User Mode Linux Day 1

Following from Day 0… I’m in!

The host I picked is Mythic Beasts. There’s a list of hosts offering UML here – not many I guess either because UML requires alot of knowhow, hasn’t been “channelized” the way LAMP+CPanel type hosts have or simply isn’t feasable econmically (like you can only run a few virtual hosts on a single box, resource-wise).

Mythic Beasts did it for me because (despite the name), reading the docs I sense some serious techies running it – otherwise no particular reason – not too worried about reliability etc. – this is more for messing around. So far answers to email have been very prompt and I could probably have had everything set up within a few hours (took longer because I was slow replying).

Here’s a very rough sketch of how it works, from a naive users point of view. Logging into the Management Console, I pick the disto I want then boot it. Up pops the virtual server and I log into “my world”.

Because the virtual server is running it’s own kernel, I have complete control… but also complete responsibility as I’m just discovering. Went with Fedora Core in the end – bottom line was “well here’s my server, already and exposed to the Net… hmm firewall? Configure firewall.?. etc”.

Basically it’s running the absolute minumum of services although most things are installed and configured to the distros defaults (e.g. Apache is there but not running). Seems there’s alot of tuning to do… And it’s going to be interesting to see what you can cram in, daemon-wise, in 64Mb RAM.

Will have to chat to the host some point and find out how they’re coping with UML.

Anyway – getting there and enjoying all this freedom at only

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  • http://www.michaelkrenz.de mkrz

    Yep, please keep us updated on your progress. Your article on phppatterns.com was the first time I read about UML and I find it very interesting. I would also like to hear how far you get with 64MB. From what I’ve heard, it’s a decent minimum for a LAMP system.
    But if you have to upgrade later to use a lot more RAM, you are slowly getting into the price range of the cheapest dedicated server offers, so I wonder if in that case it would still make sense to use an UML server package?

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    Yep, please keep us updated on your progress.

    Will do. “Day 2″ coming soon.

    I would also like to hear how far you get with 64MB. From what I’ve heard, it’s a decent minimum for a LAMP system. But if you have to upgrade later to use a lot more RAM, you are slowly getting into the price range of the cheapest dedicated server offers, so I wonder if in that case it would still make sense to use an UML server package?

    Certainly I’d already say forget anything below 64Mb if you want to run anything like Apache or a DB server. Just the main Apache (2) process eats up 15Mb RAM. I’m already at 56Mb used while the server if basically “idle”. If I remember right, there may also be an upper limit for how much memory a virtual server can have (Mythic Beasts only offer up to 256Mb) – when talking to Jules re: Sitepoints server, he was saying 2GB ram is the minumum to handle this kind of traffic…

  • Carl Youngblood

    Keep in mind the UML systems generally allow you to use more resources if others are not using them. You are guaranteed to get 64 MB of RAM, but it could go higher as long as others don’t need it.

  • http://www.phppatterns.com HarryF

    Keep in mind the UML systems generally allow you to use more resources if others are not using them. You are guaranteed to get 64 MB of RAM, but it could go higher as long as others don’t need it.

    Cool. Thanks for that tip off – had the idea that 64Mb was a ceiling. Most of what I know about UML is 2nd hand from some I work with, who’s messed with it – guess I should make that 1st hand.