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Thread: Setting up a VPS for the 1st time

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    Question Setting up a VPS for the 1st time

    Hello
    It gives me a great pleasure being here
    I've just ordered a VPS from a provider, this VPS is under OpenVZ.
    The provider provide a one click install for various Linux distributions.
    Then I have a username and password to log in as root using Putty Or SSH Secure Shell.
    Please I never used Linux in my life ever as many of other people, and should use it for the website.
    I've some Qs:-
    1) Which distribution to be installed on the VPS? I do not have any special preferences as I never used of any before, but I look forward for a one that is better for the long run of my VPS and well coded, updated, secured, stable, find a help around for it as tutorials or any thing a like. ...etc
    2) For a website, which free control panel or back end control panel to host the website (I've found only Virtualmin, and ISPConfig), please advise for which one or if you have another suggestions please tell.
    3) how to secure the vps server as much as possible to avoid being hacked?
    4) I will use Drupal and Wordpress for my websites (will be only 3 websites).
    5) finally how to make the best use of this VPS for web hosting?

    Thanks
    Mohamed GadAllah

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    Default

    Is this the right place or I should post in another one?

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    Hi,

    Here is my answer to your questions:

    1) CentOS, Ubuntu Server Edition, FreeBSD, OpenBSD. All 4 have a very good level of security, if not paranoid and work great. Have in mind, that FreeBSD and OpenBSD are Unix distributions.
    2) I would recommend you to lean to work with the shell only. You can also connect to your server via SFTP protocol, which is a replacement of the FTP protocol. If you insist of having a control panel, then Webmin, Virtualmin, Kloxo and ISPConfig would be a good choice. If you have money and the VPS has more than 1GB of RAM, then cPanel will do you just great.
    3) This is a very long topic to discuss. I would recommend you to search some security books on the net, as well as general security articles. There are a lot of things, that you could do to secure your VPS. Keep in mind, that securing the applications that will run on it won't be enough. You will have to secure all your web applications and make sure, that your own personal computer security is good. Here are some general security tips:

    - Use strong passwords.
    - Use encryption when possible (ssh, vpn, ssl).
    - Keep your software up-to-date (use stable versions only). Don't run on a production server "beta" or "release" applications.
    - Keep all ports on the VPS closed and open only the once, that you will need.
    - Run your sites/apps under different users with restricted permissions.
    - And the list continues....
    4) Be sure that you are using latest version of the system, and that all of it's external plugins/modules are updated. I can't stress enough how many joomla/wordpress sites get defaced on a daily basis, just because they use badly written external modules.
    5) Can you provide more information on what you mean? If you are planning to provide hosting services, you will need to start learning very seriously.

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    I am planning to host 3 websites, one is the main important and the others 2 are normal. but this main website is very important very very match for me.
    I will use Drupal for all 3 websites and will use core only with no other modules.

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    If I want to start with Ubuntu from no voice and want to really follow steps so I can avoid mistakes.
    Please advise or if you can help me to setup the VPS server, can we do it here or it is better to continue with emails instead?

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    If you want you can write me further and will try to help you out. Have in mind, that I myself work almost 24/7 and I don't have much time to spend, but I can give you a couple of extra tips. My personal choice for a server distro is "CentOS", but there is no problem to go with ubuntu, as long as you go with the server edition, which is specially made for this purpose.

    Please have in mind, that sooner or later you will have to hire a system administrator, if you want your VPS to work correctly, or you will need to start doing some hard learning.

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