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Open Source Ubuntu Linux Hardware

How To Use a Linux Virtual Private Server 303

Posted by samzenpus
from the listen-up dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Game developer David Bolton writes: 'For my development of Web games, I've hit a point where I need a Virtual Private Server. (For more on this see My Search for Game Hosting Begins.) I initially chose a Windows VPS because I know Windows best. A VPS is just an Internet-connected computer. "Virtual" means it may not be an actual physical computer, but a virtualized host, one of many, each running as if it were a real computer. Recently, though, I've run into a dead end, as it turns out that Couchbase doesn't support PHP on Windows. So I switched to a Linux VPS running Ubuntu server LTS 12-04. Since my main desktop PC runs Windows 7, the options to access the VPS are initially quite limited, and there's no remote desktop with a Linux server. My VPS is specified as 2 GB of ram, 2 CPUs and 80 GB of disk storage. The main problem with a VPS is that you have to self-manage it. It's maybe 90% set up for you, but you need the remaining 10%. You may have to install some software, edit a config file or two and occasionally bounce (stop then restart) daemons (Linux services), after editing their config files.'"
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How To Use a Linux Virtual Private Server

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  • Oh fuck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:29PM (#42244841)

    Hire a manager for it or learn to use it. How in hell is this in the front page?

    • Re:Oh fuck (Score:5, Insightful)

      by xaxa (988988) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:31PM (#42244863)

      Because it's from Dice: http://news.dice.com/2012/12/10/linux-virtual-private-server/ [dice.com]

      (The company that bought Slashdot.)

      • by Moblaster (521614)
        I suspect the entire post is a subtle troll to fill up an otherwise newsless day. Doing "the last 10%" is called "doing your job" to people whose job it is to manage servers. If it's not your job, hire someone and go away. That's about as subtle a non-answer a non-question, non-issue can get.
      • by Hatta (162192)

        Dat's what you think? Unbelievable.

    • Really, even on superuser.com - where this kind of question is _the_ focus, this one would closed as too broad.

  • Ahem (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sparticus789 (2625955) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:30PM (#42244849) Journal

    and there's no remote desktop with a Linux server

    Spending about 3.8753 seconds on Google would reveal that there are numerous Linux remote desktop clients [techradar.com] which can be downloaded for use.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      Yeah - and Ubuntu server is headless and has none of the libraries you need for that. It's a bone-headed Windows approach that's just going to eat up resources. Writer of the article used PuTTY on Windows to access over SSH and WinSCP for file transfer.

    • by slaker (53818)

      RDP clients are typically used to administer Windows machines, but as far as I know, Linux does not have an RDP server. It has VNC and X11, but both of those guys are enormous bandwidth hogs with a limited feature set compared to what RDP is capable of.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        So use NoX or Spice or maybe just maybe be a big boy and use SSH.

      • Unless you are busy downloading the world repository of pr0n, gigabit ethernet is more than enough to handle VNC.

      • by bmsleight (710084) on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:08PM (#42245291) Homepage

        www.xrdp.org
        Works very well.

      • by Xtifr (1323)

        First of all, "enormous bandwidth hog" is completely different from "doesn't exist". Second of all, I dispute the claim WRT to VNC. And third of all, it doesn't matter since there is an RDP server [sourceforge.net] for Linux! Took me all of about 20 seconds to find.

        But I agree with other posters that a remote desktop, no matter which variation you choose to use, is a poor way to administer a Linux server. If bandwidth is a concern, straight SSH uses far less than RDP. And anyway, most of the most common server software is d

  • n00b (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilikenwf (1139495) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:31PM (#42244853)
    If you don't know how to do this, please hire someone. And use Debian stable over ubuntu for servers. It's much more stable and much less full of Shuttleworth.
    • Re:n00b (Score:5, Informative)

      by omnichad (1198475) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:38PM (#42244949) Homepage

      Have you looked at Ubuntu Server Edition lately? They have an LTS version that's supported for 5 years of security updates without updating to a new distro release. Debian doesn't come close.

