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Servers

Many server packages (such as Apache2, MySQL, PHP, etc.) can be installed individually, on either a Desktop edition or a Server edition (using the tasksel command described below). It is not necessary in general, therefore, to install Ubuntu Server if you only wish to use an occasional server package on a Desktop edition. Most of the instructions for individual server packages will work on the Server edition, on the Desktop edition, or on a Server edition that has had an Ubuntu or Kubuntu desktop installed on it.

Nevertheless, the Server edition is optimised for speed and ease of monitoring and maintenance when implemented in large networks and is therefore recommended. (For complete information see the Ubuntu Server Guide.) It is always possible to add an Ubuntu (Gnome) or Kubuntu (KDE) GUI desktop to an Ubuntu Server at any time.

Note that Hardy Heron (8.04) the most recent long-term support version, and there are changes from Hardy Heron to the current version (including an occasional new bug). Unless new features, such as Xen (virtualization) support or the Tomcat (Java) server, are desired, some users recommend the most recent Long Term Support (LTS) version (8.04 Hardy Heron) for stability.

(Tip: During installation of the server, an initial user / password is created. Many servers are intended to run unattended with little subsequent intervention and it can be easy to forget the original user / password pair that is created at installation. I suggest writing this information down and taping it to the inside of the computer case cover for later reference. (Lock the computer case if you desire extra security.))

There are many server packages that are available to be installed during the Server edition installation process (from the LiveCD menu). It is not critical to install them at the outset, however, because they can also later be added (as a one-step task) using the tasksel command. For a list of server packages that can be installed at any time using the tasksel command:

sudo tasksel --list-tasks

Add a desktop to an Ubuntu Server

Packages that require server capabilities (such as Drupal with Apache, etc.) are often happier when a Server edition is installed as the base OS. However, adding a desktop can make the administration and maintenance of many packages easier for many users (albeit with a cost of reduced server speed). Add an Ubuntu (Gnome) or Kubuntu (KDE) desktop to a server using:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
or
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

LAMP server installation

During server installation, you will have the option of installing a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, pHp) server stack. Many (but not all) open source servers use this integrated server stack. Drupal, for example, needs to have a LAMP server installed. If you intend to install a groupware server, however, make sure it is compatible with a LAMP server stack before choosing this option. Many groupware servers will install LAMP (or their own variation) automatically, so you do not need to install the LAMP stack. Others will install and use postgreSQL instead of MySQL, so you would not need to install a LAMP server.

Apache2 + MySQL + PHP

This is the preferred method:

sudo tasksel install lamp-server

(Tip: During installation of the LAMP server, an initial MySQL "root" user password is created. This information will sometimes be needed when installing other server packages that use MySQL. I suggest writing the MySQL password down and taping it to the inside of the computer case cover for later reference. (Lock the computer case if you desire extra security.))

Other servers

During server installation, you can choose other servers to install, as well. These include a Mail server (Postfix with Dovecot), a DNS server (bind9), the OpenSSH server, a print server, a Tomcat Java web server, a Samba file server (for use with Windows networks), and a virtual machine host (Xen). Again, if you are using a groupware solution, you should be careful about installing these services, as they may conflict with similar (but competing) servers which the groupware solution will install by default.

OpenSSH server

OpenSSH allows encrypted communications through a designated secure port. The OpenSSH server also can be installed as an option during the Ubuntu Server LiveCD installation. Also see setting up an SSH server. Install:

sudo tasksel install openssh-server

Postfix (Mail Server)

Postfix is a free open source mail server. It can be installed as the "Mail server" option when installing the Ubuntu server from the LiveCD. It interfaces directly to Dovecot, the free open source IMAP and POP3 server.

Bind9 (DNS server)

BIND DNS servers are the most commonly used on the Internet. Bind9 is the current edition and is installed by selecting the "DNS server" option when installing Ubuntu server from the LiveCD. See the usage instruction here.

Apache Tomcat (Java server)

Tomcat is a free open source platform from Apache which provides a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment for Java code to run (see here for more info).

It is not part of the Apache2 web server. Installation can be done by checking the "Install Tomcat server" option at the time of the initial Ubuntu server installation from LiveCD.

Xen virtual machine host

Xen is a free open source virtualization platform that allows the host to run "guest" operating systems simultaneously (see here for more info). Xen implementation in the (K)ubuntu server is based on integration with KVM, the kernel-based virtualization platform in Linux. KVM integrates with QEMU components, which have been merged with Xen.

Note: KVM requires a 64-bit processor with a virtualization extension, i.e. an Intel VT or AMD-V CPU, therefore this package currently is successful only with the 64-bit Ubuntu server installation and on those CPUs.

Installation can be done by checking the "Install virtual machine host" option at the time of the initial Ubuntu server installation from LiveCD.

Print server

Ubuntu uses the CUPS print server, which is integrated into the desktop. Installing a print server in Ubuntu Server is necessary only if you do not intend to use a desktop (i.e. you intend a "headless" server). Because this guide is orientated towards users who will install a Ubuntu desktop on top of the server, please see Ubuntu server documentation for this option.

Apache2 Webserver with PHP and Perl support

To install an Apache webserver (but not the entire LAMP stack) with both PHP and Perl CGI support, see this guide.

OpenLDAP

OpenLDAP is a community-based LDAP server that allows directory querying over TCP/IP, generally for organizations arranged by domain. Ubuntu uses the slapd daemon for the OpenLDAP server. See the official Ubuntu documentation for more information about installation and setup.

NOTE: Above URL is largely not applicable to Karmic's openldap installation (2.4.18-0ubuntu1 and probably going forward) as it is significantly different from the one from Jaunty. There is essentially no initial database and dpkg-reconfigure will not help you set it up. If anyone has a working howto or a more official guide for this version, please update this.

