￼As administrators for our servers, we may find ourselves needing to do certain things while on the go. We may also not have a laptop or PC within reach. But one thing most of us have at all times is a cell phone. Whether we have an Android or an iPhone, most of us do possess a smartphone. One thing great about these smartphones is their constant connection to the Internet. Having that constant connection makes it simple to use various apps that assist with admin tasks through our smartphones. Here is a list of five applications available both on iPhone and Android. If you are interested in checking them out, click on your phone’s type next to the application name. You can also search for these applications by name in your smartphone’s app store. Continue reading “5 Android/iPhone Apps for IT Admins”
How Do I Get Back Into RDP?
You may be working from a local machine that has an IP that is not scoped on that RDP port, making it impossible for you to gain remote access to add the IP address to the RDP rule’s scope. Do not fret; there is a simple and quick way to add your IP to the RDP scoping (or any others entities such as MySQL or MSSQL) right through your Plesk interface in your local browser. You can watch this video, or scroll down for step-by-step directions.
For security purposes, it is always recommended that you scope off your Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection on your server. Putting a scope on the RDP rule in the Windows Firewall will allow only the indicated IP addresses to gain access to the server through Remote Desktop Protocol. The issue is that many of us do not have static IP addresses, but rather Dynamic IP addresses. This means that while at one time our IP address may be 120.32.111.01, it may change to something like 95.42.121.01 later. So if you were to add 120.32.111.01 to the RDP firewall for a customer or a system administrator, then you may need to add another rule for a different IP address.
Adding Your IP in Plesk
Step 1: Log in to Plesk
First, we need to make sure we know how to get to that Plesk login page. By default, the Plesk login page is https://<YourServerIP>:8443. For example https://188.8.131.52:8443
We should arrive on a page with this in the center. Go ahead and type in Admin for the username and your password for Plesk. Usually, that password is set up by our team and is the default Server Administrator Password. Sometimes the username is Administrator, depending on a few variables. But one of the two user names should be fine.
Step 2: Tools & Settings
The first thing we need to do after we log into Plesk through the previous page is to navigate to the Firewall Rules. Go ahead and click on Tools & Settings. It will be located in the right sidebar near the bottom as shown below.
Step 3: Firewall
Once we pull up Tools & Settings go ahead and click on our destination, Firewall. You will find that option under the Security section. It will be the second option, just under Security Policy.
Step 4: Firewall Rules
After we are in the Firewall management, go ahead and click on Firewall Rules. This is where we will add the rule to allow a certain IP address to gain RDP access.
Step 5: Add a Firewall Rule
Under Tools, after going into the Firewall Rules, we will see the option labeled Add Firewall Rule. Go ahead and click on that, bringing us to our next step.
Step 6: Add Detail the the New Rule
This is the page that we see after clicking on Add Firewall Rule. It can seem to be complicated and intimidating for some beginner level System Administrators, but it is quite simple.
If you or your client are not sure what that IP address that needs RDP access is, Liquid Web has a great site to visit that will only display your IP address here.
Once you enter the IP address into the text box under Remote addresses, you do need to click the ADD button before clicking on OK.
As mentioned above, after clicking the ADD button while the IP address is entered into the Add an IP address or a network text box, it will be placed into the left text box. After that step, you will then be able to click OK to apply this rule to the firewall for the server.
Step 7: Connect to RDP
The individual at that IP address can now access the server via RDP. If you would like more information on how to use Remote Desktop Connection, you can find a help article explaining exactly how to do that here.
Congratulations! You now know how to add an IP address to an RDP rule that will allow a user to connect if the RDP is scoped off to the public. This can be done many times. Although Plesk does not allow you to edit the rule, you will have to create a new one each time. But this shouldn’t cause any issues. Also, keep in mind that this method can be used for any port, including MySQL and MSSQL.
If you ever have any trouble with your Liquid Web server, feel free to contact us through our chats system, by submitting a ticket, or by calling 800-580-4985. We’d love to help!
The most common way to remotely manage a Windows server is through Remote Desktop Protocol. By default, Liquid Web’s Windows servers only allow the members of the administrators’ group remote desktop access. However, the Remote Desktop Users group grants its members access to securely connect to the server through RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) as well.
