HOW TO . . .

Build Your Own Ubuntu Web Server


To build your own Ubuntu Web Server you will need either server hardware, an old desktop, or you will need to create a virtual machine on your currently existing hardware and operating system (OS). Some of the virtual clients you may choose are the following:

  • VirtualBox (Windows/Mac/Linux): Supplied by Oracle for Free and is Open Source.
  • Parallels (Windows/Mac/Linux): Normal pricing is approximately $79.99, but highly adaptable to your host environment.
  • VMware (Windows/Linux/Mac): There are many flavors of VMware. Depending on the version you choose, the pricing may vary from $69.99 or more.
  • QEMU (Windows/Linux): QEMU has a stable release for Linux and an experimental release for Windows. For Ubuntu server this can be installed during the OS installation, or after by issuing the following command:
    • sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm
  • If you would like to also install the QEMU virtual manager you may use this command:
    • sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm qemu virt-manager virt-viewer libvirt-bin

LETS BEGIN . . .

The rest of this tutorial will assume you are installing Ubuntu server on server hardware or an old desktop. (There isn't much difference)

  1. First you will need to download the Ubuntu Server ISO. You may obtain this from the following link: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/server. When arriving at the site you will see Ubuntu 15.04 and 14.04.2 Long Time Support (LTS). We will use 14.04.2 LTS. This will ensure you receive support and the latest security updates until April 2019. Before choosing a download, you will want to ensure that you’re running a 64bt architecture. If not, you will need to obtain an ISO for a 32bit architecture. You will also need a torrent client to download the 32bit ISO. If this is the case, please visit the alternative download page: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/alternative-downloads
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the correct ISO for your system, you may install using a USB drive or a CD. If you would like to install via USB please download Pen Drive Linux’s USB Installer from the following link: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/#button. Once the download is complete, run the executable and complete the steps shown in the image below:
  3. Once you have your installation USB setup, connect the USB to your soon to be web server.
  4. Then power your system and boot to your USB drive.
  5. Once the system boots to the USB you will see the Ubuntu installation screen. First select your language.
  6. Next select ‘Install Ubuntu Server’.
  7. Then select the language for the remainder of the installation.
  8. Now select your country.
  9. The next step will ask you to select whether you would like to have Ubuntu detect your keyboard layout. I recommended you select no and then simply select your country’s keyboard layout. This will be much faster.
  10. Now select the hostname for your server. This will be the name visible to other network devices. The default is Ubuntu.
  11. Next type the user’s full name. This is not the username, but simply your full name.
  12. The next section asks for the username. This can be the same or different from the full name.
  13. Now create your unique password. If you would like help in creating a secure password, please see my secure password guide (link to guide).
  14. The next step will ask to encrypt your home directory. For now we can click yes, but this is entirely optional.
  15. Then select your time zone.
  16. You will now be prompted to partition your hard drive. This tutorial assumes you are using the entire hard disk and LVM. However, please select the option that best suits your needs.
  17. Your next step will ask for your proxy information. If you are not using a proxy leave this section blank.
  18. Now select your update option. I prefer ‘No automatic updates’, but this is requires more management.
  19. The next section you will choose the software you wish to install. Please select the following:
    • OpenSSH Server
    • Linux Apache MySQL PHP (LAMP) Server
    • Mail server (optional)
  20. Then enter your MySQL password and the installation will continue.
  21. Then install the GRUB bootloader.
  22. Once the installation is complete the system will reboot.
  23. After the system reboot you will be prompted with the login screen.
  24. After logging in with the username and password previously created type ifconfig and find your IP address.
  25. Once you’ve found your IP address, type it in your browser and you should come to the default Apache webpage.
  26. Congratulations!!! You have now setup your own Web Server.