2014 Server Migration

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This page is to collect information about our current configuration and options for switching to a new server going forward. Please feel free to edit to add missing information or correct errors.

Server selection[edit]

On 2014-06-24, the WPLUG board decided to go with the $10/month Linode plan, locating in their Atlanta datacenter. This plan will approximately halve our current costs and still provide sufficient resources.

OS selection[edit]

The WPLUG server currently runs on CentOS 5. This is still supported, but it would make sense to choose a newer distro while we're doing the server switch.

Service enumeration[edit]

Services that are currently running on the WPLUG Linode server. These should include things that are user-facing only, not infrastructure.

  • E-mail (Postfix)
  • Mailing lists (Mailman)
  • Wiki (MediaWiki)
  • Blog (Wordpress)
  • Monkeybot IRC bot (infobot) - maybe consider different bot software that can import monkeybot's database?
  • RSS aggregator (Tiny Tiny RSS, tt-rss)

Infrastructure software which supports the services above.

  • Web server (Apache) - it would be possible to use Nginx instead, but I (Vance) am not familiar with setting it up
  • PHP (Apache mod_php) for MediaWiki, Wordpress, and TT-RSS
  • Python for Mailman
  • Perl for Monkeybot
  • MySQL for MediaWiki, Wordpress, and TT-RSS - likely possible to use MariaDB instead, other DBMS not recommended for use with MediaWiki
  • Greylisting daemon (Postgrey)
  • Fail2ban - could maybe use denyhosts instead
  • Aide - could be used for intrusion detection

Support lifetime[edit]

Software availability[edit]

This table is to track, for the different distros under consideration, whether the software we need is available within its repositories. We want to minimize the number of applications which have to be maintained manually.


  • B: in distro's base repository
  • A: in an additional repository provided by the distro
  • T: in a third-party repository
  • ~: not available in any known repository
  •  ?: availability unknown
CentOS 6 CentOS 7 Debian 7 Ubuntu 14.04
postfix B 2.6 B 2.10 B 2.9 B 2.11
mailman B 2.1 B 2.1 B 2.1 B 2.1
postgrey T 1.34rf, EPEL T 1.34EPEL B 1.34 A 1.34
mediawiki T 1.19EPEL ~ B 1.19 A 1.19
wordpress T 3.9EPEL T 3.9EPEL B 3.6 A 3.8
infobot ~ ~ ? (not B or A) ~
tt-rss ~ ~ ? (not B or A) A 1.11
apache B 2.2 / A 2.4 B 2.4 B 2.2 B 2.4
nginx A 1.4 ? B 1.2 B/A 1.4
php5 B 5.3 / A 5.4, 5.5 B 5.4, T 5.5.14Remi B 5.4 B 5.5
python2 B 2.6 / A 2.7 B 2.7.5 B 2.7 B 2.7
python3 A 3.3 ? B 3.2 B 3.4
perl5 B 5.10 B 5.16 B 5.14 B 5.18
mysql B 5.1 / A 5.5 ? B 5.5 B 5.5 / A 5.6
mariadb A 5.5 B 5.5 ? (not B or A) A 5.5
fail2ban T 0.8.7rf, 0.8.11EPEL T 0.9EPEL, 0.8.7rf B 0.8.6 A 0.8.11
denyhosts T 2.6rf, EPEL T 2.6rf B 2.6 ~
aide B 0.14 B 0.15.1 ? 0.16a2

Third-party repositories:

Migration steps[edit]

  • Obtain IPv6 address pool from Linode (support ticket needed)
    • /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 edited, reboot needed to apply - 2600:3c02:e000:0047::2/64 assigned
  • Explore what software to use to help harden up the installation (fail2ban, etc.) Decided to use fail2ban-firewalld
  • Deploy new CentOS 7 instance
  • (optional) Set up private IPv4 addresses for transfer between old and new VPS (avoids bandwidth charges)
  • Set up SSH (edit sshd_config to tighten up security)
  • Migrate current users to new server
  • Ensure NTP is running, and set timezone to EDT
  • Set up the firewall (either using firewalld, or else installing iptables and using the old rules)
  • Install Apache, and edit httpd.conf appropriately
  • Install PHP, edit php.ini appropriately, and make sure all needed modules are installed
  • Install MariaDB, add appropriate user(s)/permissions, and edit my.cnf appropriately
  • Install/configure Postgrey
  • Install/configure Postfix
  • Install/configure Mailman
    • archives copied over
  • Install/configure monkeybot
  • Install/configure Tiny Tiny RSS
  • Migrate any other files that must be moved
  • Export current MySQL and import into new MariaDB (be sure to dump/restore final DB before switchover...)
  • Install/configure MediaWiki
  • Set up repeating jobs (log rotation, etc.) via systemd/cron
    • Copy over 'at' job to remind about domain registration expiration
    • Migrate over monkeybot cron jobs Waiting to see if logrotate runs overnight, as we are not sure that run-parts is being run by anything on the new system.
    • Configure log rotation
  • Cut over DNS (or swap IPv4 addresses)
  • Other steps not mentioned above


We have an archive of static web pages from the pre-2007 server "penguin" - it would be nice to make this history available somehow. $9/year Comodo SSL certificate through Namecheap: [1]

Installation Notes[edit]

Installing fail2ban on CentOS 7