This article will go over the basics of the Remote Desktop Users group. By the end, you will be able to add users to the group, understand permissions, and basic user management.
The information below covers methods to configure the Remote Desktop Users group for Windows Server 2012 through Windows Server 2016 on any Liquid Web Windows server. As a valued customer, if you do not feel comfortable performing these steps independently, please contact our support team for additional assistance. Liquid Web support is happy to walk you through the steps and answer any questions you may have.
Managing Local Users and Groups
Users and groups on Windows servers are managed in a number of different ways, but the most user-friendly way is through the Local Users and Groups interface. There are several ways to open the interface. However, the easiest is to run “lusrmgr.msc”. Lusrmgr.msc can be launched by searching the start menu, command line, or through a run dialog. These methods allow you to find users and groups easily.
Once you open the Local Users and Groups interface, you will see two folders on the left, one for Users, and one for Groups. By selecting Users, you will see a full list of local users on the server. You can also see a variety of related tasks by right-clicking Users, Groups, a user’s name, or a blank area of the middle pane.
There are several ways to add a new user through the Local Users and Groups interface. These methods all result in the same “New User” dialog box opening where you can then configure a Username, Password, and other options. Choose one of the options below to create a new user:
- With the Users folder selected in the left pane, click the Action menu, then select “New User…”.
- With the Users folder selected in the left pane, click “More Actions” from the right- hand pane, then select “New User…”.
- Right-click the Users folder, then select “New User…”.
- With the Users folder selected in the left pane, right-click in a blank area of the middle page, then select “New User…”.
Once you have created a new user, or have identified the username of the existing user, you are ready to assign that user to a Group. Users assigned to a group are known as group members.
As with user management, group management can also be performed in several ways. The options below cover several of the most common ways to assign a new member to the Remote Desktop Users group:
- Select the Users folder from the left pane of the Local Users and Groups interface, open the Users Properties window by double-clicking the user, select the “Member Of” tab, then click “Add…”. Now type “Remote Desktop Users” in the text box and click OK.
- Select the Groups folder from the left pane of the Local Users and Groups interface, double-click the “Remote Desktop Users” group, click “Add…”, enter the user’s name in the text box and click OK.
- Open the system settings by right-clicking the start menu and selecting “System”, choose “Advanced system settings”, select the “Remote” tab, click the “Select Users…” button then click the “Add” button. Now enter the user’s name in the text box and click OK.
- Open the “Server Manager”, select “Local Server” from the left pane, click the blue text next to “Computer Name”, select the “Remote” tab, click the “Select Users…” button then click the “Add” button. Now enter the user’s name in the text box and click OK.
You can also use the “Advanced…” button when selecting users or groups instead of typing its name. Clicking the “Advanced…” button followed by the “Find Now” button will result in a list of users to select.
Notes on Permissions & Security
By default, there are no members of the Remote Desktop Users group and only members of the Administrators group are allowed to connect through RDP. Members added to the Remote Desktop Users group are considered non-Administrative users. These users will be unable to perform most management tasks such as installing software, managing IIS, or rebooting the server.
If a user requires management abilities, the user will need explicit access to that task or will need to be a member of the Administrators. Please use the best practice of “least privilege” when configuring your users, groups, and permissions.
Test/Verify Group Membership
When configuring new user and group memberships, you should always review group membership once complete. Reviewing group membership is most commonly performed through the Local Users and Groups interface. In addition to verifying membership, we also recommend attempting a remote desktop connection with your newest Remote Desktop Users group member. If you are unable to connect with your user, please see our Remote Desktop Troubleshooting article.
Once you have logged in with your newest member of the Remote Desktop Users group, you can further verify that groups are set up correctly by running the command “whoami /groups” from a command line. The output of this command lists the username and its associated Group names.
A few configuration changes are needed as part of the basic setup with a new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server. This article will provide a comprehensive list of those basic configurations and help to improve the security and usability of your server while creating a solid foundation to build on. Continue reading “Getting Started with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS”