Getting Started with Reseller/VPS

Getting Started with Reseller/VPS

Introduction

Moving into the Reseller and VPS Hosting world can, at times, be a confusing experience. We have thus compiled this resource, replete with helpful information, in an effort to assist our new Reseller and VPS Clients in obtaining the most our of their new hosting packages.

This resource is intended to be a supplement to the Welcome Mail that is sent to each client when their Reseller or VPS package is set up by us. Because of this, we highly recommend that you find (and consider printing) your welcome mail before proceeding.

Support Options

As mentioned in your Welcome Mail, the main "entry point" to Net Logistics’ Support Services is the page located at http://www.netlogistics.com.au/support/. This page provides links to our Secure Helpdesk, Knowledge Base, Forums, E-Mail Troubleshooter, and Several Tutorials on commonly-performed tasks. Combined, these resource can help you solve many commonly-experienced issues, or lead you to help with more vexatious hosting concerns.

Accessing Your Reseller/VPS Account

Those familiar with shared hosting platforms will likely be both a bit (pleasantly) surprised and a bit confused when taking an initial look at how tasks are performed in a Reseller or VPS account. What me mean by this is a few things. First, shared hosting control panels such as cPanel and Plesk do have many similar features in their reseller and VPS variants; their user interfaces tend to operate in ways that are very predictable to those experienced with shared hosting control panels. That said, they also provide a variety of additional options that are designed for account and system administration. If you are new to reseller/VPS control panels, often the best way of getting acquainted with your new account is simply to log in and take a look around. The following URLs (of course customised for your domain and/or assigned IP address) will enable you to access your administrative control panel:

cPanel/WHM Users: http://your_host_or_ip_address/whm/
Plesk (and/or Virtuozzo) Users: http://your_host_or_ip_address:8443

SSH Access

Another access method which is always available to Linux-based VPS clients (and can be enabled for Linux-based Reseller clients) allows you to access your account (or server) via Secure SHell (more commonly known as SSH). In the case of VPS users, this allows you to gain full (root) access to your VPS’ Linux OS shell. In the case of reseller users, this allows you to gain user-level access to the Linux OS shell.

By default, all users of Linux-based VPSes have access to SSH on their VPS. For them, all that is needed is an SSH Client (discussed below). For Reseller account clients, SSH is not enabled by default — if you wish to access your account via SSH, please contact Support for more information.

If SSH is enabled on your account, you can simply connect to it by providing your hostname (if your domain name has propagated), or your IP address, when prompted by your SSH Client.

PuTTY: Net Logistics’ Preferred SSH Client

One of the most common SSH clients available on the internet also happens to be our recommended choice for those wishing to access their accounts via SSH. The client in question is PuTTY, "A Free Telnet/SSH Client" available at its author’s homepage. Versions are available that run on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP. Ports are in the work for MacOS and other platforms, however, if you utilise MacOS X, Terminal will operate as a suitable SSH client. If you utilise other *nix or BSD-based platforms, an SSH client is likely already available as part of your OS distribution (most commonly ssh, available via your shell); please check your OS documentation for more information.

Getting Started with Linux

For those who wish to learn more about using Linux, the underlying OS technology of our Linux-based VPS and Reseller hosting platforms, there are several useful resources available. These include:

University of Surrey, Dept. of Electric Engineering, Unix Tutorials
Linux Help’s Newbie Resource
The Linux Documentation Project, and in particular, their HOWTOs and Introduction to Linux guide.
Documentation for GNU Nano, a very easy-to-use text editor, available on all of our Linux-based systems
"What is chmod?", a tutorial on file/directory permissions and the chmod command

How to Upload Files

There are a variety of methods to transfer files into your account. You will first wish to ensure that you are able to access your Reseller or VPS account — if your domain name has not propagated, please view this tutorial, and set up your local system to access your VPS or reseller account before proceeding.

Here is a brief overview of your options for uploading files:

Just a few files

If you only wish to upload a few files, both cPanel and Plesk offer built-in file managers, which work via your web browser. You will wish to simply log in to your account’s control panel, and choose the appropriate links to access the File Manager.

As an alternative, if you have SSH access to your account, and the files in question are hosted elsewhere on the internet, you can use the Wget application included with Linux OS. Documentation for Wget is available on gnu.org.

Many files

The easiest method to upload many files is normally to use FTP. Details on the hostname/username/password to access your account via FTP are available in your Welcome Mail. However, in order to use FTP to transfer files, you will require an FTP client. One of our Knowledge Base articles discusses our recommended options: for PCs, FileZilla (free), and for Macs, Transmit (shareware).
A discussion thread on FileZilla and some alternative FTP packages exists on the NL Forums.
Entire accounts

It is also possible to transfer entire accounts, from like control panel to like control panel (i.e. cPanel® -> cPanel®/WHM™ or Plesk® -> Plesk® ). This is discussed below.

