With many Linux server distros coming and going in 2016, is tough to know which are worth our time. Even sites like DistroWatch only tend to review and cover changes to the big distros as they don’t have the resources to review them all. So, there are only a handful of small new distros worth keeping an eye on at any given time. These two Linux server operating systems are promising niche distros. Focusing on doing one thing and being the best at it.

Everyone seems to be talking about Windows malware. This is bound to be looking at the number of Windows PCs that sell worldwide. But it’s used in many countries in the world and there are pockets where this is the only OS that sells. The fastest supercomputers of the world all run on Linux. It’s embedded systems are also popular in handheld devices including smartphones and tablets. Thus, Linux malware is not an unknown quantity. If you have a Linux system, you should be aware of the malware that can affect it and stay protected accordingly.

Ubuntu is a very customizable operating system and everyone has their own reasons and needs for any particular OS. Still, these 10 configuration tips are worth a look and definitively can be considered to do immediately after an Ubuntu installation. Thanks to UbuntuLinuxHelp.

1) sudo aptitude install sbackup

Nothing is worse than losing all your important data (pictures, email messages, music, documents, etc.) The above command will install Simple Backup Suite (more details found on Sourceforge). For me at least it’s a great desktop backup solution. I can select which directories I want to be backed up (full and incremental), then have backups automatically transferred to my external network storage. I play a lot with my computer, I often break something as a result. With sbackup, I can be more confident as it’s easy to restore data (in the event I have to reinstall an application or even worse… the OS itself). You can also install via:


2) sudo aptitude install ubuntu-restricted-extras && sudo aptitude install w64codecs

If you enjoy music, videos, and so forth, you’ll want to install the extra media codecs and packages that will allow you to play almost any desktop media format (mov, mpg, avi, wmv, mp3 and so on). I wrote a detailed post:  “Build a Web Developer PC and Enable Most Media Playback Using Ubuntu Linux”, which provides a bit more of an in-depth explanation of the above command (including editing the sources.list to include mediabuntu). Note: If you have a 32 Bit system, change the “w64codec” part of the command to say “w32codecs” instead. You can also install these packages via:



3) sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts && sudo fc-cache -fv

I like having the same fonts used by Windows users. People often send me .doc files, so I want to ensure I have at least the core fonts they use. The above command installs the Microsoft core fonts and then reloads the font cache. I’ve posted about this before at “How to Install TTF and CTF Fonts in Ubuntu”, which contains far more detail. You can also install the core fonts via:


4) sudo aptitude install vlc

I prefer not to try juggling with the use of different applications to play different media types. VLC plays all the media types I access. For me at least, it’s the singular application I use to play everything from an MP3 file to a DVD video (and incidentally, vlc can stream your media to other computers, even to the television!). Of course, you can click the apt link and install via:


5) sudo aptitude install k3b

Even though I use gnome, I still install k3b, which is (in my opinion) among the best DVD/CD burners around. I find the interface intuitive and easy to use. There’s a post containing more applications at “Top 100 of the Best (Useful) OpenSource Applications”. Using apt links, we can also install k3b via:


6) Enable surround sound right away. I have an earlier post at Enable 5.1 Surround Sound on Linux – Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy, but the jist of the instructions is to edit

sudo gedit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and change the line that says:

; default-sample-channels = 2

to say

default-sample-channels = 6

7) Use the “Windows” Key.

I prefer using keyboard shortcuts instead of the point and click the mouse. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to turn your keyboards “Windows key” into an Ubuntu key.

Go to: System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts

Scroll down to the action “Show panel menu” and click on it. (The phrase “New accelerator menu…” will appear).

Now simply press your Windows key once. (You’ll see the accelerator now says “Super L”). Select the “Close” option and you’ll see that your Windows key now works. Note: If you ever want to change it back to the default (for Hardy 8.04), the original setting is Alt f1.

8 ) Make gedit remember more documents.

I often use gedit to quickly edit files in a GUI environment. I often wish gedit would remember more of the documents I edit. That way I don’t have to surf through the file system. There’s a simple way to ensure gedit remembers more of the files you edit:

sudo gconf-editor

In the window that appears (using the above command), select

apps -> gedit2 -> preferences -> ui -> recent

Select the “max_recents” key and change the default of 5 to 10

9) Increase the start speed of multi-core CPU systems.

