According to Statista research, cloud computing generates around 400 billion in revenue in 2021. And not a single sign of slowing down. So it is clear that the usage of cloud computing is continuously increasing over time.
The cloud service market mainly divided into three models which are –
- Encompassing infrastructure
- And Software
The most demanding segment in cloud computing is Infrastructure-as-a-service(IaaS), providing access to a computing platform for application development.
Linode is one of the most prominent IaaS providers available in the market.
This guide covers everything you need to know about Linode cloud provider. This guide will make it easier to host websites on cloud and make changes in servers as required. We will cover all the important actions you can perform on your Linode cloud platform.
Let’s Start with the basics, considering you have no experience with cloud platforms. However, If you are an expert, You can jump to the topics or only read the topics you desire.
What is Linode?
Linode, a cloud hosting provider founded in 2003, provides virtual private servers (VPS), storage, and networking on-premise. It is used by individuals and business owners, including developers, small businesses and enterprise customers.
Due to Linode’s infrastructure and flexible pricing, it is famous for those who need versatile and scalable cloud hosting solutions. Linode allows you to choose from various hardware configurations and operating systems that fill your needs.
Linode pricing options are very flexible. It offers a “pay as you go” payment option, so you need to pay the only amount as much as you use a computing instance.
Here is the Linode usage statistic graph showing the total number of sites in 1 million that use Linode.
Linode has more than 10 data centres, and is trusted by 800,000 agencies all around the globe.
Different types of Linode cloud instances
Linode provides different types of cloud instances(Linodes types) that suit an individual’s business requirements.
Here are the different types of Servers you can create in Linode.
A dedicated CPU is recommended for a full-duty workload where consistent performance is essential. Dedicated CPUs do not share other instances to use their computing power. This means you can use its total computing power.
We do not suggest using full computing power. You can set a CPU usage threshold limit of 50-60% to avoid any trouble during an instant traffic spike.
In Linode, Choosing a dedicated CPU plan results in accessing server monitoring graphs that help you identify server-level issues and other security events.
A shared CPU plan is an excellent and cost-effective option for small businesses and startups who have light to average workloads and don’t need a dedicated server with its own massive dedicated processing power. With a shared CPU plan, users are able to access a shared pool of cores/vCPUs on the same server, giving them access to a level of power and performance that’s usually sufficient enough for their needs.
For businesses looking to get the most out of their resources while not having to commit a large amount of funds that an individual or dedicated server would require, a shared CPU plan is a great option. It provides small businesses and startups with the capability for workloads that require a bit more processing power, without the need for investing in expensive and/or unnecessary server infrastructure.
High Memory is optimized for in-memory databases and caches. Memory-optimised instances are perfect for your business if you want to keep your data on system RAM rather than on disc to access data faster than disc storage.
It is perfect for when you need RAM without increasing storage and vCPUs. It gives businesses the ideal solution. This plan uses dedicated CPU cores.
GPU(Graphics Processing Unit) is the plan for large data processing using calculations that include rendering graphics and images. It uses parallel processing in which multiple cores run at the same time parallelly.
How to Create a Server in Linode
The server(Linode) creation process is straightforward. All types of Linode servers are created under the same creation process.
To create a high-performance SSD Linux server, log in to your Linode account, click the Create button on the top left of the screen and select Linode from the dropdown.
You can now see the server creation wizard with multiple sections on your screen. Let’s understand each section step-by-step.
Step 1. Choose a Distribution(Distros)
Distributioncan be referred to as Linux-based different operating system versions that support various use cases.
All distributions are built on Linux. One of the popular distributions is Ubuntu, the preferred OS for Software development and deployment of code. Arch is popular for extensive customization and total control over your system.
Choose an image(OS) that is suitable for your needs.
Note: if you want to manage your Linode server with ServerAvatar, select Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04, or 22.04 operating system.
Step 2. Select a Region
It is recommended to select a location that is close to your users. It helps reduce latency time and affects website loading time as well.
