Home Server Project Update 2: Goodbye Arch Linux

As I documented before, I’ve had problems with Pogoplug and Arch Linux running my servers. Recently I’ve been having problems logging in via SSH on my updated Fedora computers. From what I can tell from a little research, it seems the old way of connecting had a flaw so updated SSH doesn’t want talk to unupdated SSH. So I tried to update Arch Linux and once again ended up with a borked computer. And it’s not something I did wrong – everyone had complaints of the change from /usr/bin (and some other bins) bricking systems. If Pogoplug had a display, I’d have been able to fix it. I tried reinstalling, but something has changed that makes the Pogoplug no longer work. Sick of having stuff go wrong every time I update, I decided this was the time to implement the Home Server Project.

Between my previous research and thoughts since then, I decided to go with a CentOS VM. In all my time using Fedora, I’ve only once ended up with a system screwed up after installing a new Kernel and once from an SELinux change. With a VM I could always snapshot before updating Kernels and SELinux so it seemed like a good idea. Additionally, I was able to create a copy of the VM hard drive and XML schema once I had the system working the way I wanted. (Total time to get it set up: about 1.5 hours) I copied it to SuperMario so it would also be backed up to Crashplan. The VM also gives me another benefit – if TanukiMario (the computer it’s running on) dies or has a hard drive failure, I can run the VM on SuperMario until I get TanukiMario fixed. Time without services drops from a few days or weeks to an hour or less. (Depending on changes I need to make to the XML to make it work on a different computer with a potentially differently named ethernet card)

Since TanukiMario (the former guest computer) was purposely not that beefy (just for guests to get on the net), I went with one VM to provide DNS, MySQL, and file server duties. Sure, it means that if something happens to the VM I lose all that, but they’re all interrelated anyway (used in service of making Kodi media server work) so I’m not losing much on that.