View Full Version : Here's how to access / restart / monitor your server from ANYWHERE

07-20-2006, 05:47 AM
I thought this might help a few people. I'm cross posting in General Discussion.

If it's important to you that your server is up and running (as it is for most people) but you want to lead a normal life, out and about, ideally you want to be able to fix your server immediately and not wait until you get home or to an internet cafe. Well now you can, via your mobile/cell phone.

Accessing your server from your phone, anywhere!
If you have a smartphone, maybe you can access the web based manager via the browser. I'm guessing this should work on Symbian / UIQ / Windows Mobile full web browsers, but I haven't been able to test so don't know.

Non Smart Phone, with Java (J2ME) - Opera Mini 2.0 (mini.opera.com) is a GREAT full web browser for ordinary phones, but even it can't cope with the javascript WestHost's web manager uses. So we switch to SSH. Yes, you can get a full SSH/Telnet client for ordinary phones, at http://xk72.com/midpssh/
It works great on my Nokia 6230i and is easy to setup and use (though the font size setting might need changing - 8X13 font works best).

Smartphone - use Putty, from http://s2putty.sourceforge.net/ for Symbian, or see http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/links.html for other smartphones (inc. Palm)

Restart server via SSH
(In MidpSSH you can set these as macros to avoid typing)

Having checked with Westhost tech support, the closest you can get to what the web based Site Manager restart does, is the restart command: Just enter


and it will restart Apache web server, and MySQL.
To stop services, enter

rc stop

and to start them, enter

rc start

Monitoring your server is up
This is simple, there are lots of 3rd party services that will email you if your site is down. A free one is http://www.siteuptime.com . However, really you need to be called or SMSed on your mobile if you're out and about, otherwise you won't know you've got an email waiting (unless you have a Blackberry). After a bit of research I found http://internetsupervision.com who for $6/mth will call or SMS if your site is down. There may be other better ones!

So, with this little lot above, you can know your server has a problem, and fix it, from anywhere!


09-21-2006, 05:16 AM
I downloaded midpSSH (full build MIDP2.0) for my Nokia 6230i, but every time I tried to connect, I got a flashing STOP with the error

[sic] Writer:Error occured whilst opening connection
followed by a white on black screen saying connecting to mydomain.com...

It turned out that the problem was the phone's configuration. It needed support for Streaming applications added.

My settings for MidpSSH are:
Session: Host: mydomain.com Type:SSH Username:user Password:mypass Options:Create [These are same details as for PuTTY]

Network: Terminal: Default Polling I/O:Off

Interface: Full Screen:Off Orientation:Normal Terminal Size: Cols/Rows: Default Predictive Text:On

Fonts: Size:LCD 8x13 Mode:RGB FG:ffffff BG:000000

SSH: Prefer:SSH2 Public Key:Off Store Session:On Session Key:512

Phone configuration (for Vodafone UK PAYT):
Account Name: Vodafone GPRS
Homepage: http://live.vodafone.com/
User: wap
Password: wap
Use Preferred Access Point: No
Access Point Settings:
Proxy: Enabled
Proxy Address:
Proxy Port: 8799
Data Bearer: GPRS
Bearer Settings:
GPRS Access Point: pp.vodafone.co.uk
Authentication Type: Normal
User name: wap
Password: wap

Account Name: VodaStream
UDP Port Range: 6970-7170
Use Preferred Access Point: No
Access Point Settings:
Proxy: Disabled
Bearer Settings:
GPRS Access Point: pp.vodafone.co.uk
Authentication Type: Normal
User name: wap
Password: wap
Don't forget to Activate these settings. Fuller details of how to configure your Nokia can be found at http://www.wallyx.com/nokia_6270

The settings for other UK networks can be obtained from http://www.filesaveas.com/gprs.html
Another error I got was "Subscribe to GPRS first" which also meant that I had something wrong in the phone's configuration. The default configuration from Vodafone OTA (Over The Air) does not include streaming.

09-21-2006, 10:00 AM
Incidentally, restart and rc stop only restart Apache and MySQL. They do not reboot your VPS, so will not fix any problems with FTP, SMTP or POP3. You need to login via the Site Manager to restart your VPS and I cannot do that from the browser on my cell phone :-(

If you enable the Apache Watchdog Monitor from within your Site Manager, (Site Management / Site Parameters), then Westhost checks that your site is up every 30 seconds and will restart Apache if there is a problem.