Setting up a root server isn’t so difficult. Or is it.

In the search for the perfect service to offer my clients – many of whom like to use this dreaded WordPress platform [I love it really] I’ve found that using shared servers is both maddening to manage and very unspectacular in terms of performance.

Good and – dare I say cheap – root server hosting

The hunt for a reasonably priced hosting service let me to Hetzner online. Compared to the many VPS or Shares Server systems on offer out there in my price range (about 40€ pcm) that give you similar c.512MB RAM and limited CPU use Hetzner offers a very well specced beast all to yourself. The only catch is that it’s a blank slate server you get. Actually they do offer various images to start from – ranging from a minimal Linux install to LAMP or LAMP + SysCP. I tried SysCP as the server control panel but hated it – the English documentation is so badly written that I can’t be sure what it’s trying to tell me.

In the end, I’ve settled with Webmin and its sibling Virtualmin.

So far it’s not been too bad. Over the past couple of years I’ve become accustomed to basic xAMP terms and command-line stuff – but going out into the big bad world has left the hole in my arsenal rather visible. [A-hem.]. Setting up Virtualmin was very straight-forward when done with their excellent install script. I had tried to install manually over the SysCP base but there where many things that didn’t hang together. After an hour or so of stepping through error messages and warnings in Virtualmin then googling and solving each one, in turn, I had had enough. A quick trip to Hetzner’s robot allowed me to reboot from a recovery drive and reinstall a new blank slate. The moral is: use the Virtualmin install script!


Was never something I had to contend with – and while


Virtualmin has not got the best documentation – a proper wiki would be great – but hey…

PHP memory. default is only 8MB per server – look to increase this globally or as per

Automatic virtual server  subdomains in Virtualmin

on the host account for all virtual servers as per “How do I make domains available before the DNS changes are made at the registrar?”: “virtualmin “Automatically create alias domain””. A Virtualmin Pro only feature. According to this thread ( it’s unnecessary as creating a sub domain and then “use the function “Server Configuration > Move Virtual Server”. For “New parent server” choose “Convert to parent”.”