31Mar/170

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.

remote_en

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

remotedesktop2

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.

putty

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

putty2

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.

13Dec/160

NEW operating system available at Contabo: Arch Linux

Great news: From now on we offer you a completely new operating system, namely Arch Linux! It is available for all your VPS and Dedicated Servers! What's even better: Arch Linux will always be up to date, which means you will always get the latest version!

You can combine it with the Software RAID 1 and an installation with a manual configuration is possible as well - for further details, kindly contact our customer support!

Our existing customers know it already:

We always offer you a wide range of the latest Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016!). Simply click on "Customize & Order" below your desired (virtual) server model to get a detailed overview. Then scroll down a bit and select your OS of choice!

Further information and a product overview is available on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
28Nov/160

NEW at Contabo: Fedora 25 and Suse Leap 42.2

From now on, we offer you Fedora in its latest version 25, it replaces the previous version 24. Likewise, Suse Leap received an update and the new version 42.2 is available now at Contabo!

Both operating systems can be combined with the Software RAID 1 and Webmin. In addition, Fedora 25 can be installed via VNC as well.

Existing customers can upgrade to the latest versions easily through the customer control panel.

We offer you a wide range of the latest Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2012 and 2016!). Simply click on "Customize & Order" below your desired (virtual) server model to get a detailed overview and select your OS of choice!

Further information and a product overview is available on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , , No Comments
8Sep/160

Comparison of the different Linux distributions available at Contabo

As a valued customer of Contabo you have access to a variety of different Linux distributions, for use on all of our servers. These can be easily and automatically installed via our powerful customer control panel, which results in various benefits for our customers:

- Contabo always provides the latest versions for installation on all servers.

- You can conveniently and comfortably choose and switch between the offered Linux distributions at any time.

- All Linux distributions are offered free of any costs or fees.

- From the beginner towards the enthusiast, up to commercial professional use, all requirements can be met with the distributions offered by Contabo.

CentOS:

CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is a Linux distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is maintained by an open group of voluntary developers, which take care of maintenance and development. As opposed to RHEL, you can use this operating system without mandatory support contracts and free of charge.

WHMs cPanel is developed for this operating system in particular, which makes this Linux distribution a must have for resellers. As an enterprise operating system it is developed with stability and long-term maintenance cycles in mind. All CentOS versions can be used for 10 years without the need to migrate packages and software versions, which makes it an ideal solution for commercial use.

https://www.centos.org/

Debian:

Debian is another Linux distribution that is composed completely of free software, most of which is under the GNU General Public License.

Long term support was first introduced with version 7 for almost all available software packages that use the architectures i386 and AMD64 (32bit- and 64bit-PC-systems). The Debian Project aims to provide 5 years long-term support with security and bug fixes for all versions from 7 upwards. This Linux distribution has access to online repositories that contain over 50,000 software packages, making it one of the largest software compilations available. Debian officially contains only free software, but non-free software can be downloaded and installed as well if needed. This makes it a valid solution for commercial use, as well as a versatile operating system for the regular user.

https://www.debian.org/

Ubuntu:

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that is strongly based on and influenced by Debian. The goal of the developers was to create an operating system that is as easy to use as possible. It is one of the most commonly used distributions available today. The development team also releases long term support versions of Ubuntu, which are indicated by “LTS” at the end of the version number.

http://www.ubuntu.com/

OpenSUSE:

The focus of its development is creating usable open source tools for developers and administrators, while providing a user friendly desktop and server environment. A unique feature of this distribution is its specialized installation and configuration tool YaST (“Yet another Setup Tool“), which is a central administrative tool for the OpenSUSE operating system. It also helps finding new software and packages for the OpenSUSE distribution.

https://en.opensuse.org/Main_Page

Fedora:

Compared to other Linux distributions, Fedora does not aim for long term support. The life cycle of a Fedora version is 13 months only. Every 6 months a new version is released by the development team. Owing to this circumstance, Fedora is not suited for long-term usage on systems.

On the other hand, you have always access to the latest software developments available. Being state of the art has never been this comfortable. Enthusiasts that are eager to try out the latest developments on the market should always consider using Fedora.

https://getfedora.org/en/

Posted by: Philipp | Tagged as: , , , , , , No Comments
8Jul/161

Proxmox 4.0 and CentOS 7.2 available now!

We are happy to offer you further upgrades for our operating systems:

CentOS 7.2 is available now, replacing the version 7.1!
You may combine it with Software RAID 1, Webmin, LAMP, Webmin+LAMP, Plesk and cPanel. Plus, the installation via VNC is possible!

