Author: Atlantic.Net NOC

How to Install Java (JRE or JDK) on Ubuntu 16.04

Java Illustration by Walker Cahall

Java Illustration by Walker Cahall

Verified and Tested 03/4/16

Introduction

If you had the option to choose between a base model car or a fully loaded model, which one would you choose?

Both cars will take you from point A to point B, but with the fully loaded car you have additional features that can make rush hour a chill hour.

Well, that’s the same concept when we take a closer look at Java. There are two standard types of installations, JRE (Java Runtime Environment) and JDK (Java Development Kit). Like the base model car, JRE enables the ability to create Java Applications for different types of deployments using minimal core tools to accomplish the task. JDK is a fully loaded Development Kit that has everything that JRE has plus additional resources to create/secure Applications and Applets.

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What is the cPanel TSR-2016-0001 Announcement?

Atlantic.Net NOC January 21, 2016 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments

Introduction

On January 18th, 2016, cPanel announced a patch to address security concerns with cPanel and WHM (TSR-2016-0001).  This patch addresses 20 vulnerabilities in cPanel & WHM cloud hosting software versions 11.54, 11.52, 11.50, and 11.48.

cPanel has rated these updates as having CVSSv2 scores ranging from 2.1 to 10.0.  Security level definitions can be located here.

At this time, additional information regarding the security vulnerabilities has not been made available.  This information is currently set to be released on January 25th, 2016.  You can check the cPanel Announcement page here for updates.

So what does this mean?

cPanel is suggesting that all cPanel/WHM servers that are not set to automatically update perform manual updates to the policies.  This will fix the vulnerabilities before they become an issue.

The Fix for the cPanel TSR-2016-0001 Announcement

Start by logging into your WHM management page.  In the options on the left, almost all the way at the bottom is a section named “cPanel” and under that section is “Upgrade to Latest Version”.  By clicking on Upgrade… option, it will take you to a page allowing our to “Click to Upgrade.”

cpanelupdate

After clicking on the blue “Click to Upgrade” button, an installation window will appear and run.  This may take a few minutes, but be assured that the process is running.  Once this is completed, the completion bar will state 100%, and the text box will turn green.  This means all your cPanel accounts have been updated to the current version and are safe from the potential vulnerabilities.

cpanelupdate2


How to: SFTP Commands – Securely Transfer Files to a Remote Server

Atlantic.Net NOC December 29, 2015 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments
Verified and Tested 08/31/15

Introduction

In this How-to, we will be going over the  SFTP commands to make our lives easier and to work more effective in our shell sessions. SFTP is an acronym for “Secure File Transfer Protocol” and it is a secure way for file management over a network using SSH. Essentially it is FTP using SSH.

Prerequisites

– You need two Linux servers that configured with static IP addresses. One server to run the SFTP commands and one server to connect via SFTP.

If you need Linux servers, you can visit our Linux Cloud Hosting page and spin up a new server in under 30 seconds.

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How to: MTR – Understanding and Troubleshooting Network Connectivity

Atlantic.Net NOC December 24, 2015 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments
Verified and Tested 12/23/15

Introduction

MTR (originally, Matt’s TraceRoute, now just My TraceRoute) is a handy, lightweight tool in a UNIX/Linux administrator’s arsenal that can help to identify and diagnose common network issues such as latency, packet loss, and routing errors. It is a powerful 2-in-1 tool that combines and displays the results of a traceroute and a ping with one command. Let’s go over the basics of using MTR and how to interpret the data it provides.

Prerequisites

  • You’ll need a Linux server, and if you do not have a server already, you can visit our Cloud Hosting page and spin a new server up in under 30 seconds

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How to Install WordPress on CentOS 7.1 with Apache

Shoot for the Moon by Walker Cahall

Shoot for the Moon Illustration by Walker Cahall

Verified and Tested 12/22/15

Introduction

In this How-To, we will walk you through the installation and configuration of WordPress on CentOS 7.1 with Apache. It began a blogging system that then evolved into one of the greatest and easiest content management systems today. It offers simplicity, free templates, plugins and many other features that have the potential to make a relevant, responsive website.

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How to Install Joomla on CentOS 7 with Apache

Verified and Tested 12/16/15

Introduction

In this How-To, we will walk you through the install and configuration of Joomla on CentOS 7 with Apache. Joomla, one of the most popular content management systems nowadays, is used by many web developers for new websites. It is a powerful but yet simple system that requires little technical experience to work with.

