The Perfect Server - Ubuntu 9.04 [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 9.04 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
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 9.04 _Jaunty Jackalope_ - Release amd64 (20090421.1)]/ jaunty main restricted

#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 9.04 _Jaunty Jackalope_ - Release amd64 (20090421.1)]/ jaunty main restricted
# See for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.

deb jaunty main restricted
deb-src jaunty main restricted

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

deb jaunty-security main restricted
deb-src jaunty-security main restricted
deb jaunty-security universe
deb-src jaunty-security universe
deb jaunty-security multiverse
deb-src jaunty-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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From: jbphoto at: 2009-05-30 06:02:41

This setup works great, though it seems that I am a little confused about the end config.

I am looking to have webmail (squirrel or other) available for each subdomain. As this set up is, it is available under server1.  and that works well.


I dont have an "umbrella" domain for hosting. What I am hoping to set up is something like

and have be the webmail for that domain, and again for each of the other domains. 

Any suggestions, or a link to help would be greatly appreciated. I have had no luck finding anything that gets me to a place that helps. I am set up with the server config from this guide, and would like to be able to get this one set up to play with. 


Any help is greatly appreciated.



From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-04 19:35:00

you could just create a symbolic like in each of your sites root directories to the same location you did in this tutorial. For example lets assume your apache setup stores each site in /var/www/sites/, so site1 would be located here: /var/www/sites/site1 & site2, here: /var/www/sites/site2 To enable access to squirrelmail from both of these domains just enter:  ln -s /usr/share/squirrelmail/ /var/www/sites/site1 ln -s /usr/share/squirrelmail/ /var/www/sites/site2 Hope this helps, Good Luck!

From: Nakarti at: 2009-07-22 14:07:33

That sounds like something you'd want to configure with Apache, since it allows you to configure multiple sites with different directories. So for example, your main site is, with all the regular stuff and it responds to Assuming you have more than one IP to your webserver, can be a different site in apache, listening to the other interface, and serving only the squirrelmail tree. You can even do this if the webmail files are under the main web directory, just that people would also be able to get webmail with I played with the idea before, but I only have one IP, and putting things on different ports was less convenient than just different folders(with symlinks)

From: Shimona at: 2009-10-29 11:48:25

When I run :aptitude install ssh openssh-server

 I get errors like :

Couldn't find any package matching "ssh".

Couldn't find any package whose name or description matched "openssh-server".

Can someone help me please?

From: merkur at: 2009-05-16 15:50:25

Cpt. Obvious says:

If you don't restart your server before using ISPConfig you need to start MyDNS by hand:

/etc/init.d/mydns start

BTW: This Howto also works with Ubuntu 9.04 JeOS on AMD64 without any change.

From: boynas at: 2009-06-30 18:17:49

Since we are installing MyDNS from source...

 Does that mean that our box will be broken if we update our box using the repositories... as we should do?

Please advise.

From: ATRAN at: 2009-05-13 09:44:10

how can i use Dovecot instead of Courier in this howto?

 is it just a simple change or will it be too complicated to use Dovecot instead?

 does ISPConfig works better with Courier or Dovecot?

From: GenX at: 2009-05-14 14:35:55

I wonder about the same thing.

I would love to see a Perfect Server Howto covering the following:

Ubuntu 9.04
Dovecot with MySQL integration for virtual users

and round this off with the other bits and pieces already covered here.

There are many of these tutorials online already, but none of them actually work.

Are we going to see this setup here?

From: David at: 2009-05-25 16:17:46

Me too.

 I'm setting up a configuration like this, with Dovecot&Virtual Users over mysql db, on a fresh Debian intallation.

 I didn't find any documentation about this.

From: OmegaQuest at: 2009-07-04 14:25:22

I seem to have a problem here.  I followed everthing to the letter and everything seems to work great except I have problems uploading/removing anything when I log into the FTP under the users account.

When I log in to FTP, I go to the users directory automatically.  But the Owner shows 5003 (not web2 for example).

The strange thing is, if I creat them an SSH account SFTP and login with that the upload works fine and the Owner shows web2.

I did a look at the root web directory permissions/groups for the users (/var/www/clients/client4/web2) inside SSH (PuTTY) and the permissions show properly.

Any idea why the users has to have AND login via their SSH account (SFTP - Port 22) to be able to upload stuff and not just regular FTP (Port 21)????