Use the speedtest page to find the best location to host your Linode Compute instance.
Step 3. Select Linode Plan
Selecting a server Plan varies from business to business. There are more than 25 plans to choose from.
Server types include:
- Recommended for hassle-free workloads and consistent performance
- 4 GB – 512 GB memory, 2 – 64 Dedicated vCPUs, 80 GB – 7200 GB Storage
- Starting at $30/month ($0.045/hour)
- Good for medium-duty workloads and are a good mix of resources and price
- 1 GB – 192 GB memory, 1 – 32 Shared vCPU Core, 25 GB – 2840 GB Storage
- Starting at $5/month ( $0.0075/hour)
- Optimized for memory-intensive applications. Best for memory in-caching system
- 24 GB – 300 GB memory, 2 – 16 Dedicated vCPUs, 20 GB – 340 GB Storage
- Starting at $60/month ($0.09/hour)
GPU(Graphics Processing Unit)
- Accelerate highly specific applications like machine learning, AI, and video transcoding
- 32 GB – 128 GB memory, 8 – 24 Dedicated vCPUs, 640 GB – 2560 GB Storage
- Starting at $1000/month ($1.50/hour)
Step 4. Enter Linode Label and Tags
Adding Labels and tags helps identify your resources efficiently. You can use them to group your resources and access and manage resources using the Linode Manager. It can also help track your Linode usage and performance.
Step 5. Enter Root Password
A root password is an administrative password for your Linux server. It can be used to perform root-level tasks.
Step 6. Add an SSH Key
SSH key is used for remote operating system access, remote file transfer and network management.
You can access the public key from your system using the
cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub command or generate an ssh key using a simple command.
Step 7. Attach a VLAN(Virtual Local Area Network)
VLANs currently available in specific locations in Linode. It can be used to enable virtual private networks in the cloud.
It helps provide low latency for latency-sensitive applications. And also enable you to add two Linode servers on the same VLAN with extra security.
IPAM(IP Address Management) is a methodology to enable end-to-end planning, deploying, and managing IP address infrastructure.
IPAM must use IP/netmask format, as shown in the above image.
Step 8. Add-ons
It can be optional, but it is recommended to add a special add-on to your server to help your server manage and organize easily.
Add-ons include a backup of your server and provide plans such as Daily, Weekly, Biweekly, and Manual snapshots.
Enabling Private IP results can communicate with other servers in the same data center in Linode.
Step 9. Final Summary
Check all the details that you filled up on the above sections.
Click the Create Linode button, and your instance(server) will be ready to rock in a minute.
If you want to manage your Linode effortlessly with ServerAvatar, execute the following commands on your Linode Via LISH or SSH to start the initial server configuration.
chmod +x install
Linode Overview and information
Once you create your Linode, you can have total control of your Linode. The Linode summary section page shows a general overview and the current status of your Linode.
To check the Linode Overview, Go to the Linode cloud manager and click the Linode label Link given on the first column in the list on Linodes.
As you can see in the below image, the Linode summary section helps you easily manage and monitor the Linode.
It gives you information that is quickly accessed at a time of emergency. If you want to Reboot your Linode, you can easily do it using just one click. With that, it gives information about billings and server usage statistics.
Note: The charges are calculated hourly.
It’s a central point of your account to access and manage your Linode actions without any hassle. Using statistics, you can plan for future usage, avoid unexpected charges, and make things smoother.
Linode Resource Usage Monitoring
Server monitoring is a crucial part when it comes to detecting any performance issues before it affects the end user. It can also help improve the efficiency of your server by checking how much CPU or RAM the server can use now and historically over time.
Linode provides the following graphs to monitor your system-level matrices.
- CPU Usage
- Disc IO
The above four matrices help you identify your server resources using appropriate graphs. To access the Linode monitoring graph of your specific Linode(server), go to Linode Cloud Manager and click on the link of the particular Compute Instance.
You’ll see the Linode summary section with a graph like the following image.
