Linux Shell Host – What are my options? is a great choice for a Linux shell host. After you sign-up, put in a request for ssh and it will be enabled quickly (all new accounts need to be verified). All common unix shell tools are pre-installed and, best of all, the admins will install more for you on request. You also have compiler access so are free to do any custom installs into your account space.

Your account is a normal unix shell – no restricted shells here. subversion and git are both available for revision control. Background processes are allowed as long as they do not cause a problem for other users. Crontab is also available.

I want to do some advanced things with my incoming mail – what are the restrictions? Explain your shell mail options more.


Are you familiar with hypermail? It is an archiving program. It takes email and puts it in a convenient html archive. What hypermail purportedly does is take mail from mbox and put it in the archive. It can’t be too complicated or difficult to configure and install. Do you know anything about it? Would it work on your servers?

Answer :

I am not very familiar with hypermail, but from what you describe the biggest problem would be that our mail server software (qmail – puts the messages in maildirs.

Another problem is that the maildirs are only accessible by the special user vpopmail. You can forward select addresses to your Linux shell mail account ( and have direct access to the maildirs there to convert them to mbox format. However this becomes complicated and we are unable to provide technical support for it.

I would say the bottom line would be that if you enjoy messing with things a bit, you would be able to make it work. If you want it to just work right away, I would advise against it.

Underneath the control panel we attempt to provide as pure of a Linux shell account experience as we can. If you like developing in that environment then you can probably make what you want to work happen. However you would be on your own. We only are able to provide official support for the email configuration in the control panel (having said that, I personally send all my mail to the shell and read/manage my mail in a mbox-format with a shell mail reader – so it is possible).

I hope this has helped.

Do you support tar, gzip, zip, unzip, bzip, etc. ?


Just getting started with you. I’m migrating from another ISP. I have a tar file (sizable) with my site content. Do you have a tool on board for unpacking this? How might I use it?




No problem. All the standard unix tools are pre-installed. You can ssh to your account and use your account nearly exactly like a standard linux box (except that you do not have root access on it 🙂

All those tools are in :




however your paths are set so you can just type the command and it will work for you.

Let me know if you need anything else!

Crontab – General Tips

Here are some very common crontab issues that users often have.

1. First, make sure that the command you are trying to use runs without error from the command line. If it doesn’t run from the command line it will not run from cron either.

2. Make sure you use the full path to all programs. The environment inside of crontab is different than the shell. You almost always need to give full paths to everything.

As an example, if you want to use wget :

*/30 * * * * wget



and not just


The correct line would look like :

*/30 * * * * /usr/bin/wget

This also goes for all file path names. Make sure you give the full path such as :


3. You may also want to add:

to the top of the crontab to make sure it is mailing you an errors that are generated. This will make it much easier to debug any problems you are having.

Do you offer atd service?


Is the command “at” available for me to use? When i issued an at command, i got the following message:

Can’t open /var/run/ to signal atd. No atd running?


To keep servers running as fast as possible, we no longer offer atd service. While Atd is not a large drain on system resources we try to keep as few non-critical processes running as possible. We do offer crond. Cron can replicate (and goes beyond) most of atd’s functionality.


You can edit your crontab with the command :

crontab -e

from inside of ssh.


How do I use crontab?

We offer standard unix crontab. No special setup is required. All accounts have crontab enabled by default.

You can login via the shell and type:

crontab -e

to edit your crontab.

If you have your desired crontab commands in a text file, login to ssh and type :

crontab name_of_file.txt

and it will reset your crontab to use those commands.

Any standard tutorial on crontab will be applicable to our configuration.