 13:05:08

RedShift
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 230

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

In my opinion: no. Arch definately kept me awake at night. I've switched all my servers to CentOS and couldn't be happier. Desktops, my media center, non mission critical stuff, etc... is running Arch and for that purpose it is a perfect fit.


:?

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#13 2009-12-17 16:10:42

steve___
Member
Registered: 2008-02-24
Posts: 439

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Redshift, what problems were you running into?

Last edited by steve___ (2009-12-17 16:11:21)

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#14 2009-12-17 16:46:33

wigren
Member
From: Madison, Indiana
Registered: 2009-05-04
Posts: 12

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

I use Arch in our small office for a file/personal-web-site/wiki server, as well as at home for a file server. It works as expected with hardly any issues. In fact, the only issue I can think of is having trouble sharing files with an old Win95 box. It was a simple configuration issue though. Ubuntu's smb.conf solved it for me.

As for your desktop question: Are you opposed to GNOME/KDE? My non-techie wife has used both with little trouble. She had no luck with fluxbox. And in the interest of marital bliss, thats the only other DE/WM I've tried.

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#15 2009-12-17 17:53:13

schuay
Trusted User (TU)
From: Austria
Registered: 2008-08-19
Posts: 564

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

An idea would be to install on an LVM root filesystem. Then make a snapshot before each update - if something breaks, just boot from the snapshot.
You would need a known good kernel (which isn't automatically overwritten by Arch updates), but otherwise this seems pretty failsafe to me.

Of course, this only touches the stability aspect of servers, security/etc are something else.

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#16 2009-12-18 00:21:41

NeOnsKuLL
Member
From: Havana, Cuba
Registered: 2005-03-29
Posts: 117

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

OK, I've been using Arch by 5 years (or a bit more), as my main desktop. I work as Systems and Networks Administrator, and my servers were, for the 4 last years, running Arch, from firewalls to jabber servers, with DHCP, DNS, WWW (Nginx+Apache), FTP, dictd, LDAP, .... in between. All running Arch. And no real problems so far.

As long as you pay attention to update issues (ie: recent warning about PHP 5.3 update), effectively warned in www.archlinux.org frontpage, you shouldn't have any problems.

I have even a non-production server in which I mount and test any service before moving it to production. In this server, I run "pacman -Syu" almost every day (yeah, I know, I'm a lot like a suicider, ;-D), and no real and stressing problems.

So, my opinion is: pay special attention to update issues, test everything in a non-production environment (this is valid for every OS you will use in a server, not only for Arch), and don't be stressed, you shouldn't.

Enjoy Arch, and this community, which IMHO is one of the best (if not the best).

See you

Last edited by NeOnsKuLL (2009-12-18 00:24:19)


Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz | 2x1GB 667MHz | 250+750GB Seageate SATAII | Samsung 19" TFT 1440x900
Openbox + obmenugen + PyTyle | bmpanel2 | oblogout | conky | pyBgSetter (with Esetroot as backend)
Projects: obmenugen, pyBgSetter

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#17 2009-12-18 00:43:12

Allan
is always right
From: Brisbane, AU
Registered: 2007-06-09
Posts: 10,463
Website

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Is Arch good to use on a server?

My response to this question is always: "if you have to ask, then no"

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#18 2009-12-18 11:32:46

RedShift
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2004-07-16
Posts: 230

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

steve___ wrote:

Redshift, what problems were you running into?

Well, for example, PHP 5.3 has been pushed to the repo's while our shared hosting servers offer PHP 5.2. Upgrading directly to PHP 5.3 would cause some breakage which is unacceptable for production servers. Same thing like going from MySQL 5.0 to 5.1. Sometimes things get pushed to the repos without all dependent packages rebuilt. These small things all add up.


:?

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#19 2009-12-18 18:55:13

JimC
Member
Registered: 2009-10-12
Posts: 4

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

In a critical, enterprise space. Or a mission critical 5-9's environment.

No.

and

Hell No.

We still run Solaris 5.5 for a few grandfathered services that are 10 years old and going. You just DO NOT touch, upgrade or fiddle with production. The -only- think you do to prod is security updates, and then first you make sure its an update you actually need. Since you don't use package updates, ever... why bother with a distro based on a rolling release system of mostly bleeding edge stuff?

Beyond that, where is the 1-800 number I can call Christmas day at 5am for support?


For a home server, where the worst case is you don't get to watch your movies for a few hours? Sure, use the lts kernel and have at.

Last edited by JimC (2009-12-18 18:57:42)

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#20 2009-12-18 19:21:59

oli
Member
From: 127.0.0.1
Registered: 2006-02-07
Posts: 164
Website

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Bleeding edge fits for a desktop, but it doesn't for a server. At home yes, for production: NO!


Use UNIX or die.

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#21 2009-12-20 13:11:23

asheguy79
Member
From: Asheville North Carolina
Registered: 2009-11-23
Posts: 16

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice, got the RAID and server up running on Gentoo.

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#22 2009-12-21 07:31:50

Dillweed
Member
From: Washington
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 17

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

asheguy79 wrote:

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice, got the RAID and server up running on Gentoo.

You serious? Not to crash your party, but Gentoo is, in my opinion, NOT the best choice for a server. You're going to spend a lot of time compiling stuff when you could be out partying with your friends. Don't get me wrong Gentoo has it place in the distro lineup, but as a server OS it is too time consuming to maintain. The biggest problem with Gentoo, and Arch for that matter, is you have to be on top of updates. If you lag behind even a little on updating, then you're hosed. That said, Arch does a better job of maintaining stability if you haven't updated in awhile, but Gentoo is just a pain.

I've run both and if push comes to shove then Arch is going on the server, but in the end I use FreeBSD. (Can I say that here?)

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#23 2009-12-21 09:07:15

zodmaner
Member
Registered: 2007-07-11
Posts: 653

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

Dillweed wrote:

<snip>
I've run both and if push comes to shove then Arch is going on the server, but in the end I use FreeBSD. (Can I say that here?)

Why not? FreeBSD is a nice, solid OS. smile

Last edited by zodmaner (2009-12-21 09:07:35)


Memento mori

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#24 2009-12-22 04:35:52

Dillweed
Member
From: Washington
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 17

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

I try to avoid distro or OS wars (been in too many and I'm not an expert on any of them), but I just felt strongly about asheguy79 case here. I've really tried running Gentoo on a server, which was an old PIII 500mhz and it took forever to compile programs. This time has been cut down dramatically with the increase of processing power, but still it takes time to compile every single program and all the dependencies. I just don't have that time any more to babysit a computer. When I need something installed, I need it now, not it 2 to 6 hours from now. That is why Arch fits the bill so wonderfully. I can install optimized software and still play around with compiling if needed. The best of both worlds.

Now to be a hypocrit, I still compile software for the FreeBSD machine at work. It takes time, but it is significantly faster because the computer is just faster. Yet, with FreeBSD there is the package system and the ports system, the best of both worlds again.

Still you're the one to make the the final decision and as long as you are enjoying what you do then it is the right decision. Have fun!

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#25 2009-12-22 13:16:08

Misfit138
Misfit Emeritus
From: USA
Registered: 2006-11-27
Posts: 4,170

Re: Is Arch good to use on a server? [solved]

I suppose this topic is at an end, since it is solved, but I must mention again that archlinux.org runs on Arch. Crouse uses Arch for all of his production server needs, and has been running several websites on Arch for years. ghost1227 uses Arch on his server.
IMHO, Arch makes a great server. You just have to embrace the Arch server approach. :)

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