      • Re:n00b (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ilikenwf (1139495) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:46PM (#42245033)
        I just can't support an over commercialized, inferior, bloated distro. Debian Stable is the epitome of long term support as a result of the slow release cycle. As a result, you get security updates indefinitely and can install newer software if you want it from backports or source, or install the packages DotDeb for lamp stacks.

        As a side note, I have to mention that I have never had an Ubuntu install of any type - desktop or server - that didn't fall into dependency hell upon doing a dist-upgrade. Archlinux for desktops, Debian for servers.
        • Re:n00b (Score:4, Informative)

          by jafo (11982) on Monday December 10, 2012 @08:48PM (#42247761) Homepage

          >Debian Stable is the epitome of long term support

          Actually, it's absolutely not. Long Term Support means that when I deploy a set of services on a system, I know exactly how long I have before I need to qualify, test, and roll out that application when the current version reaches EOL. Many of the clients I've worked with take a year or more to do such a qualification (because of complex applications, lacking test suites, lacking development resources, etc...).

          Note on the Debian Wikipedia page that the only supported version (6.0/squeeze) lists "supported until" as "TBA".

          Every other LTS release out there (Ubuntu, RHEL/CentOS, SLES), lists multiple supported releases, with end of life dates in the future. For example, Ubuntu lists 5 currently supported releases, the most recent of which is supported until April 2017. CentOS lists 2, the most recent of which is supported until the end of 2020.

          I love Debian, but I do not recommend my clients use it for servers. Right now, if a client deployed their services on the most recent Debian server, they have no idea when the End of Life is going to be. The current release will go End of Life a year after the next version is released. The next version has been in freeze since June 30, 2012, so this could be any time now. If testing for migration to a new OS takes a year (which is not uncommon in my experience), you could deploy a service and immediately need to start working on migrating it.

          RHEL, on the other hand, you can deploy it today and know that you don't HAVE to migrate until 2020.

          As a production sys admin I assert that it's not reasonable to run a server in production that is not receiving security updates.

          So, as far as Debian as an LTS release: Just don't.

    • by DJ Jones (997846)
      We all did this once, that's how we got here. We weren't all born admins. At one point in time you were in the same boat. Unless he does it himself, he's never gonna learn and then when shit hits the fan he's not gonna have the tools to fix it.

      Follow this tutorial. If you don't like ISPConfig, try another setup on howtoforge and see how it works for you: http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect-server-ubuntu-12.04-lts-apache2-bind-dovecot-ispconfig-3 [howtoforge.com]
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        The difference is we did not post our ignorance on the frontpage of slashdot and have it accepted.

  • by gus goose (306978) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:31PM (#42244855) Journal

    .... you are new to Linux, and you need some help?

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Beginners/FAQ [ubuntu.com]

    gus

  • Please stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:31PM (#42244857)

    Stop trolling us slashdot... this aint news and it aint a legitimate question... please just stop.

  • As a development environment, I'm not sure why you're not willing to go with a cheap, $200 local/self-hosted server. If you really need to test it online, you could set it up to host to the web, access it over the web, save yourself the monthly hosting fee, and install/configure it how you like.
    • Why do that, my way over powered windows box can run 4 virtual servers with 2GB of ram each with plenty to spare. Just download VirtualBox and setup a test server on your own machine. Should work exactly like a VPS

      • by xaxa (988988)

        I'll try and make the first useful comment of the discussion (so, it has nothing to do with the article).

        I've been using Vagrant [vagrantup.com] to manage development VMs. It automates using VirtualBox. There's an example on that homepage:
        $ vagrant box add base http://files.vagrantup.com/lucid32.box [vagrantup.com]
        $ vagrant init
        $ vagrant up
        which leaves you will a running Ubuntu lucid install. Apart from the once-only download of the base image, it takes about 15 seconds to do this.

        I've customised the vagrant configuration and added Pup

        • by hduff (570443)

          I'll try and make the first useful comment of the discussion (so, it has nothing to do with the article).

          I've been using Vagrant [vagrantup.com] to manage development VMs. It automates using VirtualBox. There's an example on that homepage:
          $ vagrant box add base http://files.vagrantup.com/lucid32.box [vagrantup.com]

          Can it handle anything other than Debian-based distros? The web site seems silent on that.

          What .box choices are available?

