Ubuntu 18.04 LAMP Server – Quick Setup and FTP to Webserver

I recently setup an Ubuntu 18.04 webserver to test webpages locally. I used tasksel to quickly install the LAMP server role as follows:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install tasksel
sudo tasksel install lamp-server

With the webserver up and running I needed to be able to FTP into the var/www/html directories to upload my HTML and CSS.

As Ubuntu server comes with SSH installed be default I decided to use that for FTP instead of installing something like vsftd (Very Secure FTP Daemon). FTP over SSH turned out to be a much simpler and quicker setup.

Warning: These steps do not restrict access to folders outside of the /var/www/html directories. As such this setup is not recommended for any kind of production server.

First create a new directory under /var/www/html:

cd /var/www/html
sudo mk dir newdirectory

Create a new user and give the user a password:

sudo adduser ftpuser
sudo passwd ftpuser

Finally give the new user the permissions that they need. Change the directory ownership and group:

sudo chown www-data:www-data /var/www/html/newdirectory

Give the group write permissions to the directory:

sudo chmod -R 775 /var/www/html/newdirectory

Add the new user to the www-data group:

sudo usermod -a -G www-data ftpuser

With this done I configured FileZilla to establish a secure FTP connection to my webserver.

Filezilla: Secure FTP using SSH File Transfer Protocol.

Sources:

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/permissions-on-var-www-html-for-uploading-web-site-files-via-sftp

Ubuntu Server 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) – Quick Headless Transmission Setup

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This is a quick post with a brief explanation of how to set up transmission on Ubuntu Server (currently 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)).

First make sure your repositories are up-to-date:

sudo apt-get update

Install transmission:

sudo apt-get install transmission-cli transmission-common transmission-daemon

Check to make sure that the transmission-daemon is not running – if it is it will overwrite any configuration changes that we make later:

sudo service transmission-daemon stop

Locate the transmission-daemon settings file:

sudo find / -iname settings.json

Two locations are found for this file:

/etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json
 /var/lib/transmission-daemon/info/settings.json

We will edit /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json:

sudo nano /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json

The changes that I made to settings.json are in red. You will need to provide your own settings to configure your setup:

"download-dir": "your-download-location",
"incomplete-dir": "your-download-location",
"rpc-password": "password",
"rpc-username": "username",
"rpc-whitelist": "127.0.0.1,192.168.0.*",
  • download-dir and incomplete-dir are directories where complete and incomplete torrents are stored. They do not have to be different directories.
  • rpc-password and rpc-username are the username and password for web access administration.
  • rpc-whitelist defines access to transmission. Localhost (127.0.0.1) is defined by default. I added ,192.168.0.* to allow any machine on my LAN access.

Start the transmission-daemon:

sudo service transmission-daemon start

Verify that everything is working by opening a broswer and pointing it to http://server-ip:9091.

Sources:

https://forum.transmissionbt.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8361

http://www.webupd8.org/2009/12/setting-up-transmission-remote-gui-in.html

Ubuntu Server 14.4 (Trusty Tahr) – add-apt-repository: command not found

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The last time I encountered the add-apt-repository: command not found error I was using Ubuntu Server 12.4 Lucid. The solution then was to install python-software-properties as follows:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

 

This did not resolve the issue on my minimal virtual machine installation on Trusty so I installed apt-file – which is an apt package searching utility:

sudo apt-get install apt-file

 

Update apt-file:

apt-file update

 

Finally use apt-file to search for the add-apt-repository package:

apt-file search add-apt-repository

 

As you can see add-apt-repository is in software-properties-common:

software-properties-common: /usr/bin/add-apt-repository
software-properties-common: /usr/share/man/man1/add-apt-repository.1.gz

 

After installing software-properties-common I was able to use add-apt-repository without any further issue:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) x86 – Minor Installation Issues

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I experienced two issues trying to install Ubuntu 14.04 x86 on my old laptop today:

  • ubi-partman crashed (I clicked Continue)
  • Installation hung Getting the time from a network time server

I encountered these issues booting from DVD and then clicking on the Install Ubuntu button in the installer.

