Ubuntu Server Guide - Official Ubuntu Documentation

Ubuntu Server Guide - Official Ubuntu Documentation
Ubuntu Server Guide
Ubuntu Server Guide
Copyright © 2014 Contributors to the document
Welcome to the Ubuntu Server Guide! It contains information on how to install and configure various server
applications on your Ubuntu system to fit your needs. It is a step-by-step, task-oriented guide for configuring
and customizing your system.
Credits and License
This document is maintained by the Ubuntu documentation team (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DocumentationTeam). A list of contributors is
This document is made available under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 3.0 License (CC-BY-SA).
You are free to modify, extend, and improve the Ubuntu documentation source code under the terms of this license. All derivative works
must be released under this license.
This documentation is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty
A copy of the license is available here: Creative Commons ShareAlike License1.
Contributors to this document are:
• Members of the Ubuntu Documentation Project2
• Members of the Ubuntu Server Team3
• Contributors to the Community Help Wiki4
• Other contributors can be found in the revision history of the serverguide5 and ubuntu-docs6 bzr branches available on Launchpad.
1 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
2 https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-core-doc
3 https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-server
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/
5 https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-core-doc/serverguide/trunk/changes
6 https://bazaar.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-core-doc/ubuntu-docs/trunk/changes
Table of Contents
1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 1
1. Support ........................................................................................................................... 2
2. Installation .............................................................................................................................. 3
1. Preparing to Install ......................................................................................................... 4
2. Installing from CD .......................................................................................................... 6
3. Upgrading ....................................................................................................................... 9
4. Advanced Installation .................................................................................................... 10
5. Kernel Crash Dump ...................................................................................................... 17
3. Package Management ............................................................................................................ 20
1. Introduction .................................................................................................................. 21
2. dpkg ............................................................................................................................. 22
3. Apt-Get ........................................................................................................................ 23
4. Aptitude ........................................................................................................................ 25
5. Automatic Updates ........................................................................................................ 27
6. Configuration ................................................................................................................ 29
7. References .................................................................................................................... 31
4. Networking ........................................................................................................................... 32
1. Network Configuration .................................................................................................. 33
2. TCP/IP ......................................................................................................................... 42
3. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) .............................................................. 46
4. Time Synchronisation with NTP .................................................................................... 49
5. DM-Multipath ....................................................................................................................... 51
1. Device Mapper Multipathing ......................................................................................... 52
2. Multipath Devices ......................................................................................................... 55
3. Setting up DM-Multipath Overview ............................................................................... 58
4. The DM-Multipath Configuration File ........................................................................... 62
5. DM-Multipath Administration and Troubleshooting ........................................................ 74
6. Remote Administration .......................................................................................................... 79
1. OpenSSH Server ........................................................................................................... 80
2. Puppet .......................................................................................................................... 83
3. Zentyal ......................................................................................................................... 86
7. Network Authentication ......................................................................................................... 90
1. OpenLDAP Server ........................................................................................................ 91
2. Samba and LDAP ....................................................................................................... 117
3. Kerberos ..................................................................................................................... 123
4. Kerberos and LDAP .................................................................................................... 131
5. SSSD and Active Directory ......................................................................................... 138
8. Domain Name Service (DNS) .............................................................................................. 143
1. Installation .................................................................................................................. 144
2. Configuration .............................................................................................................. 145
Ubuntu Server Guide
3. Troubleshooting ..........................................................................................................
4. References ..................................................................................................................
9. Security ..............................................................................................................................
1. User Management .......................................................................................................
2. Console Security .........................................................................................................
3. Firewall ......................................................................................................................
4. AppArmor ..................................................................................................................
5. Certificates ..................................................................................................................
6. eCryptfs ......................................................................................................................
Monitoring ........................................................................................................................
1. Overview ....................................................................................................................
2. Nagios ........................................................................................................................
3. Munin .........................................................................................................................
Web Servers ......................................................................................................................
1. HTTPD - Apache2 Web Server ...................................................................................
2. PHP5 - Scripting Language .........................................................................................
3. Squid - Proxy Server ...................................................................................................
4. Ruby on Rails .............................................................................................................
5. Apache Tomcat ...........................................................................................................
Databases ..........................................................................................................................
1. MySQL .......................................................................................................................
2. PostgreSQL .................................................................................................................
LAMP Applications ...........................................................................................................
1. Overview ....................................................................................................................
2. Moin Moin .................................................................................................................
3. MediaWiki ..................................................................................................................
4. phpMyAdmin ..............................................................................................................
5. WordPress ..................................................................................................................
File Servers .......................................................................................................................
1. FTP Server .................................................................................................................
2. Network File System (NFS) ........................................................................................
3. iSCSI Initiator .............................................................................................................
4. CUPS - Print Server ....................................................................................................
Email Services ..................................................................................................................
1. Postfix ........................................................................................................................
2. Exim4 .........................................................................................................................
3. Dovecot Server ...........................................................................................................
4. Mailman .....................................................................................................................
5. Mail Filtering ..............................................................................................................
Chat Applications ..............................................................................................................
1. Overview ....................................................................................................................
2. IRC Server ..................................................................................................................
Ubuntu Server Guide
3. Jabber Instant Messaging Server ..................................................................................
17. Version Control System .....................................................................................................
1. Bazaar ........................................................................................................................
2. Git ..............................................................................................................................
3. Subversion .................................................................................................................. 280
4. References .................................................................................................................. 285
18. Samba ............................................................................................................................... 286
1. Introduction ................................................................................................................ 287
2. File Server .................................................................................................................. 288
3. Print Server ................................................................................................................. 291
4. Securing File and Print Server ..................................................................................... 293
5. As a Domain Controller .............................................................................................. 298
6. Active Directory Integration ........................................................................................ 302
19. Backups ............................................................................................................................ 304
1. Shell Scripts ................................................................................................................ 305
2. Archive Rotation ......................................................................................................... 309
3. Bacula ........................................................................................................................ 312
20. Virtualization .................................................................................................................... 317
1. libvirt .......................................................................................................................... 318
2. Cloud images and uvtool ............................................................................................. 323
3. Ubuntu Cloud ............................................................................................................. 327
4. LXC ........................................................................................................................... 328
21. Control Groups ................................................................................................................. 343
1. Overview .................................................................................................................... 344
2. Filesystem ................................................................................................................... 345
3. Delegation .................................................................................................................. 346
4. Manager ..................................................................................................................... 347
5. Resources ................................................................................................................... 348
22. Clustering ......................................................................................................................... 349
1. DRBD ........................................................................................................................ 350
23. VPN ................................................................................................................................. 353
1. OpenVPN ................................................................................................................... 354
24. Other Useful Applications ................................................................................................. 367
1. pam_motd ................................................................................................................... 368
2. etckeeper .................................................................................................................... 370
3. Byobu ......................................................................................................................... 373
A. Appendix ........................................................................................................................... 375
1. Reporting Bugs in Ubuntu Server Edition ..................................................................... 376
List of Tables
2.1. Recommended Minimum Requirements ................................................................................ 4
5.1. Priority Checker Conversion ............................................................................................... 52
5.2. DM-Multipath Components ................................................................................................ 53
5.3. Multipath Configuration Defaults ........................................................................................ 66
5.4. Multipath Attributes ........................................................................................................... 70
5.5. Device Attributes ............................................................................................................... 72
5.6. Useful multipath Command Options ................................................................................... 77
17.1. Access Methods .............................................................................................................. 281
Chapter 1. Introduction
Welcome to the Ubuntu Server Guide!
Here you can find information on how to install and configure various server applications. It is a stepby-step, task-oriented guide for configuring and customizing your system.
This guide assumes you have a basic understanding of your Ubuntu system. Some installation details
are covered in Chapter 2, Installation [p. 3], but if you need detailed instructions installing
Ubuntu please refer to the Ubuntu Installation Guide1.
A HTML version of the manual is available online at the Ubuntu Documentation website2.
1 https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/installation-guide/
2 https://help.ubuntu.com
1. Support
There are a couple of different ways that Ubuntu Server Edition is supported, commercial support
and community support. The main commercial support (and development funding) is available from
Canonical Ltd. They supply reasonably priced support contracts on a per desktop or per server basis.
For more information see the Canonical Services3 page.
Community support is also provided by dedicated individuals, and companies, that wish to make
Ubuntu the best distribution possible. Support is provided through multiple mailing lists, IRC
channels, forums, blogs, wikis, etc. The large amount of information available can be overwhelming,
but a good search engine query can usually provide an answer to your questions. See the Ubuntu
Support4 page for more information.
3 http://www.canonical.com/services/support
4 http://www.ubuntu.com/support
Chapter 2. Installation
This chapter provides a quick overview of installing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server Edition. For more
detailed instructions, please refer to the Ubuntu Installation Guide1.
1 https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/installation-guide/
1. Preparing to Install
This section explains various aspects to consider before starting the installation.
1.1. System Requirements
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Server Edition supports three (3) major architectures: Intel x86, AMD64 and
ARM. The table below lists recommended hardware specifications. Depending on your needs, you
might manage with less than this. However, most users risk being frustrated if they ignore these
Table 2.1. Recommended Minimum Requirements
Hard Drive Space
Install Type
Base System
All Tasks Installed
Server (Standard) 1 gigahertz
512 megabytes
1 gigabyte
1.75 gigabytes
Server (Minimal) 300 megahertz
192 megabytes
700 megabytes
1.4 gigabytes
The Server Edition provides a common base for all sorts of server applications. It is a minimalist
design providing a platform for the desired services, such as file/print services, web hosting, email
hosting, etc.
1.2. Server and Desktop Differences
There are a few differences between the Ubuntu Server Edition and the Ubuntu Desktop Edition. It
should be noted that both editions use the same apt repositories, making it just as easy to install a
server application on the Desktop Edition as it is on the Server Edition.
The differences between the two editions are the lack of an X window environment in the Server
Edition and the installation process.
1.2.1. Kernel Differences:
Ubuntu version 10.10 and prior, actually had different kernels for the server and desktop editions.
Ubuntu no longer has separate -server and -generic kernel flavors. These have been merged into a
single -generic kernel flavor to help reduce the maintenance burden over the life of the release.
When running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu on 64-bit processors you are not limited by
memory addressing space.
To see all kernel configuration options you can look through /boot/config-3.13.0-server. Also,
Linux Kernel in a Nutshell2 is a great resource on the options available.
2 http://www.kroah.com/lkn/
1.3. Backing Up
• Before installing Ubuntu Server Edition you should make sure all data on the system is backed up.
See Chapter 19, Backups [p. 304] for backup options.
If this is not the first time an operating system has been installed on your computer, it is likely you
will need to re-partition your disk to make room for Ubuntu.
Any time you partition your disk, you should be prepared to lose everything on the disk should you
make a mistake or something goes wrong during partitioning. The programs used in installation are
quite reliable, most have seen years of use, but they also perform destructive actions.
2. Installing from CD
The basic steps to install Ubuntu Server Edition from CD are the same as those for installing any
operating system from CD. Unlike the Desktop Edition, the Server Edition does not include a
graphical installation program. The Server Edition uses a console menu based process instead.
• First, download and burn the appropriate ISO file from the Ubuntu web site3.
• Boot the system from the CD-ROM drive.
• At the boot prompt you will be asked to select a language.
• From the main boot menu there are some additional options to install Ubuntu Server Edition. You
can install a basic Ubuntu Server, check the CD-ROM for defects, check the system's RAM, boot
from first hard disk, or rescue a broken system. The rest of this section will cover the basic Ubuntu
Server install.
• The installer asks for which language it should use. Afterwards, you are asked to select your
• Next, the installation process begins by asking for your keyboard layout. You can ask the installer
to attempt auto-detecting it, or you can select it manually from a list.
• The installer then discovers your hardware configuration, and configures the network settings using
DHCP. If you do not wish to use DHCP at the next screen choose "Go Back", and you have the
option to "Configure the network manually".
• Next, the installer asks for the system's hostname.
• A new user is set up; this user will have root access through the sudo utility.
• After the user settings have been completed, you will be asked to encrypt your home directory.
• Next, the installer asks for the system's Time Zone.
• You can then choose from several options to configure the hard drive layout. Afterwards you
are asked for which disk to install to. You may get confirmation prompts before rewriting the
partition table or setting up LVM depending on disk layout. If you choose LVM, you will be
asked for the size of the root logical volume. For advanced disk options see Section 4, “Advanced
Installation” [p. 10].
• The Ubuntu base system is then installed.
• The next step in the installation process is to decide how you want to update the system. There are
three options:
• No automatic updates: this requires an administrator to log into the machine and manually install
• Install security updates automatically: this will install the unattended-upgrades package, which
will install security updates without the intervention of an administrator. For more details see
Section 5, “Automatic Updates” [p. 27].
3 http://www.ubuntu.com/download/server/download
• Manage the system with Landscape: Landscape is a paid service provided by Canonical to help
manage your Ubuntu machines. See the Landscape4 site for details.
• You now have the option to install, or not install, several package tasks. See Section 2.1, “Package
Tasks” [p. 7] for details. Also, there is an option to launch aptitude to choose specific
packages to install. For more information see Section 4, “Aptitude” [p. 25].
• Finally, the last step before rebooting is to set the clock to UTC.
If at any point during installation you are not satisfied by the default setting, use the "Go
Back" function at any prompt to be brought to a detailed installation menu that will allow
you to modify the default settings.
At some point during the installation process you may want to read the help screen provided by the
installation system. To do this, press F1.
Once again, for detailed instructions see the Ubuntu Installation Guide5.
2.1. Package Tasks
During the Server Edition installation you have the option of installing additional packages from the
CD. The packages are grouped by the type of service they provide.
• DNS server: Selects the BIND DNS server and its documentation.
• LAMP server: Selects a ready-made Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP server.
• Mail server: This task selects a variety of packages useful for a general purpose mail server system.
• OpenSSH server: Selects packages needed for an OpenSSH server.
• PostgreSQL database: This task selects client and server packages for the PostgreSQL database.
• Print server: This task sets up your system to be a print server.
• Samba File server: This task sets up your system to be a Samba file server, which is especially
suitable in networks with both Windows and Linux systems.
• Tomcat Java server: Installs Apache Tomcat and needed dependencies.
• Virtual Machine host: Includes packages needed to run KVM virtual machines.
• Manually select packages: Executes aptitude allowing you to individually select packages.
Installing the package groups is accomplished using the tasksel utility. One of the important
differences between Ubuntu (or Debian) and other GNU/Linux distribution is that, when installed, a
package is also configured to reasonable defaults, eventually prompting you for additional required
information. Likewise, when installing a task, the packages are not only installed, but also configured
to provided a fully integrated service.
Once the installation process has finished you can view a list of available tasks by entering the
following from a terminal prompt:
4 http://www.canonical.com/projects/landscape
5 https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/installation-guide/
tasksel --list-tasks
The output will list tasks from other Ubuntu based distributions such as Kubuntu and
Edubuntu. Note that you can also invoke the tasksel command by itself, which will bring up
a menu of the different tasks available.
You can view a list of which packages are installed with each task using the --task-packages option.
For example, to list the packages installed with the DNS Server task enter the following:
tasksel --task-packages dns-server
The output of the command should list:
If you did not install one of the tasks during the installation process, but for example you decide to
make your new LAMP server a DNS server as well, simply insert the installation CD and from a
sudo tasksel install dns-server
3. Upgrading
There are several ways to upgrade from one Ubuntu release to another. This section gives an overview
of the recommended upgrade method.
3.1. do-release-upgrade
The recommended way to upgrade a Server Edition installation is to use the do-release-upgrade
utility. Part of the update-manager-core package, it does not have any graphical dependencies and is
installed by default.
Debian based systems can also be upgraded by using apt-get dist-upgrade. However, using dorelease-upgrade is recommended because it has the ability to handle system configuration changes
sometimes needed between releases.
To upgrade to a newer release, from a terminal prompt enter:
It is also possible to use do-release-upgrade to upgrade to a development version of Ubuntu. To
accomplish this use the -d switch:
do-release-upgrade -d
Upgrading to a development release is not recommended for production environments.
4. Advanced Installation
4.1. Software RAID
Redundant Array of Independent Disks "RAID" is a method of using multiple disks to provide
different balances of increasing data reliability and/or increasing input/output performance, depending
on the RAID level being used. RAID is implemented in either software (where the operating system
knows about both drives and actively maintains both of them) or hardware (where a special controller
makes the OS think there's only one drive and maintains the drives 'invisibly').
The RAID software included with current versions of Linux (and Ubuntu) is based on the 'mdadm'
driver and works very well, better even than many so-called 'hardware' RAID controllers. This section
will guide you through installing Ubuntu Server Edition using two RAID1 partitions on two physical
hard drives, one for / and another for swap.
4.1.1. Partitioning
Follow the installation steps until you get to the Partition disks step, then:
Select Manual as the partition method.
Select the first hard drive, and agree to "Create a new empty partition table on this device?".
Repeat this step for each drive you wish to be part of the RAID array.
Select the "FREE SPACE" on the first drive then select "Create a new partition".
Next, select the Size of the partition. This partition will be the swap partition, and a general
rule for swap size is twice that of RAM. Enter the partition size, then choose Primary, then
A swap partition size of twice the available RAM capacity may not always be
desirable, especially on systems with large amounts of RAM. Calculating the swap
partition size for servers is highly dependent on how the system is going to be used.
Select the "Use as:" line at the top. By default this is "Ext4 journaling file system", change that to
"physical volume for RAID" then "Done setting up partition".
For the / partition once again select "Free Space" on the first drive then "Create a new partition".
Use the rest of the free space on the drive and choose Continue, then Primary.
As with the swap partition, select the "Use as:" line at the top, changing it to "physical volume
for RAID". Also select the "Bootable flag:" line to change the value to "on". Then choose "Done
setting up partition".
Repeat steps three through eight for the other disk and partitions.
4.1.2. RAID Configuration
With the partitions setup the arrays are ready to be configured:
Back in the main "Partition Disks" page, select "Configure Software RAID" at the top.
Select "yes" to write the changes to disk.
Choose "Create MD device".
For this example, select "RAID1", but if you are using a different setup choose the appropriate
type (RAID0 RAID1 RAID5).
In order to use RAID5 you need at least three drives. Using RAID0 or RAID1 only two
drives are required.
Enter the number of active devices "2", or the amount of hard drives you have, for the array.
Then select "Continue".
Next, enter the number of spare devices "0" by default, then choose "Continue".
Choose which partitions to use. Generally they will be sda1, sdb1, sdc1, etc. The numbers will
usually match and the different letters correspond to different hard drives.
For the swap partition choose sda1 and sdb1. Select "Continue" to go to the next step.
Repeat steps three through seven for the / partition choosing sda2 and sdb2.
Once done select "Finish".
4.1.3. Formatting
There should now be a list of hard drives and RAID devices. The next step is to format and set the
mount point for the RAID devices. Treat the RAID device as a local hard drive, format and mount
Select "#1" under the "RAID1 device #0" partition.
Choose "Use as:". Then select "swap area", then "Done setting up partition".
Next, select "#1" under the "RAID1 device #1" partition.
Choose "Use as:". Then select "Ext4 journaling file system".
Then select the "Mount point" and choose "/ - the root file system". Change any of the other
options as appropriate, then select "Done setting up partition".
Finally, select "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk".
If you choose to place the root partition on a RAID array, the installer will then ask if you would like
to boot in a degraded state. See Section 4.1.4, “Degraded RAID” [p. 11] for further details.
The installation process will then continue normally.
4.1.4. Degraded RAID
At some point in the life of the computer a disk failure event may occur. When this happens, using
Software RAID, the operating system will place the array into what is known as a degraded state.
If the array has become degraded, due to the chance of data corruption, by default Ubuntu Server
Edition will boot to initramfs after thirty seconds. Once the initramfs has booted there is a fifteen
second prompt giving you the option to go ahead and boot the system, or attempt manual recover.
Booting to the initramfs prompt may or may not be the desired behavior, especially if the machine is
in a remote location. Booting to a degraded array can be configured several ways:
• The dpkg-reconfigure utility can be used to configure the default behavior, and during the process
you will be queried about additional settings related to the array. Such as monitoring, email alerts,
etc. To reconfigure mdadm enter the following:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mdadm
• The dpkg-reconfigure mdadm process will change the /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/mdadm
configuration file. The file has the advantage of being able to pre-configure the system's behavior,
and can also be manually edited:
The configuration file can be overridden by using a Kernel argument.
• Using a Kernel argument will allow the system to boot to a degraded array as well:
• When the server is booting press Shift to open the Grub menu.
• Press e to edit your kernel command options.
• Press the down arrow to highlight the kernel line.
• Add "bootdegraded=true" (without the quotes) to the end of the line.
• Press Ctrl+x to boot the system.
Once the system has booted you can either repair the array see Section 4.1.5, “RAID
Maintenance” [p. 12] for details, or copy important data to another machine due to major
hardware failure.
4.1.5. RAID Maintenance
The mdadm utility can be used to view the status of an array, add disks to an array, remove disks, etc:
• To view the status of an array, from a terminal prompt enter:
sudo mdadm -D /dev/md0
The -D tells mdadm to display detailed information about the /dev/md0 device. Replace /dev/md0
with the appropriate RAID device.
• To view the status of a disk in an array:
sudo mdadm -E /dev/sda1
The output if very similar to the mdadm -D command, adjust /dev/sda1 for each disk.
• If a disk fails and needs to be removed from an array enter:
sudo mdadm --remove /dev/md0 /dev/sda1
Change /dev/md0 and /dev/sda1 to the appropriate RAID device and disk.
• Similarly, to add a new disk:
sudo mdadm --add /dev/md0 /dev/sda1
Sometimes a disk can change to a faulty state even though there is nothing physically wrong with
the drive. It is usually worthwhile to remove the drive from the array then re-add it. This will cause
the drive to re-sync with the array. If the drive will not sync with the array, it is a good indication of
hardware failure.
The /proc/mdstat file also contains useful information about the system's RAID devices:
cat /proc/mdstat
Personalities : [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [raid10]
md0 : active raid1 sda1[0] sdb1[1]
10016384 blocks [2/2] [UU]
unused devices: <none>
The following command is great for watching the status of a syncing drive:
watch -n1 cat /proc/mdstat
Press Ctrl+c to stop the watch command.
If you do need to replace a faulty drive, after the drive has been replaced and synced, grub will need
to be installed. To install grub on the new drive, enter the following:
sudo grub-install /dev/md0
Replace /dev/md0 with the appropriate array device name.
4.1.6. Resources
The topic of RAID arrays is a complex one due to the plethora of ways RAID can be configured.
Please see the following links for more information:
• Ubuntu Wiki Articles on RAID6.
6 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation#raid
• Software RAID HOWTO7
• Managing RAID on Linux8
4.2. Logical Volume Manager (LVM)
Logical Volume Manger, or LVM, allows administrators to create logical volumes out of one or
multiple physical hard disks. LVM volumes can be created on both software RAID partitions and
standard partitions residing on a single disk. Volumes can also be extended, giving greater flexibility
to systems as requirements change.
4.2.1. Overview
A side effect of LVM's power and flexibility is a greater degree of complication. Before diving into
the LVM installation process, it is best to get familiar with some terms.
• Physical Volume (PV): physical hard disk, disk partition or software RAID partition formatted as
• Volume Group (VG): is made from one or more physical volumes. A VG can can be extended by
adding more PVs. A VG is like a virtual disk drive, from which one or more logical volumes are
• Logical Volume (LV): is similar to a partition in a non-LVM system. A LV is formatted with the
desired file system (EXT3, XFS, JFS, etc), it is then available for mounting and data storage.
4.2.2. Installation
As an example this section covers installing Ubuntu Server Edition with /srv mounted on a LVM
volume. During the initial install only one Physical Volume (PV) will be part of the Volume Group
(VG). Another PV will be added after install to demonstrate how a VG can be extended.
There are several installation options for LVM, "Guided - use the entire disk and setup LVM" which
will also allow you to assign a portion of the available space to LVM, "Guided - use entire and setup
encrypted LVM", or Manually setup the partitions and configure LVM. At this time the only way to
configure a system with both LVM and standard partitions, during installation, is to use the Manual
Follow the installation steps until you get to the Partition disks step, then:
At the "Partition Disks screen choose "Manual".
Select the hard disk and on the next screen choose "yes" to "Create a new empty partition table
on this device".
Next, create standard /boot, swap, and / partitions with whichever filesystem you prefer.
For the LVM /srv, create a new Logical partition. Then change "Use as" to "physical volume for
LVM" then "Done setting up the partition".
7 http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Software-RAID-HOWTO.html
8 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9781565927308/
Now select "Configure the Logical Volume Manager" at the top, and choose "Yes" to write the
changes to disk.
For the "LVM configuration action" on the next screen, choose "Create volume group". Enter a
name for the VG such as vg01, or something more descriptive. After entering a name, select the
partition configured for LVM, and choose "Continue".
Back at the "LVM configuration action" screen, select "Create logical volume". Select the
newly created volume group, and enter a name for the new LV, for example srv since that is the
intended mount point. Then choose a size, which may be the full partition because it can always
be extended later. Choose "Finish" and you should be back at the main "Partition Disks" screen.
Now add a filesystem to the new LVM. Select the partition under "LVM VG vg01, LV srv", or
whatever name you have chosen, the choose Use as. Setup a file system as normal selecting /srv
as the mount point. Once done, select "Done setting up the partition".
10. Finally, select "Finish partitioning and write changes to disk". Then confirm the changes and
continue with the rest of the installation.
There are some useful utilities to view information about LVM:
• pvdisplay: shows information about Physical Volumes.
• vgdisplay: shows information about Volume Groups.
• lvdisplay: shows information about Logical Volumes.
4.2.3. Extending Volume Groups
Continuing with srv as an LVM volume example, this section covers adding a second hard disk,
creating a Physical Volume (PV), adding it to the volume group (VG), extending the logical volume
srv and finally extending the filesystem. This example assumes a second hard disk has been added to
the system. In this example, this hard disk will be named /dev/sdb and we will use the entire disk as a
physical volume (you could choose to create partitions and use them as different physical volumes)
Make sure you don't already have an existing /dev/sdb before issuing the commands below.
You could lose some data if you issue those commands on a non-empty disk.
First, create the physical volume, in a terminal execute:
sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb
Now extend the Volume Group (VG):
sudo vgextend vg01 /dev/sdb
Use vgdisplay to find out the free physical extents - Free PE / size (the size you can allocate). We
will assume a free size of 511 PE (equivalent to 2GB with a PE size of 4MB) and we will use the
whole free space available. Use your own PE and/or free space.
The Logical Volume (LV) can now be extended by different methods, we will only see how to
use the PE to extend the LV:
sudo lvextend /dev/vg01/srv -l +511
The -l option allows the LV to be extended using PE. The -L option allows the LV to be
extended using Meg, Gig, Tera, etc bytes.
Even though you are supposed to be able to expand an ext3 or ext4 filesystem without
unmounting it first, it may be a good practice to unmount it anyway and check the filesystem, so
that you don't mess up the day you want to reduce a logical volume (in that case unmounting first
is compulsory).
The following commands are for an EXT3 or EXT4 filesystem. If you are using another
filesystem there may be other utilities available.
sudo umount /srv
sudo e2fsck -f /dev/vg01/srv
The -f option of e2fsck forces checking even if the system seems clean.
Finally, resize the filesystem:
sudo resize2fs /dev/vg01/srv
Now mount the partition and check its size.
mount /dev/vg01/srv /srv && df -h /srv
4.2.4. Resources
• See the Ubuntu Wiki LVM Articles9.
• See the LVM HOWTO10 for more information.
• Another good article is Managing Disk Space with LVM11 on O'Reilly's linuxdevcenter.com site.
• For more information on fdisk see the fdisk man page12.
9 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation#lvm
10 http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/index.html
11 http://www.linuxdevcenter.com/pub/a/linux/2006/04/27/managing-disk-space-with-lvm.html
12 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man8/fdisk.8.html
5. Kernel Crash Dump
5.1. Introduction
A Kernel Crash Dump refers to a portion of the contents of volatile memory (RAM) that is copied
to disk whenever the execution of the kernel is disrupted. The following events can cause a kernel
disruption :
• Kernel Panic
• Non Maskable Interrupts (NMI)
• Machine Check Exceptions (MCE)
• Hardware failure
• Manual intervention
For some of those events (panic, NMI) the kernel will react automatically and trigger the crash dump
mechanism through kexec. In other situations a manual intervention is required in order to capture the
memory. Whenever one of the above events occurs, it is important to find out the root cause in order
to prevent it from happening again. The cause can be determined by inspecting the copied memory
5.2. Kernel Crash Dump Mechanism
When a kernel panic occurs, the kernel relies on the kexec mechanism to quickly reboot a new
instance of the kernel in a pre-reserved section of memory that had been allocated when the system
booted (see below). This permits the existing memory area to remain untouched in order to safely
copy its contents to storage.
5.3. Installation
The kernel crash dump utility is installed with the following command:
sudo apt-get install linux-crashdump
5.4. Configuration
Edit /etc/default/kdump-tool by including the following line:
A reboot is then needed.
5.5. Verification
To confirm that the kernel dump mechanism is enabled, there are a few things to verify. First, confirm
that the crashkernel boot parameter is present (note: The following line has been split into two to fit
the format of this document:
cat /proc/cmdline
BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-3.2.0-17-server root=/dev/mapper/PreciseS-root ro
The crashkernel parameter has the following syntax:
range=start-[end] 'start' is inclusive and 'end' is exclusive.
So for the crashkernel parameter found in /proc/cmdline we would have :
The above value means:
• if the RAM is smaller than 384M, then don't reserve anything (this is the "rescue" case)
• if the RAM size is between 386M and 2G (exclusive), then reserve 64M
• if the RAM size is larger than 2G, then reserve 128M
Second, verify that the kernel has reserved the requested memory area for the kdump kernel by doing:
dmesg | grep -i crash
0.000000] Reserving 64MB of memory at 800MB for crashkernel (System RAM: 1023MB)
5.6. Testing the Crash Dump Mechanism
Testing the Crash Dump Mechanism will cause a system reboot. In certain situations, this
can cause data loss if the system is under heavy load. If you want to test the mechanism,
make sure that the system is idle or under very light load.
Verify that the SysRQ mechanism is enabled by looking at the value of the /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
kernel parameter :
cat /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
If a value of 0 is returned the feature is disabled. Enable it with the following command :
sudo sysctl -w kernel.sysrq=1
Once this is done, you must become root, as just using sudo will not be sufficient. As the root
user, you will have to issue the command echo c > /proc/sysrq-trigger. If you are using a network
connection, you will lose contact with the system. This is why it is better to do the test while being
connected to the system console. This has the advantage of making the kernel dump process visible.
A typical test output should look like the following :
sudo -s
[sudo] password for ubuntu:
# echo c > /proc/sysrq-trigger
31.659002] SysRq : Trigger a crash
BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at
IP: [<ffffffff8139f166>] sysrq_handle_crash+0x16/0x20
PGD 3bfb9067 PUD 368a7067 PMD 0
Oops: 0002 [#1] SMP
The rest of the output is truncated, but you should see the system rebooting and somewhere in the log,
you will see the following line :
Begin: Saving vmcore from kernel crash ...
Once completed, the system will reboot to its normal operational mode. You will then find Kernel
Crash Dump file in the /var/crash directory :
ls /var/crash
5.7. Resources
Kernel Crash Dump is a vast topic that requires good knowledge of the linux kernel. You can find
more information on the topic here :
• Kdump kernel documentation13.
• The crash tool14
• Analyzing Linux Kernel Crash15 (Based on Fedora, it still gives a good walkthrough of kernel dump
13 http://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/kdump/kdump.txt
14 http://people.redhat.com/~anderson/
15 http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/crash-analyze.html
Chapter 3. Package Management
Ubuntu features a comprehensive package management system for installing, upgrading, configuring,
and removing software. In addition to providing access to an organized base of over 35,000 software
packages for your Ubuntu computer, the package management facilities also feature dependency
resolution capabilities and software update checking.
Several tools are available for interacting with Ubuntu's package management system, from simple
command-line utilities which may be easily automated by system administrators, to a simple graphical
interface which is easy to use by those new to Ubuntu.
Package Management
1. Introduction
Ubuntu's package management system is derived from the same system used by the Debian GNU/
Linux distribution. The package files contain all of the necessary files, meta-data, and instructions to
implement a particular functionality or software application on your Ubuntu computer.
Debian package files typically have the extension '.deb', and usually exist in repositories which are
collections of packages found on various media, such as CD-ROM discs, or online. Packages are
normally in a pre-compiled binary format; thus installation is quick, and requires no compiling of
Many complex packages use the concept of dependencies. Dependencies are additional packages
required by the principal package in order to function properly. For example, the speech synthesis
package festival depends upon the package libasound2, which is a package supplying the ALSA
sound library needed for audio playback. In order for festival to function, it and all of its dependencies
must be installed. The software management tools in Ubuntu will do this automatically.
Package Management
2. dpkg
dpkg is a package manager for Debian-based systems. It can install, remove, and build packages, but
unlike other package management systems, it cannot automatically download and install packages or
their dependencies. This section covers using dpkg to manage locally installed packages:
• To list all packages installed on the system, from a terminal prompt type:
dpkg -l
• Depending on the amount of packages on your system, this can generate a large amount of output.
Pipe the output through grep to see if a specific package is installed:
dpkg -l | grep apache2
Replace apache2 with any package name, part of a package name, or other regular expression.
• To list the files installed by a package, in this case the ufw package, enter:
dpkg -L ufw
• If you are not sure which package installed a file, dpkg -S may be able to tell you. For example:
dpkg -S /etc/host.conf
base-files: /etc/host.conf
The output shows that the /etc/host.conf belongs to the base-files package.
Many files are automatically generated during the package install process, and even
though they are on the filesystem, dpkg -S may not know which package they belong to.
• You can install a local .deb file by entering:
sudo dpkg -i zip_3.0-4_i386.deb
Change zip_3.0-4_i386.deb to the actual file name of the local .deb file you wish to install.
• Uninstalling a package can be accomplished by:
sudo dpkg -r zip
Uninstalling packages using dpkg, in most cases, is NOT recommended. It is better to use
a package manager that handles dependencies to ensure that the system is in a consistent
state. For example using dpkg -r zip will remove the zip package, but any packages that
depend on it will still be installed and may no longer function correctly.
For more dpkg options see the man page: man dpkg.
Package Management
3. Apt-Get
The apt-get command is a powerful command-line tool, which works with Ubuntu's Advanced
Packaging Tool (APT) performing such functions as installation of new software packages, upgrade
of existing software packages, updating of the package list index, and even upgrading the entire
Ubuntu system.
Being a simple command-line tool, apt-get has numerous advantages over other package management
tools available in Ubuntu for server administrators. Some of these advantages include ease of use over
simple terminal connections (SSH), and the ability to be used in system administration scripts, which
can in turn be automated by the cron scheduling utility.
Some examples of popular uses for the apt-get utility:
• Install a Package: Installation of packages using the apt-get tool is quite simple. For example, to
install the network scanner nmap, type the following:
sudo apt-get install nmap
• Remove a Package: Removal of a package (or packages) is also straightforward. To remove the
package installed in the previous example, type the following:
sudo apt-get remove nmap
Multiple Packages: You may specify multiple packages to be installed or removed,
separated by spaces.
Also, adding the --purge option to apt-get remove will remove the package configuration files as
well. This may or may not be the desired effect, so use with caution.
• Update the Package Index: The APT package index is essentially a database of available
packages from the repositories defined in the /etc/apt/sources.list file and in the /etc/apt/
sources.list.d directory. To update the local package index with the latest changes made in the
repositories, type the following:
sudo apt-get update
• Upgrade Packages: Over time, updated versions of packages currently installed on your computer
may become available from the package repositories (for example security updates). To upgrade
your system, first update your package index as outlined above, and then type:
sudo apt-get upgrade
For information on upgrading to a new Ubuntu release see Section 3, “Upgrading” [p. 9].
Actions of the apt-get command, such as installation and removal of packages, are logged in the /var/
log/dpkg.log log file.
Package Management
For further information about the use of APT, read the comprehensive Debian APT User Manual1 or
apt-get help
1 http://www.debian.org/doc/user-manuals#apt-howto
Package Management
4. Aptitude
Launching Aptitude with no command-line options, will give you a menu-driven, text-based frontend to the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) system. Many of the common package management
functions, such as installation, removal, and upgrade, can be performed in Aptitude with single-key
commands, which are typically lowercase letters.
Aptitude is best suited for use in a non-graphical terminal environment to ensure proper functioning
of the command keys. You may start the menu-driven interface of Aptitude as a normal user by typing
the following command at a terminal prompt:
sudo aptitude
When Aptitude starts, you will see a menu bar at the top of the screen and two panes below the menu
bar. The top pane contains package categories, such as New Packages and Not Installed Packages.
The bottom pane contains information related to the packages and package categories.
Using Aptitude for package management is relatively straightforward, and the user interface makes
common tasks simple to perform. The following are examples of common package management
functions as performed in Aptitude:
• Install Packages: To install a package, locate the package via the Not Installed Packages package
category, by using the keyboard arrow keys and the ENTER key. Highlight the desired package,
then press the + key. The package entry should turn green, indicating that it has been marked for
installation. Now press g to be presented with a summary of package actions. Press g again, and
downloading and installation of the package will commence. When finished, press ENTER, to
return to the menu.
• Remove Packages: To remove a package, locate the package via the Installed Packages package
category, by using the keyboard arrow keys and the ENTER key. Highlight the desired package
you wish to remove, then press the - key. The package entry should turn pink, indicating it has
been marked for removal. Now press g to be presented with a summary of package actions. Press g
again, and removal of the package will commence. When finished, press ENTER, to return to the
• Update Package Index: To update the package index, simply press the u key. Updating of the
package index will commence.
• Upgrade Packages: To upgrade packages, perform the update of the package index as detailed
above, and then press the U key to mark all packages with updates. Now press g whereby you'll be
presented with a summary of package actions. Press g again, and the download and installation will
commence. When finished, press ENTER, to return to the menu.
The first column of information displayed in the package list in the top pane, when actually viewing
packages lists the current state of the package, and uses the following key to describe the state of the
Package Management
• i: Installed package
• c: Package not installed, but package configuration remains on system
• p: Purged from system
• v: Virtual package
• B: Broken package
• u: Unpacked files, but package not yet configured
• C: Half-configured - Configuration failed and requires fix
• H: Half-installed - Removal failed and requires fix
To exit Aptitude, simply press the q key and confirm you wish to exit. Many other functions are
available from the Aptitude menu by pressing the F10 key.
4.1. Command Line Aptitude
You can also use Aptitude as a command-line tool, similar to apt-get. To install the nmap package
with all necessary dependencies, as in the apt-get example, you would use the following command:
sudo aptitude install nmap
To remove the same package, you would use the command:
sudo aptitude remove nmap
Consult the man pages for more details of command line options for Aptitude.
Package Management
5. Automatic Updates
The unattended-upgrades package can be used to automatically install updated packages, and can be
configured to update all packages or just install security updates. First, install the package by entering
the following in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install unattended-upgrades
To configure unattended-upgrades, edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades and adjust
the following to fit your needs:
Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {
"Ubuntu trusty-security";
"Ubuntu trusty-updates";
Certain packages can also be blacklisted and therefore will not be automatically updated. To blacklist
a package, add it to the list:
Unattended-Upgrade::Package-Blacklist {
The double “//” serve as comments, so whatever follows "//" will not be evaluated.
To enable automatic updates, edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/10periodic and set the appropriate apt
configuration options:
APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists "1";
APT::Periodic::Download-Upgradeable-Packages "1";
APT::Periodic::AutocleanInterval "7";
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade "1";
The above configuration updates the package list, downloads, and installs available upgrades every
day. The local download archive is cleaned every week.
You can read more about apt Periodic configuration options in the /etc/cron.daily/apt
script header.
The results of unattended-upgrades will be logged to /var/log/unattended-upgrades.
Package Management
5.1. Notifications
Configuring Unattended-Upgrade::Mail in /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades will
enable unattended-upgrades to email an administrator detailing any packages that need upgrading or
have problems.
Another useful package is apticron. apticron will configure a cron job to email an administrator
information about any packages on the system that have updates available, as well as a summary of
changes in each package.
To install the apticron package, in a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install apticron
Once the package is installed edit /etc/apticron/apticron.conf, to set the email address and other
EMAIL="[email protected]"
Package Management
6. Configuration
Configuration of the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) system repositories is stored in the /etc/apt/
sources.list file and the /etc/apt/sources.list.d directory. An example of this file is referenced
here, along with information on adding or removing repository references from the file.
You may edit the file to enable repositories or disable them. For example, to disable the requirement
of inserting the Ubuntu CD-ROM whenever package operations occur, simply comment out the
appropriate line for the CD-ROM, which appears at the top of the file:
# no more prompting for CD-ROM please
# deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 14.04 _Trusty Tahr_ - Release i386 (20111013.1)]/ trusty main restricted
6.1. Extra Repositories
In addition to the officially supported package repositories available for Ubuntu, there exist additional
community-maintained repositories which add thousands more packages for potential installation.
Two of the most popular are the Universe and Multiverse repositories. These repositories are not
officially supported by Ubuntu, but because they are maintained by the community they generally
provide packages which are safe for use with your Ubuntu computer.
Packages in the Multiverse repository often have licensing issues that prevent them from
being distributed with a free operating system, and they may be illegal in your locality.
Be advised that neither the Universe or Multiverse repositories contain officially supported
packages. In particular, there may not be security updates for these packages.
Many other package sources are available, sometimes even offering only one package, as in the case
of package sources provided by the developer of a single application. You should always be very
careful and cautious when using non-standard package sources, however. Research the source and
packages carefully before performing any installation, as some package sources and their packages
could render your system unstable or non-functional in some respects.
By default, the Universe and Multiverse repositories are enabled but if you would like to disable them
edit /etc/apt/sources.list and comment the following lines:
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty universe multiverse
deb-src http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty universe multiverse
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty universe
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates universe
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates universe
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty multiverse
Package Management
deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates multiverse
deb-src http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates multiverse
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty-security universe
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty-security universe
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty-security multiverse
deb-src http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu trusty-security multiverse
Package Management
7. References
Most of the material covered in this chapter is available in man pages, many of which are available
• The InstallingSoftware2 Ubuntu wiki page has more information.
• For more dpkg details see the dpkg man page3.
• The APT HOWTO4 and apt-get man page5 contain useful information regarding apt-get usage.
• See the aptitude man page6 for more aptitude options.
• The Adding Repositories HOWTO (Ubuntu Wiki)7 page contains more details on adding
2 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/InstallingSoftware
3 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man1/dpkg.1.html
4 http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/apt-howto/
5 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man8/apt-get.8.html
6 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/man8/aptitude.8.html
7 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Repositories/Ubuntu
Chapter 4. Networking
Networks consist of two or more devices, such as computer systems, printers, and related equipment
which are connected by either physical cabling or wireless links for the purpose of sharing and
distributing information among the connected devices.
This section provides general and specific information pertaining to networking, including an
overview of network concepts and detailed discussion of popular network protocols.
1. Network Configuration
Ubuntu ships with a number of graphical utilities to configure your network devices. This document is
geared toward server administrators and will focus on managing your network on the command line.
1.1. Ethernet Interfaces
Ethernet interfaces are identified by the system using the naming convention of ethX, where X
represents a numeric value. The first Ethernet interface is typically identified as eth0, the second as
eth1, and all others should move up in numerical order.
1.1.1. Identify Ethernet Interfaces
To quickly identify all available Ethernet interfaces, you can use the ifconfig command as shown
ifconfig -a | grep eth
Link encap:Ethernet
HWaddr 00:15:c5:4a:16:5a
Another application that can help identify all network interfaces available to your system is the lshw
command. In the example below, lshw shows a single Ethernet interface with the logical name of eth0
along with bus information, driver details and all supported capabilities.
sudo lshw -class network
description: Ethernet interface
product: BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX
vendor: Broadcom Corporation
physical id: 0
bus info: [email protected]:03:00.0
logical name: eth0
version: 02
serial: 00:15:c5:4a:16:5a
size: 10MB/s
capacity: 100MB/s
width: 32 bits
clock: 33MHz
capabilities: (snipped for brevity)
configuration: (snipped for brevity)
resources: irq:17 memory:ef9fe000-ef9fffff
1.1.2. Ethernet Interface Logical Names
Interface logical names are configured in the file /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules. If
you would like control which interface receives a particular logical name, find the line matching the
interfaces physical MAC address and modify the value of NAME=ethX to the desired logical name.
Reboot the system to commit your changes.