1. CPU Usage(in %)
CPU Usage is the actual computing power usage of your server. The CPU Usage graph enables administrators to monitor the usage of CPU used by system components and users. It can be shown in percentage and an easy-to-understand interface.
Each of your CPU cores is capable of 100% utilization. Let’s say you have two CPU cores; the total max utilization will be 200%. But only in some cases, which means a shared server does not allow you to use full computing power to show the same graph and utilizations as a dedicated server.
The CPU usage graph looks like the following image.
The X-axis represents the time depending upon the interval period you selected.
Y-axis represents the CPU in percentage.
Note that: If you are a ServerAvatar user, you do not have to calculate the CPU usage for multiple cores. ServerAvatar will automatically show you % CPU usage based on the number of cores you have on your server.
2. IPv4 network traffic
The IPv4 network traffic graph shows how much incoming and outgoing bandwidth/network traffic your server is using.
As you can see on the above graph, the X-axis represents the Time, and Y-axis represents the total amount of network traffic in bytes or bits per second.
Let us discuss four different aspects of IPv4 network traffic:-
- Public in – This shows the total number of incoming traffic from the internet to your public IPv4 address. For example, if someone visits your site hosted on the server, their device will send a request to the server using the public IPv4 address.
- Public out – This shows the total number of outgoing traffic from the server from the public IPv4 address. In this case, the server responds to the request from the visitor’s device and sends website data.
- Private in – Represents the total amount of incoming traffic from private IP addresses associated with Linode.
- Private out- Represents the total amount of outgoing traffic from private IP addresses associated with Linode.
3. IPv6 network traffic
This is the latest protocol in use due to the growing number of devices on the internet. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses. Like IPv4 network graphs, IPv6 graph Inbound and Outbound matrices tell the total amount of incoming and outgoing traffic on IPv6 addresses associated with Linode.
Both IPv4 and IPv6 network graphs are helpful for monitoring traffic on the network and also identifying potential issues happening on the server.
4. Disc I/O
It refers to the process of reading data from the storage device(hard drive, SSD) or writing to the storage device. Disc IO graph measured in blocks/s. Block is the data storage unit used to organize and store data on a hard drive or SSD-like storage device.
The two performance metrics in the Disc I/O graph are the following.
- I/O Rate: IO rate measured in input/output operations per second. It indicates the rate of data that is being transferred from and to the disc. A high IO rate suggests that the disc is heavily used and needs to be optimized.
- Swap Rate: The swap rate is measured in kilobytes per second(KB/s). The swap rate refers to the amount of data transferred between disk swap space and the system’s RAM. And swap memory is the temporary memory stored in a disc that is used when a system’s memory(RAM) is full.
How to use LISH console in Linode
The Lish console(Linode shell) provides direct access to your Linode. You can use the LISH console for troubleshooting and recovery purposes.
LISH console and SSH are both methods for accessing a Linode remotely, although some key differences between LISH console and SSH are –
- Unlike SSH, LISH are web-based terminal access service which access on web browser
- Lish uses the Linode account credential for Login, while SSH uses SSH credentials.
- LISH can be accessed right from your cloud manager while SSH can be access from anywhere using SSH credentials
- You can run any commands and programs on your VPS through SSH access, while LISH has some limited command capabilities.
To access the Linode shell of your specific Linode, click on the three-dot icon of your corresponding Linode and access Launch LISH Console link from the dropdown, like the following imag
You’ll see the console area like in the following image.
You can log in to your console with the username, root and password you have entered while creating an account.
It is not recommended to use the LISH console for regular purposes or for performing automated tasks.
Access Linode via SSH
Accessing your Linode via SSH is a flexible and secure way to access the Linode internal shell. One best thing about SSH compared to LISH is that you can access your Linode anywhere.
You can use SSH regularly or perform more advanced tasks like automating, transferring data, etc.
To access SSH credentials of your Linode, go to your Linode cloud manager and select the appropriate Linode by clicking on the Linode label link.
You’ll see the SSH Access credentials in the Linode summary section, like the following image.
