These articles will take you from a 'barebones' Debian VPS to a secure, up to date and working VPS. Not only that, you will have a deeper understanding of what is going on and, more importantly, why it's going on.
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You have a newly ordered or reinstalled VPS and have chosen Debian Etch as your particular Linux OS.
Unless you have ordered a fully managed solution, your VPS provider will have supplied a 'barebones' Debian install which will need securing and updating. You will then need to install the software required to run a server.