Skywalker Server School – Create a Server with Yoda Pt. 1

Featured Image for Part 1 of Create a Server Blog Series

Hello and welcome to yet another unconventional tour through a page within Hostwinds’ Cloud Portal – The “Create a Server” page. The Cloud Portal is an important component of Hostwinds clients’ accounts, and a noteworthy component of the Cloud Portal is the Create a Server page. Seeing as this web page contains a substantial amount of selections before clients click the green “Create Server” button at the bottom of the page, we’ll take a moment to make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decisions. We’re going to become expert server creators…or, you could say, (foreshadowing is about to happen:) “Server Jedis.” The Hostwinds Team will be your confidant as you decide between your various operating systems, applications, ISOs, data centers, and billing cycle options (to name just a few).


The VPS and the Cloud Portal

If cloud servers are still an ($10 word warning:) enigma to you, rest assured the Hostwinds Knowledge Base guide entitled “What is a Cloud Server?” has a glorious definition to help clarify what cloud servers are and what they do:

Cloud Servers are VPSs (Virtual Private Servers) on the Hostwinds’ Cloud platform. These servers are virtualized within our Cloud platform using Enterprise drives and hardware for the dedicated resources your server utilizes. Cloud servers can be quickly spun up in just a few clicks of your mouse and can be customized to tailor to your needs.”

Visit HERE to quickly increase your cloud server (anywhere from $7 – $10 word coming up:) prowess.

Hmmm, let’s see…(guess what this is leading to? Did you guess a $10 word alert? Your intelligence and foresight amazes me. You are right AS USUAL! Here it is:) laudable introduction, CHECK. Clarification as to what cloud servers are, CHECK. Did I miss anything before we begin touring the Create a Server page? Oh yes! How could I forget!? Some wisdom from the (one more $10 word before advancing to the Create a Server wonderland:) venerable (can you tell I’ve been learning lsome new words lately?) philosopher…YODA! As in Yoda from George Lucas’ Star Wars…(*Yoda voice*) Learned so much have I, from the advice of Master Yoda. Namely, the following: Yoda explains to Luke Skywalker that all the knowledge the latter has accrued is of great importance. Why? Yoda says that such accumulation of knowledge will ultimately be (Star Wars pun:) the force that gives Luke the strength to prevail over the dark side.

In other words, that precious little asparagus-looking guru advises Luke to retain and hold on to all the knowledge passed on to him. Yoda seems to understand the principle that every piece of information entering one’s reality is brought to that individual to help them carry out their life’s mission/purpose (in some way or another). As you engross yourself in this server creation process, remember that the information you learn will serve you in some capacity in the future:

Without further delay, let’s mosey on over to the Create a Server page:

…Oh wait, IMPORTANT DELAY: You’re going to enjoy this delay, as it is (…back by popular demand…) even more Yoda insight! The tiny puff of magical genius also assists Luke in understanding what life is all about when the former tells the latter to always make sure to teach others that which the latter has learned.

When you become a Server Jedi, don’t forget to spread this intelligible server creation knowledge to as many people as possible (in order to practice what Yoda advises you to do…not so that Hostwinds’ munificent products and services can become more well-known….okay maybe that was the intention behind this *giggles*, but I still maintain that Yoda’s advice is worth knowing nonetheless!). By the way, I definitely recommend looking up all the (SPOILER ALERT:) many Yoda (made up word coming up:) wisdoms that I paraphrase in this blog series.

Now, onto the Create a Server page. The following instructions will guide you straight there:


The Server Solar System

Step 1: Log in to your Client Area (

Step 2: Find your way to the Cloud Portal (Click “Cloud Control” drop-down toward the right on the baby blue navigation bar at the top of the Client Area >>> Select “Cloud Portal” option).

Step 3: Click the Yoda-colored “Create” button with the sweet spaceship on it.

That green button reminds me of those glowing emerald bat ears with a mind of their own swaying back and forth as Yoda dropped these two mic-drop-worthy insights: 1. People oftentimes learn the most from their failures 2. Answers and solutions come to us when our minds are tranquil and relaxed. Stillness of the mind and inner peace bring wise decisions and ideas. How does all that apply to the creation of a server? As the kids these days would say, it’s “OBVIIIIII” because 1. we don’t need to worry about making all the perfect choices while we create our server(s) now that we know failure has its silver lining and perks, and because 2. we now know that it would be prudent if we all take deep breaths and stay calm as we decide what type of server to create.

Create a Server

Step 4: Click the “Servers” option at the top of the drop-down list. Now, there you are in the Create a Server page. The plenteous options regarding how to generate your server await you. What a versatile selection…but how to choose? The hope is that these detailed notes will make each decision easier for you:


Your Operating System, Must You Choose (Yoda Translator: Choose Your Operating System)

Create a Server Operating Systems

Clarification as to What an Operating System Does

An operating system is the software that becomes the most important infrastructure and platform for your computer’s operations. It handles things like communication between your keyboard and the computer, your USB drive and the computer, all the software applications and your computer, and much more.


cPanel, CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, Windows

Notes on Operating System Options

First off, note the drop-down arrow to the right of nearly every operating system name. Click the little arrow to view and/or select between different versions of the operating systems.

cPanel – cPanel works with applications including but not limited to PHP, MySQL, and Apache.

NOTE: cPanel requires a cPanel license, so if you choose this panel, it is important that you add a license.

