Things to do with a VPS / Dedicated Server
Have some extra RAM to spare after setting up your VPS? Don’t want the spare memory to go to waste but don’t know what to do with it? Here, take your pick or simply suggest more ideas and I’ll happily add them to the list.
- Web hosting using control panels like Virtualmin (GPL version free) or Directadmin ($5/mo). That way you can help host websites for friends and family.
- Host game servers – CS 1.6, TF2, CS:Source, Quake, Unreal Tournament etc. Sure the hit registration won’t be great due to poor CPU scheduling on most VPS plans but it should be enjoyable enough as a small (<10man) server.
- Run a jabber/XMPP server.
- FTP storage to store your files online by installing a FTP server like VSFTP or ProFTP. A better alternative would be to scrap the FTP server altogether and use encrypted SFTP (connect using filezilla).
- Run your own email server with postfix/exim + dovecot/courier. Or use Iredmail to install an email stack that works right outta the box for you. Beware though that using spamassasin and clamav to detect spam and viruses require A LOT of memory. Yes I know Gmail is free, reliable and feature rich but some of us prefer to keep our private emails in our own private space.
- Use it to connect to IRC chat rooms using Irssi running under Gnu Screen. Also use Nicklist plugin for Irssi. If you’re adventurous enough, host an IRC server (google search for “IRC daemon”) so you can have your own personalized IRC network for your business/friends etc. People who want their identity masked can also run BNC bouncers to help hide their IP address when connected to an IRC server. To top it up, run an Eggdrop bot that sits in your channel to serve trivias or quizzes to channel members or simply run ssh commands for you.
- Setup Ventrilo, Teamspeak or Mumble so you can voice chat with your friends during online gaming sessions.
- Use it to access content in another region (e.g watching Hulu in the US and BBC/ITV in the UK) using OpenVPN. Personally I prefer good ol SSH tunneling that can be easily setup using Putty and configuring your Firefox to listen to the putty SOCKS.
- Run a Honeypot to collect data on attack patterns, or to compile a list of brute force passwords.
- As a backup server, storing files of other servers using rsync. Can also configure a MySQL slave to backup your primary database.
- Stay anonymous on the internet and protect yourself at work from irresponsible network administrators by using a Tor Relay.
- Use it as a seedbox for private trackers to improve share ratio. rtorrent is an awesome lightweight torrent client that works great with GNU Screen and you can use wtorrent as a front end GUI for the less CLI inclined users. Some may prefer using torrentflux.
- Own your own online radio station by streaming using Shoutcast.
- Run a FOREX business using Metatrader.
- Use as an alternate ping location to check online status of sites and services. Like pingdom, just-ping etc.
- Host rapidleech script to download from file hosting sites (rapidshare, megaupload, zshare etc).