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How to Connect to Your VPS with SSH

After receiving your VPS login details, the first thing you’ll want to do is log in to the VPS. If you have never used a command line before, you may want to read our Knowledgebase article “How to Connect to Your VPS with sFTP.”

An SSH (Secure Shell) client is required to connect to your VPS. Linux and Mac OS X users can benefit from pre-installed terminals (Terminal, found in /Applications/Utilities, or Konsole in some Linux distributions). Windows users should download a program called PuTTY, found here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html

To connect to your VPS, enter the following in the terminal (inserting your server’s IP address), press enter, and type your root password when prompted:

# ssh [email protected]


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Do I need a VPS? (Shared vs. VPS Hosting)

We often hear the question, “do I need a VPS?” Whether you are looking to upgrade from Shared hosting, or find a cost-effective alternative to dedicated server hosting, a VPS will most likely be the perfect fit for your budget and needs.

Shared hosting, virtual private servers, and dedicated servers are often compared as three of the main web hosting solutions, occupying “tiers” one above the other. Shared hosting is the cheapest option, but also the least secure and lowest in quality. Conversely, dedicated servers are very secure and completely customizable, but often very expensive and difficult to maintain. VPS hosting is a solution that hybridizes the two: host servers are populated with multiple users, like Shared hosting, yet every VPS environment is completely private and customizable, like dedicated server hosting. Below is an in-depth look at the key differences between Shared and VPS hosting.

Platform Capabilities – VPS vs. Shared Hosting:

Shared hosting accounts are typically setup with a panel like cPanel or Plesk, where users have access only to the “user level.” Aside from FTP, the control panel will be the user’s only method of server administration, and server functions will be limited, in large extent, by those available in the control panel.

A virtual private server, by contrast, has essentially the same capabilities as a dedicated server. Though cPanel or another control panel can be installed on a VPS (this is how many Shared resellers setup their hosts), a VPS user will have complete control over the system via the “secure shell,” or SSH. There are absolutely no limits imposed on a VPS beyond the limits of hardware; any VPS will allow you the ability to create “unlimited domains,” “unlimited users,” etc, up to the capacity of the CPU, RAM, and disk space allocated to your VPS.

Security – VPS vs. Shared Hosting:

Insecurity is a basic and innate flaw of Shared hosting environments. Since every user on a Shared hosting server will be running applications within the same filesystem and same operating system, there is relatively great opportunity for a single user to exploit the system and negatively affect all other users hosted on the same server.

A VPS, like a dedicated server, will remain almost completely isolated from other virtual servers. Every VPS runs its own independent operating system, and in some virtual servers, even its own kernel (see OpenVZ vs. Xen: What’s the difference?). This allows VPS users to customize their own firewalls and security settings, totally independently of other virtual servers running on the same host.

Options and Extensibility – VPS vs. Shared Hosting:

Shared hosting providers have complete control over what will be available to you in your Shared hosting environment, and the options are usually very limited. A setup that is compatible with one host may be completely unusable with another host, because of limits on the ability of users to customize software like mailservers, webservers, and MySQL. You will also be out of luck if you require an operating system (OS) or software that your Shared host does not support.

However, since a VPS is just a server inside another server, or “virtual server,” you will have complete control over your individual server’s environment. With most VPS providers, you can choose from many different operating systems; with any VPS host, you will have the ability to install any software you need. VPS hosts will set absolutely no restrictions on what can be installed (excluding, of course, applications that are illegal or extremely resource-intensive).

Resource Allocation – VPS vs. Shared Hosting:

In a Shared hosting environment, all hardware resources are shared among all users, with virtual limits set for the amount of bandwidth, disk space, and other resources available to each user. The individual users’ resources are not in any way separated, nor can server performance be effectively monitored on a per-user basis, hence the notorious overselling, “unlimited” resource allocations, and poor performance too-often associated with Shared hosting.

On a VPS node (host server), each virtual server is allocated a “hard” amount of disk space, RAM, and other server resources. Though different virtualization techniques handle this slightly differently (see OpenVZ vs. Xen: What’s the difference, and which is better?), VPS resources are basically equivalent to actual “slices” of the physical hardware in a server: one slot of RAM reserved for one VPS, one CPU core reserved for one VPS, etc. These dedicated resources, combined with advanced per-user monitoring tools, make virtual private server hosting far more reliable than shared hosting.

