The nature of your VPS makes customizing the way your server behaves a relatively simple task. The extent to which you can customize your server includes the ability to replace many of the standard services with your own preferred programs.

There are a number of important considerations to take into account before customizing anything on your VPS.

  • ITS is not responsible for and cannot provide support for custom or third-party programs running on your server. Technical Support representatives are not obligated to help you with any problems regarding custom software installations or functionality.
  • Replacing any of the standard programs or system libraries will cause those files to stop being updated by ITS. You will be responsible for updating, patching, and maintaining the security of your server for any customization you do.
  • The disk space, available memory, and other system resources are limited on a VPS. It is important to take this into consideration when building or installing custom programs. Most software is designed to run on a free-standing system, and may require significant modification to run effectively in the VPS environment. Our Managed Private Server plans are very similar to our VPS accounts but use dedicated hardware.

File System

Many system files on your VPS are provided as read-only or virtual symbolic links. This is done in order to limit the disk usage requirements by system files.

Virtual Symbolic Links

Virtual Symbolic Links are special files on your VPS that exist to help conserve disk space usage. By default, a virtual symbolic link is a small file that points to a larger file usually located in the /skel area of your server. If you modify a file that is a virtual symbolic link, the link will be replaced with a real file, and will have an effect on your disk space usage. To know which files are virtual symbolic links, use ls -alv to see what files are virtual symbolic links.

Read-only Files

Many of the core system files required for your VPS to function are provided in a read-only format to avoid accidentally changing something that would cause your server to stop functioning. Because most of these files are related to the system kernel or physical devices, it is unlikely that you will encounter a situation where modifying one of these files would be desirable.

The /skel directory is a read-only file system that contains the original source files from which your VPS was generated. In order to conserve disk usage on your VPS, many of the system files exist as virtual symbolic links to files in the /skel directory.

The FreeBSD Ports Collection is also provided in read-only format to save disk space. The default settings for using the ports have been configured so that this does not impair your ability to install or use the ports on your server. The ports collection on your VPS is updated from the FreeBSD master ports collection on a frequent basis.


We are very proud of the unequalled extent of flexibility available to our VPS customers, and we hope you take advantage of and enjoy the advantages of this system. Unfortunately, along with this flexibility comes the added responsibility on the system administrator(s) to manage a complex system. Our technical support representatives are highly trained and will be happy to help you learn to administer your system. Please be aware, however, that our represntatives are not trained to assist you with dealing with custom programs or settings.

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

1555 N Naperville/Wheaton Road, Suite 107
Naperville, IL 60563
phone 630.420.2550
fax 630.420.2771