Also, Proxmox is available now in version 4.0, replacing 3.2. It is not an independent operating system but you may select it as a panel for Debian 8.

Please note: Proxmox is only available for our dedicated servers!

Proxmox4Proxmox 4

We offer you a wide range of Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2008/2012). Just click on "Customize & Order" on our VPS and dedicated servers overview sites and choose the operating system that fits your needs!

Further information can be found on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , 1 Comment
30Jun/160

New Operating Systems available: Fedora 24 and CentOS 6.8

Recently, two operating systems received an upgrade: Fedora is now available in version 24, replacing version 23. Also, CentOS 6.6 upgraded to 6.8. The latest versions are available at Contabo now!

Fedora 24 can be combined with Software RAID 1 and Webmin, the installation via VNC is possible!

You may combine CentOS 6.8 optionally with Software RAID 1, Webmin, LAMP, Webmin+LAMP, Plesk or cPanel - an installation via VNC is possible as well!

fedora24The basic panel of Fedora 24

Apart from Fedora 24 and CentOS 6.8, we do offer you a wide range of Linux distributions (as well as Windows Server 2008/2012). Just click on "Customize & Order" on our VPS and dedicated servers overview sites and opt for the operating system that fits your needs!

Further information can be found on our website!

24May/160

Changing the partition layout of your VPS after installation

Sometimes, it is necessary to change your partition layout in order to create new partitions or extend an existing partition, for example after a VPS upgrade.

This tutorial shows how to easily change your partition layout on your VPS.

Please be advised to perform a backup of all important data before proceeding ! Changes to the partition table always bear the risk of complete data loss.

Linux


Step 1:

Boot your VPS into the rescue-system, this can be done within your customer control panel.

You will need to connect through VNC.

After you have established a connection login as "root".

Step 2:

To perform changes on the partition easily we are going to use gparted.

If you want to boot your system straight up into your regular OS after repartitioning, you should execute "exitrescue" now on the commandline before proceeding.

To start the GUI type "startx" within your VNC console and wait a few seconds until the graphical interface appears.

On the upper left side you will see "Applications", open it and select "Run Program".
Now type "gparted" within the application finder and the app should start immediately.

part1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3:

You should find an overview of all existing partitions on your hard disk drive.
In case there is no unused space left,  we need to shrink one existing partition first, otherwise we will not be able to create a new one.

After a right click on the corresponding partition and choosing "Resize/Move", the partition can be either shrunk or extended.

Please note that LVM partitions (which are used with CentOS by default) cannot be shrunk!

part3

In case you only wanted to extend your existing partition, please proceed with step 5.

Step 4:

Creating new partitions on the recently freed up/already free storage.

part4
Perform a right click on the unallocated space and select "new" to create a new partition.

In this case I did it twice to create two additional partitions.

part5

Step 5:

So far, no actual changes have been made on your hard drive. If you want to restart the partitioning just rerun the gparted tool.

To write the changes to the HDD hit the green tick symbol.
After hitting the tick, a warning will appear saying that you can lose all data - you should have a backup, so no worries.

 

part6

 

The application should start performing several tasks, just wait until it has finished.

Depending on the size of the partition and the data stored on it, this will take its time.

 

part7

 

Step 6:

You are done, just boot up your VPS into the regular OS  and check if everything is as expected:

root@contabo-test:~# fdisk -l

 

Windows


Step 1:

Connect to your server using RDP.

Step 2:

Open the "Disk Management", this can be done with a right click on the Windows Icon on the lower left side.
You could also start it by opening the "run" prompt, which can be done  via "Start" -> "Execute" -> "diskmgmt.msc", alternately the "Execute" dialogue can be opened by hitting "Windows-Logo-Key +R"

winp1_en
Step 3:

After the Windows "Disk Management" utility was started you will see an overview of all installed harddrives.
On a VPS you will usually have one drive, on a dedicated Server you will probably have more than one sparse disk.
Search for the disk you want to repartition and perform a right click on the partition you want to resize.

You can shrink and also extend a Volume, sometimes when upgrading your VPS to a bigger plan you can either create a second partition or just extend the existing partition.

For now we want to shrink the existing partition, so we hit "Shrink Volume".

winp2_en
Step 4:

After some time passed you will see a popup, just fill out the field with the amount of space you want to free up and hit "shrink".

winp3_en

After shrinking you will have unallocated space, now you are ready to create a new partition, e.g. a FAT32 filesystem etc.

winp4_en

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , No Comments
26Apr/160

Ubuntu 16.04 available now!

ubuntu-1604-ltsAs of now we offer you the latest Linux distribution Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) as a free operating system for all of our VPS and dedicated servers. You may combine it with the Software RAID 1, Webmin, LAMP as well as Webmin + LAMP.

