Ubuntu as a server

Kristian Vilmann kvi at sslug.dk
Thu Jan 19 17:02:09 UTC 2006

Yuki Cuss wrote:
> Duncan Anderson wrote:
>> I should like to know whether it is problematic to use Ubuntu Linux as 
>> a host/server. In other words, should there be any problem with 
>> installing Ubuntu, enabling the root user login, and configuring the 
>> machine as a mail or proxy server or as an SQL server or the like?
>> It seems to me from reading this mailing list that most people use it 
>> as a replacement for Windows. In other words they use it as a 
>> workstation or home pc.
>> Do any of the members of this list have any suggestions, advice, 
>> warnings, caveats, or otherwise to offer me regarding Ubuntu's use as 
>> a server?
>> I work with Mandrake, RedHat, SUSe, Debian and FreeBSD machines 
>> configured as servers (or hosts, a term which I prefer in the context 
>> of UNIX/Linux) as well a various flavours of UNIX. I am curious to 
>> find out whether anyone sees Ubuntu as a serious rival to SUSe or RHEL 
>> or Mandrake Enterprise or the like.
>> My gut feeling is that there should be no problem with getting it to 
>> act as a reliable back office machine.
>> The reason I am asking about this is because "Universe" and 
>> "Multiverse" software repositories are very impressive, and I like the 
>> Debian package management format.
>> Hoping for a bit of feedback...
>> Duncan
> Typically, you will not want to enable the root login. Instead, have a 
> user account (such as yours) with sudo access, so you can step up to 
> root access just for what you need.

...right until it stops in single user mode, the FCAL connection to your 
/home-partition is broken or someone screws up /etc/sudoers (yes, we've 
had that happen!)

Enable the root-password, store in a safe place, never use it unless 
sudo doesn't work for some reason.

> I've used all of MySQL, Bind, Sendmail/Postfix/what have you, Apache (1 
> and 2), OpenSSHd, ProFTPd, DHCPd and several servers more on Ubuntu, and 
> they all work excellently.

The sotware is the same - might be a different version, but it probably 
doesn't matter.

One thing to keep in mind, if you intend to go with sofwareraid and LVM: 
Ubuntu uses what I believe is EVMS. And it doesn't tell you!
During installation it work with "normal" disks and partitions, eg. 
/dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/md0 and so on, but once it's up you'll have a 
hell of time figuring out which disk failed. Looking at /proc/mdstat 
won't get you far, unless you know what you're doing.
If you're not prepared to find out what this output from /proc/mdstat 
means, go for debian instead:

md0 : active raid1 dm-9[1] dm-8[0]
       71127680 blocks [2/2] [UU]

Kristian Vilmann - Linuxforum HQ
Dansk open source event 3. og 4. marts 2006

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