Is an In-Box OS Upgrade Worth the Risk?

Many Linux operating systems offer the ability to upgrade to a new version of the OS without wiping the hard drive and reinstalling. On a dedicated server, you might call this an in-box upgrade. Generally, a new version of your Linux distribution will include a newer kernel version and newer software. Is such an upgrade […]

Is it a Good Idea to Hack Your Server?

The word “hack” often brings up grim images of a shady individual sitting in a dark basement pounding away on a keyboard as he siphons money out of people’s bank accounts and funnels the funds to terrorist organizations. In reality, “hack” simply means a “solution to a problem” that is not necessarily uniform, standard, or […]

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 […]

Linux Server Security Guide: Part 1

Over the years at Dedicated Server School, we have provided you with numerous security tips, often on an individual and specific level. This five-part series will instead give a general overview of Linux server security to serve as a quick reference tool whenever you might need it. Rather than searching for the security topic you […]

Server 2012 End of Year Checklist

Another year has come and gone, and it is the perfect time for you to tighten up the screws on your server and make sure everything is in working order. The following checklist should help you along the way.

Run those updates – If you have been putting off updates, now is as good of a […]

3 Linux Server Performance Tips

If this is your first time using a Linux server, you may soon find out that Linux offers many performance advantages over other operating systems. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to make Linux perform even better.
1. Use the Security Tools – You must use the securities tools at your disposal. If […]

Server OS Profile: CentOS

Sometimes you need enterprise-level software but cannot afford the enterprise-level price. Such is often the case with dedicated servers. Many individuals and companies operate on a limited budget and cannot afford to pay for licensing and support for an enterprise server OS such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Others simply may not need the paid […]

Back to the Basics #8: Application Security

When covering application security, there are three basic application types you should consider:

Standard applications that you install directly on your server’s operating system and run only when you need them
Applications that are run as daemons or services, starting at boot time and continuing to run as long as the server is on
Web applications […]

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 […]

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 […]

YUM Tutorial: Undo Package Updates with Rollback

In almost all situations, keeping your server up-to-date with the latest packages is the smart thing to do. In some cases, however, updates (especially more involved upgrades) may cause certain web applications to stop functioning properly or may introduce a new bug that the developers missed.
To make sure you do not get one of these […]

In The Event of Server Meltdown…

It’s dead. After all the effort you put in your server, even choosing it over your spouse, there was nothing you could do to save it. Whether it was hardware failure, a massive and crippling cyber attack, or simply a colossal user error, the moment you always dreaded has come to pass: a […]

4 Things You Can Do When Your Server Is Running Perfectly

Your mother probably once told you, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  For many things, that is true, but if you think your dedicated server will always be running as smoothly as it might be right now, you are fooling yourself.  When everything is going well, that is the time to take care of […]

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 […]

When are Reboots Necessary?

It is an age-old question among system administrators.  When do you need to reboot your server?  Unlike desktop computers or laptops, dedicated servers are “dedicated”, meaning they are expected to be available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Most consumers and users are tolerant of the occasional service interruption, but with plenty […]

5 Tips for Setting Up a New Server: Part 1

Once you have made the decision to move to a dedicated server, you may wonder, “What now?”.  There is a lot to do when you first get started, and not all of the necessary tasks may be immediately apparent.  What follows is a brief checklist that may help in those first hours with your new […]

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 […]

YUM Auto Update Alert

On a dedicated server running CentOS, there are two common options for running system updates: manual or automatic. There are, however, less common options, such as scheduling your own auto updates with a cron job or having your system alert you whenever new updates are available.
There are a couple of reasons why you might […]

Fixing Problems with YUM

YUM is the package manager of choice for many Linux distributions, particularly Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, and Fedora. Other RHEL-based distributions also use YUM. When using a dedicated server, such as those offered by hosting company, you will most likely manage packages from the command line via SSH.
YUM has […]

Linux Distribution Upgrades for Dedicated Servers

Before we delve into the topic of server upgrades, it is important to define the terminology. With a Linux-based operating system, an “upgrade” refers to the latest snapshot packaged by the distribution’s developers. That usually includes a newer kernel version, newer libraries, and more recent software packages.
In addition to these upgrade snapshots, 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 […]

Routine Server Reboots

At one time, it was a common practice of Unix system administrators to reboot their servers regularly, once a month or at another specified interval. This was done to flush the memory, make sure there was nothing wrong with the server, and give it a fresh start.
Nowadays, it seems that many Linux, BSD, and […]

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. […]

Linux Servers: In-box Upgrade vs. Fresh Install

Linux users have long debated whether it is better to perform an in-box upgrade or completely wipe a system clean and reinstall whenever there is a new major version release.
For desktop Linux users, the answer is matter of convenience. For server administrators, it can make or break a career or business.
Many Linux […]