I have been using a virtual server provided by Linode for about a year and a half now.
I am using it mainly to host a bunch of web sites for myself and a few friends and learn more about Linux system administration.
I decided to use an ArchLinux based distribution because I like their minimalist approach. Prior to switching to Linux, I had used various FreeBSD versions between 1998–2008 to host a few applications and enjoyed it very much.
I was motivated to write this post because I got to file my first support request today. The fact that I am not a good system administrator was demonstrated because I did a quick:
# pacman -Syu
and decided —instead of restarting
httpd and other assorted services one by one as good system administrator would have done— just to log off and issue a reboot.
It turned out the recent ArchLinux updates required the virtual machine to be running the Paravirt kernel and this problem exhibited itself with an inability to get into multi-user mode with an
fsck error message. I was baffled and stumped.
I am happy to report that Linode staff took all of five minutes to respond to my ticket, and arrange a migration to different host that supported the requisite kernel and everything was up and running again after another five minutes. Pretty good for such a low cost service I would say.
Update 2013/04/16: My praise is on hold for now, see Linode disappoints for more information.
Update 2013/05/28: I decided to stay with Linode after some consideration.