17Oct/190

Cent OS 8 available at Contabo now!

Those of you who follow us closely or use our servers for their projects know it already: We always offer you the latest versions of the popular Linux operating systems. This includes the brand new Cent OS 8!

As of now, you can select Cent OS 8 for your new virtual or dedicated server! Existing customers can upgrade to it through our Customer Control Panel.

You can combine Cent OS 8 with Webmin and the Software RAID right now. The administration panel Plesk and cPanel do not support Cent OS 8 yet, but are currently working on its implementation - we ask for your kind patience in this regard.

Contabo always offers you a wide variety of popular operating systems: Cent OS, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Windows Server and many more.

In case of any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support. We are available on 365 days per year!

1Oct/194

Data center uplinks: 200 Gbit/s at Contabo now!

Constant readers of our blog and our existing customers now it already: We are continuously working on improvements! This involves not just our regular systems, but also our infrastructure - in this special case our data center connectivity:

Recently, we have increased it by an additional 70 Gbit/s. Now we are connected to the Internet with 200 Gbit/s!

The following uplinks are available right now:

  • CenturyLink: 60 Gbit/s
  • Telia Carrier: 60 Gbit/s
  • Versatel: 20 Gbit/s
  • DE-CIX: 20 Gbit/s
  • AMS-IX: 20 Gbit/s
  • M-NET: 10 Gbit/s
  • Colt: 10 Gbit/s

Our goal is to offer you an even better redundancy, to increase the available bandwidth and to provide a great global routing.

You can count on us: In the future, we will improve our uplinks even further - for you, our valued customers!

You can find additional information about our data centers on our website!

18Sep/190

LEMP: Debian, NGINX + Certbot, MariaDB, PHP

This tutorial shows you how to prepare your Debian VPS for hosting your website.
We are not going to perform any fine-tuning or optimization on the default configuration files. So neither NGINX, MySQL or PHP (LEMP) will get any other than the necessary configuration changes in order to run a website properly.

1. Install the Software

NGINX, Certbot, PHP installation:

:~# apt install nginx python3-certbot-nginx php-fpm php-mysql zip unzip pwgen

MariaDB can be installed as follows:

:~# apt install mariadb-server

Installing MariaDB by using the default-package repositories might not install the latest version of MariaDB. For the latest MariaDB version visit Official MariaDB Repo and follow the instructions.

2. Configure the Software

You should secure your MariaDB installation first:

:~# mysql_secure_installation && mysql_upgrade
:~# mysql

 Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
 Your MariaDB connection id is 55
 Server version: 10.4.6-MariaDB-1:10.4.6+maria~buster mariadb.org binary distribution
 Copyright (c) 2000, 2018, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.
 Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement. 

We will now run Certbot for our default vmXXXX.contaboserver.net hostname, you could also simply add any other website.

Important:
In case you want to secure multiple domains you can simply add them with another "-d" option behind the command, e.g.:

:~# certbot --nginx -d $(hostname) -d vmXXXX.contaboserver.net

Certbot will also create a default configuration for your website within /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Let's configure PHP, so NGINX knows where to send PHP-Files for interpreting. Check where PHP-FPM listens to:

:~# grep "listen =" /etc/php/7.3/fpm/pool.d/www.conf
listen = /run/php/php7.3-fpm.sock

The pool configuration file got a lot of parameters which can be adjusted according to the hardware your server is running and the type of scripts hosted on your website.
Open /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default and you will see a PHP section which is commented out, you could install multiple PHP-Versions, add a server or VPS for PHP interpreting only and much more.
We will add the following lines to any "server {}" configuration we want PHP to be available on:

location ~ .php$ {
include snippets/fastcgi-php.conf;
fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.3-fpm.sock;
}

You also need to expand the "index" line with "index.php" :

 index index.php index.html index.htm; 

:~# systemctl restart nginx

We will now download and install phpMyAdmin and make it available. On Debian 10 phpMyAdmin is not available via "apt install phpmyadmin" command, they are probably going to add the package once the Alpha got stable.
For downloads visit Official phpMyAdmin Website . As we are using PHP 7.3 we need to download the Alpha Version, which is still in testing phase.