1.1.3. Ethernet Interface Settings
ethtool is a program that displays and changes Ethernet card settings such as auto-negotiation, port
speed, duplex mode, and Wake-on-LAN. It is not installed by default, but is available for installation
in the repositories.
sudo apt-get install ethtool
The following is an example of how to view supported features and configured settings of an Ethernet
sudo ethtool eth0
Settings for eth0:
Supported ports: [ TP ]
Supported link modes:
10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full
Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
Advertised link modes: 10baseT/Half 10baseT/Full
100baseT/Half 100baseT/Full
1000baseT/Half 1000baseT/Full
Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
Speed: 1000Mb/s
Duplex: Full
Port: Twisted Pair
Transceiver: internal
Auto-negotiation: on
Supports Wake-on: g
Wake-on: d
Current message level: 0x000000ff (255)
Link detected: yes
Changes made with the ethtool command are temporary and will be lost after a reboot. If you would
like to retain settings, simply add the desired ethtool command to a pre-up statement in the interface
configuration file /etc/network/interfaces.
The following is an example of how the interface identified as eth0 could be permanently configured
with a port speed of 1000Mb/s running in full duplex mode.
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
pre-up /sbin/ethtool -s eth0 speed 1000 duplex full
Although the example above shows the interface configured to use the static method,
it actually works with other methods as well, such as DHCP. The example is meant to
demonstrate only proper placement of the pre-up statement in relation to the rest of the
interface configuration.
1.2. IP Addressing
The following section describes the process of configuring your systems IP address and default
gateway needed for communicating on a local area network and the Internet.
1.2.1. Temporary IP Address Assignment
For temporary network configurations, you can use standard commands such as ip, ifconfig and route,
which are also found on most other GNU/Linux operating systems. These commands allow you to
configure settings which take effect immediately, however they are not persistent and will be lost after
a reboot.
To temporarily configure an IP address, you can use the ifconfig command in the following manner.
Just modify the IP address and subnet mask to match your network requirements.
sudo ifconfig eth0 netmask
To verify the IP address configuration of eth0, you can use the ifconfig command in the following
ifconfig eth0
Link encap:Ethernet
HWaddr 00:15:c5:4a:16:5a
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::215:c5ff:fe4a:165a/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:466475604 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:403172654 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:2574778386 (2.5 GB)
TX bytes:1618367329 (1.6 GB)
To configure a default gateway, you can use the route command in the following manner. Modify the
default gateway address to match your network requirements.
sudo route add default gw eth0
To verify your default gateway configuration, you can use the route command in the following
route -n
Kernel IP routing table
Flags Metric Ref
Use Iface
0 eth0
0 eth0
If you require DNS for your temporary network configuration, you can add DNS server IP addresses
in the file /etc/resolv.conf. In general, editing /etc/resolv.conf directly is not recommanded,
but this is a temporary and non-persistent configuration. The example below shows how to enter
two DNS servers to /etc/resolv.conf, which should be changed to servers appropriate for your
network. A more lengthy description of the proper persistent way to do DNS client configuration is in
a following section.
If you no longer need this configuration and wish to purge all IP configuration from an interface, you
can use the ip command with the flush option as shown below.
ip addr flush eth0
Flushing the IP configuration using the ip command does not clear the contents of /etc/
resolv.conf. You must remove or modify those entries manually, or re-boot which should
also cause /etc/resolv.conf, which is actually now a symlink to /run/resolvconf/
resolv.conf, to be re-written.
1.2.2. Dynamic IP Address Assignment (DHCP Client)
To configure your server to use DHCP for dynamic address assignment, add the dhcp method to the
inet address family statement for the appropriate interface in the file /etc/network/interfaces. The
example below assumes you are configuring your first Ethernet interface identified as eth0.
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
By adding an interface configuration as shown above, you can manually enable the interface through
the ifup command which initiates the DHCP process via dhclient.
sudo ifup eth0
To manually disable the interface, you can use the ifdown command, which in turn will initiate the
DHCP release process and shut down the interface.
sudo ifdown eth0
1.2.3. Static IP Address Assignment
To configure your system to use a static IP address assignment, add the static method to the inet
address family statement for the appropriate interface in the file /etc/network/interfaces. The
example below assumes you are configuring your first Ethernet interface identified as eth0. Change
the address, netmask, and gateway values to meet the requirements of your network.
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
By adding an interface configuration as shown above, you can manually enable the interface through
the ifup command.
sudo ifup eth0
To manually disable the interface, you can use the ifdown command.
sudo ifdown eth0
1.2.4. Loopback Interface
The loopback interface is identified by the system as lo and has a default IP address of It
can be viewed using the ifconfig command.
ifconfig lo
Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:2718 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:2718 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:183308 (183.3 KB)
TX bytes:183308 (183.3 KB)
By default, there should be two lines in /etc/network/interfaces responsible for automatically
configuring your loopback interface. It is recommended that you keep the default settings unless you
have a specific purpose for changing them. An example of the two default lines are shown below.
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
1.3. Name Resolution
Name resolution as it relates to IP networking is the process of mapping IP addresses to hostnames,
making it easier to identify resources on a network. The following section will explain how to
properly configure your system for name resolution using DNS and static hostname records.
1.3.1. DNS Client Configuration
Traditionally, the file /etc/resolv.conf was a static configuration file that rarely needed to be
changed or automatically changed via DCHP client hooks. Nowadays, a computer can switch from
one network to another quite often and the resolvconf framework is now being used to track these
changes and update the resolver's configuration automatically. It acts as an intermediary between
programs that supply nameserver information and applications that need nameserver information.
Resolvconf gets populated with information by a set of hook scripts related to network interface
configuration. The most notable difference for the user is that any change manually done to /etc/
resolv.conf will be lost as it gets overwritten each time something triggers resolvconf. Instead,
resolvconf uses DHCP client hooks, and /etc/network/interfaces to generate a list of nameservers
and domains to put in /etc/resolv.conf, which is now a symlink:
/etc/resolv.conf -> ../run/resolvconf/resolv.conf
To configure the resolver, add the IP addresses of the nameservers that are appropriate for your
network in the file /etc/network/interfaces. You can also add an optional DNS suffix search-lists
to match your network domain names. For each other valid resolv.conf configuration option, you can
include, in the stanza, one line beginning with that option name with a dns- prefix. The resulting file
might look like the following:
iface eth0 inet static
dns-search example.com
The search option can also be used with multiple domain names so that DNS queries will be
appended in the order in which they are entered. For example, your network may have multiple subdomains to search; a parent domain of example.com, and two sub-domains, sales.example.com and
If you have multiple domains you wish to search, your configuration might look like the following:
iface eth0 inet static
dns-search example.com sales.example.com dev.example.com
If you try to ping a host with the name of server1, your system will automatically query DNS for its
Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) in the following order:
1. server1.example.com
2. server1.sales.example.com
3. server1.dev.example.com
If no matches are found, the DNS server will provide a result of notfound and the DNS query will fail.
1.3.2. Static Hostnames
Static hostnames are locally defined hostname-to-IP mappings located in the file /etc/hosts.
Entries in the hosts file will have precedence over DNS by default. This means that if your system
tries to resolve a hostname and it matches an entry in /etc/hosts, it will not attempt to look up the
record in DNS. In some configurations, especially when Internet access is not required, servers that
communicate with a limited number of resources can be conveniently set to use static hostnames
instead of DNS.
The following is an example of a hosts file where a number of local servers have been identified by
simple hostnames, aliases and their equivalent Fully Qualified Domain Names (FQDN's).
server1 server1.example.com vpn
server2 server2.example.com mail server3 server3.example.com www server4 server4.example.com file
In the above example, notice that each of the servers have been given aliases in addition
to their proper names and FQDN's. Server1 has been mapped to the name vpn, server2 is
referred to as mail, server3 as www, and server4 as file.
1.3.3. Name Service Switch Configuration
The order in which your system selects a method of resolving hostnames to IP addresses is controlled
by the Name Service Switch (NSS) configuration file /etc/nsswitch.conf. As mentioned in the
previous section, typically static hostnames defined in the systems /etc/hosts file have precedence
over names resolved from DNS. The following is an example of the line responsible for this order of
hostname lookups in the file /etc/nsswitch.conf.
files mdns4_minimal [NOTFOUND=return] dns mdns4
• files first tries to resolve static hostnames located in /etc/hosts.
• mdns4_minimal attempts to resolve the name using Multicast DNS.
• [NOTFOUND=return] means that any response of notfound by the preceding mdns4_minimal
process should be treated as authoritative and that the system should not try to continue hunting for
an answer.
• dns represents a legacy unicast DNS query.
• mdns4 represents a Multicast DNS query.
To modify the order of the above mentioned name resolution methods, you can simply change the
hosts: string to the value of your choosing. For example, if you prefer to use legacy Unicast DNS
versus Multicast DNS, you can change the string in /etc/nsswitch.conf as shown below.
files dns [NOTFOUND=return] mdns4_minimal mdns4
1.4. Bridging
Bridging multiple interfaces is a more advanced configuration, but is very useful in multiple
scenarios. One scenario is setting up a bridge with multiple network interfaces, then using a firewall
to filter traffic between two network segments. Another scenario is using bridge on a system with
one interface to allow virtual machines direct access to the outside network. The following example
covers the latter scenario.
Before configuring a bridge you will need to install the bridge-utils package. To install the package, in
a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install bridge-utils
Next, configure the bridge by editing /etc/network/interfaces:
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
auto br0
iface br0 inet static
bridge_ports eth0
bridge_fd 9
bridge_hello 2
bridge_maxage 12
bridge_stp off
Enter the appropriate values for your physical interface and network.
Now bring up the bridge:
sudo ifup br0
The new bridge interface should now be up and running. The brctl provides useful information about
the state of the bridge, controls which interfaces are part of the bridge, etc. See man brctl for more
1.5. Resources
• The Ubuntu Wiki Network page1 has links to articles covering more advanced network
• The resolvconf man page2 has more information on resolvconf.
• The interfaces man page3 has details on more options for /etc/network/interfaces.
• The dhclient man page4 has details on more options for configuring DHCP client settings.
• For more information on DNS client configuration see the resolver man page5. Also, Chapter 6
of O'Reilly's Linux Network Administrator's Guide6 is a good source of resolver and name service
configuration information.
• For more information on bridging see the brctl man page7 and the Linux Foundation's NetworkingBridge8 page.
1 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Network
2 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/man8/resolvconf.8.html
3 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/man5/interfaces.5.html
4 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/man8/dhclient.8.html
5 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/man5/resolver.5.html
6 http://oreilly.com/catalog/linag2/book/ch06.html
7 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/man8/brctl.8.html
8 http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/networking/bridge
The Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a standard set of protocols
developed in the late 1970s by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as a
means of communication between different types of computers and computer networks. TCP/IP is the
driving force of the Internet, and thus it is the most popular set of network protocols on Earth.
2.1. TCP/IP Introduction
The two protocol components of TCP/IP deal with different aspects of computer networking. Internet
Protocol, the "IP" of TCP/IP is a connectionless protocol which deals only with network packet
routing using the IP Datagram as the basic unit of networking information. The IP Datagram consists
of a header followed by a message. The Transmission Control Protocol is the "TCP" of TCP/IP and
enables network hosts to establish connections which may be used to exchange data streams. TCP
also guarantees that the data between connections is delivered and that it arrives at one network host
in the same order as sent from another network host.
2.2. TCP/IP Configuration
The TCP/IP protocol configuration consists of several elements which must be set by editing the
appropriate configuration files, or deploying solutions such as the Dynamic Host Configuration
Protocol (DHCP) server which in turn, can be configured to provide the proper TCP/IP configuration
settings to network clients automatically. These configuration values must be set correctly in order to
facilitate the proper network operation of your Ubuntu system.
The common configuration elements of TCP/IP and their purposes are as follows:
• IP address The IP address is a unique identifying string expressed as four decimal numbers
ranging from zero (0) to two-hundred and fifty-five (255), separated by periods, with each of the
four numbers representing eight (8) bits of the address for a total length of thirty-two (32) bits for
the whole address. This format is called dotted quad notation.
• Netmask The Subnet Mask (or simply, netmask) is a local bit mask, or set of flags which separate
the portions of an IP address significant to the network from the bits significant to the subnetwork.
For example, in a Class C network, the standard netmask is which masks the first
three bytes of the IP address and allows the last byte of the IP address to remain available for
specifying hosts on the subnetwork.
• Network Address The Network Address represents the bytes comprising the network portion
of an IP address. For example, the host in a Class A network would use as
the network address, where twelve (12) represents the first byte of the IP address, (the network
part) and zeroes (0) in all of the remaining three bytes to represent the potential host values. A
network host using the private IP address would in turn use a Network Address of, which specifies the first three bytes of the Class C 192.168.1 network and a zero (0)
for all the possible hosts on the network.
• Broadcast Address The Broadcast Address is an IP address which allows network data to be sent
simultaneously to all hosts on a given subnetwork rather than specifying a particular host. The
standard general broadcast address for IP networks is, but this broadcast address
cannot be used to send a broadcast message to every host on the Internet because routers block
it. A more appropriate broadcast address is set to match a specific subnetwork. For example, on
the private Class C IP network,, the broadcast address is Broadcast
messages are typically produced by network protocols such as the Address Resolution Protocol
(ARP) and the Routing Information Protocol (RIP).
• Gateway Address A Gateway Address is the IP address through which a particular network,
or host on a network, may be reached. If one network host wishes to communicate with another
network host, and that host is not located on the same network, then a gateway must be used. In
many cases, the Gateway Address will be that of a router on the same network, which will in turn
pass traffic on to other networks or hosts, such as Internet hosts. The value of the Gateway Address
setting must be correct, or your system will not be able to reach any hosts beyond those on the same
• Nameserver Address Nameserver Addresses represent the IP addresses of Domain Name Service
(DNS) systems, which resolve network hostnames into IP addresses. There are three levels of
Nameserver Addresses, which may be specified in order of precedence: The Primary Nameserver,
the Secondary Nameserver, and the Tertiary Nameserver. In order for your system to be able
to resolve network hostnames into their corresponding IP addresses, you must specify valid
Nameserver Addresses which you are authorized to use in your system's TCP/IP configuration. In
many cases these addresses can and will be provided by your network service provider, but many
free and publicly accessible nameservers are available for use, such as the Level3 (Verizon) servers
with IP addresses from to
The IP address, Netmask, Network Address, Broadcast Address, Gateway Address, and
Nameserver Addresses are typically specified via the appropriate directives in the file
/etc/network/interfaces. For more information, view the system manual page for
interfaces, with the following command typed at a terminal prompt:
Access the system manual page for interfaces with the following command:
man interfaces
2.3. IP Routing
IP routing is a means of specifying and discovering paths in a TCP/IP network along which network
data may be sent. Routing uses a set of routing tables to direct the forwarding of network data packets
from their source to the destination, often via many intermediary network nodes known as routers.
There are two primary forms of IP routing: Static Routing and Dynamic Routing.
Static routing involves manually adding IP routes to the system's routing table, and this is usually
done by manipulating the routing table with the route command. Static routing enjoys many
advantages over dynamic routing, such as simplicity of implementation on smaller networks,
predictability (the routing table is always computed in advance, and thus the route is precisely the
same each time it is used), and low overhead on other routers and network links due to the lack of
a dynamic routing protocol. However, static routing does present some disadvantages as well. For
example, static routing is limited to small networks and does not scale well. Static routing also fails
completely to adapt to network outages and failures along the route due to the fixed nature of the
Dynamic routing depends on large networks with multiple possible IP routes from a source to a
destination and makes use of special routing protocols, such as the Router Information Protocol
(RIP), which handle the automatic adjustments in routing tables that make dynamic routing possible.
Dynamic routing has several advantages over static routing, such as superior scalability and the ability
to adapt to failures and outages along network routes. Additionally, there is less manual configuration
of the routing tables, since routers learn from one another about their existence and available routes.
This trait also eliminates the possibility of introducing mistakes in the routing tables via human error.
Dynamic routing is not perfect, however, and presents disadvantages such as heightened complexity
and additional network overhead from router communications, which does not immediately benefit
the end users, but still consumes network bandwidth.
2.4. TCP and UDP
TCP is a connection-based protocol, offering error correction and guaranteed delivery of data via
what is known as flow control. Flow control determines when the flow of a data stream needs to be
stopped, and previously sent data packets should to be re-sent due to problems such as collisions,
for example, thus ensuring complete and accurate delivery of the data. TCP is typically used in the
exchange of important information such as database transactions.
The User Datagram Protocol (UDP), on the other hand, is a connectionless protocol which seldom
deals with the transmission of important data because it lacks flow control or any other method to
ensure reliable delivery of the data. UDP is commonly used in such applications as audio and video
streaming, where it is considerably faster than TCP due to the lack of error correction and flow
control, and where the loss of a few packets is not generally catastrophic.
2.5. ICMP
The Internet Control Messaging Protocol (ICMP) is an extension to the Internet Protocol (IP) as
defined in the Request For Comments (RFC) #792 and supports network packets containing control,
error, and informational messages. ICMP is used by such network applications as the ping utility,
which can determine the availability of a network host or device. Examples of some error messages
returned by ICMP which are useful to both network hosts and devices such as routers, include
Destination Unreachable and Time Exceeded.
2.6. Daemons
Daemons are special system applications which typically execute continuously in the background and
await requests for the functions they provide from other applications. Many daemons are networkcentric; that is, a large number of daemons executing in the background on an Ubuntu system may
provide network-related functionality. Some examples of such network daemons include the Hyper
Text Transport Protocol Daemon (httpd), which provides web server functionality; the Secure SHell
Daemon (sshd), which provides secure remote login shell and file transfer capabilities; and the
Internet Message Access Protocol Daemon (imapd), which provides E-Mail services.
2.7. Resources
• There are man pages for TCP9 and IP10 that contain more useful information.
• Also, see the TCP/IP Tutorial and Technical Overview11 IBM Redbook.
• Another resource is O'Reilly's TCP/IP Network Administration12.
9 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man7/tcp.7.html
10 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/man7/ip.7.html
11 http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/gg243376.html
12 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596002978/
3. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network service that enables host computers
to be automatically assigned settings from a server as opposed to manually configuring each network
host. Computers configured to be DHCP clients have no control over the settings they receive from
the DHCP server, and the configuration is transparent to the computer's user.
The most common settings provided by a DHCP server to DHCP clients include:
• IP address and netmask
• IP address of the default-gateway to use
• IP adresses of the DNS servers to use
However, a DHCP server can also supply configuration properties such as:
Host Name
Domain Name
Time Server
Print Server
The advantage of using DHCP is that changes to the network, for example a change in the address of
the DNS server, need only be changed at the DHCP server, and all network hosts will be reconfigured
the next time their DHCP clients poll the DHCP server. As an added advantage, it is also easier to
integrate new computers into the network, as there is no need to check for the availability of an IP
address. Conflicts in IP address allocation are also reduced.
A DHCP server can provide configuration settings using the following methods:
Manual allocation (MAC address)
This method entails using DHCP to identify the unique hardware address of each network card
connected to the network and then continually supplying a constant configuration each time the
DHCP client makes a request to the DHCP server using that network device. This ensures that a
particular address is assigned automatically to that network card, based on it's MAC address.
Dynamic allocation (address pool)
In this method, the DHCP server will assign an IP address from a pool of addresses (sometimes
also called a range or scope) for a period of time or lease, that is configured on the server or
until the client informs the server that it doesn't need the address anymore. This way, the clients
will be receiving their configuration properties dynamically and on a "first come, first served"
basis. When a DHCP client is no longer on the network for a specified period, the configuration
is expired and released back to the address pool for use by other DHCP Clients. This way, an
address can be leased or used for a period of time. After this period, the client has to renegociate
the lease with the server to maintain use of the address.
Automatic allocation
Using this method, the DHCP automatically assigns an IP address permanently to a device,
selecting it from a pool of available addresses. Usually DHCP is used to assign a temporary
address to a client, but a DHCP server can allow an infinite lease time.
The last two methods can be considered "automatic" because in each case the DHCP server assigns
an address with no extra intervention needed. The only difference between them is in how long the IP
address is leased, in other words whether a client's address varies over time. Ubuntu is shipped with
both DHCP server and client. The server is dhcpd (dynamic host configuration protocol daemon).
The client provided with Ubuntu is dhclient and should be installed on all computers required to be
automatically configured. Both programs are easy to install and configure and will be automatically
started at system boot.
3.1. Installation
At a terminal prompt, enter the following command to install dhcpd:
sudo apt-get install isc-dhcp-server
You will probably need to change the default configuration by editing /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf to suit
your needs and particular configuration.
You also may need to edit /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server to specify the interfaces dhcpd should listen to.
NOTE: dhcpd's messages are being sent to syslog. Look there for diagnostics messages.
3.2. Configuration
The error message the installation ends with might be a little confusing, but the following steps will
help you configure the service:
Most commonly, what you want to do is assign an IP address randomly. This can be done with
settings as follows:
# minimal sample /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf
default-lease-time 600;
max-lease-time 7200;
subnet netmask {
option routers;
option domain-name-servers,;
option domain-name "mydomain.example";
This will result in the DHCP server giving clients an IP address from the range It will lease an IP address for 600 seconds if the client doesn't ask for
a specific time frame. Otherwise the maximum (allowed) lease will be 7200 seconds. The server will
also "advise" the client to use as the default-gateway and and
as its DNS servers.
After changing the config file you have to restart the dhcpd:
sudo service isc-dhcp-server restart
3.3. References
• The dhcp3-server Ubuntu Wiki13 page has more information.
• For more /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf options see the dhcpd.conf man page14.
• ISC dhcp-server15
13 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/dhcp3-server
14 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man5/dhcpd.conf.5.html
15 http://www.isc.org/software/dhcp
4. Time Synchronisation with NTP
NTP is a TCP/IP protocol for synchronising time over a network. Basically a client requests the
current time from a server, and uses it to set its own clock.
Behind this simple description, there is a lot of complexity - there are tiers of NTP servers, with the
tier one NTP servers connected to atomic clocks, and tier two and three servers spreading the load
of actually handling requests across the Internet. Also the client software is a lot more complex than
you might think - it has to factor out communication delays, and adjust the time in a way that does not
upset all the other processes that run on the server. But luckily all that complexity is hidden from you!
Ubuntu uses ntpdate and ntpd.
4.1. ntpdate
Ubuntu comes with ntpdate as standard, and will run it once at boot time to set up your time according
to Ubuntu's NTP server.
ntpdate -s ntp.ubuntu.com
4.2. ntpd
The ntp daemon ntpd calculates the drift of your system clock and continuously adjusts it, so there
are no large corrections that could lead to inconsistent logs for instance. The cost is a little processing
power and memory, but for a modern server this is negligible.
4.3. Installation
To install ntpd, from a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install ntp
4.4. Configuration
Edit /etc/ntp.conf to add/remove server lines. By default these servers are configured:
# Use servers from the NTP Pool Project. Approved by Ubuntu Technical Board
# on 2011-02-08 (LP: #104525). See http://www.pool.ntp.org/join.html for
# more information.
server 0.ubuntu.pool.ntp.org
server 1.ubuntu.pool.ntp.org
server 2.ubuntu.pool.ntp.org
server 3.ubuntu.pool.ntp.org
After changing the config file you have to reload the ntpd:
sudo service ntp reload
4.5. View status
Use ntpq to see more info:
# sudo ntpq -p
st t when poll reach
offset jitter
2 u
64 377
68.461 -44.274 110.334
2 u
64 377
54.629 -27.318 78.882
* .DCFa.
1 u
64 377
83.607 -30.159 68.343
2 u
2 u
4.6. References
• See the Ubuntu Time16 wiki page for more information.
• ntp.org, home of the Network Time Protocol project17
16 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuTime
17 http://www.ntp.org/
-68.168 104.612
-67.968 92.792
Chapter 5. DM-Multipath
1. Device Mapper Multipathing
Device mapper multipathing (DM-Multipath) allows you to configure multiple I/O paths between
server nodes and storage arrays into a single device. These I/O paths are physical SAN connections
that can include separate cables, switches, and controllers. Multipathing aggregates the I/O paths,
creating a new device that consists of the aggregated paths. This chapter provides a summary of the
features of DM-Multipath that are new for the initial release of Ubuntu Server 12.04. Following
that, this chapter provides a high-level overview of DM Multipath and its components, as well as an
overview of DM-Multipath setup.
1.1. New and Changed Features for Ubuntu Server 12.04
Migrated from multipath-0.4.8 to multipath-0.4.9
1.1.1. Migration from 0.4.8
The priority checkers are no longer run as standalone binaries, but as shared libraries. The key value
name for this feature has also slightly changed. Copy the attribute named prio_callout to prio, also
modify the argument the name of the priority checker, a system path is no longer necessary. Example
device {
vendor "NEC"
product "DISK ARRAY"
prio_callout mpath_prio_alua /dev/%n
See Table Priority Checker Conversion [p. 52] for a complete listing
Table 5.1. Priority Checker Conversion
prio_callout mpath_prio_emc /dev/%n
prio emc
prio_callout mpath_prio_alua /dev/%n
prio alua
prio_callout mpath_prio_netapp /dev/%n
prio netapp
prio_callout mpath_prio_rdac /dev/%n
prio rdac
prio_callout mpath_prio_hp_sw /dev/%n
prio hp_sw
prio_callout mpath_prio_hds_modular %b
prio hds
Since the multipath config file parser essentially parses all key/value pairs it finds and then makes use
of them, it is safe for both prio_callout and prio to coexist and is recommended that the prio attribute
be inserted before beginning migration. After which you can safely delete the legacy prio_calliout
attribute without interrupting service.
1.2. Overview
DM-Multipath can be used to provide:
• Redundancy DM-Multipath can provide failover in an active/passive configuration. In an active/
passive configuration, only half the paths are used at any time for I/O. If any element of an I/O path
(the cable, switch, or controller) fails, DM-Multipath switches to an alternate path.
• Improved Performance Performance DM-Multipath can be configured in active/active mode,
where I/O is spread over the paths in a round-robin fashion. In some configurations, DM-Multipath
can detect loading on the I/O paths and dynamically re-balance the load.
1.3. Storage Array Overview
By default, DM-Multipath includes support for the most common storage arrays that support DMMultipath. The supported devices can be found in the multipath.conf.defaults file. If your storage
array supports DM-Multipath and is not configured by default in this file, you may need to add
them to the DM-Multipath configuration file, multipath.conf. For information on the DM-Multipath
configuration file, see Section, The DM-Multipath Configuration File. Some storage arrays require
special handling of I/O errors and path switching. These require separate hardware handler kernel
1.4. DM-Multipath components
Table DM-Multipath Components describes the components of the DM-Multipath package.
Table 5.2. DM-Multipath Components
dm_multipath kernel
Reroutes I/O and supports failover for paths and path groups.
multipath command
Lists and configures multipath devices. Normally started up with /etc/
rc.sysinit, it can also be started up by a udev program whenever a
block device is added or it can be run by the initramfs file system.
multipathd daemon
Monitors paths; as paths fail and come back, it may initiate path group
switches. Provides for interactive changes to multipath devices. This
daemon must be restarted for any changes to the /etc/multipath.conf
file to take effect.
kpartx command
Creates device mapper devices for the partitions on a device It is
necessary to use this command for DOS-based partitions with DMMultipath. The kpartx is provided in its own package, but the multipathtools package depends on it.
1.5. DM-Multipath Setup Overview
DM-Multipath includes compiled-in default settings that are suitable for common multipath
configurations. Setting up DM-multipath is often a simple procedure. The basic procedure for
configuring your system with DM-Multipath is as follows:
1. Install the multipath-tools and multipath-tools-boot packages
2. Create an empty config file, /etc/multipath.conf, that re-defines the following
3. If necessary, edit the multipath.conf configuration file to modify default values and save the
updated file.
4. Start the multipath daemon
5. Update initial ramdisk
For detailed setup instructions for multipath configuration see Section, Setting Up DM-Multipath.
2. Multipath Devices
Without DM-Multipath, each path from a server node to a storage controller is treated by the system
as a separate device, even when the I/O path connects the same server node to the same storage
controller. DM-Multipath provides a way of organizing the I/O paths logically, by creating a single
multipath device on top of the underlying devices.
2.1. Multipath Device Identifiers
Each multipath device has a World Wide Identifier (WWID), which is guaranteed to be globally
unique and unchanging. By default, the name of a multipath device is set to its WWID. Alternately,
you can set the user_friendly_names option in the multipath configuration file, which causes DMMultipath to use a node-unique alias of the form mpathn as the name. For example, a node with
two HBAs attached to a storage controller with two ports via a single unzoned FC switch sees
four devices: /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, and /dev/sdd. DM-Multipath creates a single device
with a unique WWID that reroutes I/O to those four underlying devices according to the multipath
configuration. When the user_friendly_names configuration option is set to yes, the name of the
multipath device is set to mpathn. When new devices are brought under the control of DM-Multipath,
the new devices may be seen in two different places under the /dev directory: /dev/mapper/mpathn
and /dev/dm-n.
• The devices in /dev/mapper are created early in the boot process. Use these devices to access the
multipathed devices, for example when creating logical volumes.
• Any devices of the form /dev/dm-n are for internal use only and should never be used.
For information on the multipath configuration defaults, including the user_friendly_names
configuration option, see Section , Configuration File Defaults. You can also set the name of a
multipath device to a name of your choosing by using the alias option in the multipaths section of the
multipath configuration file. For information on the multipaths section of the multipath configuration
file, see Section, Multipaths Device Configuration Attributes.
2.2. Consistent Multipath Device Names in a Cluster
When the user_friendly_names configuration option is set to yes, the name of the multipath device
is unique to a node, but it is not guaranteed to be the same on all nodes using the multipath device.
Similarly, if you set the alias option for a device in the multipaths section of the multipath.conf
configuration file, the name is not automatically consistent across all nodes in the cluster. This should
not cause any difficulties if you use LVM to create logical devices from the multipath device, but if
you require that your multipath device names be consistent in every node it is recommended that you
leave the user_friendly_names option set to no and that you not configure aliases for the devices.
By default, if you do not set user_friendly_names to yes or configure an alias for a device, a device
name will be the WWID for the device, which is always the same. If you want the system-defined
user-friendly names to be consistent across all nodes in the cluster, however, you can follow this
1. Set up all of the multipath devices on one machine.
2. Disable all of your multipath devices on your other machines by running the following commands:
# service multipath-tools stop
# multipath -F
3. Copy the /etc/multipath/bindings file from the first machine to all the other machines in the
4. Re-enable the multipathd daemon on all the other machines in the cluster by running the following
# service multipath-tools start
If you add a new device, you will need to repeat this process.
Similarly, if you configure an alias for a device that you would like to be consistent across the nodes
in the cluster, you should ensure that the /etc/multipath.conf file is the same for each node in the
cluster by following the same procedure:
1. Configure the aliases for the multipath devices in the in the multipath.conf file on one machine.
2. Disable all of your multipath devices on your other machines by running the following commands:
# service multipath-tools stop
# multipath -F
3. Copy the multipath.conf file from the first machine to all the other machines in the cluster.
4. Re-enable the multipathd daemon on all the other machines in the cluster by running the following
# service multipath-tools start
When you add a new device you will need to repeat this process.
2.3. Multipath Device attributes
In addition to the user_friendly_names and alias options, a multipath device has numerous
attributes. You can modify these attributes for a specific multipath device by creating an entry for
that device in the multipaths section of the multipath configuration file. For information on the
multipaths section of the multipath configuration file, see Section, "Configuration File Multipath
2.4. Multipath Devices in Logical Volumes
After creating multipath devices, you can use the multipath device names just as you would use a
physical device name when creating an LVM physical volume. For example, if /dev/mapper/mpatha is
the name of a multipath device, the following command will mark /dev/mapper/mpatha as a physical
# pvcreate /dev/mapper/mpatha
You can use the resulting LVM physical device when you create an LVM volume group just as you
would use any other LVM physical device.
If you attempt to create an LVM physical volume on a whole device on which you have
configured partitions, the pvcreate command will fail.
When you create an LVM logical volume that uses active/passive multipath arrays as the underlying
physical devices, you should include filters in the lvm.conf to exclude the disks that underlie the
multipath devices. This is because if the array automatically changes the active path to the passive
path when it receives I/O, multipath will failover and failback whenever LVM scans the passive path
if these devices are not filtered. For active/passive arrays that require a command to make the passive
path active, LVM prints a warning message when this occurs. To filter all SCSI devices in the LVM
configuration file (lvm.conf), include the following filter in the devices section of the file.
filter = [ "r/block/", "r/disk/", "r/sd.*/", "a/.*/" ]
After updating /etc/lvm.conf, it's necessary to update the initrd so that this file will be copied there,
where the filter matters the most, during boot. Perform:
update-initramfs -u -k all
Every time either /etc/lvm.conf or /etc/multipath.conf is updated, the initrd should be
rebuilt to reflect these changes. This is imperative when blacklists and filters are necessary
to maintain a stable storage configuration.
3. Setting up DM-Multipath Overview
This section provides step-by-step example procedures for configuring DM-Multipath. It includes the
following procedures:
• Basic DM-Multipath setup
• Ignoring local disks
• Adding more devices to the configuration file
3.1. Setting Up DM-Multipath
Before setting up DM-Multipath on your system, ensure that your system has been updated and
includes the multipath-tools package. If boot from SAN is desired, then the multipath-tools-boot
package is also required.
A basic /etc/multipath.conf need not even exist, when multpath is run without an accompanying
it draws from it's internal database to find a suitable configuration, it also
draws from it's internal blacklist. If after running multipath -ll without a config file, no multipaths are
discovered. One must proceed to increase the verbosity to discover why a multipath was not created.
Consider referencing the SAN vendor's documentation, the multipath example config files found in /
usr/share/doc/multipath-tools/examples, and the live multipathd database:
# echo 'show config' | multipathd -k > multipath.conf-live
To work around a quirk in multipathd, when an /etc/multipath.conf doesn't exist, the
previous command will return nothing, as it is the result of a merge between the /etc/
multipath.conf and the database in memory. To remedy this, either define an empty /etc/
multipath.conf, by using touch, or create one that redefines a default value like:
defaults {
user_friendly_names no
and restart multipathd:
# service multipath-tools restart
Now the "show config" command will return the live database.
3.2. Installing with Multipath Support
To enable multipath support during installation1 use
install disk-detect/multipath/enable=true
at the installer prompt. If multipath devices are found these will show up as /dev/mapper/mpath<X>
during installation.
1 http://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/MultipathSupport
3.3. Ignoring Local Disks When Generating Multipath Devices
Some machines have local SCSI cards for their internal disks. DM-Multipath is not recommended
for these devices. The following procedure shows how to modify the multipath configuration file to
ignore the local disks when configuring multipath.
1. Determine which disks are the internal disks and mark them as the ones to blacklist. In this
example, /dev/sda is the internal disk. Note that as originally configured in the default multipath
configuration file, executing the multipath -v2 shows the local disk, /dev/sda, in the multipath
map. For further information on the multipath command output, see Section Multipath Command
# multipath -v2
create: SIBM-ESXSST336732LC____F3ET0EP0Q000072428BX1 undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=33 GB features="0" hwhandler="0" wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 0:0:0:0 sda 8:0 [--------device-mapper ioctl cmd 9 failed: Invalid argument
device-mapper ioctl cmd 14 failed: No such device or address
create: 3600a0b80001327d80000006d43621677 undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:0 sdb 8:16 undef ready running
`- 3:0:0:0 sdf 8:80 undef ready
create: 3600a0b80001327510000009a436215ec undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:1 sdc 8:32 undef ready
`- 3:0:0:1 sdg 8:96 undef ready
create: 3600a0b80001327d800000070436216b3 undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:2 sdd 8:48 undef ready
`- 3:0:0:2 sdg 8:112 undef ready
create: 3600a0b80001327510000009b4362163e undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:3 sdd 8:64 undef ready running
`- 3:0:0:3 sdg 8:128 undef ready running
2. In order to prevent the device mapper from mapping /dev/sda in its multipath maps, edit the
blacklist section of the /etc/multipath.conf file to include this device. Although you could
blacklist the sda device using a devnode type, that would not be safe procedure since /dev/sda is
not guaranteed to be the same on reboot. To blacklist individual devices, you can blacklist using
the WWID of that device. Note that in the output to the multipath -v2 command, the WWID of
the /dev/sda device is SIBM-ESXSST336732LC____F3ET0EP0Q000072428BX1. To blacklist
this device, include the following in the /etc/multipath.conf file.
blacklist {
wwid SIBM-ESXSST336732LC____F3ET0EP0Q000072428BX1
3. After you have updated the /etc/multipath.conf file, you must manually tell the multipathd
daemon to reload the file. The following command reloads the updated /etc/multipath.conf file.
# service multipath-tools reload
4. Run the following command to remove the multipath device:
# multipath -f SIBM-ESXSST336732LC____F3ET0EP0Q000072428BX1
5. To check whether the device removal worked, you can run the multipath -ll command to display
the current multipath configuration. For information on the multipath -ll command, see Section
Multipath Queries with multipath Command. To check that the blacklisted device was not added
back, you can run the multipath command, as in the following example. The multipath command
defaults to a verbosity level of v2 if you do not specify a -v option.
# multipath
create: 3600a0b80001327d80000006d43621677 undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:0 sdb 8:16
undef ready
`- 3:0:0:0 sdf 8:80 undef ready
create: 3600a0b80001327510000009a436215ec undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:1 sdc 8:32 undef ready running
`- 3:0:0:1 sdg 8:96 undef ready running
create: 3600a0b80001327d800000070436216b3 undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:2 sdd 8:48 undef ready
`- 3:0:0:2 sdg 8:112 undef ready
create: 3600a0b80001327510000009b4362163e undef WINSYS,SF2372
size=12G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=undef
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=undef
|- 2:0:0:3 sdd 8:64 undef ready
`- 3:0:0:3 sdg 8:128 undef ready
3.4. Configuring Storage Devices
By default, DM-Multipath includes support for the most common storage arrays that support DMMultipath. The default configuration values, including supported devices, can be found in the
If you need to add a storage device that is not supported by default as a known multipath device, edit
the /etc/multipath.conf file and insert the appropriate device information.
For example, to add information about the HP Open-V series the entry looks like this, where %n is
the device name:
devices {
device {
vendor "HP"
product "OPEN-V."
getuid_callout "/lib/udev/scsi_id --whitelisted --device=/dev/%n"
For more information on the devices section of the configuration file, see Section Configuration File
Devices [p. 71].
4. The DM-Multipath Configuration File
By default, DM-Multipath provides configuration values for the most common uses of multipathing.
In addition, DM-Multipath includes support for the most common storage arrays that support
DM-Multipath. The default configuration values and the supported devices can be found in the
multipath.conf.defaults file.
You can override the default configuration values for DM-Multipath by editing the /etc/
multipath.conf configuration file. If necessary, you can also add a storage array that is not supported
by default to the configuration file. This chapter provides information on parsing and modifying the
multipath.conf file. It contains sections on the following topics:
• Configuration File Overview [p. 62]
• Configuration File Blacklist [p. 63]
• Configuration File Defaults [p. 65]
• Configuration File Multipath Attributes [p. 69]
• Configuration File Devices [p. 71]
In the multipath configuration file, you need to specify only the sections that you need
for your configuration, or that you wish to change from the default values specified in the
multipath.conf.defaults file. If there are sections of the file that are not relevant to your
environment or for which you do not need to override the default values, you can leave them
commented out, as they are in the initial file.
The configuration file allows regular expression description syntax.
An annotated version of the configuration file can be found in /usr/share/doc/multipath-tools/
4.1. Configuration File Overview
The multipath configuration file is divided into the following sections:
Listing of specific devices that will not be considered for multipath.
Listing of multipath candidates that would otherwise be blacklisted according to the parameters of
the blacklist section.
General default settings for DM-Multipath.
Settings for the characteristics of individual multipath devices. These values overwrite what is
specified in the defaults and devices sections of the configuration file.
Settings for the individual storage controllers. These values overwrite what is specified in the
defaults section of the configuration file. If you are using a storage array that is not supported by
default, you may need to create a devices subsection for your array.
When the system determines the attributes of a multipath device, first it checks the multipath settings,
then the per devices settings, then the multipath system defaults.
4.2. Configuration File Blacklist
The blacklist section of the multipath configuration file specifies the devices that will not be used
when the system configures multipath devices. Devices that are blacklisted will not be grouped into a
multipath device.
• If you do need to blacklist devices, you can do so according to the following criteria:
• By WWID, as described Blacklisting By WWID [p. 63]
• By device name, as described in Blacklisting By Device Name [p. 63]
• By device type, as described in Blacklisting By Device Type [p. 64]
By default, a variety of device types are blacklisted, even after you comment out the initial blacklist
section of the configuration file. For information, see Blacklisting By Device Name [p. 63]
4.2.1. Blacklisting By WWID
You can specify individual devices to blacklist by their World-Wide IDentification with a wwid entry
in the blacklist section of the configuration file.
The following example shows the lines in the configuration file that would blacklist a device with a
WWID of 26353900f02796769.
blacklist {
wwid 26353900f02796769
4.2.2. Blacklisting By Device Name
You can blacklist device types by device name so that they will not be grouped into a multipath
device by specifying a devnode entry in the blacklist section of the configuration file.
The following example shows the lines in the configuration file that would blacklist all SCSI devices,
since it blacklists all sd* devices.
blacklist {
devnode "^sd[a-z]"
You can use a devnode entry in the blacklist section of the configuration file to specify individual
devices to blacklist rather than all devices of a specific type. This is not recommended, however,
since unless it is statically mapped by udev rules, there is no guarantee that a specific device will have
the same name on reboot. For example, a device name could change from /dev/sda to /dev/sdb on
By default, the following devnode entries are compiled in the default blacklist; the devices that these
entries blacklist do not generally support DM-Multipath. To enable multipathing on any of these
devices, you would need to specify them in the blacklist_exceptions section of the configuration file,
as described in Blacklist Exceptions [p. 64]
blacklist {
devnode "^(ram|raw|loop|fd|md|dm-|sr|scd|st)[0-9]*"
devnode "^hd[a-z]"
4.2.3. Blacklisting By Device Type
You can specify specific device types in the blacklist section of the configuration file with a device
section. The following example blacklists all IBM DS4200 and HP devices.
blacklist {
device {
product "3S42"
#DS4200 Product 10
device {
vendor "HP"
product "*"
4.2.4. Blacklist Exceptions
You can use the blacklist_exceptions section of the configuration file to enable multipathing on
devices that have been blacklisted by default.
For example, if you have a large number of devices and want to multipath only one of them (with the
WWID of 3600d0230000000000e13955cc3757803), instead of individually blacklisting each of the
devices except the one you want, you could instead blacklist all of them, and then allow only the one
you want by adding the following lines to the /etc/multipath.conf file.
blacklist {
wwid "*"
blacklist_exceptions {
wwid "3600d0230000000000e13955cc3757803"
When specifying devices in the blacklist_exceptions section of the configuration file, you must
specify the exceptions in the same way they were specified in the blacklist. For example, a WWID
exception will not apply to devices specified by a devnode blacklist entry, even if the blacklisted
device is associated with that WWID. Similarly, devnode exceptions apply only to devnode entries,
and device exceptions apply only to device entries.
4.3. Configuration File Defaults
The /etc/multipath.conf configuration file includes a defaults section that sets the
user_friendly_names parameter to yes, as follows.
defaults {
user_friendly_names yes
This overwrites the default value of the user_friendly_names parameter.
The configuration file includes a template of configuration defaults. This section is commented out, as
#defaults {
"round-robin 0"
"/lib/dev/scsi_id --whitelisted --device=/dev/%n"
# prio
# path_checker
# rr_min_io
# rr_weight
# failback
# no_path_retry
# user_friendly_names no
To overwrite the default value for any of the configuration parameters, you can copy the relevant
line from this template into the defaults section and uncomment it. For example, to overwrite the
path_grouping_policy parameter so that it is multibus rather than the default value of failover, copy
the appropriate line from the template to the initial defaults section of the configuration file, and
uncomment it, as follows.
defaults {
Table Multipath Configuration Defaults [p. 66] describes the attributes that are set in the
defaults section of the multipath.conf configuration file. These values are used by DM-Multipath
unless they are overwritten by the attributes specified in the devices and multipaths sections of the
multipath.conf file.
Table 5.3. Multipath Configuration Defaults
Specifies the interval between two path checks in seconds. For
properly functioning paths, the interval between checks will
gradually increase to (4 * polling_interval). The default value is
The directory where udev device nodes are created. The default
value is /dev.
The directory where the dynamic shared objects are stored. The
default value is system dependent, commonly /lib/multipath.
The default verbosity. Higher values increase the verbosity level.
Valid levels are between 0 and 6. The default value is 2.
Specifies the default algorithm to use in determining what path to
use for the next I/O operation. Possible values include:
• round-robin 0: Loop through every path in the path group,
sending the same amount of I/O to each.
• queue-length 0: Send the next bunch of I/O down the path with
the least number of outstanding I/O requests.
• service-time 0: Send the next bunch of I/O down the path with
the shortest estimated service time, which is determined by
dividing the total size of the outstanding I/O to each path by its
relative throughput.
