How to Add/Remove Yum Repositories

Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Fedora and other Linux distributions based on RHEL all use YUM as a package management system to install, remove, and update software. Each distribution has its own main repository, but you can also install or remove third-party repositories whenever you like.
To add a YUM repository, type as root:
yum-config-manager –add-repo repository_url
For […]

How to Add and Remove APT Repositories

Ubuntu based Linux distributions rely on a program called APT to handle package management. Using the command “apt-get”, you can install, remove and update other programs. The packages installed with APT are determined by software repositories, and while every Linux distribution has default repositories, you can also add or remove third-party sources.
To add a Personal […]

What are binary and source packages?

While learning to use a Linux or BSD dedicated server, you are likely to encounter the terms binary and source software packages. Depending on your actual operating system, it may use one, the other or both as default methods of software installation.
A source package is a file archive that contains the full source code of […]

How Do I Find Out What’s Writing to My Drive?

When something is nagging your CPU or chugging lots of RAM, many system administrators turn to a Linux/Unix tool called “top”. But what can you use to identify a program that is doing more than its fair share of hard disk drive reading and writing? For that, you need a program called iotop.
Iotop is […]

Must Have Linux/Unix Server Tools

Once you have deployed and booted up your first Linux server, you may suddenly find yourself in an awkward situation where you are unsure what to do next. There are so many options and so many ways to configure it that you might feel overwhelmed. The following tools are essentials for getting started with a […]

Using VMware Player for Server Testing: Part 2

In an earlier post, we learned how to setup a new virtual machine in VMware Player for the purposes of testing a server implementation. In this post, we will look at some ways you can manipulate VMware Player to emulate your server environment.
One of the first things you will want to do is […]

3 More Differences Between Linux and BSD

In the first post on this topic, we looked at 3 key differences between Linux and BSD: the licensing, the kernel, and the package management system. The following are three more differences you should probably know.
1. Hardware support – In many cases Linux supports hardware sooner and more often than BSD. This is partly […]

Linux Server Security Guide: Part 3

Network Security
When it comes to network security, your firewall is one of your most important tools. It is generally a good idea to have multiple lines of defense, such as a router-level firewall and also a server-level firewall that is software-based. Usually, you can block most ports with your firewall, and only allow […]

Server OS Profile: Red Hat Enterprise Linux

For many years, some people believed it was impossible for a free and open source operating system like Red Hat Linux to be profitable. With the formulation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the company Red Hat proved that theory wrong and also established Linux as one of the most widely-used Unix server alternatives. It now […]

How to Install and Remove Packages in FreeBSD

If you have used Linux servers, you are probably very familiar with the package management systems, such as YUM or APT. Unless you used Gentoo, however, you may find the package management system in FreeBSD to be noticeably different. What follows is a quick start guide to FreeBSD’s package management system called Ports Collection and […]

3 Reasons to Upgrade to Dedicated Hosting

Your shared hosting account has probably served you well for quite some time, but there comes a time when it might be a good idea to upgrade your website(s) to a dedicated hosting plan. There are definitely financial factors that determine when you can and will get a dedicated server, but today we will look […]

Will Cloud Computing Replace Dedicated Servers?

Dedicated Servers have been around for quite a while. They predate the Internet, and if you are old enough to remember, you would know that many businesses once had dedicated servers on-site in a data closet or a full data center. Now many companies host their servers remotely, and some have adopted cloud […]

Back to the Basics #12: Hosting Automation

Hosting Automation refers to software that makes web hosting as easy as clicking buttons on a graphical interface. For those who have worked with naked Linux or Unix servers, this is a dramatic contrast from the command line interface to which you may be accustomed. Most hosting automation comes in the form of a web-based […]

Back to the Basics #3: Server Operating Systems

In the third part of our “Back to the Basics” series, we will look at the operating systems that power today’s servers. Just as there is a diverse amount of hardware available on the server market, so too are there a great number of operating systems. They are not all equal in all aspects of […]

How to Install and Remove Packages with Webmin

One of the features Webmin has to make your system administration easier is a module for software package installation, updates, and removal. Using a graphical interface, you can keep your dedicated server updated and install new software whenever you need it.
To install software, do the following:

Login to Webmin and click “System”
Click the “Software Packages” […]

5 New Year Security Checks You Should Not Delay

As you welcome in the new year, now is a great time to run some basic security checks on your server to make sure it is running in top shape and continues to be a safe haven for your websites. The following five security checks are ones that you should not delay until later in […]

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 […]

Server Software Upgrade Checklist for 2012

A new year has arrived, and this is an excellent time to consider applying any upgrades that you were putting off until the end of 2011. In some cases, you may have delayed software upgrades in order to verify compatibility with your web applications, or you may have simply delayed your upgrades to make sure […]

Server End of Year Tasks 4: Perform Any Major Updates

It is generally preferable to run updates on your server as soon as possible after they are made available. This is particularly important if when they are security updates. In most cases, you can just schedule these updates to run during off hours.
In some situations, however, your web applications or other software may depend on […]

Are There Benefits to Manually Installing Software?

Linux servers have a distinct advantage over most proprietary operating systems because of their extensive package management systems. Whether a server uses YUM or APT, it is much easier and faster to install and update software than using traditional manual installation methods. This raises the question: is it ever a good idea to install software […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

How to Get Troubled Server Applications Fixed

Picture this.  You wake up one morning to several text messages, emails, and even voice mail messages all saying essentially the same thing.  Something is wrong with your dedicated server.  It could be something small, like a single web-based tool that is not functioning properly, or something huge like an […]

What is the Best Server Operating System?

Proponents of each operating system will always give you different answers to this question, but it is important for you to decide which one is best for your circumstances.  Choices include the many variations of GNU/Linux, the numerous descendants of BSD, several versions of Windows Server, Solaris, Mac OS X Server, and several proprietary iterations […]

How to Install Software on a Linux Server

Installing software on a Linux dedicated server depends on several factors.  Namely:

The Linux distribution you are using
The package availability of the software you want to install
The source of the software.

Linux distributions use package management systems to make installation of software easy.  In most cases, these distributions have online repositories that allow you to quickly and […]

8 Signs That It’s Time to Get a Dedicated Server

Sometimes it is difficult to know when it is time to make the move from one technology to another, or when to upgrade from one version to a later one.  As your website or websites grow, it is important to track their progress, understand their weaknesses, and be prepared to take them to the next […]

Server Network Monitoring with IPTraf

Many system administrators do not take sufficient steps to protect their server’s network.  In some cases, they install the firewalls and other automated defenses, but they do not take steps to monitor the network the way that they monitor system services, users, and other dedicated server elements.
To properly ensure your network stays as safe as […]

Working with APT on a Debian Server

Debian GNU/Linux and other OSes based on the free and open source operating system, such as Ubuntu, use a package management system called APT to install, update, and remove software.  APT is very powerful and easy to use.  You can access it from the command line via SSH, giving you full control over the software […]

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 […]