One of the reasons that I have contemplated often the jump to a VPS for my web hosting was the freedom to do what I wanted. That was always balanced by a bit of fear that I might f*ck up my VPS linux installation.
I had played with linux often, in the past, but never seriously. It ran a firewall on my home network back when I had an ISDN line, and I had built some inside the firewall file servers with old RedHat linux. But that was child’s play. Going VPS means I am out there on the internet, and I am responsible to not mess it up.
I have been up and running for a month now, and nothing serious has happened. Fortunately, the VM is pretty well configured out of the box. I haven’t had any real issues with the box (apart from needing to restart Apache a couple of times). And I am enjoying “remembering/relearning” how to do the basic things again. I still am fearful that I will blow it in a big way, but by and large, as long as I keep it patched, and keep all the software I am running up to date I feel confident that I will be OK.
I still worry about a SHTF event, and I will be instituting a backup process on a weekly basis. But, so far, it has been a positive experience.