Prerequisites

– You need a CentOS 7 server that is configured with a static IP address.

– You will also need to have a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack platform if you don’t already have it.

Installing Joomla on CentOS 7 with Apache

To get started, log into your CentOS 7 server via SSH or Console. If you are using the Atlantic.Net cloud service, note that they are setup with minimal installations to avoid having unnecessary packages from being installed and never used. If some software packages that you’re used to using aren’t installed by default, feel free to install them as needed.

Let’s download tar to decompress the installation file and some dependencies that we will need to simplify this tutorial.

sudo yum install wget unzip

Make sure that your server is fully up-to-date so we can complete the preparation.

sudo yum update

Creating a Database and User for Joomla on CentOS 7

For Joomla to function correctly, we must create a database. This tutorial uses MariaDB, so let’s access MariaDB with the following command:

mysql -u root -p

Now, we must first begin creating the database that Joomla will use. This can be accomplished with the following command replacing yourdbname with your database name:

CREATE DATABASE yourdbname;

With the database created we must now create a user so it can access the database. This can be accomplished with the following command replacing yourjoomlauser with your desired username and replace yourjoomlapassword with your desired password.

CREATE USER [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'yourjoomlapassword';

Next, we grant database access to your recently created user with the following command:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON yourdbname.* TO [email protected];

Finally, we must refresh MariaDB so the system can flush the newly added privileges and for the changes to take effect, then exit your session. This can be accomplished with the following commands:

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
exit

Installing Joomla on CentOS 7

Download the most recent stable Joomla release. For this tutorial, that’s version 3.4.5. You can check here to find the most recent release.

wget https://github.com/joomla/joomla-cms/releases/download/3.4.5/Joomla_3.4.5-Stable-Full_Package.zip

After we have downloaded the package, we must move the zip file to the html directory. This can be accomplished with the following command:

mv Joomla_3.4.5-Stable-Full_Package.zip /var/www/html

Now, change to that directory and unzip the to get ready for the installation:

cd /var/www/html

Finally, we can continue with the Joomla  installation by unzipping the installation file with the following command:

unzip Joomla_3.4.5-Stable-Full_Package.zip

Furthermore,  with the following command, we can apply the appropriate permissions for the Joomla directory that was just created.

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html
chmod -R 755 /var/www/html

Joomla’s Web Configuration on CentOS 7

Your server is now configured correctly to run the web-based installation by going to the following:

http://server_domain_or_IP
or
http://your.server.IP.address/joomla

You will see the initial Joomla installation page, similar to the one below. Insert your site details and then click “Next.”

Insert your site details and then click "Next."

Insert your site details and then click “Next.”

Now we need to insert your MariaDB database information within the forms. It should look similar to the image below. Once done click “Next.”

Insert your database information that was set up at the beginning of this guide. Once done click "Next."

Insert your database information that was set up at the beginning of this guide. Once done click “Next.”

Take a look at the overview and make sure your information is correct. Once satisfied click “Install.”

Look at the overview and make sure your information is correct. Once satisfied click "Install."

Look at the overview and make sure your information is correct. Once satisfied click “Install.”

What’s Next?

Congratulations! You have just installed and configured Joomla with Apache on your CentOS 7 cloud server. Thank you for following along in this How-To and check back with us for any new updates, or learn how you can set up HIPAA-compliant WordPress hosting with Atlantic.Net.


How to Prevent Faulty Microsoft SUSE Virtio Driver from Causing Your Windows Server 2012 & 2008 VM To Fail To Boot

Atlantic.Net NOC December 10, 2015 by under VMware Hosting 0 Comments

As part of the group of patches Microsoft rolled out with their Patch Tuesday offerings from 8 December 2015, there is one optional update to the SUSE Block Driver that is causing booting issues (i.e., blue screens of death, or BSODs) for virtual machines that install it. Until Microsoft offers a fix for this faulty patch, we STRONGLY ADVISE that you avoid applying this SUSE patch.

Finding the Driver Update

The SUSE driver update is part of the optional group of updates. To be sure you don’t inadvertently select–or if you already have optional updates automatically selected–it would be safest to deselect and hide the SUSE updates.

You can find the update options in Windows 2008 and 2012 in Control Panel –> System and Security –> Windows Update. Select the link for “optional updates available”.

