Chat with francois

[8:43 AM] francois: their new free offering allows 18 hours of up time per day

[8:43 AM] patrick: yes

[8:44 AM] patrick: but that's not good enough for an actual website, totally fine for prototyping or your own pet projects.

[8:44 AM] francois: their $7/month plan seems pretty reasonable though.

[8:44 AM] patrick: It would be nice if you could schedule it though.

[8:45 AM] patrick: yes, $7 a month does seem ok for an app.. but then... for just $3 more you can send as much email as you like, have a gig of ram, disk space, etc. etc.

[8:45 AM] patrick: (and a background worker)

[8:45 AM] patrick: it really doesn't make sense to stick around any more I think...

[8:46 AM] francois: true, you really do get a lot for $10/month at DO.

[8:46 AM] patrick: I just need to understand Email a bit more (specifically if I run several apps I don't quite understand where email gets sent from, do you just specify a from header and your spf record per domain points to the right place?) .. anyway, lots to learn

[8:47 AM] patrick: yes, I'm already paying $110 a year for a site5 website, so I might just move the whole lot to DO.

[8:47 AM] francois: for email I use sendgrid

[8:47 AM] patrick: really?

[8:47 AM] patrick: why?

[8:47 AM] patrick: (once you're running your own box at least)

[8:47 AM] francois: yes, i have a $10/month account with them that gives me something like 40,000 emails per month. So I use that one account on a ton of websites that I run.

[8:47 AM] francois: that way I donâ™t have to worry about email configuration, backup smtp server, etc.

[8:48 AM] patrick: hmmmmm, I will have to do my research :wink: "Backup smtp server" you say :wink:

[8:48 AM] patrick: these words, they're strange to me.

[8:48 AM] patrick: :smile:

[8:49 AM] patrick: (but seriously, why would you need a backup? If your smtp server is down you're probably rebooting your machine at that point aren't you?)

[8:49 AM] francois: for incoming email

[8:49 AM] patrick: aaaah,

[8:50 AM] patrick: right - I don't care about incoming.

[8:50 AM] francois: right.

[8:50 AM] francois: youâ™d just use local sendmail

[8:50 AM] patrick: I have a grandfathered google apps

[8:50 AM] francois: to sent outgoing email?

[8:50 AM] patrick: no, I will use local sendmail (or postfix or exim - not sure yet, but sendmail sounds the trickiest beast)

[8:51 AM] patrick: I use google apps for incoming email.

[8:51 AM] patrick: my mx record points to google.

[8:51 AM] francois: gotcha.

[8:51 AM] patrick: so I can read everything in gmail.

[8:52 AM] francois: that is one area that iâ™ve run into pain with in the past. Sendmail was (might still be) a pain to configure correctly

[8:53 AM] patrick: yeah, I'll have to do an audit and see what to keep. I might end up just moving snowpool to DO and keeping my site5 for my blog etc... and moving things I really don't care about onto my cloudatcost box.

[8:53 AM] patrick: good times.

[8:53 AM] patrick: yeah, mail is the thing which makes me most nervous.

[8:54 AM] patrick: I mean other things you can recover from fairly easily, but a whole bunch of spam getting out somehow isn't going to do your ratings any favours.

[8:54 AM] francois: or email not getting delivered

[8:54 AM] patrick: yeah, I do like google for that stuff :wink:

[8:55 AM] francois: Iâ™ve encountered that issue with misconfigured sendmail in the pastâ¦where email would stop going out and just get queued up.

[8:55 AM] patrick: oh weird.

[8:55 AM] francois: and cases where other servers didnâ™t like emails from âœmy server"

[8:55 AM] patrick: so it had been working but then stopped?

[8:55 AM] francois: yup

[8:55 AM] patrick: that's not cool.

[8:55 AM] patrick: you were using SPF records 'n all that ?

[8:56 AM] patrick: What a pain.. what would make someone not like your server?

[8:56 AM] francois: this goes back a long time (over 5 years ago) ...

[8:56 AM] patrick: right.

[8:56 AM] francois: so i donâ™t recall all the specifics of what it turned out to be.

[8:57 AM] francois: i just recall that I ran into various issues that required investigating and troubleshooting over the period of time that I did it.

[8:57 AM] patrick: how annoying. At least for me it's really just hobby stuff so it doesn't really matter tooooo much. But I can see why you'd use sendgrid for your app etc.

[8:57 AM] francois: and when sendgrid came out and offered their free tier (not sure it that is still available??) I jumped on that and removed my problems.

[8:58 AM] francois: iâ™ve since upgraded to a $10/month account once I started using it across all the rails apps that I host. (edited)

[8:59 AM] francois: for webserver I use nginx with passenger

[8:59 AM] francois: passenger works well and allows you to run different apps on differing versions of ruby.

[9:04 AM] patrick: yip, I'm used to apache + passenger, but all the cool kids seem to use nginx.

[9:04 AM] francois: apache + passenger works great too

[9:04 AM] patrick: just a bit more memory intensive?

[9:04 AM] francois: nginx is apparently more performant then apache.

[9:05 AM] francois: but i donâ™t think that would make much diff in reality unless you were running a very busy site.

[9:05 AM] patrick: yes exactly what I was thinking.

[9:05 AM] patrick: ok, might sit down this weekend and spin up a box and try get a rails app onto it and sending email.

[9:05 AM] patrick: That'll give me something to do :wink:

[9:06 AM] patrick: Mind you, could always use google's SMTP for a while too as @paul pointed out a while back (and I'm using that on my raspberry pi - works fine)

[9:06 AM] francois: yup that is also another good free option.

[9:06 AM] patrick: Do you use the brightbox ppa for ruby?

