Rebuilding Ubuntu

Background

We recently acquired a Silverstone RM420 20-bay disk farm to house all our house needs for data storage. This was a story in its own right, but here we document the process of rebuilding Ubuntu to suit the local needs.

In what follows, we use a prompt of # to indicate that the actions must be done as superuser, and $ for actions as the (normal) user.

Tasks

Hostname

Depending how you got to this stage, the hostname might need fixing. To do this, simply edit (as superuser) the file /etc/hostname to the correct value.

          # vi /etc/hostname
        

Files

load basic files from backup. These should include:

          ~/.bash_profile
          ~/.bashrc
          ~/bin/*
          ~/lib/emacs
          ~/.emacs
        

SSH

install sshd

Emacs

Install my preferred editor Emacs

          # apt-get install emacs
        

Apache

Install the web server Apache

          # apt-get install apache
        

Enable the actions, cgid and userdir modifications.

          # a2enmod actions cgid userdir
        

In the file userdir.conf, change the <Directory /home/*/public_html> line containing AllowOverride to be just AllowOverride All

install the XSLTPROC package

# apt-get install xsltproc

Assuming all the relevant files have been copied across from backup, you should now be able to access the web server from a browser.

Gotchas

  1. Apache2 does not enable user directories automatically. To do this, you need to install the userdir mod (above).
  2. Because I also run a cgi script driven by special instructions in the .htaccess file to perform the XML to HTML translation, I also must install the actions and cgid modifications. The latter, in particular, gives very cryptic error messages - simply saying that it cannot find the requested file.
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