Setting up a Linode VPS

I have been on the hunt for a new host for a while now and, after many recommendations, decided to give Linode a go. Linode is a cloud based VPS provider. You get root SSH access and set everything up for yourself, with the exception of the Linux distribution, which can be installed with one click. There are also scripts, called StackScripts to ease the burdon of setting up your server, but I have decided to do this the old fashioned way. Linode is not for the faint hearted, but is for those who want total control over their server.

Setting up a Linode server was not as painful as I thought it could be. Here are the steps I used to set it up. This is the first part in a series of posts. This part concentrates on the Linode setup and Linux distribution installation.

Creating a Linode account

I went for the Linode 512, which is the cheapest plan at $19.95 per month for 20GB of storage and 200GB transfer. I will probably upgrade, but going with the cheapest plan initially seemed sensible.

Setup Ubuntu Server

You will be asked to chose a geographical location and I chose London. Generally, it is best to chose the location closest to the majority of your users.

You will be asked which linux distribution you want to use. I chose Ubuntu 11.10. I left the Deployment Disk Size at 20224 MB and Swap Disk at 256 MB.

Rebuild a Linode server 

Boot your Linode

You will then be taken to the dashboard and you can boot your Linode.Booting the Linode server

Before long, the Server Status will say RunningThe Linode server is now running


You will need to point your domain name(s) at Linode. Go to your domain registrar and use the following:


DNS Manager

  1. Click on Add a Zone.
  2. Enter your domain name
  3. For SOA Email, it is best to use the email you used to register the domain
  4. Leave Insert Default Records as Yes
  5. Click Add a Master Zone

SSH Access

Go to Remote Access tab to get the SSH details. You will see root@ipaddress. You can SSH in with that using the password set in the step where you deployed your Linux distribution. If you don't know anything about SSH, then stop now and consider whether Linode is the right solution for you.

Coming up

I will be writing more posts soon which outline the steps to set up LAMP, setting up virtual hosts, the first Drupal site and security and performance tips


Thanks for sharing this. I have been wanting to try Linode but have been hesitant because it is sort of "do it yourself." I may give it a go now. Do you feel like what you have set up is secure?

Blair Wadman's picture

I'd say it is not totally secure, as there is root SSH access, which is generally not recommended. I will outline steps to block root SSH access in my next tutorial on setting up the LAMP stack.

Hi there Blair,

Any updates on finishing this setup?

Blair Wadman's picture

I will publish the next post within the next week or two, which will be on setting up the LAMP environment. Sorry for the delay!

I prefer LEMP rather than LAMP for RAM saving.

While a nice write up, you only mentioned how to setup a server, which itself is a complicated process. When you get to installing stack like PHP MySQL, it gets even more complicated. The process of setting up Linode completely is too long, which makes me wonder why someone would still want to do it manually, especially when you have server management services, like this one: where you can deploy your app on a pre-installed and configured server.

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