8Aug/190

Installation of a graphical user interface for Linux

All Linux-Server operating systems are installed by default without a graphical user interface (GUI). A GUI on a dedicated server can only be accessed if a KVM is connected.
This tutorial will guide you through an easy installation process of the two most common GUIs for Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS.
Please note that you will always have to create an additional user for your GUI login, since a login as root is not possible.
In order to access your GUI, you need to use your VPS VNC connection, or access your dedicated server via KVM. KVM access has to be ordered additionally for our dedicated servers, it is not included by default.

Ubuntu 16.04 / 18.04

Please connect to your server as root via SSH.
Create a new user for your GUI login and set a password:

useradd -m NewUserName && passwd NewUserName

Now you can install the Ubuntu-Dekstop GUI with the following command (the server will fetch updates, install the GUI, and reboot automatically):

apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt install ubuntu-desktop -y && init 6

Alternatively, the following command installs the Kubuntu-Desktop (the server will fetch updates, install the GUI, and reboot automatically):

apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt install kubuntu-desktop -y && init 6

You can connect to your VPS via VNC and login to your new GUI, or via KVM if you have a dedicated server.

Ubuntu 18.10 and later versions

Please connect to your server as root via SSH.
Create a new user for your GUI login and set a password:

useradd -m NewUserName && passwd NewUserName

You can choose from a variety of GUIs, which will automatically be installed with the "tasksel" tool:

apt update && apt upgrade -y && tasksel

Choose a desktop of your liking and confirm, please do not install multiple desktop environments at the same time. Reboot your server to make your GUI accessible via your VPS VNC access or KVM in case of a dedicated server.

CentOS 6

Please connect to your server as root via SSH.
Create a new user for your GUI login and set a password:

useradd -m NewUserName && passwd NewUserName

Now you will need to edit your "/etc/inittab" to boot to runlevel 5 so that you will be able to use the GUI after (re)boot:

nano /etc/inittab

Please change the following line:

id:3:initdefault: -> id:5:initdefault:

Save your changes and close the editor by pressing strg+o, enter, strg+x.

The following command will update your server and install the GNOME GUI and required software (the server will be rebooted automatically):

yum update -y && yum -y groupinstall "Desktop" "X Window System" "Fonts" && init 6

Now you can access your GUI via your VPS VNC access or KVM in case of a dedicated server.

In order to install the KDE GUI, please use the following command. Your server will also be updated and rebooted:

yum update -y && yum -y groupinstall "KDE desktop" "X Window System" "Fonts" && init 6

Now you can access your GUI via your VPS VNC access or KVM in case of a dedicated server.

CentOS 7

Please connect to your server as root via SSH.
Create a new user for your GUI login and set a password:

useradd -m NewUserName && passwd NewUserName

Now you can install the KDE GUI with the following command (the server will fetch updates, install the GUI, and reboot automatically):

yum update -y && yum -y groupinstall "KDE Plasma Workspaces" && ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/runlevel5.target /etc/systemd/system/default.target && init 6

As alternative the following command for an installation of the GNOME GUI (the server will update and reboot automatically):

yum update -y && yum -y groupinstall "GNOME Desktop" "Graphical Administration Tools" && ln -sf /lib/systemd/system/runlevel5.target /etc/systemd/system/default.target && init 6

You can connect to your VPS via VNC or KVM in case of a dedicated server and login to your new GUI.

Debian 8 and later versions

Please connect to your server as root via SSH.
Create a new user for your GUI login and set a password:

useradd -m NewUserName && passwd NewUserName

Now you can install the GNOME GUI with the following command (the server will fetch updates, install the GUI, and reboot automatically):

apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt install gnome -y && init 6

As an alternative the following command for an installation of the KDE GUI (the server will update and reboot automatically):

apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt install kde-standard -y && init 6

Now you can connect to your VPS via VNC or KVM in case of a dedicated server and login to your new GUI.

Posted by: Philipp | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
24Jul/190

Debian & Ubuntu Upgrade

At Contabo, we always offer you the latest version of many popular Linux operating systems. This tutorial shows you how to upgrade from an old version to the latest Debian (stable) or Ubuntu LTS.

Important:
Before proceeding make sure to have a local backup of all important files, the upgrade might fail and your server becomes inoperable!
In case you are upgrading a VPS with 100% SSD, creating a prior snapshot will be sufficient for backup.
The upgrade really depends on the customization performed on the system and the amount of software installed. The higher the amount of additional software, the higher the risk of package-conflicts which need to be solved manually.

