What is Softaculous?

The Softaculous auto-installer allows the installation of web applications with the click of a button. A wide variety of applications are available to be easily installed, including web portals, e-commerce solutions, content management systems, blogs, polls, forums and more. Softaculous can take over the installations of other auto-installers. Softaculous also has an easy-to-use backup feature, allowing for the backup of installations at anytime.

Continue reading “What is Softaculous?”

Windows: Accessing Your Server with Remote Desktop

This article explains how to use Remote Desktop to access your Windows server’s desktop from anywhere in the world.

Please note that this article pertains only to customers who have a Windows server hosted with Liquid Web. Customers with Linux servers can learn how to use SSH to access their server.

On a normal Windows computer you have a keyboard, monitor, and mouse that allow you to interact with the machine. For Windows servers hosted on the Internet, things are a bit different because your server could physically be thousands of miles away. To access the desktop of an Internet-hosted server, Microsoft has created a feature known as Remote Desktop.

Supported Operating Systems

All Liquid Web Windows servers are capable of Remote Desktop.  However, not all client computers can use it.  Here is a list of operating systems known to be capable of communicating with your Windows server with Remote Desktop:

Remote Desktop from a Windows Computer

  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Click Run…
  3. Type “mstsc” and press the Enter key.
  4. Next to Computer: type in the IP address of your server
  5. Click Connect.
  6. If all goes well, you will see the Windows login prompt.

Remote Desktop from a Linux Computer with RDesktop

  1. Open a command shell using xterm
  2. Type ‘rdesktop’ at the command prompt to see if you have rdesktop installed
  3. If rdesktop is installed, then proceed.  Otherwise, you will need to install the rdesktop package for your flavor of Linux.
  4. Type ‘rdesktop’ followed by your server’s IP address.  Then press Enter.
    • Example:
      $ rdesktop 72.52.246.40
  5. If all goes well, you will see the Windows login prompt.

Remote Desktop from Mac OS X

  1. Using Microsoft Remote Desktop (Mac OS X versions 10.9 and later):
    • Install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the Mac App Store.
    • Click the New button or use the shortcut Command + N to set up a connection to your server with the following settings:

      MacRDPSetup

      • PC name: You can use your server’s IP address or its hostname (if the hostname has an appropriate DNS record and resolves).
      • User name: To access the admin account, use “Administrator”.
      • Password: Enter the Administrator password.
      • Configure full-screen and multi-monitor settings to your preference.
    • Once you’ve filled in the appropriate settings, close the Edit Remote Desktops window.
    • Select your connection under My Desktops and press the Start button in the menu to connect (or simply press the return key on your keyboard).

      MacRDPConnect

    • If your server uses a self-signed SSL certificate, a message will be displayed as Remote Desktop is negotiating credentials. You can either press Continue to proceed with the connection or, to permanently store the certificate and connect directly in the future, click Show Certificate and then check the box next to Always trust … before clicking Continue to proceed.
  2. Using CoRD (Mac OS X versions 10.5 through 10.8 only):
    • Download and install the CoRD application here.
    • Open the application and click on the File menu, then New Server
    • You will be presented with a window where you can specify information about the server you are connecting to.
    • Enter the server’s hostname or IP address in the Address field.
    • You can alter the other settings in this window if you wish but all you need to start the connection is the address.
    • When you are finished making changes, press the enter/return key on your keyboard or simply close the new server window.
    • Your new server profile will appear in the list to the left side of the application. Double click on it and you will start the connection to your server.
  3. Using the Microsoft RDP Tool (Mac OS X versions prior to 10.7 only):
    • Download and install the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac here.
    • When you open the application, you will be prompted for the “Computer:” you would like to connect to. You can enter the server’s hostname or IP address.
    • After you click Connect the client will ask for your user name and password. If it fails to connect, you can try again inside the remote connection window.

 

VPS Hosting Overview

The middle tier of hosting options provided by Liquid Web are the Storm VPS packages (Virtual Private Server).  VPS packages are designed for sites with low to medium traffic, small web hosts or designers with a small number of websites, or as a staging or development environment for testing a new application. Continue reading “VPS Hosting Overview”

Restarting Services From the Command Line

One of the more common tasks that needs to be done on live servers is restarting services(such as Apache, mail, ftp, and DNS). A few of the reasons for services needing to be restarted can vary from the service crashing, the load on the server being too high, or a restart to make a configuration change take affect.

Continue reading “Restarting Services From the Command Line”

Configuring Backups in Plesk 12.5

Pre-Flight Check

Configuring Backup Settings

  1. From Plesk’s Tools & Settings panel, locate the Tools & Resources menu and click on Backup Manager.

    BackupManager

  2. Click the Settings tab to configure backup settings:

    BackupManagerSettings

    When configuring your backup settings, there are several items to which you will want to pay particular attention:

    • Maximum number of scheduled backups to store: It is critically important that you consider both the total size of subscriptions and the server’s available disk space when determining how many backups to store. If you do not set a reasonable limit, you could cause the server to run out of disk space, affecting both server stability and service availability. Moreover, Plesk will continue to attempt to create backups even if there is no disk space available; in that event, any newly-created “backups” will be zero-k (empty) files, overwriting the oldest existing backup in turn until no viable backup files remain. As Plesk backups are not managed by Liquid Web, you will want to take care when configuring this setting.
      Note: Please note that you can manually download backups from Plesk at any time. If you find that your available disk space is insufficient to retain the number of backups you wish to store, and you do not wish to download them for local storage, you always have the option to purchase additional storage (an additional drive or a Storm® Block Storage device, depending on your server type).
    • Do not compress backup files: If you select this option, compression will be disabled and each backup file will take up the same amount of space on the server as the full account.
    • Allow setting up personal FTP backup storage on the local server: This option allows users to configure backups for their Plesk accounts in their own FTP directories on the server. If enabled, this option will double the amount of disk space used upon creation of each backup, potentially causing the server out of free disk space. If you elect to activate this option, please adjust your backup retention accordingly.
    • Password type: If you choose to encrypt the backups with Plesk’s encryption key (which is unique to each Plesk installation), you will not be able to restore the backups to any other server. Instead, it is recommended that you use the Specified password option to set a password; password-encrypted backups can be restored on any server.

Manually Backing up the Entire Server

By clicking the Back Up button in Backup Manager, you can manually take a full or incremental backup of the server configuration or server configuration and content:

BackUptheServer

Scheduling Backups

From Backup Manager, click the Schedule button to set up automatic full or incremental backups of the domain configuration, mail configuration and content, and/or user files (including databases):

ScheduledBackups

Note: Incremental backups take up less space and are less resource-intensive because only files which have changed since the last backup are copied over. They also allow you to more quickly restore individual files. However, you only ever will have a single restore point. In the event that backups ran after a file was deleted or damaged, the original would be overwritten.

Restoring a Backup

  1. From Backup Manager, click the date of an available backup to begin the process of restoring from the backup. If the backup is not stored on the server, you can click the Upload button to upload it to the list.
  2. On the backup restoration page, use the Type of object to restore select menu to choose whether you want to restore the entire subscription or only a part, such as the mail account, database, or sites.

    Restore options

  3. The restoration will begin once you click the Restore button.

    LImitedRestore