Presales question - G-Forge and LDAP?


#1

Hi,
I’m working on building an “open community developed free open source game” development community website with Joomla, SMF (JSMF), MediaWiki, Gallery2 (bridged to Joomla), and G-Forge, and using LDAP to sync user accounts between Joomla, MediaWiki, G-Forge, and other community services (ideally email, FTP, Jabber, and other hosted community sites). Right now I’m on a VPS but the host box is having some issues which the tech support can’t seem to resolve. I’ve been drooling over a SoftLayer server for a while but someone told me to check out DH first, so here I am…

Reference:
– G-Forge (gforge.org) is a Source Forge fork and is/was a standard Debian package. It typically requires root access to install, but I don’t know if the package can be installed for a single user account. If so, then I need to know if an admin can install it. If not, then I need feedback on if I can install it on my own (can post a summary of the requirements and install procedure). Note: I’m using a patch to enable MySQL support instead of PostgreSQL and it will not use the unix/ssh user accounts features.

– OpenLDAP with PHP-LDAP, mod_auth_ldap, pam-ldap, etc is fairly standard fair. I just need to know if it can be installed. Getting it to work with other services is a minor issue for me, I don’t mind manually creating email and FTP accounts (don’t expect most will use them anyway).

– For myself, I’m a moderator with my current host (shall remain nameless), I run their IRC server. It doesn’t seem like DH uses IRC, if your interested I can post a run down of how to setup an ircd effectively for customer service, bind user accounts to a LDAP server (or other directory), secure it with SSL, and set/enforce policies to pretty much rule out the common issues with bots. If that doesn’t sound appealing (old IRC stigma), then I’m happy to work on the wiki in exchange for an admin’s time with help for setting up GF and LDAP.

If I get a “no” on either of those I’ll have to look elsewhere, but I won’t rule out using a DH account for file mirroring and remote backup.

Thanks,
-MegaBurn


#2

[quote]
– For myself, I’m a moderator with my current host (shall remain nameless), I run their IRC server. It doesn’t seem like DH uses IRC, if your interested I can post a run down of how to setup an ircd effectively for customer service, bind user accounts to a LDAP server (or other directory), secure it with SSL, and set/enforce policies to pretty much rule out the common issues with bots. If that doesn’t sound appealing (old IRC stigma), then I’m happy to work on the wiki in exchange for an admin’s time with help for setting up GF and LDAP.[/quote]
That would be pretty pointless, as DreamHost uses freenode to host their unofficial irc channel :wink:
Providing customers support via IRC is also an extremely poor method of support. The current email system and call-back features are perfect for the scope of what DreamHost provides.

Also before I continue, please understand that this is primarily a customer-to-customer forums and while DH staff do stop by once in a while, nearly all of the answers you’ll receive are from customers like myself who are only speaking from experience. That said, I believe I can answer at least one of your other questions:

[quote]
– OpenLDAP with PHP-LDAP, mod_auth_ldap, pam-ldap, etc is fairly standard fair. I just need to know if it can be installed. Getting it to work with other services is a minor issue for me, I don’t mind manually creating email and FTP accounts (don’t expect most will use them anyway).[/quote]
While I don’t know about installing OpenLDAP, the possibility to install PHP-LDAP is definitely an option, as custom PHP installs are permitted and documented quite well in the DreamHost Wiki. mod_auth_ldap on the other hand, being an apache module, cannot be installed by your user and would have to be supported by DreamHost. I’m personally not aware of that module being enabled in apache, but I would imagine if PHP-LDAP works then it may indeed be enabled. pam-ldap works well on DH also.

