Ubuntu Server Installation

The process of installing Ubuntu server be it on a Virtual Machine or an actual system can seem daunting at first, but aside from the GUI that Ubuntu Desktop boast the process is the same.

A prerequisite to the installation will be your boot media, I tend to use a USB stick for this as the process of creating the device is much easier and does not require any blank disks. There are a number of applications online that allow for you to create a bootable device but I have found Rufus to be the simplest and easiest to use.

Once you have the bootable device all you need to do is insert it into the system and power it on.

Stage 2 –  Select Language to display the installation in


Stage 2 – Choose the type of installation, for the purpose of this tutorial and all my personal usage we will select “Install Ubuntu Server”


Stage 3 – Select installation language


Stage 3 – Select Location


Stage 4 – Configure the keyboard, for the purpose of this demo it will be done manually. But there is the option for automatic keyboard detection


Stage 5 – Select the keyboard configuration that best suit you


Stage 6 – The installation detects disks and other hardware


Stage 7 – The installer will acquire additional components such as the setup of the clock


Stage 8 – The Installer then goes on to detect the network hardware


Stage 8 –  Select the host name for the system or just the name of the system. An example might be mail if your device is intended to be a mail server.


Stage 9 – Type in the users full name (The Username will be automatically detected using the users first name but can be changed)


Stage 10 – Select user password and retype for confirmation


Stage 11 – Select if you want your home directory to be encrypted (I usually select no as I have limited requirement for it)


Stage 12 –  Confirm the automatic detection of the clock settings (If it is incorrect by selecting no you will be given the option to select yours)


Stage 13 – The installer then detects all other disks and Hardware


Stage 14 – Selecting the disk size and creating partitions (For this installation we only need this to be installed as a sole OS as the rest of the machines will be running virtually from this host server) You can select use entire desk or set up LVM. The only real benefit of LVM is on the fly partition changes.


Stage 15 – Select this disk to write changes to


Stage 16 – Confirm that you wish to write the changes, it may warn you that you will lose all existing data


Stage 17 – Final confirmation to write changes to disk


Stage 19 – The installer will then install the system to the disk/partition you have your opted for


Stage 20 – Installer is configuring the Apt source lists


Stage 21 – At this stage of the installation you are given the option to set up a Proxy connection, if you do not require this leave it blank and continue


Stage 22 – The installer is selecting and installing the required software


Stage 23 – At this stage I would suggest selecting “Install security update automatically” but decided based on your own preferences


Stage 24 – The software selection alow for you to pre install certain packages before the initial boot into the server. This could potently save time, but I personal add all my software after the installation so select manual package.


Stage 25 – The installer will then install any selected softwares and clean up once it is done.


Stage 26 – The installer then sets up and installs the GRUB boot loader


Stage 27 – If this is the only OS on the system then you need not worry about just selecting yes.


Stage 28 – Confirm and finish the installation



After you have finished the installation the system will reboot and you should remove the bootable media from the system before it boots back up.

A good method on first logging into the new system is to run the commands below as there is a high change the system will inform you that there are a number of packages that require updating. You can run them all at once with example 1 or individual wit example 2.

Example 1

sudo apt-get updates; sudo apt-get upgrade; sudo apt-get dist-update

Example 2

sudo apt-get updates
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-update

I hope this helps when installing Ubuntu server, and if you enjoyed check out my Home Server Project


Home Server Project: Part 1

I recently stumbled upon a HP ProLiant DL360 server, and after using an old ThinkPad T400s as a mail server I felt it would be a worth while investment.
Although this purchase was made without thinking about all the details in full such as the sound of the server and the weight and size.104684Specifications

  • CPU: 2x Xeon 5150 @ 2.66 GHz
  • RAM: 20GB (Mixture of 2 & 4 GB sticks)
  • HDD’s: 6 x 146GB SAS drive (876 GB SAS Total)
  • PSU: 700W
  • Storage Controller: Smart Array P400i Controller


So overall it is a decent bit of kit for the price, but the next step was deciding what to do with it. I had a number of ideas but was limited due there only being 4 CPU cores. After a small amount of research and a quick check on eBay there is the option to upgrade to two 4 Core CPU’s for between £10-£30.

Buy upgrading the core count it will alow for a much greater amount head room in regard to Virtual Machines. Ideally the server will run Ubuntu 17.10 Server and utilise a number of headless Virtual Machines to run the rest of my intended operations.

