5 Dumb Mistakes to Avoid with a Dedicated Server

This list is essentially useless. It is useless because no one would actually do the things on the list. Right? I joke of course, but these mistakes are ones you should definitely avoid. Some may seem like common knowledge, but they still happen far too often.
1. Using “password” as a password – For that […]

Find Out When a Unix/Linux User Last Logged In

Keeping track of your users’ activities may seem a little bit intrusive, but it is very necessary for security-conscious system administrators. When users are logged onto the system, you should know, and if a user account is up to anything suspicious, knowing when the user’s logged in might very well save your system. It may […]

How to Disable or Completely Delete Linux Server Users

Disabling a user account can be very useful if the account has been compromised, the user has left but may return in the future, or for punitive purposes. To disable a user on a Linux system, you can use the following command string:
# usermod –lock –expiredate 1970-01-01 <username>
Replace <username> with the actual user’s […]

Protect Your Server with Fail2ban

Monitoring your server is a great way to prevent cyber attacks and stop those that might be in progress. Unfortunately, you cannot always be present to monitor your server. Unless you are an android, you likely still require sleep. For those times when you cannot be be present, Fail2ban is an excellent friend to have.

How to Securely Download a File from Your Server

Downloading a file from your server should not be tricky. If it is a web-facing file, you can usually download it with your web browser. If it is not, you could use FTP. The problem with both of these options, FTP and HTTP, is that neither is truly secure. If you need to download a […]

Sentry Tools: Host-Level Security for Linux/Unix Servers

Linux dedicated server security does not have to be overly complex. With the right tools, you can accomplish your security goals with efficiency. One such project, Sentry Tools, offers host-level security services for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.
Sentry Tools includes: PortSentry, Logcheck/LogSentry, and HostSentry. PortySentry protects against portscans. LogSentry automates log file […]

How to Create a Virtual Machine in Cloudmin

There are many ways to create virtual machines and many virtualization tools you can use. KVM is one tool that is built into most Linux distributions. Cloudmin, an optional add-on for Virtualmin and Webmin, can provide a graphical interface for creating and managing virtual machines.
To create a virtual machine in Cloudmin, do the following:
1. Click […]

How to Checkout Source Code from SVN

On most days, installing software will be easy. You need only login to your server and use its package manager to install the latest applications. On other days, it may be a bit more difficult, particularly if you need to use experimental software that is not yet in your operating system’s package repositories. One common […]

How to Disable Direct Root Login

On a Linux server, root is the administrator of everything, the king of the hill. Root can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants. With full access and full privileges, root is the most powerful user on the server. While it may be convenient to login to your server as root and get to work, […]

How to Enable SSL in Dovecot Mail Server

Dovecot is a free and open source POP3 and IMAP mail system that gives your server’s users access to their email. Many server installations include it out of the box as the default mail box agent, and most use it in conjunction with another mail delivery system.
Dovecot has some security features that may not be […]

WHM Scripts for Easy Server Setup

Web-based control panels like cPanel/WHM are great for simplifying tasks that would normally require you to login to your server via SSH and run programs from the command line.  For batch tasks, however, the command line is often a better choice.  Fortunately, there are numerous WHM command line scripts that you can execute from within […]

How to Monitor Linux Server Users in Real Time

Under many scenarios, you may never allow other users to login to your Linux server, and you can still function successfully. In rare cases, however, you might need to give certain users SSH accounts to allow them limited access to command line functions within a chroot jail. In those situations, you need a […]

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 […]

How to Login to a Linux Server as a Different User

When you login to your dedicated server via SSH, there are normally two options: your own username and root.  It is inadvisable to login directly as root, but you can always use “su” or “sudo” to run root commands.  In some circumstances, however, it may actually be more convenient and useful to login as another […]