Accessing your server

For secure (encrypted) command line access to your server we recommend SSH. All our servers are delivered running SSH.
A popular freeware Windows SSH client is: PuTTY.

SSH also provides a secure encrypted file transfer protocol called SCP. We recommend you use SCP rather than set up an FTP server to transfer files to your server. You can find a command line SCP client for Windows at the PuTTY URL above, or for a more user friendly Windows program: WinSCP.

For both Virtual servers and Virtual Server Specials the root username is "root" (as normal). The password is the one provided in your setup email, and we suggest that you change it is soon as possible (using the passwd command).

Getting help with Linux

Obviously we cannot give you a complete Linux tutorial here, but we can provide some pointers. First, Linux commands have their own built-in documentation accessible via the "man" command. For example, to get help on the "ls" command type "man ls" at the command line.
For more general help, sites like the Linux Documentation Project are very useful.

Finally, you can of course contact our technical support team and we will do our best to assist you, or at the very least direct you to the right information source.


The default installation of your server

By default your server will have lots of software installed but it won't be running by default. For security reasons it is desirable only to run the software that you actually need.
By default these services will be running on your server:


Apache the http server
SSH the secure shell server
Exim or Sendmail for email
Webmin for remote web administration
We recommend if you aren't using these services then you disable them, except for SSH which you will need!


How do I keep my OS up to date?

We install "apt" the advanced packaging tool on our Redhat and Debian installations. This makes it very easy to update your OS with all the latest security patches.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade -u

This will show a list of all packages to be upgraded, press y to confirm.


How do I install software package XYZ?

Using apt-get is the easiest way. First search for exactly which package you want if you don't know the exact name of the package.

apt-get update
apt-cache search XYZ

If you want more detail on one of the things printed out you can type

apt-cache show XYZ

Then install it like this

apt-get install XYZ

Apt will automatically install any dependencies for the package.


How do I remove package ABC that I don't want?

Like this

apt-get remove ABC

Note that this will also remove any packages that ABC depends on, so check the list carefully that is printed to make sure nothing that you really need is deleted!
If you don't think you will ever need ABC again, you can delete its config files at the same time like this


apt-get remove --purge ABC

 

Help, apt has filled my disk up!

Apt keeps every package it downloads - if you want to delete the cache of downloaded packages do

apt-get clean

Apt will download the packages again if you want to re-install them.
Redhat software packages

On Redhat systems Apt magages packages with RPM (the Redhat Package Manager). This is a much lower level interface that Apt provides. Redhat packages end with the .rpm extension.
Redhat files can be found from various sources, such as:

http://www.rpmfind.net/

Once you have downloaded the RPM file it can be installed like so:

rpm -Uvh <rpm-file-name>


Debian software packages

Debian packages are managed by the Debian Package manager "dpkg". They have the file extension .deb. Nearly every Debian package you could want can be fetched using apt.
To find a package go to:
http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages

You can also use the Webmin interface to manage and upgrade your software packages. Go to "Software packages" under the "Server" tab.

 

Package manager commands

Here are some notes of the most useful rpm (Redhat) and dpkg (Debian) low level package manager commands.
List all the packages on your system


rpm -qa # "query all"
dpkg -l # "list"
dpkg --get-selections # is also useful

Tell you more about one particular installed package. Note that you
always type the package names without version numbers

rpm -qi package # "query info"
dpkg -p package # "print"

The same as the above put for a package file you've downloaded

rpm -qip package-1.2.3.rpm # "query info package"
rpm -I package-1.2.3.deb # "info"

Find out which files an installed package provides

rpm -ql package # "query list"
dpkg -L package # "list"

The same for a package file

rpm -qlp package-1.2.3.rpm # "query list package"
dpkg -c package-1.2.3.deb # "contents"

Find out which package owns a particular file

rpm -qf /path/to/file # "query file"
dpkg -S /path/to/file # "search"

Verify that all packages are intact

rpm -Va # "verify all"
debsums -a # "apt-get debsums" first

Install a package

rpm -Uvh package # upgrade verbose hash
dpkg -i package # install

Remove a package

rpm -e package # "erase"
dpkg -r package # keep config files
dpkg --purge package # remove config files

 

 

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