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Moved Again, to QuickWeb/MicroVPS

If you are seeing this blog post, that shows you are now landing on the new VPS that hosts this blog. Yes, Low End Box has moved again, one month since moving from VPSLink to 2HOST. This time to QuickWeb (or their soon-to-be-launched subsidiary MicroVPS) in Dallas TX with Softlayer.

Nothing wrong with 2HOST though — it runs perfectly fine. Stable. Fast. But there is one problem — it’s not low end enough. I mean, c’mon 512MB to run a WordPress blog? I might be able to excuse myself if I am running TechCrunch but for Low End Box I think it needs to run on something low-end. Not just in term of price, but also in spec.

So Joe from QuickWeb lent me this Xen VPS in Dallas with the following spec

  • 80MB memory/128MB swap
  • 5GB storage
  • 1TB/month data transfer
  • Xen
  • Debian 5 Lenny 32bit

So far so good. I am getting one single core of Xeon X3460 @ 2.8GHz. Let’s see how it stands running Low End Box :) Software loaded so far

  • Nginx + PHP/FastCGI (1 process) + MySQL
  • syslog + cron + xinetd + exim4 + sshd

X3460 is fast enough, and the performance should be on part with 2HOST if the PHP process does not get paged out. I am also running a cron job checking up on providers every now and then to make sure they don’t get included in our monthly dead pool. That’s coded in Python + SQLite and should take ~5MB RSS when its running.

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  1. Zlayer:

    Well, a post that has technical info in it! Cool, I was starting to think you’re just gonna be posting new and new offers and stuff, that’d suck. Remember, people who read your blog are the ‘low end’ kind of guys – we want to hear how to squeze 2 more kilobytes from lighty or mysql!

    June 18, 2010 @ 8:10 am | Reply
  2. great job Admin! lowendbox really lived in its name and doing what it is preaching… to educate people that it is not “always” about big RAM that can make VPS useful! a micro VPS at the hands of knowledgeable web admin and hosted by descent provider can be very useful and can save you a lot of money :)

    @Zlayer, yeah i’m sure most reader would be interested to hear how to accomplish this kind of stuffs from the admin of lowendbox ^^

    June 18, 2010 @ 8:43 am | Reply
  3. flyah:


    It would be awesome if you post your techniques as well. It’s really cool you run WP on 80MB Ram :)

    Btw, you can’t go wrong with Quickweb. they are amazing!

    June 18, 2010 @ 10:11 am | Reply
  4. 80MB for a xen vps is enough to run ngnix or lighttpd. But not for apache2. The min. spec is 128 MB there. That would be better.

    June 18, 2010 @ 11:24 am | Reply
  5. InsDel:

    Hey, if you’re not using that 2Host VPS anymore, I’d be interested in taking it over ;D

    June 18, 2010 @ 12:15 pm | Reply
  6. @Zlayer — well I sorted expecting the readers here *already* know how to configure Nginx, and low-memory MySQL and do not need much guide line. In fact if you google those they are pretty much everywhere.

    @Alex — well for Apache2 worker-MPM + PHP on mod_fcgi it is still possible. Back in the days (cough cough) I used to run Apache with Perl CGI dynamic pages on a 486 DX4-75 with 8MB! How things have changed…

    @InsDel — sorry it is still used by something else. A low traffic WP site like Low End Box is actually not very resource heavy, but other things are.

    June 18, 2010 @ 1:56 pm | Reply
  7. @flyah — It’s actually pretty easy thus I’ve never bothered with a post :P

    What I normally do:

    1. Bootstraping a Debian/Ubuntu VPS with a low end script — it takes care of some automated customisation, like using a low mem syslog, configure dash, etc. I do much prefer bash than dash on the command line, and openssh than dropbear so I leave them as they were.
    2. apt-get install nginx php5-cgi php5-mysql mysql5-server
    3. Configure php5-cgi to start a FastCGI instance, for example /usr/bin/php5-cgi -b /var/run/php.sock. The trick here is NOT to use PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN so the master process is handling the requests itself.
    4. Nginx — well it’s pretty straight forward, and it never uses much memory anyway. Get it to talk to PHP via UNIX domain socket.
    5. MySQL — some notes here. Basically getting rid of query cache, remove innodb, just focus on key buffer size — and you’ll have a low-memory MySQL server.

    I’ve just upgraded to WordPress 3 (which is too heavy for my liking), and mysqld is hovering at 10MB RSS and php-cgi at around 20MB.

    June 18, 2010 @ 2:10 pm | Reply
  8. I linke QuickWeb!

    June 18, 2010 @ 2:10 pm | Reply
  9. I have a QuickWeb Xen VPS for 3+ months as a primary Nagios+munin+rsyslog monitoring server. Fast & rock-solid stable.

    I updated mine to WP3 as well. It does seems a little speedier for me. Haven’t been monitoring the resources usage much though.