  • by earlzdotnet (2788729) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:34PM (#42244897)
    What exaclty were you expecting? If you want your server to be all setup for you, you'll buy a managed server, and pay a hefty price-premium for them holding your hand the whole time. If you want to save money, then you'll read some man pages and tutorials and figure out how to set it up on your own. Also, if you think you "need" a GUI on your server, then you obviously aren't all that well experienced with server management. If you really can't do any of this on your own, hire a sysadmin. Any sysadmin worth their weight in salt know how to use a linux command line to setup something as easy as PHP and Apache. Hell, most VPS services these days provide template VPSs with these services already setup
  • Why is this here? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neorush (1103917) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:36PM (#42244923) Homepage
    What in the world is this crap? I think anyone here who doesn't know:
    A. What a VPS is.
    B. How to configure a VPS (a.k.a SERVER ).
    Does know how to use Google. WTH editors.
    • by nschubach (922175)

      As much as I'd love to agree... (though, I still mainly agree with the "Google it" suggestion)... There are new people coming along all the time that may not know how to configure a VPS or even know what it is. Even in my day job I find that I have to explain things over and over again to the new people that have never dealt with something. I can't expect that everyone I talk to in my field knows everything I do and I may have to re-iterate some of my knowledge from time to time.

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <`VortexCortex' ` ... -retrograde.com'> on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:38PM (#42244945) Homepage

    and there's no remote desktop with a Linux server.

    HAHAHAHAHA. Oh? You're serious? ALLOW ME TO LAUGH HARDER!

  • Slashdot has died (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:41PM (#42244989)

    Slashdot is dead, and this is its rotting corpse.

    WTF, I see why Taco left.

    No remote desktop in linux? Oh teh noes might have to use SSH like a big boy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by xaxa (988988)

      Slashdot is dead, and this is its rotting corpse.

      Where shall we all go, then?

      WTF, I see why Taco left.

      No remote desktop in linux? Oh teh noes might have to use SSH like a big boy.

      That's not the best bit. From the fine^W fucking article:

      This is very handy if you don’t like the terminal file editor Vi (or Vim), as WinSCP provides an easier way to edit config files.

      and this:

      I started on PCs back in the pre-Windows days when DOS command line was the only game in town, but honestly, trying to navigate around a directory tree from a command line is a bit tedious! With WinSCP, it becomes easier as you get a higher-level view of the folder structure.

      This bit's odd:

      Interestingly, the Linux VPS seems about 10 times faster than the same spec Windows VPS.

      (I don't mind the guy having his blog, and everyone starts learning somewhere. There's just no way it belongs on /., let alone the front page! I wonder if chose to write it, thinking it was useful, or was told to write it for Dice?)

      • by hackshack (218460)

        >> Slashdot is dead, and this is its rotting corpse.
        > Where shall we all go, then?

        'Tis truth. But... who shall bell the cat [wikipedia.org]?

        Ever since Taco left, I find that I've been patching together select RSS feeds from other sites for my nerd news fix. But RSS lacks one thing: Slashdot commenters, for better or for worse.

        Sometimes the discussion on /. degenerates into a bunch of shit-flinging monkeys, but dammit, they're our shit-flinging monkeys. Don't forget, editors: Slashdot is user-driven and the readers

    • by Dwedit (232252)

      There is remote desktop, it's called "tightvncserver".

  • by ledow (319597) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:43PM (#42245015) Homepage

    I hope this is a joke.

    I already gave up on Slashdot once, and kept an eye on it and the quality visibly improved for a while.

    If this is the level of crap that we're going to post, I'm happy to abandon the whole site again. I didn't miss it much for its absence.

    P.S. If people here don't already know what a VPS is, how to run one, or how to pick holes in that article, this isn't the kind of website I want to frequent, and that's the USERS. The editors / posters? They should know better, ffs.

    So far, an article on "Business Intelligence", a video about a fecking jacket, and this article have been enough to undo 10+ years of coming here.

  • by n17r0u6 (2711731) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:46PM (#42245041)
  • by hobarrera (2008506) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:47PM (#42245045) Homepage

    Use SSH. If you're stuck with windows on the client side, just install cygwin.
    Why is this on the frontpage? Is it meant to be a "ask slashdot"? Or just really lame news?

