Ubuntu 10.10 server could be useful for a variety of servers. I tested it for a small NAS device with a possible use as a Web site test server. The result was a 1950s style computer with no user interface. We have not had to suffer that primitive approach since the early 1980s. You get better results from the Ubuntu desktop edition.
Download the CD from the usual Ubuntu sources. If you are in Australia, I am happy to post an Ubuntu desktop CD to you as part of promoting Linux and Ubuntu but the server edition proved to be such a disappointment, I will not supply it to anyone.
All I wanted was an easy installation for a small cpmputer with RAID 1 or RAID 5 for a group of disks storing data. The Debian DVD offers RAID. CentOS and a whole bunch of other Linux distributions will install RAID. The Ubuntu server edition does not mention RAID, making it useless for servers.
When you boot from the CD, you get the choice of several options including the following relevant options.
- Install Ubuntu server
- Check the disks for defects
- Test memory
Test memory first if you are working on a machine new to you or an old machine you are resurrecting.
Test the disk for defects next.
Install Ubuntu server
Choose a country, territory, or area
Detect keyboard layout?
Origin of the keyboard
Please enter the hostname for this system
Time zone? Australia/NSW Yes [Enter]
- Guided - resize SCSI1 (0,0,0), partition #3 (sda) and use freed space
- Guided - use entire partition, SCSI1 (0,0,0), partition #3 (sda)
- Guided - use entire disk
- Guided - use entire disk and set up LVM
- Guided - use entire disk and set up encrypted LVM
LVM is an option and the times I tried to use LVM, it created more problems than it was worth. Scrap the two LVM options. Resizing the existing partitions is pointless because they are from a test of Fedora Linux. Use the entire disk without LVM and see what is created.
Select disk to partition
SCSI1 (0,0,0) (SDA) - 64 GB ATA ARSSD64GBU
The following partitions are going to be formatted
partition #1 of SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) as ext4
partition #5 of SCSI1 (0,0,0) (sda) as swap
Installing the base system
This will take from a few seconds up to a few minutes depending on hardware speed.
Set up user and passwords
Full name for the new user: peter [Enter]
User name for your account: peter [Enter]
Choose a password for the new user: test [Enter]
Re-enter password to verify: test [Enter]
Use weak password: Yes [Enter]
Encrypt your home directory
Use Yes for notebooks and No for everything else. Physical security is important. you have to make sure your computer will not be stolen then your customer data extracted. Notebooks are easy to steal and are stolen often. Encrypt notebook computers. Servers are usually in secure environments and need encryption only in unusual circumstances. When you do need encryption on a a server, you often need it only on specific files and not the whole home directory.
If you have modern fast processors, the overheads of encryption are relatively small and you could encrypt the home directory on every machine. We will not encrypt for this test because the processor is only of medium speed.
HTTP proxy information
Select and install software
This is where the machine grinds away for a few minutes or seconds copying software from the disk.
How do you want to manage upgrades on this system?
The choices are manually, automatic security updates, or using Landscape. Landscape is something you might use when you have many Ubuntu based computers but is of little use if you have a small number of computers or a mixture of Ubuntu and other distributions of Linux. Automatic security updates is probably the best selection. We will use the default.
No automatic updates [Enter]
Choose software to install
[ ] DNS server
[ ] LAMP server
[ ] Mail server
[ ] OpenSSH server
[ ] PostgreSQL database
[ ] Print server
[ ] Samba file server
[ ] Tomcat Java server
[ ] Virtual machine host
[ ] Manual package selection
We will choose the LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) for Web development and the Samba server for file sharing to Windows based machines. The PostgreSQL database is a nice option we will not use this time. I have a printer that could be connected but the printer is easy to use from the current location. DNS is handled by the router. Mail is hosted elsewhere. Manual package selection might be useful. I will use the following list.
[*] LAMP server
[*] OpenSSH server
[*] Samba file server
[*] Manual package selection
Manual package selection is rubbish, some command line crude 1950s stuff, sort of like being warped back to a cave where you have to chip stone tools from rocks and use VI to edit text. I though we finished with the last century ten years ago. Forget manual selection and see what the other options offer.
Configuring MySQL 5.1 server
New password for the MySQL
root user: test [Enter]
Repeat password for the MySQL
root user: test [Enter]
Select and install software
The machine grinds away for another minute.
Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record?
This is where you remove the CD and reboot.
After the reboot, you are dumped in command line hell. No user interface. Nothing.
If you are going to built a server, you are better off with Ubuntu desktop or the Debian DVD. The Debian DVD gives you better choices during the installation and the Ubuntu desktop gives you a user interface for completing the server installation. The Ubuntu server CD dumps you in a Unix style wasteland with no exit.