The following is a collection of some of the more common questions about the VPS v3 platform.

Why can't I log in to my account as the root user?

For security purposes, direct root logins using the username root and the root password are not permitted in any VPS v3 service. Many administrative tasks can be accomplished by logging into the VPS v3 account as the administrative user. See the Connection Guide and SSH Keys for more information on the different protocols as well as the appropriate user to connect with.

Where do subhosted web sites reside?

The default location for sub-hosted Web content in VPS v3 is in the content owner's www directory. For example, for a domain administrator user bob, content for would reside in the /home/bob/www/ directory (where /home/bob is the home directory of the bob user). This is the easiest way to manage sub-hosts in a multi-user environment. Other methods such as a common vhosts directory (as in VPS1) can also be used, but this can cause complications with ownership and file permissions. For more information, see Virtual Sub-Hosting.

What is the difference between the Admin user, Root, and standard users?

The main differences between the different classes of users is based on what permissions that user has. A normal user can only affect his or her own files, where the Admin user can affect some system files. The root user has the ability to control anything, including files owned by other users. Because of the power the root user has, the root user can only access the server using SSH, and does not have FTP or Email access. For more information on the abilities of different users, see VPS Users.

Is Java installed on my VPS v3?

The Java Developer's Kit 1.5.x and Java Runtime Engine 1.5.x are available for VPS v3 Pro Plus plans through vinstall_jdk and vinstall_jre, respectively. The vinstall gives instructions for downloading the Java code and the directory in which to place the code.

Is Tomcat available for my VPS v3?

Yes. Tomcat is available on VPS Pro Plus plans through vinstall tomcat and requires the Java Developer's Kit or Java Runtime Engine be installed already. Tomcat provides a web framework for Java and will allow you to process and serve JSP pages.

How do I install custom applications or use the FreeBSD Ports collection?

The VPS environment allows you to install and run most FreeBSD compatible software exactly the same way it would be done on a dedicated FreeBSD server. This includes the ability to install software from the FreeBSD Ports collection, which is available in the /ports directory on your server. See The FreeBSD Ports collection for details on what is available and how to use the Ports.

Many common programs that require additional configuration or special installation steps are available using the vinstall utility, to ease the installation process.

There are some limitations and information that you should be aware of before trying to install custom programs on your VPS. See the Advanced VPS Administration section to learn more about these issues.

What are some of the differences between VPS v3, VPS v2, and dedicated FreeBSD UNIX?

VPS v3 provides an update to the popular VPS v2 product. VPS v3 updates the operating system from FreeBSD 4.7 to FreeBSD 6.0 and updates the file system from UFS1 to UFS2. Because of these updates, VPS v3 supports the latest Java Developer's Kit, Java Runtime Engine, and Tomcat Web framework. VPS v3 also provides updates to services such as Apache 2.x, MySQL 5.x, and PHP 5.x.

VPS was designed with the goal to emulate the behavior of a dedicated FreeBSD server in a shared environment. Because of this, VPS will appear and feel much more like a Dedicated FreeBSD server than older "shared server" technology. One of the key limitations of VPS is that, because of the shared environment, the VPS root user does not have the ability to modify kernel or hardware related systems. The core services and all applications are within the area controlled by VPS root. It is significant to note, however, that any of the system files not specifically changed by the VPS administrator will continue to be maintained and updated by our staff. For more details on how this works, see the Advanced VPS Administration section of our Web site.

The VPS Admin User has many of the capabilities that the Primary User on our original VPS acounts had. New software, however, must be installed by the root user, which has total control over the VPS (and can also be used for management). VPS accounts also allow sub-users to have Shell access, install some of their own programs, and increases the security of your account.

Can a VPS have more than one IP address?

VPS accounts come with a single static IP address, but are able to have additional IP addresses.

Can a VPS handle multiple SSL certificates?

Because VPS has only one IP address, you can only access one SSL certificate using the standard SSL port (443). You can, however, either add an additional IP address or configure your server to use the Apache Listen directive to monitor other ports for SSL requests, and associate different certificates for these different ports. Doing this would require you to indicate the port number in the URL, or alternatively, the mod_rewrite apache module could be used to force domain-specific requests to a different port. If you choose to provide multiple certificates on one IP address on your VPS, please be aware that this configuration is not supported by our Technical Support representatives.

What do the commands shutdown -r and reboot do?

The shutdown and reboot commands have been designed to behave on a virtual level as close as possible to the same way they would on a dedicated UNIX server. Because you do not have access to the physical system to manually start up the system, you can not completely halt your VPS v2 (the -h option for shutdown is disabled), but you can restart all the services on your server.

The shutdown command will attempt to cleanly halt and restart services on your VPS2, including running the /etc/rc.shutdown commands. Any processes that do not exit cleanly are then killed, and the init process is restarted (init will then read your rc files and start up other services).

the reboot command is different from shutdown because it does not attempt a clean shutdown of your system. Instead, reboot simply kills all your running processes and then runs init (which will run the rc scripts).

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!

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Naperville, IL 60563
phone 630.420.2550
fax 630.420.2771