Top Web Server Software for Dedicated Servers

Netcraft publishes a list of the web’s most widely used web server software every month. Here is a brief look at each of those top web servers and what they can do.
Microsoft IIS (37% market share) – Microsoft Internet Information Services is the web server designed specifically for Microsoft Windows Server operating […]

Is Mac OS X Good for Servers?

When you think of Mac OS X, you probably tend to think of various iTunes, graphic design, music production and other artsy activities. It is primarily a desktop operating system, but Apple does sell a server add-on for its OS. The question is: Is that server version useful for real-world server operations?
Some of the advantages […]

Linux/Unix Terms You Should Know: Part 3

Part of the learning curve of a new Linux server is learning all of the terminology. You might not be familiar with some of them even if you have experiencing working on other operating systems. In part 3, we will look at some more of these terms.
daemon – This is a program that is often […]

Linux/Unix Terms You Should Know: Part 2

In part one, we looked at some of the important terms a new system administrator should know when starting work on a Linux server. These next terms are equally important and will help you along the way as you begin to learn more about your server.
man – This command, short for manual, gives you […]

Manage Multiple Servers Simultaneously with Cluster SSH

SSH (Secure Shell) is a powerful command-line tool that allows you to securely manage your dedicated server from a remote location. If you have more than one server, however, it can become tedious to have to SSH into each one and make identical changes.
Cluster SSH is a software utility that gives you […]

3 Things Ways to Troubleshoot BEFORE Rebooting Your Server

If you have grown up using Microsoft Windows on your desktop or laptop, you are probably accustomed to the universal solution to most problems: reboot. When your screen freezes, reboot. If your system gets slow, reboot. That is the standard solution that even tech experts often dish out to common users. As a server administrator, […]

Manage Your Log Files with Logstash

Your dedicated server has lots of logs. Almost every service and program running on a Linux or Unix server has a log file associated with it that includes relevant information about processes, errors and warnings. Sifting through all of those logs can be a pain, especially if you need to review old logs or compare […]

How to Create and Change Linux System Passwords

Server and website security seems to be in the headlines often lately with news of government surveillance and the heartbleed exploit in SSL. More than ever, it is important that you have a strong password. If you need to change your password on your Linux dedicated server or virtual private server, this guide should help […]

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 […]

Working with Symbolic Links in Linux / Unix

In many cases, you may find yourself needing a particular file or directory in one location while it is actually stored in another. One solution to this in Linux and Unix operating systems is linking. There are two types of links: hard links and symbolic links.
Hard links are always associated with a specific piece of […]

Increase Server Security by Restricting Cron Jobs

Cron is one of the outstanding features in Linux and Unix-like operating systems that many system administrators love. It provides a full range of automation capabilities by allowing admins to schedule programs, scripts or other processes for any time of any day. Allowing other users to do this, however, can pose a security risk. Therefore, […]

Monitor MySQL Activities with MyTop

If you have been around Linux and/or Unix long enough, you have probably heard of “top”. It is a convenient program that can give you information about running processes, memory and cpu usage, load averages and a host of other details about your server. You can do almost the same thing with “mytop”, only specifically […]

Samba: Linux Networking with Windows

It is very likely in today’s multi-platform landscape that you may encounter a situation where you have a Linux server running alongside Windows servers or Windows workstations. If you ever want users to interact with the Linux server, for example for backup and storage purposes, you will need to setup some form of interoperability. Samba […]

Must Have Linux/Unix Server Tools: Part 2

In part one, we looked at some of the bare essentials for getting started with your new server. The following are a few others that are sometimes essential, depending on what you want to do.
Server-side Scripting – If you are going to run dynamic websites, which you almost certainly will, you will need some type […]

How to send a system message to all *BSD users

Any good system administrator needs to be able to send authoritative messages to any online users. Fortunately, with BSD variants such as FreeBSD and OpenBSD, it is very easy with a tool called “wall”.
To send a general message to all users logged into the system, follow this format:

# wall
your message here
more of your message

At the […]

Basic File Editing with Nano Text Editor

GNU Nano text editor is just one of many choices on Linux and Unix-like operating systems, but since it is the editor I use on my server, it will be the tutorial of choice today. It is easy to learn and use, though some may argue that some of the more complicated text editors, such […]

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 […]

How to Track Running Processes

A process is any type of program currently running in a computer system’s memory. All types of dedicated servers have processes, and on Linux and Unix systems, they are easy to track, troubleshoot, and manage.
One of the most important commands you can use to track a process is “ps”. When executed it will display […]

How to Reset Your Server Settings

When your server suddenly stops functioning the way it is supposed to, there are a number of troubleshooting techniques you can try. One of the most important things you can do is backtrack and investigate to see if some changes you recently made might have caused the server to stop working. If you discover irreparable […]

What is a Child Process?

Although it may sound like something out of a parenting handbook or a psychological journal, the term child process actually has nothing to do with human development. If you run a Unix or Linux dedicated server, you have likely encountered child processes without even knowing it. Therefore, it is good to know what child processes […]

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 […]

How to Monitor Your Server’s Memory Usage

One system resource that can quickly get away from you is memory. Every program needs memory, and some may take more than their fair share. Therefore, it is important to monitor memory usage to make sure your applications are behaving and also help you decide when it might be time to reallocate resources or even […]

Is Linux the Best for Web Servers?

Linux is a free and open source kernel that powers numerous operating systems (often called “distributions”). Many system administrators have long regarded Linux as the best option for powering web-facing dedicated servers and virtual private servers. There are, however, many other options. So, what makes Linux the best, or is it even truly the best […]

The Disadvantages of Old Proprietary UNIX

At one time, most of the world’s dedicated servers used a form of UNIX. Big mainframes were known to have big expensive UNIX installations with hefty, costly licenses. Many of those servers have gradually been phased out or have been switched to more modern operating systems like Linux or BSD. Still, some persist, and those […]

How to Extract Specific Files from a Tarball

One of the most common methods of archiving files on a Linux or Unix server is called tar. Tar can store any number of files in individual archives and can be used in conjunction with compression programs like gzip and bzip2. Normally, when you want to extract files from a tarball, you simply run the […]

How to String Multiple Linux Commands Together

On a Linux dedicated server, the shell provides a powerful arsenal of commands for you to manage your system. Used in isolation, these commands can be very effective. Used in combination, you can truly unlock the power of your system.
There are a few ways to string commands together. One of the most basic tools you […]

How to Simply Display Directory Disk Usage?

On a Unix or Linux server, the “du” command provides a quick and easy method for finding out how much space each directory is using, as well as a summary of total disk usage. For example, if you just typed “du” from the command line, the output might look like this:
624 […]

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 […]

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 Clone a Hard Disk on Your Server

Under normal operations, it would probably be unnecessary to clone your dedicated server’s hard drive. There are, however, instances when it makes sense. Your hard drive may show signs of failure, and a pre-emptive cloning to a new drive could save your data and avoid the prolonged downtime that would come with restoring backups. The […]