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M5 Support: FAQ

       Here are a list of topics we get asked about often. Hopefully the answers here are helpful....

  1. Requesting service
  2. My server is unreachable!
  3. Reboot my server!
  4. I can't log in at the Customer Portal!
  5. Requesting console / KVM-over-IP access
  6. Using the KVM-over-IP device
  7. Requesting additional IP addresses
  8. Can I _________ on my server?
  9. Can I have the OS reinstalled?
  10. How much bandwidth have I used?
  11. DNS hosting
  12. Reverse DNS
  13. IPv6 support

  • Requesting service
  •        If you are curious about how to go about getting the fastest and most accurate service from us, please see this HOWTO.

  • My server is unreachable!
  •        NOTE: If you cannot reach your server from your particular location, that does not necessarily mean that your server is offline. If you can, try connecting from a second location on an entirely different network. If the server is running a web service, you can use this site to check whether it's really down or if it's just you:

    http://www.downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ (short form http://www.isup.me/)

    You can also refer to this graph in our smokeping server to see if our network has been experiencing connectivity issues from one or more remote locations. (Here's how to read smokeping graphs.)

    If you are able to reach your server from a second location, then there is a problem somewhere between you and your server. We may be able to help, if the problem is with our routers or one of our immediate upstream carriers.

           If you ever are unable to reach your server, we will need some information in order to do any sort of investigation into the cause....

    1. Please tell us your apparent IP address (where you are trying to connect to your server from) as reported by WhatIsMyIPAddress.com.
    2. Please tell us the IP address you are trying to connect to. (If your server has more than one IP address, this could be important.)
    3. Please send the output of a 'traceroute' or 'mtr' from your location to your server. If possible, also send a traceroute or mtr from your server back to your location.
    4. Tell us the exact time of the outage, as best you can. (This will help us to correlate your outage with any other events on the network.)

    With that information ready, open a ticket.

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  • Reboot my server!
  •        All of our racks are now equipped with switched power outlets that can be controlled from our customer portal... (under "Device Manager" → "View Devices": click on your server and look for "Reboot Control"). If you have reason to believe that your server is crashed/panicked/wedged or is otherwise completely unresponsive, you can power-cycle ("reboot") the server yourself and see if it comes back.

           If you are not sure why your server isn't responding, then using the power-cycle feature may clear away any explanation for what happened, making it harder to prevent the problem from occurring again. It might be better to ask for console access first and see if there are any helpful messages on the console.

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  • I can't log in at the Customer Portal!
  •        You are here because you can't log in at our customer portal....

           The first thing you should try is clicking on the "retrieve password" link at the bottom of the "Login" form. (Don't worry... No one can actually retrieve passwords from the system.) The pop-up form allows you to regain access by providing your email address, client ID (a 4-digit number), or username (*not* an email address). Supply one of those identifiers and click "Email Reminder" or just press Enter... You will soon receive an email from 'service' @m5hosting.com (check your Spam bucket!) containing your login ID (a.k.a. "username") and a password reset code that is valid for the next two hours.

           Once you have your password reset code, you can click on the URL in the email, with the password reset code embedded in it, or you can enter it into this password reset form. [You can navigate to this form from the login page by clicking on "retrieve password" (again), and then clicking the "I have a password reset code" link.] Then just enter your new password twice and click "Reset" to reset your password....


           Oh, you're still here? Well, if the above procedure didn't work, fear not... Your account is not locked. There have likely been too many failed login attempts from your location. asking us to temporarily add your apparent IP address () to the "Rate Limit Whitelist".

           You should be logged in now, but if your initial ticket did not get you satisfactory results, please see this HOWTO.

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  • Requesting console / KVM-over-IP access
  •        Each rack shares one single-port IP-KVM device. So, when you request KVM access, we first have the KVM connected to your server (which we can have the NOC staff do for us if we don't happen to have anyone physically in the data center at the time). While that is happening, we create a temporary account for your on the KVM device. Then we confirm that the video is working and that the server is accepting keyboard input before sending you the URL and temporary username and password for the KVM.

           We can usually deliver KVM access within 5-10 minutes of a request coming in. If it ever takes longer than 15 minutes, you can call us on the phone.

           You will need a browser with the Sun/Oracle Java plugin in order to use the console applet of these KVMs. In our experience, a third-party Java unfortunately will not work.

           Because the KVMs are a shared resource, we ask that you let us know as soon as you are finished with it so we can remove your temporary account and make it available for our other customers in that rack. But, in practice, there is seldom a collision, and we have a spare (floater) KVM for emergencies, so if you were looking to keep the KVM for, say, 8-24 hours for an OS upgrade, that would probably not be a problem.

           (See also our tips on using the KVM-over-IP device.)

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  • Using the KVM-over-IP device
  •        Once you have requested and received KVM access to your server's console, you may encounter a few quirks with the Java interface. Here are some tips for using these KVMs....

           Sometimes the keyboard driver in the KVM gets confused, or the terminal emulation in the console gets confused, resulting in some form of gibberish or control characters being inserted into your keystrokes. There are a few ways to deal with it...

           One quick way is to use the "Ctrl+Alt+F2" button that we have provided at the top of the window to switch to the 2nd VT on the console. Usually when the first console is affected, the others are fine.

           Another is to go back to the KVM's web interface in your browser, click on "Maintenance" and then "Unit Reset". You should then see "Reset" buttons for the "Keyboard/Mouse" and "Video Engine". You can use these as needed to reset/resync these sub-systems in the KVM.

           Finally, to issue any arbitrary set of keystrokes, you can use the "Software Keyboard" feature under the "Options" menu in the Java application window.