Paste the command mentioned above on the terminal if you are a Linux or Mac user, or use putty if you are a Window User.
It asks to enter the password. It is the password that you entered during the Linode creation process.
You can reset the root password on your Linode in case you forgot the password.
Restart or Reboot a Linode
You may not necessarily restart a Linode, but there are several reasons why you should restart your Linode, including-
- Software updates
- Configuration changes
- Security reasons
- Performance improvement, etc.
It is recommended to notify your users or customers about the planned restart and take a snapshot of your Linode before rebooting.
Linode allows you to easily restart your server when it is required. Restarting a Linode is straightforward.
You’ll see the list of Linodes on the screen. Click the Three dot icon followed by a specific Linode instance like the image below.
Or, you can access the Rebootlink from the summary section, as seen in the image below.
Note that: Rebooting the server results stops all the running processes.
Resize(Scale) a Linode server
Resizing the Linode refers to upgrading or downgrading your Linode Plan and resources, which directly link to how much Linode capacity you use.
It might be possible that you’re not using your Linode as much as you thought, and it is necessary to downgrade the Linode plan so you can pay only for how many resources you use.
Unlike other cloud hosting services, Linode allows both upgrading and downgrading a Linode temporarily or permanently.
To resize your Linode, go to your cloud manager, access the three-dot icon of your corresponding Linode, and click the Resize link from the dropdown.
On the next screen –
- Select a Linode plan as per your requirements
- Enable the Auto Upgrade Disc option to avoid running out of storage space in future.
- Enter your Linode name to confirm the resizing process.
Click the Resize Linode button once you fill in.
Create a Backup plan for Linode Server
It is recommended to Automatically back up your Linode disc regularly to prevent unexpected disasters. Backup plans are charged separately and can be added to your monthly bills.
You’ll be charged 20% of the cost of your Linode plan, like $20 of Linode takes $5 of a monthly charge.
To create a backup of your Linode, go to your Linode summary section, click the Backups tab, and click the Enable Backup button. You’ll see the screen in the following image.
As you can see, there are two subcategories on this screen, including-
- Manual Snapshot/Backup: create a manual backup of your Linode by entering the Snapshot name in the Name Snapshot field. The manual backup will not be overwritten or affected by an automatic backup. But creating a new manual snapshot results removes existing backup.
- Settings: Automate your Linode backup process by selecting the Day of Week and Time of Day on the appropriate field. Note that it will overwrite the previous daily backup, and up to two weekly backups are saved.
All the backups can be listed on the screen, like in the previous image. And, if you cancel your backup plan, all the existing backups associated with this Linode will be deleted.
Create Linode instance Snapshot
Creating a backup of your Linode is essential to preventing event failure related to Linode instances. It can also be helpful for data protection, testing, and development purposes.
Linode snapshot can be used to create a backup of your Linode’s data and configuration.
To create a snapshot, go to your Linode cloud manager, click the Linode Instance from the list, and access the Backup tab like the following image.
Note that: Linode stores only one snapshot for a compute instance. Creating new snapshot results overwrites the existing snapshot.
Enter the snapshot name under the Manual snapshot fieldand hit the Take Snapshot button. It creates an instant snapshot of your Linode instance.
Create and manage Firewalls for Linode Cloud Instance
Firewall plays a vital role when it comes to the security of your network. It protects your Linode from malicious activities and unauthorized users from accessing your private network.
There are 65535 ports on any Linux server. Various services on the internet that we install on our server run on different ports. For example, SSH runs on port 22, DNS service runs on port 53, HTTPS runs on port 443, and many more.
You need to open several necessary firewall rules to secure the website. Linoide offers some of the most used predefined rules you can add to your cloud firewall with one click. It includes SSH(22), HTTP(80) and MySQL(3306) ports and more.
Create Linode firewall rules
To create Linode firewall rules, go to your Linode Cloud Manager and access Firewalls from the panel’s sidebar.