Convenience – VPS vs. Shared Hosting:

Although Shared hosting offers the convenience of a straightforward and easy-to-use control panel for server management (which can also be installed on a VPS), virtual private server hosting offers an even greater convenience: the ability to setup a customized system that can be painlessly upgraded or downgraded at any time. Due to the virtual nature of VPS hosting, where multiple “containers” coexist on the same host server, administration of virtual servers is considerably more efficient than dedicated hosting, and has many more options available than Shared hosting. Where a Shared host may simply suspend a user for a traffic spike or sudden increase in resource usage, a VPS host can seamlessly expand a virtual server’s resource allocation to accommodate higher demand.

To answer the original question, yes! Make the move to a VPS today, and see why virtual servers are the fastest-growing trend in web hosting.

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How to Clear cPanel/WHM Brute Force Log from SSH

If you find that you have accidentally been locked out of your WHM/cPanel server by Brute Force Detection, you can log in to your VPS via SSH and run the following command to clear the brute force log:

# echo “delete from brutes; delete from logins;” | mysql cphulkd

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OpenVZ or Xen VPS – Which is faster, and which is better?

The question is often asked whether OpenVZ or Xen, two of the most common hypervisors in VPS web hosting, provides a faster hosting environment.


The most common answer to this question is that “OpenVZ is faster,” even though this is not strictly true. OpenVZ’s virtualization is managed at the operating system (OS) level, compared to Xen’s paravirtualized or fully hardware-virtualized environments. Hence, OpenVZ requires slightly less resource overhead, and can be seen as a more resource-efficient hypervisor — but not necessarily a “faster” one.

Compared to performance that would be measured for an application running directly on the physical server, all virtualization techniques will result in at least a small loss in performance due to the hypervisor’s resource overhead. Since most VPS hosts power their host servers with high-quality hardware, this loss in performance is hardly perceptible.

However, the question remains as to whether the Xen or OpenVZ hypervisor achieves better performance. The simple answer is that there are a great number of factors which could determine an answer one way or another, but there are certain key factors which set the two system apart.

Resource Availability

It is important to note the methods Xen and OpenVZ use to assign resources to VEs. On an OpenVZ host server, where all of the server’s physical hardware resources “belong” to the host server and VEs differ only in the operating systems they are running, each VE will essentially have access to the entire server’s resources. Although there are “soft limits” placed for each VE to prevent over-usage of RAM, disk, and other resources, these limits can be (and are frequently) bypassed and abused. For this reason, the performance of an OpenVZ VPS can vary wildly depending on how many other VEs are on the same host, and what they are doing.

In contrast to OpenVZ’s OS-level virtualization, Xen virtualizes hardware and network resources at a deeper level, and provides near-total isolation for each individual VE. It is well-known that Xen VPS instances can run their own isolated kernels, but this more advanced hypervisor confers other benefits as well. A Xen VPS is guaranteed its resource allocations in such a way that it is impossible for neighboring VEs to “steal” them, which means that Xen environments are far more reliably stable than OpenVZ environments.

Resource Over-commitment (Overselling)

A side-effect of these virtualization techniques is that Xen host servers cannot be oversold, while OpenVZ host servers are frequently oversold (in fact, this is why OpenVZ hosting is typically less expensive than Xen). Overselling is the practice of over-committing the host server’s resources in such a way that the server could not actually sustain itself if each VE requested 100% of the resources it is “guaranteed.” Since Xen dedicates resources to each VE which are then no longer available to the host system or any neighboring VEs, it is not possible to over-commit a Xen host’s resources.

Security & Stability

For the same reasons mentioned above — namely, that OpenVZ containers take their resources freely from a “pool,” while Xen containers have their own dedicated resources — OpenVZ is also prone to flaws impacting system security and stability.

Since OpenVZ virtualizes at the OS level, all hosted VEs essentially share the same host-level kernel. Because of this, a kernel exception caused by one container can crash the entire host server, affecting all other co-hosted VEs. Similarly, OpenVZ hosts use a single iptables and single network interface to mediate incoming/outgoing connections, as well. The results are easy to imagine: if one VE pushes too hard (even accidentally), the others will suffer.

Each Xen environment is “locked in” to its container, which makes it comparatively impossible to abuse the host system in a way that would affect neighboring VEs. For this reason, Xen VPS are considered far more reliable and secure, and can be likened more to dedicated servers in terms of their structure and features.