    June 18, 2010 @ 3:54 pm | Reply
  10. I have had an OpenVZ VPS with QuickWeb for about 3 weeks now and do not have any complaints.

    June 18, 2010 @ 9:34 pm | Reply
  11. flyah:


    Thanks a lot for the guide. :) I will test it out on my QW VPS later :)

    June 19, 2010 @ 7:30 am | Reply
  12. Many thanks Admin for great guide!

    June 20, 2010 @ 3:40 am | Reply
  13. melf:

    If you can put some hint please, changing VPS is also require to move the data, ho you manage that.
    Thanks Admin for sharing all those good stuffs.

    June 20, 2010 @ 6:00 am | Reply
  14. Hello, admin

    For your great site lowendobx, it running with wordpress and maybe more then 30K pv. Could you tell me how much of you server load on the quickweb vps when the vistors was high. will it more then 3 or 5? thanks.

    June 20, 2010 @ 9:01 am | Reply
  15. forum says it’s still hosted w/ vpslink, is it?

    quickweb’s awesome! very good choice. :)

    June 20, 2010 @ 9:17 am | Reply
  16. @Marl — fixed. Thanks for pointing that out.

    @vpsbeta — LowEndBox is currently around 70k pv/month, and the loadavg is mostly under 0.1 (which has always been in the case on VPSLink, 2HOST and now QuickWeb).

    @melf — it’s all about planning :)

    1. Set the DNS TTL of your domain to something short (like 2 minutes)
    2. Run the following on the new server to copy the whole directory over. Note that I have WordPress installed in /var/www/lowendbox/htdocs and my Nginx configuration file in /var/www/lowendbox/nginx.conf
      $ ssh oldserver tar jcf - /var/www/lowendbox | \
          tar jvpf - -C /
    3. Do the same to copy the MySQL database
      $ ssh oldserver mysqladump lowendbox \| gzip -c | \
          gzip -c | mysql lowendbox
    4. Reload nginx, change IP on DNS, and done!

    Note that in my main nginx.conf, I have include /var/www/*/nginx.conf so each of my site directory is self-contained including the Nginx configuration. The above can also be automated with scripts — which is useful when you do this kind of thing pretty often :)

    June 20, 2010 @ 12:50 pm | Reply
  17. Nice Tips :)

    June 20, 2010 @ 2:48 pm | Reply
  18. KLIKLI:

    Admin: Are you using spawn-fcgi or PHP-FPM?

    June 21, 2010 @ 12:47 pm | Reply
  19. @KLIKLI — PHP CGI supports FastCGI by itself and there is no need for spawn-fcgi or PHP-FPM. I just run /usr/bin/php5-cgi -b /var/run/php.sock and wrap it into a init script so it can start/stop and has a pid file.

    June 21, 2010 @ 1:02 pm | Reply
  20. KLIKLI:

    Oh… sorry for my ignorant

    June 21, 2010 @ 1:35 pm | Reply
  21. Hi admin,
    Can you write full tutorial to run popular blog (as LEB) with Nginx like this post : http://www.lowendbox.com/blog/yes-you-can-run-18-static-sites-on-a-64mb-link-1-vps/

    Many thanks!

    June 27, 2010 @ 3:36 am | Reply
  22. indoc0der:

    dear admin,

    can you teach me how to optimize your VPS? i think run WP at 80 MB RAM is awesome :)

    July 7, 2010 @ 1:42 am | Reply
  23. @indoc0der
    He already write about VPS optimization somewhere in this blog. You can even run WP at 64MB RAM

    July 7, 2010 @ 4:21 pm | Reply
  24. Omio:

    Hello admin, do you have DDOS protection on this node?

    August 22, 2010 @ 11:55 pm | Reply
  25. Nope.

    August 23, 2010 @ 12:28 am | Reply
  26. Your blog is fast and works well.

    But I do not see there is any 80M ram plan in quickweb?

    September 15, 2010 @ 2:20 pm | Reply
  27. Hi Pineappe,

    it is called MicroVPS Plan can be found here



    September 15, 2010 @ 8:24 pm | Reply
  28. sorry correct link: http://quickweb.co.nz/wht

    September 15, 2010 @ 8:25 pm | Reply
  29. How much RAM does LowEndBox actually use on average?

    October 29, 2010 @ 8:30 pm | Reply
    • Currently:

      $ free
                   total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
      Mem:         81920      80080       1840          0       4244      28456
      -/+ buffers/cache:      47380      34540
      Swap:       131064      14436     116628
      October 30, 2010 @ 7:16 am | Reply
      • So pretty much the whole limit.

        October 30, 2010 @ 12:22 pm | Reply
        • Yup. Finding balance between file system cache, PHP opcode cache and MySQL query cache…

          October 30, 2010 @ 2:02 pm | Reply
  30. very good
    very Inconceivable

    August 29, 2011 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

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