The Perfect Setup - SUSE 9.2

This is a "copy & paste" HowTo! The easiest way to follow this tutorial is to use a command line client/SSH client (like PuTTY for Windows) and simply copy and paste the commands (except where you have to provide own information like IP addresses, hostnames, passwords,...). This helps to avoid typos.

The Perfect Setup - SUSE 9.2

Version 1.3
Author: Falko Timme
Last edited: 07/20/2005

This is a detailed description about the steps to be taken to setup a SUSE 9.2 based server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters (web server (SSL-capable), mail server (with SMTP-AUTH and TLS!), DNS server, FTP server, MySQL server, POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc.). In addition to that I will show how to use Debian's package manager apt on an rpm-based system because it takes care of package dependencies automagically which can save a lot of trouble.

I will use the following software:

  • Web Server: Apache 2.0.x
  • Mail Server: Postfix (easier to configure than sendmail; has a shorter history of security holes than sendmail)
  • DNS Server: BIND9
  • FTP Server: proftpd (ISPConfig will not work with vsftpd on SUSE 9.2)
  • POP3/IMAP: I will use Maildir format and therefore install Courier-POP3/Courier-IMAP.
  • Webalizer for web site statistics

In the end you should have a system that works reliably and is ready for the free webhosting control panel ISPConfig (i.e., ISPConfig runs on it out of the box).

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


To install such a system you will need the following:

1 The Base System

Boot from your SUSE 9.2-DVD and select Installation from the boot screen.

The SUSE installer (called YaST - Yet another Setup Tool) starts. It normally runs in graphic mode, but I use text mode, so my screenshots will differ a little from graphic mode, but the functionality is exactly the same.

Select your language.

The installer analyzes your system and makes some automatic installation decicions which it lists on the following screen. You can change each of its choices by navigating to the appropriate headline (using the [arrow down] key). For example, you could change the partitions YaST proposes:

For my purposes I decide to use one big /-partition and a swap partition.

You can also choose the software you want to install if you know what you are doing. In this example, I will leave YaST's package choice unchanged. I will install the software I need to run a web/email/ftp server manually after the base installation has finished.

Adjust your time zone:

The package installation starts:

After the package installation the system reboots. Remove the SuSE DVD and go sure to boot from the hard disk. Enter your root password after the reboot:

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18 Comment(s)

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Please, why not use the crontab command instead of manually editing the file and restarting the cron daemon?

Otherwise, nice HowTo.




There are always multiple ways to achieve a goal. In the end it's a matter of your personal preference. You can certainly use the crontab command, but you can also edit the file manually. Both works.



but when writing some step-by-step instructions, which are probably mostly read by people not knowing the interiors, it would be reasonable to use the most easy and least complicated tool to accomplish a task.

And crontab is better since you don't need to restart crond and it does a basic syntax check on the lines of the crontab file.

But it's really just a minor nitpick.

OTOH, you wouldn't really like to read

'...and then install a new MBR by writing the right (for your system, depends on many things, beware!) 512 byte with dd to...'

instead of a small reference to the bootloader commands, would you? ;)



You don't need to restart crond daemon however, 'cause it check and eventually reload /etc/crontab every minute.... try it


But it's a well written amateur-article. Nice guy.


and costs a lot more.


Good thing it only takes about an hour with W2003 Server cause you'll have to do it at least 5 times on 5 different machines to host the same amount of traffic that this setup can. Not to mention all the security exploits because of IIS and all the other "secure" MS software.

Of course, you'll also have to pay alot more for the hardware just to meet minimum requirements and then there are all the licensing fees to think of.

But sure, if you want to save yourself an hour or so on install, by all means W2003 is the way to go. You'll have to spend more time administering it later to make sure it stays up and running, but so what? It only took an hour to setup, right?


I challenge you to provide details of the software you'll use under W2003 server to achieve the same configuration as in the article.



Why using netdate and not the good old ntpd? That does the time sync constantly and works a treat. SS


Thanks for this!

I need a server - was going to use "Dead Rat" Enterprise, but I actually prefer SuSE's philosophy. Particularly as they have Novell's valuable support.

-Andy, Oulu, Finland


why do you use the sources for proftpd? suse is rpm based ...


Then try to find a proftpd rpm for SUSE 9.2... :-(



It's on the DVD. I use it.


This is a great walkthrough. What hardware did you use (or recommend for low traffic) for the server


I have a problem with apt-get, any idea ?

smith:/etc # apt-get install quota
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
E: Couldn't find package quota
smith:/etc #


same problem. Anybody know what's up with this?

By: Anonymous

I also had issues with apt.

I ended up going to the website and loading the packages via web browser to the /tmp directory and then I executed the rpm like in the instructions. After that, It worked fine.

By: admin

You can install the packages also with "yast -i [PACKAGENAME]".