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25Mar/200

Plesk training at Contabo

Many of you, our valued customers, already use the popular administration panel Plesk Obsidian, since it offers lots of possibilities to manage and administrate your server in an easy way.

In cooperation with our partner Plesk, we also offer you the unique opportunity to try Plesk Obsidian one month for free - the offer is valid for all our VPS and dedicated servers!

The fact that Plesk Obsidian has lots of exciting and helpful features, allowing you to manage your Contabo VPS / server and everything involved with it in a convenient way, leads to lots of inquiries in our customer support department - totally understandable!

For us to be able to assist you in a smooth and at the same time qualified way, we invited Plesk to our offices in Munich and Nuremberg back in January. The experts conducted a one-day-training, followed by a test. In the end, all participants received an official Plesk certificate for completing the course! Now our colleagues are experts in Plesk and have quite a few tips & tricks up their sleeves 🙂

Plesk training in our Munich data center
Plesk training in our Nuremberg data center

Of course, not everyone interested in this training could participate, as we had to ensure our customer support would still be available for you! That's why we are happy to welcome Plesk again in the future - for additional and advanced training sessions. Stay tuned, we will keep you posted!

27Feb/200

The “Managed Server” upgrade explained

In general we provide you and all of our customers with root or administrator access to your servers, in order to enable you to configure your servers according to your own ideas and requirements. Nonetheless, we understand ourselves as a 'full service agency' for our customers, so we provide any support required upon request. Usually this is done free of charge for smaller tasks which can be completed in just a few minutes of time, but if an extensive request exceeds the scope of our regular support, we require confirmation for additional costs.

With the “Managed Server” upgrade you pay a fixed price of 49.99 EUR monthly, and in turn you can claim two hours of technical support each month for problem resolving, configurations, installations, and monthly tasks like updates, performance optimizations, etc.

This upgrade turns your root server into a managed server. Our technicians take care of the security, the upgrades and - as far as possible - the stability of the server system. Furthermore you can make use of our extended customer support whenever you need it.

After ordering the upgrade, you simply let us know which technical tasks we should cover for you, either one-time or every month. The upgrade includes two hours of technical support per month. Should one of your tasks take longer or the two hours will be exceeded by it, we will contact you immediately. Then you can decide if it should be billed separately or its scope should be limited, for example.

Please find below a list of sample server management tasks you can assign to our technicians when ordering this upgrade. All common Linux and Windows operating systems are supported:

  • System and hardware optimization
  • Software installation and configuration
  • Implementing security patches
  • Kernel upgrades
  • Emergency problem resolution
  • Ongoing OS and control panel updates
  • Setting up a backup routine

The “Managed Server” upgrade is valid only for the server you have ordered it for. If you have multiple servers, you cannot share your monthly two hours managed server time between them.

16Jan/200

Scheduled backups in cPanel and Plesk

Creating backups is a very important task for every server administrator. A loss of data often occurs suddenly without a warning. It is possible to create backups manually, but we would recommend to configure automatic backups. The steps below were tested by us, but you should always check yourself if the backups are still running from time to time and if it is possible to restore the required data from it! A backup should be stored outside of the system. In the examples below we are using the Contabo Backup Space. You can order it additionally to your server.

Scheduled backups in cPanel

To configure automatic backups in cPanel, please go to WHM > Backup > Backup configuration. At first you have to set the tick at "Enable Backups". Then we would recommend to set the backup to "compressed". With incremental backups, you can not save to FTP in cPanel. The other global settings should be left the way they are.

In the section "Scheduling and Retention", it is useful in most cases to select every day of the week except Sunday and to keep six of those daily backups. Furthermore you should enable weekly backups and keep four of them, just in case a problem is noticed later or with some delay. Please create the weekly backups on Sunday, the day we left out in the section for the daily backups.

If you are not sure what you should backup in the next section, you can just select everything as shown in the image below. If you need to save backup space, you can unselect the system files and change the database backups from "Per account and entire MySQL Directory" to "Per account only". Normally the files and databases of the accounts will contain the most important data and the other parts contain settings that can be reconfigured after reinstalling the server in case of a full loss of data.

The next settings should be left the way they are. Especially the option "Mount Backup Drive as Needed" should be left without a tick, as this will cause problems if /backup is no mount point for a separate partition or drive:

Then please click on "Additional Destinations" at the top of the site. There you can configure the remote storage for your backup. You will find the correct settings for the Contabo Backup Space below. Unfortunately cPanel does not support ftps, so you should leave the tick for "Transfer System Backups to the Destination" unselected. Please confirm and save your data with the option "Save and Validate Option".