Finding Optional Updates

Finding Optional Updates

Deselect the Update

The faulty driver to look out for is called, “SUSE – Storage Controller – SUSE Block Driver for Windows”. As long as that line remains unchecked, your cloud server will be safe.

Hide the Update

If you’d like to be sure you don’t accidentally select this patch, you can hide it by right-clicking on the line and selecting “Hide Update” from the pop-up menu.

Hide Update Option

Hide Update Option

This action will hide the update from showing up the next time you open up your updates and examine optional updates.

For the Extra Cautious

The only driver update reported to be causing issues is the Block Driver. Until Microsoft issues a replacement patch that addresses the problems this one causes, you may also decide to avoid installing or hiding any SUSE patch for the time being.

Restoring Hidden Updates (After Microsoft Issues a Patch Fix)

When Microsoft does issue the new patch, you may restore any hidden patches from the menu item “Restore hidden updates” on the left side of the Windows Update screen.

Restore Hidden Updates

Restore Hidden Updates

More About Atlantic.Net

Atlantic.Net offers world-class hosting solutions, including VMware hosting services.


How to Install Joomla on Fedora 23 With Apache

Verified and Tested 12/08/15

Introduction

In this How-To, we will walk you through the install and configuration of Joomla on Fedora 23 with Apache. Joomla, one of the most popular content management systems nowadays, is used by many web developers for new websites. It is a powerful but yet simple system that requires little technical experience to work with.

Prerequisites

– You need a Fedora 23 server that is configured with a static IP address. If you do not have a server already, Atlantic.Net offers a wide range of reliable cloud hosting options which can be spun up in under 30 seconds.

– You will also need to have a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack platform that can be installed by clicking here if you don’t already have it.

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How to: Getting Started with Ansible

Atlantic.Net NOC November 30, 2015 by under Cloud Hosting 0 Comments

Introduction

Ansible is a system administration tool that allows for the administration of multiple devices from one central device. It compares to tools like Puppet or Chef, but whereas those packages require the installation of agents on the client systems, Ansible operates by passing commands over ssh without the need for agents at all. We’ll take a look at some of the administrative tasks Ansible is capable of so you can get a better idea of whether Ansible might be right for you.
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Prerequisites

  • A Linux, BSD, or OSX control device.
  • ssh access (firewall and credentials) to client devices from your control device. Ansible prefers the use of ssh keys to access client devices, but we’ll also show you options using username and password.
  • Python 2.6 or 2.7 installed on the control device.

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Installation

Ansible is available via the package managers from the major Linux/BSD/OSX distributions. It’s also available via Python’s pip installer.

CentOS/Fedora:

sudo yum install ansible

Ubuntu (you’ll need to add the Ansible PPA first):

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ansible/ansible
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ansible

Arch Linux:

pacman -S ansible

FreeBSD:

sudo pkg install ansible

Python package manager, pip (OSX users can install with pip as well):

sudo pip install ansible

Setting up Access to Ansible Clients

Hosts

One of the benefits of using Ansible is the ability to manage multiple clients from one control device–from the same terminal interface. You can specify various groups of client servers based on function, location, and/or OS by creating groups in the /etc/ansible/hosts file.

[mailservers]
smtp.orl-fl.example.com
smtp.dal-tx.example.com

[db_servers]
db.orl-fl.example.com
db.sfo-ca.example.com

[orlando]
smtp.orl-fl.example.com
db.orl-fl.examle.com

[nameservers]
ns[01:12].example.com

A name enclosed in square brackets [] defines a group name and includes hosts in the list that follows it. You may also indicate a sequential range within a hostname pattern with square brackets and a colon, as in ns[01:12].example.com above.

A client may exist in multiple groups. The group name works as an alias for the group list, making it easier to reference which group of servers you will be targeting with your particular Ansible command or playbook.
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ssh Keys

Ansible works best when your control server–the one from which you’ll be running your Ansible commands–can use ssh keys to access client hosts. When you run an Ansible command without additional options, it defaults to attempting to access remote clients via ssh keys.

Tip: If you have secured your private ssh key with a passphrase, it can be inconvenient and inefficient to have to enter that passphrase each time you need to decrypt it for each ssh session you’ll be opening with Ansible. To simplify this process, open a separate shell with ssh-agent. When you import a private key into this shell, you only have to enter your passphrase once to add the unencrypted private key.

ssh-agent bash
ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

The first command opens a new bash shell. The ssh-add command will prompt you for your private key’s passphrase and then imports the RSA private key into this shell. You may, of course, substitute the appropriate private key, if using id_ecdsa or id_dsa, for example.

