So what is a VPS, the letters stand for Virtual Private Server, and in simple terms what it is, is a Virtual Machine (VM) of a Operating System (OS), that can be ran from basically any computer. Whether you have a Windows, Mac, or Linux/Unix computer, you can install a VM on it, or you could rent or lease one from a hosting cloud company and use it as a server to use either for private or public use.
So a VPS is made of a virtual machine (VM) that runs as a guest OS (the server/VM you want to install) on the host OS –> (the operating system that is originally installed on your computer, such as windows, OS X, linux, etc ) environment, usually in a folder that is named whatever you named the VPS or the name of the VPS itself, example, LinuxServer, LAMP server, whatever.
So to summarize, a Virtual Private Server (which we will refer to as a VPS through out the rest of this article) in this case, is a virtual machine (VM) that can be installed on a computer that already has an existing OS (Operating System / host OS).
So how do you install a VM on to a OS that already exists on your computer you ask, simple you will need to install a hypervisor. A hypervisor is computer software program that creates and runs Vms (Virtual Machines).
There are basically 2 types of hypervisors:
Type 1 = native or bare-metal hypervisor, that you install on the computer AS your host OS (meaning instead of installing windows, Mac, or linux, you would install a hypervisor) examples would be Vmware, Citrix, MS hyper-v.
Type 2 = software hypervisor that is installed on to an existing OS. Examples of software hypervisors would be → VMware player, Vmware workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, and QEMU to name a few.
First, lets go over some terms that you have already heard but may need to get the definitions straight on such as:
1-Host OS (operating system) = this is the OS that either came with the computer/laptop when you purchased it or installed at a earlier date on your computer.
2-Guest OS / VM (virtual machine) = this is the VPS/OS/VM that will be installed by your hypervisor.
3-OS = an Operating System, the master software that manages the rest of your hardware and software on your computer.
4-VM = Virtual Machine = a emulation of a computer system OR a more simple term = an operating system (Guest OS), you can run from within a operating system (Host OS).
5-VPS = Virtual Private Server = a VM that can be ran as a server either locally installed on your own computer for your own use OR publicly by leasing from a hosting company.
The uses of a VPS can be for private users that you allow access to, or even publicly to run for public use (such as for web servers, databases, search engines, membership web sites, testing environments (BOTH public and private), social media sites, forums, the possibilities are endless).
Next, you need to consider the existing hardware resources you have on your computer before installation of a Hypervisor, or VM on your system, and here is why – these VMs are basically VERY large folders that are saved on your computer for your use when you want to use them, they use your Host OSs memory, CPU, and hard drive space to function as a operating system WITHIN a operating system.
So as an example, if you have a Windows machine with a dual core processor, and 4gigs of RAM, and a 100gig hdd (hard disk drive),
then as a Example – you allocate 3gigs of RAM, 75 gigs of hdd, and finally use 1 of the cores, all for your VM / guest OS, you are going to experience VERY slow performance from the VM and possibly cause your host OS to be VERY slow as well if not freeze up a lot of resources.
Naturally you dont want to suffer with the above example, so in general let me just suggest, NOT using more than 1 quarter to about 1 half of your host OSs resources (CPU, RAM, hard drive, network interface card) total to build your virtual environment. You guys should be able to do the math, but as an example again =
for a VPS/VM running a Linux server, you should not need more than 1gig of RAM, 20gigs of hdd space and 1 of the cores (this is just MY opinion and you can easily adjust to your own requirements), there by leaving 3gigs of RAM, 80gigs of hdd, and the other core for your host OS (especially if you want to run both your Host OS & Guest OS at the same time, which is what I do a lot).
The above as stated is just an example, you run it as you see fit, but I think the above examples and suggestions are good safety parameters to start with.
As another example Im using a used HP EliteBook 8460p, that has the following specs =
Intel Core i5-2520M Processor (2.50 GHz, 3MB L3 cache, 2 cores/4 threads, 35 W) Up to 3.20 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology
Linux Mint (18.2/sonya) see this as quad core / 4 cores, but after further research, I found out that each core has 2 threads each, which makes it be presented as 4 cores in all / I feel cheated but whatever lol
16gigs of RAM
So with the above specs we should have more than enough resources to run both Host OS and Guest OS at the same time. You can review my videos of how to install virtual machines/VPSs on virtualbox, go to the links:
For a List of Hypervisors:
Links to hypervisors:
So why install a VPS?
So why install a VPS (Virtual Private Server) or any VM (Virtual Machine) on your private personal computer??? The reasons are many and varied, maybe your a I.T professional or hobbyist who wants to learn a new system to update your skills.
Maybe you want a test lab to test a new feature to see if it will break or disrupt anything, better to test in a virtual test lab, than to install something on a production server and cause a possible outage.
Or, maybe you have a small, medium, or large user base, and instead of spending a large amount of money buying a lot of servers, you buy one machine, and install multiple servers from it., a LOT of data centers (DCs) do exactly this.
So NOW what should you do????
So to summarize, after assessing your existing resources on your computer, which hypervisor should you install? To keep things simple, I humbly suggest for the average person (or anyone for that matter), use a type 2 hypervisor, they are usually easy to download and install. Once you choose a hypervisor, then you will want to install a VM (virtual machine) through the hypervisor, there are several ways to do this:
1-you can use pre-made VMs that are down-loadable from the hypervisor of your choice.
2-Go to the web site of the operating system of your choice, and just download the operating systems ISO image file (a file of a operating system to install on a CD/DVD/USB) (the easiest way I think) and then install the ISO from the hypervisor of your choice.
A list of free OS’s
Linux Mint (one of my favorites)
And for a list of more Linux/Unix type OSs go to:
Also, checkout Linux Tracker
A list of OSs that are NOT free (you HAVE to pay for them)
Once you have built up some experience by practicing installing Virtual Machines and VPS’s in your chosen virtual environment, it will be a simple task to go online and install a similar VM from a cloud service provider.
Cloud Service Providers are organizations that will rent/lease space on their computers to you to install and use virtual machines, per the link below, a cloud provider that I use is Digital Ocean –
Digital Ocean (go through my affiliate link and get $100 in credit over 60 days)
I hope this article has helped you, thank you and have a good day/night.