1. Preparation

The system needs to get all pending updates for your software packages, prior to proceeding. If you have not installed updates recently this might take some time.
Packages which were installed due to dependencies and are not needed anymore should be deleted as well.

:~#apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y
:~#apt-get autoremove

2. Adjusting the apt.conf (Debian)

The following commands will replace "stretch" with "buster" in any repository entry.
In case you manually added additional repositories they might fail, you will have to manually investigate or disable those package sources.

:~#sed -i 's/stretch/buster/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
:~#sed -i 's/stretch/buster/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/*

Usually there should be no additional package sources configured and your sources list will have the following configuration:

:~# cat /etc/apt/sources.list
deb http://asi-fs-n.contabo.net/debian buster main non-free contrib
deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://asi-fs-n.contabo.net/debian buster-updates main contrib non-free

3. a) Start upgrade (Debian)

The following commands will start the upgrade and will also update the packages.

:~#apt clean && apt update
:~# apt upgrade -y
:~# apt dist-upgrade -y
:~# apt autoremove
:~# cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION_ID="10"
VERSION="10 (buster)"
VERSION_CODENAME=buster
ID=debian
HOME_URL="https://www.debian.org/"
SUPPORT_URL="https://www.debian.org/support"
BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.debian.org/"

3. b) Start upgrade (Ubuntu)

Ubuntu has got a Tool/command for this purpose: "do-release-upgrade" it will update to next available LTS version, so 14.04 LTS to 16.04 or 16.04 LTS to 18.04 LTS.
In case the command was not found and the tool is missing, it can be installed with following command:

:~# apt-get install update-manager-core

4. Restart server

In order to use the recently installed kernel, you will have to reboot your server. After rebooting you are running the latest version of Debian (stable)/ Ubuntu LTS.

In case of any issues or inquiries, our customer support team is available to assist you.

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
15Jul/190

Debian 10 available now!

Just released last week, available at Contabo as of today: Debian 10, codename Buster. It is available for all our VPS and dedicated server - just select it during the order process. If you are an existing customer and would like to upgrade to Debian 10, you can do so via our customer control panel.

Furthermore, you can combine Debian 10 with Webmin, Lamp, Webmin+LAMP and the Software Raid 1. It is not yet available for Plesk, but it will soon be rolled out by Plesk - we kindly ask for your patience.

Besides Debian 10, we offer you a variety of the latest Linux OS as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016. Just visit our website and select your desired VPS or Root Server 🙂 !

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , , No Comments
1Jul/190

Hello Summer: Try Plesk one month for free with our Dedicated Servers!

While it is still pretty hot outside in Germany (as we let you know in our blog post last week) we joined forces with our partner Plesk and created a special summer promotion for you! As you surely know, you can try Plesk one month for free. However, this promotion was limited to our VPS so far.

During the summer months, we simply expand this promotion to our dedicated servers as well! All you have to do: When ordering your new dedicated server, just select Plesk Admin, Pro or Host and no fee is charged for the respective edition in the first month!

More information is available on our dedicated Plesk page!

The 2019 Contabo & Plesk Summer Promotion!

Available for a limited period of time only!

26Jun/192

Fedora 30 available now!

Today is the hottest day of the year in Germany, with temperatures currently at 37 degrees Celsius (98,6 degrees Fahrenheit) and it is really tough to step out of the door. You start to sweat immediately! We hope the temperatures in your place of residence are a bit more humane and you can enjoy the summertime with delicious ice-cream or whatever you prefer. Should it be servers and hosting, we are happy to let you know:

As of today, the new Fedora 30 is available at Contabo. You can order it with every VPS and dedicated server. As an existing customer, you can also upgrade to the latest version via your customer control panel 🙂

Should you not be familiar with our services yet, we would like to emphasize that we always offer you the latest versions of all popular Linux distributions as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016.

Oh and by the way: Even though the temperatures increase, you can rest assured that your servers are perfectly cooled in our data centers - for example thanks to our groundwater cooling system!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , 2 Comments
6Jun/190

Migration using Plesk

The migration of a website is always a challenging task for the webmaster. Beside a loss of reputation and ranking on search engines, dead links or famous 404-errors, there are some other risks during such a migration. But often it is more dangerous to leave the website on an old server, since old software can become a serious security risk.