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.

ssh Access (Without ssh Keys)

If you have client servers that don’t have ssh keys set up, you can still use Ansible with your current user and prompt for your user password. For example, we might want to use the ping module to verify that all of our hosts in the db_servers group are responsive.

ansible db_servers -m ping --ask-pass

This command will first prompt for the current user’s ssh password to use to access all servers in the db_servers group before running the module on each client.

Note: This command will require that your user exists on each client, is allowed ssh access, and uses the same password.

Also, the ping module isn’t related to the ICMP ping that tests network connectivity. Its use with the ansible command verifies that a client server is accessible with the indicated user and that the client server has a version of Python that Ansible can work with. The ping module should return a pong response upon successful completion..

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ssh Access (With Password)

Default Ansible commands also presume that, in addition to using ssh keys, you are using passwordless sudo. If you have client servers that that require a password to obtain sudo access, you can use additional options to become sudo and prompt for a sudo password. So, for example, to reboot all servers in the mailservers group using the username username.

ansible mailservers -a "/sbin/reboot" -u username --become --ask-become-pass

The --become option indicates that the user will become a privileged user (sudo), and the --ask-become-pass option prompts Ansible to ask for the password to become that privileged user before executing the command.

The --become and --ask-become-pass options are newer options (as of Ansible version 1.9) meant to replace the older --sudo and --ask-sudo-pass (-K) options, respectively. These older versions still work. The replacement of sudo for become broadens the scope of these options to include integration with tools that use means other than sudo to enable privilege escalation.

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Some Basic Ansible CLI Commands

While the real power of Ansible lies in the use of playbooks, you can also run the ansible command to do some quick client management for instances where it doesn’t make sense to create a playbook or where you might need to only push a single command to a group of client devices.

The ansible command follows the pattern ansible [group] OPTIONS.
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Run Yum Updates

If, for example, you would like to run yum updates on the servers in your mailservers group, you could accomplish this task with the following Ansible command:

ansible mailservers -m yum -a "name=* state=latest" --become

This command updates all servers in the mailservers group with the yum module (-m). The -a option indicates a particular argument in double quotes–in this case, updating all installed packages (using the * wildcard) to their latest state.
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Copy File to Clients

You can use Ansible to distribute a file to a group of client servers.

ansible orlando -m copy -a "src=/home/scripts/foo.sh dest=/opt/scripts/foo.sh"

This command invokes the copy module and indicates the src (source) and dest (destination) in quotes for the arguments. The source location defaults to the device that this Ansible command is running on and can be absolute or relative. The destination location is the location on the remote client device and must always be absolute.

You may also use the copy module to further refine the attributes of the file you are copying over.

ansible orlando -m copy -a "src=/home/scripts/foo.sh dest=/opt/scripts/foo.sh owner=foo group=bar mode=0755"

This command additionally changes the owner, group, and file permissions of the file on each client in the orlando group.
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Execute Shell Command

You may also execute a script on each client with the shell module.

ansible orlando -m shell -a '/opt/scripts/foo.sh >> /home/foo/bar.txt' 

This command would execute the foo.sh script and redirect its output to the /home/foo/bar.txt file. Note the single quotes here. You’ll need single quotes instead of double so that you can pass the >> operator to the remote shell.
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An Ansible Amuse-Bouche

There are many more commands and modules you can use, but this sampling should provide a good introduction to how useful Ansible can be if you manage even just a small number of servers. If you find yourself in the sometimes unenviable position of having to perform repetitive tasks across your server infrastructure, we hope these examples have given you a taste of how Ansible might help you to work smarter (and more efficiently!).

Please be sure to check back with us in the future for more articles on server administration and other things you can do with Ansible.  Atlantic.Net offers a broad collection of flexible cloud hosting solutions for a small start-up to a well established enterprise company.
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How to Install Drupal on Fedora 23 With Apache

Verified and Tested 10/2/15

Introduction

In this How-To, we will walk you through the install and configuration of Drupal on Fedora 23 with Apache. Drupal is a free content management system that will facilitate the way your content is organized and managed. It has a user-friendly interface that makes customizing your content easy and simple with little effort.

Prerequisites

– You need a Fedora 23 server that is configured with a static IP address.

– You will also need to have a LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack platform that can be installed by clicking here if you don’t already have it.

