Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Ubuntu server

I have two old towers I use as servers. I have always used the more powerful of the two (has a bigger hard drive too) as my main file server and the role of the other has varied. Historically I have also used Windows XP Pro as my primary OS for both servers. I have Ubuntu Desktop installed on the smaller server and Windows was on the bigger server until today. I've been so happy with how convenient it is to manage my Linux server over SSH without a need for RDP and autologin to run a BitTorrent client that today I decided to install Ubuntu Server on my bigger server.

The installer for Ubuntu Server isn't as nice or as graphical as it is for the Desktop version, but that's okay. I opted to go with Ubuntu 8.10, the latest version. The server edition doesn't include a GUI, which is also okay because I won't be using it anyway. The hard drive in this computer is 80GB so I made three seperate partitions on it: 10GB formatted to Ext3, 1GB formatted as Linux-swap, and the rest as Ext3. The 10GB partition is where I installed the operating system files. Linux uses a special partition for page file, which is my 1GB partition. As for the big partition, that's where I installed /home. This way if I need to reformat the system partition, I still have all of my personal files stored in my home directory.

It was nice to see the option to enable automatic system updates during the installation process. There is also a chance at the end of installation to install a variety of common server tools, like a LAMP server, DNS server, Samba server, etc. Ubuntu 8.10 also give the option to create an encypted directory in the home directory and lets you create a password to recover the files if necessary. The system files took up less than 1GB is space.

After installation and creating a user the only thing I needed to do before disconnecting the keyboard, mouse and display was install the SSH server. This is done by typing at the Terminal:
sudo aptitude install ssh
After that I switched over to using SSH from my laptop to configure everything else. Details on other software configurations to follow in later posts.

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