OpenSUSE small server (second edition)
I own a hosted server on the kimsufi.com site, part of the ovh.com hosting service (one of the biggest french one). As of June 2011, the cheaper one is a Celeron 64 bits, dualcore, 2Go RAM and 1000GB Hard drive, much enough for a personal server.
Get a Domain Name
I know you can use a dynamic system, but having your own domain name is very handy and very cheap. I use http://gandi.net and pay only €12 a year for my dodin.org domain name (I own also the dodin.net one, but this is an other story). I always had fixed IP, including at home, so I don't know much about a server on a variable IP system.
know what you want
The first task is to take a paper and a pencil and write down exactly what you want. Of course, when working, you will understand better your needs and change accordingly, but any change can give painfull results.
As an example, gandi.net allows you to have a full mail server with no administration and unlimited e-mails for as low as €1 (one!) a month and if you want only the myname@mydomain e-mail, better use it. I wanted to learn mail administration, so I decided to go the hard way and install my own one.
What I wanted was:
- an http server for me and my family (I have two daughters working as singer and actress, so they need also web site);
- a mail server. I want to be able to manage all my mails from this server, to be able to read them (and the archives) from any computer on the world, without having to bring one with me;
- a ftp server to store files as needed and allow customers to do also;
- of course ssh access;
- rsync daemon to use my server as backup server;
Installation et partitionning
The server is given pre-installed, but the default install don't fit my needs. It's possible to do again the install with manual partitionning quite easily, so I did and got this:
fdisk -l Disk /dev/sda: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders, total 1953525168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0x00064c61 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 * 4096 20975616 10485760+ 83 Linux /dev/sda2 20975617 125831870 52428127 83 Linux /dev/sda3 1952468993 1953520064 525536 82 Linux swap / Solaris /dev/sda4 125833216 1952468991 913317888 f W95 Ext'd (LBA) /dev/sda5 125835264 167782399 20973568 83 Linux /dev/sda6 167784448 1952444415 892329984 83 Linux Partition table entries are not in disk order kim3:/home/jdd # df -h Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on rootfs 10G 4,7G 4,8G 50% / /dev/root 10G 4,7G 4,8G 50% / devtmpfs 983M 268K 983M 1% /dev tmpfs 983M 0 983M 0% /dev/shm /dev/sda2 50G 11G 37G 24% /home /dev/sda6 838G 52G 744G 7% /data
You may notice I built one extra (sda5) and one "data" partition. I keep room to be able, eventually, to install an other distro on the same computer (for example as update). In that case, having the same home is not handy. So I have basic home and important data in the "data" partition.
After this part, you can log in the server and you are on your own.
Notice that on this 2011 install my provider partitionned with only two partitions, a small / (root) and the rest as /home, so I could resize the /home and din't have to reinstall.
It's mandatory to make an immediate update. Using zypper dup is probably the best way, at this step if there is a failure it's easy to install again.
Given the special boot installed by my provider, it's a bit scary, but if ever the update fail, it's easy to reinstall as there is nearly nothing new. June 2011, the update copied the grub files, but this do not prevent the computer from booting!
The langage was not utf8.So I had to change
(at the end of the file)
# List of installed language supports, use by YaST2 # INSTALLED_LANGUAGES="fr_FR.UTF-8"
Then run SuSEconfig. Can probably be done with YaST.
Use YaST (preferably yast2 through ssh -X) to setup the repositories. Add updates, may be Packman if you want very new stuff. You probably don't want restricted licence files (why have a mp3 reader on a hosted server?).
Install basic stuff
Depending of your initial install you will probably have to install a lot of things. My provider installed a very minimal system. I had to install nearly all by hand. Begin to install all the meaningfull YaST modules (search for yast in software install). I had yast (mandatory!), but not yast2 (no gui) when using sh -X to connect then yast2 is much friendlier. Notice that ssh -X seems to need a minimal X install.
I didn't write down all what I installed. A short list is probably: mc, w3m, yast2-gtk and qt, vsftpd (ftp), dovecot (mail imap/pop3), mrtg (http statistics), inn (news server), mailman (list server), spamassassin (spam fighter), apache2, ntp (time sync), tightVNC (remote admin). X and xfce may be usefull some day.
Don't forget to activate the necessary services in YaST, system, services (run levels).
You should have a YaST module to manage automatic security updates? If you don't have, you didn't install the relevant module. Do and configure the update.
On the way do install the YaST backup and make it automatic. With a such large disk (1TB!) you have plenty of room to store updates. Probably better ftp them locally.
Default openSUSE firewall is SuSEFirewall2. Most options are setup with the YaST2 module.
The main error to avoid is to launch the firewall before having setup the ssh opening - doing so you will lose the connection to the server...
- smtp (postfix)
- http (apache)
Do verify all your daemons are running and launched at start.
- inn if you want a newsgroup server (not yet for me)
- mailman for mailing lists (not yet for me, but I will need it soon)
- rsyncd (do not seems to be mandatory)
- spamd (not yet)