Fortunately I did not encounter either of these issues when I rebooted and then clicked Try Ubuntu in the installer and then installed Ubuntu from the Live DVD session.

 

 

Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) – Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors

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Booting in to a clean installation of Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) with VMWare Tools installed I get a Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors error:

Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors.
Could not apply the stored configuration for monitors.

The solution is to remove monitors.xml from /home/<username>/.config.

To do this I opened a Terminal and changed the directory to .config:

cd .config

I backed-up and then deleted monitors.xml:

cp monitors.xml monitors.bak
rm monitors.xml

I rebooted for good measure – now VMWare Tools adjusts my resolution without errors.

Source:  http://askubuntu.com/questions/67337/how-do-i-get-rid-of-this-monitor-error

Ubuntu – Teamviewer 8 – lsb_release crashed with IOError in getstatusoutput(): [Errno 10] No child processes

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I installed Teamviewer 8 on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise) today and started getting frequent random internal error messages.

ubuntu-internal-error
Sorry, Ubuntu 12.04 has experienced an internal error.

I did not capture all of the details but this portion led me to a solution when I searched for it:

lsb_release crashed with IOError in getstatusoutput(): [Errno 10] No child processes

To fix the error first open the Terminal.

Next change directory to /opt/teamviewer8/tv_bin/script:

cd /opt/teamviewer8/tv_bin/script

Make a backup copy of tvw_main:

sudo cp tvw_main tvw_main.bak

Open tvw_main in the nano text editor:

sudo nano tvw_main

Edit the file as per the screenshot below:

teamviewer-tvw_main

  • comment out lsb_release -a
  • comment out lsb_release -ds > “$WINEPREFIX/drive_c/distrelease”

After make_path “$WINEPREFIX/drive_c” make a new line and paste the following:

cat /etc/lsb-release | grep DESCRIPTION | cut -f2 -d= | sed 's/\"//g' >     "$WINEPREFIX/drive_c/distrelease"

Save tvw_main and exit nano – Ctrl + O, Enter, Ctrl +X.

Source: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/lsb/+bug/1094218

Notepad ++ Unix Shell Scripts and the ‘No such file or directory’ error on Ubuntu Server

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I first encountered this issue a long time ago and forgot to document it – so now I had to resolve it again.

I’m running Notepad ++ on Windows and using WinSCP to transfer bash scripts to Ubuntu Server. My script is saved as an Unix script file (*.sh, *.bsh) in Notepad++ and WinSCP is set to transfer files in binary mode.

When I run the script on Ubuntu Server I get the following error:

: No such file or directory

I could see the problem in Notepad++ and in nano on Ubuntu Server when I wanted to save the file – the file was formatted for Dos\Windows.

dos-windows
Notepad ++ document format set to Dos\Windows

dos-format
Nano saving .sh as Dos Format

The fix is to change the formatting to UNIX. In Notepad ++ click Edit, EOL Conversion and UNIX and save the file.

Easy when you remember how!

Ubuntu Server – Installing Tiny Tiny RSS

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I have been using Gregarius as my web-based RSS aggregator for quite some time now but have wanted to try Tiny Tiny RSS for a while.

Now that WebUpd8 have created a PPA (Personal Package Archives) for Tiny Tiny RSS I really had no excuse for not installing it.

Note: I am installing Tiny Tiny RSS on Ubuntu Server 12.04. PPAs have been available for Ubuntu since Ubuntu 9.10 – so this will not work on prior editions of Ubuntu Server.

The first step is to update our repositories and install Apache and MySQL:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client apache2 libapache2-mod-php5

When prompted enter a password for your MySQL root user:

MySQL Password

Confirm your MySQL password:

Confirm MySQL Password

Now that we have our prerequisites installed we can add the Tiny Tiny RSS PPA.

Note: On a minimal virtual machine installation of Ubuntu Server we need to install the  python-software-properties package to be able to add a PPA:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

Add the Tiny Tiny RSS PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/tt-rss
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tt-rss

Set Apache as the Tiny Tiny RSS web server:

tt-rss apache

Set the URL for the Tiny Tiny RSS installation – for a local install on my LAN i used http://localhost/tt-rss/:

tt-rss url

Select Yes for database configuration:

tt-rss database config

Confirm MySQL as the database for Tiny Tiny RSS:

tt-rss database mysql

Enter your root MySQL password:

tt-rss root mysql password

Enter a password for Tiny Tiny RSS to register with MySQL – a random password will be generated if left blank:

tt-rss application password

Confirm your application password:

tt-rss confirm application password

Next we need to use nano to edit some configuration files.

