The Ubuntu ShipIt Program. If you’re not familiar with it, you’ve probably never typed in “free Ubuntu CD” on Google or any other search engine. ShipIt is the Ubuntu service that gives away free Ubuntu installation CDs in an effort to make sure people have few restrictions obtaining Ubuntu. ShipIt has been a huge success shipping millions of free Ubuntu CDs over the past few years. The CDs are not free for Canonical, the company backing Ubuntu and the ShipIt program. This has caused Ubuntu to deploy some interesting techniques designed to cut the cost or need or the Free Ubuntu installation CDs.
Limiting Free Ubuntu CDs for people who:
-Can upgrade to the new release without a CD
-Can download their own CD for free
Ubuntu users can also:
-Download the CD wallet artwork
-Become an Ubuntu member by contributing to Ubuntu, making them eligible for more CDs
More on this at Jono Bacon’s blog
Requesting a free CD from the Ubuntu ShipIt program will take at least 4-6 weeks. For a more dependable solution order Ubuntu on CD or USB US Priority Mail now. Ubuntu training is available in video and course form.
Why buy Ubuntu training? Because you might spend all afternoon trying to fix your wireless, or an entire morning fiddling with the Ubuntu terminal. As a beginner these setbacks can be extremely frustrating and obviously time consuming. This is the main reason we created a collection of Ubuntu training videos. We wanted to provide a solution that would be quick to deploy and easy for Ubuntu beginners to understand. Now you can forget spending hours waiting for responses in the forum that can be complicated to understand, just pop in the instructional Ubuntu training CD and enjoy to-the-point video clips with voice narration that walk you through common Ubuntu practices. Our Ubuntu training CD now includes over 150 training videos and has been updated for the Ubuntu 9.04 release on April 23rd, 2009. Buy It For $19.95
Ubuntu is trying to break into the server market. Indeed as I talk with companies moving to Linux on a weekly basis over 50% of them want to move to Ubuntu as the server of choice. If Ubuntu 8.04 is the server of choice of so many and if Ubuntu wants so desperately to move into the server market then you would expect Ubuntu to have server quality options easily available on the Ubuntu install. What I cannot understand then is why RAID tools are not available, why Logical Volume Management version 2 is not installed and why Access Control Lists for the file system are also not installed on the server. All of these can easily be installed and upgraded but my question is …why not default?
Note: With 8.04.1 some of these issues like LVM2 have been updated, the original install DID NOT have LVM2.
If you want to create RAID on Ubuntu you will need to install RAID tools before you can do so. Now I am talking about software RAID. You do have access to tools to install RAID during installation but the mdadm program is not installed by default. So if you want to install RAID after the installation you need to add it so you have the tools.
sudo apt-get install mdadm
If you would like to see a tutorial on installing RAID on Ubuntu CLICK HERE.
Install LVM2 on Ubuntu
Ubuntu does not have LVM2 installed by default…why? If Ubuntu wants to move to the server market why not have lvm2 intalled by default like RHEL 5 or CentOS 5? Now it can easily be upgraded with this command:
sudo apt-get install lvm2
If you want to see a tutorial on how to install and configure LVM2 on Ubuntu 8.04 CLICK HERE.
Access Control Lists
Access Control Lists (ACLs) allow you to provide different levels of access to files and folders for different users. The Red Hat Enterprise 5 / CentOS 5 have implemented ACLs in the file system by default. This new feature will allow you to set a file where one user can read, other users cannot read and yet other users are able to read and write to the same file. This was not possible previously.
sudo apt-get install acl
If you would like to see a tutorial on installing and configuring acls CLICK HERE.
If Ubuntu really wants to break into the server market, they will need to install by default features that the server market really wants to use, specifically RAID tools, LVM2 and acls. Until they make this transition many will not take them seriously in the server arena.
Apache 2.28 is the current version that ships with Ubuntu 8.04. There are several meaningful changes. One of those changes is a much smaller apache2.conf configuration file. When you look at the apache2.conf you will see one of those changes is that this file now contains only the Global Configuration options. The config file is only 298 lines as you can see in the example.