The default value is round-robin 0.
Specifies the default path grouping policy to apply to unspecified
multipaths. Possible values include:
• failover = 1 path per priority group
• multibus = all valid paths in 1 priority group
• group_by_serial = 1 priority group per detected serial number
• group_by_prio = 1 priority group per path priority value
• group_by_node_name = 1 priority group per target node name.
The default value is failover.
Specifies the default program and arguments to call out to obtain a
unique path identifier. An absolute path is required.
The default value is /lib/udev/scsi_id --whitelisted --device=/dev/
Specifies the default function to call to obtain a path priority value.
For example, the ALUA bits in SPC-3 provide an exploitable prio
value. Possible values include:
• const: Set a priority of 1 to all paths.
• emc: Generate the path priority for EMC arrays.
• alua: Generate the path priority based on the SCSI-3 ALUA
• netapp: Generate the path priority for NetApp arrays.
• rdac: Generate the path priority for LSI/Engenio RDAC
• hp_sw: Generate the path priority for Compaq/HP controller in
active/standby mode.
• hds: Generate the path priority for Hitachi HDS Modular
storage arrays.
The default value is const.
The arguments string passed to the prio function Most prio
functions do not need arguments. The datacore prioritizer need
one. Example, "timeout=1000 preferredsds=foo". The default
value is (null) "".
The extra features of multipath devices. The only existing feature
is queue_if_no_path, which is the same as setting no_path_retry
to queue. For information on issues that may arise when using this
feature, see Section, "Issues with queue_if_no_path feature".
Specifies the default method used to determine the state of the
paths. Possible values include:
• readsector0: Read the first sector of the device.
• tur: Issue a TEST UNIT READY to the device.
• emc_clariion: Query the EMC Clariion specific EVPD page
0xC0 to determine the path.
• hp_sw: Check the path state for HP storage arrays with Active/
Standby firmware.
• rdac: Check the path status for LSI/Engenio RDAC storage
• directio: Read the first sector with direct I/O.
The default value is directio.
Manages path group failback.
• A value of immediate specifies immediate failback to the
highest priority path group that contains active paths.
• A value of manual specifies that there should not be immediate
failback but that failback can happen only with operator
• A numeric value greater than zero specifies deferred failback,
expressed in seconds.
The default value is manual.
Specifies the number of I/O requests to route to a path before
switching to the next path in the current path group.
The default value is 1000.
If set to priorities, then instead of sending rr_min_io requests
to a path before calling path_selector to choose the next path,
the number of requests to send is determined by rr_min_io times
the path's priority, as determined by the prio function. If set to
uniform, all path weights are equal.
The default value is uniform.
A numeric value for this attribute specifies the number of times
the system should attempt to use a failed path before disabling
queueing. A value of fail indicates immediate failure, without
queueing. A value of queue indicates that queueing should not
stop until the path is fixed.
The default value is 0.
If set to yes, specifies that the system should use the /etc/
multipath/bindings file to assign a persistent and unique alias
to the multipath, in the form of mpathn. If set to no, specifies that
the system should use the WWID as the alias for the multipath.
In either case, what is specified here will be overridden by any
device-specific aliases you specify in the multipaths section of the
configuration file.
The default value is no.
If set to no, the multipathd daemon will disable queueing for all
devices when it is shut down.
The default value is yes.
If set to yes, then multipath will disable queueing when the last
path to a device has been deleted.
The default value is no.
Sets the maximum number of open file descriptors that can
be opened by multipath and the multipathd daemon. This is
equivalent to the ulimit -n command. A value of max will set this
to the system limit from /proc/sys/fs/nr_open. If this is not set,
the maximum number of open file descriptors is taken from the
calling process; it is usually 1024. To be safe, this should be set to
the maximum number of paths plus 32, if that number is greater
than 1024.
The timeout to use for path checkers that issue SCSI commands
with an explicit timeout, in seconds.
The default value is taken from /sys/block/sdx/device/
which is 30 seconds as of 12.04 LTS
The number of seconds the SCSI layer will wait after a problem
has been detected on an FC remote port before failing I/O to
devices on that remote port. This value should be smaller than the
value of dev_loss_tmo. Setting this to off will disable the timeout.
The default value is determined by the OS.
The number of seconds the SCSI layer will wait after a problem
has been detected on an FC remote port before removing it from
the system. Setting this to infinity will set this to 2147483647
seconds, or 68 years. The default value is determined by the OS.
4.4. Configuration File Multipath Attributes
Table Multipath Attributes [p. 70] shows the attributes that you can set in the multipaths section
of the multipath.conf configuration file for each specific multipath device. These attributes apply
only to the one specified multipath. These defaults are used by DM-Multipath and override attributes
set in the defaults and devices sections of the multipath.conf file.
Table 5.4. Multipath Attributes
Specifies the WWID of the multipath device to which the multipath
attributes apply. This parameter is mandatory for this section of the
multipath.conf file.
Specifies the symbolic name for the multipath device to which the
multipath attributes apply. If you are using user_friendly_names, do not
set this value to mpathn; this may conflict with an automatically assigned
user friendly name and give you incorrect device node names.
In addition, the following parameters may be overridden in this multipath section
• path_grouping_policy
• path_selector
• failback
• prio
• prio_args
• no_path_retry
• rr_min_io
• rr_weight
• flush_on_last_del
The following example shows multipath attributes specified in the configuration file for two specific
multipath devices. The first device has a WWID of 3600508b4000156d70001200000b0000 and a
symbolic name of yellow.
The second multipath device in the example has a WWID of 1DEC_____321816758474 and a
symbolic name of red. In this example, the rr_weight attributes are set to priorities.
multipaths {
multipath {
"round-robin 0"
multipath {
4.5. Configuration File Devices
Table Device Attributes [p. 72] shows the attributes that you can set for each individual storage
device in the devices section of the multipath.conf configuration file. These attributes are used by
DM-Multipath unless they are overwritten by the attributes specified in the multipaths section of the
multipath.conf file for paths that contain the device. These attributes override the attributes set in
the defaults section of the multipath.conf file.
Many devices that support multipathing are included by default in a multipath configuration. The
values for the devices that are supported by default are listed in the multipath.conf.defaults file.
You probably will not need to modify the values for these devices, but if you do you can overwrite
the default values by including an entry in the configuration file for the device that overwrites those
values. You can copy the device configuration defaults from the multipath.conf.annotated.gz or if
you wish to have a brief config file, multipath.conf.synthetic file for the device and override the
values that you want to change.
To add a device to this section of the configuration file that is not configured automatically by default,
you must set the vendor and product parameters. You can find these values by looking at /sys/block/
device_name/device/vendor and /sys/block/device_name/device/model where device_name is the
device to be multipathed, as in the following example:
# cat /sys/block/sda/device/vendor
# cat /sys/block/sda/device/model
The additional parameters to specify depend on your specific device. If the device is active/active,
you will usually not need to set additional parameters. You may want to set path_grouping_policy to
multibus. Other parameters you may need to set are no_path_retry and rr_min_io, as described in
Table Multipath Attributes [p. 70].
If the device is active/passive, but it automatically switches paths with I/O to the passive path,
you need to change the checker function to one that does not send I/O to the path to test if it is
working (otherwise, your device will keep failing over). This almost always means that you set the
path_checker to tur; this works for all SCSI devices that support the Test Unit Ready command,
which most do.
If the device needs a special command to switch paths, then configuring this device for multipath
requires a hardware handler kernel module. The current available hardware handler is emc. If this is
not sufficient for your device, you may not be able to configure the device for multipath.
Table 5.5. Device Attributes
Specifies the vendor name of the storage device to which the device
attributes apply, for example COMPAQ.
Specifies the product name of the storage device to which the device
attributes apply, for example HSV110 (C)COMPAQ.
Specifies the product revision identifier of the storage device.
Specifies a regular expression used to blacklist devices by product.
Specifies a module that will be used to perform hardware specific actions
when switching path groups or handling I/O errors. Possible values
• 1 emc: hardware handler for EMC storage arrays
• 1 alua: hardware handler for SCSI-3 ALUA arrays.
• 1 hp_sw: hardware handler for Compaq/HP controllers.
• 1 rdac: hardware handler for the LSI/Engenio RDAC controllers.
In addition, the following parameters may be overridden in this device section
• path_grouping_policy
• getuid_callout
• path_selector
• path_checker
• features
• failback
• prio
• prio_args
• no_path_retry
• rr_min_io
• rr_weight
• fast_io_fail_tmo
• dev_loss_tmo
• flush_on_last_del
Whenever a hardware_handler is specified, it is your responsibility to ensure that the
appropriate kernel module is loaded to support the specified interface. These modules can
be found in /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/scsi/device_handler/ . The
requisite module should be integrated into the initrd to ensure the necessary discovery and
failover-failback capacity is available during boot time. Example,
# echo scsi_dh_alua >> /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
## append module to file
# update-initramfs -u -k all
The following example shows a device entry in the multipath configuration file.
#devices {
# device {
# vendor
path_grouping_policy multibus
path_checker tur
rr_weight priorities
# }
The spacing reserved in the vendor, product, and revision fields are significant as multipath is
performing a direct match against these attributes, whose format is defined by the SCSI specification,
specifically the Standard INQUIRY2 command. When quotes are used, the vendor, product, and
revision fields will be interpreted strictly according to the spec. Regular expressions may be integrated
into the quoted strings. Should a field be defined without the requisite spacing, multipath will
copy the string into the properly sized buffer and pad with the appropriate number of spaces. The
specification expects the entire field to be populated by printable characters or spaces, as seen in the
example above
• vendor: 8 characters
• product: 16 characters
• revision: 4 characters
To create a more robust configuration file, regular expressions can also be used. Operators include ^
$ [ ] . * ? +. Examples of functional regular expressions can be found by examining the live multipath
database and multipath.conf example files found in /usr/share/doc/multipath-tools/examples:
# echo 'show config' | multipathd -k
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCSI_Inquiry_Command
5. DM-Multipath Administration and Troubleshooting
5.1. Resizing an Online Multipath Device
If you need to resize an online multipath device, use the following procedure
Resize your physical device. This is storage platform specific.
Use the following command to find the paths to the LUN:
# multipath -l
Resize your paths. For SCSI devices, writing 1 to the rescan file for the device causes the SCSI
driver to rescan, as in the following command:
# echo 1 > /sys/block/device_name/device/rescan
Resize your multipath device by running the multipathd resize command:
# multipathd -k 'resize map mpatha'
Resize the file system (assuming no LVM or DOS partitions are used):
# resize2fs /dev/mapper/mpatha
5.2. Moving root File Systems from a Single Path Device to a Multipath
This is dramatically simplified by the use of UUIDs to identify devices as an intrinsic label. Simply
install multipath-tools-boot and reboot. This will rebuild the initial ramdisk and afford multipath the
opportunity to build it's paths before the root file system is mounted by UUID.
Whenever multipath.conf is updated, so should the initrd by executing update-initramfs
-u -k all. The reason being is multipath.conf is copied to the ramdisk and is integral to
determining the available devices for grouping via it's blacklist and device sections.
5.3. Moving swap File Systems from a Single Path Device to a Multipath
The procedure is exactly the same as illustrated in the previous section called Moving root File
Systems from a Single Path to a Multipath Device.
5.4. The Multipath Daemon
If you find you have trouble implementing a multipath configuration, you should ensure the multipath
daemon is running as described in "Setting up DM-Multipath". The multipathd daemon must be
running in order to use multipathd devices. Also see section Troubleshooting with the multipathd
interactive console concerning interacting with multipathd as a debugging aid.
5.5. Issues with queue_if_no_path
If features "1 queue_if_no_path" is specified in the /etc/multipath.conf file, then any process
that uses I/O will hang until one or more paths are restored. To avoid this, set the no_path_retry N
parameter in the /etc/multipath.conf.
When you set the no_path_retry parameter, remove the features "1 queue_if_no_path" option
from the /etc/multipath.conf file as well. If, however, you are using a multipathed device for
which the features "1 queue_if_no_path" option is set as a compiled in default, as it is for many
SAN devices, you must add features "0" to override this default. You can do this by copying the
existing devices section, and just that section (not the entire file), from /usr/share/doc/multipathtools/examples/multipath.conf.annotated.gz into /etc/multipath.conf and editing to suit your
If you need to use the features "1 queue_if_no_path" option and you experience the issue noted
here, use the dmsetup command to edit the policy at runtime for a particular LUN (that is, for which
all the paths are unavailable). For example, if you want to change the policy on the multipath device
mpathc from "queue_if_no_path" to "fail_if_no_path", execute the following command.
# dmsetup message mpathc 0 "fail_if_no_path"
You must specify the mpathN alias rather than the path
5.6. Multipath Command Output
When you create, modify, or list a multipath device, you get a printout of the current device setup.
The format is as follows. For each multipath device:
action_if_any: alias (wwid_if_different_from_alias) dm_device_name_if_known vendor,product
size=size features='features' hwhandler='hardware_handler' wp=write_permission_if_known
For each path group:
-+- policy='scheduling_policy' prio=prio_if_known
For each path:
`- host:channel:id:lun devnode major:minor dm_status_if_known path_status
For example, the output of a multipath command might appear as follows:
3600d0230000000000e13955cc3757800 dm-1 WINSYS,SF2372
size=269G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=rw
|-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=active
| `- 6:0:0:0 sdb 8:16 active ready running
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=enabled
`- 7:0:0:0 sdf 8:80
active ready
If the path is up and ready for I/O, the status of the path is ready or ghost. If the path is down, the
status is faulty or shaky. The path status is updated periodically by the multipathd daemon based on
the polling interval defined in the /etc/multipath.conf file.
The dm status is similar to the path status, but from the kernel's point of view. The dm status has
two states: failed, which is analogous to faulty, and active which covers all other path states.
Occasionally, the path state and the dm state of a device will temporarily not agree.
The possible values for online_status are running and offline. A status of offline means that the
SCSI device has been disabled.
When a multipath device is being created or modified , the path group status, the dm device
name, the write permissions, and the dm status are not known. Also, the features are not
always correct
5.7. Multipath Queries with multipath Command
You can use the -l and -ll options of the multipath command to display the current multipath
configuration. The -l option displays multipath topology gathered from information in sysfs and the
device mapper. The -ll option displays the information the -l displays in addition to all other available
components of the system.
When displaying the multipath configuration, there are three verbosity levels you can specify with
the -v option of the multipath command. Specifying -v0 yields no output. Specifying -v1 outputs
the created or updated multipath names only, which you can then feed to other tools such as kpartx.
Specifying -v2 prints all detected paths, multipaths, and device maps.
The default verbosity level of multipath is 2 and can be globally modified by defining the
verbosity attribute in the defaults section of multipath.conf.
The following example shows the output of a multipath -l command.
# multipath -l
3600d0230000000000e13955cc3757800 dm-1 WINSYS,SF2372
size=269G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=rw
|-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=active
| `- 6:0:0:0 sdb 8:16
active ready
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=enabled
`- 7:0:0:0 sdf 8:80
active ready
The following example shows the output of a multipath -ll command.
# multipath -ll
3600d0230000000000e13955cc3757801 dm-10 WINSYS,SF2372
size=269G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=rw
|-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=enabled
| `- 19:0:0:1 sdc 8:32
active ready
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=enabled
`- 18:0:0:1 sdh 8:112 active ready running
3600d0230000000000e13955cc3757803 dm-2 WINSYS,SF2372
size=125G features='0' hwhandler='0' wp=rw
`-+- policy='round-robin 0' prio=1 status=active
|- 19:0:0:3 sde 8:64 active ready running
`- 18:0:0:3 sdj 8:144 active ready running
5.8. Multipath Command Options
Table Useful multipath Command Options [p. 77] describes some options of the multipath
command that you might find useful.
Table 5.6. Useful multipath Command Options
Display the current multipath configuration gathered from sysfs and
the device mapper.
Display the current multipath configuration gathered from sysfs, the
device mapper, and all other available components on the system.
-f device
Remove the named multipath device.
Remove all unused multipath devices.
5.9. Determining Device Mapper Entries with dmsetup Command
You can use the dmsetup command to find out which device mapper entries match the multipathed
The following command displays all the device mapper devices and their major and minor numbers.
The minor numbers determine the name of the dm device. For example, a minor number of 3
corresponds to the multipathed device /dev/dm-3.
# dmsetup ls
mpathd (253, 4)
(253, 12)
(253, 11)
(253, 3)
(253, 14)
(253, 13)
(253, 2)
(253, 9)
(253, 8)
mpathf (253, 7)
(253, 1)
(253, 0)
(253, 6)
(253, 10)
(253, 5)
5.10. Troubleshooting with the multipathd interactive console
The multipathd -k command is an interactive interface to the multipathd daemon. Entering this
command brings up an interactive multipath console. After entering this command, you can enter help
to get a list of available commands, you can enter a interactive command, or you can enter CTRL-D
to quit.
The multipathd interactive console can be used to troubleshoot problems you may be having with
your system. For example, the following command sequence displays the multipath configuration,
including the defaults, before exiting the console. See the IBM article "Tricks with Multipathd"3 for
more examples.
# multipathd -k
> > show config
> > CTRL-D
The following command sequence ensures that multipath has picked up any changes to the
# multipathd -k
> > reconfigure
> > CTRL-D
Use the following command sequence to ensure that the path checker is working properly.
# multipathd -k
> > show paths
> > CTRL-D
Commands can also be streamed into multipathd using stdin like so:
# echo 'show config' | multipathd -k
3 http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=isg3T1011985
Chapter 6. Remote Administration
There are many ways to remotely administer a Linux server. This chapter will cover three of the most
popular applications OpenSSH, Puppet, and Zentyal.
Remote Administration
1. OpenSSH Server
1.1. Introduction
This section of the Ubuntu Server Guide introduces a powerful collection of tools for the remote
control of, and transfer of data between, networked computers called OpenSSH. You will also learn
about some of the configuration settings possible with the OpenSSH server application and how to
change them on your Ubuntu system.
OpenSSH is a freely available version of the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol family of tools for remotely
controlling, or transferring files between, computers. Traditional tools used to accomplish these
functions, such as telnet or rcp, are insecure and transmit the user's password in cleartext when used.
OpenSSH provides a server daemon and client tools to facilitate secure, encrypted remote control and
file transfer operations, effectively replacing the legacy tools.
The OpenSSH server component, sshd, listens continuously for client connections from any of the
client tools. When a connection request occurs, sshd sets up the correct connection depending on the
type of client tool connecting. For example, if the remote computer is connecting with the ssh client
application, the OpenSSH server sets up a remote control session after authentication. If a remote user
connects to an OpenSSH server with scp, the OpenSSH server daemon initiates a secure copy of files
between the server and client after authentication. OpenSSH can use many authentication methods,
including plain password, public key, and Kerberos tickets.
1.2. Installation
Installation of the OpenSSH client and server applications is simple. To install the OpenSSH client
applications on your Ubuntu system, use this command at a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install openssh-client
To install the OpenSSH server application, and related support files, use this command at a terminal
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
The openssh-server package can also be selected to install during the Server Edition installation
1.3. Configuration
You may configure the default behavior of the OpenSSH server application, sshd, by editing the file
/etc/ssh/sshd_config. For information about the configuration directives used in this file, you may
view the appropriate manual page with the following command, issued at a terminal prompt:
man sshd_config
Remote Administration
There are many directives in the sshd configuration file controlling such things as communication
settings, and authentication modes. The following are examples of configuration directives that can be
changed by editing the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file.
Prior to editing the configuration file, you should make a copy of the original file and protect
it from writing so you will have the original settings as a reference and to reuse as necessary.
Copy the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file and protect it from writing with the following
commands, issued at a terminal prompt:
sudo cp /etc/ssh/sshd_config /etc/ssh/sshd_config.original
sudo chmod a-w /etc/ssh/sshd_config.original
The following are examples of configuration directives you may change:
• To set your OpenSSH to listen on TCP port 2222 instead of the default TCP port 22, change the
Port directive as such:
Port 2222
• To have sshd allow public key-based login credentials, simply add or modify the line:
PubkeyAuthentication yes
If the line is already present, then ensure it is not commented out.
• To make your OpenSSH server display the contents of the /etc/issue.net file as a pre-login
banner, simply add or modify the line:
Banner /etc/issue.net
In the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file.
After making changes to the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file, save the file, and restart the sshd server
application to effect the changes using the following command at a terminal prompt:
sudo service ssh restart
Many other configuration directives for sshd are available to change the server application's
behavior to fit your needs. Be advised, however, if your only method of access to a server
is ssh, and you make a mistake in configuring sshd via the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file, you
may find you are locked out of the server upon restarting it. Additionally, if an incorrect
configuration directive is supplied, the sshd server may refuse to start, so be extra careful
when editing this file on a remote server.
1.4. SSH Keys
SSH keys allow authentication between two hosts without the need of a password. SSH key
authentication uses two keys, a private key and a public key.
Remote Administration
To generate the keys, from a terminal prompt enter:
ssh-keygen -t rsa
This will generate the keys using the RSA Algorithm. During the process you will be prompted for a
password. Simply hit Enter when prompted to create the key.
By default the public key is saved in the file ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub, while ~/.ssh/id_rsa is the private
key. Now copy the id_rsa.pub file to the remote host and append it to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys by
ssh-copy-id [email protected]
Finally, double check the permissions on the authorized_keys file, only the authenticated user
should have read and write permissions. If the permissions are not correct change them by:
chmod 600 .ssh/authorized_keys
You should now be able to SSH to the host without being prompted for a password.
1.5. References
• Ubuntu Wiki SSH1 page.
• OpenSSH Website2
• Advanced OpenSSH Wiki Page3
1 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SSH
2 http://www.openssh.org/
3 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/AdvancedOpenSSH
Remote Administration
2. Puppet
Puppet is a cross platform framework enabling system administrators to perform common tasks using
code. The code can do a variety of tasks from installing new software, to checking file permissions,
or updating user accounts. Puppet is great not only during the initial installation of a system, but also
throughout the system's entire life cycle. In most circumstances puppet will be used in a client/server
This section will cover installing and configuring Puppet in a client/server configuration. This simple
example will demonstrate how to install Apache using Puppet.
2.1. Preconfiguration
Prior to configuring puppet you may want to add a DNS CNAME record for puppet.example.com,
where example.com is your domain. By default Puppet clients check DNS for puppet.example.com as
the puppet server name, or Puppet Master. See Chapter 8, Domain Name Service (DNS) [p. 143]
for more DNS details.
If you do not wish to use DNS, you can add entries to the server and client /etc/hosts file. For
example, in the Puppet server's /etc/hosts file add: localhost.localdomain localhost puppet puppetclient.example.com puppetclient
On each Puppet client, add an entry for the server: puppetmaster.example.com puppetmaster puppet
Replace the example IP addresses and domain names above with your actual server and
client addresses and domain names.
2.2. Installation
To install Puppet, in a terminal on the server enter:
sudo apt-get install puppetmaster
On the client machine, or machines, enter:
sudo apt-get install puppet
2.3. Configuration
Create a folder path for the apache2 class:
Remote Administration
sudo mkdir -p /etc/puppet/modules/apache2/manifests
Now setup some resources for apache2. Create a file /etc/puppet/modules/apache2/manifests/
init.pp containing the following:
class apache2 {
package { 'apache2':
ensure => installed,
service {
=> true,
=> true,
=> Package['apache2'],
Next, create a node file /etc/puppet/manifests/site.pp with:
node 'puppetclient.example.com' {
include apache2
Replace puppetclient.example.com with your actual Puppet client's host name.
The final step for this simple Puppet server is to restart the daemon:
sudo service puppetmaster restart
Now everything is configured on the Puppet server, it is time to configure the client.
First, configure the Puppet agent daemon to start. Edit /etc/default/puppet, changing START to
Then start the service:
sudo service puppet start
View the client cert fingerprint
sudo puppet agent --fingerprint
Back on the Puppet server, view pending certificate signing requests:
Remote Administration
sudo puppet cert list
On the Puppet server, verify the fingerprint of the client and sign puppetclient's cert:
sudo puppet cert sign puppetclient.example.com
On the Puppet client, run the puppet agent manually in the foreground. This step isn't strictly speaking
necessary, but it is the best way to test and debug the puppet service.
sudo puppet agent --test
Check /var/log/syslog on both hosts for any errors with the configuration. If all goes well the
apache2 package and it's dependencies will be installed on the Puppet client.
This example is very simple, and does not highlight many of Puppet's features and benefits.
For more information see Section 2.4, “Resources” [p. 85].
2.4. Resources
• See the Official Puppet Documentation4 web site.
• See the Puppet forge5, online repository of puppet modules.
• Also see Pro Puppet6.
4 http://docs.puppetlabs.com/
5 http://forge.puppetlabs.com/
6 http://www.apress.com/9781430230571
Remote Administration
3. Zentyal
Zentyal is a Linux small business server, that can be configured as a Gateway, Infrastructure
Manager, Unified Threat Manager, Office Server, Unified Communication Server or a combination
of them. All network services managed by Zentyal are tightly integrated, automating most tasks. This
helps to avoid errors in the network configuration and administration and allows to save time. Zentyal
is open source, released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and runs on top of Ubuntu
Zentyal consists of a series of packages (usually one for each module) that provide a web interface to
configure the different servers or services. The configuration is stored on a key-value Redis database
but users, groups and domains related configuration is on OpenLDAP . When you configure any of
the available parameters through the web interface, final configuration files are overwritten using the
configuration templates provided by the modules. The main advantages of using Zentyal are: unified,
graphical user interface to configure all network services and high, out-of-the-box integration between
3.1. Installation
Zentyal 2.3 is available on Ubuntu 12.04 Universe repository. The modules available are:
• zentyal-core & zentyal-common: the core of the Zentyal interface and the common libraries of the
framework. Also include the logs and events modules that give the administrator an interface to
view the logs and generate events from them.
• zentyal-network: manages the configuration of the network. From the interfaces (supporting static
IP, DHCP, VLAN, bridges or PPPoE), to multiple gateways when having more than one Internet
connection, load balancing and advanced routing, static routes or dynamic DNS.
• zentyal-objects & zentyal-services: provide an abstraction level for network addresses (e.g. LAN
instead of and ports named as services (e.g. HTTP instead of 80/TCP).
• zentyal-firewall: configures the iptables rules to block forbiden connections, NAT and port
• zentyal-ntp: installs the NTP daemon to keep server on time and allow network clients to
synchronize their clocks against the server.
• zentyal-dhcp: configures ISC DHCP server supporting network ranges, static leases and other
advanced options like NTP, WINS, dynamic DNS updates and network boot with PXE.
• zentyal-dns: brings ISC Bind9 DNS server into your server for caching local queries as a forwarder
or as an authoritative server for the configured domains. Allows to configure A, CNAME, MX, NS,
TXT and SRV records.
• zentyal-ca: integrates the management of a Certification Authority within Zentyal so users can use
certificates to authenticate against the services, like with OpenVPN.
• zentyal-openvpn: allows to configure multiple VPN servers and clients using OpenVPN with
dynamic routing configuration using Quagga.
Remote Administration
• zentyal-users: provides an interface to configure and manage users and groups on OpenLDAP.
Other services on Zentyal are authenticated against LDAP having a centralized users and groups
management. It is also possible to synchronize users, passwords and groups from a Microsoft
Active Directory domain.
• zentyal-squid: configures Squid and Dansguardian for speeding up browsing thanks to the caching
capabilities and content filtering.
• zentyal-samba: allows Samba configuration and integration with existing LDAP. From the same
interface you can define password policies, create shared resources and assign permissions.
• zentyal-printers: integrates CUPS with Samba and allows not only to configure the printers but also
give them permissions based on LDAP users and groups.
To install Zentyal, in a terminal on the server enter (where <zentyal-module> is any of the modules
from the previous list):
sudo apt-get install <zentyal-module>
Zentyal publishes one major stable release once a year (in September) based on latest
Ubuntu LTS release. Stable releases always have even minor numbers (e.g. 2.2, 3.0) and
beta releases have odd minor numbers (e.g. 2.1, 2.3). Ubuntu 12.04 comes with Zentyal
2.3 packages. If you want to upgrade to a new stable release published after the release
of Ubuntu 12.04 you can use Zentyal Team PPA7. Upgrading to newer stable releases can
provide you minor bugfixes not backported to 2.3 in Precise and newer features.
If you need more information on how to add packages from a PPA see Add a Personal
Package Archive (PPA)8.
Not present on Ubuntu Universe repositories, but on Zentyal Team PPA9 you will find these
other modules:
• zentyal-antivirus: integrates ClamAV antivirus with other modules like the proxy, file
sharing or mailfilter.
• zentyal-asterisk: configures Asterisk to provide a simple PBX with LDAP based
• zentyal-bwmonitor: allows to monitor bandwith usage of your LAN clients.
• zentyal-captiveportal: integrates a captive portal with the firewall and LDAP users and
• zentyal-ebackup: allows to make scheduled backups of your server using the popular
duplicity backup tool.
• zentyal-ftp: configures a FTP server with LDAP based authentication.
7 https://launchpad.net/~zentyal/
8 https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/ubuntu-help/addremove-ppa.html
9 https://launchpad.net/~zentyal/
Remote Administration
• zentyal-ids: integrates a network intrusion detection system.
• zentyal-ipsec: allows to configure IPsec tunnels using OpenSwan.
• zentyal-jabber: integrates ejabberd XMPP server with LDAP users and groups.
• zentyal-thinclients: a LTSP based thin clients solution.
• zentyal-mail: a full mail stack including Postfix and Dovecot with LDAP backend.
• zentyal-mailfilter: configures amavisd with mail stack to filter spam and attached virus.
• zentyal-monitor: integrates collectd to monitor server performance and running services.
• zentyal-pptp: configures a PPTP VPN server.
• zentyal-radius: integrates FreeRADIUS with LDAP users and groups.
• zentyal-software: simple interface to manage installed Zentyal modules and system
• zentyal-trafficshaping: configures traffic limiting rules to do bandwidth throttling and
improve latency.
• zentyal-usercorner: allows users to edit their own LDAP attributes using a web browser.
• zentyal-virt: simple interface to create and manage virtual machines based on libvirt.
• zentyal-webmail: allows to access your mail using the popular Roundcube webmail.
• zentyal-webserver: configures Apache webserver to host different sites on your machine.
• zentyal-zarafa: integrates Zarafa groupware suite with Zentyal mail stack and LDAP.
3.2. First steps
Any system account belonging to the sudo group is allowed to log into Zentyal web interface. If you
are using the user created during the installation, this should be in the sudo group by default.
If you need to add another user to the sudo group, just execute:
sudo adduser username sudo
To access Zentyal web interface, browse into https://localhost/ (or the IP of your remote server). As
Zentyal creates its own self-signed SSL certificate, you will have to accept a security exception on
your browser.
Once logged in you will see the dashboard with an overview of your server. To configure any of the
features of your installed modules, go to the different sections on the left menu. When you make any
changes, on the upper right corner appears a red Save changes button that you must click to save all
configuration changes. To apply these configuration changes in your server, the module needs to be
enabled first, you can do so from the Module Status entry on the left menu. Every time you enable a
module, a pop-up will appear asking for a confirmation to perform the necessary actions and changes
on your server and configuration files.
Remote Administration
If you need to customize any configuration file or run certain actions (scripts or commands)
to configure features not available on Zentyal place the custom configuration file templates
on /etc/zentyal/stubs/<module>/ and the hooks on /etc/zentyal/hooks/<module>.<action>.
3.3. References
Zentyal Official Documentation 10 page.
See also Zentyal Community Documentation11 page.
And don't forget to visit the forum 12 for community support, feedback, feature requests, etc.
10 http://doc.zentyal.org/
11 http://trac.zentyal.org/wiki/Documentation
12 http://forum.zentyal.org/
Chapter 7. Network Authentication
This section applies LDAP to network authentication and authorization.
Network Authentication
1. OpenLDAP Server
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, or LDAP, is a protocol for querying and modifying
a X.500-based directory service running over TCP/IP. The current LDAP version is LDAPv3, as
defined in RFC45101, and the its implementation used in Ubuntu is from OpenLDAP.
So the LDAP protocol accesses LDAP directories. Here are some key concepts and terms:
• A LDAP directory is a tree of data entries that is hierarchical in nature and is called the Directory
Information Tree (DIT).
• An entry consists of a set of attributes.
• An attribute has a type (a name/description) and one or more values.
• Every attribute must be defined in at least one objectClass.
• Attributes and objectclasses are defined in schemas (an objectclass is actually considered as a
special kind of attribute).
• Each entry has a unique identifier: its Distinguished Name (DN or dn). This, in turn, consists of a
Relative Distinguished Name (RDN) followed by the parent entry's DN.
• The entry's DN is not an attribute. It is not considered part of the entry itself.
The terms object, container, and node have certain connotations but they all essentially
mean the same thing as entry, the technically correct term.
For example, below we have a single entry consisting of 11 attributes where the following is true:
• DN is "cn=John Doe,dc=example,dc=com"
• RDN is "cn=John Doe"
• parent DN is "dc=example,dc=com"
dn: cn=John Doe,dc=example,dc=com
cn: John Doe
givenName: John
sn: Doe
telephoneNumber: +1 888 555 6789
telephoneNumber: +1 888 555 1232
mail: [email protected]
manager: cn=Larry Smith,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: organizationalPerson
objectClass: person
objectClass: top
The above entry is in LDIF format (LDAP Data Interchange Format). Any information that you feed
into your DIT must also be in such a format. It is defined in RFC28492.
1 http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4510
2 http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2849
Network Authentication
Although this guide will describe how to use it for central authentication, LDAP is good for anything
that involves a large number of access requests to a mostly-read, attribute-based (name:value)
backend. Examples include an address book, a list of email addresses, and a mail server's
1.1. Installation
Install the OpenLDAP server daemon and the traditional LDAP management utilities. These are
found in packages slapd and ldap-utils respectively.
The installation of slapd will create a working configuration. In particular, it will create a database
instance that you can use to store your data. However, the suffix (or base DN) of this instance will be
determined from the domain name of the localhost. If you want something different, edit /etc/hosts
and replace the domain name with one that will give you the suffix you desire. For instance, if you
want a suffix of dc=example,dc=com then your file would have a line similar to this:
hostname.example.com hostname
You can revert the change after package installation.
This guide will use a database suffix of dc=example,dc=com.
Proceed with the install:
sudo apt-get install slapd ldap-utils
Since Ubuntu 8.10 slapd is designed to be configured within slapd itself by dedicating a separate
DIT for that purpose. This allows one to dynamically configure slapd without the need to restart the
service. This configuration database consists of a collection of text-based LDIF files located under /
etc/ldap/slapd.d. This way of working is known by several names: the slapd-config method, the
RTC method (Real Time Configuration), or the cn=config method. You can still use the traditional
flat-file method (slapd.conf) but it's not recommended; the functionality will be eventually phased out.
Ubuntu now uses the slapd-config method for slapd configuration and this guide reflects
During the install you were prompted to define administrative credentials. These are LDAPbased credentials for the rootDN of your database instance. By default, this user's DN is
cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com. Also by default, there is no administrative account created for the
slapd-config database and you will therefore need to authenticate externally to LDAP in order to
access it. We will see how to do this later on.
Some classical schemas (cosine, nis, inetorgperson) come built-in with slapd nowadays. There is also
an included "core" schema, a pre-requisite for any schema to work.
Network Authentication
1.2. Post-install Inspection
The installation process set up 2 DITs. One for slapd-config and one for your own data
(dc=example,dc=com). Let's take a look.
• This is what the slapd-config database/DIT looks like. Recall that this database is LDIF-based and
lives under /etc/ldap/slapd.d:
Do not edit the slapd-config database directly. Make changes via the LDAP protocol
• This is what the slapd-config DIT looks like via the LDAP protocol:
On Ubuntu server 14.10, and possibly higher, the following command may not work due
to a bug3
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b cn=config dn
dn: cn=config
dn: cn=module{0},cn=config
dn: cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={0}core,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={1}cosine,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={2}nis,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={3}inetorgperson,cn=schema,cn=config
3 https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apparmor/+bug/1392018
Network Authentication
dn: olcBackend={0}hdb,cn=config
dn: olcDatabase={-1}frontend,cn=config
dn: olcDatabase={0}config,cn=config
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
Explanation of entries:
• cn=config: global settings
• cn=module{0},cn=config: a dynamically loaded module
• cn=schema,cn=config: contains hard-coded system-level schema
• cn={0}core,cn=schema,cn=config: the hard-coded core schema
• cn={1}cosine,cn=schema,cn=config: the cosine schema
• cn={2}nis,cn=schema,cn=config: the nis schema
• cn={3}inetorgperson,cn=schema,cn=config: the inetorgperson schema
• olcBackend={0}hdb,cn=config: the 'hdb' backend storage type
• olcDatabase={-1}frontend,cn=config: frontend database, default settings for other databases
• olcDatabase={0}config,cn=config: slapd configuration database (cn=config)
• olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config: your database instance (dc=examle,dc=com)
• This is what the dc=example,dc=com DIT looks like:
ldapsearch -x -LLL -H ldap:/// -b dc=example,dc=com dn
dn: dc=example,dc=com
dn: cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com
Explanation of entries:
• dc=example,dc=com: base of the DIT
• cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com: administrator (rootDN) for this DIT (set up during package
1.3. Modifying/Populating your Database
Let's introduce some content to our database. We will add the following:
• a node called People (to store users)
• a node called Groups (to store groups)
• a group called miners
Network Authentication
• a user called john
Create the following LDIF file and call it add_content.ldif:
dn: ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: organizationalUnit
ou: People
dn: ou=Groups,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: organizationalUnit
ou: Groups
dn: cn=miners,ou=Groups,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: posixGroup
cn: miners
gidNumber: 5000
dn: uid=john,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: posixAccount
objectClass: shadowAccount
uid: john
sn: Doe
givenName: John
cn: John Doe
displayName: John Doe
uidNumber: 10000
gidNumber: 5000
userPassword: johnldap
gecos: John Doe
loginShell: /bin/bash
homeDirectory: /home/john
It's important that uid and gid values in your directory do not collide with local values. Use
high number ranges, such as starting at 5000. By setting the uid and gid values in ldap high,
you also allow for easier control of what can be done with a local user vs a ldap one. More
on that later.
Add the content:
ldapadd -x -D cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com -W -f add_content.ldif
Enter LDAP Password: ********
adding new entry "ou=People,dc=example,dc=com"
adding new entry "ou=Groups,dc=example,dc=com"
adding new entry "cn=miners,ou=Groups,dc=example,dc=com"
adding new entry "uid=john,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com"
Network Authentication
We can check that the information has been correctly added with the ldapsearch utility:
ldapsearch -x -LLL -b dc=example,dc=com 'uid=john' cn gidNumber
dn: uid=john,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
cn: John Doe
gidNumber: 5000
Explanation of switches:
• -x: "simple" binding; will not use the default SASL method
• -LLL: disable printing extraneous information
• uid=john: a "filter" to find the john user
• cn gidNumber: requests certain attributes to be displayed (the default is to show all attributes)
1.4. Modifying the slapd Configuration Database
The slapd-config DIT can also be queried and modified. Here are a few examples.
• Use ldapmodify to add an "Index" (DbIndex attribute) to your {1}hdb,cn=config database
(dc=example,dc=com). Create a file, call it uid_index.ldif, with the following contents:
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
add: olcDbIndex
olcDbIndex: uid eq,pres,sub
Then issue the command:
sudo ldapmodify -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f uid_index.ldif
modifying entry "olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config"
You can confirm the change in this way:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b \
cn=config '(olcDatabase={1}hdb)' olcDbIndex
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
olcDbIndex: objectClass eq
olcDbIndex: uid eq,pres,sub
• Let's add a schema. It will first need to be converted to LDIF format. You can find unconverted
schemas in addition to converted ones in the /etc/ldap/schema directory.
• It is not trivial to remove a schema from the slapd-config database. Practice adding
schemas on a test system.
Network Authentication
• Before adding any schema, you should check which schemas are already installed
(shown is a default, out-of-the-box output):
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b \
cn=schema,cn=config dn
dn: cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={0}core,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={1}cosine,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={2}nis,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={3}inetorgperson,cn=schema,cn=config
In the following example we'll add the CORBA schema.
Create the conversion configuration file schema_convert.conf containing the following lines:
include /etc/ldap/schema/core.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/collective.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/corba.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/cosine.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/duaconf.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/dyngroup.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/inetorgperson.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/java.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/misc.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/nis.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/openldap.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/ppolicy.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/ldapns.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/pmi.schema
Create the output directory ldif_output.
Determine the index of the schema:
slapcat -f schema_convert.conf -F ldif_output -n 0 | grep corba,cn=schema
When slapd ingests objects with the same parent DN it will create an index for that
object. An index is contained within braces: {X}.
Use slapcat to perform the conversion:
Network Authentication
slapcat -f schema_convert.conf -F ldif_output -n0 -H \
ldap:///cn={1}corba,cn=schema,cn=config -l cn=corba.ldif
The converted schema is now in cn=corba.ldif
Edit cn=corba.ldif to arrive at the following attributes:
dn: cn=corba,cn=schema,cn=config
cn: corba
Also remove the following lines from the bottom:
structuralObjectClass: olcSchemaConfig
entryUUID: 52109a02-66ab-1030-8be2-bbf166230478
creatorsName: cn=config
createTimestamp: 20110829165435Z
entryCSN: 20110829165435.935248Z#000000#000#000000
modifiersName: cn=config
modifyTimestamp: 20110829165435Z
Your attribute values will vary.
Finally, use ldapadd to add the new schema to the slapd-config DIT:
sudo ldapadd -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f cn\=corba.ldif
adding new entry "cn=corba,cn=schema,cn=config"
Confirm currently loaded schemas:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b cn=schema,cn=config dn
dn: cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={0}core,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={1}cosine,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={2}nis,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={3}inetorgperson,cn=schema,cn=config
dn: cn={4}corba,cn=schema,cn=config
For external applications and clients to authenticate using LDAP they will each need to
be specifically configured to do so. Refer to the appropriate client-side documentation for
Network Authentication
1.5. Logging
Activity logging for slapd is indispensible when implementing an OpenLDAP-based solution yet
it must be manually enabled after software installation. Otherwise, only rudimentary messages
will appear in the logs. Logging, like any other slapd configuration, is enabled via the slapd-config
OpenLDAP comes with multiple logging subsystems (levels) with each one containing the lower one
(additive). A good level to try is stats. The slapd-config4 man page has more to say on the different
Create the file logging.ldif with the following contents:
dn: cn=config
changetype: modify
replace: olcLogLevel
olcLogLevel: stats
Implement the change:
sudo ldapmodify -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f logging.ldif
This will produce a significant amount of logging and you will want to throttle back to a less verbose
level once your system is in production. While in this verbose mode your host's syslog engine
(rsyslog) may have a hard time keeping up and may drop messages:
rsyslogd-2177: imuxsock lost 228 messages from pid 2547 due to rate-limiting
You may consider a change to rsyslog's configuration. In /etc/rsyslog.conf, put:
# Disable rate limiting
# (default is 200 messages in 5 seconds; below we make the 5 become 0)
$SystemLogRateLimitInterval 0
And then restart the rsyslog daemon:
sudo service rsyslog restart
1.6. Replication
The LDAP service becomes increasingly important as more networked systems begin to depend on it.
In such an environment, it is standard practice to build redundancy (high availability) into LDAP to
prevent havoc should the LDAP server become unresponsive. This is done through LDAP replication.
4 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/slapd-config.5.html
Network Authentication
Replication is achieved via the Syncrepl engine. This allows changes to be synchronized using a
Consumer - Provider model. The specific kind of replication we will implement in this guide is a
combination of the following modes: refreshAndPersist and delta-syncrepl. This has the Provider
push changed entries to the Consumer as soon as they're made but, in addition, only actual changes
will be sent, not entire entries.
1.6.1. Provider Configuration
Begin by configuring the Provider.
Create an LDIF file with the following contents and name it provider_sync.ldif:
# Add indexes to the frontend db.
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcDbIndex
olcDbIndex: entryCSN eq
add: olcDbIndex
olcDbIndex: entryUUID eq
#Load the syncprov and accesslog modules.
dn: cn=module{0},cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcModuleLoad
olcModuleLoad: syncprov
add: olcModuleLoad
olcModuleLoad: accesslog
# Accesslog database definitions
dn: olcDatabase={2}hdb,cn=config
objectClass: olcDatabaseConfig
objectClass: olcHdbConfig
olcDatabase: {2}hdb
olcDbDirectory: /var/lib/ldap/accesslog
olcSuffix: cn=accesslog
olcRootDN: cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com
olcDbIndex: default eq
olcDbIndex: entryCSN,objectClass,reqEnd,reqResult,reqStart
# Accesslog db syncprov.
dn: olcOverlay=syncprov,olcDatabase={2}hdb,cn=config
changetype: add
objectClass: olcOverlayConfig
objectClass: olcSyncProvConfig
olcOverlay: syncprov
olcSpNoPresent: TRUE
olcSpReloadHint: TRUE
Network Authentication
# syncrepl Provider for primary db
dn: olcOverlay=syncprov,olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
changetype: add
objectClass: olcOverlayConfig
objectClass: olcSyncProvConfig
olcOverlay: syncprov
olcSpNoPresent: TRUE
# accesslog overlay definitions for primary db
dn: olcOverlay=accesslog,olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
objectClass: olcOverlayConfig
objectClass: olcAccessLogConfig
olcOverlay: accesslog
olcAccessLogDB: cn=accesslog
olcAccessLogOps: writes
olcAccessLogSuccess: TRUE
# scan the accesslog DB every day, and purge entries older than 7 days
olcAccessLogPurge: 07+00:00 01+00:00
Change the rootDN in the LDIF file to match the one you have for your directory.