Backups can be restored in WHM > Backup > Backup Restoration. There you can select "Restore by Date" and you will see all available backups in the calendar. Please select the date with the last known good state and move the users you want to restore into the restoration queue. With "Restore", you will restore all the listed accounts.

Scheduled backups in Plesk

To configure automatic backups in Plesk, please go to Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager > Schedule .
On the site, please put a tick at "Activate this backup task". Then select a reasonable time for your backups. As backups require a lot of resources and might slow down your system, you should perform your backups in the night, for example at 2:00 am. In the most use cases it is a good idea to configure daily incremental backups and to perform a full backup once a week. Incremental backups will just store the changes, so it is possible to restore your data from every available day. But the required backup storage is less than with a daily full backup. In the section "Backup settings", you can add a remote ftp backup storage. This makes sense, as the backup is then stored independently from your system. Please fill in your credentials in the form that opens and enable passive mode and FTPS as shown in the image below:

After the remote backup storage got added, please select that you want to store the backups locally and on the remote FTP storage you just added. Also it makes sense to add an e-mail address where the server can inform you in case something goes wrong during your backup task. Please check your settings with the help of the image below and click on apply.

After the the first backup is done, you should see a list of the available backups listed by day and time in Tools & Settings > Tools & Resources > Backup Manager. To download or restore a backup, please klick on the required backup. In the section "Backup content", you can choose between restoring "Selected objects" and "All objects". In Selected Objects, you will have several options to only restore specific content like e-mail accounts from a selected domain. You have to move all units you want to restore from the left window to the right and confirm with "Restore".

28Nov/192

Black Friday Deal: No setup fees for any VPS order!

In case you know us already, you are surely aware that we offer an unbeatable price-/performance ratio. Some even say that at Contabo, every day feels like Black Friday!

But this year we take it to the next level and for the first time, we offer you a special Black Friday deal:

No setup fees for any VPS order!

Black Friday 2019 at Contabo

Our offer is unlimited, which means that you can purchase as many VPS as you want!

The promotion starts on Black Friday, November 29th, 8:00 am CET, and lasts until Cyber Monday, December 2nd, 11:59 pm PST (December 3rd, 8:59 am CET)!

In other words: 4 days, best VPS prices, no setup fees! For example, you can get a 100% SSD VPS with 4 Intel® Xeon® cores, 8 GB RAM and 200 GB for just €4.99/month. No strings attached.

Sounds good? Great! Then please go to our website and order as many VPS as you want to - of course with no setup fees!

Posted by: Markus | Tagged as: , , , , , 2 Comments
13Nov/190

Plesk Obsidian: Try many new features for free!

The new Plesk Obsidian is available for quite a while now. Time for us to introduce it and, as the title of the posting suggests, make you aware of our exclusive promotion with Plesk:

You can try Plesk Obsidian one month for free in combination with every VPS and dedicated server at Contabo! Just select your preferred edition during the order process on contabo.com in the section "Administration panel". Further information is also available on our dedicated Plesk info site.

But what are the new and interesting features of Plesk Obsidian? To be honest, there are quite a lot and it is virtually impossible to list them all in our blog. So we will just concentrate on a few of them, you are of course free to check the Plesk website for more details!

New design!
Thanks to improvements in the user interface and user experience area the management of your projects is easier than ever and the new Plesk Obsidian offers a better customer experience!

PHP Composer v2.0
Less SSH interactions thanks to the new PHP composer: edit composer.json or run install and update commands easily!

Improved File Manager
Mass uploads of files and a new file search make working with Plesk Obsidian much more convenient.

Repair Kit
Issues with Plesk are a thing of the past. The Repair Kit automatically identifies problems and resolves them. It also provides a list of processes running on the server and you can manage / deactivate them if necessary.

Move domains between subscriptions
Organize your projects the way you like to and simply move & assign your domains to different subscriptions.

Personalized HTML notifications
... are available as e-mails now and easier to read than standard text messages. In addition to that, panel notifications are now available as well. Keep track of critical issues and solve them immediately!

Should you have questions about Plesk or about our services in general, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support. We are available to assist on 365 days per year!

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!

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/;
           }
    }

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
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