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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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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Making SELinux allow a nonstandard MySQL port number on Centos 5.1

SELinux is a recently added security system that’s installed by default with CentOS 5.1 (and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and others). Since it’s newer than the classic “Discretionary Access Control” Unix security model, it’s not nearly as well documented, and unfamiliar to many. I had never even heard of it until this week.

After a lot of reading about it, and debating disabling it entirely, I figured out how to do some minor SELinux customization to fit my needs for a MySQL database server. Hopefully this will help folks who are in a similar situation.

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CentOS 5.1 Minimal VPS Install Guide

I’m working on a project that is deploying on CentOS 5.1, and I found it not entirely obvious how to install a really stripped down server, as a starting point for a lean and mean, hardened production server. Since I’m doing work on this at home on VMWare, and it’s being deployed on a VPS initially (and probably will remain virtualized for ease of management as it scales up), this guide is specifically aimed at this kind of configuration.

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