So I’m transferring VPS hosts, as of less than an hour ago. Not that there was anything to transfer (I store important stuff on local systems, backed up to BackBlaze, and host this blog and my other personal stuff on MDDHosting) but I’ll be ending my stint at Virpus Networks with the end of my billing cycle. Not that they’re bad or anything, but with my new provider, QuickWeb, I’ll be utilizing what’s arguably the world’s best data center network (SoftLayer) and spending less money while I’m at it ($25 every three months instead of $12 every month).

The server also seems to be more snappy; not sure whether it’s because the Virpus server is packing more VPSes onto a machine stocked with four dual-core Pentium 4 based Xeon chips (at 3 GHz) versus the QuickWeb Xeon 3220 VPS count or what, but the QuickWeb server feels…well…quicker. Sure, I’ll be limited to 1TB of transfer (yeah I know, *limited*) per month (versus 1500GB for $7 or 3000GB for $12 at Virpus) but that 1TB can be transferred over a fire hose of a connection: a gigabit port, to be exact. Needless to say, if I need to deliver some files quickly to a bunch of folks they’re going on this server.

But back to the title of this post…here are some quick VPS-related tips…key words will be linked…eventually…

  1. If you’re doing file serving, do it with nginx. It can be installed via the command line from apt-get and runs smoking-fast. I’ve heard that the Cherokee web server is similarly awesome but haven’t tried it out yet.
  2. Need a “virtual desktop” experience for web browsing? Install xfce4 and tightvncserver packages. If you don’t like GMail freaking out on you (saying your browser isn’t supported) and/or want to use Flash without bending over backwards, grab Firefox. For something fast, light and still compatible with most sites you come across, grab Midori. For a text-based browser, Links is awesome. For Firefox, the flashplugin-nonfree package will get you Flash goodness. NOTE: Chromium (Google Chrome’s geeky twin), when I tried it, didn’t work.
  3. If you want to change the text displayed when you log into your system via SSH, edit /etc/motd (make a backup first, just for kicks). You’ll need to restart your SSH daemon (/etc/init.d/ssh restart) to get the changes to register.
  4. To change your server’s host name (for example to align it with the domain name you’re using to access the server) type in hostname NEWSERVERNAME (including the domain) and you’ll be good to go.
  5. To change your root password, log in as root and type in passwd. Yeah I know, that one’s a gimme but never hurts to state the obvious, right?

Y’all have a nice night now, ya hear?