291 # Include of directories ignores editors’ and dpkg’s backup files,
292 # see README.Debian for details.
294 # Include generic snippets of statements
295 Include /etc/apache2/conf.d/
297 # Include the virtual host configurations:
298 Include /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/
Ubuntu 8.04 Training CLICK HERE
Note the modular support, which was available in the past as well, but now is more important to understand. The include statements will help fill out the configuration file with the options in /etc/apache2/conf.d/ provided so applications can add features to apache without directly modifying the file. Also note that the configuration for virtual servers is found in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled. These actually have symbolic links to files that you modify in sites-available.
For a tutorial on how to configure Virtual Hosting on Ubuntu 8.04 CLICK HERE.
The apache2.conf file also contains include statements that impact the ports that can be used by the web server and modules which can be used. The mods-enabled directory contains those modules that have been made available for the web server. The httpd.conf file is for compatibility with configurations that you may have had with Red Hat or CentOS based distros.
For a tutorial on CentOS Virtual Hosting CLICK HERE. This will give you a good comparision of the different ways to set up apache.
184 # Include module configuration:
185 Include /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/*.load
186 Include /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/*.conf
188 # Include all the user configurations:
189 Include /etc/apache2/httpd.conf
191 # Include ports listing
192 Include /etc/apache2/ports.conf
The other include line you see is to set the ports that are available to the Web Server. Looking at the file you can see the default is port 80 and the other SSL option is 443.
The MPM (multi-processing modules) are an additional feature for the modular design of apache to make it more flexible for various operating systems and for scalability for servers. The prefork MPM is the default for Ubuntu 8.04 and provides basic settings that can be modified to help your server scale to whatever load you will need to work with. Your apache web server will start with 5 web servers running by default. Each user that comes to your server will need an instance of apache to be able to view your site. That is why 5 are started immediately so that when users come there are severs already in memory to speed up the process for people to see your site. If 10 people came at the same time, five new servers would have to be started which will take time, and be noticeable by those trying to view your site. This is part of the scalability issues is that you need to decide how many people will be on your site at one time. Just remember that each instance of apache takes resources from your hardware especially in the area of RAM so have sufficient RAM for the machine. If you site in not very busy you could reduce the “StartServers” number to 3 and save on resources. If it was very busy you may need to increase to 20, etc. You will need to modify the Minimum and Maximum numbers as well for you server. The whole idea is to provide excellent scalability for your particular needs.
# prefork MPM
# StartServers: number of server processes to start
# MinSpareServers: minimum number of server processes which are kept spare
# MaxSpareServers: maximum number of server processes which are kept spare
# MaxClients: maximum number of server processes allowed to start
# MaxRequestsPerChild: maximum number of requests a server process serves
File Transfer Protocol, FTP has been around a long time. It has been around so long as it is easy to use and is a valuable asset when you need to transfer files, even large files. Any of these applications that were around when the Internet was more of a trusted entity have suffered huge security issues. DNS, Web, Sendmail and FTP were all servers that were around when the Internet was not so hostile and so each application, server daemon, has gone through a time when they were vulnerable to attack. So this is true with FTP. Many of the FTP server daemons that were available originally have now fallen from use as they were insecure.
One of the FTP daemons that has risen out of this growth is VSFTPD, Very Secure FTP Daemon. This daemon was built for scalability, reliability and security. Over time it has proven itself to be a good choice. Not that it has been perfect, but much more secure than most.
It is now time for administrators to not only use a secure FTP daemon but to also consider using SSL/TLS to encrypt communication for those FTP servers as that is still an issue. All FTP servers transfer user names, passwords and data in plain text that could easily be captured on the network. For the sake of users and the movement toward more secure networks encypted communication for FTP must be a standard that is adopted for FTP. Here is a link to an article that shows you how to set up VSFTPD with SSL.