Rules are separated into two sections which are –
Inbound rules specify which IP address, ports and protocol are allowed to connect to the Linode-protected network. It controls the incoming traffic that is allowed to reach the system. For example, applying port 80 to your Linode results allows all incoming web traffic.
To create an inbound firewall rule for your Linode, Click the Add an Inbound Rule button.
You’ll see the form in the following image.
- Preset: Select a firewall rule from the useful predefined firewall rules(optional).
- Label: Add a label as an identifier of your Linode firewall rule(optional).
- Description: Add a description of your Linode firewall rule(optional).
- Protocol: Choose a transport player protocol for your firewall rule. UDP is the recommended choice for a transport layer protocol.
- Ports: You can select from the list of common predefined ports or select the custom port range configuration option. Note that you can add up to 15 ports to a single cloud firewall rule, which is required only for TCP and UDP protocols.
- Sources: Select from a list of available sources that limit incoming connections to specific IP address/addresses or to the chosen internet protocol.
- Action: You can allow or drop/deny traffic based on the firewall rule you create. For example, you can create a firewall rule with a Drop action that blocks incoming traffic from a specific IP address on port 80.
Outbound rules control the outgoing traffic that is allowed to reach the external network. For example, XYZ company would set up outbound rules in its firewall that block outgoing traffic to the IP addresses of the social media websites.
As you select sources in the Inbound firewall rule, you can hear Select Destinations that limit the outgoing connection to specific IP address/addresses or to the chosen internet protocol.
You can also edit your created firewall rule as required.
Rebuild a Linode Server
Rebuilding a Linode process makes a new Linode with the same configuration as an existing one. Many of us need clarification about what happens when rebuilding a Linode. Here are the points that help you understand the basics.
- The existing Linode will be deleted with all your data, files, and installed software.
- A new Linode with the configuration same as the existing one will be created. This means you will keep the Linode plan you selected for the previous one.
- Backups of the previous original Linode will not be affected.
Rebuild a Linode to help update your server with the latest security patches. And it can also help you resolve issues regarding updates. It can also be helpful if you want to change your operating system’s distribution(image) or version. For example, upgrade your operating system from Ubuntu 18.04 to Ubuntu 20.04.
To rebuild a Linode, go to your Linode cloud manager and click the Three dot icon of your corresponding Linode.
Now fill up the details to create a new Linode. It takes information such as –
- Select whether you want to deploy the Linode on a new image, or you can select community StackScript or an account StackScript. StackScript automates the process during the deployment of the new Linode.
- Choose an image or StackScript from the dropdown.
- Set root password.
- Add SSH key and enter your existing Linode name.
Click the Rebuild Linode button, and the new Linode will be deployed in a minute or two.
Delete a Linode cloud instance
If you don’t need your server anymore, you can delete it with just a few clicks. Before deleting the Linode, ensure that the data containing a Linode you want to delete is not necessarily in use.
And in case you want that data, create a snapshot of your Linode before deleting it.
To delete a Linode, navigate to the Linode cloud manager, click the three-dot dropdown icon, and click the Delete link.
It will finally ask you, “are you sure you want to delete this server”. Click Ok to finalize the delete process. Your server will be deleted within seconds.
How to Manage DNS for Domain in Linode
If you are going to host a website on a Linode Instance, you would have to manage DNS of your domain. You can use any DNS provider as long as you are pointing the A record to the correct IP address, i.e. the IP address of your Vultr server.
The best choice to manage DNS would be through Cloudflare. However, If you do not want to use Cloudflare or any other DNS provider, you can use Linode’s DNS service to manage DNS records for your domains.
Note: DNS management is free in Linode.
To start managing your DNS with Linode, set the following nameservers in your domain name settings.
Once you set these nameservers in your domain name, you can start managing your DNS records on Linode.
Add domain to Linode DNS manager
Managing DNS allows you to control how your domain name resolves. It transfers your domain names into IP addresses web browsers use to load web pages. You can transfer your domain to a new web host through DNS management.