You can do this anytime through your Client Area by clicking the “Service” drop-down on the baby blue navigation bar at the top of the Client Area >>> Clicking the “Order New Services” link. Then click the “Licenses” link within the “Categories” section on the left side of the page. “cPanel VPS License” is one of the options that pops up on this page. The green “Order Now” button will get you where you need to go to purchase the license.


NOTE PART 2: Hostwinds recommends a 4GB RAM minimum plan if you choose to use cPanel.

Are you like me and feel the need to research the heck out of something before committing to it? Twinsies! These guides will supply more cPanel information and guidance:


CentOS – CentOS is the stable production version of Red Hat.

Ubuntu –  This operating system is a very popular choice, and it is highly secure. Ubuntu provides a lot of online forums and documentation.

Debian – A lot of people also choose Debian. It is an excellent option.

Fedora – Fedora is the leading edge version of Red Hat. (Dad joke coming up here, so take a deep breath:) Fedoras are more modern and cooler than red hats!Windows 2008 and 2012 – These options are nice because they require fewer resources. The Hostwinds Team recommends having a minimum of 2GB RAM if you are to choose Windows for your operating system.


Your Application, You Must Choose (Yoda Translator: Choose Your Application)

Hostwinds provides clients with the opportunity to employ Application Hosting. That is to say, we allow clients to set up their servers to be pre-built with applications.

Create a Server Applications


WordPress, LAMP Stack, Joomla, Minecraft, CPVLab, CentOS Web Panel, LEMP Stack, Virtualmin, Webmin, Plesk, Vesta Control Panel, ownCloud, OpenVPN, ISPManager, MEAN Stack, PrestaShop

Whoa, that’s a lot of options. No need to fear though because Yoda’s great philosophy about fear is here to empower us to fear not. He explains that fear is what pushes people toward the dark side, as it evolves into anger, which evolves into hate, which evolves into suffering. Allow the following application details relieve you of all fear in regard to choosing the right application to tack on to your server.

Notes on Application Options

WordPress – WordPress gives you the ability to create a professional website without having to type a single line of code. All you have to do is follow WordPress’ user-friendly instructions and choose between the software’s beautiful templates…and WOOHOO, you have a website.

LAMP Stack – LAMP Stack helps you get started with your web services. Operating Systems like CentOS and Fedora don’t come preconfigured with Linux operating system, the Apache HTTP Server, MySQL, or PHP (L + A + M + P = LAMP Stack). If you are not in need of a control panel and simply want to create a server quickly, this application will be the right choice for you.

LEMP Stack – LEMP Stack is similar to LAMP Stack, however, in lieu of Apache, LEMP offers NGINX.

Plesk – Plesk is yet another crowd favorite. This control panel allows you to automate a lot of its tools, and one of its features is a complimentary website building application. Plesk is known for its high level of security and its versatility. If you are considering Plesk, check out the following Knowledge Base guide to get a better idea as to what the minimum system requirements are for this application: 

What Is Plesks System Requirements?

CPVLab – This application is most commonly used for marketing purposes. CPVLab is a marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) application.

Minecraft – The Minecraft application is cool because when you choose this option, all you have to do is set your Minecraft settings and start the game server. Everything else is ready to go, and you can start playing Minecraft right away.

Here is a guide that will help you get familiar with your Minecraft server (P.S. Mcmyadmin is the normal default Minecraft Server):

Although the Hostwinds Knowledge Base is oozing with loads of amazing Minecraft guides, the following is probably the guide to reference first when just starting out, as it teaches you how to change how the game runs:

This is another one you’d generally want to reference first, as this guide will teach you how to change the way the server operates (for example, how often your server does backups):

ownCloud – Owncloud is an application very similar to DropBox. (Gear up for another dad joke:) YOU GO OWN THAT CLOUD!

OpenVPN – If you would like your very own VPN service, this is the right choice.

Virtualmin and Webmin are fairly similar.

PrestaShop – As the name suggests, this is an e-commerce application.

MEAN Stack – MEAN stands for MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js. MEAN Stack and all the applications comprising it use JavaScript.

Joomla – Joomla is a very popular content management system. It is similar to WordPress in that it allows one to create a website from scratch with no coding experience necessary.

Vesta, Virtualmin, CentOS, and Webmin are other excellent choices to apply as alternatives to cPanel.

Template – If you are planning to spin up multiple servers with the same configuration, you can use your snapshot backup template ( to quickly create up to 25 servers at a time.

(*Yoda voice*) Complete Part 1 of the Create a Server tour is now! Happy conclusion of Part 1 Server Jedis!


Remaining Present

Let’s all suspend our lightsaber training until Part 2 folks. I know, I know, I wish we didn’t have to either. Luckily, Part 2 will be debuting tomorrow, and we can marvel at the pretty lightsaber lights again as we go over the remaining sections of this Cloud Portal web page (ISOs, plan, resources, SSH keys, data centers, and more). Just in case you find yourself completely distraught by the fact you have to wait a few days to enjoy Part 2 of this blog series, I have prepared…more Yoda counsel…just for you! While speaking about a Jedi’s strengths, Yoda explains the importance of staying focused on the present moment rather than constantly thinking about (or worrying about) the future. Stay strong Server Jedis and know that Part 2 is coming so soon! Enjoy the here and now! (*Yoda voice*) Believe in you, I do!

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