When Commons D7 comes out I will likely switch from a stand alone leased server to a Virtual Private Server for my site. Any advice? Things I should look for in a hosting plan? Things I should avoid? I've never actually hosted anything on a VPS before and assume it is the same as a regular server and that I have full control.


mariomaric’s picture

Title:Hosting» Commons 7.x-3.x system requirements
Component:Q+A (Commons Answers)» Documentation
Status:Active» Postponed

Hi David!

You will probably need to wait until Commons 3 will come out because then system requirements will be known and you will be able to plan suitable (VPS) hosting.

Regarding VPS hosting providers, I know only most popular ones - you should compare them and see which suits you best.

I personally use server4you because they are cheap and have closest data center to my location (in EU).

Also I wold suggest to you (if you have knowledge/time/money) to avoid any GUI panels for manipulating VPS (e.g. CPanel) and of course, to use Linux distro that you are most familiar with - I prefer (minimal) Debian and/or Ubuntu.

lightsurge’s picture

I often give out this link for (apparently) impartial reviews of hosts http://www.reviewcentre.com/products100.html

ezra-g’s picture

In general, the system minimum requirements are likely to be the same as Drupal core 7.x. We'll make sure this is thoroughly documented.

However, Commons will be optimized to take the advantage of Acquia Cloud hosting's stack (eg, use of Varnish, Acquia Search service).

crimsondryad’s picture

But not require it, right? One of the issues with Varnish if I understand correctly is that it doesn't cache ssl content? Considering this is by definition an authenticated site, doesn't that pose some issues? We've been looking a nginx as the reverse proxy.

I understand why Commons would be optimized for Acquia's stack, I just hope no one will be forced into it.

juan_g’s picture

About system requirements, some of the important factors are total RAM, and PHP's memory_limit. Most other requirements (database, server, disk space, etc.) are usually met by normal VPS and dedicated hosting.

The minimum 32MB memory_limit for Drupal 7 core (16MB for D6) means a real minimum of about 64MB PHP memory_limit for most sites that, like Commons, include Views and many other contrib modules. Also, for total server RAM, a minimum of a 512MB VPS or server would be advisable.

Or possibly more than the minimum in many cases. For example, a 1GB VPS or server, and 128MB memory_limit, would cover many situations, depending on configuration, traffic, etc.

mariomaric’s picture

Well, according to Commons 2.x (or was that 1.x era?) system requirements, 1 GB RAM VPS for Commons 3 should be bare minimum.

ezra-g’s picture

Title:Commons 7.x-3.x system requirements» Define Commons 7.x-3.x system requirements

I understand why Commons would be optimized for Acquia's stack, I just hope no one will be forced into it.

Commons will still run well on non Acquia Cloud hosting platforms - I just mean that we're making sure that out of the box it takes advantage of the Acquia Cloud's functionality if it's hosted there.

@mariomaric - Good thought to look to the previous system requirements for Commons, but I'm not sure that those will necessarily apply. It seems possible Commons 7.x-3.x would be more conservative with memory usage, for example.

crimsondryad’s picture

I'm kind of torn on this one. If you set it too high, folks will be discouraged from using it. If you set it too low, they're going to complain that Drupal's a dog when the hardware is really the issue.

For a VPS, by the time you get a full LAMP stack running, a 512MB instance shouldn't be used for anything but dev and some hosts have even stopped selling these smaller instances. I'm for setting the minimum at 1GB for a VPS. I have never had a Drupal site run well with a 64MB php limit. The cached anon pages may be ok, but the module page and perms pages are likely to tank. I've never set it at less than 128MB.

juan_g’s picture

For a VPS, by the time you get a full LAMP stack running, a 512MB instance shouldn't be used for anything but dev

Yes, minimum requirements for sites with Views and other contrib modules, such as 64MB PHP memory_limit, etc., are really minimum and just allow to install and start working (more or less). Less than 512MB VPS or server memory would probably mean a too high use of slow disk swap.

Production sites normally use more than the minimum requirements, and it should be recommended (as said, a 1GB or more VPS or server, and 128MB memory_limit or more), excepting in very low traffic cases, or in special cases similar to static sites, such as almost entirely anonymous traffic, served for instance by file caching like the Boost module. Other factors can also affect it: enabled modules and features, etc.

Kristina Katalinic’s picture

Can anyone confirm local environment requirements.....

I tried installing nightly snapshot from 06/09/12 and it went fine all until commons groups were being installed and then it threw an error and could not complete the installation.
Am using MacBook Pro with retina display...... i7 quad core, 8 gb ram and MAMP Pro..... no joy.

Anyone else using MAMP Pro for their local environment and wouldn't mind sharing configuration settings?

juan_g’s picture

@Mario Baron: For Drupal on Mac, instead of MAMP Pro, you can try Acquia's Dev Desktop, which was recommended already by ezra-g as a replacement for WAMP on Windows. It also has a version for Mac OS X.

Kristina Katalinic’s picture

@juan_g I got it working on Mamp Pro. Not entirely sure which one of these got it to work but I upped php.ini settings to this:

; Resource Limits ;

max_execution_time = 300 ; Maximum execution time of each script, in seconds
max_input_time = 160 ; Maximum amount of time each script may spend parsing request data
memory_limit = 320M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (80MB)

and also followed instructions from Here and turned on Output Buffering

Once I applied those settings it installed without a problem and it site "flies" with or without APC turned on :)

ezra-g’s picture

Since we're using the Aloha editor, PHP 5.3 will be a required to use the default WYSIWYG functionality in Commons per #1792684: Enforce PHP 5.3 as a requirement.

erikwebb’s picture

memory_limit = 320M ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (80MB)

That value is way too high for Commons. I believe 160MB is probably more accurate for a decent-sized Commons install, or maybe 192MB for a large one.

japerry’s picture

Status:Postponed» Fixed

There is documentation for commons here:

TL;DR version:

Environment Virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server
Memory 1GB of RAM (2GB of RAM recommended)
Disk space 1GB
Database server
MySQL 5.0.15 or higher with the PHP Data Objects (PDO) interface (recommended)
PostgreSQL 8.3 or higher with PDO
SQLite 3.3.7 or higher

PHP 5.2.5 or higher (PHP 5.3 recommended as certain 3rd party modules may not work)
GD graphics library

PHP settings
max_execution_time greater than or equal to 120 seconds
memory_limit greater than or equal to 128MB (190MB recommended)
mod_rewrite must be enabled

Status:Fixed» Closed (fixed)

Automatically closed -- issue fixed for 2 weeks with no activity.