Let's face it: setting up a server to run services useful for you and your community can be tiresome, difficult and not really satisfactory.

"Why not AWS services, Google cloud, Azure infrastructure and other professional, reliable solutions?", people would ask.

The answer is not easy, nor simple.

Running a server is a responsibility,

especially if you run it for a community of people trusting your services.

If you want to go for this adventure, let's have an overview of what you can expect - and you cannot.

In our experience, some of the key benefits of running a server are:

  1. Having fun with a non-human being, the server, you will play with :D
  2. Learning a lot of stuff - which is fun and empowering.
  3. Software autonomy: deciding autonomously what software will be used.
  4. Materialize the technological effort, in particular if you choose to run a bare metal server.
  5. Control - Having your services under your control.
  6. DYI culture - Contribute to the dissemination of a DYI culture, without major technocratic delegation
  7. GAFAM desertion - Avoid GAFAM-managed technology

It's unrealistic to expect:

  1. Run a 365/7/24 service with SLA (Service Level Agreement) comparable to commercial servers.
  2. Serve millions or billions of users, i.e. scale up your services
  3. That the server will do everything on her own

The goal of this documentation is to empower people that are not already experts to understand better how things work and be more informed when asking for help! Although we say "Do It Yourself", in essence it works better when you do it with others :-)

Main characters of this story

**Who's "we"?

Panos wants to learn how to deal with a newborn server. Engineering background, GNU/Linux user, with no experience of sysadmin

K. wants to share what he learned about sysadmin. Literature and philosophy background, GNU/Linux user, with little experience of sysadmin.

Lennon, an HPE ProLiant Intel Xeon E-2224, 16 GB, Micro Server, located in the L200 Zurich space.

Alekos.net and C.I.R.C.E. colleagues enter in the matter to lend a hand when called by the principal characters