The Perfect Server - Ubuntu 15.10 (nginx, MySQL, PHP, Postfix, BIND, Dovecot, Pure-FTPD and ISPConfig 3)

This tutorial shows the steps to install an Ubuntu 15.10 (Wiley Werewolf) server with Nginx, PHP, MariaDB, Postfix, pure-ftpd, BIND, Dovecot and ISPConfig 3. ISPConfig 3 is a web hosting control panel that allows you to configure the installed services through a web browser. This setup provides a full hosting server with web, email (inc. spam and antivirus filter), Database, FTP and DNS services.

1. Preliminary Note

In this tutorial, I will use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address 192.168.1.100 and the gateway 192.168.1.1 for the network configuration. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.  Before proceeding further, you need to have a basic minimal installation of Ubuntu 15.10 as explained in tutorial.

The steps in this tutorial have to be executed as root user, so I will not prepend "sudo" in front of the commands. Either Login as root user to your server before you proceed or run:

sudo su

to become root when you are logged in as a different user on the shell.

The commands to edit files will use the editor "nano", you can replace it with an editor of your choice. Nano is an easy to use file editor for the shell. If you like to use nano and haven't installed it yet, run:

apt-get install nano

2. 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:

nano /etc/apt/sources.list

#

# deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 15.10 _Wily Werewolf_ - Release amd64 (20151021)]/ wily main restricted

#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 15.10 _Wily Werewolf_ - Release amd64 (20151021)]/ wily main restricted

# See http://help.ubuntu.com/community/UpgradeNotes for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.
deb http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily main restricted
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-updates main restricted
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-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 http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily universe
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily universe
deb http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-updates universe
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-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 http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily multiverse
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily multiverse
deb http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-updates multiverse
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-updates multiverse

## 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 http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb-src http://de.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ wily-backports main restricted universe multiverse

deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu wily-security main restricted
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu wily-security main restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu wily-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu wily-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu wily-security multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu wily-security 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 http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu wily partner
# deb-src http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu wily partner

Then run:

apt-get update

To update the apt package database and then:

apt-get 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 afterward:

reboot

 

3. 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

Use dash as the default system shell (/bin/sh)? <-- No

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

 

4. Disable AppArmor

AppArmor is a security extension (similar to SELinux) that should provide extended security. It is not installed by default from onwards 13.10. We will cross check if it is installed. 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:

service apparmor stop
update-rc.d -f apparmor remove
apt-get remove apparmor apparmor-utils

5. 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

apt-get install ntp ntpdate

and your system time will always be in sync.

 

6. Install Postfix, Dovecot, MariaDB, phpMyAdmin, rkhunter, Binutils

We can install Postfix, Dovecot, MariaDB (as MySQL replacement), rkhunter, and binutils with a single command:

apt-get install postfix postfix-mysql postfix-doc mariadb-client mariadb-server openssl getmail4 rkhunter binutils dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d dovecot-mysql dovecot-sieve sudo

MariaDB is a fork of the MySQL database server, developed by the original MySQL developer Monty Widenius. According to tests found on the internet, MariaDB is faster than MySQL and it's development is going on with more pace, therefore, most Linux Distributions replaced MySQL with MariaDB as default "MySQL alike" database server. In case that you prefer MySQL over MariaDB, replace "mariadb-client mariadb-server" in the above command with "mysql-client mysql-server".

You will be asked the following questions:

General type of mail configuration: <-- Internet Site
System mail name: <-- server1.example.com

Next open the TLS/SSL and submission ports in Postfix:

nano /etc/postfix/master.cf

Uncomment the submission and smtps sections as follows - add the line -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject to both sections and leave everything thereafter commented:

[...]
submission inet n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
  -o syslog_name=postfix/submission
  -o smtpd_tls_security_level=encrypt
  -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
#  -o smtpd_reject_unlisted_recipient=no
#  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=$mua_client_restrictions
#  -o smtpd_helo_restrictions=$mua_helo_restrictions
#  -o smtpd_sender_restrictions=$mua_sender_restrictions
#  -o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
#  -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING
smtps     inet  n       -       -       -       -       smtpd
  -o syslog_name=postfix/smtps
  -o smtpd_tls_wrappermode=yes
  -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
#  -o smtpd_reject_unlisted_recipient=no
#  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=$mua_client_restrictions
#  -o smtpd_helo_restrictions=$mua_helo_restrictions
#  -o smtpd_sender_restrictions=$mua_sender_restrictions
#  -o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
#  -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING
[...]

Restart Postfix afterward:

service postfix restart

We want MariaDB/MySQL to listen on all interfaces, not just localhost. Therefore we edit /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/mysqld.cnf (for MariaDB or /etc/mysql/my.cnf (for MySQL) and comment out the line bind-address = 127.0.0.1:

MariaDB

nano /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/mysqld.cnf

[...]
# Instead of skip-networking the default is now to listen only on
# localhost which is more compatible and is not less secure.
#bind-address           = 127.0.0.1
[...]

Then we restart MariaDB:

service mysql restart

The systemd service name for MariaDB and MySQL is "mysql", so the restart command is the same for both database servers.