First we need to edit our server address in /etc/tt-rss/config.php:

sudo nano /etc/tt-rss/config.php

Find the line  define('SELF_URL_PATH', 'http://yourserver/tt-rss/'); and change it to  define('SELF_URL_PATH', 'http://localhost/tt-rss/'); (as per the server address that we set previously):

tt-rss config.php

Press Ctrl + O then Enter to save the changes to config.php and then Ctrl +X to exit nano.

To get Tiny Tiny RSS to update feeds we need to edit /etc/default/tt-rss:

sudo nano /etc/default/tt-rss

Change DISABLED=1 to DISABLED=0 to allow the Tiny Tiny RSS daemon to be started:

tt-rss tt-rss

Press Ctrl + O then Enter to save the changes to config.php and then Ctrl +X to exit nano.

Start the Tiny Tiny RSS service:

sudo service tt-rss start

Obtain the IP address of your Ubuntu Server installation:

ipconfig

tt-rss ifconfig

Open a browser on another machine and navigate to your Tiny Tiny RSS URL:

tt-rss login

Login with the username: admin and the password: password.

Click Actions, Preferences and Users to change your admin password and add users. You can import feeds under the Feeds tab or click Exit Preferences and then Actions, Subscribe to feed to add feeds manually.

Source: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/05/tiny-tiny-rss-ubuntu-ppa-google-reader.html

Ubuntu – Change Hostname Permanently Using the Command Line

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On Ubuntu the hostname is stored in both the /etc/hosts and /etc/hostname files. There are several ways that we can change the hostname in these files.

1. Manually Edit the hostname

We can manually edit these files using a basic text editor like nano:

sudo nano /etc/hosts
sudo nano /etc/hostname

In /etc/hostname simply overwrite the existing hostname with a new one. In /etc/hosts you will find the hostname on the line beginning 127.0.0.1 – overwrite only the hostname with the new one, and then reboot.

Editing /etc/hosts using nano
Editing /etc/hosts using nano

sudo reboot

2. Use sed to change the hostname

Another way to achieve the same goal is to use the sed command to replace the existing hostname with a new one.

For example, my Ubuntu Server has the default hostname of ‘ubuntu’.

Use the hostname command to check what your hostname is.

With sed we can look for our hostname (in /etc/hosts and /etc/hostname) and then replace it with the desired new-hostname:

sudo sed -i 's/ubuntu/new-hostname/g' /etc/hosts
sudo sed -i 's/ubuntu/new-hostname/g' /etc/hostname

Reboot:

sudo reboot

3. Write a Bash Script

It’s always handy to have a script to do things – so here is a quick bash script that I put together that uses sed to change the hostname and then reboot:

#!/bin/bash
#Assign existing hostname to $hostn
hostn=$(cat /etc/hostname)

#Display existing hostname
echo "Existing hostname is $hostn"

#Ask for new hostname $newhost
echo "Enter new hostname: "
read newhost

#change hostname in /etc/hosts & /etc/hostname
sudo sed -i "s/$hostn/$newhost/g" /etc/hosts
sudo sed -i "s/$hostn/$newhost/g" /etc/hostname

#display new hostname
echo "Your new hostname is $newhost"

#Press a key to reboot
read -s -n 1 -p "Press any key to reboot"
sudo reboot

Ubuntu Server – Unattended Installation (Custom CD)

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I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have installed Ubuntu Server on my VMware vSphere box – so I finally looked in to performing an unattended install.

I could have setup DHCP and TFTP servers and done PXE boot from images over the network – but I wanted to work on something quicker than that (and I don’t have that much spare RAM on my vSphere box as it is).

So I settled on re-mastering an Ubuntu Server .iso image. The result is an unattended install, except for the initial boot screen (where I need to select a minimal virtual machine installation anyway).

