Friday, 1 February 2008

Lets speak some more Linux: Ubuntu-server

This post should be called: Ubuntu 7.10 Server edition or the struggle of a newbie with the console.

So the main question is - how to make things happen?

If you have less than moderate experience with the terminal it might be quite a test. And I would almost make a mistake - at first I panicked and took a wrong path but first things first...

Installing the server edition of the fine Ubuntu system is not much different from the variant with the alternate cd. You have this text mode installer, which asks you almost the same things. Almost. Lets point some situations:

* In the first place I shouldn't let it configure the network through the DHCP. Not a problem - fixable situation but cost me time to figure it out for I'm almost completely unfamiliar with the networking and stuff (ashamed).

* In the second place - the big advantage of the server edition is that it asks you to choose from and installs for you
  • DNS server - lets you provide and use the DNS (Domain Name System) service.
  • LAMP server - tool-chain for web developers, including Apache Web server, MySQL database server and PHP/Perl/Python programming languages, all these tuned for Linux.
  • Mail Server - managing electronic mail is always useful.
  • OpenSSH server - the free distribution of the server, which manages secure shell connections.
  • PostgreSQL Server - powerful and robust object-relational database server.
  • Print Server - manages the printers in the office and the jobs assigned to them.
  • Samba file server - this one lets you have a seamless local network and file-sharing system along with Windows machines.
with just one after you've made your mind.
CAUTION! - at this version (7.10 - the Gutsy Gibbon) just skip the mail server. Installing it cost me reinstalling the system - after rebooting the new system, you end up sudo-less, which in Ubuntu means you have no eyes, you have no ears and you definitely have no fingers. This is a situation where you basically have only around two toes on the left foot. That's all. And if you can manage the whole system this way you must be quite a guru.

* I wont address here the issue of partitioning the hard drives (especially when speaking for software RAID), because it is an enormous and quite different subject (in my case the partitioning was already done and I just formatted the available partitions).

* If you're connected to Internet the ATP will want to configure itself. This process may substantially slow down at 40%, 60% or 80% or just take forever. I had once the last case - on the next morning I should start the installation again. Somewhere in the Ubuntu forums someone said it happens sometimes. An easy work-around is if you just unplug the PC from the network, so you'll just let the APT will configure itself later.

After installing the specialized servers (remember! NO Mail Server in Gutsy!) it is almost done. If there are no glitches and delays the whole installation may take around twenty minutes. Cool! :)

There. After the reboot you're already there - at your shiny terminal. Don't forget that in Ubuntu you have up to seven virtual terminals (accessible by pressing Ctrl-Alt + F1 to F7).
So what's first?
For a moment I didn't know what to do. But there are things that must be done: check your network for example

Getting to know the console of your distro is like slowly and inevitably falling in love. Its like raising a child (not that I have one but you know what I mean).

And the lost path of thoughts made this post unproperly finished. But as long as this whole blog is some sort of a draft I publish it in such state. If questioned, answeres will be sought and eventually provided.
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