Archive for April, 2011


What to Do About Extra Large Log Files

Picture this.  It is 3AM on a Sunday, and you are enjoying the comfort of your bed when you receive a text message telling you something is wrong with your server.  As you struggle to crawl to your laptop, SSH into the server, and start poking around, you notice one of your system log files […]

The Pros and Cons of Rolling Your Own Kernel

Some purists of the geek variety may have told you that their servers run faster than yours because they took the time to compile their own kernels from source.  They may even run a Linux distribution that encourages custom kernels.  In all likelihood, you have a dedicated server that runs an OS that uses a […]

How to Delete Linux Files Completely with Shred

Deleting files is probably not something you think about on a regular basis, but you inevitably do it regularly without thinking.  Files come and go, but on a dedicated server, it is sometimes important to make sure the files you have deleted are truly gone.
The “rm” command in Linux is the standard command most sysadmins […]

How to Create an Entire Directory Path with One Command

A Linux dedicated server has a hierarchical directory structure.  Files are stored in directories, and those directories are also stored in directories, forming an entire directory trees.  For example, documents that appear on a website may be housed in the /home/lightning/www/html directory path (“lightning” being the username of the website owner).
In order to keep information […]

5 Dedicated Server Hardware Tips

Whether you are leasing a server from a remote service or buying your own on-premise dedicated server, it is important to know what is under the hood and what you are getting for your money.  The following are five tips that should help you evaluate servers and make an informed decision.
1. Look for server-grade CPUs. […]

Granting Users Access to Privileged Files

Linux dedicated servers set permissions for every file, including applications.  Fortunately, it is very quick and easy to change the permissions of files in order to give specific users access.
First, it is important to understand how ownership and permissions work in Linux.  Every file has an owner, and that owner […]

How .htaccess Files Work

Apache HTTP Server is one of the most widely-used web server applications on Linux and Unix-like operating systems. In fact, it is even used more than Microsoft’s IIS web server. One of the unique features of Apache is the ability to add directives that customize the server configuration. You can add directives […]

8 Signs That It’s Time to Get a Dedicated Server

Sometimes it is difficult to know when it is time to make the move from one technology to another, or when to upgrade from one version to a later one.  As your website or websites grow, it is important to track their progress, understand their weaknesses, and be prepared to take them to the next […]

Server Network Monitoring with IPTraf

Many system administrators do not take sufficient steps to protect their server’s network.  In some cases, they install the firewalls and other automated defenses, but they do not take steps to monitor the network the way that they monitor system services, users, and other dedicated server elements.
To properly ensure your network stays as safe as […]

When are Reboots Necessary?

It is an age-old question among system administrators.  When do you need to reboot your server?  Unlike desktop computers or laptops, dedicated servers are “dedicated”, meaning they are expected to be available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Most consumers and users are tolerant of the occasional service interruption, but with plenty […]

How to Install BFD (Brute Force Detection)

BFD (Brute Force Detection) is a free software tool to help you prevent brute force attacks on your dedicated server.  A brute force attack is most commonly used to gain root access to the server by using password-guessing technology.  BFD will detect multiple login attempts and prevent the attackers from escalating into a brute force […]

Prevent DoS Attacks with Mod_Evasive for Apache

Of all the security threats to your server, few are as difficult to prevent as DoS (denial of service) attacks.  A DoS attack occurs when someone with malignant intentions uses software to overload your server with traffic, either through security holes or through standard traffic methods.  With a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, the […]

5 Uses for Dedicated Servers Other Than Web Hosting

It is a common misconception that the only reason you might need a dedicated server is to start your own web hosting company or reseller.  Dedicated servers are useful for a variety purposes, both on the Internet and in on-premise intranets.  From cloud platforms to dedicated application servers, the uses for dedicated servers are numerous. […]

How to Install and Use RootCheck

Protecting your server is the most important thing you can do for it, more important than adding features, speed, or optimizations.  It is security that your websites and your client’s websites need more than anything else.  Many security threats are annoyances or may slow down your system a bit, but they do not do serious […]