The following steps were performed on Ubuntu Desktop.

Download Ubuntu Server – I am using the 32 bit version of Ubuntu 12.04.

Open a Terminal and create a directory to mount the Ubuntu Server iso to.

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/iso

The -p switch is very useful as it allows you to create a directory structure which does not already exist (as opposed to creating a single directory).

Change directory to Downloads:

cd Downloads

I renamed my download UbuntuServer.iso.

Mount UbuntuServer.iso to /mnt/iso:

sudo mount -o loop UbuntuServer.iso /mnt/iso

Create a directory and copy the mounted Ubuntu Server files:

sudo mkdir -p /opt/serveriso
sudo cp -rT /mnt/iso /opt/serveriso

The -r switch copies directories recursively and -T specifies no (singular) target directory.

Now we have a copy of our Ubuntu .iso to work on in /opt/serveriso – but we need to make these files writable:

sudo chmod -R 777 /opt/serveriso/

With this preparation done we can start customizing things.

If we look at the isolinux/langlist file we see all the supported languages listed that Ubuntu supports (in an abbreviated format):

am
ar
ast
be
bg ...

I am only interested in an English install so I am going to overwrite the contents of isolinux/langlist with the single abbreviation for English, which is “en”.

cd /opt/serveriso
echo en >isolinux/langlist

This stops the language selection menu from appearing during installation.

The next step of the process is to create a kickstart file – this will provide the server install with the answers to the various questions asked during installation, such as timezone, username, password, partition structure and so on.

Install Kickstart Configurator:

sudo apt-get install system-config-kickstart

Click the Dash button and type kickstart and then click on the kickstart application.

kickstart

Obviously you should customize your settings as you see fit – I have provided mine for reference.

Basic Configuration
Basic Configuration: Set Timezone

Installation Method
Installation Method: Choose the CD-ROM installation method

Boot Loader Options

Partition Options: Add an ext4 partition to the root file system that fills all unused space on the disk
Partition Options: Add an ext4 partition to the root file system that fills all unused space on the disk

Partition Options: Add a swap file system that uses the recommended swap size
Partition Options: Add a swap file system that uses the recommended swap size

Network Configuration: Add network device eth0 and set to DHCP
Network Configuration: Add network device eth0 and set to DHCP

User Configuration: Provide username and password
User Configuration: Provide username and password

Click File, Save File and save the kickstart file ks.cfg to /opt/serveriso.

While using the Kickstart Configurator you may have noticed that the Package Selection screen did not work. Fortunately we can manually edit the ks.cfg file so that the packages that we want are installed during Ubuntu Server installation.

At the end of ks.cfg add %packages and then list the packages that you want installed. I chose to install nano, openssh-server and open-vm-tools:

%packages
nano
openssh-server
open-vm-tools --no-install-recommends

–no-install-recommends installs open-vm-tools in headless mode.

Now we need to configure the CD boot command line to use the kickstart ks.cfg file.

Browse to and open /opt/serveriso/isolinux/txt.cfg.

We need to edit the append line of the default install section at the top of the file.

default install

At the end of the append line add ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg. You can remove quiet — and vga=788.

My append line is as follows:

append  file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntuserver.seed initrd=/install/initrd.gz ks=cdrom:/ks.cfg

The final step is to create a new Ubuntu Server .iso using this command:

sudo mkisofs -D -r -V "ATTENDLESS_UBUNTU" -cache-inodes -J -l -b isolinux/isolinux.bin -c isolinux/boot.cat -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -o /opt/autoinstall.iso /opt/serveriso

The finished .iso is /opt/autoinstall.iso.

Test your .iso in a virtual machine to make sure that everything works as it should.

The minimal interaction that I need to set my Ubuntu Server install going is documented below:

1. Press the Enter key to confirm the English language selection
Press the Enter key to confirm the English language selection

Press F4, select Install a minimal virtual machine, and then press Enter
Press F4, select Install a minimal virtual machine, and then press Enter

Press Enter to install Ubuntu Server
Press Enter to install Ubuntu Server

From here installation continues without any further input being required.

Sources: http://askubuntu.com/questions/122505/how-do-i-create-completely-unattended-install-for-ubuntu