Choosing A Web Hosting Provider

My site had faced a big downtime last week - for 4 consecutive days. Thanks to the then hosting provider Powweb, I had to face this problem. As a matter of fact, I had sent them a mail immediately when my site went down. They took 2 days to respond and said that the problem was fixed. But even after an additional 2 days my site was still down. This along with the fact that even previously there were frequent downtimes (about 2-3 hours per week) made me switch my hosting provider.


Need for Backup

Note: See also the follow up to this article about some of the Linux Backup Solutions

Some things are learned the hard way and the importance of taking backup was among those. While I will not get into the details about how to take backup I just want to stress on the importance of backups. Just consider one of the following real-life scenarios:

1. There is a huge power fluctuation and your entire hard disk gets destroyed.


Mail Retriever

A mail retriever is used to retrieve mails from remote mail servers. This is especially useful if you want to retrieve mails from remote mail servers and deliver it to your local mail server or store in your local machine.


Setting Up Mail Server (With MDA, IMAP And Webmail)

Mail Server

Using your own mail server, you can have mails delivered directly. Certain things I looked out for while choosing a mail server for my personal use:

- Support for regular operating system accounts (unix logins)
- IMAP support (either inbuilt / external)
- Webmail support (either inbuilt / external)
- Maildir format supported
- (Sieve) Server side filtering (
- Ease of installation


Adding JPEG Comments

MaPiVi is a photo organizing software which can be used to add comments to JPEG files (always take a backup of your photos as this software works on it directly). However, MaPiVi is no longer being maintained actively. Another graphical tool which can be used for editing JPEG comments is XnViewMP. Originially written for Mac, binaries are now available for major linux distributions.


Shutdown Using Power Button

Here is a small tip. For configuring the power button to start shut down sequence when pressed, install "acpid" daemon via apt. This will install the necessary event (/etc/acpi/events/powerbtn) and associated action (/etc/acpi/ to be performed upon pressing the power button.


Setting up DHCP Server

A dhcp server allows you to assign IPs dynamically to your clients. For further information visit, Setting up DHCP server.


Connecting via PPPoE

This is especially useful for those who use a username and password to connect to their broadband cable/ADSL connection (such as that provided by BSNL, Airtel and Tata Indicom). For this you need to install pppoeconf package and run the command.

# apt-get install pppoeconf
# pppoeconf

Alternatively, if you are using mepis you can configure by going to Kmenu --> Internet --> Connection --> ADSL/PPPoE configuration.


Setting up Linux Gateway

Using this, you can set up your linux pc as a home gateway for all the other systems. For instructions on how to do this, you may refer the below links:



SSL/TLS enables you to communicate securely with your server. Most of the major protocols such as http, smtp, pop3, imap can use SSL/TLS. While TLS can be used over the same port, SSL has to be run on a different port such as https, smtps, pop3s, imaps. SSL has been superseded by TLS. You can find more information about SSL/TLS on Wikipedia.

StartCom Free SSL Certification Authority and are two CAs which issue free certificates.



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