The apparmor profile for slapd will not need to be adjusted for the accesslog database location
since /etc/apparmor.d/local/usr.sbin.slapd contains:
/var/lib/ldap/ r,
/var/lib/ldap/** rwk,
Create a directory, set up a databse config file, and reload the apparmor profile:
sudo -u openldap mkdir /var/lib/ldap/accesslog
sudo -u openldap cp /var/lib/ldap/DB_CONFIG /var/lib/ldap/accesslog
sudo service apparmor reload
Add the new content and, due to the apparmor change, restart the daemon:
sudo ldapadd -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f provider_sync.ldif
sudo service slapd restart
The Provider is now configured.
1.6.2. Consumer Configuration
And now configure the Consumer.
Install the software by going through Section 1.1, “Installation” [p. 92]. Make sure the
slapd-config databse is identical to the Provider's. In particular, make sure schemas and the
databse suffix are the same.
Create an LDIF file with the following contents and name it consumer_sync.ldif:
Network Authentication
dn: cn=module{0},cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcModuleLoad
olcModuleLoad: syncprov
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcDbIndex
olcDbIndex: entryUUID eq
add: olcSyncRepl
olcSyncRepl: rid=0 provider=ldap://ldap01.example.com bindmethod=simple binddn="cn=admin,dc=exa
credentials=secret searchbase="dc=example,dc=com" logbase="cn=accesslog"
logfilter="(&(objectClass=auditWriteObject)(reqResult=0))" schemachecking=on
type=refreshAndPersist retry="60 +" syncdata=accesslog
add: olcUpdateRef
olcUpdateRef: ldap://ldap01.example.com
Ensure the following attributes have the correct values:
• provider (Provider server's hostname -- ldap01.example.com in this example -- or IP address)
• binddn (the admin DN you're using)
• credentials (the admin DN password you're using)
• searchbase (the database suffix you're using)
• olcUpdateRef (Provider server's hostname or IP address)
• rid (Replica ID, an unique 3-digit that identifies the replica. Each consumer should have at
least one rid)
Add the new content:
sudo ldapadd -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f consumer_sync.ldif
You're done. The two databases (suffix: dc=example,dc=com) should now be synchronizing.
1.6.3. Testing
Once replication starts, you can monitor it by running
ldapsearch -z1 -LLLQY EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -s base -b dc=example,dc=com contextCSN
dn: dc=example,dc=com
contextCSN: 20120201193408.178454Z#000000#000#000000
on both the provider and the consumer. Once the output
(20120201193408.178454Z#000000#000#000000 in the above example) for both machines match, you
have replication. Every time a change is done in the provider, this value will change and so should the
one in the consumer(s).
Network Authentication
If your connection is slow and/or your ldap database large, it might take a while for the consumer's
contextCSN match the provider's. But, you will know it is progressing since the consumer's
contextCSN will be steadly increasing.
If the consumer's contextCSN is missing or does not match the provider, you should stop and figure
out the issue before continuing. Try checking the slapd (syslog) and the auth log files in the provider
to see if the consumer's authentication requests were successful or its requests to retrieve data (they
look like a lot of ldapsearch statements) return no errors.
To test if it worked simply query, on the Consumer, the DNs in the database:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b dc=example,dc=com dn
You should see the user 'john' and the group 'miners' as well as the nodes 'People' and 'Groups'.
1.7. Access Control
The management of what type of access (read, write, etc) users should be granted to resources is
known as access control. The configuration directives involved are called access control lists or ACL.
When we installed the slapd package various ACL were set up automatically. We will look at a few
important consequences of those defaults and, in so doing, we'll get an idea of how ACLs work and
how they're configured.
To get the effective ACL for an LDAP query we need to look at the ACL entries of the database
being queried as well as those of the special frontend database instance. The ACLs belonging to the
latter act as defaults in case those of the former do not match. The frontend database is the second
to be consulted and the ACL to be applied is the first to match ("first match wins") among these
2 ACL sources. The following commands will give, respectively, the ACLs of the hdb database
("dc=example,dc=com") and those of the frontend database:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b \
cn=config '(olcDatabase={1}hdb)' olcAccess
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
olcAccess: {0}to attrs=userPassword,shadowLastChange by self write by anonymous
auth by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write by * none
olcAccess: {1}to dn.base="" by * read
olcAccess: {2}to * by self write by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write by *
The rootDN always has full rights to its database. Including it in an ACL does provide an
explicit configuration but it also causes slapd to incur a performance penalty.
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b \
cn=config '(olcDatabase={-1}frontend)' olcAccess
Network Authentication
dn: olcDatabase={-1}frontend,cn=config
olcAccess: {0}to * by dn.exact=gidNumber=0+uidNumber=0,cn=peercred,
cn=external,cn=auth manage by * break
olcAccess: {1}to dn.exact="" by * read
olcAccess: {2}to dn.base="cn=Subschema" by * read
The very first ACL is crucial:
olcAccess: {0}to attrs=userPassword,shadowLastChange by self write by anonymous
auth by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write by * none
This can be represented differently for easier digestion:
to attrs=userPassword
by self write
by anonymous auth
by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write
by * none
to attrs=shadowLastChange
by self write
by anonymous auth
by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write
by * none
This compound ACL (there are 2) enforces the following:
• Anonymous 'auth' access is provided to the userPassword attribute for the initial connection to
occur. Perhaps counter-intuitively, 'by anonymous auth' is needed even when anonymous access to
the DIT is unwanted. Once the remote end is connected, howerver, authentication can occur (see
next point).
• Authentication can happen because all users have 'read' (due to 'by self write') access to the
userPassword attribute.
• The userPassword attribute is otherwise unaccessible by all other users, with the exception of the
rootDN, who has complete access to it.
• In order for users to change their own password, using passwd or other utilities, the
shadowLastChange attribute needs to be accessible once a user has authenticated.
This DIT can be searched anonymously because of 'by * read' in this ACL:
to *
by self write
by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write
by * read
If this is unwanted then you need to change the ACLs. To force authentication during a bind request
you can alternatively (or in combination with the modified ACL) use the 'olcRequire: authc' directive.
Network Authentication
As previously mentioned, there is no administrative account created for the slapd-config database.
There is, however, a SASL identity that is granted full access to it. It represents the localhost's
superuser (root/sudo). Here it is:
The following command will display the ACLs of the slapd-config database:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b \
cn=config '(olcDatabase={0}config)' olcAccess
dn: olcDatabase={0}config,cn=config
olcAccess: {0}to * by dn.exact=gidNumber=0+uidNumber=0,cn=peercred,
cn=external,cn=auth manage by * break
Since this is a SASL identity we need to use a SASL mechanism when invoking the LDAP utility in
question and we have seen it plenty of times in this guide. It is the EXTERNAL mechanism. See the
previous command for an example. Note that:
You must use sudo to become the root identity in order for the ACL to match.
The EXTERNAL mechanism works via IPC (UNIX domain sockets). This means you must use
the ldapi URI format.
A succinct way to get all the ACLs is like this:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b \
cn=config '(olcAccess=*)' olcAccess olcSuffix
There is much to say on the topic of access control. See the man page for slapd.access5.
1.8. TLS
When authenticating to an OpenLDAP server it is best to do so using an encrypted session. This can
be accomplished using Transport Layer Security (TLS).
Here, we will be our own Certificate Authority and then create and sign our LDAP server certificate
as that CA. Since slapd is compiled using the gnutls library, we will use the certtool utility to
complete these tasks.
Install the gnutls-bin and ssl-cert packages:
sudo apt-get install gnutls-bin ssl-cert
Create a private key for the Certificate Authority:
5 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/slapd.access.5.html
Network Authentication
sudo sh -c "certtool --generate-privkey > /etc/ssl/private/cakey.pem"
Create the template/file /etc/ssl/ca.info to define the CA:
cn = Example Company
Create the self-signed CA certificate:
sudo certtool --generate-self-signed \
--load-privkey /etc/ssl/private/cakey.pem \
--template /etc/ssl/ca.info \
--outfile /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem
Make a private key for the server:
sudo certtool --generate-privkey \
--bits 1024 \
--outfile /etc/ssl/private/ldap01_slapd_key.pem
Replace ldap01 in the filename with your server's hostname. Naming the certificate and
key for the host and service that will be using them will help keep things clear.
Create the /etc/ssl/ldap01.info info file containing:
organization = Example Company
cn = ldap01.example.com
expiration_days = 3650
The above certificate is good for 10 years. Adjust accordingly.
Create the server's certificate:
sudo certtool --generate-certificate \
--load-privkey /etc/ssl/private/ldap01_slapd_key.pem \
--load-ca-certificate /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem \
--load-ca-privkey /etc/ssl/private/cakey.pem \
--template /etc/ssl/ldap01.info \
--outfile /etc/ssl/certs/ldap01_slapd_cert.pem
Create the file certinfo.ldif with the following contents (adjust accordingly, our example assumes
we created certs using https://www.cacert.org):
dn: cn=config
add: olcTLSCACertificateFile
Network Authentication
olcTLSCACertificateFile: /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem
add: olcTLSCertificateFile
olcTLSCertificateFile: /etc/ssl/certs/ldap01_slapd_cert.pem
add: olcTLSCertificateKeyFile
olcTLSCertificateKeyFile: /etc/ssl/private/ldap01_slapd_key.pem
Use the ldapmodify command to tell slapd about our TLS work via the slapd-config database:
sudo ldapmodify -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f /etc/ssl/certinfo.ldif
Contratry to popular belief, you do not need ldaps:// in /etc/default/slapd in order to use
encryption. You should have just:
SLAPD_SERVICES="ldap:/// ldapi:///"
LDAP over TLS/SSL (ldaps://) is deprecated in favour of StartTLS. The latter refers to
an existing LDAP session (listening on TCP port 389) becoming protected by TLS/SSL
whereas LDAPS, like HTTPS, is a distinct encrypted-from-the-start protocol that operates
over TCP port 636.
Tighten up ownership and permissions:
sudo adduser openldap ssl-cert
sudo chgrp ssl-cert /etc/ssl/private/ldap01_slapd_key.pem
sudo chmod g+r /etc/ssl/private/ldap01_slapd_key.pem
sudo chmod o-r /etc/ssl/private/ldap01_slapd_key.pem
Restart OpenLDAP:
sudo service slapd restart
Check your host's logs (/var/log/syslog) to see if the server has started properly.
1.9. Replication and TLS
If you have set up replication between servers, it is common practice to encrypt (StartTLS) the
replication traffic to prevent evesdropping. This is distinct from using encryption with authentication
as we did above. In this section we will build on that TLS-authentication work.
The assumption here is that you have set up replication between Provider and Consumer according to
Section 1.6, “Replication” [p. 99] and have configured TLS for authentication on the Provider by
following Section 1.8, “TLS” [p. 105].
As previously stated, the objective (for us) with replication is high availablity for the LDAP service.
Since we have TLS for authentication on the Provider we will require the same on the Consumer.
In addition to this, however, we want to encrypt replication traffic. What remains to be done is to
Network Authentication
create a key and certificate for the Consumer and then configure accordingly. We will generate the
key/certificate on the Provider, to avoid having to create another CA certificate, and then transfer the
necessary material over to the Consumer.
On the Provider,
Create a holding directory (which will be used for the eventual transfer) and then the Consumer's
private key:
mkdir ldap02-ssl
cd ldap02-ssl
sudo certtool --generate-privkey \
--bits 1024 \
--outfile ldap02_slapd_key.pem
Create an info file, ldap02.info, for the Consumer server, adjusting its values accordingly:
organization = Example Company
cn = ldap02.example.com
expiration_days = 3650
Create the Consumer's certificate:
sudo certtool --generate-certificate \
--load-privkey ldap02_slapd_key.pem \
--load-ca-certificate /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem \
--load-ca-privkey /etc/ssl/private/cakey.pem \
--template ldap02.info \
--outfile ldap02_slapd_cert.pem
Get a copy of the CA certificate:
cp /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem .
We're done. Now transfer the ldap02-ssl directory to the Consumer. Here we use scp (adjust
cd ..
scp -r ldap02-ssl [email protected]:
On the Consumer,
Configure TLS authentication:
Network Authentication
sudo apt-get install ssl-cert
sudo adduser openldap ssl-cert
sudo cp ldap02_slapd_cert.pem cacert.pem /etc/ssl/certs
sudo cp ldap02_slapd_key.pem /etc/ssl/private
sudo chgrp ssl-cert /etc/ssl/private/ldap02_slapd_key.pem
sudo chmod g+r /etc/ssl/private/ldap02_slapd_key.pem
sudo chmod o-r /etc/ssl/private/ldap02_slapd_key.pem
Create the file /etc/ssl/certinfo.ldif with the following contents (adjust accordingly):
dn: cn=config
add: olcTLSCACertificateFile
olcTLSCACertificateFile: /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem
add: olcTLSCertificateFile
olcTLSCertificateFile: /etc/ssl/certs/ldap02_slapd_cert.pem
add: olcTLSCertificateKeyFile
olcTLSCertificateKeyFile: /etc/ssl/private/ldap02_slapd_key.pem
Configure the slapd-config database:
sudo ldapmodify -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f certinfo.ldif
Configure /etc/default/slapd as on the Provider (SLAPD_SERVICES).
On the Consumer,
Configure TLS for Consumer-side replication. Modify the existing olcSyncrepl attribute by
tacking on some TLS options. In so doing, we will see, for the first time, how to change an
attribute's value(s).
Create the file consumer_sync_tls.ldif with the following contents:
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
replace: olcSyncRepl
olcSyncRepl: rid=0 provider=ldap://ldap01.example.com bindmethod=simple
binddn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" credentials=secret searchbase="dc=example,dc=com"
logbase="cn=accesslog" logfilter="(&(objectClass=auditWriteObject)(reqResult=0))"
schemachecking=on type=refreshAndPersist retry="60 +" syncdata=accesslog
starttls=critical tls_reqcert=demand
The extra options specify, respectively, that the consumer must use StartTLS and that the CA
certificate is required to verify the Provider's identity. Also note the LDIF syntax for changing
the values of an attribute ('replace').
Implement these changes:
sudo ldapmodify -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f consumer_sync_tls.ldif
Network Authentication
And restart slapd:
sudo service slapd restart
On the Provider,
Check to see that a TLS session has been established. In /var/log/syslog, providing you have
'conns'-level logging set up, you should see messages similar to:
fd=20 ACCEPT from IP= (IP=
op=0 EXT oid=
op=0 RESULT oid= err=0 text=
fd=20 TLS established tls_ssf=128 ssf=128
op=1 BIND dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" method=128
op=1 BIND dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" mech=SIMPLE ssf=0
op=1 RESULT tag=97 err=0 text
1.10. LDAP Authentication
Once you have a working LDAP server, you will need to install libraries on the client that will know
how and when to contact it. On Ubuntu, this has been traditionally accomplished by installing the
libnss-ldap package. This package will bring in other tools that will assist you in the configuration
step. Install this package now:
sudo apt-get install libnss-ldap
You will be prompted for details of your LDAP server. If you make a mistake you can try again
sudo dpkg-reconfigure ldap-auth-config
The results of the dialog can be seen in /etc/ldap.conf. If your server requires options not covered
in the menu edit this file accordingly.
Now configure the LDAP profile for NSS:
sudo auth-client-config -t nss -p lac_ldap
Configure the system to use LDAP for authentication:
sudo pam-auth-update
From the menu, choose LDAP and any other authentication mechanisms you need.
You should now be able to log in using LDAP-based credentials.
Network Authentication
LDAP clients will need to refer to multiple servers if replication is in use. In /etc/ldap.conf you
would have something like:
uri ldap://ldap01.example.com ldap://ldap02.example.com
The request will time out and the Consumer (ldap02) will attempt to be reached if the Provider
(ldap01) becomes unresponsive.
If you are going to use LDAP to store Samba users you will need to configure the Samba server to
authenticate using LDAP. See Section 2, “Samba and LDAP” [p. 117] for details.
An alternative to the libnss-ldap package is the libnss-ldapd package. This, however, will
bring in the nscd package which is problably not wanted. Simply remove it afterwards.
1.11. User and Group Management
The ldap-utils package comes with enough utilities to manage the directory but the long string of
options needed can make them a burden to use. The ldapscripts package contains wrapper scripts to
these utilities that some people find easier to use.
Install the package:
sudo apt-get install ldapscripts
Then edit the file /etc/ldapscripts/ldapscripts.conf to arrive at something similar to the
Now, create the ldapscripts.passwd file to allow rootDN access to the directory:
sudo sh -c "echo -n 'secret' > /etc/ldapscripts/ldapscripts.passwd"
sudo chmod 400 /etc/ldapscripts/ldapscripts.passwd
Replace “secret” with the actual password for your database's rootDN user.
The scripts are now ready to help manage your directory. Here are some examples of how to use
Network Authentication
• Create a new user:
sudo ldapadduser george example
This will create a user with uid george and set the user's primary group (gid) to example
• Change a user's password:
sudo ldapsetpasswd george
Changing password for user uid=george,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
New Password:
New Password (verify):
• Delete a user:
sudo ldapdeleteuser george
• Add a group:
sudo ldapaddgroup qa
• Delete a group:
sudo ldapdeletegroup qa
• Add a user to a group:
sudo ldapaddusertogroup george qa
You should now see a memberUid attribute for the qa group with a value of george.
• Remove a user from a group:
sudo ldapdeleteuserfromgroup george qa
The memberUid attribute should now be removed from the qa group.
• The ldapmodifyuser script allows you to add, remove, or replace a user's attributes. The script uses
the same syntax as the ldapmodify utility. For example:
sudo ldapmodifyuser george
# About to modify the following entry :
dn: uid=george,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: account
objectClass: posixAccount
cn: george
uid: george
uidNumber: 1001
gidNumber: 1001
homeDirectory: /home/george
Network Authentication
loginShell: /bin/bash
gecos: george
description: User account
userPassword:: e1NTSEF9eXFsTFcyWlhwWkF1eGUybVdFWHZKRzJVMjFTSG9vcHk=
# Enter your modifications here, end with CTRL-D.
dn: uid=george,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
replace: gecos
gecos: George Carlin
The user's gecos should now be “George Carlin”.
• A nice feature of ldapscripts is the template system. Templates allow you to customize the
attributes of user, group, and machine objects. For example, to enable the user template edit /etc/
ldapscripts/ldapscripts.conf changing:
There are sample templates in the /usr/share/doc/ldapscripts/examples directory. Copy or
rename the ldapadduser.template.sample file to /etc/ldapscripts/ldapadduser.template:
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/ldapscripts/examples/ldapadduser.template.sample \
Edit the new template to add the desired attributes. The following will create new users with an
objectClass of inetOrgPerson:
dn: uid=<user>,<usuffix>,<suffix>
objectClass: inetOrgPerson
objectClass: posixAccount
cn: <user>
sn: <ask>
uid: <user>
uidNumber: <uid>
gidNumber: <gid>
homeDirectory: <home>
loginShell: <shell>
gecos: <user>
description: User account
title: Employee
Notice the <ask> option used for the sn attribute. This will make ldapadduser prompt you for its
There are utilities in the package that were not covered here. Here is a complete list:
6 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldaprenamemachine.1.html
Network Authentication
1.12. Backup and Restore
Now we have ldap running just the way we want, it is time to ensure we can save all of our work and
restore it as needed.
What we need is a way to backup the ldap database(s), specifically the backend (cn=config) and
frontend (dc=example,dc=com). If we are going to backup those databases into, say, /export/backup,
we could use slapcat as shown in the following script, called /usr/local/bin/ldapbackup:
7 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapadduser.1.html
8 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapdeleteuserfromgroup.1.html
9 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapfinger.1.html
10 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapid.1.html
11 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapgid.1.html
12 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapmodifyuser.1.html
13 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldaprenameuser.1.html
14 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/lsldap.1.html
15 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapaddusertogroup.1.html
16 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapsetpasswd.1.html
17 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapinit.1.html
18 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapaddgroup.1.html
19 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapdeletegroup.1.html
20 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapmodifygroup.1.html
21 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapdeletemachine.1.html
22 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldaprenamegroup.1.html
23 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapaddmachine.1.html
24 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapmodifymachine.1.html
25 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapsetprimarygroup.1.html
26 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man1/ldapdeleteuser.1.html
Network Authentication
nice ${SLAPCAT} -n 0 > ${BACKUP_PATH}/config.ldif
nice ${SLAPCAT} -n 1 > ${BACKUP_PATH}/example.com.ldif
nice ${SLAPCAT} -n 2 > ${BACKUP_PATH}/access.ldif
chmod 640 ${BACKUP_PATH}/*.ldif
These files are uncompressed text files containing everything in your ldap databases
including the tree layout, usernames, and every password. So, you might want to consider
making /export/backup an encrypted partition and even having the script encrypt those
files as it creates them. Ideally you should do both, but that depends on your security
Then, it is just a matter of having a cron script to run this program as often as we feel comfortable
with. For many, once a day suffices. For others, more often is required. Here is an example of a cron
script called /etc/cron.d/ldapbackup that is run every night at 22:45h:
[email protected]
45 22 * * * root
Now the files are created, they should be copied to a backup server.
Assuming we did a fresh reinstall of ldap, the restore process could be something like this:
sudo service slapd stop
sudo mkdir /var/lib/ldap/accesslog
sudo slapadd -F /etc/ldap/slapd.d -n 0 -l /export/backup/config.ldif
sudo slapadd -F /etc/ldap/slapd.d -n 1 -l /export/backup/domain.com.ldif
sudo slapadd -F /etc/ldap/slapd.d -n 2 -l /export/backup/access.ldif
sudo chown -R openldap:openldap /etc/ldap/slapd.d/
sudo chown -R openldap:openldap /var/lib/ldap/
sudo service slapd start
1.13. Resources
• The primary resource is the upstream documentation: www.openldap.org27
• There are many man pages that come with the slapd package. Here are some important ones,
especially considering the material presented in this guide:
27 http://www.openldap.org/
28 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/slapd.8.html
29 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/slapd-config.5.html
30 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/slapd.access.5.html
Network Authentication
• Other man pages:
• Zytrax's LDAP for Rocket Scientists34; a less pedantic but comprehensive treatment of LDAP
• A Ubuntu community OpenLDAP wiki35 page has a collection of notes
• O'Reilly's LDAP System Administration36 (textbook; 2003)
• Packt's Mastering OpenLDAP37 (textbook; 2007)
31 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/slapo-syncprov.5.html
32 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/auth-client-config.8.html
33 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/pam-auth-update.8.html
34 http://www.zytrax.com/books/ldap/
35 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/OpenLDAPServer
36 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/ldapsa/
37 http://www.packtpub.com/OpenLDAP-Developers-Server-Open-Source-Linux/book
Network Authentication
2. Samba and LDAP
This section covers the integration of Samba with LDAP. The Samba server's role will be that of
a "standalone" server and the LDAP directory will provide the authentication layer in addition to
containing the user, group, and machine account information that Samba requires in order to function
(in any of its 3 possible roles). The pre-requisite is an OpenLDAP server configured with a directory
that can accept authentication requests. See Section 1, “OpenLDAP Server” [p. 91] for details on
fulfilling this requirement. Once this section is completed, you will need to decide what specifically
you want Samba to do for you and then configure it accordingly.
2.1. Software Installation
There are three packages needed when integrating Samba with LDAP: samba, samba-doc, and
smbldap-tools packages.
Strictly speaking, the smbldap-tools package isn't needed, but unless you have some other way to
manage the various Samba entities (users, groups, computers) in an LDAP context then you should
install it.
Install these packages now:
sudo apt-get install samba samba-doc smbldap-tools
2.2. LDAP Configuration
We will now configure the LDAP server so that it can accomodate Samba data. We will perform three
tasks in this section:
Import a schema
Index some entries
Add objects
2.2.1. Samba schema
In order for OpenLDAP to be used as a backend for Samba, logically, the DIT will need to use
attributes that can properly describe Samba data. Such attributes can be obtained by introducing a
Samba LDAP schema. Let's do this now.
For more information on schemas and their installation see Section 1.4, “Modifying the
slapd Configuration Database” [p. 96].
The schema is found in the now-installed samba-doc package. It needs to be unzipped and copied
to the /etc/ldap/schema directory:
Network Authentication
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/samba-doc/examples/LDAP/samba.schema.gz /etc/ldap/schema
sudo gzip -d /etc/ldap/schema/samba.schema.gz
Have the configuration file schema_convert.conf that contains the following lines:
include /etc/ldap/schema/core.schema
Have the directory ldif_output hold output.
Determine the index of the schema:
slapcat -f schema_convert.conf -F ldif_output -n 0 | grep samba,cn=schema
dn: cn={14}samba,cn=schema,cn=config
Convert the schema to LDIF format:
slapcat -f schema_convert.conf -F ldif_output -n0 -H \
ldap:///cn={14}samba,cn=schema,cn=config -l cn=samba.ldif
Edit the generated cn=samba.ldif file by removing index information to arrive at:
dn: cn=samba,cn=schema,cn=config
cn: samba
Remove the bottom lines:
structuralObjectClass: olcSchemaConfig
entryUUID: b53b75ca-083f-102d-9fff-2f64fd123c95
creatorsName: cn=config
createTimestamp: 20080827045234Z
entryCSN: 20080827045234.341425Z#000000#000#000000
modifiersName: cn=config
modifyTimestamp: 20080827045234Z
Your attribute values will vary.
Network Authentication
Add the new schema:
sudo ldapadd -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f cn\=samba.ldif
To query and view this new schema:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -b cn=schema,cn=config 'cn=*samba*'
2.2.2. Samba indices
Now that slapd knows about the Samba attributes, we can set up some indices based on them.
Indexing entries is a way to improve performance when a client performs a filtered search on the DIT.
Create the file samba_indices.ldif with the following contents:
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
changetype: modify
add: olcDbIndex
olcDbIndex: uidNumber eq
olcDbIndex: gidNumber eq
olcDbIndex: loginShell eq
olcDbIndex: uid eq,pres,sub
olcDbIndex: memberUid eq,pres,sub
olcDbIndex: uniqueMember eq,pres
olcDbIndex: sambaSID eq
olcDbIndex: sambaPrimaryGroupSID eq
olcDbIndex: sambaGroupType eq
olcDbIndex: sambaSIDList eq
olcDbIndex: sambaDomainName eq
olcDbIndex: default sub
Using the ldapmodify utility load the new indices:
sudo ldapmodify -Q -Y EXTERNAL -H ldapi:/// -f samba_indices.ldif
If all went well you should see the new indices using ldapsearch:
sudo ldapsearch -Q -LLL -Y EXTERNAL -H \
ldapi:/// -b cn=config olcDatabase={1}hdb olcDbIndex
2.2.3. Adding Samba LDAP objects
Next, configure the smbldap-tools package to match your environment. The package is supposed
to come with a configuration helper script (smbldap-config.pl, formerly configure.pl) that will ask
questions about the needed options but there is a bug38 whereby it is not installed (but found in the
source code; 'apt-get source smbldap-tools').
38 https://bugs.launchpad.net/serverguide/+bug/997172
Network Authentication
To manually configure the package, you need to create and edit the files /etc/smbldap-tools/
smbldap.conf and /etc/smbldap-tools/smbldap_bind.conf.
The smbldap-populate script will then add the LDAP objects required for Samba. It is a good idea to
first make a backup of your DIT using slapcat:
sudo slapcat -l backup.ldif
Once you have a backup proceed to populate your directory:
sudo smbldap-populate
You can create a LDIF file containing the new Samba objects by executing sudo smbldap-populate
-e samba.ldif. This allows you to look over the changes making sure everything is correct. If it is,
rerun the script without the '-e' switch. Alternatively, you can take the LDIF file and import its data
per usual.
Your LDAP directory now has the necessary information to authenticate Samba users.
2.3. Samba Configuration
There are multiple ways to configure Samba. For details on some common configurations see
Chapter 18, Samba [p. 286]. To configure Samba to use LDAP, edit its configuration file /etc/
samba/smb.conf commenting out the default passdb backend parameter and adding some ldap-related
passdb backend = tdbsam
# LDAP Settings
passdb backend = ldapsam:ldap://hostname
ldap suffix = dc=example,dc=com
ldap user suffix = ou=People
ldap group suffix = ou=Groups
ldap machine suffix = ou=Computers
ldap idmap suffix = ou=Idmap
ldap admin dn = cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com
ldap ssl = start tls
ldap passwd sync = yes
add machine script = sudo /usr/sbin/smbldap-useradd -t 0 -w "%u"
Change the values to match your environment.
Restart samba to enable the new settings:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
Network Authentication
Now inform Samba about the rootDN user's password (the one set during the installation of the slapd
sudo smbpasswd -w password
If you have existing LDAP users that you want to include in your new LDAP-backed Samba they
will, of course, also need to be given some of the extra attributes. The smbpasswd utility can do this
as well (your host will need to be able to see (enumerate) those users via NSS; install and configure
either libnss-ldapd or libnss-ldap):
sudo smbpasswd -a username
You will prompted to enter a password. It will be considered as the new password for that user.
Making it the same as before is reasonable.
To manage user, group, and machine accounts use the utilities provided by the smbldap-tools
package. Here are some examples:
• To add a new user:
sudo smbldap-useradd -a -P username
The -a option adds the Samba attributes, and the -P option calls the smbldap-passwd utility after the
user is created allowing you to enter a password for the user.
• To remove a user:
sudo smbldap-userdel username
In the above command, use the -r option to remove the user's home directory.
• To add a group:
sudo smbldap-groupadd -a groupname
As for smbldap-useradd, the -a adds the Samba attributes.
• To make an existing user a member of a group:
sudo smbldap-groupmod -m username groupname
The -m option can add more than one user at a time by listing them in comma-separated format.
• To remove a user from a group:
sudo smbldap-groupmod -x username groupname
• To add a Samba machine account:
Network Authentication
sudo smbldap-useradd -t 0 -w username
Replace username with the name of the workstation. The -t 0 option creates the machine account
without a delay, while the -w option specifies the user as a machine account. Also, note the add
machine script parameter in /etc/samba/smb.conf was changed to use smbldap-useradd.
There are utilities in the smbldap-tools package that were not covered here. Here is a complete list:
2.4. Resources
• For more information on installing and configuring Samba see Chapter 18, Samba [p. 286] of
this Ubuntu Server Guide.
• There are multiple places where LDAP and Samba is documented in the upstream Samba HOWTO
• Regarding the above, see specifically the passdb section52.
• Although dated (2007), the Linux Samba-OpenLDAP HOWTO53 contains valuable notes.
• The main page of the Samba Ubuntu community documentation54 has a plethora of links to articles
that may prove useful.
39 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-groupadd.8.html
40 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-groupdel.8.html
41 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-groupmod.8.html
42 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-groupshow.8.html
43 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-passwd.8.html
44 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-populate.8.html
45 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-useradd.8.html
46 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-userdel.8.html
47 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-userinfo.8.html
48 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-userlist.8.html
49 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-usermod.8.html
50 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/smbldap-usershow.8.html
51 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/
52 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/passdb.html
53 http://download.gna.org/smbldap-tools/docs/samba-ldap-howto/
54 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Samba#samba-ldap
Network Authentication
3. Kerberos
Kerberos is a network authentication system based on the principal of a trusted third party. The other
two parties being the user and the service the user wishes to authenticate to. Not all services and
applications can use Kerberos, but for those that can, it brings the network environment one step
closer to being Single Sign On (SSO).
This section covers installation and configuration of a Kerberos server, and some example client
3.1. Overview
If you are new to Kerberos there are a few terms that are good to understand before setting up
a Kerberos server. Most of the terms will relate to things you may be familiar with in other
• Principal: any users, computers, and services provided by servers need to be defined as Kerberos
• Instances: are used for service principals and special administrative principals.
• Realms: the unique realm of control provided by the Kerberos installation. Think of it as the
domain or group your hosts and users belong to. Convention dictates the realm should be in
uppercase. By default, ubuntu will use the DNS domain converted to uppercase (EXAMPLE.COM)
as the realm.
• Key Distribution Center: (KDC) consist of three parts, a database of all principals, the
authentication server, and the ticket granting server. For each realm there must be at least one KDC.
• Ticket Granting Ticket: issued by the Authentication Server (AS), the Ticket Granting Ticket
(TGT) is encrypted in the user's password which is known only to the user and the KDC.
• Ticket Granting Server: (TGS) issues service tickets to clients upon request.
• Tickets: confirm the identity of the two principals. One principal being a user and the other a
service requested by the user. Tickets establish an encryption key used for secure communication
during the authenticated session.
• Keytab Files: are files extracted from the KDC principal database and contain the encryption key
for a service or host.
To put the pieces together, a Realm has at least one KDC, preferably more for redundancy, which
contains a database of Principals. When a user principal logs into a workstation that is configured
for Kerberos authentication, the KDC issues a Ticket Granting Ticket (TGT). If the user supplied
credentials match, the user is authenticated and can then request tickets for Kerberized services from
the Ticket Granting Server (TGS). The service tickets allow the user to authenticate to the service
without entering another username and password.
Network Authentication
3.2. Kerberos Server
3.2.1. Installation
For this discussion, we will create a MIT Kerberos domain with the following features (edit them to
fit your needs):
• Primary KDC: kdc01.example.com (
• Secondary KDC: kdc02.example.com (
• User principal: steve
• Admin principal: steve/admin
It is strongly recommended that your network-authenticated users have their uid in a
different range (say, starting at 5000) than that of your local users.
Before installing the Kerberos server a properly configured DNS server is needed for your
domain. Since the Kerberos Realm by convention matches the domain name, this section uses the
EXAMPLE.COM domain configured in Section 2.3, “Primary Master” [p. 146] of the DNS
Also, Kerberos is a time sensitive protocol. So if the local system time between a client machine
and the server differs by more than five minutes (by default), the workstation will not be able
to authenticate. To correct the problem all hosts should have their time synchronized using the
same Network Time Protocol (NTP) server. For details on setting up NTP see Section 4, “Time
Synchronisation with NTP” [p. 49].
The first step in creating a Kerberos Realm is to install the krb5-kdc and krb5-admin-server packages.
From a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install krb5-kdc krb5-admin-server
You will be asked at the end of the install to supply the hostname for the Kerberos and Admin servers,
which may or may not be the same server, for the realm.
By default the realm is created from the KDC's domain name.
Next, create the new realm with the kdb5_newrealm utility:
sudo krb5_newrealm
3.2.2. Configuration
The questions asked during installation are used to configure the /etc/krb5.conf file. If you need
to adjust the Key Distribution Center (KDC) settings simply edit the file and restart the krb5-kdc
Network Authentication
daemon. If you need to reconfigure Kerberos from scratch, perhaps to change the realm name, you
can do so by typing
sudo dpkg-reconfigure krb5-kdc
Once the KDC is properly running, an admin user -- the admin principal -- is needed. It is
recommended to use a different username from your everyday username. Using the kadmin.local
utility in a terminal prompt enter:
sudo kadmin.local
Authenticating as principal root/[email protected] with password.
kadmin.local: addprinc steve/admin
WARNING: no policy specified for steve/[email protected]; defaulting to no policy
Enter password for principal "steve/[email protected]":
Re-enter password for principal "steve/[email protected]":
Principal "steve/[email protected]" created.
kadmin.local: quit
In the above example steve is the Principal, /admin is an Instance, and @EXAMPLE.COM
signifies the realm. The "every day" Principal, a.k.a. the user principal, would be
[email protected], and should have only normal user rights.
Replace EXAMPLE.COM and steve with your Realm and admin username.
Next, the new admin user needs to have the appropriate Access Control List (ACL) permissions.
The permissions are configured in the /etc/krb5kdc/kadm5.acl file:
steve/[email protected]
This entry grants steve/admin the ability to perform any operation on all principals in the realm.
You can configure principals with more restrictive privileges, which is convenient if you need an
admin principal that junior staff can use in Kerberos clients. Please see the kadm5.acl man page
for details.
Now restart the krb5-admin-server for the new ACL to take affect:
sudo service krb5-admin-server restart
The new user principal can be tested using the kinit utility:
kinit steve/admin
steve/[email protected]'s Password:
After entering the password, use the klist utility to view information about the Ticket Granting
Ticket (TGT):
Network Authentication
Credentials cache: FILE:/tmp/krb5cc_1000
Principal: steve/[email protected]
Jul 13 17:53:34
Jul 14 03:53:34
krbtgt/[email protected]
Where the cache filename krb5cc_1000 is composed of the prefix krb5cc_ and the user id (uid),
which in this case is 1000. You may need to add an entry into the /etc/hosts for the KDC so the
client can find the KDC. For example:
Replacing with the IP address of your KDC. This usually happens when you have a
Kerberos realm encompassing different networks separated by routers.
The best way to allow clients to automatically determine the KDC for the Realm is using DNS
SRV records. Add the following to /etc/named/db.example.com:
0 88
0 88
IN SRV 10 0 88
IN SRV 10 0 88
_kerberos-adm._tcp.EXAMPLE.COM. IN SRV 1
0 749 kdc01.example.com.
0 464 kdc01.example.com.
Replace EXAMPLE.COM, kdc01, and kdc02 with your domain name, primary KDC,
and secondary KDC.
See Chapter 8, Domain Name Service (DNS) [p. 143] for detailed instructions on setting up
Your new Kerberos Realm is now ready to authenticate clients.
3.3. Secondary KDC
Once you have one Key Distribution Center (KDC) on your network, it is good practice to have a
Secondary KDC in case the primary becomes unavailable. Also, if you have Kerberos clients that are
in different networks (possibly separated by routers using NAT), it is wise to place a secondary KDC
in each of those networks.
First, install the packages, and when asked for the Kerberos and Admin server names enter the
name of the Primary KDC:
sudo apt-get install krb5-kdc krb5-admin-server
Once you have the packages installed, create the Secondary KDC's host principal. From a
terminal prompt, enter:
Network Authentication
kadmin -q "addprinc -randkey host/kdc02.example.com"
After, issuing any kadmin commands you will be prompted for your username/
[email protected] principal password.
Extract the keytab file:
kadmin -q "ktadd -norandkey -k keytab.kdc02 host/kdc02.example.com"
There should now be a keytab.kdc02 in the current directory, move the file to /etc/
sudo mv keytab.kdc02 /etc/krb5.keytab
If the path to the keytab.kdc02 file is different adjust accordingly.
Also, you can list the principals in a Keytab file, which can be useful when troubleshooting,
using the klist utility:
sudo klist -k /etc/krb5.keytab
The -k option indicates the file is a keytab file.
Next, there needs to be a kpropd.acl file on each KDC that lists all KDCs for the Realm. For
example, on both primary and secondary KDC, create /etc/krb5kdc/kpropd.acl:
host/[email protected]
host/[email protected]
Create an empty database on the Secondary KDC:
sudo kdb5_util -s create
Now start the kpropd daemon, which listens for connections from the kprop utility. kprop is used
to transfer dump files:
sudo kpropd -S
From a terminal on the Primary KDC, create a dump file of the principal database:
sudo kdb5_util dump /var/lib/krb5kdc/dump
Extract the Primary KDC's keytab file and copy it to /etc/krb5.keytab:
kadmin -q "ktadd -k keytab.kdc01 host/kdc01.example.com"
sudo mv keytab.kdc01 /etc/krb5.keytab
Network Authentication
Make sure there is a host for kdc01.example.com before extracting the Keytab.
10. Using the kprop utility push the database to the Secondary KDC:
sudo kprop -r EXAMPLE.COM -f /var/lib/krb5kdc/dump kdc02.example.com
There should be a SUCCEEDED message if the propagation worked. If there is an error
message check /var/log/syslog on the secondary KDC for more information.
You may also want to create a cron job to periodically update the database on the Secondary
KDC. For example, the following will push the database every hour (note the long line has been
split to fit the format of this document):
# m h dom mon dow
0 * * * * /usr/sbin/kdb5_util dump /var/lib/krb5kdc/dump &&
/usr/sbin/kprop -r EXAMPLE.COM -f /var/lib/krb5kdc/dump kdc02.example.com
11. Back on the Secondary KDC, create a stash file to hold the Kerberos master key:
sudo kdb5_util stash
12. Finally, start the krb5-kdc daemon on the Secondary KDC:
sudo service krb5-kdc start
The Secondary KDC should now be able to issue tickets for the Realm. You can test this by stopping
the krb5-kdc daemon on the Primary KDC, then by using kinit to request a ticket. If all goes well you
should receive a ticket from the Secondary KDC. Otherwise, check /var/log/syslog and /var/log/
auth.log in the Secondary KDC.
3.4. Kerberos Linux Client
This section covers configuring a Linux system as a Kerberos client. This will allow access to any
kerberized services once a user has successfully logged into the system.
3.4.1. Installation
In order to authenticate to a Kerberos Realm, the krb5-user and libpam-krb5 packages are needed,
along with a few others that are not strictly necessary but make life easier. To install the packages
enter the following in a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install krb5-user libpam-krb5 libpam-ccreds auth-client-config
The auth-client-config package allows simple configuration of PAM for authentication from multiple
sources, and the libpam-ccreds will cache authentication credentials allowing you to login in case
Network Authentication
the Key Distribution Center (KDC) is unavailable. This package is also useful for laptops that may
authenticate using Kerberos while on the corporate network, but will need to be accessed off the
network as well.
3.4.2. Configuration
To configure the client in a terminal enter:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure krb5-config
You will then be prompted to enter the name of the Kerberos Realm. Also, if you don't have DNS
configured with Kerberos SRV records, the menu will prompt you for the hostname of the Key
Distribution Center (KDC) and Realm Administration server.
The dpkg-reconfigure adds entries to the /etc/krb5.conf file for your Realm. You should have
entries similar to the following:
default_realm = EXAMPLE.COM
kdc =
admin_server =
If you set the uid of each of your network-authenticated users to start at 5000, as suggested
in Section 3.2.1, “Installation” [p. 124], you can then tell pam to only try to authenticate
using Kerberos users with uid > 5000:
# Kerberos should only be applied to ldap/kerberos users, not local ones.
for i in common-auth common-session common-account common-password; do
sudo sed -i -r \
-e 's/pam_krb5.so minimum_uid=1000/pam_krb5.so minimum_uid=5000/' \
This will avoid being asked for the (non-existent) Kerberos password of a locally
authenticated user when changing its password using passwd.
You can test the configuration by requesting a ticket using the kinit utility. For example:
kinit [email protected]
Password for [email protected]:
When a ticket has been granted, the details can be viewed using klist:
Network Authentication
Ticket cache: FILE:/tmp/krb5cc_1000
Default principal: [email protected]
Valid starting
Service principal
07/24/08 05:18:56 07/24/08 15:18:56 krbtgt/[email protected]
renew until 07/25/08 05:18:57
Kerberos 4 ticket cache: /tmp/tkt1000
klist: You have no tickets cached
Next, use the auth-client-config to configure the libpam-krb5 module to request a ticket during login:
sudo auth-client-config -a -p kerberos_example
You will should now receive a ticket upon successful login authentication.
3.5. Resources
• For more information on MIT's version of Kerberos, see the MIT Kerberos55 site.
• The Ubuntu Wiki Kerberos56 page has more details.
• O'Reilly's Kerberos: The Definitive Guide57 is a great reference when setting up Kerberos.
• Also, feel free to stop by the #ubuntu-server and #kerberos IRC channels on Freenode58 if you
have Kerberos questions.
55 http://web.mit.edu/Kerberos/
56 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kerberos
57 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596004033/
58 http://freenode.net/
Network Authentication
4. Kerberos and LDAP
Most people will not use Kerberos by itself; once an user is authenticated (Kerberos), we need to
figure out what this user can do (authorization). And that would be the job of programs such as
Replicating a Kerberos principal database between two servers can be complicated, and adds an
additional user database to your network. Fortunately, MIT Kerberos can be configured to use an
LDAP directory as a principal database. This section covers configuring a primary and secondary
kerberos server to use OpenLDAP for the principal database.
The examples presented here assume MIT Kerberos and OpenLDAP.
