Common Linux Terms Every SysAdmin Should Know: Part 1

A large percentage of the world’s servers run Linux, so it is a good idea to know some of the common terms you might encounter while using it. The following terms are a good starting point.
Command Line Interface (CLI) – On the server end, this is the main method of interfacing you will use to […]

How to Manage Linux Kernel Modules

Linux is the kernel for a variety of operating systems that power many of the world’s servers. Although the operating systems themselves are often commonly called Linux, the actual term refers specifically to this kernel and all of its parts. In addition to the components that are compiled into the kernel, Linux also supports modules […]

How to Remove Old Linux Kernels

Linux distributions that use binary packages usually install kernel updates in separate directories from previous kernel versions. Therefore, it is possible to have several instances of Linux installed within the same system. This is a precaution that prevents you from overwriting your kernel with one that may not function the way you want, or at […]

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 […]

Can I Upgrade the Kernel on My VPS?

It is generally understood that a server running Linux needs to have a relatively recent kernel version or at least one that has been securely patched to fix any vulnerabilities. For dedicated servers, a kernel upgrade is not big deal; a simple install, reboot and you are done. For a virtual private server, it can […]

How Often Do You Reboot Your Server?

Once upon a time, it was conventional Unix server wisdom to reboot every month or so to make sure it was working correctly. These days many Linux system administrators boast about the number of days their servers have been up and running without interruption. BSD and other Unix-like OS users also claim similar uptimes, sometimes […]

3 Differences Between Linux and BSD

Linux and BSD are two of the most highly regarded server operating systems in the world, mainly for their security, flexibility, and open source development. In reality, both terms broadly refer to multiple operating systems, and it is not possible to compare the two without confusing some of their variants. There are, however, general similarities […]

How to Install OpenVZ on CentOS

CentOS is one of the most popular free and open source server operating systems. OpenVZ is a popular open source system for creating virtual private servers. Combine the two together, and you have a low-cost yet powerful VPS system. The following is a brief installation guide to get OpenVZ running on CentOS.
Step 1. Add […]

Linux Server Security Guide: Part 2

System Logs
Every Linux operating system keeps logs for system processes and applications. You can use those logs to monitor server performance and also sniff out any abnormalities that may be security security related.
There are some common Linux logs that are more important than others, such as the kernel log, authentication log, web server […]

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 […]

5 Server Logs You Should Routinely Check

One of the important things you can do with a dedicated server is to check it to ensure it is running smoothly and not experiencing any hidden problems. On Linux and Unix servers, log files can provide vital information about key components of your server. The following log files are ones you should routinely check:

Web […]

Choosing Between KVM and Xen

Virtualization can save you time and money when used efficiently. This has made it very popular for small, medium, and large sized data center operations. Whether you have a single server or a fleet of them, virtualization has its benefits.
KVM and Xen are two virtualization options for Linux servers, both with their advantages. Xen is […]

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 Reboot a Linux Server

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to avoid the need to reboot a dedicated server. The moment you do, your server will experience some amount of down time; hopefully only the amount of time it takes to shut down all processes and restart.
Therefore, it is a good idea to minimize reboots and schedule them […]

What Makes a Linux Distribution?

If you are new to server terminology, you may not fully understand what Linux is.  While it is commonly used to refer to an operating system, there is actually no operating system called Linux.
Linux is actually the kernel of an operating system.  A kernel is the core that interacts with hardware, contains drivers, and is […]

How to Load and Unload Linux Kernel Modules

Linux kernel modules are handy little pieces of the kernel that you can add or remove on-demand, without having to compile them directly into the kernel.  This allows third-party developers to create programs that require kernel-level access but that are not part of the Linux kernel and may not even be open source.  For dedicated […]

Common Linux Server Errors and Solutions

Linux is one of the most popular server operating systems, and it has gradually supplanted Unix as the world’s server OS of choice.  There is no single definitive Linux OS but rather several “distributions” based on the Linux kernel.  Because of this, there are some functional differences; however, most of them have similar commands and […]

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 […]

Linux vs BSD

If you spend any time on free software websites or forums, you have undoubtedly heard both sides of the argument of Linux vs. BSD.  Each side claims to have advantages in particular areas, so it may be difficult for you to easily tell which one is actually better.  Before you even begin to decide which […]

8 Dedicated Server Hosting Tips

Once you have a dedicated server, you will find out how little time you have to read complex tutorials and documentation. This is especially true if you are offering hosting services to one or more customers. You will have real-world issues that need fixing right away. There are some shortcuts you can […]

Update vs Upgrade: What is the Difference?

If you are new to Linux servers, you may be a little confused about the terminology used for new software.  Sometimes you will hear the word “update”, and other times you will hear the word “upgrade”.  The two should not be used interchangeably, as they can have very different and sometimes serious consequences.
First, it is […]

What Are Kernel Headers?

When installing certain Linux software, you might have come across the term “kernel headers” and wondered why the software you were installing required it. Surely, you already have your kernel installed on your dedicated server, so what are they talking about?
Kernel headers refer to the source code of the Linux kernel. On most […]

Keeping a Server Maintenance Routine

We all know that server maintenance is important, but how many of us really take the time to stop and think about it? Because it is so easy to forget a particular task, it is crucial to your dedicated server’s health that you keep a regular routine for maintenance.
In some cases, certain parts of […]

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux)

Security is always an ongoing concern for Linux system administrators, and if it is not, it should be. The variety and number of threats to server security are profound, and smart server administrators are proactive in securing their dedicated servers from would-be attackers, viruses, and vulnerabilities.
Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) was originally developed for the US […]

Using dmesg for Kernel Information

On a Linux dedicated server, the kernel is the single most important component of the operating system. It controls the OS’s interaction with hardware and handles all primary functions. If something is going wrong with your server at the OS level, the kernel is one place you should investigate.
The command dmesg is a […]

Upgrading a Linux Server Kernel

On Linux-based operating system, the kernel (simply called Linux) is largely separate from the rest of the operating system. While drivers and hardware functionality are controlled by the kernel, applications and services are all separate. That means that you can safely upgrade portions your system and keep the same kernel.
On a dedicated server, […]

When a Reboot is Absolutely Necessary

Dedicated Servers are designed to be on all of the time, hence the word “dedicated”. A desktop computer that serves as a part-time server is not sufficient. Even a server in a data center that gets shut off for any longer than a few minutes is probably not really a dedicated server. […]

Protect Your Server with APF Firewall

Protect Your Server with APF Firewall
There are many firewall solutions out there, and I do not pretend to be an expert on security. Nevertheless, I can testify from experience that some solutions are easier, more secure, and more affordable than others. APF (Advanced Policy Firewall) from R-fx Networks is one solution that […]

Linux Server Partition Introduction

On Linux dedicated servers, the hard drive is divided into partitions. There can be as few as two or several partitions, depending on the preferences of the system administrator. It is very important to understand the function of each partition on your new server and how they differ from Windows and other operating […]