Archive for September, 2011


The Wondrous World of /proc

Linux servers, regardless of the distribution, all share a common thread that system administrators know about and use to monitor the server and troubleshoot hardware. That commonality is /proc, a truly unique and special file system that can give you all sorts of wondrous information about your dedicated server.
The proc filesystem is mounted at boot […]

Secure VPS server: How to secure your Virtual Private Server

Once you’ve purchased a VPS to store your data, run your apps, or act as a testing environment, the next step is customizing your server environment so that it works best for you. This can take the form of optimizing your Linux or Windows OS, and then using the VPS control panel you have available […]

Virtualization Options in CentOS

Virtualization is a method that allows a system administrator to run one instance of an operating system (called a virtual machine) within another. Each virtual machine operates as though it were a standalone dedicated server of its own, but it is really depending on the resources of its host.
Many commercial vendors offer virtualization options for […]

Should Shared Hosting Customers Have SSH Access?

Over at The Hosting News, we asked the question, “Do you need SSH with shared hosting?” This is a common question among shared hosting users, particularly those who are more adept at technologly. Here at Server School, we focus on dedicated servers, so the question for you is different. Should shared hosting customers have […]

Aptitude Package Manager Alternative

In previous posts, we have examined some of the features of APT, the Debian package management system, and learned how to install, update, and remove packages. Aptitude is a text-based frontend for APT that makes it easier to browse through packages, search, and manage them.
While APT operates completely from the command line, Aptitude uses […]

YUM Tutorial: Undo Package Updates with Rollback

In almost all situations, keeping your server up-to-date with the latest packages is the smart thing to do. In some cases, however, updates (especially more involved upgrades) may cause certain web applications to stop functioning properly or may introduce a new bug that the developers missed.
To make sure you do not get one of these […]

YUM Tutorial: Disable and Remove Repositories

YUM is a package management system for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and Red Hat-based distributions such as CentOS and Scientific Linux. With yum you can keep your operating system and applications up to date without much hassle. The following tutorial will explain how to use yum to remove packages, purge old package headers, and […]

How to Install Webmin on a CentOS Server

Webmin is a free and open source web-based interface for Unix and Linux system administration. It is more powerful and more comprehensive than the typical web-based control panel, and it is also completely free to download and use. You can install Webmin on just about any Linux distribution, BSD variant, or other Unix-like operating system. […]

Using Solid State Drives on a Server

One of the methods some system administrators use to speed up their servers is to install solid state drives in place of traditional hard drives. Solid state drives (SSD) are considerably different in hardware architecture from a standard hard disk drive (HDD). These differences give solid state drives a decisive edge in read access times.
The […]

Server Logs and What They Do

One of the best ways to monitor Linux and Unix servers is to study their server logs. Every operating system and Linux distribution has their own variants, but there are some general logs that most server OSes have. You should definitely be familiar with them if you plan to manage a dedicated server.
The following are […]

Linux VPS: Choosing the right Linux Distribution for your LAMP

Running a LAMP VPS means choosing a distro to go along with your server space; a choice that often comes with a number of judgments on the part of so-called “experts” in the field. Everyone has their favorite distro for their own reasons, but each one performs admirably in its own space. Choosing one comes […]

How to Deal with Unauthorized Users

One day, while monitoring your server, you notice a user you do not recognize logged in through SSH or another method. What should you do in this situation?
First of all, do not panic. It may seem horrible, but is probably not as bad as you think. The fact that you still have control and a […]

3 Lessons I Learned About Security

In my years as a system administrator, I learned that security is much more complex than most people realize. You cannot get away with doing just one thing. One security measure will not save your dedicated server or VPS. Your security must be comprehensive and constantly adapting to defend against intruders. The following are three […]

How to Autostart Services In Red Hat, CentOS, and Fedora

On a Linux dedicated server, certain applications can run as daemons. These are programs that begin running when the server boots and remain in the memory for the duration of the server’s uptime. Normally, when you install one of these programs, the system will automatically add them to the appropriate directories, such as “/etc/rc.d/init.d”.
There are […]

How to Change the Timing of Cron.daily

Cron is a Linux daemon that runs specified programs at precise times throughout the day, week, month, or even year. You can setup a cron job to automate any tasks on your server. Cron.daily is a directory on some Linux servers that runs all scripts or links to scripts within it at the same time […]

Should You Offer SSH Access?

With a Linux or Unix dedicated server, you will probably access it via SSH on a regular basis. It is an essential feature for server system administrators. For other users, however, it is usually not essential and may even be a security risk. Do your hosting customers or company employees need access? A lot of […]

Getting Linux Server Community Help

Running an unmanaged server is a lot of work. In a previous post, we looked at options for paid support for Linux servers, but with a limited budget, paid support might not be an option you can even consider. There is really only one other alternative: community support.
Fortunately for you, Linux community support is […]

Paying for Linux Server Support

Some people who are new to Linux dedicated servers have the mistaken perception that Linux must necessarily be free of charge. Linux is definitely free software, but when Linux users talk about it being free, they are usually referring to its free and open source license, not its price.
When you pay for commercial software, one […]