Students Get Root to Haaga-Helia Servers

Haaga-Helia provides Debian virtual servers to students.

Haaga-Helia Proto servers give students root access, run day and night for months and can be visible to the Internet.

If you are in a course that requires a virtual private server, ask your
teacher to create you one. You can write software with any framework and
publish it on the internet.

The servers use vServer, a Free light virtualization technology. If you’re a Linux guru, you can build the same thing for your own company.

How To Get Yours?

Students get access by asking their teacher. If you are the teacher whose students demand servers, just login to
Proto interface in Haaga-Helia internal network. You can ask helpdesk at haaga-helia.fi for access if you can’t login yet.

The questions are simple:

  • Course id, course name, and expire date
  • Server version is usually the latest minimal, e.g. “Minimal 0.21″
  • Students who can login and students who get root access
  • Disk size (2 GB is fine)
  • Open ports 80 & 443 to the Internet. Only do this if your students know the basics of administering a publicly visible server. Good passwords are absolutely required.

Once you click yes, your new server is already created! You get the IP
address to the machine, and you can log in.

Log in with SSH

$ ssh foobar@10.0.0.1

Replace foobar with your Haaga-Helia login and 10.0.0.1 with the name of
your server.

That’s it, you’ve got sudo.

It’s a Server, not a Desktop

Proto servers are just that, servers. You can keep your software running day and night for months, just like any server. They are not desktops – you still need a computer for developing the software and connecting to Proto servers.

It’s almost like a machine you would rent from DigitalOcean or Linode. Haaga-Helia proto uses light virtualization, so that some commands are not available (iptables, ufw, ulimit). As the firewall is enabled by default, you probably would not need to fiddle with it anyway.

Gurus Only: Building Your Own

If you just want to get your own virtual server, ask your teacher. But if you’re a Linux guru and need the same kind of service in your company, you can build it yourself.

Jiri Sariola has written instructions for building a vServer based virtualization system (in Finnish): vServerin käyttöönotto.

Edit: added more technical details.

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