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pgu
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject: Gentoo friendly VPS hosting services? Reply with quote

Are there any Gentoo friendly virtual private server hosting services out there? Most of the one's I've seen seem to support mostly CentOS and similar.

What about Networksolutions? They say in http://networksolutions.com/vps/features.jsp

Quote:
VPS offers dedicated-server-like functionality including root access, giving you the power to install applications and services or even run different operating systems.


What type of KVM do they support? Is it possible to run IPMI over SSL or similar? All I need is some sort of secure console interface and the ability to boot off some ISO file to get started, and then ssh after that and revert to the secure console interface if the virtual server want boot.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pgu,

You can get a whole real server for £25/month+vat or less.

They offer what they call Gentoo.2012 but its not. It will make your eyes water when you see it.
From the MOTD, its from 2006 but it uses a /2008/ profile and a 3.x kernel.
The HDD that they provide are 4k physical sectors but the Gentoo image is so old that everything is sector misaligned.

I played with updating it for about 30 min before I blew it all away and did a Hardened install. Their Rescue System is fine for installing Gentoo

If you go that route, there are a few wrinkles to be aware of before you install, which I've been meaning to write up. I have a KS R-8G now.
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pgu
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks interesting, but when I tried to select and order and the only country I could select for the contact was United Kingdom.
I selected the Western Europe Datacenter (RBX) as my location choice. Also do you have to pay extra to open ports other than 22?
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the same company Neddy does, and I also recommend it.

No, you shouldn't have to pay extra. You get a dedicated server, and you are the server admin. In all ways except being under your desk, it's like it's under your desk. :wink:
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my friend in oregon just has fiber direct to his closet. building a face melting computer is less than a G these days.
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j-kidd
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most VPS providers that support KVM would fit your requirement, as they normally use SolusVM for VPS management, which allows ISO mounting and out-of-band VNC access. While most won't allow you to upload your own ISO, there should usually be a recent Gentoo minimal ISO for 32-bit and/or 64-bit.

I have had great experience with:
- 6sync.com - One of the first VPS provider that does KVM
- beyotta.net - Good choice for Asia Pacific region
- gridvirt.com - Ultra-fast I/O with SSD
- frontrangehosting.com - Just signed up yesterday and the owner gladly uploaded install-amd64-minimal-20130110.iso for me (the previous one didn't work due to https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=437480)

and shitty experience wiith:
- ramhost.us - VPS came with 4 cores, so naturally I went with MAKEOPTS="-j4". Little did I know that half way during Gentoo installation, my allocation was throttled 1/3 of a core due to "CPU abuse". The fact that I got only 1/12 of what I paid for was only revealed to me when I canceled the service due to bad performance.
- edis.at - Got a VPS in UK from them that uses OVH server. OVH has some weird network configuration such that the default gateway is located outside of the subnet. The owner of edis failed to communicate that to me, and ended up yelling at me for his own lack of understanding of the slash notation (e.g. 192.168.1.1/24) commonly used in Gentoo.
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

audiodef wrote:
I use the same company Neddy does, and I also recommend it.


Do you have to reside in the UK to be a customer?

audiodef wrote:

No, you shouldn't have to pay extra. You get a dedicated server, and you are the server admin. In all ways except being under your desk, it's like it's under your desk. :wink:


When clicking find out more on the Gentoo selection I get the following:

http://i46.tinypic.com/2nq769v.png

which checks only ssh. But that might be the case only for the default Gentoo image? I've seen other providers who will block ports in the upstream firewall/switch.
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

666threesixes666 wrote:
my friend in oregon just has fiber direct to his closet. building a face melting computer is less than a G these days.


I live in Oslo and nobody can/will deliver fiber to my house. I'm stuck with a 1Mbit DSL line which I pay US$ 108/month. I've had a fixed IP up to now, but now they're switching to dynamic IP only (at the same price of course),So I would like to migrate my home based server somewhere else and try to get a cheaper DSL service.

Not only that, but the socialistic government is bragging that the vast majority of the population have high speed access to the Internet. Seems like they define high speed as everything above 9600bps :(
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

j-kidd wrote:
While most won't allow you to upload your own ISO, there should usually be a recent Gentoo minimal ISO for 32-bi


Actually most of the local one I've checked out only have CentOS and Ubuntu.

