An Introduction to Web Servers: Part 2

A web server will typically run as a daemon (system service) under a single application process. That initial process will then spawn child processes that handle virtual servers, individual websites, or even individual requests. As such, a web server could spawn hundreds or even thousands of processes per day, per hour, or even […]

An Introduction to Web Servers: Part 1

Once you have chosen an operating system, setup some basic security, and decided on a web-based control panel, you will need to decide what software you will run on your server. Some control panels will install your software for you, but it may be worth it to choose one that is right for your […]

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 […]

Monitor Your Apache Load and Stats with mod_status

Apache HTTP Server is very extensible, allowing users to easily add new modules and thus new features and functionality. One such module that is helpful for monitoring your Apache web server is mod_status. mod_status keeps track of your web server’s load and displays it along with current httpd connections in a web-based interface.
mod_status displays a […]

How to backup configuration files on Webmin

Most Linux items that need backing up are stored in user home directories. This usually includes virtual web server directories as well, depending on the web server and settings you are using. One exception to this rule is configuration files. These are stored in /etc and other places. When it comes time to backup, many […]

Storing Web Cache on a RAM Disk: Part One

One way to speed up your web server is to cache frequently accessed pages and content. This is much faster because dynamic pages do not have to be recreated every time someone accesses them. Instead, the cached HTML files are loaded at a much faster rate. Using a RAM disk, you can make that caching […]

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 […]

How to Apply Apache Configuration Changes Gracefully

From time to time, you may need to make changes to your Apache HTTP Server configuration file, especially if you are optimizing your web server for performance. Once you have completed changes, they will not come into effect until you restart your web server. This, however, would mean downtime, however briefly, for […]

Stress Test Your Web Server

It is inevitable that high traffic websites will cause a server stress. CPU and memory loads will rise, and it could affect performance. If you are not careful, it could even bring your server and all of its websites to a halt. Therefore, it is imperative that you have at least a general idea of […]

Government Compliance Abroad: Is Your Server Ready?

Once you have a web presence, just about anyone in any country can access your website. That means your dedicated server will be subjected to the laws and regulations of just about every country where you do business. You can, of course, limit the number of countries that have access, but if your goal is […]

Linux Server Security Guide: Part 2

System Logs
Every Linux operating system keeps logs for system processes and applications. You can use those logs to monitor server performance and also sniff out any abnormalities that may be security security related.
There are some common Linux logs that are more important than others, such as the kernel log, authentication log, web server […]

The Big Truth about Big Data: Part 3

In part one, we defined big data, and in part two, we talked a little about why companies might need big data and how an open source solution might be the best way to go. In this part, we will take a look at one open source solution that is making headlines. It is called […]

Server OS Profile: OpenBSD

OpenBSD is a derivative of the free and open source Unix operating system BSD, which was first developed at the University of California, Berkeley. The OS is probably best known for its mascot, the puffer fish named Puffy, and also for its very popular sub-project OpenSSH, which is used on many of the servers around […]

Configure Apache to be Case Insensitive

By default, websites powered by Apache HTTP Server are case sensitive. That means yourwebsite.com/Bunnies will take you to a different page than yourwebsite.com/bunnies. Generally speaking it is a good idea to leave this default configuration as is. There are, however, instances when you might want Apache to be case insensitive. For example, if you have […]

Server Terminology You Should Know

SSH – Secure Shell allows you to connect to your server as though you were sitting in front of it typing on the console. If you have administrative access, you can completely control your server from SSH. Connections made via SSH are also encrypted and secure.
Apache HTTP Server – The most popular web server software […]

How to Connect to a Virtualbox VM Via SSH (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1. Next, you need to configure Virtualbox to appear on your network. You can do this by using a second virtual network device. Do the following:

Click File…Preferences
Choose “Network” and add a new device if one is not already present by click the green plus.
You should then have a device called vboxnet0 or […]