[9:07 AM] patrick: Yeah, it is a good solution, what I don't know is what the cutoff is for google's smtp (edited)

[9:07 AM] francois: I donâ™t know what brightbox ppa is

[9:07 AM] patrick: I mean the situation you don't want is email going into a black hole.

[9:07 AM] patrick: Next generation Ubuntu pacakages for Ruby 2.2, 2.1, 2.0 1.9.3 and 1.8 EE. See for more details. This PPA no longer includes Phusion Passenger packages, and NGINX packages with Passenger support. See Discussion list here:!forum/brightbox-ruby-ubuntu-packaging

[9:08 AM] patrick: instead of using rvm , rbenv etc.

[9:08 AM] patrick: you use this ppa and install a system ruby

[9:08 AM] patrick: definitely what I plan on doing at the moment.

[9:08 AM] francois: I compiled system ruby (2.2.2) and then I use rvm to manage all the other different rubies i need.

[9:09 AM] patrick: right - seems similar enough then.

[9:09 AM] francois: i just chose rvm because I was already familiar with it.

[9:09 AM] patrick: right - and you have a deployer user (or similar) and you install rvm for that user?

[9:10 AM] francois: correct (deploy user) and rvm is installed for that user.

[9:10 AM] patrick: right.

[9:10 AM] patrick: And security updates, did you install one of the auto updating packages, or how do you manage that process?

[9:11 AM] patrick: or just apt-get update?

[9:11 AM] francois: once a week I do the apt-get update and apt-get upgrade

[9:11 AM] patrick: right.

[9:11 AM] francois: and then I also check security on things that Iâ™ve compiled myself (eg like nginx or passenger)

[9:12 AM] patrick: At the point you install, or you do some kind of system audit?

[9:12 AM] patrick: or you just go through the configuration and turn off things which need turning off.

[9:12 AM] francois: I just checked to make sure there were no surprise opened ports

[9:12 AM] francois: i disable password login and only allow ssh-keys

[9:12 AM] patrick: seems like if you only allow traffic in on 80, 443 and your secret ssh port, disallow password access

[9:13 AM] patrick: yeah exactly.

[9:13 AM] francois: i left ssh on default port, didnâ™t bother changing that.

[9:13 AM] patrick: failtoban?

[9:13 AM] francois: no i havenâ™t installed that.

[9:13 AM] patrick: have you heard of port knocking?

[9:14 AM] patrick: :simple_smile:

[9:14 AM] francois: no i donâ™t know that term

[9:14 AM] patrick: so cool.

[9:14 AM] patrick: You set it up with some sort of pinging sequence (I believe)

[9:14 AM] patrick: and the server will then open up a port.

[9:14 AM] patrick: so cool.,

[9:14 AM] patrick: just like bilbo at the mountain.

[9:14 AM] francois: oh i just read it, iâ™ve seen that used on other peopleâ™s systemsâ¦but not using anything like that on my server.

[9:15 AM] francois: i use backup gem to handle backups

[9:15 AM] francois: i take db snapshots every hour and send those to s3

[9:15 AM] patrick: right - and system monitoring

[9:15 AM] patrick: just newrelic?

[9:15 AM] francois: along with any user uploaded content that isnâ™t already stored on s3.

[9:15 AM] patrick: or nagios or similar?

[9:15 AM] francois: i use pingdom for system monitoring

[9:15 AM] francois: i use monit to monitor and restart processes

[9:16 AM] patrick: right - that's the one bit I'm not that familiar with (monit)

[9:16 AM] francois: there are other options too like â˜god'

[9:16 AM] francois: but again i was already familiar with monit, its been around a looong time.

[9:16 AM] patrick: This is more for if apache or workers crash and you need to restart them?

[9:16 AM] francois: memcached, redis, etc.

[9:16 AM] francois: well, actually not redis

[9:17 AM] francois: actually am just using it for sidekiq on this latest server

[9:17 AM] patrick: I don't suppose you know of a good tutorial for that stuff do you? Happy to google but if you know of something I'd be keen.

[9:17 AM] francois: for using monit?

[9:17 AM] patrick: yip

[9:18 AM] patrick: this is where I fall down with self hosting, the known unknowns! Paranoia sets in.

[9:18 AM] francois: offhand noâ¦but when you get to that point feel free to fire any questions my way.

[9:18 AM] patrick: ok thanks.

[9:18 AM] patrick: yeah, I've been meaning to do this for a while, ever since the heroku price changes were flagged.

[9:18 AM] francois: and i use capistrano for deployments

[9:18 AM] patrick: worst comes to the worst I can always high tail it back to heroku.

[9:19 AM] patrick: yes, like capistrano

[9:19 AM] patrick: 2 or 3?

[9:19 AM] francois: 3

[9:19 AM] francois: though Iâ™m still using 2 for a couple of older projects.

[9:19 AM] francois: but like2have is on cap 3.

[9:19 AM] patrick: right, 2 was more optimised for rails specifically wasn't it?

[9:20 AM] francois: Iâ™m not sure tbh. 3 was just as easy to make happy with rails.

[9:20 AM] francois: i think the biggest change with 3 in my case was that I needed to add a bunch of require statements in the Capfile itself

[9:20 AM] patrick: oh cool :simple_smile:

[9:20 AM] patrick: right.

[9:20 AM] francois: eg

[9:20 AM] francois: require 'capistrano/deploy' require 'capistrano/rvm' require 'capistrano/rails' require "whenever/capistrano"

[9:21 AM] patrick: that stuff I'm confident there will be good tutorials for.

[9:21 AM] patrick: whenever? Scheduler is it? (edited)

[9:21 AM] francois: it creates entries in crontab for you