Retroactively Minimizing Installed Packages on CentOS 5.1

In my CentOS 5.1 Minimal VPS Install Guide I describe how to install a very lean set of OS packages when starting from scratch. But what if the VPS is preinstalled for you by a hosting provider? There will be things preinstalled that you don’t need, which will slow down backups and updates, and waste the relatively tiny amount of disk space that VPS plans offer. So here are some instructions to help you identify and remove packages that you don’t need, when they’ve already been installed.
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Why mod_rails is great for light-duty Rails apps

The Ruby on Rails story is usually presented to the new developer as a wonderful break from tradition that makes a developer’s life so much better than the frameworks of the past. The clattering of skeletons in the closet you’re hearing? Well, that’s because it makes the sysadmin’s life much worse than PHP or Java. That just improved on Friday, with the release of mod_rails. If you’re looking for a way to do shared (or low traffic) hosting of Rails applications, this is for you.
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Thoughts about using Git for closed source projects

Git is getting a lot of press in the open source world lately, but hasn’t got much traction in the closed source corporate development world. There’s a reason for this, and it’s more than conservatism on the part of the corporate developers. Git (or any DVCS, really) embodies a development culture that isn’t very enterprise-y.
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Sphinx Search init script for Centos 5.1

Sphinx search is pretty new, and as a result I was unable to find a nice convenient package for it for CentOS 5.1. This is problematic since there is no init script included with the source tarball, and the issue of updating the index is the sysadmin and developer’s problem, and cannot be configured to simply update the index when the data changes.
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