Account Transfer

It is often the case that individuals wish to transfer accounts, for example from another hosting provider, to their reseller or VPS account here at Net Logistics. In the case of unlike control panels (e.g. the originating account runs Plesk®, while the NL account runs cPanel®) this is beyond the scope of this page — you should contact technical support in this sutation. In the case of like control panel (e.g. cPanel® -> cPanel®) transfers, you can use one of the tutorials below. Please be aware you will require SSH access on the destination (i.e. Net Logistics) server.

cPanel® Account Transfer Tutorial (PDF)

Configuring @Mail

Many of our Reseller and VPS clients utilise @Mail, a powerful, licensed webmail package available to all Net Logistics clients. A detailed discussion of accomplishing this is beyond the scope of this page, but is fully presented in the NL Forums<. A brief overview of the process, however, is as follows:

To create your own webmail login page, create a HTML page similar to: http://webmail.netlogistics.com.au/. Ensure your form contains the following fields:

<input type="text" name="email" class="box" id="email">
<input type="password" name="password" class="box" id="password">
<input type="hidden" name="emailName" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="emailDomain" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="emiailDomainDefault" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="cssStyle" value="original">
<input type="hidden" name="Language" value="en">
<input type="hidden" name="requestedServer" value="">
<input type="hidden" name="MailType" value="IMAP">
<input type="hidden" name="RememberMe" value="0">
<input type="submit" class="but" name="Submit" value="">

Ensure your form tag operates as follows:

<form name="loginPage" method="post" action="https://www.turbomail.com.au/index.php/mail/auth/processlogin" id="loginPage" >

Next, ensure your body tag contains the following onLoad code:

onload="document.loginPage.email.focus();"

Also, insert the following JavaScript into your page head tag:

Configuring E-Mail Access

(Client-Side) E-Mail configuration is a topic covered in depth in our E-Mail Troubleshooter. If you are looking to set up your e-mail with Outlook Express, you can safely skip to Step 3 of the troubleshooter. If you need to verify your e-mail account settings are correct in cPanel®, you can skip to Step 5 of the troubleshooter. Also keep in mind that, generally, a large percentage of e-mail problems can be resolved by ensuring two things:

1.) If Port 25 does not work correctly when connecting to the mail server, configure your mail application to use Port 26 instead.

2.) Ensure that you include @yourdomain.com.au in the username field when setting up your account in your e-mail software. In other words, if your e-mail account name is jill, and your domain name is netlogistics.com.au, your e-mail client should attempt to authenticate using jill@netlogistics.com.au.

Accessing Your Site Prior to IP Propagation

It is generally possible to access various components of your website prior to IP Propagation / Nameserver Registration. For example, it is possible to log into your control panel using the IP address of your VPS, as provided in your Welcome Mail. Other access methods that may be applicable are discussed in more depth in our tutorial on the subject.

Registering Nameservers

When discussing nameservers in the context of VPS platforms, many find the process a bit confusing, as there is an additional step involved in properly configuring a domain name at the domain registrar if "private" nameservers are to be used -- this is called registering (child) nameservers. We have prepared a comprehensive tutorial on the subject, that you may find of specific interest.

Testing DNS

From time to time, it may become necessary to verify various aspects of your DNS configuration (i.e. to test if your site or subdomains can be accessed from the wider internet, to see if your mail servers are properly configured, and so on). One of the most useful tools to accomplish this is a web-based DNS toolkit, called dnsstuff.com. The most commonly used tests include:

- DNS Report (however, please note that 'problems' reported here are often overstated in terms of severity)
- DNS Lookup (the ALL (ANY) option is particularly useful for checking configurations)
- Traceroute and Ping (this helps to check if observed downtime is local to your environment, or more widespread)
- Reverse DNS Lookup (as the name suggests, this ensures proper IP --> hostname mapping on your server)

Keeping a lid on spam

Typically, Spam e-mail can be very tightly controlled through the use of Spamassassin, which is either pre-installed or installable on virtually all VPS configurations we offer. Also, Spamassassin generally works very well "out-of-the-box," meaning that you generally do not have to manually adjust things such as spam filtering rules. That said, sometimes the nature of personal e-mails can be such that customisation of spam filters can be useful. This topic is covered in substantial depth in an apache.org Apache Wiki page. Please note, however, that support is generally not available from us for custom rulesets.