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Plesk basics: The first steps

Plesk is a commercial web hosting platform initially developed by Parallels. It is available for Linux and Windows based operating systems and therefore for any operating systems offered by us.

Together with our partner Plesk, we are currently offering you Plesk Obsidian one month for free. Simply select one of the below listed editions of Plesk Obsidian and try it, before you buy and pay for it! Only available in combination with our VPS: Plesk Obsidian now one month for free.

The current version of Plesk is version 18 (Obsidian) which we offer in three different editions:

  • Web Admin Edition: This edition is targeted at users who only want to administrate their own websites. Unnecessary features such as customer/reseller management are not included in this edition.
  • Web Pro Edition: With this edition, you can host up to 30 different domains. Also, all features apart from the reseller management are available in this edition.
  • Web Host Edition: With this edition, you can host an unlimited amount of domains. There are no restrictions on behalf of Plesk. The Web Host Edition is the most extensive of all Plesk editions. It includes every feature - from reseller management over security core features until automatic outbound spam protection.

This tutorial, however, is restricted to the basics you need to know. We will show you how to add domains, FTP accounts, databases and e-mail accounts. The tutorial is written for the previous edition called Onyx, but it is working for Obsidian as well!

At first, we log in at our Plesk web interface. In order to do so, we use the browser and type in our IP address and port 8443 (e.g.

We login with the login credentials we received via e-mail...

... and land directly on the main page of the Plesk webinterface. In our case there is already a domain added, in your webinterface the main page might look a little different.

Add a domain:

We click on "Add domain" on the main page and land on the following page:

We fill in all the text boxes. In the box "Domain name", we fill in our domain (without "www"). Our example domain is "example.com". As location for our new website we choose "Create a new webspace".

When choosing IPv4/IPv6 addresses, we choose the IP addresses which we want to use for our newly created domain. Choosing the username and the password are, of course, completely up to you.

The first step is already done now. After clicking on "OK", the new domain is added on our server.

Now we can upload the data for our homepage to the server. Usually, this is done via FTP. Luckily, Plesk already created an FTP account for us when creating the new domain. So all we have to do is opening an FTP client of our choice (e.g. FileZilla) and connect with the login credentials we just set for our new domain.

What is missing now is a database for our website. By clicking on "Databases" and "Add database", we can create a new database:

Again, we fill in all text boxes. In order to connect to that database, we have to create a new database user. Please note down its username and password, you will need it for your website later! When asked about access control, we choose "Allow local connections only".

After we created the database, the following screen will pop up:

Here, we could also import a dump of an already existing database. However, this tutorial is limited to the basics only.

Create an e-mail account:

What we need now is an e-mail account for our domain we just added. Plesk offers a comfortable way to do so as well. We click on "Mail" on the left side of the main menu and then choose "Create Email address":

After we filled in all the text boxes we click on "OK" in order to create the new mail account. Please remember to note down the access data, you will need them later!
Once the mail account is created, we can login on our mail webinterface on "webmail.example.com" for sending and receiving e-mails.

Sounds good to you? Great 🙂

If you are ready to try Plesk Obsidian now, we would like to mention our current campaign with Plesk Obsidian one more time. Get Plesk Obsidian one month for free, in combination with one of our VPS. Select the model of your choice in our VPS overview and opt for your preferred Plesk Obsidian edition during the configuration process.

Posted by: Florian | Tagged as: , , , , 1 Comment

Being spoilt for choice – Windows or Linux?

The operating system is the centrepiece of a server. You can imagine how important it is to choose a fitting operating system. For servers, two operating systems have established themselves: Windows and Linux. In this short overview, I'd like to present you the main differences between those two operating systems.


You might have heard that Windows is less stable compared to Linux. This actually was the case 15 years ago. Older Windows Server operating systems tended to operate rather unstable at times. However, Windows Server developed into an utterly robust operating system during the past years. Nowadays, you won't find much of a difference between both operating systems regarding stability.

Let's come down to the first real difference: Interface and Remote Access, which certainly are the most obvious differences between Windows and Linux.
With Windows Server, you access your server remotely with a protocol developed by Microsoft called RDP. The software used to connect to your server remotely, Remote Desktop Connection, is installed on every Windows machine by default, regardless of whether it's a Desktop or a Server version.


Once connected to the server, you'll find a familiar Windows interface you already know from your Windows PC you use at home.


And that is probably the biggest advantage of Windows Server. Web server, DNS server, or other services, everything can be managed with a graphical user interface.


On Linux, this is totally different. While desktop versions come with a graphical interface as well, in server versions, you won't find one there for the benefit of performance. Also, you cannot access it using RDP, but via SSH.
Windows operating systems do not have an SSH client installed by default, therefore you have to install such a client on your own. There are plenty of them on the market, a well known and established client is PuTTY.


