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FreeBSD amd64 KVM Unable To Run Boot-Only ISO

This is a very annoying bug and unfortunately, there is no fix.

32 bit FreeBSD boot only ISOs will run, but 64 bit ISOs will not for whatever reason.

As explained in a discussion on LowEndTalk, the original poster (OP) of the discussion back in October had the issue and as of right now – there still is no fix. According to George at Fusioned, “FreeBSD AMD64 ISOs boot fine on my E5 KVM node.”

This may be a hardware related issue, as George points out, because the E3 processor and Supermicro motherboard will not boot the ISO at all but the E5 CPU on the Supermicro motherboard will allow the ISO to be booted, allowing installation of the FreeBSD operating system on a KVM virtual private server.

A FreeBSD VPS is a good thing to have :) however FreeBSD works fine on Xen-HVM

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My VPS Shows The Wrong Disk Space Information

A very common issue and do not panic!

Most likely, your VPS is either Xen or KVM. OpenVZ’s resources are adjusted “on-the-fly”, which is an advantage of the OpenVZ platform. However, Xen VPS servers and KVM VPS servers function like a physical server or computer which require a power down of the system so the resources can be adjusted.

It’s almost like how you are required to shutdown your desktop or laptop to access the motherboard to add RAM.
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Installing Softaculous in cPanel

This is very, very simple but the trick is, one part is always missed by the individual setting up this one click web application installer that it will drive you nuts.

Softaculous is the one-click web application installer I am talking about.

It is very inexpensive for a monthly or yearly license, which allows cPanel users to install web applications. For you, it greatly reduces the burden and load of inexperienced shared web hosting users contacting you for simple web application support. The user finds the Softaculous section on their user account, clicks the Category or name of the web application and fills out some very simple information.

The great part – Softaculous downloads and installs the latest version of the web application so these shared web hosting users stop getting hacked!

Softaculous also reminds them of updates which is great for security.

With this being said, let’s talk about installation but first you must purchase a license from your hosting provider or a third party license provider. LicensePal is a great third party licensing company.

Installation:

wget -N http://files.softaculous.com/install.sh
chmod 755 install.sh
./install.sh

This is successful if you have your VPS IP address licensed for the installation.

The download of the latest web applications can take some time, much like installing cPanel so you can do something else like configure your cPanel server some more or even go out to grab an hour lunch like during a cPanel installation.

Note:
These two servers, s2.softaculous.com and s4.softaculous.com, have to be permitted to go through your firewall if you are running a firewall restrictive environment.

Configuring WHM
This is the part people miss the most.

Softaculous is IonCube encoded, which is not enabled by default

Server Configuration -> Tweak Settings -> PHP

That’s all you needed to do to enable Softaculous to work with WHM.

Conclusion:
The sheer inexpensiveness of a license is insane for the amount of time this saves. I have a few WHM/cPanel servers and all of them have Softaculous licenses on every single one of them because I don’t feel like installing WordPress manually all the time, for a customer to install an ecommerce web application so they start their at home online business as quickly and easily as possible, and other instances where it’s amazing how much this license is so cheap but does so much to help you out.

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How To Stream MP4 Video Files From My VPS

This is a really good question and was actually the subject of a support ticket. I scratched my own head for a second and realized the solution was much easier than I thought.

What you need:

  • A virtual private server running Windows or Linux
  • A web server such as Apache, IIS, nginx, Lighttpd, etc.
  • Enough disk space for the operating system and video files
  • Enough bandwidth for your video files

Step One:
Install the operating system

This is relatively easy and I have to assume everyone has done this as there is nothing specific or special you need to install on your operating system except make sure it connects online.

Step Two:
Install the web server

For Apache, it’s relatively easy with most Linux operating systems.

Apache download pageApache for Windows
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Browse The Internet From Your VPS

A lot of people ask this simple question and there’s about 3 easy options. The first one is a SOCKS proxy via the SSH command. This is executed through the following command:
ssh -ND (port) ([email protected]/subdomain)

For example:
ssh -ND 8080 [email protected]

This would make SSH make a connection to [email protected], if a password was accepted, and a SOCKS connection to listen on 8080/tcp.

If the password was accepted, you can open up Mozilla Firefox and access the Edit -> Preferences area. Click on the Network tab then Settings. Enable “Manual proxy configuration”.

SOCKS host: localhost
Port: 8080

To verify, go to MyIP.dk to see if your IP address on MyIP.dk is the same as your VPS IP address.

Another way is to install a VNC server on the virtual private server and to connect in with the VNC protocol to access the virtual private server like a desktop computer. I will write up a tutorial about how to do this at a later date!

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WordPress Wednesdays: Basic WordPress Setup on a VPS Server

For this new addition to “WordPress Wednesdays”, I have created this basic WordPress setup tutorial where you take a basic OpenVZ or Xen virtual private server, setup the minimum requirements of WordPress and start your new blog. In today’s later article, I will explain how to restore a backup.

Requirements:

1. Virtual Private Server:
Your WordPress installation needs a Linux operating system to run a web server, MySQL and PHP. Most Linux distributions come with a web server, such as Apache, by default and through the package managers on the operating system we can install additional requirements that we need.

The minimum requirements, I would recommend, for a VPS to run WordPress is 512mb RAM, 1024mb burstable RAM or swap space, 20gb disk space and 250gb bandwidth minimum. If you plan on using a lot of graphics or a lot of traffic, you may want to use 500gb of network transfer. If you are going to be traffic or resource intensive, with lots of WordPress plugins, please go with a Xen VPS for a few dollars per month.
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What Kind Of VPS Do I Need For A vBulletin Forum?

I’m asked this question pretty regularly, because vBulletin forums are often setup with shared hosting and fly under the shared hosting radar until traffic, robots and memory consumption bring the forum to the hosting provider’s attention which usually end up with the vBulletin forum being asked to leave.

When that happens, the vBulletin forum owner is in a state of panic fearful of the downtime and reputation of the forum being associated with downtime and scrambling for so many hosting options.

First, we need to find a VPS based on your forum’s needs.

If you are a small or brand new forum, this is good. I would recommend an OpenVZ VPS with probably 1gb RAM minimum, 2gb of burstable RAM, 30gb of disk space and 500gb – 1000gb of network transfer on a 100Mbps connection or better (such as shared Gigabit). You would need 2 CPU cores minimum, but I would recommend anywhere between 4 – 8 CPU cores total with a high clock speed. 8 AMD processors running at 1Ghz would work also.

This setup can run you anywhere from $10 – $30.

The reason I recommend OpenVZ for this situation is if you need more RAM, such as you doubled your forum membership or more active users are online at once, you can submit a support ticket to your hosting company and purchase another 1gb of RAM and more burstable RAM without rebooting your vBulletin forum.

If you chose Xen, which I recommend and see my point below, you would have to reboot your Xen VPS on each downgrade and upgrade so it could take anywhere from less than 15 seconds of downtime to 5 minutes depending on the node.

If you are a medium sized forum or expecting large amounts of growth through advertising, link exchanges with other forums, or are just a successful forum operator you should really look into Xen VPS hosting.

The difference between the OpenVZ example above and a similar Xen configuration is only about $5 more per month with the same resources but the advantages are tremendous. KVM is very similar to Xen and if your provider does not offer Xen but KVM, KVM is perfectly acceptable and highly recommended.

  • You do not share resources with other clients, like with OpenVZ.
  • If you are guaranteed 1gb of RAM, nobody else can take that RAM.
  • If you are guaranteed 2 or 4 CPUs, it’s yours for the taking.
  • Xen allows you to install kernel modules, such as PPTP.
  • Xen HVM allows you to recompile your own kernels*

*Note: most “Xen VPS” providers are Xen PV. Ask if they are Xen HVM. A good rule of thumb is if the provider offers Windows, which is not supported on Xen PV but with Xen HVM, that they can probably set you up with a Xen HVM account.

Second, we need to determine what hosting location will work for your vBulletin forum

If your forum has a majority of US members, why would you move your forum overseas to somewhere like Turkey or Romania? With the way the Internet works, a connection goes to another piece of networking equipment and is routed to another piece of equipment to eventually be transferred to your hosting provider’s data center and servers. In networking speak, this is called “hops”.

A good example of how hops work is a public transit bus. This bus goes all over town but needs to make stops at various points on it’s route. Each stop could be thought of as a “hop”, after that stop the bus goes to it’s next “hop” on it’s route until it goes to your destination where you get off the bus. This is not a perfect example but it gives you an example because most people do not understand how the Internet works.

