There is a new version of this tutorial available for Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

The Perfect Server - Ubuntu 10.04 [ISPConfig 3] - Page 3

4 Get root Privileges

After the reboot you can login with your previously created username (e.g. administrator). Because we must run all the steps from this tutorial with root privileges, we can either prepend all commands in this tutorial with the string sudo, or we become root right now by typing

sudo su

(You can as well enable the root login by running

sudo passwd root

and giving root a password. You can then directly log in as root, but this is frowned upon by the Ubuntu developers and community for various reasons. See


5 Install The SSH Server (Optional)

If you did not install the OpenSSH server during the system installation, you can do it now:

aptitude install ssh openssh-server

From now on you can use an SSH client such as PuTTY and connect from your workstation to your Ubuntu 10.04 server and follow the remaining steps from this tutorial.


6 Install vim-nox (Optional)

I'll use vi as my text editor in this tutorial. The default vi program has some strange behaviour on Ubuntu and Debian; to fix this, we install vim-nox:

aptitude install vim-nox

(You don't have to do this if you use a different text editor such as joe or nano.)


7 Configure The Network

Because the Ubuntu installer has configured our system to get its network settings via DHCP, we have to change that now because a server should have a static IP address. Edit /etc/network/interfaces and adjust it to your needs (in this example setup I will use the IP address

vi /etc/network/interfaces
# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Then restart your network:

/etc/init.d/networking restart

Then edit /etc/hosts. Make it look like this:

vi /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost     server1

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

Now run

echo > /etc/hostname
/etc/init.d/hostname restart

Afterwards, run

hostname -f

Both should show now.


8 Edit /etc/apt/sources.list And Update Your Linux Installation

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list. Comment out or remove the installation CD from the file and make sure that the universe and multiverse repositories are enabled. It should look like this:

vi /etc/apt/sources.list
# deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 10.04 LTS _Lucid Lynx_ - Release amd64 (20100427)]/ lucid main restricted

#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 10.04 LTS _Lucid Lynx_ - Release amd64 (20100427)]/ lucid main restricted
# See for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.

deb lucid main restricted
deb-src lucid main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb lucid-updates main restricted
deb-src lucid-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb lucid universe
deb-src lucid universe
deb lucid-updates universe
deb-src lucid-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb lucid multiverse
deb-src lucid multiverse
deb lucid-updates multiverse
deb-src lucid-updates multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from the 'backports'
## repository.
## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
# deb lucid-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src lucid-backports main restricted universe multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
# deb lucid partner
# deb-src lucid partner

deb lucid-security main restricted
deb-src lucid-security main restricted
deb lucid-security universe
deb-src lucid-security universe
deb lucid-security multiverse
deb-src lucid-security multiverse

Then run

aptitude update

to update the apt package database and

aptitude safe-upgrade

to install the latest updates (if there are any). If you see that a new kernel gets installed as part of the updates, you should reboot the system afterwards:



9 Change The Default Shell

/bin/sh is a symlink to /bin/dash, however we need /bin/bash, not /bin/dash. Therefore we do this:

dpkg-reconfigure dash

Install dash as /bin/sh? <-- No

If you don't do this, the ISPConfig installation will fail.


10 Disable AppArmor

AppArmor is a security extension (similar to SELinux) that should provide extended security. In my opinion you don't need it to configure a secure system, and it usually causes more problems than advantages (think of it after you have done a week of trouble-shooting because some service wasn't working as expected, and then you find out that everything was ok, only AppArmor was causing the problem). Therefore I disable it (this is a must if you want to install ISPConfig later on).

We can disable it like this:

/etc/init.d/apparmor stop
update-rc.d -f apparmor remove
aptitude remove apparmor apparmor-utils


11 Synchronize the System Clock

It is a good idea to synchronize the system clock with an NTP (network time protocol) server over the Internet. Simply run

aptitude install ntp ntpdate

and your system time will always be in sync.

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You say that VI acts strange but isn't that because you are using VI and not VIM? Vim has advanced features. I install like this:

#apt-get install vim

I then add .vimrc to my home directory to make it run in VIM mode instead of VI compatibility mode.