With all of this in mind, it becomes clear why OpenVZ is often said to be faster than Xen, and sometimes even appears that way in benchmarks — the benchmarks compare [b]empty OpenVZ systems to empty Xen systems, as would be typical in an objective, testing environment.

In a real web hosting environment, however, host servers will be bustling with activity by the time you get there, which makes a Xen VPS is a much better guarantee to have — it means having the peace of mind knowing that the resources you need will be there when you need them.

Although it is true that OpenVZ is marginally “faster” due to the hypervisor’s decreased resource overhead, this difference is not tangible in actual usage, and will manifest only as a slightly smaller amount of available RAM on freshly installed Xen VEs.

So, here is the final answer:

In Theory, OpenVZ provides a faster virtualized environment due to the fact that the VE is directly supported by the host system, and therefore uses less of its own resources to maintain its OS.

In PracticeXen reliably outperforms OpenVZ, especially among budget-oriented web hosts where practices like resource over-commitment are common

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Install and Run UnixBench on CentOS or Debian VPS

UnixBench is a popular server benchmarking tool. To install and run UnixBench, just do the following (for CentOS):

# yum install gcc gcc-c++ make libXext-devel

# wget -c http://byte-unixbench.googlecode.com/files/unixbench-5.1.2.tar.gz

# tar xvzf unixbench-5.1.2.tar.gz

# cd unixbench-5.1.2

# make

# ./Run

UnixBench should begin running tests and output a final score. For Debian/Ubuntu:

# apt-get install libx11-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libxext-dev perl  perl-modules make

# wget http://byte-unixbench.googlecode.com/files/unixbench-5.1.2.tar.gz

# tar xvf unixbench-5.1.2.tar.gz

# cd unixbench-5.1.2

# ./Run

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How to use Ping and Traceroute Commands

“Ping” and “traceroute” are two common commands that can be executed to determine information about a hostname or IP address (like the IP address of your VPS). Ping will tell you if a server is online and responding, as well as the speed (latency) of the response:

1. Open a shell, either by logging into your VPS with SSH or by using a program like Terminal or, for Windows, Putty.

2. Type the following, replacing with the destination IP (or domain name):


# ping


A traceroute, appropriately, traces the route taken from your local machine (wherever the traceroute is executed from) to the destination host:


# traceroute

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Internet Security Risks at an All-Time High

When you talk about code problems and bugs affecting billions of users across the globe, you know you are dealing with a serious issue.

Earlier this year, Google Security, along with the Finnish security firm Codenomicon, realized there was a major issue concerning OpenSSL software. It all started on the last day of 2011, when new code created by German engineer Dr. Robin Seggelmann was added to OpenSSL.

There was a programming error within Seggelmann’s code, and it occurred in an area where security mattered.

“It was not intended at all, especially since I have previously fixed OpenSSL bugs myself, and was trying to contribute to the project,” Seggelmann said.

Regardless of the intent, the error resulted in the Heartbleed bug on OpenSSL software that allowed hackers to eavesdrop and monitor secure communications. Desktop browsing became an instant concern for fear of users visiting sites that had fake server code. Mobile devices soon followed, “Yet little attention has been paid to the global problem of 40-60 billion active smartphone applications that may share some of those same servers or connect to their own group of servers that may also be compromised,” reported Bob Egan from Forbes.com.

So what does all this mean for your Internet and hosting security? At the end of the day it all comes down to your actual provider and the built in firewalls and security options already in place. At VPS6.net, we only use the fastest hardware and technology on our VPS6 Supernodes, so you know you are always getting the most reliable service at a price that works with your budget. VPS6.net offers seamless scalability and around the clock support, so no matter the issue, your hosting service will continue to work for you.

Sources: PCWorld.com, Forbes.com

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How to Update VPS Timezone (OpenVZ)

Your OpenVZ will reflect the host server’s time settings by default; however, it is possible to configure your VPS to use a custom timezone, such as the one you (or your users) reside in.

To set your server’s timezone, first log in as the root user via SSH, then run the following command to list all available timezones:

# find /usr/share/zoneinfo/

You can use grep to refine the search:

# find /usr/share/zoneinfo/ | grep -i turkey

Once you have selected a timezone, create a symbolic link to /etc/localtime:

# ln -f -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/CST6CDT /etc/localtime

To verify the timezone change, use date:

# date

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How to Check CPU Info with SSH on Linux VPS

To check the CPU allocation and information on your VPS, simply log in to SSH as root, and run the following command:

# cat /proc/cpuinfo

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