If you host your vBulletin forum overseas, such as in the UK or Germany which I would recommend if you wanted to host your vBulletin VPS in an EU location, it takes on average an additional 75 – 150ms to leave the United States, go through an underwater fiber optic cable in the Atlantic Ocean and show up in a UK data center. If you move your location to somewhere like Turkey or Romania, this could take additional “hops” (or stops like in our bus example), which could increase the lag of your forum.

Your forum could be hosted on a $10,000 piece of server hardware with access to 128gb of RAM but if you’re hosted in a bad location, your forum performance will always be slow to visitors trying to access it.

Germany is a well connected country, with bandwidth everywhere, so I feel that its a good choice for vBulletin forum hosting. However, the UK does not have the same capacity in my experience as Germany. I’ve noticed that bandwidth is more expensive and not as plentiful with VPS hosting packages as German VPS servers. There is an extra 20-50ms delay between UK and Germany, so please consider this to the 75 – 150ms delay from the US across the Atlantic and into the EU.

In conclusion, vBulletin hosting on a VPS has great rewards over shared web hosting. You have dedicated resources, your own SQL server and can install requirements on your server to meet vBulletin or a plugin’s needs whereas if you were with a shared web hosting provider, they may or may not enable such a PHP requirement for a plugin as it would cause some downtime with their webserver.

However, since you’re running the VPS you are now technically the system administrator and the responsibility is with you, the forum owner, to maintain and operate your VPS server unless you hire a server management company or arrange for managed support for your vBulletin forum. If you Google “vBulletin consultant”, there are numerous companies willing to assist you with migrating from shared web hosting to virtual private server hosting, setting up a vBulletin forum on virtual private servers and even maintaining your forum. The advantage of a vBulletin consultant over a server management company or with your hosting provider is that the consultant has more experience with vBulletin as the management company or hosting company support staff only have limited experience with operating, upgrading and maintaining vBulletin which can be tricky sometimes.

Note: Please keep checking in as I will create a tutorial about how to setup a basic vBulletin forum on a virtual private server. Thank you

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Ubuntu: Install Webmin on Ubuntu VPS

This is easily accomplished with a few commands!

First step, get the requirements for Webmin

apt-get install perl libnet-ssleay-perl openssl libauthen-pam-perl libpam-runtime libio-pty-perl apt-show-versions python

Without these files, Webmin will not run. Next, we get the Webmin .deb file and install it:

wget http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/webadmin/webmin_1.600_all.deb
dpkg -i webmin_1.600_all.deb

Note: If you tried to download and install Webmin first, without the requirements, and have errors after you tried the apt-get install command in step one, type in apt-get -f install to force the install of the dependencies to meet Webmin’s dependency requirements.

Get:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/main libnet-ssleay-perl i386 1.42-1build1 [184 kB]
Get:2 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/universe libauthen-pam-perl i386 0.16-2build2 [27.9 kB]
Get:3 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/main libio-pty-perl i386 1:1.08-1build2 [36.9 kB]
Get:4 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/main libapt-pkg-perl i386 0.1.25build2 [82.2 kB]
Get:5 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/universe apt-show-versions all 0.17 [32.9 kB]
Fetched 364 kB in 0s (416 kB/s)              
Selecting previously unselected package libnet-ssleay-perl.
(Reading database ... 45568 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking libnet-ssleay-perl (from .../libnet-ssleay-perl_1.42-1build1_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously unselected package libauthen-pam-perl.
Unpacking libauthen-pam-perl (from .../libauthen-pam-perl_0.16-2build2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously unselected package libio-pty-perl.
Unpacking libio-pty-perl (from .../libio-pty-perl_1%3a1.08-1build2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously unselected package libapt-pkg-perl.
Unpacking libapt-pkg-perl (from .../libapt-pkg-perl_0.1.25build2_i386.deb) ...
Selecting previously unselected package apt-show-versions.
Unpacking apt-show-versions (from .../apt-show-versions_0.17_all.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up libnet-ssleay-perl (1.42-1build1) ...
Setting up libauthen-pam-perl (0.16-2build2) ...
Setting up libio-pty-perl (1:1.08-1build2) ...
Setting up libapt-pkg-perl (0.1.25build2) ...
Setting up apt-show-versions (0.17) ...
** initializing cache. This may take a while **
Setting up webmin (1.600) ...
Webmin install complete. You can now login to https://ubuntu:10000/
as root with your root password, or as any user who can use sudo
to run commands as root.