  • by Revotron (1115029) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:50PM (#42245079)
    Let me transpose this article to emphasize just how incredibly stupid this submission is:

    Hey guys, I'm a game developer and my computer doesn't run things that I need to use to develop games. So I bought a new computer. You see, a computer is a machine that runs software and computes things for you. It has a mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor. Some computers are big, but others are small. For instance, the computer I bought has 4GB of memory. That is more memory than other computers that have 2GB. When you buy a computer, it's maybe 90% set up for you, but you need to install the remaining 10% of things that you'll use and change the settings so it runs the way you like it. Computers are so neat.

    This article isn't even asking a fucking question. It's just somebody telling the Slashdot crowd what a VPS is. What the fuck?
    • by hduff (570443)

      Let me transpose this article to emphasize just how incredibly stupid this submission is:

      Hey guys, I'm a game developer and my computer doesn't run things that I need to use to develop games. So I bought a new computer. You see, a computer is a machine that runs software and computes things for you. It has a mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor. Some computers are big, but others are small. For instance, the computer I bought has 4GB of memory. That is more memory than other computers that have 2GB. When you buy a computer, it's maybe 90% set up for you, but you need to install the remaining 10% of things that you'll use and change the settings so it runs the way you like it. Computers are so neat.

      Are you Ric Romero?

  • I've run Linux at home for ages. I use my Linux computer at home for email, development, and a whole host of other things. I don't need a remote desktop. The whole concept of one is completely foreign to the Linux world. Nobody would ever make one because the idea is pointless in a Linux environment.

    ssh and the command line are all you really need, and they are significantly more flexible and powerful than any GUI I have used. And if you really need a GUI, that's what X11 is for. X11 is completely network transparent. You can run an X11 program on any random computer and have it display just fine on your desktop.

    I don't know how to find a good X11 'server' (yes, the thing that runs on your desktop and actually pushes pixels around on behalf of GUI programs is a 'server' because it performs services (manipulating your display) on the behalf of clients) for Windows is. But you should investigate and get one if you really must have a GUI.

    I actually find Windows reliance on remote desktops to be really primitive and constraining. Whenever I try to mess with how Windows is supposed to work through a GUI I'm always left wondering what really just happened. So many little invisible things and no way to really see how they all interact. You just have to trust the partial fiction displayed to you to be a reasonable reflection of the underlying reality. It's very frustrating and cumbersome.

  • Install xrdp on the server. It allows you to connect to a Linux server using the Windows RDP client. Just make sure you have a secure tunnel to the virtual server to work in.

  • by lsolano (398432) on Monday December 10, 2012 @03:58PM (#42245183)

    A VPS is just an Internet-connected computer. "Virtual" means it may not be an actual physical computer, but a virtualized host, one of many, each running as if it were a real computer.

    I did not know that and I bet, almost no one here on /. either.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:06PM (#42245251)

    In the linked article, the author says:

    Logging in to the root account, even over SSH, is potentially a little risky. If a key-logger gets installed on my desktop PC or a hacker breaks the password, then it’s game over. It’s possible to configure SSH on the server to use a public key/private key for remote logging, so I’m looking into setting that up.

    Why is a a key-logger an issue for SSH, but not for whatever mechanism he'd use to manage a Windows server?

    Logging on as root is risky, but not because of a keylogger - if he'd logged on with a non-root account that has sudo access, he wouldn't be any more secure. Using SSH public/private keys is definitely a good idea, but if someone has been able to install a keylogger on your computer, then there is no reason to think that they can't also grab your SSH keys and the passphrase to the keys.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      I like how he is looking into setting up something that takes less than 5 minutes to do. Maybe next he will look into that new fangled google thing all the kids are talking about.

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      WTF happened to posters linking the source? Somebody MOD+ parent with source.
  • It is a wonder... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drkich (305460) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [enilhcikd]> on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:14PM (#42245353) Homepage

    It is a wonder Linux has such an image problem with anyone, but the converted. Granted this article may not be the best, but let's do a quick google search for the actual article that the poster is refering to:

    http://news.dice.com/2012/12/10/linux-virtual-private-server/ [dice.com]

    David Bolton talks about what he did. Good or bad, he documents it and shares it with his readers.

