Ubuntu Server Setup (OS Install)

Following in the footsteps of my last install I downloaded the Ubuntu Server 12.04.2 LTS disk image. I usually go for the more bleeding edge builds but really need the server to work long term so went for the LTS package.

I used LinuxLive USB again to create a bootable USB using said disk image. The application is really easy to use and despite the fact that it looks like the UI was designed by a kid it works well and does the job.

Once LinuxLive USB had done it’s thing I plugged the USB into the server and booted to it. Following the instructions from the Ubuntu site here and (as further directed) here started the install.

Naturally it didn’t work straight off the bat, as this would be too easy!

It turns out that the Ubuntu disk images are notorious for not working from USB drives due to file extension errors that don’t seem to cause any issues when installing from a optical drive. If you are using a USB drive then the install cannot progress past the “Load installer components from CD” stage due to corrupted files.

I found this post on the AskUbuntu forums that confirmed the bug and gave some possible fixes. In order to get the USB working I had to rename all the *.ude files in the /pool/main/ directories to use the correct *.udeb extension. This had to be done on my desktop machine due to the fact that the shell built into the disk image could not change it’s own read-only files.

ubuntu-install-fail

That fixed the first set of errors, but not all. The integrity check then fell over due to /pool/main/l/linux-signed-lts-quantal/linux-signed-image-3.5.0-23-generic_3.5.0-23.35~precise1_amd64.deb failing it’s MD5 checksum verification.

Obviously I double-checked the disk image checksum before starting and it was fine, so a corrupt file? Either way there was nothing I could do but bail on using a USB drive to install the OS.

So an afternoon wasted and I would be dismantling my desktop machine for it’s DVD drive… balls.

Naturally after all the hassle trying to install from a USB the optical drive install worked first time without a hitch.

Note to self: “Do this first next time!“.

Being the server edition there were several packages available that could be pre-installed during the base install, I took full advantage of this and ticked the following services off my list during setup:

  • OpenSSH (naturally)
  • Samba (for NAS access)
  • LAMP (for testing, staging and a general development playground)
  • mdadm (for the RAID setup)
  • Plex (for streaming media to various clients)
  • SVN (for my web work)

Very handy indeed. My NAS drives and Samba shares will still need to be set up but that was basically it, just removed the optical drive, booted up the system and installed any available updates using the usual:

sudo apt-get update

and

sudo apt-get upgrade

Next up: mdadm, migrating the RAID array and setting up the NAS. Time for another brew…

Ubuntu Server Setup (Overview)
Ubuntu Server Setup (NAS Migration and Samba)
Ubuntu Server Setup (Media Server and SVN)