This tells you that Webmin is up and running!

We open up our web browser with https://vps-ip-address:10000

Please do not forget the https! We replace vps-ip-address and put in your VPS server’s IP address or even your domain/subdomain you have assigned to it.

We login with root and our root password.

I have not used Webmin much but I plan on doing so to learn more about it. It seems very simple to setup and use without purchasing a monthly license from cPanel. I like cPanel a lot and highly recommend it but could see where spending $15 per month on a license and requiring at least 1gb of memory for cPanel could be a problem to an individual with a small budget.

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How To Generate Random Passwords

This is a common question a lot of people are afraid to ask.

The easiest way I have found is through a utility called apg or automatic password generator. It’s available on most Debian and Ubuntu based operating systems by typing apt-get install apg -y and it will install for you.

If you have CentOS, you need to enable RPM Forge’s repositories.

rpm --import http://apt.sw.be/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt

CentOS 6 – 32 bit, download here.
CentOS 6 – 64 bit, download here.

CentOS 5 – 32 bit, download here.
CentOS 5 – 64 bit, download here.

You install your appropriate package with rpm -i rpmforge-release-*.rpm

Once installed, yum install apg should install apg for you as apg is maintained by RPM Forge.

When you want to create a random password, you type in apg into the Terminal screen of your computer or your SSH client into your server.

# apg

Please enter some random data (only first 8 are significant)
(eg. your old password):>
Cabnobaj9 (Cab-nob-aj-NINE)
Omodand2 (Om-od-and-TWO)
erlErrorl4 (erl-Err-orl-FOUR)
Tedd8Knil (Tedd-EIGHT-Knil)
nebViObobs1 (neb-Vi-Ob-obs-ONE)
WoossOnyax7 (Wooss-On-yax-SEVEN)

I just type in random keyboard gibberish when they prompt me for random data.

For maximum password security, I would normally combine two passwords together such as Cabnobaj9Omodand2, Omodand2erlErrorl4, or nebViObobs1WoossOnyax7.

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MySQL: I Forgot My MySQL Root Password

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world as we have all done it before! It’s actually quite simple to fix.

First, we shut down our MySQL server:

# /etc/init.d/mysql stop
Rather than invoking init scripts through /etc/init.d, use the service(8)
utility, e.g. service mysql stop

Since the script you are attempting to invoke has been converted to an
Upstart job, you may also use the stop(8) utility, e.g. stop mysql
mysql stop/waiting

* This error tells me service mysql stop works also.

Now, we start MySQL and skip the password file with the mysqld_safe –skip-grant-tables & command:

# mysqld_safe --skip-grant-tables &
[1] 1342
121006 17:25:03 mysqld_safe Logging to syslog.
121006 17:25:03 mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /var/lib/mysql

If your output is messed up, hit Enter on your keyboard.

Next we login as root without any password with mysql -u root

# mysql -u root
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1
Server version: 5.5.24-0ubuntu0.12.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective
owners.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

mysql>

We issue the following commands:
use mysql;
update user set password=PASSWORD(“NEW-ROOT-PASSWORD”) where User=’root’;
flush privileges;
quit;

# mysql -u root
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1
Server version: 5.5.24-0ubuntu0.12.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective
owners.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

mysql> use mysql;
Reading table information for completion of table and column names
You can turn off this feature to get a quicker startup with -A

Database changed
mysql> update user set password=PASSWORD("Ouwurs1QuiWr") where User='root';
Query OK, 4 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Rows matched: 4  Changed: 4  Warnings: 0

mysql> flush privileges;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> quit;
Bye

Now we stop and restart MySQL:

/etc/init.d/mysql stop
/etc/init.d/mysql start

If you run Ubuntu: service mysql stop and service mysql start.

Now, we try and login with our new MySQL root password:

# mysql -u root -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 37
Server version: 5.5.24-0ubuntu0.12.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective
owners.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

mysql>

If you see this, type exit and you have reset your password!

If not, check your output buffer and see if you misspelled your password.