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Subject: Update on rockbox hosting (major changes are coming)

Update on rockbox hosting (major changes are coming)

From: Solomon Peachy via rockbox <>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2021 09:30:18 -0400

This has already been discussed a bunch on IRC, but here's both the
summary and some long-winded details about what's going on.

The short version -- Rockbox is losing its current hosting location, and
has to move no later than December 31st. I'm working on several
alternative options in parallel but the most likely outcome will be to
shift all rockbox services onto a VPS provided by Fosshost. Further
details will be announced as they solidify.

If you want more details, read on!

The server hosting all Rockbox services (along with my entire online
presence) currently resides in a rack used by $dayjob. Last week I was
informed that my small R&D group (along with all other engineering done
on our site) was being transferred overseas. Even with the
four-months-in-advance notice, suffice it to say this is quite
disruptive personally.

For the majority of its life, the server in question has been hosted out
of my home using business-class internet service. That is still an
option but not ideal, because (1) the available bandwidth is completely
inadequate for typical rockbox usage (even with downloads being mirrored
elsewhere) and (2) I very may well need to relocate after the new year.

It's one thing for my personal services to be disrupted, but that's not
acceptable for something like rockbox that's widely used by others. So
the prudent thing is to split rockbox services off of my server, and
have them hosted on a VPS or dedicated server somewhere.

This obviously costs money; about $25/mo for a VPS with the minimal
level of performance we'd need. Leasing a low-end dedicated server
(with a lot more RAM and storage) would cost about $40/mo. That said,
the folks at Fosshost have graciously offered to provide a VPS for free,
but it remains to be seen if what they can offer is up to our current

The reason our needs are a bit outsized is because some of the rockbox
services are very processor and/or RAM-intensive. Gerrit in particular
eats up 2GB of RAM when idle, and every night we generate 972 voice
files (12 languages * 81 players) and 44 manuals. The current server
also hosts a builder instance capable of handling every buildable

Meeting those needs (and growing into future ones) is a big part of why
I upgraded the current server hardware less than a month ago.
Consequently I'm also exploring ways of keeping the current server
going, which is contingent on finding a rack slot with enough bandwidth
at a price I can afford.

To make finding said rack slot easier (even if just at home!) I'm
working on (literally) downsizing the current server from a 4U case to a
2U (or possibly even 1U) unit. This will require multiple hours-long
downtimes while I rejigger its storage. An advantage to this approach
is that it will yield an OS image that can be transferred to leased
dedicated server, which I may need to do anyway for everything
non-rockbox, at which point I might as keep rockbox stuff on it.

Anyway. I'll keep everyone updated as things develop, but rest assured, will stay online as long as I have anything to say about it.

(Oh, in other news, if someone knows of a remote opportunity for a
 seasoned low-level miscellaneous-embedded hacker, I'd appreciate it..)


 - Solomon
Solomon Peachy			      pizza at shaftnet dot org (email&xmpp)
                                      _at_pizza:shaftnet dot org   (matrix)
High Springs, FL                      speachy (

Received on 2021-08-31

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