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How to get started with a VPS

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a virtual private server. Sometimes it is called VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) – a virtual dedicated server. These abbreviations are equivalent. They are used to refer to a virtual machine that emulates the work of a dedicated physical server.

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09.07.2022

VPS (Virtual Private Server) is a virtual private server. Sometimes it is called VDS (Virtual Dedicated Server) – a virtual dedicated server. These abbreviations are equivalent. They are used to refer to a virtual machine that emulates the work of a dedicated physical server. The VPS user receives exactly the same functionality as when working with a physical server, but at a lower cost.

VPS hosting offers a much wider range of functionality than standard shared hosting. VPS hosting allows you to install your preferred operating system and create an arbitrary number of websites on the virtual server. Our prices for VPS in Germany and Russia are the same.

The technical equipment of YottaHost's data centres located in different countries is fully compliant with modern requirements. Therefore the level of VPS service in Russia is as high as in the EU countries.

Buying a VPS and choosing a plan

An NVMe VPS is a virtual server organised on ultra-fast NVMe drives. Read and write operations are 10 times faster than SSDs and up to 100 times faster than HDDs.

Check the NVMe VPS plans carefully and choose the one that suits you best. If you need more traffic or more disk space, later on, you can always switch to another plan.

Please note! If you purchase a VPS, you get root rights and can administer the virtual private server yourself. In this case, you are fully responsible for the consequences of your actions.

We advise you to consider a data backup policy and protection against DDoS attacks right away. If you have any questions, we recommend that you contact our 24-hour technical support team (email: [email protected]). If you are not yet a customer of our company, an email with pre-sales questions can be sent to: [email protected].

We offer extended support services on request. In this case, the customer delegates the server administration and the protection of the information on the server to us.

For an additional fee, our specialists can:

  • organise automatic data backups;

  • protect your server from DDoS attacks;

  • install and configure firewalls;

  • transfer your data from the old server to the new one;

  • perform all server administration operations;

  • install the software and make any necessary settings;

  • monitor and resolve all problems on the server 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; perform a full server audit twice a month.

At the same time as buying a VPS, you need to decide in advance which operating system will be installed on your server.

Additional services can be ordered both before you start working on the server and during the process.

After selecting a tariff, you will be asked to register. In the form that appears on the screen, enter your details, including your email address. The first step is to follow the Wizard's prompts to create the VPS, select the operating system your server will run on and the additional software.

After selecting all options, pay for the VPS with the specified parameters according to the tariff plan. It should take a few minutes from the moment of payment to the activation of the virtual server. When VPS is created, information about it (together with IP address) will appear in the Account Control Panel. If you buy more than one VPS, you will see their details listed in Account Dashboard. Also, contact information, account status and additional services available to you will be displayed in your Dashboard. When you create a virtual server, a user with root rights (superuser) is automatically generated in the Control Panel. An email will be sent to the email address you provide with the credentials to access the VPS.

Connecting to a VPS

Connection to the VPS is via the Secure Shell (SSH) communication protocol. To establish an SSH connection, an SSH server must be installed on the VPS and an SSH client must be installed on your computer. Typically, OS distributions installed on a VPS include an OpenSSH SSH server.

A universal SSH client that can be used on Windows, Linux and macOS – PuTTY.

Windows users only need to download PuTTY and install it on their computers.

To install PuTTY on Debian you must enter the commands:

sudo aptitude install putty

sudo aptitude install putty-tools

The command for macOS (enter in the terminal):

brew install putty (or) port install putty

To establish an SSH connection, open PuTTY and enter the server name or IPv4 address.

To avoid entering the port number and IP address every time, press the <Save> button and name the session. Next time you will only need to open an already saved session.

The first time you connect to the virtual server, after you press <Open>, the software will give you a warning:

Press <Yes>. You will then be able to continue with the command-line interface (CLI).

Once the connection is established, you will be prompted for a user name (root) and password. These details can be found in your personal account in the Account Control Panel. The first time you can log in as a user with maximum access level, entering root as your login. When entering the password, no characters are shown on the screen.

For security reasons, it is best to create another user with administration rights straight away:

adduser <username>

The system will ask for a password. Make up a moderately complex password and make sure you write it down so you don't forget it. Give the new user superuser rights. This will require:

  1. Update the package index:

apt-get update

  1. Install the sudo utility:

apt-get install sudo

  1. Give the user superuser rights:

usermod -a -G sudo <username>

You can now log on as a super user with administration rights:

ssh <username>@><IPv4-address VPS>

If you need to change your password, use the command:

~ $ sudo passwd

The system will prompt you to enter a new password, and then confirm it:

~$ sudo passwd
New password:
Retype new password:
passwd: password updated successfully

SSH commands

When working with the console, you may need to copy a file to the server or browse a directory. Here is a short list of commands:

  • ls – displays a list of files in the directory. ls -l - displays files with details. ls -a - displays all files and folders, including hidden ones;

  • cd <the path to the directory you require> – go to the specified directory. cd... - moves from the current directory to the top directory (one level higher);

  • mkdir [directory] – directory creation;

  • cp <filename1> <filename2> – copy file1 to file2;

  • mv <filename1> <filename2> – move file1 to file2 (can be renamed);

  • rm <filename> – file deletion;

  • chmod <name> – setting access rights to a file or directory;

  • cat <filename> – outputs the contents of the file;

  • mc – Running Midnight Commander (a file manager with an interface and functionality similar to Norton Commander).

SSH key authentication

If you often have to connect to a VPS, it's inconvenient to have to enter your password every time. Making it easy means neglecting security So we recommend generating SSH keys. It will be easier for you to connect to the virtual server and its protection from intruders will be much safer.

The best way to generate public and private keys is to use PuTTYgen. It can be downloaded for free at https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html.

After pressing the <Generate> button, the utility starts creating an array of random numbers. The user has to chaotically drive the mouse over an empty field in the program window. After a while the utility will generate 2 keys:

  • The private key should be left on your computer. To remember it, click on <Save private key>. This key must be stored so that no one else has access to it;

  • The public key should be copied to the virtual server, to the .ssh/authorized_keys file.

To add a public key to the server, an SSH connection must be established using PuTTY. The root directory of the virtual server must have an .ssh subdirectory. If there is no such directory, it must be created:

mkdir ~/.ssh

If a .ssh directory exists, enter the command:

cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys << EOF

Copy the public key from the PuTTYgen window into the file that opens. All you have to do now is enter your username when establishing the connection, no password will be required.

Installing and reinstalling the system on a VPS

Virtual server management is performed via billing. In this service, it is easy to add domain names, DNS server addresses. If necessary, it is easy to increase the amount of disk space, traffic, and memory.

You can perform any manipulations with VPS: switching it on and off, installing and reinstalling the system. All you need to do is to choose appropriate options in the menu. After reinstalling the system on the server an e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address with your credentials.

It is essential to understand that if you change your system (from CentOS X to Ubuntu X, for example) the data on the server will not be saved. If you are not sure if you can reinstall the system yourself without losing your data, contact Technical Support.