Thank you for the list of providers! I'll check it out.
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j-kidd
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm.. it looks like those from my good list are not located near your region, but the bad ones are :lol:

Maybe you can give bigv.io a shot. Unlike other KVM VPS providers, bigv.io has its own Ruby-based command-line management tool that allows you to grab an ISO straight from any HTTP address (e.g. a Gentoo mirror). I tried it during the early beta period, and Gentoo installation was a bit tricky at the time. Hopefully it works better now.
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bigv.io looks great, but they state "The beta test is finishing in early 2013 but you can get an early look and use the platform while we tidy up our marketing"... However, it's pretty cheap at £10/month
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the bigv client script is not that Gentoo friendly:

Code:
2013-01-29 15:13:34 (159 KB/s) - `bigv_setup.sh' saved [10288]

*** Install the BigV command-line client on your distribution.
*** Please choose a distribution, or wait 10 seconds to auto-detect.

1) Auto-detect (recommended)
2) Ubuntu
3) Linux Mint
4) Debian
5) CentOS
6) Fedora

Select an option:
*** Sorry, either I don't know how to install on your distribution,
*** or the distribution you are using could not be determined.
*** Try selecting your distribution manually or installing the lsb package.


I hate to see scripts etc. which checks for distributions and specific versions rather than checking features. I've seen quite a few scripts/program fail since it's checking /etc/redhat-release or uname -r to match it against 2\.[0-9]* while it would still work on Gentoo or on a 3.x kernel....

And it seem to be a script wrapped around apt-get and friends and there's a check that you're running as root :?
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like the ruby installer program is available as well. Hopefully this can be used on Gentoo...
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pgu,

ssh in the OVH Gentoo page refers only to how you get initial access. The install is automated, the email with the ssh root password is automated.
You are renting a server in a data centre - what you put on it is up to you. OVH used to rent space to Wikileaks.
Their Gentoo.2012 is not usable. Boot to a rescue shell and install Gentoo for yourself, once you have access.

They probably bill in some North American currency if you use the Canadian service.

Hetzner is interesting if you want to pay in Euros.
This link is for recycled hardware. As its billed in Euros and I'm in the UK, I would need to pay a currency conversion charge to my bank too :(

From the UK, a new server from OVH provides more bang for your pound than a second hand server from Hetzner
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pgu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:
pgu,

ssh in the OVH Gentoo page refers only to how you get initial access. The install is automated, the email with the ssh root password is automated.


Thanks. That makes sense.

NeddySeagoon wrote:
pgu,
They probably bill in some North American currency if you use the Canadian service.


I don't mind paying in pounds as long as they accept major credit cards for billing and customers outside the UK. But the registration form only had one country as its selection: the UK...
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pgu,

The UK site seems to be broken in that respect - it only offers the UK. ovh.com redirects to ovh.co.uk for me.
ovh.fr seems to allow you to sign up from lots of countries and they want your money in Euros.

It seems that there is no ovh.no for you.
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pgu
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like the french site accepts several countries during registration. Thanks!
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dwfreed
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you'd still like to try a VPS, you may want to check out Linode. They're a bit more expensive as VPS providers go, but you get what you pay for, and support initial response time averages 5 to 10 minutes, and you'll often see a resolution in that initial response. They offer a 7 day money back guarantee, and accept the 4 major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover). They're a US company, so you'll be charged in USD, but from your posts you don't seem to mind currency conversions. And they've got a London location with great connectivity to all of Europe.

(Sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch; they're an awesome company and I love them)

On to the technical stuff, they use Xen for virtualization, and have a recent Gentoo template. The template even includes eix and gentoolkit, which we all know are practically required. A default deployment will (at the time of this writing) boot a vanilla 3.6.5 Linux kernel that has been custom configured by Linode to include a common set of options, but PV-GRUB is available if you want to use gentoo-sources, hardened-sources, or whatever. The Linode Manager provides all the tools you need to manage your Linode (shutdowns, reboots, console access, reset root password, reboot into Finnix for offline fixing, etc.).

I'd highly recommend them to anybody looking to move what they're hosting from their home computer, or anybody looking to get started hosting something, or even if you're looking for a development environment that needs good Internet accessibility for testing.