4.1. Configuring OpenLDAP
First, the necessary schema needs to be loaded on an OpenLDAP server that has network connectivity
to the Primary and Secondary KDCs. The rest of this section assumes that you also have LDAP
replication configured between at least two servers. For information on setting up OpenLDAP see
Section 1, “OpenLDAP Server” [p. 91].
It is also required to configure OpenLDAP for TLS and SSL connections, so that traffic between the
KDC and LDAP server is encrypted. See Section 1.8, “TLS” [p. 105] for details.
is a user we created with rights to edit the ldap database. Many times
it is the RootDN. Change its value to reflect your setup.
• To load the schema into LDAP, on the LDAP server install the krb5-kdc-ldap package. From a
terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install krb5-kdc-ldap
• Next, extract the kerberos.schema.gz file:
sudo gzip -d /usr/share/doc/krb5-kdc-ldap/kerberos.schema.gz
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/krb5-kdc-ldap/kerberos.schema /etc/ldap/schema/
• The kerberos schema needs to be added to the cn=config tree. The procedure to add a new schema
to slapd is also detailed in Section 1.4, “Modifying the slapd Configuration Database” [p. 96].
First, create a configuration file named schema_convert.conf, or a similar descriptive name,
containing the following lines:
include /etc/ldap/schema/core.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/collective.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/corba.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/cosine.schema
Network Authentication
include /etc/ldap/schema/duaconf.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/dyngroup.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/inetorgperson.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/java.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/misc.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/nis.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/openldap.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/ppolicy.schema
include /etc/ldap/schema/kerberos.schema
Create a temporary directory to hold the LDIF files:
mkdir /tmp/ldif_output
Now use slapcat to convert the schema files:
slapcat -f schema_convert.conf -F /tmp/ldif_output -n0 -s \
"cn={12}kerberos,cn=schema,cn=config" > /tmp/cn=kerberos.ldif
Change the above file and path names to match your own if they are different.
Edit the generated /tmp/cn\=kerberos.ldif file, changing the following attributes:
dn: cn=kerberos,cn=schema,cn=config
cn: kerberos
And remove the following lines from the end of the file:
structuralObjectClass: olcSchemaConfig
entryUUID: 18ccd010-746b-102d-9fbe-3760cca765dc
creatorsName: cn=config
createTimestamp: 20090111203515Z
entryCSN: 20090111203515.326445Z#000000#000#000000
modifiersName: cn=config
modifyTimestamp: 20090111203515Z
The attribute values will vary, just be sure the attributes are removed.
Load the new schema with ldapadd:
ldapadd -x -D cn=admin,cn=config -W -f /tmp/cn\=kerberos.ldif
Add an index for the krb5principalname attribute:
ldapmodify -x -D cn=admin,cn=config -W
Enter LDAP Password:
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
add: olcDbIndex
olcDbIndex: krbPrincipalName eq,pres,sub
Network Authentication
modifying entry "olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config"
Finally, update the Access Control Lists (ACL):
ldapmodify -x -D cn=admin,cn=config -W
Enter LDAP Password:
dn: olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config
replace: olcAccess
olcAccess: to attrs=userPassword,shadowLastChange,krbPrincipalKey by
dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write by anonymous auth by self write by * none
add: olcAccess
olcAccess: to dn.base="" by * read
add: olcAccess
olcAccess: to * by dn="cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com" write by * read
modifying entry "olcDatabase={1}hdb,cn=config"
That's it, your LDAP directory is now ready to serve as a Kerberos principal database.
4.2. Primary KDC Configuration
With OpenLDAP configured it is time to configure the KDC.
• First, install the necessary packages, from a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install krb5-kdc krb5-admin-server krb5-kdc-ldap
• Now edit /etc/krb5.conf adding the following options to under the appropriate sections:
default_realm = EXAMPLE.COM
kdc = kdc01.example.com
kdc = kdc02.example.com
admin_server = kdc01.example.com
admin_server = kdc02.example.com
default_domain = example.com
database_module = openldap_ldapconf
.example.com = EXAMPLE.COM
Network Authentication
ldap_kerberos_container_dn = dc=example,dc=com
openldap_ldapconf = {
db_library = kldap
ldap_kdc_dn = "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"
# this object needs to have read rights on
# the realm container, principal container and realm sub-trees
ldap_kadmind_dn = "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"
# this object needs to have read and write rights on
# the realm container, principal container and realm sub-trees
ldap_service_password_file = /etc/krb5kdc/service.keyfile
ldap_servers = ldaps://ldap01.example.com ldaps://ldap02.example.com
ldap_conns_per_server = 5
Change example.com, dc=example,dc=com, cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com, and
ldap01.example.com to the appropriate domain, LDAP object, and LDAP server for your
• Next, use the kdb5_ldap_util utility to create the realm:
sudo kdb5_ldap_util -D
cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com create -subtrees \
dc=example,dc=com -r EXAMPLE.COM -s -H ldap://ldap01.example.com
• Create a stash of the password used to bind to the LDAP server. This password is used by the
ldap_kdc_dn and ldap_kadmin_dn options in /etc/krb5.conf:
sudo kdb5_ldap_util -D
cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com stashsrvpw -f \
/etc/krb5kdc/service.keyfile cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com
• Copy the CA certificate from the LDAP server:
scp ldap01:/etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem .
sudo cp cacert.pem /etc/ssl/certs
And edit /etc/ldap/ldap.conf to use the certificate:
TLS_CACERT /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem
The certificate will also need to be copied to the Secondary KDC, to allow the connection
to the LDAP servers using LDAPS.
Network Authentication
You can now add Kerberos principals to the LDAP database, and they will be copied to any other
LDAP servers configured for replication. To add a principal using the kadmin.local utility enter:
sudo kadmin.local
Authenticating as principal root/[email protected] with password.
kadmin.local: addprinc -x dn="uid=steve,ou=people,dc=example,dc=com" steve
WARNING: no policy specified for [email protected]; defaulting to no policy
Enter password for principal "[email protected]":
Re-enter password for principal "[email protected]":
Principal "[email protected]" created.
There should now be krbPrincipalName, krbPrincipalKey, krbLastPwdChange, and krbExtraData
attributes added to the uid=steve,ou=people,dc=example,dc=com user object. Use the kinit and klist
utilities to test that the user is indeed issued a ticket.
If the user object is already created the -x dn="..." option is needed to add the Kerberos
attributes. Otherwise a new principal object will be created in the realm subtree.
4.3. Secondary KDC Configuration
Configuring a Secondary KDC using the LDAP backend is similar to configuring one using the
normal Kerberos database.
First, install the necessary packages. In a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install krb5-kdc krb5-admin-server krb5-kdc-ldap
Next, edit /etc/krb5.conf to use the LDAP backend:
default_realm = EXAMPLE.COM
kdc = kdc01.example.com
kdc = kdc02.example.com
admin_server = kdc01.example.com
admin_server = kdc02.example.com
default_domain = example.com
database_module = openldap_ldapconf
.example.com = EXAMPLE.COM
Network Authentication
ldap_kerberos_container_dn = dc=example,dc=com
openldap_ldapconf = {
db_library = kldap
ldap_kdc_dn = "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"
# this object needs to have read rights on
# the realm container, principal container and realm sub-trees
ldap_kadmind_dn = "cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com"
# this object needs to have read and write rights on
# the realm container, principal container and realm sub-trees
ldap_service_password_file = /etc/krb5kdc/service.keyfile
ldap_servers = ldaps://ldap01.example.com ldaps://ldap02.example.com
ldap_conns_per_server = 5
Create the stash for the LDAP bind password:
sudo kdb5_ldap_util -D
cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com stashsrvpw -f \
/etc/krb5kdc/service.keyfile cn=admin,dc=example,dc=com
Now, on the Primary KDC copy the /etc/krb5kdc/.k5.EXAMPLE.COM Master Key stash to
the Secondary KDC. Be sure to copy the file over an encrypted connection such as scp, or on
physical media.
sudo scp /etc/krb5kdc/.k5.EXAMPLE.COM [email protected]:~
sudo mv .k5.EXAMPLE.COM /etc/krb5kdc/
Again, replace EXAMPLE.COM with your actual realm.
Back on the Secondary KDC, (re)start the ldap server only,
sudo service slapd restart
Finally, start the krb5-kdc daemon:
sudo service krb5-kdc start
Verify the two ldap servers (and kerberos by extension) are in sync.
You now have redundant KDCs on your network, and with redundant LDAP servers you should be
able to continue to authenticate users if one LDAP server, one Kerberos server, or one LDAP and one
Kerberos server become unavailable.
Network Authentication
4.4. Resources
• The Kerberos Admin Guide59 has some additional details.
• For more information on kdb5_ldap_util see Section 5.660 and the kdb5_ldap_util man page61.
• Another useful link is the krb5.conf man page62.
• Also, see the Kerberos and LDAP63 Ubuntu wiki page.
59 http://web.mit.edu/Kerberos/krb5-1.6/krb5-1.6.3/doc/krb5-admin.html#Configuring-Kerberos-with-OpenLDAP-back_002dend
60 http://web.mit.edu/Kerberos/krb5-1.6/krb5-1.6.3/doc/krb5-admin.html#Global-Operations-on-the-Kerberos-LDAP-Database
61 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man8/kdb5_ldap_util.8.html
62 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man5/krb5.conf.5.html
63 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Kerberos#kerberos-ldap
Network Authentication
5. SSSD and Active Directory
This section describes the use of sssd to authenticate user logins against an Active Directory via using
sssd's "ad" provider. In previous versions of sssd, it was possible to authenticate using the "ldap"
provider. However, when authenticating against a Microsoft Windows AD Domain Controller, it was
generally necessary to install the POSIX AD extensions on the Domain Controller. The "ad" provider
simplifies the configuration and requires no modifications to the AD structure.
5.1. Prerequisites, Assumptions, and Requirements
• This guide does not explain Active Directory, how it works, how to set one up, or how to maintain
it. It may not provide “best practices” for your environment.
• This guide assumes that a working Active Directory domain is already configured.
• The domain controller is acting as an authoritative DNS server for the domain.
• The domain controller is the primary DNS resolver as specified in /etc/resolv.conf.
• The appropriate _kerberos, _ldap, _kpasswd, etc. entries are configured in the DNS zone (see
Resources section for external links).
• System time is synchronized on the domain controller (necessary for Kerberos).
• The domain used in this example is myubuntu.example.com .
5.2. Software Installation
The following packages are needed: krb5-user, samba, sssd, and ntp. Samba needs to be installed,
even if the system is not exporting shares. The Kerberos realm and FQDN or IP of the domain
controllers are needed for this step.
Install these packages now.
sudo apt-get install krb5-user samba sssd ntp
See the next section for the answers to the questions asked by the krb5-user postinstall script.
5.3. Kerberos Configuration
The installation of krb5-user will prompt for the realm name (in ALL UPPERCASE), the kdc server
(i.e. domain controller) and admin server (also the domain controller in this example.) This will write
the [realm] and [domain_realm] sections in /etc/krb5.conf. These sections may not be necessary if
domain autodiscovery is working. If not, then both are needed.
If the domain is myubuntu.example.com, enter the realm as MYUBUNTU.EXAMPLE.COM
Optionally, edit /etc/krb5.conf with a few additional settings to specify Kerberos ticket lifetime (these
values are safe to use as defaults):
Network Authentication
default_realm = MYUBUNTU.EXAMPLE.COM
ticket_lifetime = 24h #
renew_lifetime = 7d
If default_realm is not specified, it may be necessary to log in with “[email protected]” instead of
The system time on the Active Directory member needs to be consistent with that of the domain
controller, or Kerberos authentication may fail. Ideally, the domain controller server itself will
provide the NTP service. Edit /etc/ntp.conf:
server dc.myubuntu.example.com
5.4. Samba Configuration
Samba will be used to perform netbios/nmbd services related to Active Directory authentication, even
if no file shares are exported. Edit the file /etc/samba/smb.conf and add the following to the [global]
workgroup = MYUBUNTU
client signing = yes
client use spnego = yes
kerberos method = secrets and keytab
security = ads
Some guides specify that "password server" should be specified and pointed to the domain
controller. This is only necessary if DNS is not properly set up to find the DC. By default,
Samba will display a warning if "password server" is specified with "security = ads".
5.5. SSSD Configuration
There is no default/example config file for /etc/sssd/sssd.conf included in the sssd package. It is
necessary to create one. This is a minimal working config file:
services = nss, pam
config_file_version = 2
id_provider = ad
Network Authentication
access_provider = ad
# Use this if users are being logged in at /.
# This example specifies /home/DOMAIN-FQDN/user as $HOME.
Use with pam_mkhomedir.so
override_homedir = /home/%d/%u
# Uncomment if the client machine hostname doesn't match the computer object on the DC.
# ad_hostname = mymachine.myubuntu.example.com
# Uncomment if DNS SRV resolution is not working
# ad_server = dc.mydomain.example.com
# Uncomment if the AD domain is named differently than the Samba domain
# Enumeration is discouraged for performance reasons.
# enumerate = true
After saving this file, set the ownership to root and the file permissions to 600:
sudo chown root:root /etc/sssd/sssd.conf
sudo chmod 600 /etc/sssd/sssd.conf
If the ownership or permissions are not correct, sssd will refuse to start.
5.6. Verify nsswitch.conf Configuration
The post-install script for the sssd package makes some modifications to /etc/nsswitch.conf
automatically. It should look something like this:
compat sss
compat sss
nis sss
files sss
5.7. Modify /etc/hosts
Add an alias to the localhost entry in /etc/hosts specifying the FQDN. For example: myserver myserver.myubuntu.example.com
This is useful in conjunction with dynamic DNS updates.
5.8. Join the Active Directory
Now, restart ntp and samba and start sssd.
sudo service ntp restart
sudo restart smbd
Network Authentication
sudo restart nmbd
sudo start sssd
Test the configuration by obtaining a Kerberos ticket:
sudo kinit Administrator
Verify the ticket with:
sudo klist
If there is a ticket with an expiration date listed, then it is time to join the domain:
sudo net ads join -k
A warning about "No DNS domain configured. Unable to perform DNS Update." probably means that
there is no (correct) alias in /etc/hosts, and the system could not provide its own FQDN as part of
the Active Directory update. This is needed for dynamic DNS updates. Verify the alias in /etc/hosts
described in "Modify /etc/hosts" above.
(The message "NT_STATUS_UNSUCCESSFUL" indicates the domain join failed and something is
incorrect. Review the prior steps before proceeding).
Here are a couple of (optional) checks to verify that the domain join was successful. Note that if the
domain was successfully joined but one or both of these steps fail, it may be necessary to wait 1-2
minutes and try again. Some of the changes appear to be asynchronous.
Verification option #1:
Check the default Organizational Unit for computer accounts in the Active Directory to verify that the
computer account was created. (Organizational Units in Active Directory is a topic outside the scope
of this guide).
Verification option #2
Execute this command for a specific AD user (e.g. administrator)
getent passwd username
If enumerate = true is set in sssd.conf, getent passwd with no username argument will
list all domain users. This may be useful for testing, but is slow and not recommended for
5.9. Test Authentication
It should now be possible to authenticate using an Active Directory User's credentials:
su - username
If this works, then other login methods (getty, ssh) should also work.
Network Authentication
If the computer account was created, indicating that the system was "joined" to the domain, but
authentication is unsuccessful, it may be helpful to review /etc/pam.d and nssswitch.conf as well
as the file changes described earlier in this guide.
5.10. Home directories with pam_mkhomedir (optional)
When logging in using an Active Directory user account, it is likely that user has no home directory.
This can be fixed with pam_mkdhomedir.so, which will create the user’s home directory on login.
Edit /etc/pam.d/common-session, and add this line directly after session required pam_unix.so:
pam_mkhomedir.so skel=/etc/skel/ umask=0022
This may also need override_homedir in sssd.conf to function correctly, so make sure
that’s set.
5.11. Desktop Ubuntu Authentication
It is possible to also authenticate logins to Ubuntu Desktop using Active Directory accounts. The
AD accounts will not show up in the pick list with local users, so lightdm will need to be modified.
Edit the file /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf.d/50-unity-greeter.conf and append the following two
Reboot to restart lightdm. It should now be possible to log in using a domain account using either
username or username/[email protected] format.
5.12. Resources
• SSSD Project64
• DNS Server Configuration guidelines65
• Active Directory DNS Zone Entries66
• Kerberos config options67
64 https://fedorahosted.org/sssd
65 http://www.ucs.cam.ac.uk/support/windows-support/winsuptech/activedir/dnsconfig
66 https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc759550%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
67 http://web.mit.edu/kerberos/krb5-1.12/doc/admin/conf_files/krb5_conf.html
Chapter 8. Domain Name Service (DNS)
Domain Name Service (DNS) is an Internet service that maps IP addresses and fully qualified domain
names (FQDN) to one another. In this way, DNS alleviates the need to remember IP addresses.
Computers that run DNS are called name servers. Ubuntu ships with BIND (Berkley Internet Naming
Daemon), the most common program used for maintaining a name server on Linux.
Domain Name Service (DNS)
1. Installation
At a terminal prompt, enter the following command to install dns:
sudo apt-get install bind9
A very useful package for testing and troubleshooting DNS issues is the dnsutils package. Very often
these tools will be installed already, but to check and/or install dnsutils enter the following:
sudo apt-get install dnsutils
Domain Name Service (DNS)
2. Configuration
There are many ways to configure BIND9. Some of the most common configurations are a caching
nameserver, primary master, and as a secondary master.
• When configured as a caching nameserver BIND9 will find the answer to name queries and
remember the answer when the domain is queried again.
• As a primary master server BIND9 reads the data for a zone from a file on it's host and is
authoritative for that zone.
• In a secondary master configuration BIND9 gets the zone data from another nameserver
authoritative for the zone.
2.1. Overview
The DNS configuration files are stored in the /etc/bind directory. The primary configuration file is /
The include line specifies the filename which contains the DNS options. The directory line in the /
etc/bind/named.conf.options file tells DNS where to look for files. All files BIND uses will be
relative to this directory.
The file named /etc/bind/db.root describes the root nameservers in the world. The servers change
over time, so the /etc/bind/db.root file must be maintained now and then. This is usually done
as updates to the bind9 package. The zone section defines a master server, and it is stored in a file
mentioned in the file option.
It is possible to configure the same server to be a caching name server, primary master, and secondary
master. A server can be the Start of Authority (SOA) for one zone, while providing secondary service
for another zone. All the while providing caching services for hosts on the local LAN.
2.2. Caching Nameserver
The default configuration is setup to act as a caching server. All that is required is simply adding the
IP Addresses of your ISP's DNS servers. Simply uncomment and edit the following in /etc/bind/
forwarders {;;
Replace and with the IP Adresses of actual nameservers.
Now restart the DNS server, to enable the new configuration. From a terminal prompt:
Domain Name Service (DNS)
sudo service bind9 restart
See Section 3.1.2, “dig” [p. 151] for information on testing a caching DNS server.
2.3. Primary Master
In this section BIND9 will be configured as the Primary Master for the domain example.com. Simply
replace example.com with your FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name).
2.3.1. Forward Zone File
To add a DNS zone to BIND9, turning BIND9 into a Primary Master server, the first step is to edit /
zone "example.com" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.example.com";
(Note, if bind will be receiving automatic updates to the file as with DDNS, then use /var/lib/bind/
db.example.com rather than /etc/bind/db.example.com both here and in the copy command below.)
Now use an existing zone file as a template to create the /etc/bind/db.example.com file:
sudo cp /etc/bind/db.local /etc/bind/db.example.com
Edit the new zone file /etc/bind/db.example.com change localhost. to the FQDN of your
server, leaving the additional "." at the end. Change to the nameserver's IP Address and
root.localhost to a valid email address, but with a "." instead of the usual "@" symbol, again leaving
the "." at the end. Change the comment to indicate the domain that this file is for.
Create an A record for the base domain, example.com. Also, create an A record for ns.example.com,
the name server in this example:
; BIND data file for example.com
example.com. root.example.com. (
; Serial
; Refresh
; Retry
; Expire
; Negative Cache TTL
604800 )
Domain Name Service (DNS)
You must increment the Serial Number every time you make changes to the zone file. If you make
multiple changes before restarting BIND9, simply increment the Serial once.
Now, you can add DNS records to the bottom of the zone file. See Section 4.1, “Common Record
Types” [p. 155] for details.
Many admins like to use the last date edited as the serial of a zone, such as 2012010100
which is yyyymmddss (where ss is the Serial Number)
Once you have made changes to the zone file BIND9 needs to be restarted for the changes to take
sudo service bind9 restart
2.3.2. Reverse Zone File
Now that the zone is setup and resolving names to IP Adresses a Reverse zone is also required. A
Reverse zone allows DNS to resolve an address to a name.
Edit /etc/bind/named.conf.local and add the following:
zone "1.168.192.in-addr.arpa" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.192";
Replace 1.168.192 with the first three octets of whatever network you are using. Also,
name the zone file /etc/bind/db.192 appropriately. It should match the first octet of your
Now create the /etc/bind/db.192 file:
sudo cp /etc/bind/db.127 /etc/bind/db.192
Next edit /etc/bind/db.192 changing the basically the same options as /etc/bind/db.example.com:
; BIND reverse data file for local 192.168.1.XXX net
ns.example.com. root.example.com. (
; Serial
; Refresh
; Retry
Domain Name Service (DNS)
604800 )
; Expire
; Negative Cache TTL
The Serial Number in the Reverse zone needs to be incremented on each change as well. For each
A record you configure in /etc/bind/db.example.com, that is for a different address, you need to
create a PTR record in /etc/bind/db.192.
After creating the reverse zone file restart BIND9:
sudo service bind9 restart
2.4. Secondary Master
Once a Primary Master has been configured a Secondary Master is needed in order to maintain the
availability of the domain should the Primary become unavailable.
First, on the Primary Master server, the zone transfer needs to be allowed. Add the allow-transfer
option to the example Forward and Reverse zone definitions in /etc/bind/named.conf.local:
zone "example.com" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.example.com";
allow-transfer {; };
zone "1.168.192.in-addr.arpa" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.192";
allow-transfer {; };
Replace with the IP Address of your Secondary nameserver.
Restart BIND9 on the Primary Master:
sudo service bind9 restart
Next, on the Secondary Master, install the bind9 package the same way as on the Primary. Then edit
the /etc/bind/named.conf.local and add the following declarations for the Forward and Reverse
zone "example.com" {
type slave;
Domain Name Service (DNS)
file "db.example.com";
masters {; };
zone "1.168.192.in-addr.arpa" {
type slave;
file "db.192";
masters {; };
Replace with the IP Address of your Primary nameserver.
Restart BIND9 on the Secondary Master:
sudo service bind9 restart
In /var/log/syslog you should see something similar to (some lines have been split to fit the format
of this document):
client received notify for zone '1.168.192.in-addr.arpa'
zone 1.168.192.in-addr.arpa/IN: Transfer started.
transfer of '100.18.172.in-addr.arpa/IN' from
connected using
zone 1.168.192.in-addr.arpa/IN: transferred serial 5
transfer of '100.18.172.in-addr.arpa/IN' from
Transfer completed: 1 messages,
6 records, 212 bytes, 0.002 secs (106000 bytes/sec)
zone 1.168.192.in-addr.arpa/IN: sending notifies (serial 5)
client received notify for zone 'example.com'
zone example.com/IN: Transfer started.
transfer of 'example.com/IN' from connected using
zone example.com/IN: transferred serial 5
transfer of 'example.com/IN' from Transfer completed: 1 messages,
8 records, 225 bytes, 0.002 secs (112500 bytes/sec)
Note: A zone is only transferred if the Serial Number on the Primary is larger than the
one on the Secondary. If you want to have your Primary Master DNS notifying Secondary
DNS Servers of zone changes, you can add also-notify { ipaddress; }; in to /etc/bind/
named.conf.local as shown in the example below:
zone "example.com" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.example.com";
allow-transfer {; };
also-notify {; };
Domain Name Service (DNS)
zone "1.168.192.in-addr.arpa" {
type master;
file "/etc/bind/db.192";
allow-transfer {; };
also-notify {; };
The default directory for non-authoritative zone files is /var/cache/bind/. This directory
is also configured in AppArmor to allow the named daemon to write to it. For more
information on AppArmor see Section 4, “AppArmor” [p. 171].
Domain Name Service (DNS)
3. Troubleshooting
This section covers ways to help determine the cause when problems happen with DNS and BIND9.
3.1. Testing
3.1.1. resolv.conf
The first step in testing BIND9 is to add the nameserver's IP Address to a hosts resolver. The
Primary nameserver should be configured as well as another host to double check things. Refer to
Section 1.3.1, “DNS Client Configuration” [p. 37] for details on adding nameserver addresses to your
network clients, and afterwards check that the file /etc/resolv.conf contains (for this example):
Nameservers that listen at 127.* are responsible for adding their own IP addresses to resolv.conf
(using resolvconf). This is done via the file /etc/default/bind9 by changing the line
You should also add the IP Address of the Secondary nameserver in case the Primary
becomes unavailable.
3.1.2. dig
If you installed the dnsutils package you can test your setup using the DNS lookup utility dig:
• After installing BIND9 use dig against the loopback interface to make sure it is listening on port 53.
From a terminal prompt:
dig -x
You should see lines similar to the following in the command output:
;; Query time: 1 msec
• If you have configured BIND9 as a Caching nameserver "dig" an outside domain to check the
query time:
dig ubuntu.com
Note the query time toward the end of the command output:
;; Query time: 49 msec
Domain Name Service (DNS)
After a second dig there should be improvement:
;; Query time: 1 msec
3.1.3. ping
Now to demonstrate how applications make use of DNS to resolve a host name use the ping utility to
send an ICMP echo request. From a terminal prompt enter:
ping example.com
This tests if the nameserver can resolve the name ns.example.com to an IP Address. The command
output should resemble:
PING ns.example.com ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.800 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.813 ms
3.1.4. named-checkzone
A great way to test your zone files is by using the named-checkzone utility installed with the bind9
package. This utility allows you to make sure the configuration is correct before restarting BIND9 and
making the changes live.
• To test our example Forward zone file enter the following from a command prompt:
named-checkzone example.com /etc/bind/db.example.com
If everything is configured correctly you should see output similar to:
zone example.com/IN: loaded serial 6
• Similarly, to test the Reverse zone file enter the following:
named-checkzone 1.168.192.in-addr.arpa /etc/bind/db.192
The output should be similar to:
zone 1.168.192.in-addr.arpa/IN: loaded serial 3
The Serial Number of your zone file will probably be different.
Domain Name Service (DNS)
3.2. Logging
BIND9 has a wide variety of logging configuration options available. There are two main options.
The channel option configures where logs go, and the category option determines what information to
If no logging option is configured the default option is:
logging {
category default { default_syslog; default_debug; };
category unmatched { null; };
This section covers configuring BIND9 to send debug messages related to DNS queries to a separate
• First, we need to configure a channel to specify which file to send the messages to. Edit /etc/
and add the following:
logging {
channel query.log {
file "/var/log/query.log";
severity debug 3;
• Next, configure a category to send all DNS queries to the query file:
logging {
channel query.log {
file "/var/log/query.log";
severity debug 3;
category queries { query.log; };
Note: the debug option can be set from 1 to 3. If a level isn't specified level 1 is the default.
• Since the named daemon runs as the bind user the /var/log/query.log file must be created and
the ownership changed:
sudo touch /var/log/query.log
sudo chown bind /var/log/query.log
• Before named daemon can write to the new log file the AppArmor profile must be updated. First,
edit /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.named and add:
Domain Name Service (DNS)
/var/log/query.log w,
Next, reload the profile:
cat /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.named | sudo apparmor_parser -r
For more information on AppArmor see Section 4, “AppArmor” [p. 171]
• Now restart BIND9 for the changes to take effect:
sudo service bind9 restart
You should see the file /var/log/query.log fill with query information. This is a simple
example of the BIND9 logging options. For coverage of advanced options see Section 4.2, “More
Information” [p. 155].
Domain Name Service (DNS)
4. References
4.1. Common Record Types
This section covers some of the most common DNS record types.
• A record: This record maps an IP Address to a hostname.
• CNAME record: Used to create an alias to an existing A record. You cannot create a CNAME
record pointing to another CNAME record.
• MX record: Used to define where email should be sent to. Must point to an A record, not a
• NS record: Used to define which servers serve copies of a zone. It must point to an A record, not a
CNAME. This is where Primary and Secondary servers are defined.
4.2. More Information
• The BIND9 Server HOWTO1 in the Ubuntu Wiki has a lot of useful information.
• The DNS HOWTO2 at The Linux Documentation Project also has lots of information about
configuring BIND9.
• Bind9.net3 has links to a large collection of DNS and BIND9 resources.
• DNS and BIND4 is a popular book now in it's fifth edition. There is now also a DNS and BIND on
IPv65 book.
• A great place to ask for BIND9 assistance, and get involved with the Ubuntu Server community, is
the #ubuntu-server IRC channel on freenode6.
1 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BIND9ServerHowto
2 http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/DNS-HOWTO.html
3 http://www.bind9.net/
4 http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596100575.do
5 http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920020158.do
6 http://freenode.net
Chapter 9. Security
Security should always be considered when installing, deploying, and using any type of computer
system. Although a fresh installation of Ubuntu is relatively safe for immediate use on the Internet, it
is important to have a balanced understanding of your systems security posture based on how it will
be used after deployment.
This chapter provides an overview of security related topics as they pertain to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Server Edition, and outlines simple measures you may use to protect your server and network from
any number of potential security threats.
1. User Management
User management is a critical part of maintaining a secure system. Ineffective user and privilege
management often lead many systems into being compromised. Therefore, it is important that you
understand how you can protect your server through simple and effective user account management
1.1. Where is root?
Ubuntu developers made a conscientious decision to disable the administrative root account by default
in all Ubuntu installations. This does not mean that the root account has been deleted or that it may
not be accessed. It merely has been given a password which matches no possible encrypted value,
therefore may not log in directly by itself.
Instead, users are encouraged to make use of a tool by the name of sudo to carry out system
administrative duties. Sudo allows an authorized user to temporarily elevate their privileges
using their own password instead of having to know the password belonging to the root account.
This simple yet effective methodology provides accountability for all user actions, and gives the
administrator granular control over which actions a user can perform with said privileges.
• If for some reason you wish to enable the root account, simply give it a password:
Configurations with root passwords are not supported.
sudo passwd
Sudo will prompt you for your password, and then ask you to supply a new password for root as
shown below:
[sudo] password for username: (enter your own password)
Enter new UNIX password: (enter a new password for root)
Retype new UNIX password: (repeat new password for root)
passwd: password updated successfully
• To disable the root account password, use the following passwd syntax:
sudo passwd -l root
However, to disable the root account itself, use the following command:
usermod --expiredate 1
• You should read more on Sudo by checking out it's man page:
man sudo
By default, the initial user created by the Ubuntu installer is a member of the group "sudo" which is
added to the file /etc/sudoers as an authorized sudo user. If you wish to give any other account full
root access through sudo, simply add them to the sudo group.
1.2. Adding and Deleting Users
The process for managing local users and groups is straight forward and differs very little from most
other GNU/Linux operating systems. Ubuntu and other Debian based distributions, encourage the use
of the "adduser" package for account management.
• To add a user account, use the following syntax, and follow the prompts to give the account a
password and identifiable characteristics such as a full name, phone number, etc.
sudo adduser username
• To delete a user account and its primary group, use the following syntax:
sudo deluser username
Deleting an account does not remove their respective home folder. It is up to you whether or not
you wish to delete the folder manually or keep it according to your desired retention policies.
Remember, any user added later on with the same UID/GID as the previous owner will now have
access to this folder if you have not taken the necessary precautions.
You may want to change these UID/GID values to something more appropriate, such as the root
account, and perhaps even relocate the folder to avoid future conflicts:
sudo chown -R root:root /home/username/
sudo mkdir /home/archived_users/
sudo mv /home/username /home/archived_users/
• To temporarily lock or unlock a user account, use the following syntax, respectively:
sudo passwd -l username
sudo passwd -u username
• To add or delete a personalized group, use the following syntax, respectively:
sudo addgroup groupname
sudo delgroup groupname
• To add a user to a group, use the following syntax:
sudo adduser username groupname
1.3. User Profile Security
When a new user is created, the adduser utility creates a brand new home directory named /home/
username, respectively. The default profile is modeled after the contents found in the directory of /
etc/skel, which includes all profile basics.
If your server will be home to multiple users, you should pay close attention to the user home
directory permissions to ensure confidentiality. By default, user home directories in Ubuntu are
created with world read/execute permissions. This means that all users can browse and access the
contents of other users home directories. This may not be suitable for your environment.
• To verify your current users home directory permissions, use the following syntax:
ls -ld /home/username
The following output shows that the directory /home/username has world readable permissions:
2 username username
4096 2007-10-02 20:03 username
• You can remove the world readable permissions using the following syntax:
sudo chmod 0750 /home/username
Some people tend to use the recursive option (-R) indiscriminately which modifies all
child folders and files, but this is not necessary, and may yield other undesirable results.
The parent directory alone is sufficient for preventing unauthorized access to anything
below the parent.
A much more efficient approach to the matter would be to modify the adduser global default
permissions when creating user home folders. Simply edit the file /etc/adduser.conf and modify
the DIR_MODE variable to something appropriate, so that all new home directories will receive the
correct permissions.
• After correcting the directory permissions using any of the previously mentioned techniques, verify
the results using the following syntax:
ls -ld /home/username
The results below show that world readable permissions have been removed:
2 username username
4096 2007-10-02 20:03 username
1.4. Password Policy
A strong password policy is one of the most important aspects of your security posture. Many
successful security breaches involve simple brute force and dictionary attacks against weak
passwords. If you intend to offer any form of remote access involving your local password system,
make sure you adequately address minimum password complexity requirements, maximum password
lifetimes, and frequent audits of your authentication systems.
1.4.1. Minimum Password Length
By default, Ubuntu requires a minimum password length of 6 characters, as well as some basic
entropy checks. These values are controlled in the file /etc/pam.d/common-password, which is
outlined below.
[success=1 default=ignore]
pam_unix.so obscure sha512
If you would like to adjust the minimum length to 8 characters, change the appropriate variable to
min=8. The modification is outlined below.
[success=1 default=ignore]
pam_unix.so obscure sha512 minlen=8
Basic password entropy checks and minimum length rules do not apply to the administrator
using sudo level commands to setup a new user.
1.4.2. Password Expiration
When creating user accounts, you should make it a policy to have a minimum and maximum
password age forcing users to change their passwords when they expire.
• To easily view the current status of a user account, use the following syntax:
sudo chage -l username
The output below shows interesting facts about the user account, namely that there are no policies
Last password change
: Jan 20, 2008
Password expires
: never
Password inactive
: never
Account expires
Minimum number of days between password change
: never
: 0
Maximum number of days between password change
: 99999
Number of days of warning before password expires
: 7
• To set any of these values, simply use the following syntax, and follow the interactive prompts:
sudo chage username
The following is also an example of how you can manually change the explicit expiration date (E) to 01/31/2008, minimum password age (-m) of 5 days, maximum password age (-M) of 90 days,
inactivity period (-I) of 5 days after password expiration, and a warning time period (-W) of 14
days before password expiration.
sudo chage -E 01/31/2011 -m 5 -M 90 -I 30 -W 14 username
• To verify changes, use the same syntax as mentioned previously:
sudo chage -l username
The output below shows the new policies that have been established for the account:
Last password change
: Jan 20, 2008
Password expires
Password inactive
: Apr 19, 2008
: May 19, 2008
Account expires
Minimum number of days between password change
: Jan 31, 2008
: 5
Maximum number of days between password change
: 90
Number of days of warning before password expires
: 14
1.5. Other Security Considerations
Many applications use alternate authentication mechanisms that can be easily overlooked by even
experienced system administrators. Therefore, it is important to understand and control how users
authenticate and gain access to services and applications on your server.
1.5.1. SSH Access by Disabled Users
Simply disabling/locking a user account will not prevent a user from logging into your server
remotely if they have previously set up RSA public key authentication. They will still be able to
gain shell access to the server, without the need for any password. Remember to check the users
home directory for files that will allow for this type of authenticated SSH access. e.g. /home/
Remove or rename the directory .ssh/ in the user's home folder to prevent further SSH authentication
Be sure to check for any established SSH connections by the disabled user, as it is possible they may
have existing inbound or outbound connections. Kill any that are found.
who |grep username (to get the pts/# terminal)
sudo pkill -f pts/#
Restrict SSH access to only user accounts that should have it. For example, you may create a group
called "sshlogin" and add the group name as the value associated with the AllowGroups variable
located in the file /etc/ssh/sshd_config.
AllowGroups sshlogin
Then add your permitted SSH users to the group "sshlogin", and restart the SSH service.
sudo adduser username sshlogin
sudo service ssh restart
1.5.2. External User Database Authentication
Most enterprise networks require centralized authentication and access controls for all system
resources. If you have configured your server to authenticate users against external databases, be
sure to disable the user accounts both externally and locally, this way you ensure that local fallback
authentication is not possible.
2. Console Security
As with any other security barrier you put in place to protect your server, it is pretty tough to defend
against untold damage caused by someone with physical access to your environment, for example,
theft of hard drives, power or service disruption, and so on. Therefore, console security should be
addressed merely as one component of your overall physical security strategy. A locked "screen door"
may deter a casual criminal, or at the very least slow down a determined one, so it is still advisable to
perform basic precautions with regard to console security.
The following instructions will help defend your server against issues that could otherwise yield very
serious consequences.
2.1. Disable Ctrl+Alt+Delete
First and foremost, anyone that has physical access to the keyboard can simply use the
Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination to reboot the server without having to log on. Sure, someone could
simply unplug the power source, but you should still prevent the use of this key combination on a
production server. This forces an attacker to take more drastic measures to reboot the server, and will
prevent accidental reboots at the same time.
• To disable the reboot action taken by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination, comment out
the following line in the file /etc/init/control-alt-delete.conf.
#exec shutdown -r now "Control-Alt-Delete pressed"
3. Firewall
3.1. Introduction
The Linux kernel includes the Netfilter subsystem, which is used to manipulate or decide the fate
of network traffic headed into or through your server. All modern Linux firewall solutions use this
system for packet filtering.
The kernel's packet filtering system would be of little use to administrators without a userspace
interface to manage it. This is the purpose of iptables. When a packet reaches your server, it will be
handed off to the Netfilter subsystem for acceptance, manipulation, or rejection based on the rules
supplied to it from userspace via iptables. Thus, iptables is all you need to manage your firewall if
you're familiar with it, but many frontends are available to simplify the task.
3.2. ufw - Uncomplicated Firewall
The default firewall configuration tool for Ubuntu is ufw. Developed to ease iptables firewall
configuration, ufw provides a user friendly way to create an IPv4 or IPv6 host-based firewall.
ufw by default is initially disabled. From the ufw man page:
“ ufw is not intended to provide complete firewall functionality via its command interface, but
instead provides an easy way to add or remove simple rules. It is currently mainly used for host-based
firewalls. ”
The following are some examples of how to use ufw:
• First, ufw needs to be enabled. From a terminal prompt enter:
sudo ufw enable
• To open a port (ssh in this example):
sudo ufw allow 22
• Rules can also be added using a numbered format:
sudo ufw insert 1 allow 80
• Similarly, to close an opened port:
sudo ufw deny 22
• To remove a rule, use delete followed by the rule:
sudo ufw delete deny 22
• It is also possible to allow access from specific hosts or networks to a port. The following example
allows ssh access from host to any ip address on this host:
sudo ufw allow proto tcp from to any port 22
Replace with to allow ssh access from the entire subnet.
• Adding the --dry-run option to a ufw command will output the resulting rules, but not apply them.
For example, the following is what would be applied if opening the HTTP port:
sudo ufw --dry-run allow http
:ufw-user-input - [0:0]
:ufw-user-output - [0:0]
:ufw-user-forward - [0:0]
:ufw-user-limit - [0:0]
:ufw-user-limit-accept - [0:0]
### RULES ###
### tuple ### allow tcp 80 any
-A ufw-user-input -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
### END RULES ###
-A ufw-user-input -j RETURN
-A ufw-user-output -j RETURN
-A ufw-user-forward -j RETURN
-A ufw-user-limit -m limit --limit 3/minute -j LOG --log-prefix "[UFW LIMIT]: "
-A ufw-user-limit -j REJECT
-A ufw-user-limit-accept -j ACCEPT
Rules updated
• ufw can be disabled by:
sudo ufw disable
• To see the firewall status, enter:
sudo ufw status
• And for more verbose status information use:
sudo ufw status verbose
• To view the numbered format:
sudo ufw status numbered
If the port you want to open or close is defined in /etc/services, you can use the port
name instead of the number. In the above examples, replace 22 with ssh.
This is a quick introduction to using ufw. Please refer to the ufw man page for more information.
3.2.1. ufw Application Integration
Applications that open ports can include an ufw profile, which details the ports needed for the
application to function properly. The profiles are kept in /etc/ufw/applications.d, and can be
edited if the default ports have been changed.
• To view which applications have installed a profile, enter the following in a terminal:
sudo ufw app list
• Similar to allowing traffic to a port, using an application profile is accomplished by entering:
sudo ufw allow Samba
• An extended syntax is available as well:
ufw allow from to any app Samba
Replace Samba and with the application profile you are using and the IP range for
your network.
There is no need to specify the protocol for the application, because that information is
detailed in the profile. Also, note that the app name replaces the port number.
• To view details about which ports, protocols, etc are defined for an application, enter:
sudo ufw app info Samba
Not all applications that require opening a network port come with ufw profiles, but if you have
profiled an application and want the file to be included with the package, please file a bug against the
package in Launchpad.
ubuntu-bug nameofpackage
3.3. IP Masquerading
The purpose of IP Masquerading is to allow machines with private, non-routable IP addresses on your
network to access the Internet through the machine doing the masquerading. Traffic from your private
network destined for the Internet must be manipulated for replies to be routable back to the machine
that made the request. To do this, the kernel must modify the source IP address of each packet so that
replies will be routed back to it, rather than to the private IP address that made the request, which
is impossible over the Internet. Linux uses Connection Tracking (conntrack) to keep track of which
connections belong to which machines and reroute each return packet accordingly. Traffic leaving
your private network is thus "masqueraded" as having originated from your Ubuntu gateway machine.
This process is referred to in Microsoft documentation as Internet Connection Sharing.
3.3.1. ufw Masquerading
IP Masquerading can be achieved using custom ufw rules. This is possible because the current backend for ufw is iptables-restore with the rules files located in /etc/ufw/*.rules. These files are a
great place to add legacy iptables rules used without ufw, and rules that are more network gateway or
bridge related.
The rules are split into two different files, rules that should be executed before ufw command line
rules, and rules that are executed after ufw command line rules.
• First, packet forwarding needs to be enabled in ufw. Two configuration files will need to be
adjusted, in /etc/default/ufw change the DEFAULT_FORWARD_POLICY to “ACCEPT”:
Then edit /etc/ufw/sysctl.conf and uncomment:
Similarly, for IPv6 forwarding uncomment:
• Now we will add rules to the /etc/ufw/before.rules file. The default rules only configure the
filter table, and to enable masquerading the nat table will need to be configured. Add the following
to the top of the file just after the header comments:
# nat Table rules
# Forward traffic from eth1 through eth0.
# don't delete the 'COMMIT' line or these nat table rules won't be processed
The comments are not strictly necessary, but it is considered good practice to document your
configuration. Also, when modifying any of the rules files in /etc/ufw, make sure these lines are
the last line for each table modified:
# don't delete the 'COMMIT' line or these rules won't be processed
For each Table a corresponding COMMIT statement is required. In these examples only the nat and
filter tables are shown, but you can also add rules for the raw and mangle tables.
In the above example replace eth0, eth1, and with the appropriate
interfaces and IP range for your network.
• Finally, disable and re-enable ufw to apply the changes:
sudo ufw disable && sudo ufw enable
IP Masquerading should now be enabled. You can also add any additional FORWARD rules to the
/etc/ufw/before.rules. It is recommended that these additional rules be added to the ufw-beforeforward chain.
3.3.2. iptables Masquerading
iptables can also be used to enable Masquerading.
• Similar to ufw, the first step is to enable IPv4 packet forwarding by editing /etc/sysctl.conf and
uncomment the following line
If you wish to enable IPv6 forwarding also uncomment:
• Next, execute the sysctl command to enable the new settings in the configuration file:
sudo sysctl -p
• IP Masquerading can now be accomplished with a single iptables rule, which may differ slightly
based on your network configuration:
sudo iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s -o ppp0 -j MASQUERADE
The above command assumes that your private address space is and that your
Internet-facing device is ppp0. The syntax is broken down as follows:
• -t nat -- the rule is to go into the nat table
• -A POSTROUTING -- the rule is to be appended (-A) to the POSTROUTING chain
• -s -- the rule applies to traffic originating from the specified address space
• -o ppp0 -- the rule applies to traffic scheduled to be routed through the specified network device
• -j MASQUERADE -- traffic matching this rule is to "jump" (-j) to the MASQUERADE target to
be manipulated as described above
• Also, each chain in the filter table (the default table, and where most or all packet filtering occurs)
has a default policy of ACCEPT, but if you are creating a firewall in addition to a gateway device,
you may have set the policies to DROP or REJECT, in which case your masqueraded traffic needs
to be allowed through the FORWARD chain for the above rule to work:
sudo iptables -A FORWARD -s -o ppp0 -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables -A FORWARD -d -m state \
The above commands will allow all connections from your local network to the Internet and all
traffic related to those connections to return to the machine that initiated them.
