TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

Resources for LAMP stack running small web server

Before I set about intalling Turnkey LAMP stack, can someone just advice me whether this will run effectively on the hardware that I'm thinking of? This is a small solid state (fanless and diskless) PC with a Vortex86 200MHz processor, 128Mbyte RAM, 1Gbyte flash. If so, how much "disk" aspace will be left for my content? If not, what resources do I need to run this successfully?

I'm not expecting a lot of traffic to this web site - if the traffic proves to be a problem I will upgrade to a larger server - this is just a first step.

One more question can I install Turnkey Linux from a USB stick? That's the only external bootable device that this box has easily available... If so, how do I create the bootable image on the USB stick? Just copy it from the CDROM, or is that too simplistic?

Thanks - Rowan

Resources

The resources are either very embedded (e.g., a watch) or very ancient. Anything modern the size of a postage stamp should have more power. 1GB probably isn't enough disk space for actual use. Remember that the ISO is compressed. 2GB should be enough though for a small server. the RAM is also problematic, 128MB should be enough memory for a static HTML site, or a very small PHP site. With swap you can get it in all in there but it might be very slow. PHP can eat gobs of memory. I recommend turning off any services you don't use though (e.g., MySQL) and tweaking Apache to reduce the number of forked processes (to 1).

If this is for a personal project, and your time is worth anything, get a more powerful system for $100 or so.

Regarding the USB boot conversion, see this thread.

Jeremy's picture

You will have troubles installing...

AFAIK it should run on 128MB RAM (although probably not that well unless the page is simple and you tweak it a bit like John suggested).

Someone recently posted that they were unable to install with only 128MB allocated (they were using a VM). They had to use 256MB to install then reduced it after install.

If you don't want to upgrade your hardware I would suggest building your own webserver. I'd recommend starting with a minimal Debian install then install apache etc.

OK - sounds like this

OK - sounds like this particular hardware is too small for a simple straightforward install. I don't want to create any more difficulties than absolutely necessary. And I may need to use MySQL and quite a bit of PHP.

Can you suggest a suitable device to run this? It needs to be fanless and diskless and low power and in a case, and as cost effective as possible in the UK. It only needs ethernet and a few USB ports. It doesn't even need a VGA port if there's some other way of building it in  the first place.

Thanks - Rowan

Jeremy's picture

I'd do some testing in a VM

Install TKL LAMP to a VM and see what sort of resources your setup needs. You should find many 'micro' hardware appliances that have adequite resources to do what you want. I'd aim for something with minimum of 700-800MHz CPU, 512MB RAM & ~2GB or storage (although you could easily use a USB stick for additional storage if the system you get has less - many of them also seem to have SD/microSD card slots). That should give you plenty of headroom. Just keep in mind that if you want to run TKL you will need to find one that uses an x86 compatible processor (many of them use an ARM CPU architecture which AFAIK isn't support by TKL OOTB - someone please correct me if I'm wrong!).

Actually I don't understand

Actually I don't understand the resource picture. If I require all the resources suggested in this thread to run a web server with some dynamic pages, how is it that a router or access point that I can buy for 50 pounds (such as the Netgear WG602 or DG834) runs a reasonably sophisticated web server for device configuration, upgrade, debugging etc.? I believe they run some sort or Linux. Why can't I do the same on some sort of SBC?

This is partly motivated because I've failed to find an X86 based SBC with the sort of features suggested in this thread that's available in the UK at anything like a reasonable price ($100 was mentioned earlier).

Thanks - Rowan

Jeremy's picture

They don't run TKL :)

Whilst TKL is a minimalist install, it's not that minimalist!

With a hardware device like a router, the whole OS is customised to the hardware so it can maximise performance and minimise resource use. A router only does what it does and not anything more. And yes they often do run a Linux kernel (but so do many phones, PVRs and othr household appliances) although I'd be surprised if any of them run a mainstream distro.

TKL is a completely different beast. It's designed to work with a huge range of different spec hardware and can be configured with almost limitless software variation to fulfill a vast array of different server functions.

Bottom line, you can use your hardware but you'll need to create your own customised server. Like I said above:

If you don't want to upgrade your hardware I would suggest building your own webserver. I'd recommend starting with a minimal Debian install then install apache etc.

PS Just had a quick look on eBay and although you won't get much for $100 and it's perhaps a little more than you were looking for. Still you could build a pretty nice micro-ITX setup (less case) for less than AU$250 (new parts). Dual-core Atom 1.8GHz, onboard Gigabit NIC, onboard video, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 12V power supply and a power pack. Then add a $20 USB stick for storage and you'd be good to go.

Rowan--I still have this goal

Rowan--I still have this goal you are trying to achieve.  Neat idea...so many ways to go about it.

The specs you are listing is a bit of a no man's land, imo.  Too little ram for most VM apps.  1 Gb total system memory minimum, imo.  A small lamp type stack would work.  If I think of anything helpful ...I'll post back. 


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