Plesk Migrator

If you want to migrate from a current Plesk server with an outdated operation system or an EOL Plesk version, cPanel, Confixx, Helm or DirectAdmin server, Plesk provides the Plesk Migrator.

The Plesk Migrator is an extension which needs to be installed first. Within Plesk navigate to "Extensions", search for "Plesk Migrator" and then you can install it.

After the installation you can open the "Plesk Migrator" at the tab "My Extensions".

The next step is to "Start new Migration" and select the panel type, from which you want to transfer the data. Important: For this you need root access via SSH to the source server. Beside password authentication you can add an SSH key to the server.

If SSH access is not available and only FTP is possible, please see the next chapter Site Importer.

After you have entered the login data, the connection to the source server is started and depending on the server, different migration options are shown.

On a Plesk-to-Plesk migration you can see the subscriptions, customers, reseller and hosting plans.

In addition you can either migrate the customers of a reseller or assign them to a new reseller. After everything is selected, you can continue with a click on "Migrate". At first there are some checks on Apache modules or PHP versions. If there are no errors or you want to ignore possible hints, the migration will start and you can watch the status of the migration.

In case you want to restart the migration after some days, you can click on "Restart Migration".

You can find further information in the Plesk Migration Guide and also in a support article.

Site Importer

In many cases, you already have a running website and want to migrate it with a few clicks. Likely examples are: you have just started with Plesk, you manage your website using a different panel like cPanel or DirectAdmin, or you have a server with a pure LAMP installation.

In this case, Plesk offers an extension called Site Import.

This is also an extension which needs to be installed. Therefore navigate to "Extension" in your Plesk and search for "Site Import", which can be installed then.

There a two different ways to import your website with the Site Importer:

You can login as server administrator and open "Site Importer" at "Extension" - "My Extensions". Alternatively you can navigate to the subscription and select "Website Importing". In the next step, you need to enter the login data for SSH or FTP.

After you entered the login data and clicked "OK", the connection to the source server will be started and the necessary information will be gathered.

If the file structure can not be detected automatically, you can enter additional information like the location of the home directory.

Website software like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal und PrestaShop are recognised automatically and the import is easy. Further information can be found in the Plesk documentation.

Beside websites, this useful extension can also import email accounts. For this choose "Mail Importing" in the subscription. After a click on "Import mail messages", you need to enter the login data and destination email account. If the the email server can not be detected through the login data, you can enter the necessary details at "Show advanced options". With a click on "OK" the import starts.

Additional information is also available on the Plesk website.

Conclusion

We cannot eliminate the risks of a website migration, but minimize them since Plesk offers some useful tools to make a migration easier and reduce the human factor. But the most important thing for a successful migration is a detailed and well thought out planning.

Order a VPS from Contabo and you get the Plesk edition of your choice one month for free! You can also find further information on our Plesk information site.

Posted by: Torsten | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
23May/194

Contabo customer survey 2019

We have repeated our customer survey 2018 this year and once again asked you, our existing customers, to answer a few questions about us and our services. Just like last year, the participation was outstanding. In just a couple of days, more than 9000 customers took part and we would like to thank all of you for doing so! Your estimation and comments are a valuable feedback for us in order to further improve our services.

We are happy to announce that 95% of you are very satisfied or satisfied with our services. Compared to last year's survey, we managed to increase this number by one percent. By the way, the same accounts for the recommendation ratio 🙂 We are very excited about this result; at the same time, we would like to assure you that we will evaluate your remarks and recommendations. After all, it is our goal to provide you with services that meet your expectations - true to our motto "The customer is king".

Again, we have raffled 3 x 100 Euro among all participants and the happy winners are:

  • Pedro R. from Queluz (Portugal)
  • Esben F. from Esbjerg (Denmark)
  • Thomas W. from Neusitz (Germany)

Congratulations! The prizes were credited to the respective customer accounts as a credit note, which can be used to pay for the upcoming renewal of the registered services with us.

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , 4 Comments
9May/190

New Operating System: Ubuntu 19.04

A short time ago, we have made the new Ubuntu 19.04 OS (replaces Ubuntu 18.10) available on our homepage - and we certainly do not want to withhold this information from you 🙂

You can combine Ubuntu 19.04 with the Software RAID 1, Webmin, LAMP and Webmin+LAMP.