           One more tip: Typing slowly with non-overlapping keystrokes will help to prevent the KVM or console from becoming confused.

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  • Requesting additional IP addresses
  •        So, you want one or more additional IP addresses for your server hosted at M5 Hosting? Here is how to submit your request for the fastest results....

    You may require an additional IP address if...

    • you will be running a service that is absolutely incapable of sharing an IP address with one of your other services
    • you will be running a virtual machine that requires its own public IP address
    • you will be running a website secured with an SSL certificate (and all of your existing IP addresses are already using port 443)

           By way of explanation, ARIN says we must justify each and every one of our assigned IP addresses with a valid technical requirement for the separate IP address. (Mere "separation of services" for convenience sake is not an acceptable justification.) IPv4 space is down to the last drops and ARIN is tightening the screws. In order to ensure that we can continue to provide public IP addresses to our current and future customers, we must record this information and make our customers use their IPv4 allocations efficiently, according to the ARIN guidelines. It can be a pain in the neck, but ultimately it will allow us to manage our IPv4 spaces most effectively so that we will always have IP addresses on hand to give to you when you need them.

           Note that M5 Hosting has an official policy on IP addresses. This policy includes a limit to the number of IP addresses that we will allocate at a time, and our fee for using more than a certain number of IP addresses on a host. Please read the policy prior to requesting a large number of IP addresses.

           If you believe that you require additional IP addresses, then please email your request to service - at - m5hosting - dot - com, and provide the justification for each additional IP address with your request. Thanks!

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  • Can I ______ on my server?
  •        We often get asked by prospective or current customers whether they are allowed to do something on their server, such as install and run a particular piece of software or listen on an additional port. The answer is a simple "Yes, but..."

           Yes, you can do whatever you like on your server, as long as it is not in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy.

           The long-winded answer is that the servers we offer are what are known in the hosting industry as "unmanaged" (though a more accurate term would be "customer-managed", or "self-managed"). Once we "deliver" your server to you (send you the initial login information), you are now the administrator ('root'). We ask you to change all passwords and we do not retain any ability to access your server over the network. This means you have the ability to install/uninstall software as you please, and communicate on whatever network ports and protocols you like. We do not filter traffic to or from your server.

           It is often said that with great power comes great responsibility. Being administrator also means that you are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of everything from the Operating System inward (OS, middleware, applications, accounts, backups, etc.). If your server is compromised and used to send abusive traffic to/from our network, this becomes your problem. We therefore recommend that you have someone on your team who is explicitly responsible for keeping up with security updates to your software and managing access to your server. If you do not have that expertise in-house, and cannot hire it at a reasonable rate, please ask us about a "managed server".

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  • Can I have the OS reinstalled?
  •        Yes!

           We will gladly reinstall your server with any OS that we currently support, at any time you wish. The first time we will do this free of charge (gratis), as a courtesy. Each subsequent OS reinstall within 30 days of the most recent OS reinstall will incur a $50 fee.

           To request an OS reinstall, just open a ticket. We will ask you the usual setup questions.

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  • How much bandwidth have I used?
  •        You can view your current and historical bandwidth usage in our customer portal. Just log in, click "Device Manager" and then "View Devices", and click the name of the device in question. In the resulting "Device View", look for "Bandwidth Monitoring". You can use the display provided or click on the graph to get a larger version in a pop-up window. Set the "Graph Period" for the date range you wish to examine (e.g. May/01/2015 to: May/30/2015) and click the little "right arrow" button to update the graph and statistical data.

           Statistics are shown separately for outbound and inbound traffic across each associated switchport/interface. Add together the numbers in square brackets at the far right of the "Out" and "In" lines to get your "Total Transfer" for this device for the selected period.

           To see if you are at risk of going over your bandwidth allotment, set the graph period to match your current billing period. Then, divide your total bandwidth usage so far by the number of days elapsed so far, and then multiply by the number of days in the billing period (month). This is your projected usage for the billing period, if you continued to transfer the same amount of data on average.

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  • DNS hosting
  •        We can host a small number of domains for you (no more than 30). But, we do not have any sort of customer-facing tool or interface for you to manage your domains. Each request is handled manually and requires opening a support request. While we can usually get to these requests quickly, they are naturally of a lower priority that most of the support issues we deal with, so there could be a significant delay before your request is serviced.

           If you are going to be changing domains frequently, or need any sort of fine control over your domains, then we recommend that you find a DNS hosting service, which will have those kinds of tools and features.

           But if you have a small number of domains, and those will be changing rather infrequently, then we are happy to master or slave your domains for you free of charge, as a courtesy.

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  • Reverse DNS (PTRs)
  •        "Reverse DNS" (technically PTR records) are DNS entries that map an IP address to a hostname. We control the reverse DNS records for our IPv4 networks and we cannot delegate this authority to you. If you need a PTR record set or changed for any of your IPs, please just send us a request and we will get it taken care of as quickly as possible.

           (N.B.: If you are having trouble with mail sent from your server being rejected by some recipient domains due to the IP of your mail server not mapping back to the name advertised by your SMTP agent, you may need to have us change the PTR for your primary IP address to match this name.)

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  • IPv6 support
  •        IPv6 support is something we are working on in 2015. Of course we are well aware of IPv4 exhaustion and we have been making the best of the IPv4 allocations we have for some time now. We currently do not offer IPv6 because it would be an inferior product until all of our upstream providers support it.

           If you would like to be kept posted on our IPv6 progress, please feel free to open a ticket with us with "IPv6" in the subject line. That way, when we have announcements about this, we can search our ticketing system for "IPv6" and update you.

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           If you have questions, or just want to know there are humans here, please contact us before you buy.

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    This page last modified: July 08, 2015. 15:02:26