What can i do with a (cloud) server?
November 20, 2013 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Someone linked to CloudatCost on Metafilter recently and, on a whim, I sprung for the $35 for life plan -- so I'm now the proud owner of a virtual cloud server. But I'm kind of a doofus and don't know what I can actually do with it.

Please explain any idea you might have as if you were talking to a 5-year old. Here are a some of my of dumb questions: I own a couple of different domain names (currently with 1and1.com) -- is that something I'd be able to host/register on my new server for "free"? Also, I have a very, very simple HTML-only website for my mother-in-law's company also through 1and1 -- is there an easy way to host a very simple website on a cloud server? Are there free templates I can use? I also assume I'd be able to host photos, music, and a private dropbox -- would any of those endeavors be worth it compared to the free alternatives currently available? Thanks so much for any and all ideas.

When I log in to server, I get to the console and am at a loss. So I'm also looking for simple resources on how to even begin to think about this and navigate a Linux console. The server is currently configured with CentOS, but Ubuntu and Debian are also available.
posted by AwkwardPause to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would go with Ubuntu because it has so many tutorials, forums etc, but any of those is fine.

It won't be a super easy procedure for someone without a familiarity of using the command line, but it's doable if you are willing to hack around and do google searches.

Figure out what version of you Operating system is installed, then look up a good tutorial such as
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-install-linux-apache-mysql-php-lamp-stack-on-ubuntu Maybe CloudatCost has such tutorials which would be even better.

Yes you can host as many websites as you want on here. If you can get Apache, php, mysql etc installed, you can install a web control panel like webmin, making it easier to add more websites, changes settings etc. phpMyAdmin is also good.

Once you get the hang of this stuff, adding other services like email, ftp, music, etc will be pretty easy. Good luck and have fun!
posted by meta87 at 9:25 PM on November 20, 2013


is that something I'd be able to host/register on my new server for "free"?

There are basically three parts to the puzzle: domain registration, the DNS and host. The registration specifies the DNS provider; the DNS zonefile lists where all the bits and pieces related to the domain can be found on the internet; the host is... well, the host, whether it's for web or mail or whatever. You can have multiple hosts for different functions and subdomains.

Since the domain's already registered with 1&1, you need to change the DNS. That can be done a few ways: you can change the DNS entry at 1&1 to point to your CloudatCost servers; or specify CloudatCost as your DNS provider (if they do DNS) and sort that out in the control panel; or go with a third-party DNS provider to make the link.

Alex Payne's Sovereign is likely beyond your stated expertise, but I'm mentioning it as an example of what's possible in terms of a personal private cloud server.
posted by holgate at 9:26 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


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