To installing G-Forge - I have no knowledge of that software, so I’d say if you aren’t aware of the possibility of installing it as a normal user, then I’d be looking elsewhere for another VPS or dedicated server, as such a shared environment does not typically offer such flexibility.
Nine times out of ten, DreamHost won’t install such packages for you either, as it could potentially disrupt the stability of the server you’re on (not that I believe it would, but that is the general idea).
If you’re willing to try DreamHost host anyways - you could always go with using a promo code, which would initially make the cost of hosting here pretty low (I paid $23 for my first year of hosting) and thus, if you can afford it, it might be worth checking into as far as installing G-Forge goes. if anything you’ll have a decent, remote host to store data :slight_smile:

Hopefully I’ve answered most of your questions… let me know if you need more specifics and I’ll try to dig them up.


Chips N Cheese - Custom PHP installs and the like!


#3

Thanks for the reply.

On LDAP, I saw the LDAP article on the wiki, it looks like DH is considering adding it as an option but the article itself is little more than a stub. I can’t install OpenLDAP as a user given DH’s policy, slapd has to run as a service. If they auto kill long running processes then my user accounts would stop working every ~60min, I could restart it with a cronjob but thats a pain (same effect as if MySQL died every 60min). Its certainly not a system load issue, just need an admin to install and configure it.

On G-Forge (GF), the package itself is just PHP and shell script. In general the GF docs say it should run on a dedicated server but I did some more research and it seems like it can be installed on typical shared hosting. I just have to edit a few files and probably a half dozen other tweaks. The real problems come from the plug-ins.

On customer service via live chat. I take it you mean customer service via chat would be an extremely poor choice for DH - IRC is just a protocol. I don’t know about DH specifically, but a lot of other hosting companies have very effective chat systems.

Thanks,
-MegaBurn


#4

And another question, are there any “hidden” differences between the different account packages?

I’m eying level 3 on a 1 year payment, with a $-97 promo code, IF I can fully migrate to DH. Otherwise I’m thinking level 1 on a 1 year payment with a promo code for a unique IP for SSL. I’d go for 2 years but a lot can happen in that time frame.

Sorry to double post, I tried to edit my last post and it said edit time expired…

Thanks,
-Burn


#5

My understanding of the differences between the plans:

  1. More disk space and transfer
  2. Phone support (callbacks)
  3. More email and ftp users

For me, the phone support is the big draw to Level 3 (though I haven’t pulled the trigger yet). I’d also bet that there’s a subtle influence on support in that they’d assume you were legit if you were a Level 3 customer rather than have to go through the rigmarole to figure out whether you are a scammer of some kind.

One thing you could do is start at Level 1 and upgrade to Level 3 later, though you’ll probably most benefit from the phone support in setting up your hosting and in the early stages of it being up, so that may not make as much sense. There’s also the question of what the starting disk quota will be when you upgrade - will you get the full 400GB or will you start at 297GB? It does go up by 100GB a year so it’s not like 297GB would be the end of the world. :slight_smile:

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#6

Good point. The site I’m building could easily fill a level 1 account if it really gets going, its literally a smaller version of Source Forge for games. I’m sure that would make me unpopular with the admins. Guess I need to read up on the DH upgrade policy too…

My VPS went down again last night putting the uptime at around 88% for June, so that level 3 account is looking good, but with the higher price comes more research to do to make sure its a solid solution. I’m also waiting to see what happens with karljacob (“worst host ever…”), it sheds light on DH QoS but sounds fishy.

Thanks,
-Burn


#7

Did you ever find out whether GForge is a possibility on the DH servers? I did a search for “gforge” in this forum and it seems in the last 3 years, only the two of us have expressed any interest. I’ve used it on other dedicated servers and am Very happy with it, but I have no idea what the issues are with a shared host like DH. It doesn’t seem like anyone else here does either. ;(


#8

Yeah, I’m curious about anyone successfully running GForge on DreamHost as well. I found info on Robert Nelson’s mysql patch for 4.5 in the GForge patches (http://gforge.org/tracker/?group_id=1&atid=106&func=detail&aid=2748) and a branch of the SVN titled 4_6-mysql but with all the possible issues with the manual install, I’d love to hear if anyone is running it successfully before sinking the time into it… :stuck_out_tongue:

Would love to hear some DH + GForge success stories… :slight_smile: