How to Fix the Bash Shellshock Vulnerability on Linux

In the previous post, we explained how to check your Linux server for the highly publicized Shellshock vulnerability in Bash. Fortunately, most, if not all, major Linux distributions have already uploaded the fix into their package management repositories. All you have to do is install the latest version. Unfortunately, there is some evidence to suggest […]

Understanding Systemd and How to Use It: Part 1

Systemd has gradually made a name for itself in the Linux world and is or will eventually be the default service management system for a number of major Linux distributions. Those accustomed to the old init systems will not find Systemd to be horribly complex, but it does feature some significantly different approaches to service […]

Ajenti: Free and Open Source Alternative Control Panel

Most small and medium web businesses turn to cPanel or another commercial control panel when they want GUI management of their servers. But not everyone can afford the licensing fees, and some people just want a free and open source alternative. The first that probably comes to mind is Webmin, but it is no longer […]

How to View Hardware Information on a Linux Server

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that required you to find out some information about your server’s hardware and did not have the documentation handy? In some cases, the documentation may even be too generic, covering multiple models. In such a circumstance, you can either crack open the server and take a peek […]

Why Use Linux for Dedicated Servers?

A recent report indicates that 97 percent of the world’s top 500 supercomputers run Linux. That statistic seems unfathomable, as if no other operating system even exists or is even worth mentioning. Most of the remaining 3 percent are some other Unix variant, and Windows barely registers at all. The question one […]

Encrypt Your Linux Server Filesystem with eCryptfs

Encryption has become a highly requested feature on the web lately with all of the talk of government spying, heartbleed and general security concerns. While most discussion has centered around encrypting the transport of data (via SSL), you might also want your data encrypted on disk as well. On a Linux-based server, you can encrypt […]

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Aptitude for Package Management

If you spend enough time around Debian and Ubuntu folks, you are sure to see someone praising the benefits of Aptitude over Apt-Get for package management. Aptitude, which has both an n-curses semi-graphical version and a command-line version, is superior according to some, but there are plenty who still prefer apt-get. What follows are some […]

How to Manage Linux Server Timezone Settings

Setting your date and time correctly on your Linux server is very important. Your server logs and other important information will all reflect the timezone of your server. In most cases, you will want to set your server’s time to match your own local time, but if your server is remote or hosting sites for […]

How to Update Your OpenSSL Version to Fix Heartbleed Bug

Heartbleed, the highly publicized OpenSSL bug with the unfortunate name, has a lot of system administrators scurrying to fix the problem. If you have not heard about it by now, it is a security hole found in OpenSSL’s TLS heartbeat extension that a cyber criminal can use to reveal 64k of memory on a connected […]

Use VLC to Stream Live Media

You do not have to pay big money to stream video or audio over the Internet. If you already have a dedicated server or VPS, you can use VLC to stream media to your users.
VLC is a free and open source video player and streaming media server. On the client side, you can use it […]

PHP Troubleshooting Tips

PHP is a versatile server side scripting language that powers many of the world’s websites. Sometimes, however, things can go wrong. The following are tips to help you troubleshoot your PHP installation.
Scripts do not execute – If you load a PHP page and see the contents of the file rather than the proper […]

How to Force Installation of Ubuntu Packages Kept Back

Ever so often, you might try to update your Ubuntu Server packages and find that certain ones are “kept back” during the upgrade process. These will often be kernel or other mission critical packages that do not get updated.
The reason some packages might get kept back is that some dependencies have been changed for them, […]

How to Manually Install Packages on a Debian Server

On Debian and Debian-based servers (such as Ubuntu Server), the primary method of package installation is APT. Using the apt-get command, you can download and install software from the distribution and third-party repositories with relative ease. There may come a time, however, when you need to install a deb package that is not from your […]

Do I Need A Commercial Linux Distribution?

