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Getting Started: New VPS User Orientation

After you have gone through the ordering process you will receive your setup email.  This will include key information like your IP Address and password.  This page lists a few common tasks most users will need to follow.

Your First Login

Did you select the Webmin/Virtualmin control panel on your order form?  If so you can get familiar with your server by pointing your browser at https://yourip:10000 (note it has to be https not http).  This is the location of the Webmin server control panel.  Login as root, using the password per your setup email.

You can also log in to your server via the 'SSH' protocol.  Use the server IP from the setup email, the username root and the password from the email.  If you're running windows and don't have an SSH client then we recommend you give PuTTy a try (it's free).

Is your SSH login taking a minute or two to connect?  Are you on a Mac?  If so, set a reverse dns entry on your IP and that should resolve the problem.

You may be familiar with telnet.  You server won't be running it. We think SSH is more powerful and more secure.  Still want telnet?  Go and install it.

We have a howto for setting up FTP (though for most people we recommend you just use scp).

We also have a howto for using your new server for sending/receiving email.

Be Secure: how to avoid your server being exploited

The Internet is filled with people and bots that want to break into your server.  They will want to use your server to send out spam and launch attacks on other users.

Some tips to protect your data and to avoid being exploited:

DNS: Getting Your Domain Name Working

OK.  You've got your IP address number and all.  But you probably want to use your domain name.  Right?

First, register the domain name.  RimuHosting does not provide name registration services (we think it is often in peoples' best interests to keep the control of their domain name separate from their hosting company). If your ISP offers the service, you could use them. Otherwise some of the RimuHosting staff use gandi or iwantmyname.

You then need a DNS server.  You can use RimuHosting's name servers.  Or try a third party DNS service.  We recommend our Zonomi DNS hosting service for its free, and easy to use DNS service.

You can also run a DNS on your VPS.  It has BIND installed.  Unless you use a secondary DNS server somewhere (e.g. one of RimuHosting's name servers) you will need at least two IP addresses on your server (make sure your order includes the extra one).

One bugbear for the impatient: After you have set up your DNS server, it will take from several to 72 hours before your domain name works for most people.  Unfortunately, that's just the way things work (at least until the people controlling the root DNS servers start accepting more frequent DNS updates).

Zen and the Art of Being a Good Sysadmin

Read Up You can do anything if you're willing to learn.  Before setting up something new, do some preparation.  Find a HOWTO, read up on it.  If you run into problems, someone else is bound to have hit them.  Google is your friend (I'm not even going to hyperlink it because you're running their toolbar, right?)

You may want to start with some of our more popular howtos:

Startup OK? If you start a service, make sure that it will start after your VPS reboots. Reboots are not that common.  But they do happen.  Occasionally host servers have to be restarted.  Occasionally you will issue the shutdown -h now command on your VPS.  And when your VPS comes back up, you want it to be running all the 'normal' services.  Usually this means if you run, say, /etc/init.d/tomcat start you should also (just once) run chkconfig --level 35 tomcat on. To see what services will boot on startup, run chkconfig --list | grep 3:on .

Do you have something you need to run on boot up that does not support chkconfig?  You can add it to /etc/rc.local and it will run on startup.

After you set up your server we strongly recommend you do a test reboot from the RimuHosting control panel and check all the services you need started up OK.

Backup Your Data Keep an offsite backup of your critical data and config files.  RimuHosting run regular backups of VPS' (but not dedicated servers) and can usually recover what you need, but at the end of the day having your key data backed up is your responsibility.

Gotchas: Thinks To Look Out For

The 'reboot' Command on a VPS: You can run the reboot command on a VPS.  This will often/normally work.  Sometimes it does not (and the VPS is left unpingable).  To fix this reboot the server via the RimuHosting control panel.  When that control panel method is used, the VPS params file will also be re-read.  e.g. if it had been changed since the last control panel reboot.  e.g. if you had requested we change the memory on the server but not reboot it.

Happy with Your Hosting?

If you are happy with the hosting and support you are getting, we would really appreciate a link on your site to rimuhosting.com.  We have some buttons and text links you are most welcome to use on your site.  We also really appreciate it when our customers mention us to their friends and colleagues.