Since PLESK does not yet offer a version which is compatible to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, we still provide Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to you as well.

Here are some of the key features of the new version:

  • Kernel 4.4.6
  • Support of the file system ZFS
  • Python 3, PHP 7 and MySQL 5.7

You can select Ubuntu among several other Linux distributions (and Windows Server 2008 / 2012) when you select your individual configuration by clicking on "Customize & Order" on our VPS and dedicated servers overview sites.

Further information can be found on our website!

3Dec/152

Available now: Fedora 23

Recently, the operating system Fedora released its latest version, 23. From now on it is available for our VPS and dedicated server models as well, replacing the former version 22. You may combine Fedora 23 with the Software RAID 1 and the administration panel Webmin, the installation via VNC is possible!

A short summary of the most important improvements:

  • Python 3 replaces Python 2
  • OpenGL 4.1
  • Upgrades via Plugin
  • General security improvements, such as the removal of SSL 3.0 and RC4 in the libraries Gnutls and Openssl

You can select Fedora among several other linux distributions (and Windows Server 2008 / 2012) when you choose your individual settings by clicking on "Customize & Order" on our VPS and dedicated servers overviews.

Further information can be found on our website!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , 2 Comments
26Nov/150

How to reset root/Administrator password in Linux/Windows

First of all, please read the following important instructions about this tutorial:
Please note, during this tutorial you are going to advance deeply into your operating system, so we kindly ask you to be careful while running these commands. Furthermore, we ask for your understanding, that Contabo is not be liable for damages or data loss of your operating system.

Please be also informed, that this tutorial is not working on Dedicated Servers along with Windows operating system without a KVM over IP device. We kindly ask you to open a ticket at support@contabo.com if we should assist you.

This tutorial offers the opportunity to reset the system password for the "root" and "Administrator" users, so you should be able to logon to your server again in case you have lost or forgotten the password.

Please just go to your Customer Control Panel for performing a reboot of your VPS / Dedicated Server into the rescue mode. Therefore, you have to navigate to the "Your services" menu, followed by "Manage" -> "rescue mode".

(The login credentials of your customer control panel have been sent in our initial e-mail to your authorized e-mail address)

Kundenlogin2

Password reset for Linux:

1. List system partitions:

root@sysresccd /root % fdisk -l
....
Device     Boot     Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1  *         2048   961146879   480572416   83  Linux
/dev/sda2       961146880   976771071     7812096   82  Linux swap / Solaris
....

2. Mount system partitions:

root@sysresccd /root % mkdir /mnt/sda1
root@sysresccd /root % mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1

3. Now you can change to the mounted environment:

root@sysresccd /root % chroot /mnt/sda1 /bin/bash

4. Reset the root password:

root@sysresccd:/# passwd root
Enter new UNIX password: <new password>
Retype new UNIX password: <new password>
passwd: password updated successfully

5. The root password has been changed, please exit the rescue mode and reboot your server back to the operating system:

root@sysresccd:/# exit
exit
root@sysresccd /root % exitrescue
Server was set to boot from normal harddisk at the next boot!
Please enter "reboot" to reboot the system!
root@sysresccd /root % reboot

Now you should be able to login using the new password.

 

Password reset for Windows:

1. List system partitions:

root@sysresccd /root % fdisk -l
....
Device     Boot  Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/vda1  *      2048    718847    716800   350M 27 Hidden NTFS WinRE
/dev/vda2       718848 629143551 628424704 299.7G  7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
....

2. Mount system partitions:

root@sysresccd /root % mkdir /mnt/vda2
root@sysresccd /root % ntfs-3g /dev/vda2 /mnt/vda2

Please note: If now an error message appears, please enter the following command before you are going to mount the system partition:

root@sysresccd /root % ntfsfix /dev/vda2

Mounting volume... OK
Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully.
Checking the alternate boot sector... OK
NTFS volume version is 3.1.
NTFS partition /dev/vda2 was processed successfully.

