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Top Forums UNIX for Dummies Questions & Answers Server Help!
# 1  
Old 12-04-2007
Server Help!

Please help! The question:

At work, I do not have the knowledge to do the following:

1. Connect to the our Webserver
2. Work with the mail server to make changes to passwords, create/delete accounts, troubleshoot email problems.
3. Work with the ftp server to set up webspace, usernames/passwords.
4. Work with the DNS server to create those @myself.com emails, do anything with Domain names.
5. Get usage and infomation to bill customers.

The company is a small Internet provider in my town. The server is located in a room downtown with lots of machines making lots of noises. The new guy who maintains it, I believe, puts off requests from this small time part of the company because of its smallness, and requests never get done. Thus I have clients yelling at me and finding other providers because their request never happen. Ex) changing a password. Besides the server guy, the only other person on the team is myself, but it is really only me since there is no server support!

What I want is to be everything and get requests done in mins rather than weeks.

So my question is, what do I have to ask the server guy in order to start my learning journey? All I have to go on is that UNIX is used to communicate. But what else do I need to learn? If I learnt Unix, would I also have to learn more about the specific type of web server, email server, ect... or is it all pretty much the same? I'm a web designer, not so much a server guy...

Should I learn by making my own small webserver? Hope I'm not troubling anyone here with a common question! I really want to learn something new and useful.

Help!
# 2  
Old 12-04-2007
Starting to learn the stuff that needs to be done as requested by your clients would take a lot of time. I suggest that you find someone who's already familiar with such tasks, you will save time and nerves.
# 3  
Old 12-04-2007
Changing a password is relatively straightforward. But knowing CPR does not make you a surgeon. Obviously being a doctor is much more involved than being a sys admin (apologies to any MDs reading this), so what I'm trying to say is: this is much more complicated than it looks.

Change the password? Is that a login password, or an email password? Is this a shared-hosting system? How many domains? What brand of Unix are you using? What version? I've been doing this a long time, and even I would need to look up half that stuff you wanted. Everyone here would be happy to help you by answering specific questions, but this is a very broad topic.

Usually, a server is planned based on need and then implemented based on operating procedure. The specifics should be documented when the server is configured. If there's no documented procedures for these common tasks (i.e. billing!?!!) then you're left to reverse-engineer the original setup. And that's a long and painful exercise.

If you can make a backup of the server and restore it on another machine (network-isolated from the internet and the actual server, so as to not interfere) then you can pound away on the clone to your hearts content without risking downtime to the production system. That would be a good first step.

After that, though, you're looking at reading an awful lot of "Dummies" books.
 

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