From: Anonymous at: 2009-10-27 12:47:18

I added the quota stuff in my fstab file # /etc/fstab: static file system information. # # Use 'vol_id --uuid' to print the universally unique identifier for a # device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name devices # that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5). # # proc /proc proc defaults 0 0 # / was on /dev/sda1 during installation UUID=fc726e41-4e5e-4493-9518-ceaed04ab8cb / ext3 relatime,errors=remount-r,usrquota,grpquotao 0 1 # swap was on /dev/sda5 during installation UUID=bd3ff276-b49b-46fd-b26c-3d5729995f42 none swap sw 0 0 /dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec,utf8 0 0 But when I run the commands root@server:/# mount -o remount / mount: / not mounted already, or bad option root@server:/# quotacheck -avugm quotacheck: Cannot find filesystem to check or filesystem not mounted with quota option. What did I do wrong?

From: ctroyp at: 2009-09-27 03:47:18

Just a FYI, in step 12, you mention that phpmyadmin is being installed in this step, when it is actually being installed in step 14.

 Also, thanks for another great tutorial falko!

From: Sn3akyP3t3 at: 2009-09-15 23:03:06

Attempting to install "apache2-suexec" fails on Ubuntu Server LTS 8.04.3.  I get error "Couldn't find any package whose name or description matched "apache2-suexec".  I will ignore this problem for now since the server will be redone next year and currently there are no plans to run anything CGI.  If anyone knows of the correct method please inform me.

From: Sn3akyP3t3 at: 2009-09-16 00:55:47

I had some difficulty installing postfix, but running this command prior to the mail setup portion of this tutorial fixes the problem.

sudo /etc/init.d/exim4 start

From: at: 2012-03-16 05:35:33

Hi..Can someone help me with my problem here? After enter this command - sudo apt-get install libsas12-modules libsas12-modules-sql libgsas17\libauthen-sasl-cyrus-perl sas12-bin libpam-mysql

And somehow having like below error.Have no problem with installing MySql & Postfix..

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree      
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package libsas12-modules
E: Unable to locate package libsas12-modules-sql
E: Unable to locate package libgsas17libauthen-sasl-cyrus-perl
E: Unable to locate package sas12-bin

FYI, am just doing some testing & tutorial How To Set Up Mail Server on Gnu/ Linux..Hope there's someone out there can help  me with it..Thanks a mill..really appreciate it!!~


From: jon at: 2009-05-22 14:19:50

Hi, what a great Howto. It all worked flawlessly except on the end where I get this.

 ERROR: Unable to load SQL-Dump into database table.

Ant suggestions to what it might be?



From: Dalibor at: 2009-06-19 10:16:42

on some servers there is just
so if you want to use aptitude
you need to type
sudo apt-get install aptitude

on some servers there is a problem with locales
annoying error  like

perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
    LANGUAGE = (unset),
    LC_ALL = (unset),
    LANG = "en_US.UTF-8"
    are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").
locale: Cannot set LC_CTYPE to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_MESSAGES to default locale: No such file or directory
locale: Cannot set LC_ALL to default locale: No such file or directory

to fix this
sudo apt-get install --reinstall language-pack-en
sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

that worked for me..
best regards and once more gr8 tut m8

From: Martin Siron at: 2009-06-10 03:47:52

I followed the whole guide threw every details everything worked untill I got to the webmail part.

The installation went fine, when I went on (the IP I set up because was taken by the TV, and 192.168.0.* wasnt available) it worked, showed me the login and everything, but when I went on (the dns I set up,) it showed "Page Not Found!"

I went back threw it twice, reinstalled it a second time, but still dosnt work, hostname and hostname -f commands show the right host name, I have the right domain and host name, IP address, gateway, subnet. I think though I need a different Name Server, I entered, because that's what it showed at first...

From: Anonymous at: 2009-06-10 06:26:18

Awesome tutorial, only thing that had me for a bit was my virtualhosts were working on the main domain but not www.

Had to remove the apache default config and restart apache in order for ISPConfig to control all the vhosts.

# sudo rm /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default

# sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

From: Lesseps at: 2009-06-14 02:15:34

Great tutorial, thank you!

 This is the first time I have tried to set up a server, just trying to learn, in my LAN.

"Afterwards you can access ISPConfig 3 under or [...] " cannot be accessed  only

The same for squirrelmail.

 What have I  done wrong? Server twice installed with the same result.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-07-31 13:53:19

Has to do with DNS.  The first DNS resolves to an IP and since this address and domain does not exist in your DNS it does not resolve correctly.

You should use a hostname and domain that you control. You would then configure the DNS to resolve to the correct IP.

One thing  to keep in mind is that you may need to create what is called "Split Brain DNS" where you have a DNS Server for inside your network and a DNS Server for Internet Facing clients.  The internal DNS Server will be given to your IP stack through DHCP.  The internal DNS Server will be configured to resolve to the Internal IP eg.. 192.168.x.x.  The External facing DNS will be configured to to resolve to the Publicly accessable IP address which would be on your Router of Firewall which will forward the correct ports through to the internal server.


