Configuring Ubuntu – Part 1

Once I had Ubuntu Server 6.06.1 installed on my new web server, I quickly realized it needed several changes before I could put it online. Hence, this is the first installment in a series of blog entries to help others configure their systems.

If you installed from a CD-ROM and have a working network connection to your Ubuntu system, you should update the sources.list file used by apt-get so that your system won’t prompt you to insert the Ubuntu CD-ROM each time you install a new package:

1. Log in to your system via the console.
2. Run the following command: sudo vi /etc/apt/sources.list
3. Add a # before the following line (use cursor keys to put cursor in front of the line and then press i, followed by #) :

deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 6.06.1 _Dapper … restricted

4. Save sources.list by pressing ‘Esc’, followed by the following sequence of characters to write the file and exit: :wq

Next, update your system with the latest Ubuntu packages. Having the latest packages ensures that your system remains secure.

Run sudo apt-get update, followed by sudo apt-get upgrade. It may take awhile to download updated packages for your installation, depending on your Internet connection.

If you want to admin your server remotely, or via another box on your home network, type the following to install SSH: sudo apt-get install ssh.

Ensure that the date on your server is correct by running date:

you@yourserver:~$ date
Wed Sep 20 14:12:54 PDT 2006

Correct time zone, wrong time. If the time zone is incorrect, you will need to run the tzconfig utility.

Check to see if the system is set to use UTC or not.

you@yourserver:~$ cat /etc/default/rcS | grep “UTC”
# Set UTC=yes if your system clock is set to UTC (GMT), and UTC=no if not.

Since you probably want the server to return the time in your local time zone, change the line to read: UTC=no

One more step. You’ll probably want to synchronize the system clock using an official source, provided that your time zone was set during installation. If so, simply execute the following:

you@yourserver:~$ sudo apt-get install ntp-simple ntp-server

Ensure that your firewall permits communication over UDP port 123 and you’re set!

Check back in a couple of days for some more tips.

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