Although CentOS will no longer be supported by RedHatEnterprise, it still remains one of the major Linux distributions used on servers, combining reliability, functionality, and user-friendliness. For this reason, before it has been fully replaced by newer alternatives such as AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, it’s still offered by lots of hosting providers. This way, ordering it is still a great solution for launching a web project, and If you want to do so, you can do it for instance at https://www.hostzealot.com/.
Upon purchasing your CentOS VPS, you definitely might also want to configure it so it’s fully secure and ready for operation. In today’s article, we want to provide you with a quick guide in it.
Table of Contents
A guide to CentOS VPS configuration
1. Choose your VPS
Before being able to configure your CentOS VPS, first and foremost you need to find one. Find a provider that offers a CentOS VPS, and whose offers are generally suitable for your project. Choose a VPS plan to meet your hardware requirements and your budget. Purchase it and wait for it to be provisioned – you’ll be most likely notified with an e-mail.
2. Install CentOS
Now it’s time to install the OS. It can be done in different ways depending on what your provider offers.
It might be preinstalled on your VPS. In this case, just proceed to the following steps.
Otherwise, the installation option may be available through the VNC panel of the provider. Find the corresponding option in the settings of your VPS – it can be a button called “reinstall” or something similar.
Otherwise, the system may be installed from an ISO file of yours upon contacting the provider.
3. Connect to your server through SSH
Before performing any further operations with your server, the first thing you need to do is to connect to it. If you are a Windows user, you’ll need a special client. A recommended solution is PuTTY. Download and install it, open it, insert the login credentials you must have gotten from your provider, and connect.
If you’re a Linux user, open your terminal and type ssh username@VPS_IP_Address using the corresponding username and IP address, and then enter the further information requested.
4. Basic system configuration
The next step is to perform the basic and universal configuration of your OS.
First and foremost, update your CentOS with the yum update command. This way you will ensure that your system is up to date and has the latest security patches and software installed. Then set the hostname for your server and configure further network settings, such as IP address, DNS, firewall rules, etc.
5. Secure your server
Apply the basic security measure to ensure that your server is protected from the most common threats. These measures include configuring firewall rules so that only the necessary incoming and outgoing are allowed. Furthermore, it’s recommended to disable unused services and ports, as they can be used as extra ways to intrusion into your system. Then set up a more secure SSH access to minimize the possibility of unauthorized access to your server. To make it even more secure, use such tools as fail2ban that are aimed and preventing brute-force attacks. You must read article on 21 Server Security Tips to Secure Your Server.
6. Install and configure services
Now it’s time to install the necessary services that haven’t been installed yet. These include a web server (Apache, Nginx, etc) or a database server (MySQL, MariaDB, etc). Make sure to install and configure some more specific components related to specific solutions and applications you are going to deploy on your server.
7. Manage user permissions properly
To make sure that only you and trusted persons can access your server, it’s essential to properly configure the user permissions. Ideally, each person who is supposed to access the server should have a personal account based on their roles and responsibilities. Make sure to regularly review and update user access regularly and monitor when, by whom, and for what purpose your server is accessed each time.
8. Monitoring and maintenance
Now that the basic configuration of your server is performed, it’s critical to further monitor your server, its performance, accesses to it, traffic, updates, patches, etc. On the one hand, you should keep your server always updated and ready to face new challenges. On the other hand, it’s important to monitor any activities to detect suspicious ones and take timely measures. Besides things you can do manually, there is a variety of tools specially created for efficient and convenient server monitoring. They include Nagios, Zabbix, or Prometheus, which can help you track the performance of the server, how resources are used, and whether there are any issues that can cause eventual problems.
Also, make sure to set up regular backups for cases of emergency, so if anything, the operation of your server can be quickly restored with all the precious data intact.
CentOS remains a widely used operating system known for its stability, reliability, and compatibility. Purchasing a CentOS VPS is a great choice, especially if it’s offered by a reliable provider. After it, it’s essential to configure your VPS properly, and we hope that we have provided sufficient information for you to do it with ease. Take care!