Accessing your server
For secure (encrypted) command line access to your server
we recommend SSH. All our servers are delivered running
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:
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
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
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
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 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-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
How do I remove package ABC that I don't want?
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 will download the packages again if you want to re-install
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:
Once you have downloaded the RPM file it can be installed
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
To find a package go to:
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
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