Common Linux Commands You Should Know

In the previous 3 posts, we have covered several Linux terms that you should know when getting started managing a Linux server. What follows are some actual commands that will help you as you begin your journey.
cd – Probably the command you will use most frequently, “cd” stands for “change directory”. From the command […]

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 Add Storage to Your Linux Server

The time may come when you need to add additional storage to your Linux dedicated server. This might be to install a solid state drive, create new databases, back up data, expand your websites or even to add new virtual machines. Regardless of the reason, you would essentially use the same method to make Linux […]

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 […]

5 More Basic Server Security Tips

In a previous post, we highlighted some crucial security measures you should adopt to keep your dedicated server safe. What follows are five more tips that are of equal or even greater importance.
1. Restrict root – Root, the administrator or super user has full control of your server. Ideally, only one person should be […]

5 Reasons Why a VPS is Good for Business

A virtual private server (VPS) is a low-cost alternative to a full dedicated server. Using a VPS has a number of strategic advantages for small and medium sized businesses. Among those advantages are the following:

Savings – Above all else, a business that is small or just getting started will need to find ways to […]

What Are Shadow Passwords?

On a basic Linux system, passwords are stored in the /etc/passwd file. This is usually OK for a single-user system, but on a multi-user system, such as a server, the passwords should be hidden and encrypted. Shadow passwords allow you to do just that . On Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS, the shadow-utils package […]

How to Remove MySQL Databases and Users

You may spend a good portion of any given day adding users and databases to your MySQL server, but you might not spend much time removing them, even after you or your users no longer need them. Nevertheless, it is very important to not leave unattended databases and users lying around for would-be attackers […]

How to Require Regular Password Changes

A server is only as strong as its weakest user, and a weak user will have a weak password. One way you can at least make passwords a little more secure is to require users to routinely change them. To do so, use the login.defs file to set the number of days until users are […]

Configure Linux to Restrict SuperUser to One Group

The last thing you would ever want or need on your dedicated server is for an unauthorized user to gain root access. This applies to both those external users with malicious intent and those who have limited privileges and may just play around with their newfound powers. Either way, it is bad news. One practical […]

How to Manage Users in Webmin

On a dedicated server, managing users does not have to be a difficult affair. While the command-line tools are not overly complicated, you may at times want to use a graphical interface or run batch user operations. Webmin’s “Users and Groups” module may be exactly what you need.
You can find the Users and Groups module […]

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 […]

Quick-Deploying Cloud VPS Systems

Sometimes you need a dedicated server but do not need the full hardware package. A VPS is great for small server projects that do not require the full power and memory available on the system. Moreover, many cloud companies offer VPS systems that are quick and easily to deploy, charging monthly or even hourly fees […]

A Basic Guide to SSH Server Connections: Part 2

Connecting to an SSH server is usually pretty straightforward, and your login credentials are encrypted for security. This makes SSH useful for other types of connections beyond basic shell access. Backup/syncing tools like rsync can use it, and file transfer programs like SCP for SFTP can use SSH technology for secure file transfers.
In part one, […]

How to Run Commands as Another User

In a previous post, we explained how to use “su” to execute a command as another user, but that is only one of the many ways you can accomplish this on a Linux or Unix server. The following techniques each have their own advantages and can help you run programs under different user identifications.

runuser – […]

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 Disable a Firewall on RHEL/CentOS

It is generally not a good idea to disable the firewall on your dedicated server, but there are instances when it might be necessary. For example, if you need to run some network tests or perform some type of maintenance, you may need to have your firewall disabled. Most Linux distributions come with the standard […]

Back to the Basics #11: Secure Shell (SSH)

If you are new to dedicated servers, your primary experience with hosting management has probably been from within the comfortable pages of a web-based control panel. Without a doubt, control panels like cPanel/WHM provide system administrators with robust tools to tackle most of the issues they may encounter. Nevertheless, there will still be times when […]

How to Copy All of the Tables from One Database to Another

Under normal circumstances, one of the easiest ways to copy the contents of one MySQL database to another is to use phpMyAdmin to dump the database to a file. You can then import the contents into your destination database. This usually works, but I recently encountered a situation where phpMyAdmin could not handle a particularly […]

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: […]

7 Reasons to Get a Dedicated Server in 2012

2011 came and went, and you still do not have a dedicated server. There are plenty of reasons why you might not be ready for one, and we have covered some of those reasons in previous posts. But inevitably, there are some of you out there who are ready to get a dedicated server, but […]

A Basic Introduction to the Linux Command Line

If you are managing a Linux server for the first time, you are probably using a web-based control panel, such as cPanel/WHM.  While a control panel may fill most of your basic needs as a system administrator, there are some tasks best left to the command line. On a remote Linux server, you can access […]

How to Setup ownCloud: Open Source Cloud File Storage

The cloud has become quite popular in the IT world. One could say that the cloud is taking the tech world by “storm”. There are many reasons for this, some financial, others practical, but ultimately it is an option that is worth considering.
The most popular form of cloud computing is the public cloud. In this […]

How to Build a Chroot Environment in CentOS

The purpose of a chroot jail is to allow you to run a virtual file system within a larger one. You can use it for any number of reasons, including virtual shared hosting accounts. The user whose login account is associated with a chroot jail can use an entire virtual Linux distribution within the jail, […]

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, […]

Restricting Shared Hosting Accounts

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where multiple users share the same server. If you have a dedicated server, you might offer shared hosting accounts to your users who need hosting accounts with their own domains but are not ready for a VPS or dedicated server of their own.
Because shared hosting users have […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 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 […]