In this tutorial – Setup a VPS web hosting account – I'll walk you through those basic steps, advising on the Linux systems available, configuring some options and illustrating a typical unmanaged VPS control panel.
It takes 5 minutes, from sign up to booting the box for the first time. OK, it'll take you longer the first time.
You can watch the video for a walk-through of a typical control panel and Linux distribution setup. For that, and for this tutorial, I'm using the excellent VPS provider Linode as an example.
How To Set Up a Linux Distribution on Your VPS
Sign Up & Choose Your Plan
OK, so if you have a real hustle-bustle site you may want a larger server chunk, maybe even a server rack, but for the vast majority of us the basic will do, at least for now. For guvnr.com and a bunch of sister sites, blogs and client developments, I chose the Linode 360 with 360MB RAM, 18GB storage and 200GB monthly data transfer (that image is old .. Linode were feeling generous a few months back). That's $20 a month. You can always upgrade later, either to a bigger plan or just with extra RAM, space and so on.
Login to Linode Manager ..
.. with the password they emailed you. You'll be directed to the Linode Manager homepage, where you can manage your Linode, your DNS settings, your account, and submit support tickets. Should you so require, you can add more Linodes and IP addresses there too.
Check Out Your Linode
Feel free to get a bit excited. Click on the Linode, Slice, what-have-you…
…and that takes you to the Dashboard, where you can create or delete configuration profiles, disk images and Linux distributions (distros), shutdown/boot/reboot a distro, check various stats and generally salivate.
From here you can also click through to your:-
- Ajax Console really handy if you lock yourself out of the command line interface, which we'll be setting up in the next part
- Network Manager where you can check network settings, set reverse DNS for email and, for multi Linodes, add and move IPs, and configure IP failover
- Graphs to check CPU, Traffic and Disk In-Out
- Settings & Utilities where you can set root passwords, set alerts and the Shutdown Watchdog, and clone a Linode
- Extras where you can add or remove extra resources, rather than upgrade the entire plan
.. But ignore all that for now. Instead, head over to Install a Linux Distribution to a VPS and, guess what, we'll do just that.
Ciao for now.