3. Now you can change to the system directory:

root@sysresccd /root % cd /mnt/vda2/Windows/System32/config

4. Print all system users:

root@sysresccd /root/mnt/vda2/Windows/System32/config % chntpw -l SAM

chntpw version 1.00 140201, (c) Petter N Hagen
Hive <SAM> name (from header): <\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SAM>
ROOT KEY at offset: 0x001020 * Subkey indexing type is: 666c <lf>
File size 262144 [40000] bytes, containing 8 pages (+ 1 headerpage)
Used for data: 302/27480 blocks/bytes, unused: 28/5032 blocks/bytes.

| RID -|---------- Username ------------| Admin? |- Lock? --|
| 01f4 | Administrator                  | ADMIN  |          |
| 01f5 | Guest                          |        | dis/lock |

5. Reset the Administrator password:

root@sysresccd /root/mnt/vda2/Windows/System32/config % chntpw SAM -u Administrator

chntpw version 1.00 140201, (c) Petter N Hagen
Hive <SAM> name (from header): <\SystemRoot\System32\Config\SAM>
ROOT KEY at offset: 0x001020 * Subkey indexing type is: 666c <lf>
File size 262144 [40000] bytes, containing 8 pages (+ 1 headerpage)
Used for data: 302/27504 blocks/bytes, unused: 28/5008 blocks/bytes.

================= USER EDIT ====================

RID     : 0500 [01f4]
Username: Administrator
fullname:
comment : Built-in account for administering the computer/domain
homedir :

00000220 = Administrators (which has 1 members)

Account bits: 0x0010 =
[ ] Disabled        | [ ] Homedir req.    | [ ] Passwd not req. |
[ ] Temp. duplicate | [X] Normal account  | [ ] NMS account     |
[ ] Domain trust ac | [ ] Wks trust act.  | [ ] Srv trust act   |
[ ] Pwd don't expir | [ ] Auto lockout    | [ ] (unknown 0x08)  |
[ ] (unknown 0x10)  | [ ] (unknown 0x20)  | [ ] (unknown 0x40)  |

Failed login count: 0, while max tries is: 0
Total  login count: 82

- - - - User Edit Menu:
1 - Clear (blank) user password
(2 - Unlock and enable user account) [seems unlocked already]
3 - Promote user (make user an administrator)
4 - Add user to a group
5 - Remove user from a group
q - Quit editing user, back to user select
Select: [q] > 1

Password cleared!
================= USER EDIT ====================

RID     : 0500 [01f4]
Username: Administrator
fullname:
comment : Built-in account for administering the computer/domain
homedir :

00000220 = Administrators (which has 1 members)

Account bits: 0x0010 =
[ ] Disabled        | [ ] Homedir req.    | [ ] Passwd not req. |
[ ] Temp. duplicate | [X] Normal account  | [ ] NMS account     |
[ ] Domain trust ac | [ ] Wks trust act.  | [ ] Srv trust act   |
[ ] Pwd don't expir | [ ] Auto lockout    | [ ] (unknown 0x08)  |
[ ] (unknown 0x10)  | [ ] (unknown 0x20)  | [ ] (unknown 0x40)  |

Failed login count: 0, while max tries is: 0
Total  login count: 82
** No NT MD4 hash found. This user probably has a BLANK password!
** No LANMAN hash found either. Try login with no password!

- - - - User Edit Menu:
1 - Clear (blank) user password
(2 - Unlock and enable user account) [seems unlocked already]
3 - Promote user (make user an administrator)
4 - Add user to a group
5 - Remove user from a group
q - Quit editing user, back to user select
Select: [q] > q

Hives that have changed:
#  Name
0  <SAM>
Write hive files? (y/n) [n] : y
0  <SAM> - OK

6. The Administrator password has been changed, you can check this as follows:

root@sysresccd /root/mnt/vda2/Windows/System32/config % chntpw -i SAM

===== chntpw Edit User Info & Passwords ====

| RID -|---------- Username ------------| Admin? |- Lock? --|
| 01f4 | Administrator                  | ADMIN  | *BLANK*  |
| 01f5 | Guest                          |        | dis/lock |

Please enter user number (RID) or 0 to exit: [1f4] 0

Please note: The *BLANK* entry indicates, that currently no Administrator password is set!

7. Exit the rescue mode and reboot your server back to the operating system:

root@sysresccd /root % exitrescue
Server was set to boot from normal harddisk at the next boot!
Please enter "reboot" to reboot the system!
root@sysresccd /root % reboot

8. Last of all, you can login to your server via VNC without password for setting a new password. Therefore, please choose one of the following options:

(The login credentials of your VNC access have been sent in our initial e-mail to your authorized e-mail address)

1st option:

Control panel > User accounts > User accounts > Manage accounts > Change account > Create password

Windows-PW setzen (klein)

2nd option:

Please open the command prompt on the desktop and enter the following command:

C:\Users\Administrator> net user Administrator <password>

Screenshot EN

A new password has been created, it is valid for the "Administrator" user account from now on.

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