Unlike on Windows Servers, there won't open a Desktop environment, but only a command line.


Administering the server is done exclusively via commands you type into the command line. While the experienced Linux user knows the most important commands, users who are new to Linux will probably have some trouble here, which could cause problems regarding server security and stability.


You might already know that Windows Server, unlike most Linux operating systems, is not for free. Microsoft fees a monthly amount for licensing their products. The amount of this fee differs, it depends on the hardware of the server running the operating system and the version of Windows Server.


Basically, every service can be realised on both Linux or Windows Server. The choice is mostly a matter of taste.


Mounting of additional hard disks in Linux

In this tutorial, we are going to mount an additional hard disk in Linux.

At first, we list all the disks recognized by our system using the fdisk command:

fdisk -l


In our example, two hard drives are plugged into our server: /dev/sda, our system disk which amongst other things contains the operating system, and /dev/sdb, an additional 50 GiB hard drive which we are about to mount in our system. The naming of those disks can vary.

First of all, we need to create a partition as well as a partition table. Of course, it is possible to create more than one partition on a disk, but in our example, we want to use the whole capacity of the drive for one partition. For the partitioning we use cfdisk, the graphical version of fdisk:

cfdisk /dev/sdb

If there is no existing partition table on the disk, yet, a menu pops up:

For our example, we choose dos, which writes a MBR partition table to the disk (for disks larger than 2 TB, we would choose GPT, otherwise we would not be able to make use of the entire available disk space). After that, the main menu of cfdisk opens:


Here we can create our partition(s). We create a 50 GiB partition by entering 50G and confirming with the Enter-Key.


In the next dialogue, we choose primary to create a primary partition.

We confirm with Write and type in yes to finish creating the partition.

Now we have a partition, but we cannot store data on it yet, as we still need to create a file system on it. We choose Quit to leave cfdisk and check if the partition has been created properly. To do so, we once again use fdisk:

fdisk -l


Our new partition is now listed as /dev/sdb1. Thus, everything went as expected.
Now, we're going to format the partition with a file system. In Linux, we choose ext4 by default.

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1


The formatting is now finished and the hard disk is now prepared for utilisation. Next, we create a folder in which we mount the partition. All data we move or create in this folder after the whole procedure will be stored on our new hard drive. In our example, we use the name datastore for our folder, but of course you are free to choose any name you like. With the following command, we create the new folder:

mkdir /datastore

In order to mount the partition in the folder we just created, we type the following in our command line:

mount /dev/sdb1 /datastore

Our partition is now mounted in /datastore. In order to automatically mount the partition after a reboot, we add a line in the configuration file /etc/fstab. But before we do so, we need to find out the UUID of our partition.

blkid /dev/sdb1


The part after "UUID=" is the UUID of our partition. We copy it (without the quotation marks) and open /etc/fstab in a text editor:

nano /etc/fstab

With the arrow keys, we navigate our cursor to the end of the file and paste the following line:

UUID=d6ae62ff-c9b7-4a07-aea8-a36f55c5036d       /datastore      ext4    defaults      0       0

Make sure to replace the UUID with your actual one.

Posted by: Florian | Tagged as: , , , 2 Comments

Mounting of additional hard drives in Windows

In this tutorial, we are going to mount an additional hard drive in Windows. As you may notice, we will do so in Windows Server 2012, but the procedure is basically the same with Windows Server 2008.

At first, we need to open a menu by right-clicking the Start button:


We must select Disk Management to open the Disk Management service. If Windows identifies a new hard drive, a pop-up menu opens:


For volumes smaller than 2 TB, we choose MBR, for larger disks, we select GPT. As the hard drive in our example only has a capacity of 100 GB, we'll go with MBR here. By clicking OK, the chosen partition table will be written to the hard disk. After that procedure, we will be sent to the main menu of the Disk Management service. Alternatively, one can reach this overview via Control Panel => Computer Management.


As we can see here, our new hard drive is listed as Disk 1. But before we can use it for storing data, we need to partition and format it. Therefore, we right-click the rectangle next to the box which says Disk 1 and choose New Simple Volume.


A wizard opens. It is quite self-explanatory and you can't do anything wrong by using the pre-selected and suggested values. Per default, the wizard uses the whole disk capacity for the new partition and formats it with the file system NTFS, which is recommended for Windows. Of course, you are free to change those settings, but in our example, we go along with them.


The name of our new partition is STORAGE, but of course you can name it as you wish.

Once you went through the wizard, the new hard drive will be ready to use. It will also be visible in the Explorer: