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In all shared hosting environments, one can be agnostic to the running OS. What happens in the case of Linode?

I know it allows pretty flexible Linux installations, but for starters, besides choosing a distro, does one need to do more Linux sysadmin stuff besides the basic web hosting (DNS management, MySql database creations, users ftp/ssh access/ backups)?

Does Linode have a module that would cover cPanel's basic features?

Does one need to install/start/upgrade each aspect of LAMP (software bundle)?

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You get a clean install on a Virtual Machine instance, and a control panel where you can do some basic config and reports (DNS, OS installation, node balancer, backups, etc).

This means, you need to configure (nearly) everything by hand (or install a tool such as cPanel to do it - but I'd prefer cli over cPanel).

I think if you have a good knowledge of Linux cli, then it's should be pretty straight-forward to move to Linode. However if you do not know linux cli that well, it could be a good experience to improve your skills in that area (assuming you have both room for error and time in your hands). In any other case probably linode is not for you.

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Most VPS/Cloud providers will optionally provide a LAMP stack ready to go out of the box. However, you typically will need to know how to:

  • Configure hosting in apache
  • Set PHP variables
  • Install PHP add-ons, e.g. PECL/PEAR extensions
  • Configure MySQL and optimize it
  • Setup new MySQL databases and secure them
  • Regularly apply OS updates
  • Take backups of the server/application

...

And the list continues.

If this is for business purposes, I do not recommend trying to handle this challenge yourself if your business depends on this site. I always encourage people to evaluate the risks that a site security issue or failure could pose to their business. Try to quantify this risk and see if it makes sense to do it yourself. Also consider the time factor, unless you have a lot of automation, plan on spending at least 1 hour per month on routine maintenance.

Now if this is for personal use. Knock yourself out. I've never had a formal IT class but have built a business delivery IT services. When it comes to Linux, hand-on experience is key.

Just be careful with online forums. I find a lot of advice in there suspect. Sites like:

http://www.cyberciti.biz/

Offer some great tutorials that are usually more accurate than what you find in forums.

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And don't forget Server Fault! (As a good source of information...) –  Andy Oct 10 '12 at 15:32
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