• If you want masquerading to be enabled on reboot, which you probably do, edit /etc/rc.local
and add any commands used above. For example add the first command with no filtering:
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s -o ppp0 -j MASQUERADE
3.4. Logs
Firewall logs are essential for recognizing attacks, troubleshooting your firewall rules, and noticing
unusual activity on your network. You must include logging rules in your firewall for them to be
generated, though, and logging rules must come before any applicable terminating rule (a rule with a
target that decides the fate of the packet, such as ACCEPT, DROP, or REJECT).
If you are using ufw, you can turn on logging by entering the following in a terminal:
sudo ufw logging on
To turn logging off in ufw, simply replace on with off in the above command.
If using iptables instead of ufw, enter:
sudo iptables -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 80 \
-j LOG --log-prefix "NEW_HTTP_CONN: "
A request on port 80 from the local machine, then, would generate a log in dmesg that looks like this
(single line split into 3 to fit this document):
[4304885.870000] NEW_HTTP_CONN: IN=lo OUT= MAC=00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:00:08:00
SRC= DST= LEN=60 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=64 ID=58288 DF PROTO=TCP
SPT=53981 DPT=80 WINDOW=32767 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
The above log will also appear in /var/log/messages, /var/log/syslog, and /var/log/kern.log.
This behavior can be modified by editing /etc/syslog.conf appropriately or by installing and
configuring ulogd and using the ULOG target instead of LOG. The ulogd daemon is a userspace
server that listens for logging instructions from the kernel specifically for firewalls, and can log to any
file you like, or even to a PostgreSQL or MySQL database. Making sense of your firewall logs can be
simplified by using a log analyzing tool such as logwatch, fwanalog, fwlogwatch, or lire.
3.5. Other Tools
There are many tools available to help you construct a complete firewall without intimate knowledge
of iptables. For the GUI-inclined:
• fwbuilder1 is very powerful and will look familiar to an administrator who has used a commercial
firewall utility such as Checkpoint FireWall-1.
If you prefer a command-line tool with plain-text configuration files:
• Shorewall2 is a very powerful solution to help you configure an advanced firewall for any network.
3.6. References
• The Ubuntu Firewall3 wiki page contains information on the development of ufw.
• Also, the ufw manual page contains some very useful information: man ufw.
• See the packet-filtering-HOWTO4 for more information on using iptables.
• The nat-HOWTO5 contains further details on masquerading.
• The IPTables HowTo6 in the Ubuntu wiki is a great resource.
1 http://www.fwbuilder.org/
2 http://www.shorewall.net/
3 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UncomplicatedFirewall
4 http://www.netfilter.org/documentation/HOWTO/packet-filtering-HOWTO.html
5 http://www.netfilter.org/documentation/HOWTO/NAT-HOWTO.html
6 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/IptablesHowTo
4. AppArmor
AppArmor is a Linux Security Module implementation of name-based mandatory access controls.
AppArmor confines individual programs to a set of listed files and posix 1003.1e draft capabilities.
AppArmor is installed and loaded by default. It uses profiles of an application to determine what files
and permissions the application requires. Some packages will install their own profiles, and additional
profiles can be found in the apparmor-profiles package.
To install the apparmor-profiles package from a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install apparmor-profiles
AppArmor profiles have two modes of execution:
• Complaining/Learning: profile violations are permitted and logged. Useful for testing and
developing new profiles.
• Enforced/Confined: enforces profile policy as well as logging the violation.
4.1. Using AppArmor
This section is plagued by a bug (LP #13041347) and instructions will not work as
The apparmor-utils package contains command line utilities that you can use to change the AppArmor
execution mode, find the status of a profile, create new profiles, etc.
• apparmor_status is used to view the current status of AppArmor profiles.
sudo apparmor_status
• aa-complain places a profile into complain mode.
sudo aa-complain /path/to/bin
• aa-enforce places a profile into enforce mode.
sudo aa-enforce /path/to/bin
• The /etc/apparmor.d directory is where the AppArmor profiles are located. It can be used to
manipulate the mode of all profiles.
Enter the following to place all profiles into complain mode:
sudo aa-complain /etc/apparmor.d/*
To place all profiles in enforce mode:
7 https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apparmor/+bug/1304134
sudo aa-enforce /etc/apparmor.d/*
• apparmor_parser is used to load a profile into the kernel. It can also be used to reload a currently
loaded profile using the -r option. To load a profile:
cat /etc/apparmor.d/profile.name | sudo apparmor_parser -a
To reload a profile:
cat /etc/apparmor.d/profile.name | sudo apparmor_parser -r
• service apparmor can be used to reload all profiles:
sudo service apparmor reload
• The /etc/apparmor.d/disable directory can be used along with the apparmor_parser -R option to
disable a profile.
sudo ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/profile.name /etc/apparmor.d/disable/
sudo apparmor_parser -R /etc/apparmor.d/profile.name
To re-enable a disabled profile remove the symbolic link to the profile in /etc/apparmor.d/
disable/. Then load the profile using the -a option.
sudo rm /etc/apparmor.d/disable/profile.name
cat /etc/apparmor.d/profile.name | sudo apparmor_parser -a
• AppArmor can be disabled, and the kernel module unloaded by entering the following:
sudo service apparmor stop
sudo update-rc.d -f apparmor remove
• To re-enable AppArmor enter:
sudo service apparmor start
sudo update-rc.d apparmor defaults
Replace profile.name with the name of the profile you want to manipulate. Also, replace /
path/to/bin/ with the actual executable file path. For example for the ping command use /
4.2. Profiles
AppArmor profiles are simple text files located in /etc/apparmor.d/. The files are named after the
full path to the executable they profile replacing the "/" with ".". For example /etc/apparmor.d/
bin.ping is the AppArmor profile for the /bin/ping command.
There are two main type of rules used in profiles:
• Path entries: which detail which files an application can access in the file system.
• Capability entries: determine what privileges a confined process is allowed to use.
As an example take a look at /etc/apparmor.d/bin.ping:
#include <tunables/global>
/bin/ping flags=(complain) {
#include <abstractions/base>
#include <abstractions/consoles>
#include <abstractions/nameservice>
capability net_raw,
capability setuid,
network inet raw,
/bin/ping mixr,
/etc/modules.conf r,
• #include <tunables/global>: include statements from other files. This allows statements pertaining
to multiple applications to be placed in a common file.
• /bin/ping flags=(complain): path to the profiled program, also setting the mode to complain.
• capability net_raw,: allows the application access to the CAP_NET_RAW Posix.1e capability.
• /bin/ping mixr,: allows the application read and execute access to the file.
After editing a profile file the profile must be reloaded. See Section 4.1, “Using
AppArmor” [p. 171] for details.
4.2.1. Creating a Profile
• Design a test plan: Try to think about how the application should be exercised. The test plan should
be divided into small test cases. Each test case should have a small description and list the steps to
Some standard test cases are:
• Starting the program.
• Stopping the program.
• Reloading the program.
• Testing all the commands supported by the init script.
• Generate the new profile: Use aa-genprof to generate a new profile. From a terminal:
sudo aa-genprof executable
For example:
sudo aa-genprof slapd
• To get your new profile included in the apparmor-profiles package, file a bug in Launchpad against
the AppArmor8 package:
• Include your test plan and test cases.
• Attach your new profile to the bug.
4.2.2. Updating Profiles
When the program is misbehaving, audit messages are sent to the log files. The program aa-logprof
can be used to scan log files for AppArmor audit messages, review them and update the profiles.
From a terminal:
sudo aa-logprof
4.3. References
• See the AppArmor Administration Guide9 for advanced configuration options.
• For details using AppArmor with other Ubuntu releases see the AppArmor Community Wiki10 page.
• The OpenSUSE AppArmor11 page is another introduction to AppArmor.
• A great place to ask for AppArmor assistance, and get involved with the Ubuntu Server
community, is the #ubuntu-server IRC channel on freenode12.
8 https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/apparmor/+filebug
9 http://www.novell.com/documentation/apparmor/apparmor201_sp10_admin/index.html?page=/documentation/apparmor/
10 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/AppArmor
11 http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:AppArmor_geeks
12 http://freenode.net
5. Certificates
One of the most common forms of cryptography today is public-key cryptography. Public-key
cryptography utilizes a public key and a private key. The system works by encrypting information
using the public key. The information can then only be decrypted using the private key.
A common use for public-key cryptography is encrypting application traffic using a Secure Socket
Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) connection. For example, configuring Apache to
provide HTTPS, the HTTP protocol over SSL. This allows a way to encrypt traffic using a protocol
that does not itself provide encryption.
A Certificate is a method used to distribute a public key and other information about a server and
the organization who is responsible for it. Certificates can be digitally signed by a Certification
Authority or CA. A CA is a trusted third party that has confirmed that the information contained in the
certificate is accurate.
5.1. Types of Certificates
To set up a secure server using public-key cryptography, in most cases, you send your certificate
request (including your public key), proof of your company's identity, and payment to a CA. The
CA verifies the certificate request and your identity, and then sends back a certificate for your secure
server. Alternatively, you can create your own self-signed certificate.
Note, that self-signed certificates should not be used in most production environments.
Continuing the HTTPS example, a CA-signed certificate provides two important capabilities that a
self-signed certificate does not:
• Browsers (usually) automatically recognize the certificate and allow a secure connection to be
made without prompting the user.
• When a CA issues a signed certificate, it is guaranteeing the identity of the organization that is
providing the web pages to the browser.
Most Web browsers, and computers, that support SSL have a list of CAs whose certificates they
automatically accept. If a browser encounters a certificate whose authorizing CA is not in the list, the
browser asks the user to either accept or decline the connection. Also, other applications may generate
an error message when using a self-signed certificate.
The process of getting a certificate from a CA is fairly easy. A quick overview is as follows:
1. Create a private and public encryption key pair.
2. Create a certificate request based on the public key. The certificate request contains information
about your server and the company hosting it.
3. Send the certificate request, along with documents proving your identity, to a CA. We cannot tell
you which certificate authority to choose. Your decision may be based on your past experiences, or
on the experiences of your friends or colleagues, or purely on monetary factors.
Once you have decided upon a CA, you need to follow the instructions they provide on how to
obtain a certificate from them.
4. When the CA is satisfied that you are indeed who you claim to be, they send you a digital
5. Install this certificate on your secure server, and configure the appropriate applications to use the
5.2. Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
Whether you are getting a certificate from a CA or generating your own self-signed certificate, the
first step is to generate a key.
If the certificate will be used by service daemons, such as Apache, Postfix, Dovecot, etc, a key
without a passphrase is often appropriate. Not having a passphrase allows the services to start without
manual intervention, usually the preferred way to start a daemon.
This section will cover generating a key with a passphrase, and one without. The non-passphrase key
will then be used to generate a certificate that can be used with various service daemons.
Running your secure service without a passphrase is convenient because you will not need
to enter the passphrase every time you start your secure service. But it is insecure and a
compromise of the key means a compromise of the server as well.
To generate the keys for the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) run the following command from a
terminal prompt:
openssl genrsa -des3 -out server.key 2048
Generating RSA private key, 2048 bit long modulus
e is 65537 (0x10001)
Enter pass phrase for server.key:
You can now enter your passphrase. For best security, it should at least contain eight characters.
The minimum length when specifying -des3 is four characters. It should include numbers and/or
punctuation and not be a word in a dictionary. Also remember that your passphrase is case-sensitive.
Re-type the passphrase to verify. Once you have re-typed it correctly, the server key is generated and
stored in the server.key file.
Now create the insecure key, the one without a passphrase, and shuffle the key names:
openssl rsa -in server.key -out server.key.insecure
mv server.key server.key.secure
mv server.key.insecure server.key
The insecure key is now named server.key, and you can use this file to generate the CSR without
To create the CSR, run the following command at a terminal prompt:
openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr
It will prompt you enter the passphrase. If you enter the correct passphrase, it will prompt you to enter
Company Name, Site Name, Email Id, etc. Once you enter all these details, your CSR will be created
and it will be stored in the server.csr file.
You can now submit this CSR file to a CA for processing. The CA will use this CSR file and issue the
certificate. On the other hand, you can create self-signed certificate using this CSR.
5.3. Creating a Self-Signed Certificate
To create the self-signed certificate, run the following command at a terminal prompt:
openssl x509 -req -days 365 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt
The above command will prompt you to enter the passphrase. Once you enter the correct passphrase,
your certificate will be created and it will be stored in the server.crt file.
If your secure server is to be used in a production environment, you probably need a CAsigned certificate. It is not recommended to use self-signed certificate.
5.4. Installing the Certificate
You can install the key file server.key and certificate file server.crt, or the certificate file issued
by your CA, by running following commands at a terminal prompt:
sudo cp server.crt /etc/ssl/certs
sudo cp server.key /etc/ssl/private
Now simply configure any applications, with the ability to use public-key cryptography, to use the
certificate and key files. For example, Apache can provide HTTPS, Dovecot can provide IMAPS and
POP3S, etc.
5.5. Certification Authority
If the services on your network require more than a few self-signed certificates it may be worth the
additional effort to setup your own internal Certification Authority (CA). Using certificates signed
by your own CA, allows the various services using the certificates to easily trust other services using
certificates issued from the same CA.
First, create the directories to hold the CA certificate and related files:
sudo mkdir /etc/ssl/CA
sudo mkdir /etc/ssl/newcerts
The CA needs a few additional files to operate, one to keep track of the last serial number used
by the CA, each certificate must have a unique serial number, and another file to record which
certificates have been issued:
sudo sh -c "echo '01' > /etc/ssl/CA/serial"
sudo touch /etc/ssl/CA/index.txt
The third file is a CA configuration file. Though not strictly necessary, it is very convenient
when issuing multiple certificates. Edit /etc/ssl/openssl.cnf, and in the [ CA_default ]
= /etc/ssl/
= $dir/CA/index.txt
# database index file.
= $dir/certs/cacert.pem # The CA certificate
# Where everything is kept
= $dir/CA/serial
= $dir/private/cakey.pem# The private key
# The current serial number
Next, create the self-signed root certificate:
openssl req -new -x509 -extensions v3_ca -keyout cakey.pem -out cacert.pem -days 3650
You will then be asked to enter the details about the certificate.
Now install the root certificate and key:
sudo mv cakey.pem /etc/ssl/private/
sudo mv cacert.pem /etc/ssl/certs/
You are now ready to start signing certificates. The first item needed is a Certificate Signing
Request (CSR), see Section 5.2, “Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)” [p. 176]
for details. Once you have a CSR, enter the following to generate a certificate signed by the CA:
sudo openssl ca -in server.csr -config /etc/ssl/openssl.cnf
After entering the password for the CA key, you will be prompted to sign the certificate, and
again to commit the new certificate. You should then see a somewhat large amount of output
related to the certificate creation.
There should now be a new file, /etc/ssl/newcerts/01.pem, containing the same output. Copy
and paste everything beginning with the line: -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- and continuing
through the line: ----END CERTIFICATE----- lines to a file named after the hostname of the
server where the certificate will be installed. For example mail.example.com.crt, is a nice
descriptive name.
Subsequent certificates will be named 02.pem, 03.pem, etc.
Replace mail.example.com.crt with your own descriptive name.
Finally, copy the new certificate to the host that needs it, and configure the appropriate
applications to use it. The default location to install certificates is /etc/ssl/certs. This enables
multiple services to use the same certificate without overly complicated file permissions.
For applications that can be configured to use a CA certificate, you should also copy the /etc/
ssl/certs/cacert.pem file to the /etc/ssl/certs/ directory on each server.
5.6. References
• For more detailed instructions on using cryptography see the SSL Certificates HOWTO13 by
• The Wikipedia HTTPS14 page has more information regarding HTTPS.
• For more information on OpenSSL see the OpenSSL Home Page15.
• Also, O'Reilly's Network Security with OpenSSL16 is a good in depth reference.
13 http://tldp.org/HOWTO/SSL-Certificates-HOWTO/index.html
14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Https
15 http://www.openssl.org/
16 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596002701/
6. eCryptfs
eCryptfs is a POSIX-compliant enterprise-class stacked cryptographic filesystem for Linux. Layering
on top of the filesystem layer eCryptfs protects files no matter the underlying filesystem, partition
type, etc.
During installation there is an option to encrypt the /home partition. This will automatically configure
everything needed to encrypt and mount the partition.
As an example, this section will cover configuring /srv to be encrypted using eCryptfs.
6.1. Using eCryptfs
First, install the necessary packages. From a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install ecryptfs-utils
Now mount the partition to be encrypted:
sudo mount -t ecryptfs /srv /srv
You will then be prompted for some details on how ecryptfs should encrypt the data.
To test that files placed in /srv are indeed encrypted copy the /etc/default folder to /srv:
sudo cp -r /etc/default /srv
Now unmount /srv, and try to view a file:
sudo umount /srv
cat /srv/default/cron
Remounting /srv using ecryptfs will make the data viewable once again.
6.2. Automatically Mounting Encrypted Partitions
There are a couple of ways to automatically mount an ecryptfs encrypted filesystem at boot. This
example will use a /root/.ecryptfsrc file containing mount options, along with a passphrase file
residing on a USB key.
First, create /root/.ecryptfsrc containing:
Adjust the ecryptfs_sig to the signature in /root/.ecryptfs/sig-cache.txt.
Next, create the /mnt/usb/passwd_file.txt passphrase file:
Now add the necessary lines to /etc/fstab:
/srv /srv ecryptfs defaults 0 0
0 0
Make sure the USB drive is mounted before the encrypted partition.
Finally, reboot and the /srv should be mounted using eCryptfs.
6.3. Other Utilities
The ecryptfs-utils package includes several other useful utilities:
• ecryptfs-setup-private: creates a ~/Private directory to contain encrypted information. This utility
can be run by unprivileged users to keep data private from other users on the system.
• ecryptfs-mount-private and ecryptfs-umount-private: will mount and unmount respectively, a users
~/Private directory.
• ecryptfs-add-passphrase: adds a new passphrase to the kernel keyring.
• ecryptfs-manager: manages eCryptfs objects such as keys.
• ecryptfs-stat: allows you to view the ecryptfs meta information for a file.
6.4. References
• For more information on eCryptfs see the Launchpad project page17.
• There is also a Linux Journal18 article covering eCryptfs.
• Also, for more ecryptfs options and details see the ecryptfs man page19.
17 https://launchpad.net/ecryptfs
18 http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9400
19 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man7/ecryptfs.7.html
Chapter 10. Monitoring
1. Overview
The monitoring of essential servers and services is an important part of system administration.
Most network services are monitored for performance, availability, or both. This section will cover
installation and configuration of Nagios for availability monitoring, and Munin for performance
The examples in this section will use two servers with hostnames server01 and server02. Server01
will be configured with Nagios to monitor services on itself and server02. Server01 will also be setup
with the munin package to gather information from the network. Using the munin-node package,
server02 will be configured to send information to server01.
Hopefully these simple examples will allow you to monitor additional servers and services on your
2. Nagios
2.1. Installation
First, on server01 install the nagios package. In a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install nagios3 nagios-nrpe-plugin
You will be asked to enter a password for the nagiosadmin user. The user's credentials are stored in /
etc/nagios3/htpasswd.users. To change the nagiosadmin password, or add additional users to the
Nagios CGI scripts, use the htpasswd that is part of the apache2-utils package.
For example, to change the password for the nagiosadmin user enter:
sudo htpasswd /etc/nagios3/htpasswd.users nagiosadmin
To add a user:
sudo htpasswd /etc/nagios3/htpasswd.users steve
Next, on server02 install the nagios-nrpe-server package. From a terminal on server02 enter:
sudo apt-get install nagios-nrpe-server
NRPE allows you to execute local checks on remote hosts. There are other ways of
accomplishing this through other Nagios plugins as well as other checks.
2.2. Configuration Overview
There are a couple of directories containing Nagios configuration and check files.
• /etc/nagios3: contains configuration files for the operation of the nagios daemon, CGI files, hosts,
• /etc/nagios-plugins: houses configuration files for the service checks.
• /etc/nagios: on the remote host contains the nagios-nrpe-server configuration files.
• /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/: where the check binaries are stored. To see the options of a check use
the -h option.
For example: /usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_dhcp -h
There are a plethora of checks Nagios can be configured to execute for any given host. For this
example Nagios will be configured to check disk space, DNS, and a MySQL hostgroup. The DNS
check will be on server02, and the MySQL hostgroup will include both server01 and server02.
See Section 1, “HTTPD - Apache2 Web Server” [p. 191] for details on setting up
Apache, Chapter 8, Domain Name Service (DNS) [p. 143] for DNS, and Section 1,
“MySQL” [p. 210] for MySQL.
Additionally, there are some terms that once explained will hopefully make understanding Nagios
configuration easier:
• Host: a server, workstation, network device, etc that is being monitored.
• Host Group: a group of similar hosts. For example, you could group all web servers, file server, etc.
• Service: the service being monitored on the host. Such as HTTP, DNS, NFS, etc.
• Service Group: allows you to group multiple services together. This is useful for grouping multiple
HTTP for example.
• Contact: person to be notified when an event takes place. Nagios can be configured to send emails,
SMS messages, etc.
By default Nagios is configured to check HTTP, disk space, SSH, current users, processes, and load
on the localhost. Nagios will also ping check the gateway.
Large Nagios installations can be quite complex to configure. It is usually best to start small, one or
two hosts, get things configured the way you like then expand.
2.3. Configuration
• 1.
First, create a host configuration file for server02. Unless otherwise specified, run all these
commands on server01. In a terminal enter:
sudo cp /etc/nagios3/conf.d/localhost_nagios2.cfg \
In the above and following command examples, replace "server01", "server02", and with the host names and IP addresses of your
Next, edit /etc/nagios3/conf.d/server02.cfg:
define host{
Server 02
; Name of host template to use
# check DNS service.
define service {
Restart the nagios daemon to enable the new configuration:
sudo service nagios3 restart
• 1.
Now add a service definition for the MySQL check by adding the following to /etc/nagios3/
# check MySQL servers.
define service {
0 ; set > 0 if you want to be renotified
A mysql-servers hostgroup now needs to be defined. Edit /etc/nagios3/conf.d/
hostgroups_nagios2.cfg adding:
# MySQL hostgroup.
define hostgroup {
MySQL servers
localhost, server02
The Nagios check needs to authenticate to MySQL. To add a nagios user to MySQL enter:
mysql -u root -p -e "create user nagios identified by 'secret';"
The nagios user will need to be added all hosts in the mysql-servers hostgroup.
Restart nagios to start checking the MySQL servers.
sudo service nagios3 restart
• 1.
Lastly configure NRPE to check the disk space on server02.
On server01 add the service check to /etc/nagios3/conf.d/server02.cfg:
# NRPE disk check.
define service {
Now on server02 edit /etc/nagios/nrpe.cfg changing:
And below in the command definition area add:
command[check_all_disks]=/usr/lib/nagios/plugins/check_disk -w 20% -c 10% -e
Finally, restart nagios-nrpe-server:
sudo service nagios-nrpe-server restart
Also, on server01 restart nagios:
sudo service nagios3 restart
You should now be able to see the host and service checks in the Nagios CGI files. To access them
point a browser to http://server01/nagios3. You will then be prompted for the nagiosadmin username
and password.
2.4. References
This section has just scratched the surface of Nagios' features. The nagios-plugins-extra and nagiossnmp-plugins contain many more service checks.
• For more information see Nagios1 website.
• Specifically the Online Documentation2 site.
• There is also a list of books3 related to Nagios and network monitoring:
• The Nagios Ubuntu Wiki4 page also has more details.
1 http://www.nagios.org/
2 http://nagios.sourceforge.net/docs/3_0/
3 http://www.nagios.org/propaganda/books/
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Nagios3
3. Munin
3.1. Installation
Before installing Munin on server01 apache2 will need to be installed. The default configuration
is fine for running a munin server. For more information see Section 1, “HTTPD - Apache2 Web
Server” [p. 191].
First, on server01 install munin. In a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install munin
Now on server02 install the munin-node package:
sudo apt-get install munin-node
3.2. Configuration
On server01 edit the /etc/munin/munin.conf adding the IP address for server02:
## First our "normal" host.
Replace server02 and with the actual hostname and IP address for your
Next, configure munin-node on server02. Edit /etc/munin/munin-node.conf to allow access by
allow ^172\.18\.100\.100$
Replace ^172\.18\.100\.100$ with IP address for your munin server.
Now restart munin-node on server02 for the changes to take effect:
sudo service munin-node restart
Finally, in a browser go to http://server01/munin, and you should see links to nice graphs displaying
information from the standard munin-plugins for disk, network, processes, and system.
Since this is a new install it may take some time for the graphs to display anything useful.
3.3. Additional Plugins
The munin-plugins-extra package contains performance checks additional services such as DNS,
DHCP, Samba, etc. To install the package, from a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install munin-plugins-extra
Be sure to install the package on both the server and node machines.
3.4. References
• See the Munin5 website for more details.
• Specifically the Munin Documentation6 page includes information on additional plugins, writing
plugins, etc.
• Also, there is a book in German by Open Source Press: Munin Graphisches Netzwerk- und SystemMonitoring7.
5 http://munin.projects.linpro.no/
6 http://munin.projects.linpro.no/wiki/Documentation
7 https://www.opensourcepress.de/index.php?26&backPID=178&tt_products=152
Chapter 11. Web Servers
A Web server is a software responsible for accepting HTTP requests from clients, which are known
as Web browsers, and serving them HTTP responses along with optional data contents, which usually
are Web pages such as HTML documents and linked objects (images, etc.).
Web Servers
1. HTTPD - Apache2 Web Server
Apache is the most commonly used Web Server on Linux systems. Web Servers are used to serve
Web Pages requested by client computers. Clients typically request and view Web Pages using Web
Browser applications such as Firefox, Opera, Chromium, or Mozilla.
Users enter a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to point to a Web server by means of its Fully
Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) and a path to the required resource. For example, to view the home
page of the Ubuntu Web site1 a user will enter only the FQDN:
To view the community2 sub-page, a user will enter the FQDN followed by a path:
The most common protocol used to transfer Web pages is the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
Protocols such as Hyper Text Transfer Protocol over Secure Sockets Layer (HTTPS), and File
Transfer Protocol (FTP), a protocol for uploading and downloading files, are also supported.
Apache Web Servers are often used in combination with the MySQL database engine, the HyperText
Preprocessor (PHP) scripting language, and other popular scripting languages such as Python and
Perl. This configuration is termed LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/Python/PHP) and forms a
powerful and robust platform for the development and deployment of Web-based applications.
1.1. Installation
The Apache2 web server is available in Ubuntu Linux. To install Apache2:
At a terminal prompt enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install apache2
1.2. Configuration
Apache2 is configured by placing directives in plain text configuration files. These directives are
separated between the following files and directories:
• apache2.conf: the main Apache2 configuration file. Contains settings that are global to Apache2.
• httpd.conf: historically the main Apache2 configuration file, named after the httpd daemon. Now
the file does not exist. In older versions of Ubuntu the file might be present, but empty, as all
configuration options have been moved to the below referenced directories.
1 http://www.ubuntu.com
2 http://www.ubuntu.com/community
Web Servers
• conf-available: this directory contains available configuration files. All files that were previously in
/etc/apache2/conf.d should be moved to /etc/apache2/conf-available.
• conf-enabled: holds symlinks to the files in /etc/apache2/conf-available. When a configuration
file is symlinked, it will be enabled the next time apache2 is restarted.
• envvars: file where Apache2 environment variables are set.
• mods-available: this directory contains configuration files to both load modules and configure
them. Not all modules will have specific configuration files, however.
• mods-enabled: holds symlinks to the files in /etc/apache2/mods-available. When a module
configuration file is symlinked it will be enabled the next time apache2 is restarted.
• ports.conf: houses the directives that determine which TCP ports Apache2 is listening on.
• sites-available: this directory has configuration files for Apache2 Virtual Hosts. Virtual Hosts
allow Apache2 to be configured for multiple sites that have separate configurations.
• sites-enabled: like mods-enabled, sites-enabled contains symlinks to the /etc/apache2/sitesavailable directory. Similarly when a configuration file in sites-available is symlinked, the site
configured by it will be active once Apache2 is restarted.
• magic: instructions for determining MIME type based on the first few bytes of a file.
In addition, other configuration files may be added using the Include directive, and wildcards can be
used to include many configuration files. Any directive may be placed in any of these configuration
files. Changes to the main configuration files are only recognized by Apache2 when it is started or
The server also reads a file containing mime document types; the filename is set by the TypesConfig
directive, typically via /etc/apache2/mods-available/mime.conf, which might also include
additions and overrides, and is /etc/mime.types by default.
1.2.1. Basic Settings
This section explains Apache2 server essential configuration parameters. Refer to the Apache2
Documentation3 for more details.
• Apache2 ships with a virtual-host-friendly default configuration. That is, it is configured with a
single default virtual host (using the VirtualHost directive) which can be modified or used as-is if
you have a single site, or used as a template for additional virtual hosts if you have multiple sites.
If left alone, the default virtual host will serve as your default site, or the site users will see if the
URL they enter does not match the ServerName directive of any of your custom sites. To modify
the default virtual host, edit the file /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf.
The directives set for a virtual host only apply to that particular virtual host. If a directive
is set server-wide and not defined within the virtual host settings, the default setting is
3 http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/
Web Servers
used. For example, you can define a Webmaster email address and not define individual
email addresses for each virtual host.
If you wish to configure a new virtual host or site, copy that file into the same directory with a
name you choose. For example:
sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/mynewsite.conf
Edit the new file to configure the new site using some of the directives described below.
• The ServerAdmin directive specifies the email address to be advertised for the server's
administrator. The default value is [email protected] This should be changed to an email
address that is delivered to you (if you are the server's administrator). If your website has a
problem, Apache2 will display an error message containing this email address to report the problem
to. Find this directive in your site's configuration file in /etc/apache2/sites-available.
• The Listen directive specifies the port, and optionally the IP address, Apache2 should listen on.
If the IP address is not specified, Apache2 will listen on all IP addresses assigned to the machine
it runs on. The default value for the Listen directive is 80. Change this to to cause
Apache2 to listen only on your loopback interface so that it will not be available to the Internet,
to (for example) 81 to change the port that it listens on, or leave it as is for normal operation. This
directive can be found and changed in its own file, /etc/apache2/ports.conf
• The ServerName directive is optional and specifies what FQDN your site should answer to. The
default virtual host has no ServerName directive specified, so it will respond to all requests that
do not match a ServerName directive in another virtual host. If you have just acquired the domain
name ubunturocks.com and wish to host it on your Ubuntu server, the value of the ServerName
directive in your virtual host configuration file should be ubunturocks.com. Add this directive to
the new virtual host file you created earlier (/etc/apache2/sites-available/mynewsite.conf).
You may also want your site to respond to www.ubunturocks.com, since many users will assume
the www prefix is appropriate. Use the ServerAlias directive for this. You may also use wildcards
in the ServerAlias directive.
For example, the following configuration will cause your site to respond to any domain request
ending in .ubunturocks.com.
ServerAlias *.ubunturocks.com
• The DocumentRoot directive specifies where Apache2 should look for the files that make up the
site. The default value is /var/www/html, as specified in /etc/apache2/sites-available/000default.conf. If desired, change this value in your site's virtual host file, and remember to create
that directory if necessary!
Enable the new VirtualHost using the a2ensite utility and restart Apache2:
sudo a2ensite mynewsite
Web Servers
sudo service apache2 restart
Be sure to replace mynewsite with a more descriptive name for the VirtualHost. One method
is to name the file after the ServerName directive of the VirtualHost.
Similarly, use the a2dissite utility to disable sites. This is can be useful when troubleshooting
configuration problems with multiple VirtualHosts:
sudo a2dissite mynewsite
sudo service apache2 restart
1.2.2. Default Settings
This section explains configuration of the Apache2 server default settings. For example, if you add a
virtual host, the settings you configure for the virtual host take precedence for that virtual host. For a
directive not defined within the virtual host settings, the default value is used.
• The DirectoryIndex is the default page served by the server when a user requests an index of a
directory by specifying a forward slash (/) at the end of the directory name.
For example, when a user requests the page http://www.example.com/this_directory/, he or she
will get either the DirectoryIndex page if it exists, a server-generated directory list if it does not and
the Indexes option is specified, or a Permission Denied page if neither is true. The server will try
to find one of the files listed in the DirectoryIndex directive and will return the first one it finds.
If it does not find any of these files and if Options Indexes is set for that directory, the server will
generate and return a list, in HTML format, of the subdirectories and files in the directory. The
default value, found in /etc/apache2/mods-available/dir.conf is "index.html index.cgi index.pl
index.php index.xhtml index.htm". Thus, if Apache2 finds a file in a requested directory matching
any of these names, the first will be displayed.
• The ErrorDocument directive allows you to specify a file for Apache2 to use for specific error
events. For example, if a user requests a resource that does not exist, a 404 error will occur.
By default, Apache2 will simply return a HTTP 404 Return code. Read /etc/apache2/confavailable/localized-error-pages.conf for detailed instructions for using ErrorDocument,
including locations of example files.
• By default, the server writes the transfer log to the file /var/log/apache2/access.log. You can
change this on a per-site basis in your virtual host configuration files with the CustomLog directive,
or omit it to accept the default, specified in /etc/apache2/conf.d/other-vhosts-accesslog. You may also specify the file to which errors are logged, via the ErrorLog directive, whose
default is /var/log/apache2/error.log. These are kept separate from the transfer logs to aid
in troubleshooting problems with your Apache2 server. You may also specify the LogLevel (the
default value is "warn") and the LogFormat (see /etc/apache2/apache2.conf for the default
• Some options are specified on a per-directory basis rather than per-server. Options is one of these
directives. A Directory stanza is enclosed in XML-like tags, like so:
Web Servers
<Directory /var/www/html/mynewsite>
The Options directive within a Directory stanza accepts one or more of the following values
(among others), separated by spaces:
• ExecCGI - Allow execution of CGI scripts. CGI scripts are not executed if this option is not
Most files should not be executed as CGI scripts. This would be very dangerous. CGI
scripts should kept in a directory separate from and outside your DocumentRoot, and
only this directory should have the ExecCGI option set. This is the default, and the
default location for CGI scripts is /usr/lib/cgi-bin.
• Includes - Allow server-side includes. Server-side includes allow an HTML file to include other
files. See Apache SSI documentation (Ubuntu community)4 for more information.
• IncludesNOEXEC - Allow server-side includes, but disable the #exec and #include commands
in CGI scripts.
• Indexes - Display a formatted list of the directory's contents, if no DirectoryIndex (such as
index.html) exists in the requested directory.
For security reasons, this should usually not be set, and certainly should not be set on
your DocumentRoot directory. Enable this option carefully on a per-directory basis
only if you are certain you want users to see the entire contents of the directory.
• Multiview - Support content-negotiated multiviews; this option is disabled by default for
security reasons. See the Apache2 documentation on this option5.
• SymLinksIfOwnerMatch - Only follow symbolic links if the target file or directory has the
same owner as the link.
1.2.3. httpd Settings
This section explains some basic httpd daemon configuration settings.
LockFile - The LockFile directive sets the path to the lockfile used when the server is compiled with
stored on the local disk. It should be left to the default value unless the logs directory is located on an
NFS share. If this is the case, the default value should be changed to a location on the local disk and to
a directory that is readable only by root.
PidFile - The PidFile directive sets the file in which the server records its process ID (pid). This file
should only be readable by root. In most cases, it should be left to the default value.
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ServerSideIncludes
5 http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/mod/mod_negotiation.html#multiviews
Web Servers
User - The User directive sets the userid used by the server to answer requests. This setting
determines the server's access. Any files inaccessible to this user will also be inaccessible to your
website's visitors. The default value for User is "www-data".
Unless you know exactly what you are doing, do not set the User directive to root. Using
root as the User will create large security holes for your Web server.
Group - The Group directive is similar to the User directive. Group sets the group under which the
server will answer requests. The default group is also "www-data".
1.2.4. Apache2 Modules
Apache2 is a modular server. This implies that only the most basic functionality is included in the
core server. Extended features are available through modules which can be loaded into Apache2. By
default, a base set of modules is included in the server at compile-time. If the server is compiled to use
dynamically loaded modules, then modules can be compiled separately, and added at any time using
the LoadModule directive. Otherwise, Apache2 must be recompiled to add or remove modules.
Ubuntu compiles Apache2 to allow the dynamic loading of modules. Configuration directives may be
conditionally included on the presence of a particular module by enclosing them in an <IfModule>
You can install additional Apache2 modules and use them with your Web server. For example, run
the following command from a terminal prompt to install the MySQL Authentication module:
sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-auth-mysql
See the /etc/apache2/mods-available directory, for additional modules.
Use the a2enmod utility to enable a module:
sudo a2enmod auth_mysql
sudo service apache2 restart
Similarly, a2dismod will disable a module:
sudo a2dismod auth_mysql
sudo service apache2 restart
1.3. HTTPS Configuration
The mod_ssl module adds an important feature to the Apache2 server - the ability to encrypt
communications. Thus, when your browser is communicating using SSL, the https:// prefix is used at
the beginning of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) in the browser navigation bar.
The mod_ssl module is available in apache2-common package. Execute the following command from
a terminal prompt to enable the mod_ssl module:
Web Servers
sudo a2enmod ssl
There is a default HTTPS configuration file in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf.
In order for Apache2 to provide HTTPS, a certificate and key file are also needed. The default
HTTPS configuration will use a certificate and key generated by the ssl-cert package. They are good
for testing, but the auto-generated certificate and key should be replaced by a certificate specific
to the site or server. For information on generating a key and obtaining a certificate see Section 5,
“Certificates” [p. 175]
To configure Apache2 for HTTPS, enter the following:
sudo a2ensite default-ssl
The directories /etc/ssl/certs and /etc/ssl/private are the default locations. If you
install the certificate and key in another directory make sure to change SSLCertificateFile
and SSLCertificateKeyFile appropriately.
With Apache2 now configured for HTTPS, restart the service to enable the new settings:
sudo service apache2 restart
Depending on how you obtained your certificate you may need to enter a passphrase when
Apache2 starts.
You can access the secure server pages by typing https://your_hostname/url/ in your browser address
1.4. Sharing Write Permission
For more than one user to be able to write to the same directory it will be necessary to grant write
permission to a group they share in common. The following example grants shared write permission
to /var/www/html to the group "webmasters".
sudo chgrp -R webmasters /var/www/html
sudo find /var/www/html -type d -exec chmod g=rwxs "{}" \;
sudo find /var/www/html -type f -exec chmod g=rws
"{}" \;
If access must be granted to more than one group per directory, enable Access Control Lists
1.5. References
• Apache2 Documentation6 contains in depth information on Apache2 configuration directives. Also,
see the apache2-doc package for the official Apache2 docs.
6 http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.4/
Web Servers
• See the Mod SSL Documentation7 site for more SSL related information.
• O'Reilly's Apache Cookbook8 is a good resource for accomplishing specific Apache2
• For Ubuntu specific Apache2 questions, ask in the #ubuntu-server IRC channel on freenode.net9.
• Usually integrated with PHP and MySQL the Apache MySQL PHP Ubuntu Wiki 10 page is a good
7 http://www.modssl.org/docs/
8 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596001919/
9 http://freenode.net/
10 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ApacheMySQLPHP
Web Servers
2. PHP5 - Scripting Language
PHP is a general-purpose scripting language suited for Web development. The PHP script can be
embedded into HTML. This section explains how to install and configure PHP5 in Ubuntu System
with Apache2 and MySQL.
This section assumes you have installed and configured Apache2 Web Server and MySQL Database
Server. You can refer to Apache2 section and MySQL sections in this document to install and
configure Apache2 and MySQL respectively.
2.1. Installation
The PHP5 is available in Ubuntu Linux. Unlike python and perl, which are installed in the base
system, PHP must be added.
To install PHP5 you can enter the following command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5
You can run PHP5 scripts from command line. To run PHP5 scripts from command line you
should install php5-cli package. To install php5-cli you can enter the following command in the
terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install php5-cli
You can also execute PHP5 scripts without installing PHP5 Apache module. To accomplish this,
you should install php5-cgi package. You can run the following command in a terminal prompt
to install php5-cgi package:
sudo apt-get install php5-cgi
To use MySQL with PHP5 you should install php5-mysql package. To install php5-mysql you
can enter the following command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install php5-mysql
Similarly, to use PostgreSQL with PHP5 you should install php5-pgsql package. To install php5pgsql you can enter the following command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install php5-pgsql
2.2. Configuration
Once you install PHP5, you can run PHP5 scripts from your web browser. If you have installed php5cli package, you can run PHP5 scripts from your command prompt.
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By default, the Apache 2 Web server is configured to run PHP5 scripts. In other words, the PHP5
module is enabled in Apache2 Web server automatically when you install the module. Please verify
if the files /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/php5.conf and /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/php5.load
exist. If they do not exists, you can enable the module using a2enmod command.
Once you install PHP5 related packages and enabled PHP5 Apache 2 module, you should restart
Apache2 Web server to run PHP5 scripts. You can run the following command at a terminal prompt
to restart your web server:
sudo service apache2 restart
2.3. Testing
To verify your installation, you can run following PHP5 phpinfo script:
You can save the content in a file phpinfo.php and place it under DocumentRoot directory of
Apache2 Web server. When point your browser to http://hostname/phpinfo.php, it would display
values of various PHP5 configuration parameters.
2.4. References
• For more in depth information see php.net11 documentation.
• There are a plethora of books on PHP. Two good books from O'Reilly are Learning PHP 512 and
the PHP Cook Book13.
• Also, see the Apache MySQL PHP Ubuntu Wiki14 page for more information.
11 http://www.php.net/docs.php
12 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596005603/
13 http://oreilly.com/catalog/9781565926813/
14 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ApacheMySQLPHP
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3. Squid - Proxy Server
Squid is a full-featured web proxy cache server application which provides proxy and cache services
for Hyper Text Transport Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and other popular network
protocols. Squid can implement caching and proxying of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) requests
and caching of Domain Name Server (DNS) lookups, and perform transparent caching. Squid also
supports a wide variety of caching protocols, such as Internet Cache Protocol (ICP), the Hyper
Text Caching Protocol (HTCP), the Cache Array Routing Protocol (CARP), and the Web Cache
Coordination Protocol (WCCP).
The Squid proxy cache server is an excellent solution to a variety of proxy and caching server
needs, and scales from the branch office to enterprise level networks while providing extensive,
granular access control mechanisms, and monitoring of critical parameters via the Simple Network
Management Protocol (SNMP). When selecting a computer system for use as a dedicated Squid
caching proxy server for many users ensure it is configured with a large amount of physical memory
as Squid maintains an in-memory cache for increased performance.
3.1. Installation
At a terminal prompt, enter the following command to install the Squid server:
sudo apt-get install squid3
3.2. Configuration
Squid is configured by editing the directives contained within the /etc/squid3/squid.conf
configuration file. The following examples illustrate some of the directives which may be modified to
affect the behavior of the Squid server. For more in-depth configuration of Squid, see the References
Prior to editing the configuration file, you should make a copy of the original file and
protect it from writing so you will have the original settings as a reference, and to re-use as
necessary. Make this copy and protect it from writing using the following commands:
sudo cp /etc/squid3/squid.conf /etc/squid3/squid.conf.original
sudo chmod a-w /etc/squid3/squid.conf.original
• To set your Squid server to listen on TCP port 8888 instead of the default TCP port 3128, change
the http_port directive as such:
http_port 8888
• Change the visible_hostname directive in order to give the Squid server a specific hostname. This
hostname does not necessarily need to be the computer's hostname. In this example it is set to
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visible_hostname weezie
• Using Squid's access control, you may configure use of Internet services proxied by Squid to be
available only users with certain Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. For example, we will illustrate
access by users of the subnetwork only:
Add the following to the bottom of the ACL section of your /etc/squid3/squid.conf file:
acl fortytwo_network src
Then, add the following to the top of the http_access section of your /etc/squid3/squid.conf
http_access allow fortytwo_network
• Using the excellent access control features of Squid, you may configure use of Internet services
proxied by Squid to be available only during normal business hours. For example, we'll illustrate
access by employees of a business which is operating between 9:00AM and 5:00PM, Monday
through Friday, and which uses the subnetwork:
Add the following to the bottom of the ACL section of your /etc/squid3/squid.conf file:
acl biz_network src
acl biz_hours time M T W T F 9:00-17:00
Then, add the following to the top of the http_access section of your /etc/squid3/squid.conf
http_access allow biz_network biz_hours
After making changes to the /etc/squid3/squid.conf file, save the file and restart the
squid server application to effect the changes using the following command entered at a
terminal prompt:
sudo service squid3 restart
3.3. References
Squid Website15
Ubuntu Wiki Squid16 page.
