Archive for October, 2011


How to Check Filesystem Health on a Linux/Unix Server

I will never forget the college professor who once told me: The question isn’t “Will your hard drive crash?” The question is, “When will it crash?” From my experience as a tech, system administrator, and also desktop computer user, I can attest to the accuracy of that professor’s statement. Hard drives crash. It is inevitable. […]

Tips for Grub Repair on a Linux Server

In most cases, a Linux server will not stop working unless someone does something to it. In other words, if you do not attempt to tweak it or optimize it, you do not have to worry about waking up one morning to find out none of your websites are active.
Having said that, we all make […]

Should You Defragment Your Server’s Hard Drive?

One of the most unappealing yet necessary tasks that PC users often perform is defragmenting of their hard drives. In the old days of small, slow hard drives, defragmenting was the only way to speed up performance and use every last byte you had available.
Times have changed considerably since then. Most modern hard disk drives […]

Restricting Use of htaccess Files

One of the powerful features available on Apache web servers is the htaccess file. With it users can take some configuration control over their virtual web servers by setting Apache server directives within their own user directories. This allows users to change web server configuration settings without affecting the rest of the sites on the […]

Should You Limit User Bandwidth?

In a perfect world, we would always have unlimited refills, unlimited anytime minutes, and unlimited bandwidth. In reality these things are finite, and nothing lasts forever. Bandwidth is not horribly expensive, but if you have your own dedicated server, you are definitely paying for it. Anytime you offer hosting or other services to your clients, […]

Is a Commercial Linux Distribution Worth the Price?

Deciding to go with Linux as your dedicated server’s OS of choice is only a first step. Linux, after all, is only the kernel of a wide variety of operating systems, called distributions. While all of them pretty much have the same security and stability benefits that likely caught your attention in the first place, […]

Do I Really Need a Hosting Control Panel?

Web hosting control panels provide graphical interfaces for both system administrators and virtual hosting users, allowing them to perform simple or even complex tasks with points and clicks rather than typing in commands. For some, the introduction of control panels, particularly for Unix and Linux servers, was a godsend. For others, however, it may just […]

Benefits of Using a Virtual Private Server

Depending on the business you are involved in, opting for a dedicated server may make the most sense. On the other hand, there are plenty of situations where you can make a strong case for a virtual private server (VPS) to save money and make things a little easier for you.
The following are benefits of […]

5 Invaluable DNS Tools

You can do everything right with your dedicated server’s configuration, security, and maintenance and still experience problems that seem to be beyond your control. Many networking issues, some beyond your control and some not, are easily detectable if you have the right tools for the job. The following 5 DNS tools can help you get […]

Why Frequent Vulnerability Scans Are So Important

Some server system administrators, especially those with little experience, may operate under the mistaken belief that they will find security through obscurity. In their minds, as long as their server is small and not hosting major big-name websites, those with malicious intent will leave them alone.
What these idealists fail to realize is that attackers do […]

How to Delete All the Files in a Directory

On Linux and Unix servers, you can use the “rm” command to delete one file, multiple files, or an entire directory. But what do you do if you want to preserve the directory but delete all the files in it? On a dedicated server, such a feature would be particularly useful if, for example, you […]

3 Ways to Keep Your Server Stable

Whether you are in the web hosting business or are simply managing a single dedicated server for a client, you have probably passed along a guarantee or at least hinted at the expectation that your service will provide a substantial amount of uptime. In order to deliver on a such a promise, you need to […]

4 Reasons to Go Open Source on Your Server

When you decide to get a new dedicated server, you will be faced with many software options. You could easily pay big money for a proprietary Unix variant or for Microsoft Windows Server, but there are also plenty of good reasons to go open source. Saving money is just one of them.
1. Stability
Linux and BSD […]

What to Do When You Forget Your Password

One of the worst feelings you can experience after putting so much time and effort into your dedicated server is to suddenly realize you are unable to control it. Aside from security breaches, the most common reason for this is that you forgot your password. Forgetting a user password is unfortunate, but not the end […]

How to Keep Your Server Time In Sync with NTP

As the expression goes, timing is everything. When it comes to automating tasks, monitoring logs, and performing updates on your server, timing is very important. Your server is just like any other computer in the way it keeps time. By default, it has an internal clock that you can set at the Bios level and […]

What to Do When Package XYZ is Not Available

Dedicated Servers do not need a lot of software to run. You have your operating system, basic system services, the web server, mail server, database server, and a firewall. Depending on your setup, you may have other applications, but you usually do not need to install any exotic software. Web applications cover most frontend functions. […]

How to Display the Message of the Day to Shell Users

A “Message of the Day” or MOTD is a statement, usually brief, that your users see when they login to your server via the shell. You can use it for any number of reasons, such as to announce a new server feature, remind users about your policies, display important network information, or even use the […]

How to Uncompress Multiple Archives at Once

Compressed files are excellent for storing backups, sharing data, and creating archives of information. Normally, you can SSH into your server and extract files from a compressed archive with a single command. For more than one archive, you would normally have to uncompress each one separately.
There are a number of archive types that you will […]