:~# mkdir /var/www/phpmyadmin
:~# cd /var/www/phpmyadmin/
:~# wget https://files.phpmyadmin.net/phpMyAdmin/5.0.0-alpha1/phpMyAdmin-5.0.0-alpha1-all-languages.zip
&& unzip phpMyAdmin-5.0.0-alpha1-all-languages.zip
:~# mv phpMyAdmin-5.0.0-alpha1-all-languages/* .

Create a database user and import the database; run "pwgen" to generate random passwords.

:~# mysql < sql/create_tables.sql
:~# mysql

CREATE USER 'phpmyadminuser'@'localhost'  IDENTIFIED BY 'USE ONLY SECURE PASSWORDS !!';
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE ON phpmyadmin.* TO 'phpmyadminuser'@'localhost'
IDENTIFIED BY 'USE ONLY SECURE PASSWORDS !!'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Let's configure phpMyAdmin to use the database. Uncomment the following lines in config.inc.php:

/* User used to manipulate with storage */
  $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlhost'] = 'localhost';
  $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlport'] = '3306';
  $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = 'phpmyadminuser';

:~# cp -p config.sample.inc.php config.inc.php
:~# pwgen 32 1 #Copy the password for blowfish secret
:~# chown www-data: /var/www/phpmyadmin -R

Last but not least, configure the webserver to make the content available.
Add the following section to the domain you want to expose it on:

    location /phpmyadmin {
           root /var/www/phpmyadmin/;
           index index.php index.html index.htm;
           location ~ ^/phpmyadmin/(.+\.php)$ {
                   try_files $uri =404;
                   root /var/www/phpmyadmin/;
                   fastcgi_pass unix:/run/php/php7.3-fpm.sock;
                   fastcgi_index index.php;
                   fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
           }
           location ~* ^/phpmyadmin/(.+\.(jpg|jpeg|gif|css|png|js|ico|html|xml|txt))$ {
                   root /var/www/phpmyadmin/;
           }
    }

5Sep/190

Webspace: Creating a Blog in Minutes

This tutorial will show you how to create a blog and publish it world wide in just a couple of minutes.

The requirement for the Softaculous automatic WordPress installation is a Webspace package L or higher.
Alternatively, WordPress can be installed manually by uploading files via FTP.

1. Login to your cPanel account after receiving the e-mail containing the login information.

2. Within "Softaculous Apps Installer" click on "WordPress" to open the following site:

3. This site shows all existing WordPress installations, as we are setting up WordPress for the first time we will hit "Install Now" in order to install our first WordPress site.

In case you want the WordPress site to be hosted on a subdomain or alternate directory you will be able to adjust the configuration to meet your requirements. We are going to use the main domain the Webhosting package was set up with, in this case we will have to remove the "wp" within the "in directory" option.

Set a secure password, adjust the remaining configuration options and hit "start installation".

That's it!
The Blog is installed, you are ready to upload content and share it world wide.

We recommend enabling automatic updates or at least perform manually updates often.
WordPress is a very common software used for websites, especially for blogs. As a very high amount of websites run WordPress, hackers always work on finding new security holes in order to hijack or even infect the website with malware.
WordPress updates are very important in order to run a safe website.
You should make sure to not run any outdated software on a website, even WordPress plugins need to be updated as well.

In case you want to reinstall the blog, use another software or the Contabo Website Builder instead, you are able to remove WordPress at any time using the Softaculous App Installer WordPress site within your cPanel login.

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
8Aug/192

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.

Also please be informed that VNC is NOT an encrypted connection method. We recommend to use xRDP if you plan on using your sevrer exclusively with a GUI.

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: , , , , , 2 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