For quite some time behind the scenes I’ve been working on doing some housekeeping on this server. I began noticing the days after a MAME release things were getting really slow. Server slow to respond, major delays when I’d try to do anything, etc. It appears I had overburdened my poor little server. Running apache, postfix, mysql, fail2ban, and other general linux processes had taken all this lowely 1gb ram vps could handle.
Around this time Slackware 15.0 has come out which meant I was already planning all the changes I’d need and the upgrade/integration of what was already running for the new release. Software I had been building and maintaining for my use was now included within the distribution, but not everything was built for my needs. I began planning out how update process a while ago using multiple installs in vmware to build needed software and test configurations.
It was during this time I became interested in FreeBSD, and playing with the OS within VMs as well. I was surprised at how small the initial install was. Packages were easily installed and it tracked dependancies and took care of all of it. And it even can upgrade the OS inline, something you can do on slackware with a bit of work, but it’s not ideal. As I grew more and more familiar with FBSD and discovered more (the ports system!), I decided that I needed a reason to run it on a machine.
In the end, I decided I was going to re-build my email server on a FreeBSD box. The way the OS handles package and OS updates was a huge reason why I chose it rather than running two different Slackware VPSs. I wanted a machine I could setup once and can update without ever needing a re-install, that maximized the amount of space left over, without installing a ton of shovelware by default, (yes, 90% of a Linux distro is not needed).
This gave me a legit reason to continue to learn and use FreeBSD along side my fav Linux distro and I can even compare how the systems perform. (It’s worth noting overall Linux appears to perform better with less resources than BSD does.) After multiple attempted installs with different configurations, I settled on building the mail server using the iRedMail suite. It bundles user-built postfix, dovecot, roundcube and your choice of databases, including it’s own management software to maintain it all. Only, its bloated and it likely meant for larger scale operations. The main thing I got with this is a secure mail server, which I had struggled with before, (TLS is a bitch). It provided me with a great starting point to customize it for what I wanted it to do.
After fleshing that out for a week and trimming the fat, I was happy. That left my web server which needed work next. I opted to keep that running on Slackware and do a fresh install of the latest release, as a lot had changed in the six years since the last full release. I tore out much of the cruft and reduced its footprint as much as I could (there’s likely more I can remove, but I’m content for now). I looked into some web backends to bring the site more into this century (not that I don’t love my basic html site), I felt it was time to bring a little life to my space on the web.
So that brings us to this site-wide WordPress install (I’m sorry, Jeremy ;). I briefly looked into some other CMS solutions, but decided, for now I’ll go with what I’m familiar with. I always have the option to move on again (….right?!?) in the future. There’s still much to be done, and I’ll finish it up over the next week or so, but I just wanted to get it back online before the next MAME release comes. I hope to add some more content and things revolving around MAME and maybe other stuff as well. I don’t feel like I’m in a prison any longer and can finally do some other things that I’ve wanted to for some time now.
Much of my reluctance to add any content to this site stems from not wanting to design anything to hold said content. With WordPress, it mostly takes that element out of my hands and frees me to just do stuff. That also comes at a cost, of doing things within the confines of the environment, but I think it’s a nice starting point. I’m not sure if I’m happy with the themes I’m using or not, they work for now, but they’re still “basic bitch” as far as I’m concerned. Alas, I’m not a web-designer or graphic artist but just a lowly OS nerd, so don’t expect greatness any time soon. I’ll bring what little content I had online into this soon enough, but my goal of getting it up and running has been completed for now.
There are some things I’d like to go into detail about that have nothing to do with MAME, and I’ll use this space to do that. I’ll try my best to keep the sdlmame subdomain free from my rambling, as it really only has one point– to get MAME. I’ll ramble here. So if you want to read my rambles, check this space every so often and read me basically talking to myself. I’ve heard it gets old, but I’ve never gotten bored of it. Your mileage may vary.
Thanks for reading!