You can manage your domains by going to the Domains tab from the Linode cloud manager.
Here you will see the list of all domains with created date and time. You can add a new domain to DNS management by clicking the Create Domain button.
Here you can fill up-
1) Zone Type: Primary zone type is the authoritative source for a domain’s DNS record. Selecting primary zone type results allows you to create and manage all the necessary DNS records needed for the domain to function properly.
On the other hand, a Secondary zone is a read-only copy of a primary zone and is typically used for redundancy and load balancing.
2) Domain: enter your registered domain name. You can add Domain and Subdomain
Manage PHP/WordPress website on Linode server
As you can see, we discussed all the features provided by Linbode in order to manage multiple types of servers. But how can you manage your PHP website on the Linode server?
Let’s see how you can host multiple PHP websites on your Linode server without technical knowledge of Linux.
- Hire a system administrator to host and manage websites on a server. (Expensive)
- Create a server with a pre-installed application. (No Management capabilities)
- Use a remote server management panel (Recommended).
Let’s understand the pros and coupons of all the methods.
1. Hire a System administrator
Once you create a server from any cloud service provider, you’ll hire a freelancer and ask them to configure your server and host applications on it. An experienced system administrator will charge anywhere between $50-$100 for the initial configuration of your server.
The real problem arises when you want to help regarding server issues, host more sites or make any changes. The server administrator might charge every time you get help from them. And in the end, it will be a costly process.
Another inconvenience is that you will have to share your server’s root password with someone you don’t know.
2. Create a Server with the Pre-installed Applications
Linode provides a marketplace with various pre-configured apps that you can deploy within a minute. The marketplace includes popular open-source applications such as WordPress, and NextCloud and tools for DevOps, including Kubernetes, GitLab, Jenkins, and more.
The marketplace makes it easy to start new applications without manually configuring and installing them from scratch.
To find this option, click on the Create Linode option from the sidebar and access the Marketplace tab like the following image.
The problem you face using marketplace applications is you may not have complete control over the configuration, or it may not provide the level of customization that you need for your specific use cases. Apart from that, the cost associated with deploying pre-configured applications is unexpected.
It is essential to carefully consider the specific need or requirements before deploying the pre-configured applications.
It’s 2023, And you do not deserve that. To solve all the configuration, learning curve and support problems, We have the 3rd method. Note that this method was not viable six years ago.
3. Use a remote server management panel.
A remote server management panel costs you 90% less than an initial configuration done by a system administrator. And here are some capabilities that any remote server management panel will provide.
- Instant, Automated and Optimised configuration
- Host multiple sites on a single server
- Easy-to-use Web Application to manage sites on your server
- No/Negligible learning curve required
- Clone websites, Create Staging Areas, Create Demo Areas
- Migrate sites automatically, instantly
- File manager to manage files of your sites
- Get support for server-level errors
- Get Managed Hosting Experience with Linode Integration
In short, You do not have to hire a person to host your sites on a Vultr server. And it is as easy as managing websites on managed hosting. Here are some screenshots of a ServerAvatar panel, a remote server management panel.
The following is an application management panel. Here you can manage domains for your sites, use Auto Deploy to auto-install applications, and manage staging areas, files, SSL certificates, PHP settings, backups and many more.
The following is a server management panel. It is where you manage and monitor your server. You can manage things like Applications/sites, Databases, Firewall, Server Alerts, migrations, and a lot more.
You can try it by yourself. It is free for 1 month. To get started, create a fresh Linode server with Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04, or 22.04 operating system. Then execute the commands given below as a root user to download an inspect script which will check the server configuration and start the installation if the server is supported.
chmod +x install
It will ask if you want to configure your server with Apache, Nginx or OpenLiteSpeed. You can select according to your requirements and hit enter. After that, It will check if the server is ready for installation.
After the installation starts, It will provide you with a link to your server management panel. The complete initial configuration will be over in 6-7 minutes, and you will be able to manage your servers and sites using a panel displayed in the above-given images.