This will slow down systems that have a single CPU. For multi-core CPUs, we can change the services to all start together (in parallel) during boot time. The command to do this is;

sudo perl -i -pe ‘s/CONCURRENCY=none/CONCURRENCY=shell/’ /etc/init.d/rc

and then reboot with

sudo shutdown -r now

10) Finally, I sometimes need to run an application that is for another OS (not Ubuntu Linux). Virtualization is the answer and allows me to run the other application without using Wine ore rebooting into another OS. You can install Virtualbox:

sudo aptitude install virtualbox

If you’re interested, more information about VirtualBox can be found by visiting the about VirtualBox page. Again, here’s the apt link to install VirtualBox:


A bonus tip!

I’m often asked how to uninstall a .deb package. The command to facilitate that is:

sudo dpkg -r package_name

More about this at http://ubuntulinuxhelp.com/10-things-to-do-after-installing-ubuntu-linux/

ServerPronto offers the best affordable and secure hosting service in all dedicated server packages.

At ServerPronto we build our customer’s orders precisely and accurately. We do double duty on quality control during the provisioning process, still, we encourage our customers to check the hardware settings of the server you ordered.

Linux commands to check hardware:


fdisk –l


cat /proc/meminfo

CPUcat /proc/cpuinfo


ServerPronto offers the best affordable and secure hosting service in all dedicated server packages.

Managing the hard drive on a server, meaning creating/ removing partitions and formatting/ activating slave drives is a vital step in setting up a server that we usually do for our customers. But sometimes users want to manage their storage by themselves; here is how to do it:


to get an overview of your hard drives and to see partitions such as /dev/hda and /dev/hdb

fdisk –l

to manage the slave drive

fdisk /dev/hdb
p - to see partitions
d – to delete partitions
n - to create new partition
m – to display help in fdisk
w – to write changes

to format the partition

mke2fs –j /dev/hdb1

go into nano /etc/fstab and add the following to the end of the file

/dev/hdb1    /home    ext3    defaults    1 2

to make the partitions usable and visible with df -h

mount –a



Access the built-in utility “Disk Management“. Go into the Control Panel -> go under Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> on the left-hand side underneath Storage -> Disk Management.

Look on the bottom right and you’ll see something that looks like this picture. The disk with all of the unallocated space is what you’re after. Right, click on it. Select New Partition.

A wizard will pop up and walk you through this process. Choose a partition size. If this is a secondary drive then you’re obviously after pure storage space so just make it a primary partition and allocate 100% of your space to it.

The followed screen looks like this. Just clicking next until you get here.

If you’re only using Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 and Windows server 2000/2003/2008, it is suggested using NTFS. If you’re dual booting then Fat32 would probably be a good idea if the other OS can’t read NTFS.

For NTFS the default cluster size is 4K which is pretty much the best tradeoff between speed and storage space.

Volume label is nothing other than the name you want it to be called.

Make sure you select the quick format or else it’ll be a while before you can use the disk.

Click next it’s just a summary of what you told it to do.

Click next and soon the new drive is available.

ServerPronto offers the best affordable and secure hosting service in all dedicated server packages.


More information at: http://www.easeus.com/resource/install-ide-hard-drive.htm

We recommend installing a software on your server to keep track of how much bandwidth you are using. There are many open source solutions available one of them is vnStat.


vnStat is a console-based network traffic monitor for Linux and BSD that keeps a log of network traffic for the selected interface. It uses the network interface statistics provided by the kernel as the information source. This means that vnStat won’t actually be sniffing any traffic and also ensures light use of system resources.


Ubuntu/ Debian:

cd /usr/local/src
wget http://humdi.net/vnstat/vnstat-1.10.tar.gz tar -zxvf vnstat-1.10.tar.gz cd vnstat-1.10 make && make install vnstat -u -i eth0 chmod 700 /usr/bin/vnstat chmod 700 /var/lib/vnstat/ -R




For more information on vnStat visit: http://humdi.net/vnstat/


ServerPronto offers the best affordable and secure hosting service in all dedicated server packages.