DAViCal Calendar Server

DAViCal is a CalDAV, postgreSQL, Apache and php-based shared Calendar server that works with Mozilla Thunderbird/Lightning/Sunbird, Evolution, and other calendar clients. Install:

sudo apt-get install davical

Then see these detailed installation instructions.

Darwin Calendar Server

Darwin Calendar Server is an open-source port of Apple's CalDAV-based calendar server that works with Mozilla Thunderbird/Lightning/Sunbird, Evolution, and other calendar clients. Install version 1.2 from the repositories (then see the website for usage instructions):

sudo apt-get install calendarserver

WebCalendar

WebCalendar is an ICS-based server for group calendars that can use many different databases as the backend, is written in PHP, and is compatible with clients such as Sunbird/Thunderbird (Lightning), Apple iCal, and Evolution. The newest version can also be viewed using RSS clients. See the website and the wiki for installing the newest (1.2) version. Install the older (1.05) version from the repositories:

sudo apt-get install webcalendar

Network Monitoring and Management

Monitor your network or datacenter with a framework of utilities. Comparable to IBM Tivoli (which can cost thousands of dollars), these solutions are generally available as either community or enterprise editions.

  • Hyperic is an open-source network monitoring framework that can be used in either a datacenter or a cloud environment (it is used for Amazon Cloud). Both a free community version and a subscription enterprise version are available.
  • Groundwork OpenSource offers a community edition that integrates other packages such as Nagios, Nmap, and others. There is a subscription enterprise version as well. It has its roots in a university setting.
  • OpenQRM is the GPL-licensed, free open-source community successor to the very popular network monitoring solution Qlusters. It is available as a Debian/Ubuntu package. See the website for details.
  • Canonical offers the Landscape network management service for $150 per node, with a free trial available.
  • Zenoss is a commercial network monitoring subscription package (about $150/node) with a limited free "core" edition also available.

Nagios

Nagios is a free open source network monitoring solution. It is available as a package installation in Ubuntu. It is administered from a web interface (http://localhost/nagios) and is expandable using a large number of available plugins. Install:

sudo apt-get install nagios3

Cacti Monitoring Server

Cacti is a complete, free open source network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool’s data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box. It uses MySQL and PHP (part of the LAMP server stack). All of this is wrapped in an intuitive, easy to use interface that makes sense for LAN-sized installations up to complex networks with hundreds of devices. For more info see Cacti Server Setup.

Cluster (cloud) computing

Eucalyptus is a project from University of California Santa Barbara to facilitate cluster computing on Ubuntu servers that have Xen enabled. It has been included in the Jaunty Jackalope server edition, but is very much in development. It is not meant for mission-critical deployments at this time. See the website for details.

Add the Ubuntu desktop to a server

Once you have completed installation of your Ubuntu server, you can add an Ubuntu desktop to it. This can only be done as root.

  • Login with the administrator login/password which you created during Ubuntu Server installation.
  • Create a root user password
sudo passwd root
and enter the password you intend to use for root
  • Login with root user privileges
sudo -s

(Note: To use this command, your user must be part of the sudo group. Use your user's password, not the root password.)

  • Update your server
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
  • Install the Ubuntu desktop
apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

Go get some coffee. And some lunch. Perhaps a movie. Come back later. When you get back to the command line prompt after installation is complete, reboot. Now you will have an Ubuntu server with a GUI desktop interface.

Internet Cafe software

Internet Cafe (or CyberCafe) software is specialized LAN-administration software that includes time usage monitoring, billing, and administration. It can also be used in schools, libraries, and organizations with multiple monitored workstations requiring usage limits.

OutKafe

OutKafe is a free, open-source, GPL-licensed cybercafe solution based on a postgreSQL database server stack. It is run on hundreds of sites. It is GTK-based.

OpenKiosk

OpenKiosk is a free open source multi-platform server/client solution for administering and monitoring groups of workstations, such as in libraries, school labs, and internet cafes. Installation is from source files. See the website for details.

CafePilot

CafePilot is a free multi-platform Java-based server/client solution for real-time monitoring and billing of Cybercafe workstations. A complete custom Ubuntu-based LiveCD server/multiple-client solution (including OS and many applications for unlimited workstations) is available for $100 here.

Pessulus (Lockdown Editor)

Pessulus is a GTK (Gnome)-based utility that allows an a computer administrator to restrict acccess to several administrative functions, including the command-line Terminal and many other functions. This is useful on public kiosk PCs, for example. Install:

sudo apt-get install pessulus

Enterprise Network Firewall

IPCop

IPCop is a free open source (GPL-licensed) firewall solution for use as an independent appliance (on a dedicated PC) in an enterprise network. It allows remote management and can protect multiple servers, including web and email servers. IPSec-based OpenVPN is supported. The CD image .iso and other files can be downloaded here. Installation instructions are on the website.

SmoothWall

SmoothWall Express is an award-winning, free, open source (with a GPL license) firewall solution for use as an independent appliance (on a dedicated PC) in an enterprise network. Download the installation CD .iso image here (server OS included), burn onto a CD, and install on a new, dedicated PC. Many features, however, such as VPN server, database access authentications, and content filtering are only implemented in a commercial version, however, and are not available in the community version.

Endian

Endian is a very robust, free, open source universal threat management appliance similar to IPCop and Smoothwall. It also incorporates OpenVPN. Like Smoothwall, Dansguardian is used for content filtering (and is included in the community edition). Commercial and hardware versions with some additional features, automatic updates, and professional support are available. See the website for details.

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