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.
My current ArchLinux on Linode virtual server provides me with all the pleasures of FreeBSD without the time spent on portsnap and portupgrade and friends.
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.
I think it would be well worth your time to give them a shot: Linode link with referral code and Linode link without referral code.
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.