    What do I read here, explatives, degrading remarks, and just plain snobbery. Here and there are some useful remarks. What I was hoping is to read a helpful discussion on what he recommends/did and what could be done better and how. There is so much vitriol to sort through, I don't even bother.

    Pathetic.

  • Is he related to the singer?
  • My Solution (Score:5, Funny)

    by NEDHead (1651195) on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:23PM (#42245421)

    When faced with Virtual Management issues, I hire a Virtual Manager! They never show up for work, but they never complain either.

  • by Splat (9175) on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:27PM (#42245467)

    This is the type of guy who will store his source code in the cloud, then act surprised when his VPS company crashes and he loses all his data.

    Get off the cloud man, you clearly have no idea what you're doing and will pay dearly for it in the long-run.

  • by l3v1 (787564) on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:32PM (#42245537)
    I've been reading /. for some years now.

    When I read this post, first I thought it was some kind of joke.

    Then I started to feel the urge to hit someone, really hard.

    Seriously people, how the heck does a beginner's beginner's noob's writing like this land on /.?

    Teenage Linux beginner bloggers do better than this.

    You people need to reset your quality checking methods, and fast.
  • In Other News... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zalbik (308903) on Monday December 10, 2012 @04:54PM (#42245779)

    In other news:

    "Some Random Moron writes: 'For my reading of email, I've hit a point where I need a PC. (For more on this see My Search for Email Clients Begins.) I initially chose a Windows 7 PC because I know Windows best. A PC is just a "personal computer". "Personal" means it is an actual physical computer, running as if it were a real computer. "Computer" means it's an actual physical computer, running as if it were a real computer. Recently, though, I've run into a dead end, as it turns out that Windows 7 doesn't support Sparrow. So I switched to a Linux PC running Ubuntu desktop 12.04. Since my main smartphone runs iOS, the options to access my mail are initially quite limited, cause I'm a moron, and don't know how to use google. Though I pretend to be a web developer, I'm entirely outside my comfort zone if there isn't a big bold "easy button" for any trivial task I attempt, even when that task has been solved, posted about, blogged about, and had software specifically written to solve my exact issue. The main problem with a PC is that you have to self-manage it. It's maybe 90% set up for you, but you need the remaining 10%. You may have to install some software, edit a config file or two and occasionally bounce (stop then restart) daemons (Linux services), after editing their config files.'"

    Seriously....can't remote into a Linux server? WTF?

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Monday December 10, 2012 @05:14PM (#42245967) Homepage

    Ever.

  • Fuck this. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 10, 2012 @06:24PM (#42246643)

    Dear slashdot editors, please forward this onto corp if it was upmodded enough to notice.

    Because of this article pushed through geek.net, I am blocking all of your ads for one month.

    That article is total drivel and crap. I don't care if you thought it was good. I don't care what demographic some idiot thought they were getting out to.

    It's so dumbed down and idiotic as to be offensive. It isn't a legitimate slashdot. It isn't a legitimate ask slashdot as evidenced by the offsite link. It isn't even really a question. It's a shitty attempt to get us to click through to a crappy article with a crappy question written by someone who evidently can't even use google or IRC correctly.

    Fuck your slashvertisements.

  • Some ideas (Score:4, Informative)

    by davydagger (2566757) on Monday December 10, 2012 @06:43PM (#42246827)
    "the options to access the VPS are initially quite limited, and there's no remote desktop with a Linux server."
    http://www.openssh.org/ - this goes on your server

    http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html - this goes on your windows 7 desktop

    This is how linux works
    https://code.google.com/edu/tools101/linux/basics.html

    most configs are text files you edit

    http://www.lagmonster.org/docs/vi.html

    thats vi.

    or nano learn to use this too
    http://www.nano-editor.org/

    updates are done with apt.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Packaging_Tool

    http://packages.ubuntu.com/ - packages you can find by looking through ubuntu's web catalouge. Yes there is a search function.

    Thats the polite way of saying RTFM. In a previous life, I'd call you an idiot.

    In this life, it sounds like your in need of a full time sys admin, and I'm your man.

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