Linux is a versatile, reliable, secure operating system and a great enterprise-grade product supporting practically every conceivable business application. Most Linux distributions are open-source software, meaning they are free with no licensing costs to use the software.

Managing a Linux server is very different from using Windows or MacOS; many users are intimidated by the Linux command line and are concerned about a steep learning curve when trying to understand how the operating system works. The good news is that there are plenty of Linux server management utilities available that simplify the user experience and make it much easier for everyday users to manage Linux servers.

These tools bridge the skills gap between novice and expert users, enabling even those unfamiliar with Linux server administration to perform Linux server management tasks efficiently. They provide an easy-to-use interface for executing commands, managing multiple servers, and handling network configuration with fine-grained control.

This article will help you understand what Linux server management is and give examples of some of the most popular tools available that simplify server management, regardless of your skills with the Linux operating system.

What Is Linux Server Management?

Linux systems are hugely popular, lightweight, and offer superb reliability. It’s not uncommon for a Linux server to remain up and running for years without needing to reboot, including servers that require regularly patched security updates. Linux is the operating system of choice for cloud deployments, and Linux administrators can natively integrate cloud services into the operating system.

A user who sees the Linux shell for the first time might be wary about how to use it. Linux servers rarely use GUI or desktop applications. Instead, the preferred way to manage Linux is via the declarative command line tool.

This puts off some users, but if you persevere, you will open a world of exciting tools that unlock Linux’s additional features. You can manage advanced system administrator features, databases, and web applications and deploy Linux server management software to make this process easier.

Do you want to know some of the most popular Linux Server Management tools available? These are some favorites that simplify the day-to-day management of Linux.

The Best Tools for Linux Server Management


Cockpit is a web-based server management tool that allows authorized users to manage the server remotely. Users are presented with an easy-to-use GUI and can access some of the critical server functions and server performance monitoring tools at the click of a button. The user does not need to learn how to SSH into the server.

Users can stop/start/restart services, manage users and groups, configure network services and network settings, and view core server logs. A detailed hardware monitoring feature gives an overview of system performance, such as CPU, disk, and memory usage. You can also deploy virtual machines directly on your Linux server!

For advanced users, a terminal emulator provides direct access to the shell. Cockpit also uses secure WebSockets for added security and RBAC permissions, so only authorized users can access specific features.


This is another user-friendly web-based application interface that allows users to remotely manage MySQL and MariaDB databases. RBAC rules can be applied for each use to delegate the required permissions of data management.

With phpMyAdmin, it’s easy to import and export database files and run queries against your data. If you are not familiar with SQL queries, a GUI feature called QueryByExample will help you build complex queries in minutes.

Prometheus and Grafana

Although technically two products, they work great together for monitoring and alerting on your Linux server. Prometheus is an open-source monitoring system that excels at collecting and storing metrics from various sources.

Grafana is an open-source platform for visualizing data from monitoring systems like Prometheus. It allows the creation of informative dashboards for server health and performance.

Together, these Linux server management tools give you a fantastic, holistic overview of exactly what is going on within your environment.

What Types of Linux Distros are Ideal for Server Management?

When it comes to managing Linux servers, there are a variety of distros to choose from, each catering to different needs. Linux server management tools are more or less universal and available for all the different Linux flavors. Debian is renowned for its reliability and consistent release schedule, while CentOS, despite its uncertain future, has successors like AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux as alternatives, each offering enterprise-grade stability and compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linus (RHEL).

Ubuntu is another hugely popular distro because of its user-friendly options and widely supported platform. It’s based on Debian but comes with a more approachable interface and boasts a vibrant community for support, making it great for beginners or those who prioritize ease of use.

If you’re more inclined towards cutting-edge technology, Fedora Server might be your go-to. It keeps you up-to-date with the latest software packages, perfect for environments that require staying on the bleeding edge.

Other notable mentions include openSUSE, known for its versatility and user-friendly YaST package manager, and RHEL, the commercial counterpart to Fedora, offering top-tier stability and support, albeit with a paid license requirement.

Choosing the best distro depends on your specific requirements. Consider factors like stability, ease of use, package availability, and community support. Asking yourself these questions may help you pinpoint a distribution that works for you. Are you running critical systems that must be up 24/7? Do you prefer a user-friendly interface, or are you comfortable diving into Linux administration? Do you need specific software packages or rely heavily on community support?

Once you’ve weighed these factors, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your Linux server management needs, ensuring optimal performance, seamless operations, and efficient user management across multiple servers.

Should I Choose an MSP to Help with Linux Server Management Software?

Of course, it’s important to remember that should you not want to worry about managing multiple servers, you can always opt for server management services from an MSP. Managed service providers can take over the day-to-day management of your Linux servers. A team with dedicated resources, typically based in a remote network operations center (NOC), will remotely monitor and proactively, and when necessary, reactively fix issues across your Linux estate.

Managed service providers make sense in many different scenarios. Here are some of the key benefits an MSP can provide.

Expertise and Experience:

MSPs are staffed with experts who know Linux server management inside out. They are experts in the Linux shell and can manage your server over SSH. Managed services work well if your in-house IT team lacks the specific knowledge needed to host Linux servers or if your server setup is complex. Tapping into their know-how could be a game-changer.

Freeing Up Resources:

By outsourcing Linux server management to an MSP, you’re allowing your in-house team to focus on what they do best rather than getting bogged down in server admin tasks.

24/7 Support and Monitoring:

You should expect your MSPs to offer 24/7 support and monitoring services. This typically involves a remote monitoring solution that continuously looks for alerts or threshold breaches from the Linux server. Automated alerts are generated and looked at by a technical engineer. This means someone constantly monitors your servers and spots issues before they become big problems.


Whether you’re managing a handful of servers or an expansive network, MSPs can scale their services to suit your needs. So, as your organization grows, they can grow right alongside you.

Cost Considerations:

There are obviously costs associated with outsourcing to an MSP. But consider the value: less downtime, smoother operations, and access to top-notch expertise. It could end up being a smart investment.

Security Boost:

MSPs can improve your security posture overnight. MSP technical engineers can implement best practices on your Linux server environment, introducing patching policies, implementing firewall configurations, setting up intrusion detection systems, deploying antivirus software, and establishing robust access control measures.

What Are the Most Important Tasks in Managing a Linux Server?

Linux servers perform a variety of tasks, and different uses will need access to different types of tasks. However, there are a core number of everyday tasks that are ubiquitous with Linux Server Management that system administrators would be expected to understand.

You need to know how to configure and set up a Linux server correctly and securely. This involves configuring network settings, setting up user accounts, and fine-tuning security measures such as creating a patching schedule or configuring SELinux.

Once the server is up and running, you need to monitor it. Monitoring CPU usage, disk space, and network traffic helps you catch issues before they escalate into major problems; it also enables you to understand how the system functions when you give it specific tasks to complete.

It’s important to learn how to conduct regular software updates, which are vital to keeping your server secure and running smoothly. Whether it’s patching security vulnerabilities or installing the latest features, staying up-to-date is key.

Some more advanced tasks may include creating and managing virtual servers on your Linux server; perhaps you need to deploy microservices or containers. Or you may require a dedicated server to act as a managed website host using software like cPanel or Plesk.

Logging in Linux is crucial to troubleshooting when issues arise. Sometimes, the software doesn’t work correctly, or perhaps a configuration setting is slightly incorrect. The log files and journaling give you detailed insight, making it easy to pinpoint an issue.

How Can Atlantic.Net Help?

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