Running FreeBSD for my personal website: collocation, cloud, etc.

Arthur Chance freebsd at
Tue Dec 31 13:33:29 UTC 2013

On 28/12/2013 06:22, Chris Stankevitz wrote:
[I'm a bit late but have been offline over the holiday.]

> On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM, Chris Stankevitz
> <chrisstankevitz at> wrote:
>> Can you recommend a place/procedure by which I can easily (and
>> cheaply) get up and running with a "publicly accessible" FreeBSD
>> machine
> Thank you for the quick replies everyone.  I guess by "cloud" I was
> half-wondering if I was going to get a response like this:  "Go to
>, click 'sign up with a freebsd 9.2 machine', provide
> a root password, and you are good to go!  Lucky for you the cost is
> per CPU cycle and since nobody visits your site, it should cost you
> only $1/month.  Bonus: you get a static IP!"
> Turns out, Cox Cable in Santa Barbara, CA will upgrade me to a static
> IP that allows incoming ports 80 and 25 for $100/month (double what
> I'm paying for my residential connection).

Ouch. Here in the UK I get a static /29 assignment for no extra charge. 
That's a FTTC ADSL link, 60Mb/s down, 21 Mb/s up, UKP 35.4/month which 
is about $59/month. Some ports are blocked by default, but will be 
opened on request for no charge.

The major concern with running your own server at home is reliability - 
how badly will it affect you if your link goes down, or there's a power 
cut or if your hardware fails? A personal machine usually doesn't have 
to be as reliable as a business machine, but consider the possibility of 
the machine having a disk failure just after you've left on a long 
holiday - would you need your email for the duration or not? Some people 
would be fine without email on holiday, others wouldn't. (My wife's a 
freelance consultant who'd kill me if she couldn't access her mail every 
day, even when on holiday :-)

Colocation usually ensures you power and networking (although backhoe 
operators are *very* good at finding power and network cables), but it's 
your machine and if it fails it's your problem and it's common that you 
have to drive to the data centre to fix it. Also the service is usually 

The "cloud", i.e. virtual or real servers in a managed data centre with 
some level of hardware management and often SLA agreements is the usual 
way to go if you need (almost) constant on. Sadly many providers don't 
do *BSD, but specialises in FreeBSD.

Amazon has FreeBSD instances thanks to Colin Percival's sterling work, 
but for the micro instances you still pay the Windows tax (75% extra in 
the EU!), and any Amazon instance can be shot with no notice, so you 
have to deal with that. Not really for beginners except to play.

Google Compute Engine recently announced they support FreeBSD, but they 
treat it like a Linux distro (!) and I've yet to find any FBSD specific 

Rackspace supports FBSD (again calling it a Linux distro). It can be a 
bit difficult to find that out, but this page shows what they support

And finally, there are quite a few other smaller players. This FreeBSD 
News article from June lists some

and I'll add some others I've discovered. These are European rather than 
US, as a) I'm in the UK and b) I've been following Edward Snowdon's 
revelations with interest. :-)

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