--- On Sun, 2/22/09, Jonathan Rockway wrote:

Slicehost does have one killer feature that Lindoe
doesn't -- nightly,
weekly, and on-demand full-system backups. This saved my
life when I
upgraded Debian Stable last weekend and it went horribly
wrong due to
the crappy version of Xen they are using. One click, and I
was back to
my old setup, with maybe a few lost mail messages.

OTOH, if they didn't suck, I wouldn't have needed
the backups.
Linode said they're planning to add backups. Also, depending on how you allocate your disk you can clone your system partition to your free space before making changes. The 360 plan gives 12GB storage. I have a Linode 360 and broke it up with 3GB "storage" for downloaded source, a 256MB swap, and two 4516 MB "system image" partitions. I use one as a current production, the other is my backup.

Anyway, you need sysadmin experience if you are going to
use a VPS. You
start with a Linux system with *nothing* installed. You
log in through
a "console", install your text editor (mg), sshd,
and sudo, and then go
from there.
I'm running Slackware 12 on my Linode. The system image they give you doesn't have any development utilities (no gcc, glibc, perl, etc.), no database or webserver, or anything. You really do need to know how to add packages to your system, patch it, etc. Linode says they're community is a great learning environment, but I've not used it so I can't really comment.

I've never used Slicehost, but Linode gives you more bandwidth (200GB), storage (12GB), and RAM (360MB) for $19.95 a month.

I'd suggest getting a month with Linode and seeing how you like it.

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