Advantages of Running a Free and Open Source Server

The majority of dedicated servers connected to the web use Apache HTTP Server, a free and open source web server program. Many servers also run Linux-based operating systems and rely on open source database servers, such as MySQL. Free and open source software has become quite prolific on the web, and there are many advantages […]

Back to the Basics #10: Web Applications

Web applications, as the name plainly states, are applications that run on the web rather than on a person’s personal computer or laptop. This makes them extremely versatile, since any device capable of connecting to the web can use them. The methods for developing and deploying web apps vary, but the end result is essentially […]

Back to the Basics #5:Other Server Software

Choosing your operating system and web server software is only the beginning. If you need a custom dedicated server built to your specifications, you will need to specify several other types of software, including database system, DNS, mail transfer agent (MTA), scripting languages (PHP, Ruby, Perl, etc.), firewall, virtualization, and more.
DNS – The management of […]

Back to the Basics #4: Web Server Software

As we continue our overview of the very basics of dedicated server hosting, it is appropriate at this time to look at web servers. Dedicated servers have a wide variety of uses, from application hosting to gaming, but web hosting is one of the most prominent. As the entertainment and business worlds become more integrated […]

Apache Tip #2: Use Configtest to Try Configurations Before Using

The Apache configuration file is deceptively simple. It is just a plain text file filled with mostly plain words. It does not require a registry, hex editing, or any other form of complex configuration. Still, with one misstep, one typo, or one incorrectly placed directive, you can bring your web server to its knees.
Rather than […]

5 Server Logs You Should Routinely Check

One of the important things you can do with a dedicated server is to check it to ensure it is running smoothly and not experiencing any hidden problems. On Linux and Unix servers, log files can provide vital information about key components of your server. The following log files are ones you should routinely check:

Web […]

Apache Tip #1: Limit User htaccess Power

With the now common use of dynamic web sites, especially content management systems, your web hosting users may want to use .htaccess files to set Apache web server configuration directives. At times, these directives may be necessary for the proper functionality of their CMS or other dynamic web applications.
It is easy to use .htaccess, and […]

How to Create Custom Error Pages for Nginx

In a previous posts, we have discussed the finer points of creating custom error pages for an Apache web server installation. But what should you do if your web server is Nginx rather than Apache? The process of configuring an error page is somewhat different.
To begin, you will need to create a normal HTML document, […]

Starting, Stopping, and Reloading Services

Linux-based dedicated servers typically run two primary types of programs: those which require user interaction and those which perform tasks in the background without user intervention. Those programs that run in the background are commonly called “services” or “daemons”.
Servers usually require numerous services to run the background, such as the web server, mail server, database […]

Restricting Use of htaccess Files

One of the powerful features available on Apache web servers is the htaccess file. With it users can take some configuration control over their virtual web servers by setting Apache server directives within their own user directories. This allows users to change web server configuration settings without affecting the rest of the sites on the […]

Monitor Apache Activity with mod_status

Monitoring a server can be a full-time job in itself, especially if your dedicated server hosts multiple websites. In Apache HTTP Server, each website is setup as a virtual host with its own set of logs. To monitor each independently is impossible when you have multiple sites. Instead, some system administrators just monitor the main […]

How to Fix PHP Out of Memory Errors

If you have used enough PHP scripts on web servers, you have undoubtedly encountered “out of memory” errors at some point.  While they are annoying and even damaging to business when they interrupt service on a website, they are relatively easy to diagnose and fix.
If you do a quick search for a solution to this […]

Steps to Take When Your Server Is Unresponsive

The day has finally arrived. You feared it would come and tried to prepare for it, but now that it is here, you are frozen, not sure what to do. That moment when you go to your website and realize it is offline or, even worse, get a call from a client complaining about down […]

Dedicated Server Terminology: Part 1

When you are new to working with dedicated servers or simply a business person trying to understand what your technology consultant is always talking about, much of the terminology associated with dedicated servers can be overwhelming. For that reason, we have put together a multi-part series of posts covering numerous server topics, along with […]