Ubuntu Server Setup (Overview)

I have been using a Ubuntu based home server for about 6 months now. I needed a central place to store all my media and files and I wanted to try out Ubuntu anyway, so it was a worthwhile experiment.

I had very little experience with any Linux distro’s at that point so the process of making sure the server did everything I wanted it to was a long and winding one, with lots of failures and reboots along the way.

To cut a long story short it worked well for 6 months until last week the OS drive started playing up. I now have a full RAID5 array of data but the OS is basically unusable due to corruption and sluggishness.

Time for a full OS re-install (one of my guilty pleasures).

I decided to keep a record of the setup process this time so I can reference it later. It will be spread over a few posts to hopefully make it easier to follow. I didn’t do this last time and it would have been pretty helpful now!

The New OS

Last time I went for Ubuntu Desktop edition because I’ve always been a bit partial to a nice GUI, this time around it will be the Ubuntu Server edition. I have much more experience on the command line now and I need the server to be as efficient as possible, a nice pretty GUI being run on a headless machine is just a waist of resources.

I have a spare SSD drive after a recent OS re-install on my main machine, so that will be used as the new OS drive, hopefully safeguarding from any mechanical failures in the near future.

Required Services

I installed and uninstalled lots of apps and services last time – tried out new things, found out they were useless and got rid (repeat process). This time I know what I need and hopefully that will stop the setup taking so long, here it is in a nutshell:

  • 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)

That should be it, which is bugger all compared to what the system had before it imploded.

So a cup of tea was made (naturally) and I dived in…

Ubuntu Server Setup (OS Install)
Ubuntu Server Setup (NAS Migration and Samba)
Ubuntu Server Setup (Media Server and SVN)