I recently signed up for a Dedicated Virtual (dv) server with Media temple, and had to do quite a lot of work to properly configure things. This article is designed to help those in a similar situation. Additional comments and suggestions are welcome. Use this article at your own risk. Backup everything.
Background: I am running a dozen sites with the lowest dv package, allowing for 500mb of ram and 1tb of transfer for $500 a year, as you have to pre-pay the year when using paypal. I need this server to run websites oaun Joomla, WordPress and MagentoCommerce, which requires software like mcrypt and mhash. I also have a home Ubuntu testing server for Flash Media Server 2 and proftpd to run on.
First, you will need root ssh, and to get that you need to open a support ticket.
Next, we follow these guides for optimizing the dv 3.5:
Everything in the above articles is optional. I decided to leave all my apache modules enabled for now. Make sure to disable spam assassin, DNS service and the Watchdog.
I have heard reports that when your servers receive heavy spam that it can crash the server, so I have opted to use Gmail to receive my server’s email by modifying the mx records, as described here:
I then need backup solutions, and do not wish to pay extra. So, since I have a home server already I just installed proftpd and setup my backups in Plesk to upload to my home server over FTP every night. Plesk will first compress the backup so it is only one file transfer. This includes your databases.
Now for MagentoCommerce, a.k.a ‘the hard part’.
We do not get to have YUM or SVN by default, so we have to install them by hand using the ./configure; make; make install method as described here:
In the above post, however, the versions have changed. We’re using centOS 5, not 4, so you have to go to that site and find the right files. Also note, you may have to make a few symbolic links to various libraries throughout your installations if libraries cannot be found.
Next, you need to download and install mcrypt through the same method as YUM and SVN, but this time I don’t have a link for you.
Now, install php-mcrypt with YUM install php-mcrypt and mhash with YUM install php-mhash.
At this point, mcrypt is misconfigured because it was built at a different time than PHP, producing errors. We could re-build php, however I do not like that idea… so I found an alternative:
The above website is a YUM repository. Follow the site instructions to add their servers to YUM, and then run YUM update. This will update many many things. After complete, log in to Plesk > Virtuozzo and restart VPS.
Edit the php.ini to force enable the PDO, mcrypt and mhash modules if you are still not seeing them in phpinfo();
This removes you from Media Temple’s automatic update program, however I do not mind.
We should now have a fully functional and optimized LAMP Virtual Dedicated server that can run all 3 popular software packages, and for $42 a month. My serveris currently using 32% – 45% of it’s resources, and I am not even doing all the tweaks. Next I will look into installing xcache.