Your shiny new server is just begging for an operating system or perhaps even two or three, if you intend to use virtualization. You might have already decided to use a Linux-based operating system, which is popular for Internet-connected servers. What you might still need to decide, however, is whether to use a community distribution […]

How to Apply Apache Configuration Changes Gracefully

From time to time, you may need to make changes to your Apache HTTP Server configuration file, especially if you are optimizing your web server for performance. Once you have completed changes, they will not come into effect until you restart your web server. This, however, would mean downtime, however briefly, for […]

How to Free Up Space by Removing Unwanted Packages

On Debian-based systems, the APT package management system stores downloaded packages even after you have installed them and keeps the handy in case you want to reinstall without having to re-download. After a certain amount of time, you might decide you no longer need to keep these packages around, especially if they are taking up […]

What is Ncurses?

Ncurses a program for POSIX-compliant operating systems (Linux, Unix, BSD, etc) that is designed to provide a text-based visual interface for a variety of tools. Essentially, programs that rely on ncurses can display GUI-like interfaces within a terminal emulator that support keyboard and even mouse navigation just as a true GUI program would.
Some of the […]

Linux Server Security Guide: Part 1

Over the years at Dedicated Server School, we have provided you with numerous security tips, often on an individual and specific level. This five-part series will instead give a general overview of Linux server security to serve as a quick reference tool whenever you might need it. Rather than searching for the security topic you […]

How to Reinstall Packages on a Linux Server

Linux has a very unique method of installing applications. Most Linux distributions rely on package management systems that download package archives containing all of the files for an application and then copy them to their correct locations. Once the files are installed, any changes you make to them can affect the functionality of the app. […]

Server OS Profile: CentOS

Sometimes you need enterprise-level software but cannot afford the enterprise-level price. Such is often the case with dedicated servers. Many individuals and companies operate on a limited budget and cannot afford to pay for licensing and support for an enterprise server OS such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Others simply may not need the paid […]

Server OS Profile: Debian GNU/Linux

Although it is not specifically designed for servers, Debian GNU/Linux is a popular choice for system administrators because of its stability, security, and long stable release cycle. Debian has also been around for a very long time (19 years) and is regarded as one of the most reliable operating systems in terms of staying true […]

Linux Terminology You Should Know

Continuing our series on server-related terminology, Linux terminology seems to be a sensible choice. Many of the world’s servers run Linux, especially in the web hosting industry, and a great deal of the terminology common to Linux may be unfamiliar to users who use Windows. The following terms are ones you should know.
Kernel – This […]

How to Get Colored Man Pages in Linux

A man page is one of the most valuable tools available on a Linux dedicated server. Although the name might seem to imply something masculine, the word “man” is actually short for “manual”, and on a Linux server, you have probably not come close to unlocking its full potential until you have read some of […]

How to Set Processor Affinity for a Specific Task

Linux operating systems work very well with multi-processor servers. Today’s dedicated servers almost always have multiple processors or cores. When you have 4, 8, or even more logical CPUs, you can use Linux’s scheduling system to assign specific tasks to individual CPUs. As long as the task is assigned to that particular CPU, it will […]

Which Linux Distribution Is Best for Servers?

Recent reports have indicated that Linux continues to gain a larger share of the server market, while Microsoft Windows and variations of Unix continue to lose significant market shares. Linux has become the dominant server OS type of choice, and for web servers in particular, Linux is almost the default.
Nevertheless, to call Linux a single […]

How to Install Webmin on a Debian Server

Webmin is a free and open source graphical system administration interface for Unix-like operating systems. In previous posts, we have explored some of the ways that you can use Webmin to make your system administration easier. We also learned how to install Webmin on CentOS. Today, we will look at another popular Linux-based operating system: […]

How to Fix APT Dependency Problems

APT is a package management system for Debian and other Linux distributions based on it, such as Ubuntu. For the most part, APT is easy to use for installing, removing, and updating packages.
With a normal APT install, using the apt-get command, a package will install without any problems. Installing a package in an APT repository […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]