malak.ca — Server Hard Drive Upgrade

This is just a little note to mention that malak.ca has been down for the past 28 hours or so for an upgrade only planned as of a few days ago, when the site had been hanging for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and diagnostics suggested that the hard drive may have been on its last legs.

A new 256-gig SSD was ordered and installed in the IBM ThinkCentre I claimed from a pile of computers to be shipped off for disposal in 2017 but only actually started using in 2020, with the intention of essentially setting up things as they were beforehand, with only an under-the-hood change of technology.

Here are a few highlights:

  • A backup of the blog database was created, and saved on an external drive;
  • The external drive, used as a backup for my other computers and the location of the static parts of my website, was separated from the machine, which was then powered down;
  • The old hard drive was physically removed;
  • The SSD was connected;
  • Fedora 34 workstation, which had been previously downloaded and installed on a USB key, was installed on the SSD yesterday evening (I’m currently still running on F33 for my desktop, laptop, and one of my worldcommunitygrid.org nodes)
    • The desktop for F34, on the core 2 duo, is faster, although some of that is due to the SSD, of course;
    • Interesting to see the dock moved from a vertical position on the left to a horizontal position at the bottom;
    • I find it interesting that at bootup, the activities screen appears to be the default;
  • This evening, the web server was installed;
    • Although we had planned to use php-fpm to separate permissions, but since this is a single domain box, we used a simple virtualhost;
  • MariaDB was installed;
  • The re-registration of my redirections for things like www.malak.ca with noip.com to account for the dynamic nature of my IP address was done;
  • The re-registration for my Let’sEncrypt was performed;
  • Various linux kung-fu tricks were performed, and magical linux incantations were uttered, and the setup was complete;
  • The external drive was reconnected;
  • The blog was restored from a backup.

The system is peppy, and this blog, which is hosted on the SSD instead of the external drive (as is the rest of malak.ca), loads somewhat more quickly.

As usual, great thanks go to my brother whose herculean efforts were at the core of the setup. Thank you!

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