In case you already have your own Linux server at Contabo, you can easily upgrade to the new version through our customer control panel.

We would also like to point out that we always offer you all the latest Linux distributions as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016. For an overview, please click on "Customize & Order" below the desired (virtual) server and scroll down to "Operating system".

For any additional inquiries, please contact our customer support team via e-mail or phone and we will gladly provide further assistance.

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
15Apr/193

Easter Promotion: 500 GB SSD included free of charge!

Easter is just around the corner and we from Contabo have a very special offer for you! 😀

As of today, you will receive a 500 GB SSD free of charge when ordering a dedicated server Dual Xeon, 10-Core or Dual 10-Core! The offer is available for a short period of time only and while stocks last - our advice: Hurry up!

Easter Promotion 2019

Sounds great? Cool! Then check our dedicated server offers, click on "Customize & Order" below the desired model and get your new dedicated server on time for Easter! Please keep in mind: When opting for a longer contract period, you can get an additional discount of up to one monthly fee of the basic server price. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team and we will gladly assist you further.

We wish you and your family Happy Easter!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , 3 Comments
4Apr/190

Colocation – a Home for Your Hardware

In a recently published blog post, we have informed you about the differences of our webspace packages, VPS and dedicated servers. A very important service was not mentioned yet, and we would like to provide you further details in the following:

One of the various business branches at Contabo is the provision of colocation space. In our high-tech data centers, located in Southern Germany, we offer the option of housing our clients' own hardware at a very reasonable price. Regardless of tower server, 19“ rack server, switches, firewall or external backup device, our clients are offered a low cost option to rent space and allocate power usage and bandwidth modularly as they need. Such a colocation subscription not only eliminates the burden from our clients to care for security and adequate climate conditions in their office or private environment but also takes the responsibility off their shoulders to care for an uninterrupted 24 hour availability.

Thanks to our well arranged website, it is pretty simple to configure a matching plan individually. At first it appears to be necessary to consider the exact requirements for the colocation space. Our support team will happily assist in doing so. It is required to determine in advance the number of housing modules, by regarding the dimensions of the hardware, the needed uplinks, and a matching power usage option. Nearly each and every configuration can be chosen by this convenient and user friendly tool on our homepage.

Regardless if a 1U only or a complete rack with 40U, lockable, Contabo is prepared to provide very flexible solutions. Even the reservation of space is possible if it is expected that the growing demand requires an expansion of colocation space.

In respect to bandwidth, Contabo offers anything from a regular 100 Mbit/s connection to dedicated bandwidth (up to 10 Gbit/s) in nearly any desired volume range, to cover each requirement whatsoever. Whether a single uplink with a fixed bandwidth allotment or the assignment of bandwidth to multiple servers out of a "pool", whatever is technically manageable, we can implement it.

Electrical power consumption can be booked at a fixed rate in increments of 100 W for individual colocation space. When putting the hardware into operation the power consumption is being measured in order to guarantee a fair price which approximates to the power consumption in reality. Half or fully occupied racks are rather efficiently supplied with power at a flat rate or according to the realistic consumption generated.

How to place the order? Provided that the number of required units has been determined, the volume of bandwidth was chosen, and the question about the power consumption was cleared, our clients are asked to fill out the online order form on our website, and submit it afterwards. In turn, Contabo sends back the so called "Welcome mail" which contains a summary of the ordered components and – depending on the chosen payment method – a description on how to and where to pay. As soon as the required amount was physically received, we forward relevant information to preconfigure the appliances, for example, the IP addresses, further network information, and resolver details.

Subsequently we discuss the question about how the hardware is delivered with the customer. We appreciate the delivery by courier as much as we do welcome a personal visit by the client, bringing his equipment along. If the latter is favored, we ask the customer or his authorized representative to announce the visit well ahead of time, preferably 48 hours in advance. Since our data centers are highly secured areas with very limited access, it is inevitable that valid ID documents are presented upon arrival. One of our skilled technicians will be pleased to guide the client to his rack for installation. If a forwarding company, like UPS, DHL, or DPD takes over to deliver the hardware, we are apprised upfront by the client regarding the number of appliances, their make, their model, and the tracking number of the items. Upon arrival we get in contact with the customer, inform him about the receipt, and our technicians install the hardware. That's it! Servers are ready for use!

Posted by: Alexander | Tagged as: , , , No Comments