The Perfect Server - Ubuntu 8.10 [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 8.10 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
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

Now run

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

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 8.10 _Intrepid Ibex_ - Release i386 (20081028.1)]/ intrepid main restricted

#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 8.10 _Intrepid Ibex_ - Release i386 (20081028.1)]/ intrepid main restricted
# See for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.

deb intrepid main restricted
deb-src intrepid main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb intrepid-updates main restricted
deb-src intrepid-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 intrepid universe
deb-src intrepid universe
deb intrepid-updates universe
deb-src intrepid-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 intrepid multiverse
deb-src intrepid multiverse
deb intrepid-updates multiverse
deb-src intrepid-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 intrepid-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src intrepid-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 intrepid partner
# deb-src intrepid partner

deb intrepid-security main restricted
deb-src intrepid-security main restricted
deb intrepid-security universe
deb-src intrepid-security universe
deb intrepid-security multiverse
deb-src intrepid-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:

ln -sf /bin/bash /bin/sh

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.

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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13 Comment(s)

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From: at: 2009-04-24 02:39:31

I do not think it is possible. I have asked this in the forum.

From: at: 2009-04-20 23:26:53


Is it possible to install bind 9 in step "16 Install MyDNS"

Which one is better?



From: at: 2009-04-23 01:38:53

To switch the /bin/sh symlink to bash it is better to use 'dpkg-reconfigure dash' and tell it no to the question.  This will remove the diversion of /bin/sh to dash and switch it back to bash.  This will also retain the change for sure through future updates.

From: dvn3ch at: 2009-09-05 14:31:17

Yes, that's it.  That worked perfectly.  Thanks for the suggestion.


From: Marco Rodrigues at: 2009-08-16 09:30:46


How fail2ban and firewall will work if there is no 'iptables' installed?

I think this is missing from this Ubuntu 8.10 tutorial. Ah! and the tutorial also works for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

Thank you


From: at: 2010-04-01 14:33:28

Removing Apparmor int the beginning, is quite useless. It will get re-installed again every time you enter "aptitude install".

From: Anonymous at: 2010-04-18 05:50:25


 why postgres is not supported by default with ispcofnig and do anybody knows how postgres can be supported with it??


From: Mike at: 2012-09-11 21:18:03

I finish the first part of step 14: aptitude install apache2 apache2.2-common apache2-doc apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils libexpat1 ssl-cert libapache2-mod-php5 php5 php5-common php5-gd php5-mysql php5-imap phpmyadmin php5-cli php5-cgi libapache2-mod-fcgid apache2-suexec php-pear php-auth php5-mcrypt mcrypt php5-imagick imagemagick libapache2-mod-suphp

when I hit enter I get:

reading package lists--- Done

Building dependency tree

Reading state information... Done

Reading extended state information

Initializing package states... Done

Building tag database... Done 


Then it just sits there, any help would be appreciated.

From: Norge at: 2009-05-16 01:46:26

I have tried several things, I have called my Hosting company, I'm sure that the MX records are pointing to my server. Still cannot receive. Please help.



From: Jason R Cook at: 2009-05-03 08:20:35


A set of instructions that work.  After my fifth rebuild, because of crazy suggestions, I have a server that works - it's only taken me 6 months!  Really.  Many, many thanks for taking the extra effort to get it right.  :-)


From: Anonymous at: 2009-07-01 02:26:07

Just wanted to thank you for making this available to the community! Know that your hard work is very appreciated. Look forward to anything you do after reading this very well crafted tutorial.


From: dodi at: 2010-03-13 14:35:37

thank you for your great tutorial, its work for me on ubuntu server 8.04 . :D

From: Anonymous at: 2010-06-24 19:50:24

Thank you very very much, its perfect tutorial for beginners,

thank you, thank you, thank you : ) : )  : )