Running a web server on 256 RAM

CLIFFORD ILKAY clifford_ilkay at
Mon Mar 16 17:51:35 UTC 2009

James Matthews wrote:
> I am wondering if I am able to run a webserver (Apache,MySql) for my
> wordpress blog and django site on 256 megs ram. Yes I know everything is
> possible however I wish to upgrade from shared hosting to a VPS
> (Slicehost or Linode I didn't decide yet....) and I am wondering if it
> will work out.

As long as you don't expect much traffic, it'll be fine but 256M for
that software stack is really pretty minimal. Substituting nginx
(lightpd apparently leaks a lot of memory) for Apache will reduce your
resource consumption considerably but you'll have to serve WP via fcgi.
For Django, you have the option of fcgi or mod_wsgi.

You should be aware that on some distros, running mod_php and mod_python
at the same time with Apache can be problematic due to them being linked
to incompatible versions of the MySQL libraries. It doesn't even matter
if you use MySQL. It still causes problems. If I recall, the symptom for
PHP was white screens and for Django, a 500 error code being returned.

In our hosting operation, we're moving people away from hosting their
own database servers in their own VPS. Database servers can require
considerable resources to perform well and it makes more sense to have
one instance of the database server with lots of resources allocated to
it to which various users from various shared accounts or VPS can
connect rather than having one instance of a database server running per
VPS where you're going to have minimal resources allocated to the
database server. In other words, there are economies of scale with
database servers that I think people ignore all for the illusion of
control. It requires a bit of coordination between us and the hosting
client but the payoff is that they get a database server that is bound
to perform better than anything they can host in their own VPS.

Clifford Ilkay
1419-3266 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326
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