I have decided definitely on a Plex server to alow for distribution of media around my house and with Plex Pass outside of the home. This is something I have set up a number of time and feel that by running it through a VM will make it easier as I will be able to remote into a Visual environment. I have seen a number of posts online mentioning the creation of a headless Plex server but to keep it simple when using an external drive I have decided to use Ubuntu Desktop.

Then there will be a virtual environment that will run my mail server, this will be done with iRedMail for no other reason than top keep it simple and easy. As iRedMail is a kind of all in one solution adding all of the packages required and create a web system for admin and accessing emails.
I could use PostFix and create the entire server bit by bit, but have found this solution to be more tedious and not as efficient. The mail server its self-will not require anything to fancy and the web-based access will be very rarely used, as Thunderbird or Android email will be used to send and receive mail.

This leaves me with a couple of other options that I am debating, one of which is a small NAS back up server for both mine and my partners Laptops. This wont require all that much storage space as it will only really be for crucial documents and potently documents we need to share. So it would only be 150GB or so. I have not looked too deep into this yet as I am still debating buying a dedicated NAS system.

I would also like to host a small web server to potently host Michael Talks Tech from my own server, I am aware that using WordPress is probably a much more reliable system. But I feel that if I have the capabilities I should at least consider it, I am also working on a number of projects that will require dedicated web hosting. So to reduce cost and control my data a small web server is a potential idea.

This project will be on going and Part 2 will be mainly focused on the initial setup and installation of the system and Virtual Machines. I would love to hear any other suggesting that I might not have considered.



What is a Computer Torjan?

In a world when daily internet access is part and parcel of life, it is hard to avoid the many threats that are out there lurking in the ‘wild’. And with so many type of malware out their its hard to know the difference.
Each type of malware has its own purpose and threats associated with it, while hopefully most people us an Anti-Virus program there are still a number whom don’t.

A Trojan virus lends its name from the greek myth of the trojan Horse, while these days the delivery package is not a giant wooden horse it does has as devastating of an effect. The premise of a Trojan virus is to alow a remote user or attacker access to your system, or allowing them the ability to make changes on the system.

There are 14 Main types of trojans, each with very similar fundamentals but their over all goal can differ. When a system is infected with a Trojan an attacker can execute actions without the owner of the systems permissions. And in many cases without them even knowing.

Although initially it was mainly windows PC’s affected by Trojan’s in recent years the number on Android devices has increased at an exponential rate. Due to the unauthorised applications that can be installed on Android devices has opened them up to these type of attacks.

Notable Trojan Viruses

  • Shedun
    • The Shedun virus come from a family of malware, its primary platform is Android devices and was originally discovered in 2015. The virus would then redesign legitimately installed applications and flood them with ads. It is very difficult to remove and in many cases cannot be removed unless the device is rooted and them flash with a custom ROM.
  • Blackhole exploit Kit
    • The Blackhole exploit was one of the most effective and wide-spread viruses during 2012. Sophos stated that 29% of all web threats were caused by the Blackhole exploit kit. When this virus was active on a system it recorded huge amounts of data, including the victims county, browser type and the operating system they where using.
  • Tiny Banker Trojan
    • The Tiny Banker Trojan’s target of choice was financial organisations websites. The attack vector in use is a man-in-the-browser. This means that it intercepts the data between the user and the web server.
      The Tiny Banker Trojan is based on the Banker Trojan but has been reduced in size and been made more powerful.
      Once the Virus has been deployed on a site any information such as login details or bank details can be stolen and then used for malicious or illegal purposes.
  • Gh0st RAT
    • The Gh0st RAT targeted Windows systems as was able to infect a number of very sensitive systems. The RAT or Remote Access Terminal also for the attacker to take complete control of the infected system. This can be used to perform keylogging activity, provide recording of webcams and also displaye user input to name a few.
  • MiniPanzer and MegaPanzer
    • MiniPanzer and MegaPanzer are variants from Bundestrojaner (German for state-sponcered Trojan Horse) It was designed for the swiss government and then later used to capture information.

As long as your system has a anti-virus application and your careful about how you use the internet, your changes of being infected by a Trojan is reduced massively. And with new malware appearing everyday there could be numerous Trojan’s out their in the wild that are yet to be detected by anti-virus companies and then added to their database.

And in many cases you may be unaware that your system has been infected as the attacker could simply be collecting data on you to used at a later date.