EDIS’ Raspberry Pi colocation

A few weeks ago, the story broke that hitherto unheard of (by me, at least) Austrian hosting firm EDIS was offering free co-location of Raspberry Pis in their data centre. Since I hadn’t really found a use for mine (like almost every geek I know who bought one ‘just because’), I decided to give it a go. The plan is to use it to run Nagios to keep an eye on various machines I run back here in the UK.

This guy describes how you can make a start, and I pretty much followed his lead – install the basic Debian image from the official RPi site, then rip out everything graphical, set up an SSH server, firewall it and expand the root partition to fill the SD card. In my case, I didn’t bother shipping a USB stick in it – the 16GB SD card should be all the storage a basic monitoring installation will ever need.

The last thing to do before posting it (along with a USB cable to power it) is configure the IP addresses they gave you (you were cool enough to ask for IPv6 too, right?). I wrote /etc/network/interfaces like this:

auto eth0
allow-hotplug eth0
iface eth0 inet static
  address w
  netmask 255.255.255.0
  gateway x
iface eth0 inet6 static
  address  y
  # we're assigned a /112, but the routing is /48 based
  netmask 48
  gateway z

Obviously, replace the ws, xs, ys and zs with the settings they e-mailed you.

It’s worth noting (I had to ask EDIS to clarify this) that they don’t provide IPv4 DNS servers for you to use – go for Google public DNS or similar, with /etc/resolv.conf like this:

nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4

There’s not much you can do to test you’ve got the networking right, but I did boot it and check eth0 came up when a cable was plugged in, with the right IPs on it. You can also check the output of ‘sudo route -a’ to make sure the default route goes via the gateway it should.

I posted my Pi (Royal Mail’s standard air mail – cost about £2) this morning. I’ll write a follow-up when it’s arrived and running.