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I rented a small VPS (~130MB of RAM) to run an IRC bot. The bot is no longer needed so I have a VPS until the billing period ends.

I also have shared web hosting but can anyone think of what a VPS might be useful for that can't be done on shared hosting?

I'm a developer for both web and desktop apps.

Suggestions for larger VPS's also welcome.

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This should probably be converted to a community wiki – Matt Simmons May 31 '09 at 17:39

Perhaps use it to host an exit node for the Tor network? Your ToS might block this though...

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  • Mumble (or other VoIP) server
  • SVN / bzr / git + web interface
  • email
  • screen + irssi
  • rsync destination
  • torrent seeder (watch out for ToS and bandwidth charges!)
  • podcast processor - transcode for a target platform, time stretch audio to speed it up, or even cut out the leading and trailing X seconds of advertising and title/credits fluff. This will require CPU you wont have on shared hosting, and programs you need root access to install.
  • nginx / lighthttpd. Use the opportunity to learn about alternative web servers.
  • run a tor node. It's not like you care if the account gets suspended.
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Counterstrike game server!?!?!!

Don't really play games anymore, so I'm not sure if CS is still popular, so replace counterstrike with any other FPS that requires a host server.

Install BOINC and pick a project

This is what became of the SETI@Home project although you can now pick many projects to donate your CPU cycles to.

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Things like BOINC tend to stress out the CPU which may take up more cycles than your hosting company is really willing to let you use. I wouldn't run BOINC on a VPS. – David Z Jun 29 '09 at 14:30
I vote for an AssultCube game server. – Xeoncross Mar 25 '10 at 17:42

Use it as a Project Gutenberg mirror server or bittorrent tracker. Since Project Gutenberg is a legal use of bittorrent, the only way you can run afoul of your hosting provider is if they don't allow trackers period.

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Personnal VPN server definently on port 443 TCP gets you out of any network restrictions.

HTTP server for you blog/wiki/other

Transmission Torrent box (watch out you're warned)

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Set up a webserver and play with different web packages and tools (phpBB, wordpress, etc.). You could also toy with IRC daemons and services.

Of course a proxy to bypass internet restrictions at work and school is good too.

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Save the planet: run folding@home. :)

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I run a subversion server, rsync my home directory (esp. my documents folder) and my photo library to it as a backup, and host half a dozen small websites and mail for my entire extended family. Well worth the $25/mo that mine costs.

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