Now we set a root password in MariaDB. Run:

mysql_secure_installation

You will be asked these questions:

Enter current password for root (enter for none): <-- press enter
Set root password? [Y/n] <-- y
New password: <-- Enter the new MariaDB root password here
Re-enter new password: <-- Repeat the password
Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] <-- y
Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] <-- y
Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] <-- y

Then run this command to disable the UNIX auth plugin for the root user:

echo "update user set plugin='' where User='root';flush privileges;" | mysql --defaults-file=/etc/mysql/debian.cnf mysql

To allow password based authentication from PHPMyAdmin.

MySQL

nano /etc/mysql/my.cnf

[...]
# Instead of skip-networking the default is now to listen only on
# localhost which is more compatible and is not less secure.
#bind-address           = 127.0.0.1
[...]

Then we restart MySQL:

service mysql restart

The systemd service name for MariaDB and MySQL is "mysql", so the restart command is the same for both database servers.

For MySQL and MariaDB:

Now check that networking is enabled. Run:

netstat -tap | grep mysql

The output should look like this:

[email protected]:~# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 *:mysql                 *:*                     LISTEN      8032/mysqld    
[email protected]:~#

 

7. Install Amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, And ClamAV

To install amavisd-new, SpamAssassin, and ClamAV, we run

apt-get install amavisd-new spamassassin clamav clamav-daemon zoo unzip bzip2 arj nomarch lzop cabextract apt-listchanges libnet-ldap-perl libauthen-sasl-perl clamav-docs daemon libio-string-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl libnet-ident-perl zip libnet-dns-perl

The ISPConfig 3 setup uses amavisd-new which loads the SpamAssassin filter library internally, so we can stop SpamAssassin to free up RAM:

service spamassassin stop
update-rc.d -f spamassassin remove

 To update the ClamAV antivirus signatures and starte the Clamd service. The update process can take some time, don't interrupt it.

freshclam
service clamav-daemon start

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15 Comment(s)

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Comments

From: Scott

Isn't "Changing the Default Shell" a very heavy-handed thing to do, just to install a config panel app you might use every once in a while? Could you provide some further explanation?

From: till

The default shell for Linux systems has been /bin/sh for many years, ubuntu decided to switch to /bin/dash now but dash is not 100% compatible with sh, so shell scripts especially some configure scripts to compile software fail with dash. For ispconfig, the shell does not matter at all. But when you start to try to compile software like jailkit as we will do in this tutorial then this can fail with dash. Using /bin/sh as default shell has no negative effects.

From: DjYXA

All times i see in this tutorials "comment out" all in /etc/cron.d/awstats...

Well... Awstats dont generate stats by default, even if password is set, the stats folder is empty.

Please explain better HOW to install it correctly.

From: till

Awstats get's configured automatically by ISPConfig when you create a site, so all you have to do is to comment out the cronjob as described in the tutorial to configure AWStats.

From: DjYXA

Seriously... no.

The folder "stats" contain httaccess/_pwd and a index.php... no more, even if you "comment out" the cronjob, the install of AWStats has to be more workaround...

Even if you start it "manual", the main html page isnt the same as described in index.php... and the aliases for the AWStats images doesnt exist in the virtualhost...

(manual script) /usr/share/awstats/tools/awstats_buildstaticpages.pl -config=yourdomain.com -update -awstatsprog=/usr/lib/cgi-bin/awstats.pl -dir=/var/www/clients/client1/web1/web/stats

Maybe AWStats has "extra" workaround on kimsufi/soyoustart servers?

From: till

There is no additional setup required and this setup works on many servers (about 40 thousand installations every month). Please post if the forum if you need help to debug your setup.

From: NVO Media

@Step 14: Installing fail2ban

I have to add the line [Definition] before "ignorerefex" to make fail2ban start

Add the missing ignoreregex line in the postfix-sasl file:

echo "ignoreregex =" >> /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/postfix-sasl.conf

From: Mitch

There is nothing mordern about this stack. I don't see Nginx 1.9.1, or any sort of other upgrades to the other stacks out there other than you pulling in MariaDB (Good for you btw, I love Maria).

From: till

This tutorial uses the latest Nginx version that is available from Ubuntu as it is meant as a stable production server system and not as a testbed for latest dev versions of a software. If you want to install a newer third party package, then you can do that of course. Just ensure that your custom compiled Nginx uses the exact same compile options then the one from Ubuntu (e.g. the same folders and the same user and group www-data).

From: aw3team

Virtual machine image download of this tutorial?

i can not find the download link

 

From: till

See the menu on the right side of the page with the red download "star". Click on the filename that is on the right side of the word "Download".

From: Mark

Hello, about Postfix config:

 

You will be asked the following questions:

General type of mail configuration: <-- Internet SiteSystem mail name: <-- server1.example.com

How to make Postfix conf not only for 1 domain, but as multidomain mail server? Becose if you have ispConfig, then really logically you want to add more then 1 domain.

With this conf I had problems with google recipients, becose all mails was classified as spam because they were sent from the same address (host).

 

is it ok?

From: Oh!2Forge

Like always Till ... Good Job ;) All stuff done at the first attempt, under a new VPS.

Just have to rebuy an ISP manual now !

From: Morpheus-ro

If you get 502 bad gateway:

nano /etc/php5/fpm/pool.d/www.conf

change listen to this

listen = 127.0.0.1:9000

check the php5-fpm

service php5-fpm status

shows "php5-fpm stop/waiting"

you have to do 

service php5-fpm restart

php5-fpm start/running, process 24040

I hope it will help someone.

 

From: Perica Sandrk

I'am using nginx 1.11.3 and PHP 7.x. Do i need to edit cgi.fix_pathinfo and date.timezone...???