15 http://www.squid-cache.org/
16 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Squid
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4. Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails is an open source web framework for developing database backed web applications. It
is optimized for sustainable productivity of the programmer since it lets the programmer to write code
by favouring convention over configuration.
4.1. Installation
Before installing Rails you should install Apache and MySQL. To install the Apache package, please
refer to Section 1, “HTTPD - Apache2 Web Server” [p. 191]. For instructions on installing MySQL
refer to Section 1, “MySQL” [p. 210].
Once you have Apache and MySQL packages installed, you are ready to install Ruby on Rails
To install the Ruby base packages and Ruby on Rails, you can enter the following command in the
terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install rails
4.2. Configuration
Modify the /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf configuration file to setup your
The first thing to change is the DocumentRoot directive:
DocumentRoot /path/to/rails/application/public
Next, change the <Directory "/path/to/rails/application/public"> directive:
<Directory "/path/to/rails/application/public">
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews ExecCGI
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
allow from all
AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
You should also enable the mod_rewrite module for Apache. To enable mod_rewrite module, please
enter the following command in a terminal prompt:
sudo a2enmod rewrite
Finally you will need to change the ownership of the /path/to/rails/application/public and /
path/to/rails/application/tmp directories to the user used to run the Apache process:
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sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /path/to/rails/application/public
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /path/to/rails/application/tmp
That's it! Now you have your Server ready for your Ruby on Rails applications.
4.3. References
• See the Ruby on Rails17 website for more information.
• Also Agile Development with Rails18 is a great resource.
• Another place for more information is the Ruby on Rails Ubuntu Wiki19 page.
17 http://rubyonrails.org/
18 http://pragprog.com/titles/rails3/agile-web-development-with-rails-third-edition
19 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RubyOnRails
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5. Apache Tomcat
Apache Tomcat is a web container that allows you to serve Java Servlets and JSP (Java Server Pages)
web applications.
Ubuntu has supported packages for both Tomcat 6 and 7. Tomcat 6 is the legacy version, and Tomcat
7 is the current version where new features are implemented. Both are considered stable. This guide
will focus on Tomcat 7, but most configuration details are valid for both versions.
The Tomcat packages in Ubuntu support two different ways of running Tomcat. You can install them
as a classic unique system-wide instance, that will be started at boot time will run as the tomcat7 (or
tomcat6) unprivileged user. But you can also deploy private instances that will run with your own
user rights, and that you should start and stop by yourself. This second way is particularly useful in a
development server context where multiple users need to test on their own private Tomcat instances.
5.1. System-wide installation
To install the Tomcat server, you can enter the following command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install tomcat7
This will install a Tomcat server with just a default ROOT webapp that displays a minimal "It works"
page by default.
5.2. Configuration
Tomcat configuration files can be found in /etc/tomcat7. Only a few common configuration tweaks
will be described here, please see Tomcat 7.0 documentation20 for more.
5.2.1. Changing default ports
By default Tomcat runs a HTTP connector on port 8080 and an AJP connector on port 8009. You
might want to change those default ports to avoid conflict with another application on the system.
This is done by changing the following lines in /etc/tomcat7/server.xml:
<Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1"
redirectPort="8443" />
<Connector port="8009" protocol="AJP/1.3" redirectPort="8443" />
20 http://tomcat.apache.org/tomcat-7.0-doc/index.html
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5.2.2. Changing JVM used
By default Tomcat will run preferably with OpenJDK JVMs, then try the Sun JVMs, then try some
other JVMs. You can force Tomcat to use a specific JVM by setting JAVA_HOME in /etc/default/
5.2.3. Declaring users and roles
Usernames, passwords and roles (groups) can be defined centrally in a Servlet container. This is done
in the /etc/tomcat7/tomcat-users.xml file:
<role rolename="admin"/>
<user username="tomcat" password="s3cret" roles="admin"/>
5.3. Using Tomcat standard webapps
Tomcat is shipped with webapps that you can install for documentation, administration or demo
5.3.1. Tomcat documentation
The tomcat7-docs package contains Tomcat documentation, packaged as a webapp that you can
access by default at http://yourserver:8080/docs. You can install it by entering the following
command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install tomcat7-docs
5.3.2. Tomcat administration webapps
The tomcat7-admin package contains two webapps that can be used to administer the Tomcat server
using a web interface. You can install them by entering the following command in the terminal
sudo apt-get install tomcat7-admin
The first one is the manager webapp, which you can access by default at http://yourserver:8080/
manager/html. It is primarily used to get server status and restart webapps.
Access to the manager application is protected by default: you need to define a user with the
role "manager-gui" in /etc/tomcat7/tomcat-users.xml before you can access it.
The second one is the host-manager webapp, which you can access by default at http://
yourserver:8080/host-manager/html. It can be used to create virtual hosts dynamically.
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Access to the host-manager application is also protected by default: you need to define a
user with the role "admin-gui" in /etc/tomcat7/tomcat-users.xml before you can access
For security reasons, the tomcat7 user cannot write to the /etc/tomcat7 directory by default. Some
features in these admin webapps (application deployment, virtual host creation) need write access to
that directory. If you want to use these features execute the following, to give users in the tomcat7
group the necessary rights:
sudo chgrp -R tomcat7 /etc/tomcat7
sudo chmod -R g+w /etc/tomcat7
5.3.3. Tomcat examples webapps
The tomcat7-examples package contains two webapps that can be used to test or demonstrate Servlets
and JSP features, which you can access them by default at http://yourserver:8080/examples. You can
install them by entering the following command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install tomcat7-examples
5.4. Using private instances
Tomcat is heavily used in development and testing scenarios where using a single system-wide
instance doesn't meet the requirements of multiple users on a single system. The Tomcat packages
in Ubuntu come with tools to help deploy your own user-oriented instances, allowing every user on
a system to run (without root rights) separate private instances while still using the system-installed
It is possible to run the system-wide instance and the private instances in parallel, as long as
they do not use the same TCP ports.
5.4.1. Installing private instance support
You can install everything necessary to run private instances by entering the following command in
the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install tomcat7-user
5.4.2. Creating a private instance
You can create a private instance directory by entering the following command in the terminal
tomcat7-instance-create my-instance
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This will create a new my-instance directory with all the necessary subdirectories and scripts. You
can for example install your common libraries in the lib/ subdirectory and deploy your webapps in
the webapps/ subdirectory. No webapps are deployed by default.
5.4.3. Configuring your private instance
You will find the classic Tomcat configuration files for your private instance in the conf/
subdirectory. You should for example certainly edit the conf/server.xml file to change the default
ports used by your private Tomcat instance to avoid conflict with other instances that might be
5.4.4. Starting/stopping your private instance
You can start your private instance by entering the following command in the terminal prompt
(supposing your instance is located in the my-instance directory):
You should check the logs/ subdirectory for any error. If you have a
java.net.BindException: Address already in use<null>:8080 error, it means that the port
you're using is already taken and that you should change it.
You can stop your instance by entering the following command in the terminal prompt (supposing
your instance is located in the my-instance directory):
5.5. References
• See the Apache Tomcat21 website for more information.
• Tomcat: The Definitive Guide22 is a good resource for building web applications with Tomcat.
• For additional books see the Tomcat Books23 list page.
21 http://tomcat.apache.org/
22 http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596003180.do
23 http://wiki.apache.org/tomcat/Tomcat/Books
Chapter 12. Databases
Ubuntu provides two popular database servers. They are:
• MySQL™
• PostgreSQL
They are available in the main repository. This section explains how to install and configure these
database servers.
1. MySQL
MySQL is a fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL database server. It is intended for
mission-critical, heavy-load production systems as well as for embedding into mass-deployed
1.1. Installation
To install MySQL, run the following command from a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
During the installation process you will be prompted to enter a password for the MySQL root user.
Once the installation is complete, the MySQL server should be started automatically. You can run the
following command from a terminal prompt to check whether the MySQL server is running:
sudo netstat -tap | grep mysql
When you run this command, you should see the following line or something similar:
0 localhost:mysql
If the server is not running correctly, you can type the following command to start it:
sudo service mysql restart
1.2. Configuration
You can edit the /etc/mysql/my.cnf file to configure the basic settings -- log file, port number, etc.
For example, to configure MySQL to listen for connections from network hosts, change the bindaddress directive to the server's IP address:
Replace with the appropriate address.
After making a change to /etc/mysql/my.cnf the MySQL daemon will need to be restarted:
sudo service mysql restart
If you would like to change the MySQL root password, in a terminal enter:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mysql-server-5.5
The MySQL daemon will be stopped, and you will be prompted to enter a new password.
1.3. Database Engines
Whilst the default configuration of MySQL provided by the Ubuntu packages is perfectly functional
and performs well there are things you may wish to consider before you proceed.
MySQL is designed to allow data to be stored in different ways. These methods are referred to as
either database or storage engines. There are two main engines that you'll be interested in: InnoDB
and MyISAM. Storage engines are transparent to the end user. MySQL will handle things differently
under the surface, but regardless of which storage engine is in use, you will interact with the database
in the same way.
Each engine has its own advantages and disadvantages.
While it is possible, and may be advantageous to mix and match database engines on a table level,
doing so reduces the effectiveness of the performance tuning you can do as you'll be splitting the
resources between two engines instead of dedicating them to one.
• MyISAM is the older of the two. It can be faster than InnoDB under certain circumstances and
favours a read only workload. Some web applications have been tuned around MyISAM (though
that's not to imply that they will slow under InnoDB). MyISAM also supports the FULLTEXT
data type, which allows very fast searches of large quantities of text data. However MyISAM is
only capable of locking an entire table for writing. This means only one process can update a table
at a time. As any application that uses the table scales this may prove to be a hindrance. It also
lacks journaling, which makes it harder for data to be recovered after a crash. The following link
provides some points for consideration about using MyISAM on a production database1.
• InnoDB is a more modern database engine, designed to be ACID compliant2 which guarantees
database transactions are processed reliably. Write locking can occur on a row level basis within
a table. That means multiple updates can occur on a single table simultaneously. Data caching is
also handled in memory within the database engine, allowing caching on a more efficient row level
basis rather than file block. To meet ACID compliance all transactions are journaled independently
of the main tables. This allows for much more reliable data recovery as data consistency can be
As of MySQL 5.5 InnoDB is the default engine, and is highly recommended over MyISAM unless
you have specific need for features unique to the engine.
1.4. Advanced configuration
1.4.1. Creating a tuned my.cnf file
There are a number of parameters that can be adjusted within MySQL's configuration file that
will allow you to improve the performance of the server over time. For initial set-up you may find
1 http://www.mysqlperformanceblog.com/2006/06/17/using-myisam-in-production/
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACID
Percona's my.cnf generating tool3 useful. This tool will help generate a my.cnf file that will be much
more optimised for your specific server capabilities and your requirements.
Do not replace your existing my.cnf file with Percona's one if you have already loaded data into the
database. Some of the changes that will be in the file will be incompatible as they alter how data is
stored on the hard disk and you'll be unable to start MySQL. If you do wish to use it and you have
existing data, you will need to carry out a mysqldump and reload:
mysqldump --all-databases --routines -u root -p > ~/fulldump.sql
This will then prompt you for the root password before creating a copy of the data. It is advisable to
make sure there are no other users or processes using the database whilst this takes place. Depending
on how much data you've got in your database, this may take a while. You won't see anything on the
screen during this process.
Once the dump has been completed, shut down MySQL:
sudo service mysql stop
Now backup the original my.cnf file and replace with the new one:
sudo cp /etc/mysql/my.cnf /etc/mysql/my.cnf.backup
sudo cp /path/to/new/my.cnf /etc/mysql/my.cnf
Then delete and re-initialise the database space and make sure ownership is correct before restarting
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/mysql/*
sudo mysql_install_db
sudo chown -R mysql: /var/lib/mysql
sudo service mysql start
Finally all that's left is to re-import your data. To give us an idea of how far the import process has got
you may find the 'Pipe Viewer' utility, pv, useful. The following shows how to install and use pv for
this case, but if you'd rather not use it just replace pv with cat in the following command. Ignore any
ETA times produced by pv, they're based on the average time taken to handle each row of the file, but
the speed of inserting can vary wildly from row to row with mysqldumps:
sudo apt-get install pv
pv ~/fulldump.sql | mysql
Once that is complete all is good to go!
3 http://tools.percona.com/members/wizard
This is not necessary for all my.cnf changes. Most of the variables you may wish to change
to improve performance are adjustable even whilst the server is running. As with anything,
make sure to have a good backup copy of config files and data before making changes.
1.4.2. MySQL Tuner
MySQL Tuner is a useful tool that will connect to a running MySQL instance and offer suggestions
for how it can be best configured for your workload. The longer the server has been running for, the
better the advice mysqltuner can provide. In a production environment, consider waiting for at least
24 hours before running the tool. You can get install mysqltuner from the Ubuntu repositories:
sudo apt-get install mysqltuner
Then once its been installed, run it:
and wait for its final report. The top section provides general information about the database server,
and the bottom section provides tuning suggestions to alter in your my.cnf. Most of these can be
altered live on the server without restarting, look through the official MySQL documentation (link
in Resources section) for the relevant variables to change in production. The following is part of an
example report from a production database which shows there may be some benefit from increasing
the amount of query cache:
-------- Recommendations ----------------------------------------------------General recommendations:
Run OPTIMIZE TABLE to defragment tables for better performance
Increase table_cache gradually to avoid file descriptor limits
Variables to adjust:
key_buffer_size (> 1.4G)
query_cache_size (> 32M)
table_cache (> 64)
innodb_buffer_pool_size (>= 22G)
One final comment on tuning databases: Whilst we can broadly say that certain settings are the best,
performance can vary from application to application. For example, what works best for Wordpress
might not be the best for Drupal, Joomla or proprietary applications. Performance is dependent on
the types of queries, use of indexes, how efficient the database design is and so on. You may find
it useful to spend some time searching for database tuning tips based on what applications you're
using it for. Once you get past a certain point any adjustments you make will only result in minor
improvements, and you'll be better off either improving the application, or looking at scaling up your
database environment through either using more powerful hardware or by adding slave servers.
1.5. Resources
• See the MySQL Home Page4 for more information.
• Full documentation is available in both online and offline formats from the MySQL Developers
• For general SQL information see Using SQL Special Edition6 by Rafe Colburn.
• The Apache MySQL PHP Ubuntu Wiki7 page also has useful information.
4 http://www.mysql.com/
5 http://dev.mysql.com/doc/
6 http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0768664128
7 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ApacheMySQLPHP
2. PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL is an object-relational database system that has the features of traditional commercial
database systems with enhancements to be found in next-generation DBMS systems.
2.1. Installation
To install PostgreSQL, run the following command in the command prompt:
sudo apt-get install postgresql
Once the installation is complete, you should configure the PostgreSQL server based on your needs,
although the default configuration is viable.
2.2. Configuration
PostgreSQL supports multiple client authentication methods. IDENT authentication method is
used for postgres and local users, unless otherwise configured. Please refer to the PostgreSQL
Administrator's Guide8 if you would like to configure alternatives like Kerberos.
The following discussion assumes that you wish to enable TCP/IP connections and use the MD5
method for client authentication. PostgreSQLconfiguration files are stored in the /etc/postgresql/
<version>/main directory. For example, if you install PostgreSQL 9.1, the configuration files are
stored in the /etc/postgresql/9.1/main directory.
To configure ident authentication, add entries to the /etc/postgresql/9.1/main/
pg_ident.conf file. There are detailed comments in the file to guide you.
To enable other computers to connect to your PostgreSQL server, edit the file /etc/postgresql/9.1/
Locate the line #listen_addresses = 'localhost' and change it to:
listen_addresses = '*'
To allow both IPv4 and IPv6 connections replace 'localhost' with '::'
You may also edit all other parameters, if you know what you are doing! For details, refer to the
configuration file or to the PostgreSQL documentation.
Now that we can connect to our PostgreSQL server, the next step is to set a password for the postgres
user. Run the following command at a terminal prompt to connect to the default PostgreSQL template
8 http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.1/static/admin.html
sudo -u postgres psql template1
The above command connects to PostgreSQL database template1 as user postgres. Once you connect
to the PostgreSQL server, you will be at a SQL prompt. You can run the following SQL command at
the psql prompt to configure the password for the user postgres.
ALTER USER postgres with encrypted password 'your_password';
After configuring the password, edit the file /etc/postgresql/9.1/main/pg_hba.conf to use MD5
authentication with the postgres user:
Finally, you should restart the PostgreSQL service to initialize the new configuration. From a terminal
prompt enter the following to restart PostgreSQL:
sudo service postgresql restart
The above configuration is not complete by any means. Please refer to the PostgreSQL
Administrator's Guide9 to configure more parameters.
You can test server connections from other machines by using the PostgreSQL client.
sudo apt-get install postgresql-client
psql -h postgres.example.com -U postgres -W
Replace the domain name with your actual server domain name.
2.3. Backups
PostgreSQL databases should be backed up regularly. Refer to the PostgreSQL Administrator's
Guide10 for different approaches.
2.4. Resources
• As mentioned above the PostgreSQL Administrator's Guide11 is an excellent resource. The guide is
also available in the postgresql-doc-9.1 package. Execute the following in a terminal to install the
sudo apt-get install postgresql-doc-9.1
9 http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.1/static/admin.html
10 http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.1/static/backup.html
11 http://www.postgresql.org/docs/9.1/static/admin.html
To view the guide enter file:///usr/share/doc/postgresql-doc-9.1/html/index.html into the address
bar of your browser.
• For general SQL information see Using SQL Special Edition12 by Rafe Colburn.
• Also, see the PostgreSQL Ubuntu Wiki13 page for more information.
12 http://www.informit.com/store/product.aspx?isbn=0768664128
13 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PostgreSQL
Chapter 13. LAMP Applications
LAMP Applications
1. Overview
LAMP installations (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP/Perl/Python) are a popular setup for Ubuntu
servers. There is a plethora of Open Source applications written using the LAMP application stack.
Some popular LAMP applications are Wiki's, Content Management Systems, and Management
Software such as phpMyAdmin.
One advantage of LAMP is the substantial flexibility for different database, web server, and scripting
languages. Popular substitutes for MySQL include PostgreSQL and SQLite. Python, Perl, and Ruby
are also frequently used instead of PHP. While Nginx, Cherokee and Lighttpd can replace Apache.
The fastest way to get started is to install LAMP using tasksel. Tasksel is a Debian/Ubuntu tool that
installs multiple related packages as a co-ordinated "task" onto your system. To install a LAMP
At a terminal prompt enter the following command:
sudo tasksel install lamp-server
After installing it you'll be able to install most LAMP applications in this way:
• Download an archive containing the application source files.
• Unpack the archive, usually in a directory accessible to a web server.
• Depending on where the source was extracted, configure a web server to serve the files.
• Configure the application to connect to the database.
• Run a script, or browse to a page of the application, to install the database needed by the
• Once the steps above, or similar steps, are completed you are ready to begin using the application.
A disadvantage of using this approach is that the application files are not placed in the file system in
a standard way, which can cause confusion as to where the application is installed. Another larger
disadvantage is updating the application. When a new version is released, the same process used to
install the application is needed to apply updates.
Fortunately, a number of LAMP applications are already packaged for Ubuntu, and are available for
installation in the same way as non-LAMP applications. Depending on the application some extra
configuration and setup steps may be needed, however.
This section covers how to install some LAMP applications.
LAMP Applications
2. Moin Moin
MoinMoin is a Wiki engine implemented in Python, based on the PikiPiki Wiki engine, and licensed
under the GNU GPL.
2.1. Installation
To install MoinMoin, run the following command in the command prompt:
sudo apt-get install python-moinmoin
You should also install apache2 web server. For installing apache2 web server, please refer
to Section 1.1, “Installation” [p. 191] sub-section in Section 1, “HTTPD - Apache2 Web
Server” [p. 191] section.
2.2. Configuration
For configuring your first Wiki application, please run the following set of commands. Let us assume
that you are creating a Wiki named mywiki:
cd /usr/share/moin
sudo mkdir mywiki
sudo cp -R data mywiki
sudo cp -R underlay mywiki
sudo cp server/moin.cgi mywiki
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data mywiki
sudo chmod -R ug+rwX mywiki
sudo chmod -R o-rwx mywiki
Now you should configure MoinMoin to find your new Wiki mywiki. To configure MoinMoin, open /
etc/moin/mywiki.py file and change the following line:
data_dir = '/org/mywiki/data'
data_dir = '/usr/share/moin/mywiki/data'
Also, below the data_dir option add the data_underlay_dir:
If the /etc/moin/mywiki.py file does not exists, you should copy /usr/share/moin/
config/wikifarm/mywiki.py file to /etc/moin/mywiki.py file and do the above mentioned
If you have named your Wiki as my_wiki_name you should insert a line “("my_wiki_name",
r".*")” in /etc/moin/farmconfig.py file after the line “("mywiki", r".*")”.
LAMP Applications
Once you have configured MoinMoin to find your first Wiki application mywiki, you should configure
apache2 and make it ready for your Wiki application.
You should add the following lines in /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf file
inside the “<VirtualHost *>” tag:
### moin
ScriptAlias /mywiki "/usr/share/moin/mywiki/moin.cgi"
alias /moin_static193 "/usr/share/moin/htdocs"
<Directory /usr/share/moin/htdocs>
Order allow,deny
allow from all
### end moin
Once you configure the apache2 web server and make it ready for your Wiki application, you should
restart it. You can run the following command to restart the apache2 web server:
sudo service apache2 restart
2.3. Verification
You can verify the Wiki application and see if it works by pointing your web browser to the following
For more details, please refer to the MoinMoin1 web site.
2.4. References
• For more information see the moinmoin Wiki2.
• Also, see the Ubuntu Wiki MoinMoin3 page.
1 http://moinmo.in/
2 http://moinmo.in/
3 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MoinMoin
LAMP Applications
3. MediaWiki
MediaWiki is an web based Wiki software written in the PHP language. It can either use MySQL or
PostgreSQL Database Management System.
3.1. Installation
Before installing MediaWiki you should also install Apache2, the PHP5 scripting language and a
Database Management System. MySQL or PostgreSQL are the most common, choose one depending
on your need. Please refer to those sections in this manual for installation instructions.
To install MediaWiki, run the following command in the command prompt:
sudo apt-get install mediawiki php5-gd
For additional MediaWiki functionality see the mediawiki-extensions package.
3.2. Configuration
The Apache configuration file mediawiki.conf for MediaWiki is installed in /etc/apache2/confavailable/ directory. To access MediaWiki, uncomment the following line in the file.
# Alias /mediawiki /var/lib/mediawiki
The MediaWiki configuration also needs to be enabled.
sudo a2enconf mediawiki.conf
Restart Apache server.
sudo service apache2 restart
Access MediaWiki by visiting http://localhost/mediawiki/mw-config/index.php. (Or http://
NAME_OF_YOUR_VIRTUAL_HOST/mediawiki/mw-config/index.php if your server has no GUI.)
Please read the “Environmental checks” section of the configuration page. You should be
able to fix many issues by carefully reading this section.
Once the configuration is complete, you should copy the LocalSettings.php file to /etc/mediawiki
sudo mv /var/lib/mediawiki/config/LocalSettings.php /etc/mediawiki/
You may also want to edit /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php in order to set the memory limit
(disabled by default):
LAMP Applications
ini_set( 'memory_limit', '64M' );
3.3. Extensions
The extensions add new features and enhancements for the MediaWiki application. The extensions
give wiki administrators and end users the ability to customize MediaWiki to their requirements.
You can download MediaWiki extensions as an archive file or checkout from the Subversion
repository. You should copy it to /var/lib/mediawiki/extensions directory. You should also add
the following line at the end of file: /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php.
require_once "$IP/extensions/ExtentionName/ExtentionName.php";
3.4. References
• For more details, please refer to the MediaWiki4 web site.
• The MediaWiki Administrators' Tutorial Guide5 contains a wealth of information for new
MediaWiki administrators.
• Also, the Ubuntu Wiki MediaWiki6 page is a good resource.
4 http://www.mediawiki.org
5 http://www.packtpub.com/Mediawiki/book
6 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MediaWiki
LAMP Applications
4. phpMyAdmin
phpMyAdmin is a LAMP application specifically written for administering MySQL servers. Written
in PHP, and accessed through a web browser, phpMyAdmin provides a graphical interface for
database administration tasks.
4.1. Installation
Before installing phpMyAdmin you will need access to a MySQL database either on the same host as
that phpMyAdmin is installed on, or on a host accessible over the network. For more information see
Section 1, “MySQL” [p. 210]. From a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin
At the prompt choose which web server to be configured for phpMyAdmin. The rest of this section
will use Apache2 for the web server.
In a browser go to http://servername/phpmyadmin, replacing servername with the server's actual
hostname. At the login, page enter root for the username, or another MySQL user, if you have any
setup, and enter the MySQL user's password.
Once logged in you can reset the root password if needed, create users, create/destroy databases and
tables, etc.
4.2. Configuration
The configuration files for phpMyAdmin are located in /etc/phpmyadmin. The main configuration
file is /etc/phpmyadmin/config.inc.php. This file contains configuration options that apply globally
to phpMyAdmin.
To use phpMyAdmin to administer a MySQL database hosted on another server, adjust the following
in /etc/phpmyadmin/config.inc.php:
$cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = 'db_server';
Replace db_server with the actual remote database server name or IP address. Also, be sure
that the phpMyAdmin host has permissions to access the remote database.
Once configured, log out of phpMyAdmin and back in, and you should be accessing the new server.
The config.header.inc.php and config.footer.inc.php files are used to add a HTML header and
footer to phpMyAdmin.
Another important configuration file is /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf, this file is symlinked to /
etc/apache2/conf.d/phpmyadmin.conf, and is used to configure Apache2 to serve the phpMyAdmin
LAMP Applications
site. The file contains directives for loading PHP, directory permissions, etc. For more information on
configuring Apache2 see Section 1, “HTTPD - Apache2 Web Server” [p. 191].
4.3. References
• The phpMyAdmin documentation comes installed with the package and can be accessed from the
phpMyAdmin Documentation link (a question mark with a box around it) under the phpMyAdmin
logo. The official docs can also be access on the phpMyAdmin7 site.
• Also, Mastering phpMyAdmin8 is a great resource.
• A third resource is the phpMyAdmin Ubuntu Wiki9 page.
7 http://www.phpmyadmin.net/home_page/docs.php
8 http://www.packtpub.com/phpmyadmin-3rd-edition/book
9 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/phpMyAdmin
LAMP Applications
5. WordPress
Wordpress is a blog tool, publishing platform and CMS implemented in PHP and licensed under the
5.1. Installation
To install WordPress, run the following comand in the command prompt:
sudo apt-get install wordpress
You should also install apache2 web server and mysql server. For installing apache2 web
server, please refer to Section 1.1, “Installation” [p. 191] sub-section in Section 1, “HTTPD Apache2 Web Server” [p. 191] section. For installing mysql server, please refer to Section 1.1,
“Installation” [p. 210] sub-section in Section 1, “MySQL” [p. 210] section.
5.2. Configuration
For configuring your first WordPress application, configure an apache site. Open /etc/apache2/
sites-available/wordpress.conf and write the following lines:
Alias /blog /usr/share/wordpress
<Directory /usr/share/wordpress>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride Limit Options FileInfo
DirectoryIndex index.php
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
<Directory /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content>
Options FollowSymLinks
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
Enable this new WordPress site
sudo a2ensite wordpress
Once you configure the apache2 web server and make it ready for your WordPress application, you
should restart it. You can run the following command to restart the apache2 web server:
sudo service apache2 restart
To facilitate multiple WordPress installations, the name of this configuration file is based on the
Host header of the HTTP request. This means that you can have a configuration per VirtualHost
LAMP Applications
by simply matching the hostname portion of this configuration with your Apache Virtual Host.
e.g. /etc/wordpress/config-, /etc/wordpress/config-hostalias1.php, etc. These
instructions assume you can access Apache via the localhost hostname (perhaps by using an
ssh tunnel) if not, replace /etc/wordpress/config-localhost.php with /etc/wordpress/configNAME_OF_YOUR_VIRTUAL_HOST.php.
Once the configuration file is written, it is up to you to choose a convention for username and
password to mysql for each WordPress database instance. This documentation shows only one,
localhost, example.
Now configure WordPress to use a mysql database. Open /etc/wordpress/config-localhost.php
file and write the following lines:
define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress');
define('DB_USER', 'wordpress');
define('DB_PASSWORD', 'yourpasswordhere');
define('DB_HOST', 'localhost');
define('WP_CONTENT_DIR', '/usr/share/wordpress/wp-content');
Now create this mysql database. Open a temporary file with mysql commands wordpress.sql and
write the following lines:
ON wordpress.*
TO [email protected]
IDENTIFIED BY 'yourpasswordhere';
Execute these commands.
cat wordpress.sql | sudo mysql --defaults-extra-file=/etc/mysql/debian.cnf
Your new WordPress can now be configured by visiting http://localhost/blog/wp-admin/install.php.
(Or http://NAME_OF_YOUR_VIRTUAL_HOST/blog/wp-admin/install.php if your server has no GUI
and you are completing WordPress configuration via a web browser running on another computer.)
Fill out the Site Title, username, password, and E-mail and click Install WordPress.
Note the generated password (if applicable) and click the login password. Your WordPress is now
ready for use.
5.3. References
• WordPress.org Codex10
10 https://codex.wordpress.org/
LAMP Applications
• Ubuntu Wiki WordPress11
11 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WordPress
Chapter 14. File Servers
If you have more than one computer on a single network. At some point you will probably need to
share files between them. In this section we cover installing and configuring FTP, NFS, and CUPS.
File Servers
1. FTP Server
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a TCP protocol for downloading files between computers. In the
past, it has also been used for uploading but, as that method does not use encryption, user credentials
as well as data transferred in the clear and are easily intercepted. So if you are here looking for
a way to upload and download files securely, see the section on OpenSSH in Chapter 6, Remote
Administration [p. 79] instead.
FTP works on a client/server model. The server component is called an FTP daemon. It continuously
listens for FTP requests from remote clients. When a request is received, it manages the login and sets
up the connection. For the duration of the session it executes any of commands sent by the FTP client.
Access to an FTP server can be managed in two ways:
• Anonymous
• Authenticated
In the Anonymous mode, remote clients can access the FTP server by using the default user account
called "anonymous" or "ftp" and sending an email address as the password. In the Authenticated mode
a user must have an account and a password. This latter choice is very insecure and should not be
used except in special circumstances. If you are looking to transfer files securely see SFTP in the
section on OpenSSH-Server. User access to the FTP server directories and files is dependent on the
permissions defined for the account used at login. As a general rule, the FTP daemon will hide the
root directory of the FTP server and change it to the FTP Home directory. This hides the rest of the
file system from remote sessions.
1.1. vsftpd - FTP Server Installation
vsftpd is an FTP daemon available in Ubuntu. It is easy to install, set up, and maintain. To install
vsftpd you can run the following command:
sudo apt-get install vsftpd
1.2. Anonymous FTP Configuration
By default vsftpd is not configured to allow anonymous download. If you wish to enable anonymous
download edit /etc/vsftpd.conf by changing:
During installation a ftp user is created with a home directory of /srv/ftp. This is the default FTP
If you wish to change this location, to /srv/files/ftp for example, simply create a directory in
another location and change the ftp user's home directory:
File Servers
sudo mkdir /srv/files/ftp
sudo usermod -d /srv/files/ftp ftp
After making the change restart vsftpd:
sudo restart vsftpd
Finally, copy any files and directories you would like to make available through anonymous FTP to /
srv/files/ftp, or /srv/ftp if you wish to use the default.
1.3. User Authenticated FTP Configuration
By default vsftpd is configured to authenticate system users and allow them to download files. If you
want users to be able to upload files, edit /etc/vsftpd.conf:
Now restart vsftpd:
sudo restart vsftpd
Now when system users login to FTP they will start in their home directories where they can
download, upload, create directories, etc.
Similarly, by default, anonymous users are not allowed to upload files to FTP server. To change this
setting, you should uncomment the following line, and restart vsftpd:
Enabling anonymous FTP upload can be an extreme security risk. It is best to not enable
anonymous upload on servers accessed directly from the Internet.
The configuration file consists of many configuration parameters. The information about each
parameter is available in the configuration file. Alternatively, you can refer to the man page, man 5
vsftpd.conf for details of each parameter.
1.4. Securing FTP
There are options in /etc/vsftpd.conf to help make vsftpd more secure. For example users can be
limited to their home directories by uncommenting:
You can also limit a specific list of users to just their home directories:
File Servers
After uncommenting the above options, create a /etc/vsftpd.chroot_list containing a list of users
one per line. Then restart vsftpd:
sudo restart vsftpd
Also, the /etc/ftpusers file is a list of users that are disallowed FTP access. The default list includes
root, daemon, nobody, etc. To disable FTP access for additional users simply add them to the list.
FTP can also be encrypted using FTPS. Different from SFTP, FTPS is FTP over Secure Socket Layer
(SSL). SFTP is a FTP like session over an encrypted SSH connection. A major difference is that
users of SFTP need to have a shell account on the system, instead of a nologin shell. Providing all
users with a shell may not be ideal for some environments, such as a shared web host. However, it
is possible to restrict such accounts to only SFTP and disable shell interaction. See the section on
OpenSSH-Server for more.
To configure FTPS, edit /etc/vsftpd.conf and at the bottom add:
Also, notice the certificate and key related options:
By default these options are set to the certificate and key provided by the ssl-cert package. In a
production environment these should be replaced with a certificate and key generated for the specific
host. For more information on certificates see Section 5, “Certificates” [p. 175].
Now restart vsftpd, and non-anonymous users will be forced to use FTPS:
sudo restart vsftpd
To allow users with a shell of /usr/sbin/nologin access to FTP, but have no shell access, edit /etc/
shells adding the nologin shell:
# /etc/shells: valid login shells
File Servers
This is necessary because, by default vsftpd uses PAM for authentication, and the /etc/pam.d/
vsftpd configuration file contains:
The shells PAM module restricts access to shells listed in the /etc/shells file.
Most popular FTP clients can be configured to connect using FTPS. The lftp command line FTP
client has the ability to use FTPS as well.
1.5. References
• See the vsftpd website1 for more information.
• For detailed /etc/vsftpd.conf options see the vsftpd.conf man page2.
1 http://vsftpd.beasts.org/vsftpd_conf.html
2 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man5/vsftpd.conf.5.html
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2. Network File System (NFS)
NFS allows a system to share directories and files with others over a network. By using NFS, users
and programs can access files on remote systems almost as if they were local files.
Some of the most notable benefits that NFS can provide are:
• Local workstations use less disk space because commonly used data can be stored on a single
machine and still remain accessible to others over the network.
• There is no need for users to have separate home directories on every network machine. Home
directories could be set up on the NFS server and made available throughout the network.
• Storage devices such as floppy disks, CDROM drives, and USB Thumb drives can be used by other
machines on the network. This may reduce the number of removable media drives throughout the
2.1. Installation
At a terminal prompt enter the following command to install the NFS Server:
sudo apt-get install nfs-kernel-server
2.2. Configuration
You can configure the directories to be exported by adding them to the /etc/exports file. For
You can replace * with one of the hostname formats. Make the hostname declaration as specific as
possible so unwanted systems cannot access the NFS mount.
To start the NFS server, you can run the following command at a terminal prompt:
sudo service nfs-kernel-server start
2.3. NFS Client Configuration
Use the mount command to mount a shared NFS directory from another machine, by typing a
command line similar to the following at a terminal prompt:
sudo mount example.hostname.com:/ubuntu /local/ubuntu
The mount point directory /local/ubuntu must exist. There should be no files or
subdirectories in the /local/ubuntu directory.
File Servers
An alternate way to mount an NFS share from another machine is to add a line to the /etc/fstab file.
The line must state the hostname of the NFS server, the directory on the server being exported, and
the directory on the local machine where the NFS share is to be mounted.
The general syntax for the line in /etc/fstab file is as follows:
example.hostname.com:/ubuntu /local/ubuntu nfs rsize=8192,wsize=8192,timeo=14,intr
If you have trouble mounting an NFS share, make sure the nfs-common package is installed on your
client. To install nfs-common enter the following command at the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install nfs-common
2.4. References
Linux NFS faq3
Ubuntu Wiki NFS Howto4
3 http://nfs.sourceforge.net/
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NFSv4Howto
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3. iSCSI Initiator
iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) is a protocol that allows SCSI commands to be
transmitted over a network. Typically iSCSI is implemented in a SAN (Storage Area Network)
to allow servers to access a large store of hard drive space. The iSCSI protocol refers to clients as
initiators and iSCSI servers as targets.
Ubuntu Server can be configured as both an iSCSI initiator and a target. This guide provides
commands and configuration options to setup an iSCSI initiator. It is assumed that you already have
an iSCSI target on your local network and have the appropriate rights to connect to it. The instructions
for setting up a target vary greatly between hardware providers, so consult your vendor documentation
to configure your specific iSCSI target.
3.1. iSCSI Initiator Install
To configure Ubuntu Server as an iSCSI initiator install the open-iscsi package. In a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install open-iscsi
3.2. iSCSI Initiator Configuration
Once the open-iscsi package is installed, edit /etc/iscsi/iscsid.conf changing the following:
node.startup = automatic
You can check which targets are available by using the iscsiadm utility. Enter the following in a
sudo iscsiadm -m discovery -t st -p
• -m: determines the mode that iscsiadm executes in.
• -t: specifies the type of discovery.
• -p: option indicates the target IP address.
Change example to the target IP address on your network.
If the target is available you should see output similar to the following:,1 iqn.1992-05.com.emc:sl7b92030000520000-2
The iqn number and IP address above will vary depending on your hardware.
File Servers
You should now be able to connect to the iSCSI target, and depending on your target setup you may
have to enter user credentials. Login to the iSCSI node:
sudo iscsiadm -m node --login
Check to make sure that the new disk has been detected using dmesg:
dmesg | grep sd
4.322384] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 0
4.323230] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Cache data unavailable
4.323233] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
4.325312] sda: sda1 sda2 < sda5 >
4.325729] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Cache data unavailable
4.325732] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
41943040 512-byte logical blocks: (21.4 GB/20.0 GiB)
Write Protect is off
Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
Cache data unavailable
Assuming drive cache: write through
4.325735] sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk
[ 2486.941805] sd 4:0:0:3: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
[ 2486.952093] sd 4:0:0:3: [sdb] 1126400000 512-byte logical blocks: (576 GB/537 GiB)
[ 2486.954195] sd 4:0:0:3: [sdb] Write Protect is off
[ 2486.954200] sd 4:0:0:3: [sdb] Mode Sense: 8f 00 00 08
[ 2486.954692] sd 4:0:0:3: [sdb] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't
support DPO or FUA
[ 2486.960577]
sdb: sdb1
[ 2486.964862] sd 4:0:0:3: [sdb] Attached SCSI disk
In the output above sdb is the new iSCSI disk. Remember this is just an example; the output you see
on your screen will vary.
Next, create a partition, format the file system, and mount the new iSCSI disk. In a terminal enter:
sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
The above commands are from inside the fdisk utility; see man fdisk for more detailed
instructions. Also, the cfdisk utility is sometimes more user friendly.
Now format the file system and mount it to /srv as an example:
sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /srv
File Servers
Finally, add an entry to /etc/fstab to mount the iSCSI drive during boot:
defaults,auto,_netdev 0 0
It is a good idea to make sure everything is working as expected by rebooting the server.
3.3. References
Open-iSCSI Website5
Debian Open-iSCSI page6
5 http://www.open-iscsi.org/
6 http://wiki.debian.org/SAN/iSCSI/open-iscsi
File Servers
4. CUPS - Print Server
The primary mechanism for Ubuntu printing and print services is the Common UNIX Printing
System (CUPS). This printing system is a freely available, portable printing layer which has become
the new standard for printing in most Linux distributions.
CUPS manages print jobs and queues and provides network printing using the standard Internet
Printing Protocol (IPP), while offering support for a very large range of printers, from dot-matrix
to laser and many in between. CUPS also supports PostScript Printer Description (PPD) and autodetection of network printers, and features a simple web-based configuration and administration tool.
4.1. Installation
To install CUPS on your Ubuntu computer, simply use sudo with the apt-get command and give the
packages to install as the first parameter. A complete CUPS install has many package dependencies,
but they may all be specified on the same command line. Enter the following at a terminal prompt to
install CUPS:
sudo apt-get install cups
Upon authenticating with your user password, the packages should be downloaded and installed
without error. Upon the conclusion of installation, the CUPS server will be started automatically.
For troubleshooting purposes, you can access CUPS server errors via the error log file at: /var/log/
cups/error_log. If the error log does not show enough information to troubleshoot any problems
you encounter, the verbosity of the CUPS log can be increased by changing the LogLevel directive
in the configuration file (discussed below) to "debug" or even "debug2", which logs everything, from
the default of "info". If you make this change, remember to change it back once you've solved your
problem, to prevent the log file from becoming overly large.
4.2. Configuration
The Common UNIX Printing System server's behavior is configured through the directives contained
in the file /etc/cups/cupsd.conf. The CUPS configuration file follows the same syntax as the
primary configuration file for the Apache HTTP server, so users familiar with editing Apache's
configuration file should feel at ease when editing the CUPS configuration file. Some examples of
settings you may wish to change initially will be presented here.
Prior to editing the configuration file, you should make a copy of the original file and
protect it from writing, so you will have the original settings as a reference, and to reuse as
Copy the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf file and protect it from writing with the following
commands, issued at a terminal prompt:
File Servers
sudo cp /etc/cups/cupsd.conf /etc/cups/cupsd.conf.original
sudo chmod a-w /etc/cups/cupsd.conf.original
• ServerAdmin: To configure the email address of the designated administrator of the CUPS server,
simply edit the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf configuration file with your preferred text editor, and
add or modify the ServerAdmin line accordingly. For example, if you are the Administrator for
the CUPS server, and your e-mail address is '[email protected]', then you would modify the
ServerAdmin line to appear as such:
ServerAdmin [email protected]
• Listen: By default on Ubuntu, the CUPS server installation listens only on the loopback interface
at IP address In order to instruct the CUPS server to listen on an actual network adapter's
IP address, you must specify either a hostname, the IP address, or optionally, an IP address/port
pairing via the addition of a Listen directive. For example, if your CUPS server resides on a local
network at the IP address and you'd like to make it accessible to the other systems
on this subnetwork, you would edit the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf and add a Listen directive, as such:
# existing loopback Listen
Listen /var/run/cups/cups.sock # existing socket Listen
# Listen on the LAN interface, Port 631 (IPP)
In the example above, you may comment out or remove the reference to the Loopback address
( if you do not wish cupsd to listen on that interface, but would rather have it only listen
on the Ethernet interfaces of the Local Area Network (LAN). To enable listening for all network
interfaces for which a certain hostname is bound, including the Loopback, you could create a Listen
entry for the hostname socrates as such:
Listen socrates:631
# Listen on all interfaces for the hostname 'socrates'
or by omitting the Listen directive and using Port instead, as in:
Port 631
# Listen on port 631 on all interfaces
For more examples of configuration directives in the CUPS server configuration file, view the
associated system manual page by entering the following command at a terminal prompt:
man cupsd.conf
Whenever you make changes to the /etc/cups/cupsd.conf configuration file, you'll need
to restart the CUPS server by typing the following command at a terminal prompt:
sudo service cups restart
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4.3. Web Interface
CUPS can be configured and monitored using a web interface, which by default is available
at http://localhost:631/admin. The web interface can be used to perform all printer
management tasks.
In order to perform administrative tasks via the web interface, you must either have the root account
enabled on your server, or authenticate as a user in the lpadmin group. For security reasons, CUPS
won't authenticate a user that doesn't have a password.
To add a user to the lpadmin group, run at the terminal prompt:
sudo usermod -aG lpadmin username
Further documentation is available in the Documentation/Help tab of the web interface.
4.4. References
CUPS Website7
Debian Open-iSCSI page8
7 http://www.cups.org/
8 http://wiki.debian.org/SAN/iSCSI/open-iscsi
Chapter 15. Email Services
The process of getting an email from one person to another over a network or the Internet involves
many systems working together. Each of these systems must be correctly configured for the process to
work. The sender uses a Mail User Agent (MUA), or email client, to send the message through one or
more Mail Transfer Agents (MTA), the last of which will hand it off to a Mail Delivery Agent (MDA)
for delivery to the recipient's mailbox, from which it will be retrieved by the recipient's email client,
usually via a POP3 or IMAP server.
