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What Are the Best Tips for Linux® Server Management?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2014
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Whether it is being used to host a website or store information, proper Linux® server management can help the server perform better. A Linux® server often has background services that may be unneeded, and removing them can free up memory. Linux® does not naturally have a graphic user interface (GUI), and a server typically does not need this, so shutting it down may improve performance. A server commonly is home to important data, so performing consistent backups usually is part of responsible Linux® server management. The administrator also should check the server’s analytics for bottlenecks and processing problems, which may reveal a need for stronger hardware.

Many Linux® servers have a large number of background services running that are helpful, but there are some that are not being used. For example, the “Apmd” service is normally useful because it helps manage power, but “Xfs” may not be useful because it controls fonts. Shutting down unneeded services means they no longer require memory, and that memory can then be used for important processes.

The Linux® system naturally comes with a command line interface, but a GUI is typically easier to use, so many people install a GUI. While a GUI may make Linux® server management easier by helping administrators select programs and run processes, it also takes up memory. Administrators normally do not need a GUI, because the server is rarely directly interacted with, so it is usually not worth the extra memory and processing power liabilities.

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Another part of effective Linux® server management involves the administrator making consistent backups. While the server may be home to a lot of common files, they are more often used to host websites and as storage for important documents. If the Linux® server crashes, then it can mean the permanent deletion of all those files. Consistent backups may keep this from happening, because it will store the server’s files somewhere else, leaving them unaffected by the crash.

Most servers come equipped with analytical programs, and it may assist Linux® server management efforts if the administrator commonly checks these analytics. This normally reports on how information is flowing in and out of the server, and it also will highlight bottlenecks. By understanding why the bottleneck is happening in the Linux® server, the administrator may be able to fix it. For example, if many heavy programs are running simultaneously, then an increase in random access memory (RAM) may be useful in alleviating the bottleneck.

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