Installing Drupal on Fedora 23 with Apache

To get started, log in to your Fedora 23 server via SSH or Console. If you are using the Atlantic.Net cloud service, note that they are setup with minimal installations to avoid having unnecessary packages from being installed and never used. If some software packages that you’re used to using aren’t installed by default, feel free to install them as needed.

You may need to install tar and wget for this tutorial; you can do so with the following command:

dnf install tar wget

Let’s make sure that your server is fully up-to-date so we can complete the preparation.

dnf update

Creating a Database and User for Drupal on Fedora 23

For Drupal to function, we must create a Database in MySQL. Let us begin access MySQL with the following command:

mysql -u root -p

Now, we must first begin creating the Database that Drupal will use. This can be accomplished with the following command replacing yourdbname with your database name:

CREATE DATABASE yourdbname;

With the Database created we must now create a user so it can access the Database.This can be accomplished with the following command replacing yourdrupaluser with your desired username and replace yourdrupalpassword with your desired password.

CREATE USER [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'yourdrupalpassword';

Furthermore, we must grant Database access to your recently created user with the following command:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON yourdbname.* TO [email protected];

Additionally, we must refresh MySQL so the system can flush the newly added privileges and for the changes to take effect, then exit your session. This can be accomplished with the following commands:

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
exit

Installing Drupal on Fedora 23

Now, we must install the following PHP dependencies so that Drupal can function properly when we install it. This can be accomplished with the following command:

dnf install php-gd php-xml php-pear php-fpm php-mbstring

We need to edit the php.ini file and set mbstring.http_input and mbstring.http_output to pass.

nano /etc/php.ini

Look for mbstring.http_input and mbstring.http_output, remove the semicolon in the front and add “= pass” It should look similar to the below example.

; Use of this INI entry is deprecated, use global input_encoding instead.
; http input encoding.
; mbstring.encoding_traslation = On is needed to use this setting.
; If empty, default_charset or input_encoding or mbstring.input is used.
; The precedence is: default_charset < intput_encoding < mbsting.http_input
; http://php.net/mbstring.http-input
mbstring.http_input = pass

; Use of this INI entry is deprecated, use global output_encoding instead.
; http output encoding.
; mb_output_handler must be registered as output buffer to function.
; If empty, default_charset or output_encoding or mbstring.http_output is used.
; The precedence is: default_charset < output_encoding < mbstring.http_output
; To use an output encoding conversion, mbstring's output handler must be set
; otherwise output encoding conversion cannot be performed.
; http://php.net/mbstring.http-output
mbstring.http_output = pass

Since we installed new packages we need to restart apache:

sudo systemctl restart httpd.service

Since we installed the unzip tool in the beginning of this how-to, we can safely run the following command safely:

wget http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-7.41.tar.gz

After we have installed the requires dependencies, we can continue with the installation of Drupal. Run the following command to unzip the Drupal package that we downloaded.

tar -zxvf drupal-7.41.tar.gz

Since, Drupal is currently in the root directory, let us move the folder and rename the location to drupal with the following command:

cp -r ~/drupal-7.41/* /var/www/html

Furthermore,  with the following command we can apply the appropriate permissions for the Drupal directory that was just created.

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/html/

Now to finalize the configurations on the servers side, we must change the create a settings file in the sites default directory. So let’s change to that directory with the following command:

cd /var/www/html/sites/default/

Copy the default.settings.php file and rename it to settings.php with the following command:

cp -p default.settings.php settings.php

Drupal’s Web Configuration on Fedora 23

Your server is now configured correctly to run the web-based installation by going to the following:

http://server_domain_or_IP

You will see the Drupal installation procedure’s initial page.  Choose standard and click “Save and continue.”

This is the Drupal's web installation wizard on Fedora 23

This is the Drupal’s web installation wizard on Fedora 23

Next select English, or follow Drupal’s instructions on adding a new language.  Click “Save and continue”.

Choose the language of your choice

Choose the language of your choice

It should skip past “Verify requirements” and you should be on the screen to set up your database. Enter in your information that you set up earlier and click “Save and continue.”

Enter in your Database information that you set up earlier

Enter in your Database information that you set up earlier

You can now enter your information for the site details.

Enter in your site details

Enter in your site details

 

 

What’s Next?

Congratulations! You have just installed and configured Drupal with Apache on your Fedora 23 Cloud Server. Thank you for following along in this How-To and check back with us for any new updates, and learn more about our reliable HIPAA-compliant cloud hosting solutions.


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