VPS that will run xBSD

Rafal Lukawiecki raf at rafal.net
Wed Aug 30 22:01:48 UTC 2017

If you find sysadmining fun, go for it, but AWS is a bit of a learning curve. Very enjoyable, but a change in the mindset: no consoles, declarative configs etc… Powerful if you need a fleet of a servers (a few or thousands), or if you use some other cloud services, like content distribution networks or geo-aware DNS. AWS can be way too much learning for just a single server, even if it is very cheap, or free with the 12 month free tier, also offered on Azure.

Other cloud providers can be more accessible, but, in my opinion, after 6 years with AWS and Azure, hardly anyone other than those two come with so many ready-made services, many of those critically important for my business. FYI, years ago we run on RackSpace for a couple of years, and Linode, for a much shorter time, having also tried some no-longer in business server colocators. All of those were much closer to the “my machine in the server room next door” feeling but nowhere near the breadth, or the low prices we get with AWS and Azure.

Good luck, and do consider contacting Colin if you have questions, he has been very helpful to me and know much about FreeBSD on AWS—and I am saying this only a few days into our trial benchmark of FreeBSD in AWS against CentOS and Amazon Linux. There is a freebsd-cloud at freebsd.org mail list, but it is still a bit quiet there.


> On 30 Aug 2017, at 22:43, Frank Leonhardt <frank2 at fjl.co.uk> wrote:
> On 30/08/2017 22:39, Rafal Lukawiecki wrote:
>> While I am not a FreeBSD expert, I have built a good few AWS AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) for various Linuxes I have used over the years. The process generally requires you to use an existing available machine (say FreeBSD RELEASE) to build what you need first. You should use a pricier and a much faster machine for that, but you can change the underlying hardware just for this purpose, switching down to a cheaper one later.
>> In the process, you create an AWS ESB volume that contains your desired new OS (say STABLE in your case). You snapshot that, which is an easy AWS operation, and you register that snapshot as a new AMI that you can now use to launch any number of new machines with your desired kernel and config.
>> Bear in mind this is an oversimplification of the process, as you have to pay attention to the needs of the hypervisor and the provided hardware. However, all of this has been done for us by Colin Percival. Have a look at his article in which he explained how to build your own FreeBSD AWS AMIs:
>> 	http://www.daemonology.net/blog/2015-11-21-FreeBSD-AMI-builder-AMI.html
>> If you do not need an AMI, that is you only want to update the very machine on which you are working, you can simply change to a new kernel and reboot. Caveat: I have not tried that with FreeBSD (yet) only CentOS.
>> Rafal
>> --
>> Rafal Lukawiecki
>> Data Scientist and Director
>> Project Botticelli Ltd
> Thanks - interesting to know. This is really just-for-fun so I might well give this a try.
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