<<I'll use vi as my text editor in this tutorial. The default vi program has some strange behaviour on Ubuntu and Debian; to fix this, we install vim-nox:>>


My interface would only initiate connections after changing the last digit of the network ID to a 1 in /etc/network/interfaces. Had to look at an old config to remember why this was happening. I guess this is another area where Linux and Cisco IOS simply differ.

By: adam

This is lame, it seems just to be a copy of the other distro instructions.

Get this error:

:/# dpkg-reconfigure dash
debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Dialog
debconf: (No usable dialog-like program is installed, so the dialog based frontend cannot be used. at /usr/share/perl5/Debconf/FrontEnd/ line 75.)
debconf: falling back to frontend: Readline
Configuring dash

The default /bin/sh shell on Debian and Debian-based systems is bash.

Using dash as the system shell will improve the system's overall performance. It does not alter the shell presented to
interactive users.

Install dash as /bin/sh? no

Removing `diversion of /bin/sh to /bin/sh.distrib by dash'
Adding `diversion of /bin/sh to /bin/sh.distrib by bash'
Removing `diversion of /usr/share/man/man1/sh.1.gz to /usr/share/man/man1/sh.distrib.1.gz by dash'
Adding `diversion of /usr/share/man/man1/sh.1.gz to /usr/share/man/man1/sh.distrib.1.gz by bash'


 I cant disable apparmor with your command.
i get this error:

/# /etc/init.d/apparmor stop
-bash: /etc/init.d/apparmor: No such file or directory

By: floewe

It seems to me that you have installed ubuntu-minimal. I´ve also made this mistake. When i installed ubuntu-standard, everything seems OK ( for instance apparmor is not within ubuntu-minimal, but within ubuntu-standard).

I´ve found no mistake within this document unsing Ubuntu 10.04 with ubuntu-standard installed.


I'm using this how-to to build a test apache2 web server under vmplayer using a pre-built 10.04 .vmx.

A couple of things so far:

1) I'm running the network device in bridged mode and the ethernet device was eth1 and not eth0.

2) Before running the 'aptitude update' you need to:

vi /etc/resolv.conf

and change the nameserver address to point to a valid dns server

nameserver   (or whatever your dns server is)

otherwise it will never find or any other site.

 3) When I ran 'aptitude safe-upgrade' I got a message telling me that I don't have grub installed and should it continue anyway. Because I'm running in vmplayer I responded with 'Yes'. It still all worked after the reboot and was running on the new kernel.

That's it so far.


By: Anonymous

Whenever I try to connect to SSH LOCALLY, it just says connection refused, having followed the EXACT instructions on this page. Any suggestions? No it isn't my router because it's a local address.


When I run the command: /etc/init.d/hostname restart

I get this output:

Rather than invoking init scripts through /etc/init.d, use the service(8) utility, e.g. service hostname restart
Since the script you are attempting to invoke has been converted to an Upstart job, you may also use the restart(8) utility, e.g. restart hostname
hostname stop/waiting

Yet when I run the command: restart hostname

I get this output:

restart: Unknown instance:

Everything seems to work fine, so I'm posting more out of curiosity than concern. Does anyone know why this is happening ?

By: goranche

if I understand correctly, its because hostname isn't a real service, it just runs, sets the hostname and exits, so restart doesn't really make sense, or rather, stopping the service (which is what restart does) doesn't...

things should still work, regardless of the error message :)

By: Anonymous


Thanks for this nice work...

I'm having a problem:

After doing the installation and configuring the network I cannot move further:

Nothing happens when I run the command:

/etc/init.d/hostname restart

How do I get out of the network configuration?

Best regards!

By: Anonymous

Just a note... If you don't like giving a password to root (I personnaly hate that) and don't like typing sudo 20 thousand times...  there is another way to get root priviledges without always prepending the commands with "sudo" AND without adding a root password...

 sudo bash

You type in your password and you are root for all other commands...

When you want to go back to your account, "exit" and it's done...

By: Dirk

just append a -l to sudo /bin/bash -l and you have a Loginshell with proper Environment.

@Falko: Thanks for your work! Was a real timesaver!