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Terse yet extremely to the point Linux Security tips and step to step guide

If you are just like me who is disgusted of reading through large chunks of texts for the only particular thing that he’s interested, securing Linux can’t be any more straightforward with this exhaustive list written by Kurt Seifried. Specially made for Linux novices who are just starting to harden his servers against malicious attempts, it is a good read not only because it’s useful but also because it’s easy to follow and digest.

Here we go: http://seifried.org/security/os/linux/20020324-securing-linux-step-by-step.html

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Best Linux Server Administration Books for Learning Linux

In the web hosting industry, Linux is undoubtedly the No. 1 server OS that has been used and talked about. With so many differently branded distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS, the basic part has always been the same – the file system, the open source packages, the commands, the shell programming and so forth. It’s a hard nut to crack, but with a few good guides and books, you will soon be on your way of becoming a professional server administration.

Web Developers¬†/ Designers’ Books:

  1. Best HTML Books
  2. Best CSS Books
  3. Best JavaScript Books
  4. Best PHP Books
  5. Best MySQL Books
  6. Best Linux Books
  7. Best Apache Books (mod_rewrite Books)
  8. Best Web Hosting Books

A Practical Guide to Linux(R) Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

A Practical Guide to Linux(R) Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming

Linux Pocket Guide

Linux Pocket Guide

Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition

Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition

Linux Administration: A Beginner’s Guide, Fifth Edition

Linux Administration A Beginner's Guide, Fifth Edition

Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux (Versions 8.10 and 8.04), A (2nd Edition)

Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linux (Versions 8.10 and 8.04), A (2nd Edition)

How Linux Works

How Linux Works

Linux Administration Handbook (2nd Edition)

Linux Administration Handbook (2nd Edition)

Ubuntu Linux Toolbox: 1000+ Commands for Ubuntu and Debian Power Users

Ubuntu Linux Toolbox 1000  Commands for Ubuntu and Debian Power Users

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Best Web Hosting Books to Learn about Web Hosting

Web hosting and similar IT infrastructure outsourcing can be intimidating to anyone not tech-savvy enough. These are some of the best readings recommended by book readers from Amazon concerning this technical issue and related decision making process. Some books teach you to use web hosting and some tell you how to run a web hosting business.

Web Developers¬†/ Designers’ Books:

  1. Best HTML Books
  2. Best CSS Books
  3. Best JavaScript Books
  4. Best PHP Books
  5. Best MySQL Books
  6. Best Linux Books
  7. Best Apache Books (mod_rewrite Books)
  8. Best Web Hosting Books

Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services

Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services

Web Host Manager Administration Guide: Run your web host with the popular WebHost Manager software

Web Host Manager Administration Guide Run your web host with the popular WebHost Manager software

Web Hosting: A complete strategy for delivering high quality Web hosting services

web hosting

How to Host your own Web Server

how to host your own web server

The Complete Web Hosting Kit Professional

The Complete Web Hosting Kit Professional [CD-ROM] (CD-ROM)

The Web Hosting Manager

The Web Hosting Manager

Understanding Linux Web Hosting

Understanding Linux Web Hosting

Actually there are not too many books straightly dealing with the topic of website hosting, but a lot on its cousin areas such as Linux, Windows, Apache, PHP and MySQL.

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Unmanaged Hosting Server Installation & Initial Configuration for Dummies

Unmanaged hosting often comes with very competitive price compared to managed hosting environment, however, the drawback of which, is the steep learning curve for server noobs that unfortunately includes me. It’s meant for technically proficient ones after all.

This simple tutorial will walk you through the steps needed to set up a working web server that’s ready to serve websites from a bare bone Linux distro (Ubuntu, in this case). It serves to be a survival guide of unmanaged hosting for novice Linux server administrators while at the same time documents my findings and learned tips for myself.

We will take Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) for example. Though all things are done at a Mosso 256 MB Cloud Server, 99% of them should work without a problem at other unmanaged hosting providers as long as the Linux distribution is identical. After this tutorial, you will have a working VPS or dedicated hosting server with update to date softwares and beginner security, in addition to necessary software packages to run and manage a LAMP web server: FTP, Apache 2, PHP 5.2.6 and MySQL.

Here we go. Suppose you have made the decision to go with one of the Linux distros of which I’d suggest Ubuntu and installed a plain version of it from the hosting control panel, now:

  1. You will be given a bare IP address, of course, when you have finished installing the Linux distro from the contrl panel provided by your hosting company. Download PuTTY and set it up to connect to your hosting server of that IP as the root via SSH. The root password should also have been revealed or emailed to you.
  2. Change the root password to a new one.
  3. Customize the default SSH listening port of 22 to a custom one.
  4. Build up necessary iptables firewall rules.
  5. Customize shell environment and make the prompt ls command listings a little more colorful so it’s more readable.
  6. Enable vi code highlighting (enabled by default in Ubuntu) and change the dark blue color for comments to a lighter blue.
  7. Update the software source lists in Ubuntu by:
    aptitude updateAnd set the proper locales:
    locale-gen en_US.UTF-8
  8. Upgrade the current distro to its latest:
    aptitude safe-upgradeFollowed by:
    aptitude full-upgrade
  9. Install the essential tools and packages for development, the build tools:
    aptitude install build-essential
  10. Install MySQL:
    aptitude install mysql-server mysql-clientThe installation will prompt you twice for the root password.
  11. Install Apache:
    aptitude install apache2 apache2.2-common apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils libexpat1 ssl-certChange server name in the Apache configuration:
    vi /etc/apache2/apache2.confAnd add the following directive at the end of the file:
    ServerName kingChange ‘king’ to whatever you’ll name your own server. For beginner SSH users, nano would be a better choice for its intuitive editing capabilities. After restarting Apache web server gracefully by not interrupting connected clients:
    apache2ctl gracefulYou should be able to view the demo web page at http://(your server IP address).
  12. Install PHP5:
    aptitude install libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php5-common php5-curl php5-dev php5-gd php5-imagick php5-mcrypt php5-memcache php5-mhash php5-mysql php5-pspell php5-snmp php5-sqlite php5-xmlrpc php5-xsl
  13. Turn off server signature:
    nano /etc/apache2/conf.d/securityAnd change:
    ServerTokens FullTo:
    ServerTokens Prod
  14. Change the hostname of your server. Open and edit /etc/hostname:
    vi /etc/hostnameTo a top level domain you have registered for your website. And add it in /etc/hosts:
    vi /etc/hostsIn this way:
    127.0.0.1 example.com
  15. Reboot by:
    shutdown -r now
  16. Install the mail module for your hosting server, Postfix, so the php function mail() works:
    aptitude install postfix telnet mailxJust choose ‘Internet Site’.
  17. Install FTP daemon service so you can FTP stuff to your server as any user.
  18. Install rsync so that you can easily synchronize and backup files between 2 remote hosting servers:
    aptitude install rsync
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