Slackware Linux

Slackware 14.2 review - Last of the Unices

When I began writing this review there had been 921 days since the last stable Slackware release. The apparent dormant state of development raised a few questions about the health of the distribution, but as usual the rumors of Slackware’s decline was greatly exaggerated.

This website is now hosted on a Raspberry Pi 3

This WordPress blog is now hosted on a Raspberry Pi 3 after a year of running on a Raspberry Pi 2. Unlike with the RPi2, I’ve not done any overclocking on this device. I’m hoping that decision will decrease the number of file system related issues and obscure kernel oopses I’ve experienced lately, but I guess time will tell. Slackware 14.2 on a RPi3 The RPi3 is still running Slackware ARM 14.

Raspberry Pi 2 VS Raspberry Pi 3 on Slackware ARM

Let’s get ready to rumble: a battle of two Slackware ARM powered webservers.

Hosting your WordPress installation on a RPi2 can be a challenge on multiple levels. Apart from stability issues, my biggest concern is always subpar PHP performance and additional overhead with TLS connections. To determine the potential gain of upgrading my hosting platform to a RPi3, I’ve done a few tests with a MicroSD card I recently retired due to data corruption.

Slackware ARM on the Raspberry Pi 2- The 1 year mark

Since I hit the one year mark today I thought I would do a quick update on my RPi2 project. A short recap to kick things off: the project had a rough start due to some overly ambitious overclocking that eventually resulted in severe data corruption. However, after implementing the necessary modifications I enjoyed close to 300 days of easy uptime before a power failure took the RPi2 down. My initial thought after the power failure was that everything was still dandy, but a few weeks later things started to go downhill fast.

Raspberry down

Due to a city wide power outage I lost just short of 300 days of uptime on the RPi2. The RPi2 did boot back up when the power returned, but since I had received a new IP address I needed to make a DNS update before the server was reachable again. That’s obviously the downside of running a server on a dynamic IP space, but hey it doesn’t cost me a cent. I have a 300 seconds TTL (Time To Live) on my A record so I think it’s good enough for a hobby project.

Deploying 4096-bit HTTPS on the Raspberry Pi 2 was a bad idea

Who would have thought, right? :-)

After installing my certificate from Let’s Encrypt last week I was immediately confronted with the fact that I had made the wrong choice in regard to key sizes. By using a 4096-bit private key I was relying too heavily on the RPi2’s CPU. This became abundantly clear as page load times were increased by 500 – 1000ms.

HTTPS for WordPress on a Raspberry Pi 2

So you’re hosting your own WordPress blog on a Raspberry Pi 2 and want to join the HTTPS everywhere movement to ensure optimal privacy for your visitors. That’s great, but what kind of performance penalty can you expect as CPU intensive tasks are hardly a favorite with the RPi2. Is the extra computational cost of encrypting data and doing handshakes going to significantly slow down your site? Well, you can probably answer that question yourself as your browser has just loaded this page over a secured TLS connection.