(Full disclosure: Yes, that's a referral link. When you click it, linode.com adds a cookie that includes my referral code. When you go to sign up, the referral code box is auto-filled with the value of this cookie. You can still clear the box, and the referral will not be added. Linode's referral program will give me a $20 credit to be used for their services, if and only if you have an active Linode for the 90 day period following your signup.

I am a Linode employee, but I am not paid by Linode to scroll forums and recommend our product. I am a Gentoo user, and run a variety of things from my Gentoo Linodes. I hang out in the Gentoo IRC channel on freenode, and answer questions when I'm paying attention and know the answer. I provide customer service and support at Linode, so if you open a support ticket, send us an email, or call us on the phone, I may be one of the people to respond. Being an employee has not changed my opinion about Linode. They were an awesome company before they hired me, and they're still an awesome company today. Besides, why would I work at a company I didn't think was awesome?)
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeddySeagoon wrote:


They probably bill in some North American currency if you use the Canadian service.


They do. I pay in USD.

I didn't mention this at first, because it seemed moot, but I switched from Host Virtual to OVH. I have zero complaints about Host Virtual. If you really want virtual hosting, I recommend them without reservation. I only switched because I'm of limited income and I needed more for my money. The single biggest thing I like about Host Virtual is you do not get crap "technical support" responses. You are your own server admin and they do not give you stupid script responses when you have questions. It's like getting help from peers, basically.

I've already gotten "stupid script" responses from OVH, but meh. I don't need any actual tech support.
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pgu
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the suggestions. I placed my order on the French OVH site as they seem to accept most European residents.

So what is the best method to re-install Gentoo? Doing a netboot? Will it allow you to point to an ISO on the network?

I'm also testing out bigv, but I'm having some issues with the ruby scripts. But they are in their beta testing period so its not unexpected to hit some problems...
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pgu
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems like the rescue mode: http://help.ovh.co.uk/RescueMode is the perfect thing to use for a Gentoo install?
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pgu
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pgu wrote:
It seems like the rescue mode: http://help.ovh.co.uk/RescueMode is the perfect thing to use for a Gentoo install?


I guess that's what you were trying to tell me initially:

Quote:
Their Rescue System is fine for installing Gentoo
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pgu
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rescue mode is great, but how can you monitor the kernel output as you boot your system? I can't find a KVM?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pgu,

Oh dear, I should have written this up earlier ...

You can boot into what is called a Virtual Keyboard Video Mouse (vKVM) environment.
Pay close attention to the next bit.
Your server will be an Intel box, I guess?
The vKVM runs your Gentoo install in a QEMU environment that emulates a AMD CPU and some ancient hardware.
You may want to reread that.

If you have built everything with -march=native, your install will not work in vKVM.

You need to configure your kernel to suit both CPUs and your real and QEMU environment before the vKVM will work for you.
My kernel config that works in both places.
I don't think I added the QEMU emulated network card there but you have the console and the network driver is not key to boot.

My /etc/portage/package.env file contains
Code:
sys-fs/lvm2 genericCPU
sys-apps/busybox genericCPU
sys-fs/mdadm genericCPU
so that those packages are built with -mtune=generic, so they work in both places.

/etc/portage/env/genericCPU contains
Code:
# The OVH vKVM provides a QEMU Athlon processor
# thats brain dead as code built with -march=native on Intel won't run there
# need this for packages in the initrd to see whats happening during boot.

CFLAGS="-O2 -mtune=generic -pipe"


This was enough for me to see why my box didn't boot but its not enough for the login to work.

I was lucky I needed an initrd, or I would not have got a shell at all in QEMU to run the busybox lspci to discover the QEMU emulated hardware.

To boot in the vKVM, you choose that boot option and wait the the email that tells you how to log in.
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Neddy said - plus: this is how you can watch your machine boot and troubleshoot boot issues. You can just use the netboot option to actually install Gentoo over ssh. Install Gentoo over ssh, using the tips Neddy mentioned to ensure you CAN use vKVM if you need it. That is, if after your install it doesn't boot (make sure you switch it back from netboot to boot from disk) and you don't recall missing a step, use vKVM to watch it boot and see what went wrong.

Well, that's how I did it, but once in vKVM there's no reason you can't do the install there, if you want. I just thought installing over ssh was faster.
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Last edited by audiodef on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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