From: at: 2009-08-01 16:39:56

For use inside your your lan, you need to edit the /etc/hosts files on all rout machines (that's the simple way in you aren't able do this with dns locally)

You want to add the entry to the /etc/hosts file like this

ipaddress                               hostname

your.server.ip.address        whateveryouwanttocallyourserverlocally

so for an ipaddress of and a hostname of localmachine you put an entry like this in the /etc/hosts file of all your machines:                    localmachine

 this will let you type localmachine/webmail into your browser bar on any machine that you have edited the hosts file, on your lan.

From: Keith at: 2009-08-28 02:21:50

Hey great set of tutorial's.  I have the same problem, thanks for the tip!

From: Anonymous at: 2009-07-10 16:32:28

thank you very much for this tutorial.

its  very heplful to me .

From: Nakarti at: 2009-07-21 20:31:30

I even successfully skipped some parts(like I don't want to get a build environment when my livecd is down to 400MB free.)

So why couldn't I get your other ubuntu squirrelmail tutorial to work?...

Also I don't get why sql would need to listen outside the network. I'll have to fiddle with that once it's production.

From: Nakarti at: 2009-07-30 03:00:01

I need to be sure which ports I need to forward, how to avoid that being a relay, and then give everyone this script(STOP for input at the >> spots) to save time if you have to redo the server, like I did(Four times, counting the Wrong version of ubuntu-6.06, missed steps and failed backout, virtual test system, and final working copy.)

 And since the comment system truncates me and I elected to not ;; every line:

From: Nakarti at: 2009-09-22 20:44:36

We're building various ssl keys but nowhere does it mention using or making sure work those https connections!

 Plus shouldn't there be some help installing the change_mysqlpass squirrelmail plugin?

From: Dunc at: 2009-07-20 13:04:26

Great tutorial, not that confident with servers so I approached with a fair bit of trepidation. The whole job could not have gone more smoothly. I had one 'moment' where I didn't read far enough ahead, and that was the note to change the download for the latest version of ISPConfig ready for the final stage, backtracked and got the latest version up and running at the first try. For anyone contemplating this install, it looks lengthy and complicated, take the steps steadily, check your typing and it will work. Thank You

From: Wolfgang at: 2009-08-20 12:44:06

Great Tutorial - Thank you very much!

However: What about Quotas using quota.user instead of aquota.user when using ext3 anyway?

"quotacheck: Your kernel probably supports journaled quota but you are not using it. Consider switching to journaled quota to avoid running quotacheck after an unclean shutdown."

Using Google i found the following here:

"See above, that file aquota.user already exists. The old quota format - vfsold - uses file quota.user instead. I guess we have no reason to use the old format anymore - and there is convertquota command for case of "historical" disks anyway."

 Regards Wolfgang


From: Gabriel at: 2009-09-24 05:33:11

Muy buen tutorial, segui paso a paso y funciono perfecto..

He creado 1 dominio y 1 usuario con ssh y quede impresionado


From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-09 11:43:18

very nice, maybe just fdisk the partitions and install some better sever.

You guys have to be NUTS to run ubuntu as a server! 

Funny, ppl think that they run ubuntu and they know really what linux is about...

and what that shite about disabling AppArmor? what the . . .


From: at: 2009-10-28 02:44:57

Hi just thought id mention i used ubuntu 8.10 64-bit server edition, and it worked without changing anything. Thanks again.

From: Patrick Johnson at: 2009-09-02 23:54:48

Just wanted to say that my setup went perfect with all the instructions provided. I hoping I can contribute to this forum in the future when I become very familiar with ISPConfig, or any PHP related help.


From: Anonymous at: 2010-07-29 23:22:30

Just wanted to mention, this guide works with Ubuntu 10.04 as well.

From: Anonymous at: 2010-11-30 13:07:27

Warning: require_once(/var/www/domen/7sbmnfhedm8b2a1h/public_html/www/includes/defines.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /var/www/domen/7sbmnfhedm8b2a1h/public_html/www/index.php on line 21

Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required '/var/www/domen/7sbmnfhedm8b2a1h/public_html/www/includes/defines.php' (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear') in /var/www/domen/7sbmnfhedm8b2a1h/public_html/www/index.php on line 21


From: pravednik at: 2010-12-01 19:23:02

Warning: require_once() [function.require-once]: open_basedir restriction in effect. File(../lib/ is not within the allowed path(s): (.) in /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/web/index.php on line 33 Warning: require_once(../lib/ [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: Operation not permitted in /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/web/index.php on line 33 Fatal error: require_once() [function.require]: Failed opening required '../lib/' (include_path='.:/usr/share/php:/usr/share/pear') in /usr/local/ispconfig/interface/web/index.php on line 33 ------------------------------------------- error, plz, help, i`m reinstall panel.