Saturday, March 30, 2013

Making Your Computer an Online Server

Probably the easiest way to install Ubuntu Server on your computer. Here are a few steps to install Ubuntu Server on your computer. First, make sure the computer works, are you using it currently? does it have any issues, if you solve them now it'll rule out anything Ubuntu-related later.

Does the target PC operate on a 32-bit or 64-bit architecture? If it looks like the one pictured in the article chances are it will be the older 32-bit. Either way you'd want to make absolutely sure by either Googling the computer model or if its' currently operational and running windows by right clicking on my computer, going to properties, and read what it says about the system type. if it has (x86) or 32-bit, its a 32-bit machine, if it says 64-bit its 64-bit.

Download Ubuntu Server .iso from the official Linux homepage- Make sure to select the appropriate version (either 32-bit or 64-bit) .

The file size is 695MB. If you want to install Ubuntu via a live disc. All you have to do is find an appropriately sized CD-R or CD-RW disc (700 MB is fine) pop it into the tray, and burn the entire unextracted file to the disc. If your using windows 7 all you have to do, with the disc inserted into the bay, right click the file, select "Create live image" or something like that, follow the instructions (select a slower write speed to minimize errors) and you're done.

I prefer using the Live USB method because its easier and has a faster installation time. All you'll need is a nifty little program called Linux Live USB creator (download it here ) and an empty USB drive (reformat it if you have to) a 2GB drive is fine, but if you want to use a bigger one go ahead.
Start the Linux Live USB creator (LiLi for short.) At this point LiLi will ask you for the location of the ISO image you're trying to use, find it select it, go through all the steps, hit start or burn, wait for it to finish, and there you have a live USB stick ready to go.

To go ahead and install the system on the PC, you need to connect your target pc to the network it's going to be on, start up the computer, open the CD tray and pop the live disc in or stick in the USB and go to the boot first menu just as the monitor displays the BIOS screen. It should tell you which key to press for boot options during this brief display. If you miss it, just restart the computer again. Select either the usb drive or the disc drive to boot up from first. If everything is correct, the ubuntu start up logo will be shown followed by a menu consisting of several options. Install Ubuntu Server being the first. scroll to that selection and hit enter. ( At this point you should know everything is monitor and keyboard only, no mouse ) follow the keyboard setup steps, if you're in the united states, just hit do it manually and select United States, United States, if you're in some other country with different keyboard layout you can either select it manually or play a little game where you press the keys that the computer tells you too if you have them.

Go ahead and follow the instructions. At this point it'll ask you to create a username and password that can have root access, whether you want to use up the whole disk or just a partition ( if you have another OS installed ) (  I would recommend using the whole drive ) If you want to encrypt the hard drive (if you're planning to store sensitive information I would def. choose this option ) and it will ask for a host name for the server, which is basically like the domain name. ( if its a private network you can call it anything ). It will also ask you if you want to install specific server packages right away like a LAMP server, Samba, or Tomcat Java Server.At this point you should have an idea of what you want your server to do, but if you have no idea and this is your first test server or something, just go with LAMP. Bear in mind that you can install any of these later using the sudo apt-get install command. or the Aptitude UI.

Also you should really write down the passwords you chose for the first user and encryption passphrase if you chose to encrypt  because you will be f***ed later if you ever have to shutdown your server , because it'll ask you for the passphrase and the hard drive is practically locked until you enter it, and if you don't remember it, you're screwed, You can't ssh into it, or view web pages or anything. 

After all of this the actual installation will start , which make take a while, depending on whether you chose a USB or CD to install. I've never actually installed with the live CD but the USB one is around 10 minutes or less for me. If everything goes well, at which this point everything should, Ubuntu Server will be installed, the PC will restart, you'll have to enter your passphrase if you chose to encrypt. Then your user login and password, and then wallah, you have your server.

Ok, so you shouldn't have had to enter a single shell command to install ubuntu. Most if not all of the typing should have , It would be nice at this point to be able to access your computer remotely. For this you'll need the OpenSSH server. You can do this by typing in the command line :

sudo apt-get install openssh-server
types yes or y to confirm, and the SSH server should be installed.

Download the best (IMO) SSH client:

How To login with SSH: 

click Quick Connect, on the pop-window, enter your server's IP address
enter your username :
make sure port number 22 is used.
hit connect.
if SSH connects to the server it'll then ask for your password.
if the password is correct SSH connects and you start at /home/username/

At this point it's up to you to decide what to do with your new server. If you want to serve web pages then I suggest reading up on apache and cgi scripting languages. if you want to create databases then look up the existing database servers. all in all, its your call now. consult your buddies, or just google through it all ..

If there are any Issues , Mail me @

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