Jack Wallen walks you through the steps needed to set up one of the most accessible and well-known server platforms.
Ubuntu Server has been my favorite server operating system for a long time. It’s not only a highly used server OS available (mainly when you include cloud-based deployments to the mix) but also among the most user-friendly server operating systems accessible. To make Ubuntu Server even more attractive, you can install and download it to any number of machines you’d like for no cost.
Ubuntu Server can be installed on pure metal (in that sense, on an actual machine) or in a virtualized machine, or as a virtual machine hosted by a third-party cloud hosting service (such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud). With Ubuntu Server, you can access various applications and services available (such as WordPress, Nextcloud, Invoice Plane web servers, email servers, databases servers, and many more).
I’ll walk you through the installation process for Ubuntu Server, a process that’s so easy that you’ll be amazed. I’ll demonstrate with an application called the VirtualBox virtual machine software, which is available in Linux, macOS, and Windows. Apart from the procedure to create the virtual machines, the process of installing Ubuntu Server is the same regardless of the method you use.
Let’s take a look at this.
In addition to having a computer for installing Ubuntu Server, you’ll be required to obtain an ISO file from the official Ubuntu Server download page. After saving the ISO image, what you do depends on what kind of hardware you use. If you’re setting up Ubuntu Server as a virtual machine, you’ll need to create the virtual machines using your preferred tool (such as VirtualBox and VMware). If you’re setting up Ubuntu Server onto a physical device, you’ll need to burn the ISO image onto the USB flash drive.
If I refer to “burn” to create the ISO image, it doesn’t mean just copying the image. You need to make a bootable ISO image using an application like Unetbootin Popsicle, Rufus, Windows USB/DVD Download Tool RMPrepUSB, Yumi, UUByte ISO Burner, or Wintoflash. Each of these tools operates differently, so you need to choose the one that works with your desktop operating system, and you’ll be able to find it easy to install and make a bootable USB drive using your downloaded Ubuntu Server ISO image.
Then, on to the setting.
Installing Ubuntu Server
Change the language settings and install the latest version of the installer.
Start your virtual machine by inserting a USB drive and boot it up. On the first screen, you must select (using your keyboard’s up/down arrows) Install or test Ubuntu Server and hit Enter on your keyboard.
In the next screen in the next window, we choose the language used for installation.
With your arrow keys, please choose your preferred language and press Enter to enter it on the keyboard.
You can use the Arrow keys to choose Update to the new installer in the window that appears. Then press Enter using your keyboard.
Set up your keyboard
You’ll be required to set up your keyboard on the next page. Choose both the layout and the alternative.
Once you’re done, click Done (using the keyboard’s arrow keys) and press Enter on the keyboard.
Select the installation type that you want to use.
We’ll then select the base system for the installation. You’ll have to choose Ubuntu Server (to get the most of the tools installed automatically) and then continue.
- Set up the network
There are two options. You can choose to use standard DHCP or create the static IP address, and I recommend setting static IP addresses since it guarantees that the server is always accessible through a specific IP address.
To create a static IP address, make use of your arrow keys to select your network connection (in my case, it’s Enp0s3) and then press Enter with your mouse. In the pop-up that appears, you can select edit IPv4 and press Enter to change between Manual and Automatic.
In the following window, you can configure the static address of your network as per your needs.
For instance, you could fill in the following information to get the Static IP address:
- Subnet: 192.168.1.0/16
- Address: 192.168.1.33
- Gateway: 192.168.1.1
- Name Servers: 22.214.171.124,126.96.36.199
After you have set the configuration, click down until Done, and then hit Enter using your keyboard. Then, you can skip the proxy configuration by pressing Enter again. The final step in the network configuration is choosing the mirror address you wish to utilize. The Mirror address informs the Ubuntu Server server where it can install apps from. The best option is to go with the default setting method of pressing Enter on your keyboard once more.
We’ll use the entire drive to install (which happens to be the default); therefore, you can keep everything the way it is, tab down until Done, and press Enter using your keyboard.
Examine the layout (everything is fine) and then press Enter and again, accepting the layout. Then, you’ll be asked to confirm the destructive actions by pressing Continue using the arrow keys and Enter using your keyboard.
Create a user
The next step is to create a new user account for the installation. Enter the necessary information, tab down until Done, and then hit Enter on the keyboard.
SSH Setup and Software Installation
You will likely be required to allow secure access to the server’s shell (so you can access it remotely). In the next window, you can enable installing OpenSSH. You can enable the installation of the OpenSSH server by pressing Spacebars on the keyboard and pressing down until done.
On your next window, you can scroll through the list of programs to install (selecting those you’d like using Spacebar).
Once you’ve chosen your choices, after which you’ve tapped down, go to Done and press Enter to enter the code.
Once you’ve finished, the installation will begin, and it should last between 5 and 10 minutes to finish. When it’s finished, select Reboot now, remove your USB device and log into the account you made during installation.
Congratulations! You now have a functioning installation of Ubuntu Server that you can use however you want. The process shouldn’t take more than 15-30 mins to complete.