Linux + open source + Google=free fast tech support! Last night, the machine that runs this site seemed to die — I couldn’t ssh into it. Our machines are in downtown Seattle and this machine isn’t critical to anything, so I ignored it and went to bed. This morning, I called our hosting company and they looked at it and it appeared to be crashed. This is odd, because Linux never ever crashes (in 3 years of running 15 linux servers 24×7 I’ve seen 1 crash and it was due to a defective RAM chip). So they rebooted it for me.
I could get into it again, checked the logs, found the error that caused it to crash, searched for that text on Google and voilá, I know what the problem is. Total time: about 12 seconds. I could have it fixed even within the hour if I felt like it was serious enough to worry about before the weekend.
If I didn’t use Linux, I’d spend hours just trying to figure out what the error message means exactly. And if the vendor didn’t have a fix available (if they deemed it important enough to fix, that is), I’d have to wait months or even years for a fix, if it ever came.