Email Services
1. Postfix
Postfix is the default Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) in Ubuntu. It attempts to be fast and easy to
administer and secure. It is compatible with the MTA sendmail. This section explains how to install
and configure postfix. It also explains how to set it up as an SMTP server using a secure connection
(for sending emails securely).
This guide does not cover setting up Postfix Virtual Domains, for information on Virtual
Domains and other advanced configurations see Section 1.7.4, “References” [p. 249].
1.1. Installation
To install postfix run the following command:
sudo apt-get install postfix
Simply press return when the installation process asks questions, the configuration will be done in
greater detail in the next stage.
1.2. Basic Configuration
To configure postfix, run the following command:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure postfix
The user interface will be displayed. On each screen, select the following values:
• Internet Site
• mail.example.com
• steve
• mail.example.com, localhost.localdomain, localhost
• No
• [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128
• 0
• +
• all
Replace mail.example.com with the domain for which you'll accept email,
with the actual network and class range of your mail server, and steve with the appropriate
Now is a good time to decide which mailbox format you want to use. By default Postfix will use
mbox for the mailbox format. Rather than editing the configuration file directly, you can use the
postconf command to configure all postfix parameters. The configuration parameters will be stored in
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file. Later if you wish to re-configure a particular parameter, you can either
run the command or change it manually in the file.
To configure the mailbox format for Maildir:
sudo postconf -e 'home_mailbox = Maildir/'
This will place new mail in /home/username/Maildir so you will need to configure your
Mail Delivery Agent (MDA) to use the same path.
1.3. SMTP Authentication
SMTP-AUTH allows a client to identify itself through an authentication mechanism (SASL).
Transport Layer Security (TLS) should be used to encrypt the authentication process. Once
authenticated the SMTP server will allow the client to relay mail.
Configure Postfix for SMTP-AUTH using SASL (Dovecot SASL):
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_sasl_path = private/auth'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_sasl_local_domain ='
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous'
sudo postconf -e 'broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_recipient_restrictions = \
The smtpd_sasl_path configuration is a path relative to the Postfix queue directory.
Next, generate or obtain a digital certificate for TLS. See Section 5, “Certificates” [p. 175] for
details. This example also uses a Certificate Authority (CA). For information on generating a CA
certificate see Section 5.5, “Certification Authority” [p. 177].
MUAs connecting to your mail server via TLS will need to recognize the certificate
used for TLS. This can either be done using a certificate from a commercial CA or
with a self-signed certificate that users manually install/accept. For MTA to MTA
TLS certficates are never validated without advance agreement from the affected
organizations. For MTA to MTA TLS, unless local policy requires it, there is no
reason not to use a self-signed certificate. Refer to Section 5.3, “Creating a Self-Signed
Certificate” [p. 177] for more details.
Once you have a certificate, configure Postfix to provide TLS encryption for both incoming and
outgoing mail:
sudo postconf -e 'smtp_tls_security_level = may'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_security_level = may'
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sudo postconf -e 'smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/server.key'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/server.crt'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_loglevel = 1'
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_received_header = yes'
sudo postconf -e 'myhostname = mail.example.com'
If you are using your own Certificate Authority to sign the certificate enter:
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem'
Again, for more details about certificates see Section 5, “Certificates” [p. 175].
After running all the commands, Postfix is configured for SMTP-AUTH and a self-signed
certificate has been created for TLS encryption.
Now, the file /etc/postfix/main.cf should look like this:
# See /usr/share/postfix/main.cf.dist for a commented, more complete
# version
smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name (Ubuntu)
biff = no
# appending .domain is the MUA's job.
append_dot_mydomain = no
# Uncomment the next line to generate "delayed mail" warnings
#delay_warning_time = 4h
myhostname = server1.example.com
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
myorigin = /etc/mailname
mydestination = server1.example.com, localhost.example.com, localhost
relayhost =
mynetworks =
mailbox_command = procmail -a "$EXTENSION"
mailbox_size_limit = 0
recipient_delimiter = +
inet_interfaces = all
smtpd_sasl_local_domain =
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
smtpd_recipient_restrictions =
permit_sasl_authenticated,permit_mynetworks,reject _unauth_destination
smtpd_tls_auth_only = no
smtp_tls_security_level = may
smtpd_tls_security_level = may
smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/smtpd.key
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smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/smtpd.crt
smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/certs/cacert.pem
smtpd_tls_loglevel = 1
smtpd_tls_received_header = yes
smtpd_tls_session_cache_timeout = 3600s
tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom
The postfix initial configuration is complete. Run the following command to restart the postfix
sudo service postfix restart
Postfix supports SMTP-AUTH as defined in RFC25541. It is based on SASL2. However it is still
necessary to set up SASL authentication before you can use SMTP-AUTH.
1.4. Configuring SASL
Postfix supports two SASL implementations Cyrus SASL and Dovecot SASL. To enable Dovecot
SASL the dovecot-common package will need to be installed. From a terminal prompt enter the
sudo apt-get install dovecot-common
Next you will need to edit /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-master.conf. Change the following:
service auth {
# auth_socket_path points to this userdb socket by default. It's typically
# used by dovecot-lda, doveadm, possibly imap process, etc. Its default
# permissions make it readable only by root, but you may need to relax these
# permissions. Users that have access to this socket are able to get a list
# of all usernames and get results of everyone's userdb lookups.
unix_listener auth-userdb {
#mode = 0600
#user =
#group =
# Postfix smtp-auth
unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth {
mode = 0660
user = postfix
group = postfix
In order to let Outlook clients use SMTP-AUTH, in the authentication mechanisms section of /etc/
dovecot/conf.d/10-auth.conf change this line:
1 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2554.txt
2 http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2222.txt
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auth_mechanisms = plain
To this:
auth_mechanisms = plain login
Once you have Dovecot configured restart it with:
sudo service dovecot restart
1.5. Mail-Stack Delivery
Another option for configuring Postfix for SMTP-AUTH is using the mail-stack-delivery package
(previously packaged as dovecot-postfix). This package will install Dovecot and configure Postfix
to use it for both SASL authentication and as a Mail Delivery Agent (MDA). The package also
configures Dovecot for IMAP, IMAPS, POP3, and POP3S.
You may or may not want to run IMAP, IMAPS, POP3, or POP3S on your mail server. For
example, if you are configuring your server to be a mail gateway, spam/virus filter, etc. If
this is the case it may be easier to use the above commands to configure Postfix for SMTPAUTH.
To install the package, from a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install mail-stack-delivery
You should now have a working mail server, but there are a few options that you may wish to further
customize. For example, the package uses the certificate and key from the ssl-cert package, and in a
production environment you should use a certificate and key generated for the host. See Section 5,
“Certificates” [p. 175] for more details.
Once you have a customized certificate and key for the host, change the following options in /etc/
smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/ssl/certs/ssl-mail.pem
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/ssl/private/ssl-mail.key
Then restart Postfix:
sudo service postfix restart
1.6. Testing
SMTP-AUTH configuration is complete. Now it is time to test the setup.
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To see if SMTP-AUTH and TLS work properly, run the following command:
telnet mail.example.com 25
After you have established the connection to the postfix mail server, type:
ehlo mail.example.com
If you see the following lines among others, then everything is working perfectly. Type quit to exit.
1.7. Troubleshooting
This section introduces some common ways to determine the cause if problems arise.
1.7.1. Escaping chroot
The Ubuntu postfix package will by default install into a chroot environment for security reasons.
This can add greater complexity when troubleshooting problems.
To turn off the chroot operation locate for the following line in the /etc/postfix/master.cf
configuration file:
and modify it as follows:
You will then need to restart Postfix to use the new configuration. From a terminal prompt enter:
sudo service postfix restart
1.7.2. Smtps
If you need smtps, edit /etc/postfix/master.cf and uncomment the following line:
-o smtpd_tls_wrappermode=yes
-o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
-o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
-o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING
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1.7.3. Log Files
Postfix sends all log messages to /var/log/mail.log. However error and warning messages can
sometimes get lost in the normal log output so they are also logged to /var/log/mail.err and /var/
log/mail.warn respectively.
To see messages entered into the logs in real time you can use the tail -f command:
tail -f /var/log/mail.err
The amount of detail that is recorded in the logs can be increased. Below are some configuration
options for increasing the log level for some of the areas covered above.
• To increase TLS activity logging set the smtpd_tls_loglevel option to a value from 1 to 4.
sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_tls_loglevel = 4'
• If you are having trouble sending or receiving mail from a specific domain you can add the domain
to the debug_peer_list parameter.
sudo postconf -e 'debug_peer_list = problem.domain'
• You can increase the verbosity of any Postfix daemon process by editing the /etc/postfix/
master.cf and adding a -v after the entry. For example edit the smtp entry:
smtp -v
It is important to note that after making one of the logging changes above the Postfix
process will need to be reloaded in order to recognize the new configuration: sudo service
postfix reload
• To increase the amount of information logged when troubleshooting SASL issues you can set the
following options in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-logging.conf
Just like Postfix if you change a Dovecot configuration the process will need to be reloaded:
sudo service dovecot reload.
Some of the options above can drastically increase the amount of information sent to the log
files. Remember to return the log level back to normal after you have corrected the problem.
Then reload the appropriate daemon for the new configuration to take affect.
1.7.4. References
Administering a Postfix server can be a very complicated task. At some point you may need to turn to
the Ubuntu community for more experienced help.
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A great place to ask for Postfix assistance, and get involved with the Ubuntu Server community, is the
#ubuntu-server IRC channel on freenode3. You can also post a message to one of the Web Forums4.
For in depth Postfix information Ubuntu developers highly recommend: The Book of Postfix5.
Finally, the Postfix6 website also has great documentation on all the different configuration options
Also, the Ubuntu Wiki Postfix7 page has more information.
3 http://freenode.net
4 http://www.ubuntu.com/support/community/webforums
5 http://www.postfix-book.com/
6 http://www.postfix.org/documentation.html
7 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Postfix
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2. Exim4
Exim4 is another Message Transfer Agent (MTA) developed at the University of Cambridge for use
on Unix systems connected to the Internet. Exim can be installed in place of sendmail, although the
configuration of exim is quite different to that of sendmail.
2.1. Installation
To install exim4, run the following command:
sudo apt-get install exim4
2.2. Configuration
To configure Exim4, run the following command:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config
The user interface will be displayed. The user interface lets you configure many parameters. For
example, In Exim4 the configuration files are split among multiple files. If you wish to have them in
one file you can configure accordingly in this user interface.
All the parameters you configure in the user interface are stored in /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf
file. If you wish to re-configure, either you re-run the configuration wizard or manually edit this file
using your favorite editor. Once you configure, you can run the following command to generate the
master configuration file:
sudo update-exim4.conf
The master configuration file, is generated and it is stored in /var/lib/exim4/
At any time, you should not edit the master configuration file, /var/lib/exim4/
config.autogenerated manually. It is updated automatically every time you run updateexim4.conf
You can run the following command to start Exim4 daemon.
sudo service exim4 start
2.3. SMTP Authentication
This section covers configuring Exim4 to use SMTP-AUTH with TLS and SASL.
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The first step is to create a certificate for use with TLS. Enter the following into a terminal prompt:
sudo /usr/share/doc/exim4-base/examples/exim-gencert
Now Exim4 needs to be configured for TLS by editing /etc/exim4/conf.d/main/03_exim4config_tlsoptions add the following:
Next you need to configure Exim4 to use the saslauthd for authentication. Edit /etc/exim4/
conf.d/auth/30_exim4-config_examples and uncomment the plain_saslauthd_server and
login_saslauthd_server sections:
driver = plaintext
public_name = PLAIN
server_condition = ${if saslauthd{{$auth2}{$auth3}}{1}{0}}
server_set_id = $auth2
server_prompts = :
server_advertise_condition = ${if eq{$tls_cipher}{}{}{*}}
driver = plaintext
public_name = LOGIN
server_prompts = "Username:: : Password::"
# don't send system passwords over unencrypted connections
server_condition = ${if saslauthd{{$auth1}{$auth2}}{1}{0}}
server_set_id = $auth1
server_advertise_condition = ${if eq{$tls_cipher}{}{}{*}}
Additionally, in order for outside mail client to be able to connect to new exim server, new user needs
to be added into exim by using the following commands.
sudo /usr/share/doc/exim4-base/examples/exim-adduser
Users should protect the new exim password files with the following commands.
sudo chown root:Debian-exim /etc/exim4/passwd
sudo chmod 640 /etc/exim4/passwd
Finally, update the Exim4 configuration and restart the service:
sudo update-exim4.conf
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sudo service exim4 restart
2.4. Configuring SASL
This section provides details on configuring the saslauthd to provide authentication for Exim4.
The first step is to install the sasl2-bin package. From a terminal prompt enter the following:
sudo apt-get install sasl2-bin
To configure saslauthd edit the /etc/default/saslauthd configuration file and set START=no to:
Next the Debian-exim user needs to be part of the sasl group in order for Exim4 to use the saslauthd
sudo adduser Debian-exim sasl
Now start the saslauthd service:
sudo service saslauthd start
Exim4 is now configured with SMTP-AUTH using TLS and SASL authentication.
2.5. References
• See exim.org8 for more information.
• There is also an Exim4 Book9 available.
• Another resource is the Exim4 Ubuntu Wiki 10 page.
8 http://www.exim.org/
9 http://www.uit.co.uk/content/exim-smtp-mail-server
10 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Exim4
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3. Dovecot Server
Dovecot is a Mail Delivery Agent, written with security primarily in mind. It supports the major
mailbox formats: mbox or Maildir. This section explain how to set it up as an imap or pop3 server.
3.1. Installation
To install dovecot, run the following command in the command prompt:
sudo apt-get install dovecot-imapd dovecot-pop3d
3.2. Configuration
To configure dovecot, you can edit the file /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf. You can choose the
protocol you use. It could be pop3, pop3s (pop3 secure), imap and imaps (imap secure). A description
of these protocols is beyond the scope of this guide. For further information, refer to the Wikipedia
articles on POP311 and IMAP12.
IMAPS and POP3S are more secure that the simple IMAP and POP3 because they use SSL
encryption to connect. Once you have chosen the protocol, amend the following line in the file /etc/
protocols = pop3 pop3s imap imaps
Next, choose the mailbox you would like to use. Dovecot supports maildir and mbox formats. These
are the most commonly used mailbox formats. They both have their own benefits and are discussed on
the Dovecot web site13.
Once you have chosen your mailbox type, edit the file /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-mail.conf and
change the following line:
mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir # (for maildir)
mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/spool/mail/%u # (for mbox)
You should configure your Mail Transport Agent (MTA) to transfer the incoming mail to
this type of mailbox if it is different from the one you have configured.
Once you have configured dovecot, restart the dovecot daemon in order to test your setup:
sudo service dovecot restart
11 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POP3
12 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Message_Access_Protocol
13 http://wiki2.dovecot.org/MailboxFormat
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If you have enabled imap, or pop3, you can also try to log in with the commands telnet localhost
pop3 or telnet localhost imap2. If you see something like the following, the installation has been
[email protected]:~$ telnet localhost pop3
Connected to localhost.localdomain.
Escape character is '^]'.
+OK Dovecot ready.
3.3. Dovecot SSL Configuration
To configure dovecot to use SSL, you can edit the file /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-ssl.conf and
amend following lines:
ssl = yes
ssl_cert = </etc/ssl/certs/dovecot.pem
ssl_key = </etc/ssl/private/dovecot.pem
You can get the SSL certificate from a Certificate Issuing Authority or you can create self signed
SSL certificate. The latter is a good option for email, because SMTP clients rarely complain about
"self-signed certificates". Please refer to Section 5, “Certificates” [p. 175] for details about how
to create self signed SSL certificate. Once you create the certificate, you will have a key file and a
certificate file. Please copy them to the location pointed in the /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-ssl.conf
configuration file.
3.4. Firewall Configuration for an Email Server
To access your mail server from another computer, you must configure your firewall to allow
connections to the server on the necessary ports.
• IMAP - 143
• IMAPS - 993
• POP3 - 110
• POP3S - 995
3.5. References
• See the Dovecot website14 for more information.
• Also, the Dovecot Ubuntu Wiki15 page has more details.
14 http://www.dovecot.org/
15 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Dovecot
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4. Mailman
Mailman is an open source program for managing electronic mail discussions and e-newsletter lists.
Many open source mailing lists (including all the Ubuntu mailing lists16) use Mailman as their mailing
list software. It is powerful and easy to install and maintain.
4.1. Installation
Mailman provides a web interface for the administrators and users, using an external mail server to
send and receive emails. It works perfectly with the following mail servers:
• Postfix
• Exim
• Sendmail
• Qmail
We will see how to install and configure Mailman with, the Apache web server, and either the Postfix
or Exim mail server. If you wish to install Mailman with a different mail server, please refer to the
references section.
You only need to install one mail server and Postfix is the default Ubuntu Mail Transfer
4.1.1. Apache2
To install apache2 you refer to Section 1.1, “Installation” [p. 191] for details.
4.1.2. Postfix
For instructions on installing and configuring Postfix refer to Section 1, “Postfix” [p. 243]
4.1.3. Exim4
To install Exim4 refer to Section 2, “Exim4” [p. 251].
Once exim4 is installed, the configuration files are stored in the /etc/exim4 directory. In Ubuntu, by
default, the exim4 configuration files are split across different files. You can change this behavior by
changing the following variable in the /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf file:
4.1.4. Mailman
To install Mailman, run following command at a terminal prompt:
16 http://lists.ubuntu.com
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sudo apt-get install mailman
It copies the installation files in /var/lib/mailman directory. It installs the CGI scripts in /usr/lib/cgibin/mailman directory. It creates list linux user. It creates the list linux group. The mailman process
will be owned by this user.
4.2. Configuration
This section assumes you have successfully installed mailman, apache2, and postfix or exim4. Now
you just need to configure them.
4.2.1. Apache2
An example Apache configuration file comes with Mailman and is placed in /etc/mailman/
apache.conf. In order for Apache to use the config file it needs to be copied to /etc/apache2/
sudo cp /etc/mailman/apache.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/mailman.conf
This will setup a new Apache VirtualHost for the Mailman administration site. Now enable the new
configuration and restart Apache:
sudo a2ensite mailman.conf
sudo service apache2 restart
Mailman uses apache2 to render its CGI scripts. The mailman CGI scripts are installed in the /usr/lib/
cgi-bin/mailman directory. So, the mailman url will be http://hostname/cgi-bin/mailman/. You can
make changes to the /etc/apache2/sites-available/mailman.conf file if you wish to change this
4.2.2. Postfix
For Postfix integration, we will associate the domain lists.example.com with the mailing lists. Please
replace lists.example.com with the domain of your choosing.
You can use the postconf command to add the necessary configuration to /etc/postfix/main.cf:
sudo postconf -e 'relay_domains = lists.example.com'
sudo postconf -e 'transport_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/transport'
sudo postconf -e 'mailman_destination_recipient_limit = 1'
In /etc/postfix/master.cf double check that you have the following transport:
flags=FR user=list argv=/usr/lib/mailman/bin/postfix-to-mailman.py
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${nexthop} ${user}
It calls the postfix-to-mailman.py script when a mail is delivered to a list.
Associate the domain lists.example.com to the Mailman transport with the transport map. Edit the file
Now have Postfix build the transport map by entering the following from a terminal prompt:
sudo postmap -v /etc/postfix/transport
Then restart Postfix to enable the new configurations:
sudo service postfix restart
4.2.3. Exim4
Once Exim4 is installed, you can start the Exim server using the following command from a terminal
sudo service exim4 start
In order to make mailman work with Exim4, you need to configure Exim4. As mentioned earlier,
by default, Exim4 uses multiple configuration files of different types. For details, please refer to
the Exim17 web site. To run mailman, we should add new a configuration file to the following
configuration types:
• Main
• Transport
• Router
Exim creates a master configuration file by sorting all these mini configuration files. So, the order of
these configuration files is very important.
4.2.4. Main
All the configuration files belonging to the main type are stored in the /etc/exim4/conf.d/main/
directory. You can add the following content to a new file, named 04_exim4-config_mailman:
# start
# Home dir for your Mailman installation -- aka Mailman's prefix
# directory.
# On Ubuntu this should be "/var/lib/mailman"
17 http://www.exim.org
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# This is normally the same as ~mailman
# User and group for Mailman, should match your --with-mail-gid
# switch to Mailman's configure script.
Value is normally "mailman"
# Domains that your lists are in - colon separated list
# you may wish to add these into local_domains as well
domainlist mm_domains=hostname.com
# -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
# These values are derived from the ones above and should not need
# editing unless you have munged your mailman installation
# The path of the Mailman mail wrapper script
# The path of the list config file (used as a required file when
# verifying list addresses)
# end
4.2.5. Transport
All the configuration files belonging to transport type are stored in the /etc/exim4/conf.d/
transport/ directory. You can add the following content to a new file named 40_exim4config_mailman:
driver = pipe
command = MM_WRAP \
'${if def:local_part_suffix \
{${sg{$local_part_suffix}{-(\\w+)(\\+.*)?}{\$1}}} \
{post}}' \
current_directory = MM_HOME
home_directory = MM_HOME
user = MM_UID
group = MM_GID
4.2.6. Router
All the configuration files belonging to router type are stored in the /etc/exim4/conf.d/router/
directory. You can add the following content in to a new file named 101_exim4-config_mailman:
driver = accept
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require_files = MM_HOME/lists/$local_part/config.pck
local_part_suffix = -bounces : -bounces+* : \
-confirm+* : -join : -leave : \
-owner : -request : -admin
transport = mailman_transport
The order of main and transport configuration files can be in any order. But, the order
of router configuration files must be the same. This particular file must appear before
the 200_exim4-config_primary file. These two configuration files contain same type
of information. The first file takes the precedence. For more details, please refer to the
references section.
4.2.7. Mailman
Once mailman is installed, you can run it using the following command:
sudo service mailman start
Once mailman is installed, you should create the default mailing list. Run the following command to
create the mailing list:
sudo /usr/sbin/newlist mailman
Enter the email address of the person running the list: bhuvan at ubuntu.com
Initial mailman password:
To finish creating your mailing list, you must edit your /etc/aliases (or
equivalent) file by adding the following lines, and possibly running the
`newaliases' program:
## mailman mailing list
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman post mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman admin mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman bounces mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman confirm mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman join mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman leave mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman owner mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman request mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman subscribe mailman"
"|/var/lib/mailman/mail/mailman unsubscribe mailman"
Hit enter to notify mailman owner...
We have configured either Postfix or Exim4 to recognize all emails from mailman. So, it is
not mandatory to make any new entries in /etc/aliases. If you have made any changes to the
configuration files, please ensure that you restart those services before continuing to next section.
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The Exim4 does not use the above aliases to forward mails to Mailman, as it uses a discover
approach. To suppress the aliases while creating the list, you can add MTA=None line in
Mailman configuration file, /etc/mailman/mm_cfg.py.
4.3. Administration
We assume you have a default installation. The mailman cgi scripts are still in the /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
mailman/ directory. Mailman provides a web based administration facility. To access this page, point
your browser to the following url:
The default mailing list, mailman, will appear in this screen. If you click the mailing list name, it will
ask for your authentication password. If you enter the correct password, you will be able to change
administrative settings of this mailing list. You can create a new mailing list using the command line
utility (/usr/sbin/newlist). Alternatively, you can create a new mailing list using the web interface.
4.4. Users
Mailman provides a web based interface for users. To access this page, point your browser to the
following url:
The default mailing list, mailman, will appear in this screen. If you click the mailing list name, it will
display the subscription form. You can enter your email address, name (optional), and password to
subscribe. An email invitation will be sent to you. You can follow the instructions in the email to
4.5. References
GNU Mailman - Installation Manual18
HOWTO - Using Exim 4 and Mailman 2.1 together19
Also, see the Mailman Ubuntu Wiki20 page.
18 http://www.list.org/mailman-install/index.html
19 http://www.exim.org/howto/mailman21.html
20 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mailman
Email Services
5. Mail Filtering
One of the largest issues with email today is the problem of Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE). Also
known as SPAM, such messages may also carry viruses and other forms of malware. According to
some reports these messages make up the bulk of all email traffic on the Internet.
This section will cover integrating Amavisd-new, Spamassassin, and ClamAV with the Postfix Mail
Transport Agent (MTA). Postfix can also check email validity by passing it through external content
filters. These filters can sometimes determine if a message is spam without needing to process it with
more resource intensive applications. Two common filters are opendkim and python-policyd-spf.
• Amavisd-new is a wrapper program that can call any number of content filtering programs for spam
detection, antivirus, etc.
• Spamassassin uses a variety of mechanisms to filter email based on the message content.
• ClamAV is an open source antivirus application.
• opendkim implements a Sendmail Mail Filter (Milter) for the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
• python-policyd-spf enables Sender Policy Framework (SPF) checking with Postfix.
This is how the pieces fit together:
• An email message is accepted by Postfix.
• The message is passed through any external filters opendkim and python-policyd-spf in this case.
• Amavisd-new then processes the message.
• ClamAV is used to scan the message. If the message contains a virus Postfix will reject the
• Clean messages will then be analyzed by Spamassassin to find out if the message is spam.
Spamassassin will then add X-Header lines allowing Amavisd-new to further manipulate the
For example, if a message has a Spam score of over fifty the message could be automatically dropped
from the queue without the recipient ever having to be bothered. Another, way to handle flagged
messages is to deliver them to the Mail User Agent (MUA) allowing the user to deal with the message
as they see fit.
5.1. Installation
See Section 1, “Postfix” [p. 243] for instructions on installing and configuring Postfix.
To install the rest of the applications enter the following from a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install amavisd-new spamassassin clamav-daemon
sudo apt-get install opendkim postfix-policyd-spf-python
Email Services
There are some optional packages that integrate with Spamassassin for better spam detection:
sudo apt-get install pyzor razor
Along with the main filtering applications compression utilities are needed to process some email
sudo apt-get install arj cabextract cpio lha nomarch pax rar unrar unzip zip
If some packages are not found, check that the multiverse repository is enabled in /etc/apt/
If you make changes to the file, be sure to run sudo apt-get update before trying to install
5.2. Configuration
Now configure everything to work together and filter email.
5.2.1. ClamAV
The default behaviour of ClamAV will fit our needs. For more ClamAV configuration options, check
the configuration files in /etc/clamav.
Add the clamav user to the amavis group in order for Amavisd-new to have the appropriate access to
scan files:
sudo adduser clamav amavis
sudo adduser amavis clamav
5.2.2. Spamassassin
Spamassassin automatically detects optional components and will use them if they are present. This
means that there is no need to configure pyzor and razor.
Edit /etc/default/spamassassin to activate the Spamassassin daemon. Change ENABLED=0 to:
Now start the daemon:
sudo service spamassassin start
5.2.3. Amavisd-new
First activate spam and antivirus detection in Amavisd-new by editing /etc/amavis/conf.d/15content_filter_mode:
Email Services
use strict;
# You can modify this file to re-enable SPAM checking through spamassassin
# and to re-enable antivirus checking.
# Default antivirus checking mode
# Uncomment the two lines below to enable it
@bypass_virus_checks_maps = (
\%bypass_virus_checks, \@bypass_virus_checks_acl, \$bypass_virus_checks_re);
# Default SPAM checking mode
# Uncomment the two lines below to enable it
@bypass_spam_checks_maps = (
\%bypass_spam_checks, \@bypass_spam_checks_acl, \$bypass_spam_checks_re);
# insure a defined return
Bouncing spam can be a bad idea as the return address is often faked. The default behaviour
is to instead discard. This is configured in /etc/amavis/conf.d/21-debian_defaults where
$final_spam_destiny is set to D_DISCARD rather than D_BOUNCE.
Additionally, you may want to adjust the following options to flag more messages as spam:
$sa_tag_level_deflt = -999; # add spam info headers if at, or above that level
$sa_tag2_level_deflt = 6.0; # add 'spam detected' headers at that level
$sa_kill_level_deflt = 21.0; # triggers spam evasive actions
$sa_dsn_cutoff_level = 4; # spam level beyond which a DSN is not sent
If the server's hostname is different from the domain's MX record you may need to manually set the
$myhostname option. Also, if the server receives mail for multiple domains the @local_domains_acl
option will need to be customized. Edit the /etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user file:
$myhostname = 'mail.example.com';
@local_domains_acl = ( "example.com", "example.org" );
If you want to cover multiple domains you can use the following in the/etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user
@local_domains_acl = qw(.);
After configuration Amavisd-new needs to be restarted:
Email Services
sudo service amavis restart DKIM Whitelist
Amavisd-new can be configured to automatically Whitelist addresses from domains with
valid Domain Keys. There are some pre-configured domains in the /etc/amavis/conf.d/40policy_banks.
There are multiple ways to configure the Whitelist for a domain:
• 'example.com' => 'WHITELIST',: will whitelist any address from the "example.com" domain.
• '.example.com' => 'WHITELIST',: will whitelist any address from any subdomains of
"example.com" that have a valid signature.
• '.example.com/@example.com' => 'WHITELIST',: will whitelist subdomains of "example.com" that
use the signature of example.com the parent domain.
• './@example.com' => 'WHITELIST',: adds addresses that have a valid signature from
"example.com". This is usually used for discussion groups that sign their messages.
A domain can also have multiple Whitelist configurations. After editing the file, restart amavisd-new:
sudo service amavis restart
In this context, once a domain has been added to the Whitelist the message will not receive
any anti-virus or spam filtering. This may or may not be the intended behavior you wish for
a domain.
5.2.4. Postfix
For Postfix integration, enter the following from a terminal prompt:
sudo postconf -e 'content_filter = smtp-amavis:[]:10024'
Next edit /etc/postfix/master.cf and add the following to the end of the file:
-o smtp_data_done_timeout=1200
-o smtp_send_xforward_command=yes
-o disable_dns_lookups=yes
-o max_use=20 inet
-o content_filter=
-o local_recipient_maps=
-o relay_recipient_maps=
-o smtpd_restriction_classes=
-o smtpd_delay_reject=no
-o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_mynetworks,reject
-o smtpd_helo_restrictions=
Email Services
-o smtpd_sender_restrictions=
-o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=permit_mynetworks,reject
-o smtpd_data_restrictions=reject_unauth_pipelining
-o smtpd_end_of_data_restrictions=
-o mynetworks=
-o smtpd_error_sleep_time=0
-o smtpd_soft_error_limit=1001
-o smtpd_hard_error_limit=1000
-o smtpd_client_connection_count_limit=0
-o smtpd_client_connection_rate_limit=0
-o receive_override_options=no_header_body_checks,no_unknown_recipient_checks,no_milters
Also add the following two lines immediately below the "pickup" transport service:
-o content_filter=
-o receive_override_options=no_header_body_checks
This will prevent messages that are generated to report on spam from being classified as spam.
Now restart Postfix:
sudo service postfix restart
Content filtering with spam and virus detection is now enabled.
5.2.5. Amavisd-new and Spamassassin
When integrating Amavisd-new with Spamassassin, if you choose to disable the bayes filtering by
editing /etc/spamassassin/local.cf and use cron to update the nightly rules, the result can cause a
situation where a large amount of error messages are sent to the amavis user via the amavisd-new cron
There are several ways to handle this situation:
• Configure your MDA to filter messages you do not wish to see.
• Change /usr/sbin/amavisd-new-cronjob to check for use_bayes 0. For example, edit /usr/sbin/
and add the following to the top before the test statements:
egrep -q "^[ \t]*use_bayes[ \t]*0" /etc/spamassassin/local.cf && exit 0
5.3. Testing
First, test that the Amavisd-new SMTP is listening:
telnet localhost 10024
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
Email Services
220 [] ESMTP amavisd-new service ready
In the Header of messages that go through the content filter you should see:
X-Virus-Scanned: Debian amavisd-new at example.com
X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-2.3 tagged_above=-1000.0 required=5.0 tests=AWL, BAYES_00
Your output will vary, but the important thing is that there are X-Virus-Scanned and XSpam-Status entries.
5.4. Troubleshooting
The best way to figure out why something is going wrong is to check the log files.
• For instructions on Postfix logging see the Section 1.7, “Troubleshooting” [p. 248] section.
• Amavisd-new uses Syslog to send messages to /var/log/mail.log. The amount of detail can be
increased by adding the $log_level option to /etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user, and setting the value
from 1 to 5.
$log_level = 2;
When the Amavisd-new log output is increased Spamassassin log output is also increased.
• The ClamAV log level can be increased by editing /etc/clamav/clamd.conf and setting the
following option:
LogVerbose true
By default ClamAV will send log messages to /var/log/clamav/clamav.log.
After changing an applications log settings remember to restart the service for the new
settings to take affect. Also, once the issue you are troubleshooting is resolved it is a good
idea to change the log settings back to normal.
5.5. References
For more information on filtering mail see the following links:
• Amavisd-new Documentation21
• ClamAV Documentation22 and ClamAV Wiki23
21 http://www.ijs.si/software/amavisd/amavisd-new-docs.html
22 http://www.clamav.net/doc/latest/html/
23 http://wiki.clamav.net/Main/WebHome
Email Services
• Spamassassin Wiki24
• Pyzor Homepage25
• Razor Homepage26
• DKIM.org27
• Postfix Amavis New28
Also, feel free to ask questions in the #ubuntu-server IRC channel on freenode29.
24 http://wiki.apache.org/spamassassin/
25 http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/pyzor/
26 http://razor.sourceforge.net/
27 http://dkim.org/
28 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/PostfixAmavisNew
29 http://freenode.net
Chapter 16. Chat Applications
Chat Applications
1. Overview
In this section, we will discuss how to install and configure a IRC server, ircd-irc2. We will also
discuss how to install and configure Jabber, an instance messaging server.
Chat Applications
2. IRC Server
The Ubuntu repository has many Internet Relay Chat servers. This section explains how to install and
configure the original IRC server ircd-irc2.
2.1. Installation
To install ircd-irc2, run the following command in the command prompt:
sudo apt-get install ircd-irc2
The configuration files are stored in /etc/ircd directory. The documents are available in /usr/
share/doc/ircd-irc2 directory.
2.2. Configuration
The IRC settings can be done in the configuration file /etc/ircd/ircd.conf. You can set the IRC
host name in this file by editing the following line:
M:irc.localhost::Debian ircd default configuration::000A
Please make sure you add DNS aliases for the IRC host name. For instance, if you set
irc.livecipher.com as IRC host name, please make sure irc.livecipher.com is resolvable in your
Domain Name Server. The IRC host name should not be same as the host name.
The IRC admin details can be configured by editing the following line:
A:Organization, IRC dept.:Daemon <[email protected]>:Client Server::IRCnet:
You should add specific lines to configure the list of IRC ports to listen on, to configure Operator
credentials, to configure client authentication, etc. For details, please refer to the example
configuration file /usr/share/doc/ircd-irc2/ircd.conf.example.gz.
The IRC banner to be displayed in the IRC client, when the user connects to the server can be set in /
etc/ircd/ircd.motd file.
After making necessary changes to the configuration file, you can restart the IRC server using
following command:
sudo service ircd-irc2 restart
2.3. References
You may also be interested to take a look at other IRC servers available in Ubuntu Repository. It
includes, ircd-ircu and ircd-hybrid.
Chat Applications
• Refer to IRCD FAQ1 for more details about the IRC Server.
1 http://www.irc.org/tech_docs/ircnet/faq.html
Chat Applications
3. Jabber Instant Messaging Server
Jabber a popular instant message protocol is based on XMPP, an open standard for instant messaging,
and used by many popular applications. This section covers setting up a Jabberd 2 server on a local
LAN. This configuration can also be adapted to providing messaging services to users over the
3.1. Installation
To install jabberd2, in a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install jabberd2
3.2. Configuration
A couple of XML configuration files will be used to configure jabberd2 for Berkeley DB user
authentication. This is a very simple form of authentication. However, jabberd2 can be configured to
use LDAP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc for for user authentication.
First, edit /etc/jabberd2/sm.xml changing:
Replace jabber.example.com with the hostname, or other id, of your server.
Now in the <storage> section change the <driver> to:
Next, edit /etc/jabberd2/c2s.xml in the <local> section change:
And in the <authreg> section adjust the <module> section to:
Finally, restart jabberd2 to enable the new settings:
sudo service jabberd2 restart
You should now be able to connect to the server using a Jabber client like Pidgin for example.
Chat Applications
The advantage of using Berkeley DB for user data is that after being configured no
additional maintenance is required. If you need more control over user accounts and
credentials another authentication method is recommended.
3.3. References
• The Jabberd2 Web Site2 contains more details on configuring Jabberd2.
• For more authentication options see the Jabberd2 Install Guide3.
• Also, the Setting Up Jabber Server Ubuntu Wiki4 page has more information.
2 http://codex.xiaoka.com/wiki/jabberd2:start
3 http://www.jabberdoc.org/
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SettingUpJabberServer
Chapter 17. Version Control System
Version control is the art of managing changes to information. It has long been a critical tool for
programmers, who typically spend their time making small changes to software and then undoing
those changes the next day. But the usefulness of version control software extends far beyond the
bounds of the software development world. Anywhere you can find people using computers to
manage information that changes often, there is room for version control.
Version Control System
1. Bazaar
Bazaar is a new version control system sponsored by Canonical, the commercial company behind
Ubuntu. Unlike Subversion and CVS that only support a central repository model, Bazaar also
supports distributed version control, giving people the ability to collaborate more efficiently. In
particular, Bazaar is designed to maximize the level of community participation in open source
1.1. Installation
At a terminal prompt, enter the following command to install bzr:
sudo apt-get install bzr
1.2. Configuration
To introduce yourself to bzr, use the whoami command like this:
$ bzr whoami 'Joe Doe <[email protected]>'
1.3. Learning Bazaar
Bazaar comes with bundled documentation installed into /usr/share/doc/bzr/html by default. The
tutorial is a good place to start. The bzr command also comes with built-in help:
$ bzr help
To learn more about the foo command:
$ bzr help foo
1.4. Launchpad Integration
While highly useful as a stand-alone system, Bazaar has good, optional integration with Launchpad1,
the collaborative development system used by Canonical and the broader open source community
to manage and extend Ubuntu itself. For information on how Bazaar can be used with Launchpad to
collaborate on open source projects, see http://bazaar-vcs.org/LaunchpadIntegration2.
1 https://launchpad.net/
2 http://bazaar-vcs.org/LaunchpadIntegration/
Version Control System
2. Git
Git is an open source distributed version control system originally developped by Linus Torvalds to
support the development of the linux kernel. Every Git working directory is a full-fledged repository
with complete history and full version tracking capabilities, not dependent on network access or a
central server.
2.1. Installation
The git version control system is installed with the following command
sudo apt-get install git
2.2. Configuration
Every git user should first introduce himself to git, by running these two commands:
git config --global user.email "[email protected]"
git config --global user.name "Your Name"
2.3. Basic usage
The above is already sufficient to use git in a distributed and secure way, provided users have access
to the machine assuming the server role via SSH. On the server machine, creating a new repository
can be done with
git init --bare /path/to/repository
This creates a bare repository, that cannot be used to edit files directly. If you would rather
have a working copy of the contents of the repository on the server, ommit the --bare option.
Any client with ssh access to the machine can from then on clone the repository with
git clone [email protected]:/path/to/repository
Once cloned to the client's machine, the client can edit files, then commit and share them with:
cd /path/to/repository
#(edit some files
git commit -a # Commit all changes to the local version of the repository
git push origin master # Push changes to the server's version of the repository
2.4. Installing a gitolite server
While the above is sufficient to create, clone and edit repositories, users wanting to install git on
a server will most likely want to have git work like a more traditional source control management
Version Control System
server, with multiple users and access rights management. The suggested solution is to install gitolite
with the following command:
sudo apt-get install gitolite
2.5. Gitolite configuration
Configuration of the gitolite server is a little different that most other servers on Unix-like systems.
Instead of the traditional configuration files in /etc/, gitolite stores its configuration in a git repository.
The first step to configuring a new installation is therefore to allow access to the configuration
First of all, let's create a user for gitolite to be accessed as.
sudo adduser --system --shell /bin/bash --group --disabled-password --home /home/git git
Now we want to let gitolite know about the repository administrator's public SSH key. This assumes
that the current user is the repository administrator. If you have not yet configured an SSH key, refer
to Section 1.4, “SSH Keys” [p. 81]
cp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub /tmp/$(whoami).pub
Let's switch to the git user and import the administrator's key into gitolite.
sudo su - git
gl-setup /tmp/*.pub
Gitolite will allow you to make initial changes to its configuration file during the setup process. You
can now clone and modify the gitolite configuration repository from your administrator user (the
user whose public SSH key you imported). Switch back to that user, then clone the configuration
git clone [email protected]$IP_ADDRESS:gitolite-admin.git
cd gitolite-admin
The gitolite-admin contains two subdirectories, "conf" and "keydir". The configuration files are in the
conf dir, and the keydir directory contains the list of user's public SSH keys.
2.6. Managing gitolite users and repositories
Adding new users to gitolite is simple: just obtain their public SSH key and add it to the keydir
directory as $DESIRED_USER_NAME.pub. Note that the gitolite usernames don't have to match
the system usernames - they are only used in the gitolite configuration file to manage access control.
Version Control System
Similarly, users are deleted by deleting their public key file. After each change, do not forget to
commit the changes to git, and push the changes back to the server with
git commit -a
git push origin master
Repositories are managed by editing the conf/gitolite.conf file. The syntax is space separated, and
simply specifies the list of repositories followed by some access rules. The following is a default
2.7. Using your server
To use the newly created server, users have to have the gitolite admin import their public key into
the gitolite configuration repository, they can then access any project they have access to with the
following command:
git clone [email protected]$SERVER_IP:$PROJECT_NAME.git
Or add the server's project as a remote for an existing git repository:
git remote add gitolite [email protected]$SERVER_IP:$PROJECT_NAME.git
Version Control System
3. Subversion
Subversion is an open source version control system. Using Subversion, you can record the history of
source files and documents. It manages files and directories over time. A tree of files is placed into a
central repository. The repository is much like an ordinary file server, except that it remembers every
change ever made to files and directories.
3.1. Installation
To access Subversion repository using the HTTP protocol, you must install and configure a web
server. Apache2 is proven to work with Subversion. Please refer to the HTTP subsection in the
Apache2 section to install and configure Apache2. To access the Subversion repository using the
HTTPS protocol, you must install and configure a digital certificate in your Apache 2 web server.
Please refer to the HTTPS subsection in the Apache2 section to install and configure the digital
To install Subversion, run the following command from a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install subversion apache2 libapache2-svn
3.2. Server Configuration
This step assumes you have installed above mentioned packages on your system. This section
explains how to create a Subversion repository and access the project.
3.2.1. Create Subversion Repository
The Subversion repository can be created using the following command from a terminal prompt:
svnadmin create /path/to/repos/project
3.2.2. Importing Files
Once you create the repository you can import files into the repository. To import a directory, enter
the following from a terminal prompt:
svn import /path/to/import/directory file:///path/to/repos/project
3.3. Access Methods
Subversion repositories can be accessed (checked out) through many different methods --on local
disk, or through various network protocols. A repository location, however, is always a URL. The
table describes how different URL schemes map to the available access methods.
Version Control System
Table 17.1. Access Methods
Access Method
direct repository access (on local disk)
Access via WebDAV protocol to Subversion-aware Apache2 web server
Same as http://, but with SSL encryption
Access via custom protocol to an svnserve server
Same as svn://, but through an SSH tunnel
In this section, we will see how to configure Subversion for all these access methods. Here, we cover
the basics. For more advanced usage details, refer to the svn book3.
3.3.1. Direct repository access (file://)
This is the simplest of all access methods. It does not require any Subversion server process to be
running. This access method is used to access Subversion from the same machine. The syntax of the
command, entered at a terminal prompt, is as follows:
svn co file:///path/to/repos/project
svn co file://localhost/path/to/repos/project
If you do not specify the hostname, there are three forward slashes (///) -- two for the
protocol (file, in this case) plus the leading slash in the path. If you specify the hostname,
you must use two forward slashes (//).
The repository permissions depend on filesystem permissions. If the user has read/write permission,
he can checkout from and commit to the repository.
3.3.2. Access via WebDAV protocol (http://)
To access the Subversion repository via WebDAV protocol, you must configure your Apache 2 web
server. Add the following snippet between the <VirtualHost> and </VirtualHost> elements in /etc/
apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf, or another VirtualHost file:
<Location /svn>
DAV svn
SVNParentPath /path/to/repos
AuthType Basic
AuthName "Your repository name"
3 http://svnbook.red-bean.com/
Version Control System
AuthUserFile /etc/subversion/passwd
Require valid-user
The above configuration snippet assumes that Subversion repositories are created under /
path/to/repos directory using svnadmin command and that the HTTP user has sufficent
access rights to the files (see below). They can be accessible using http://hostname/svn/
repos_name url.
Changing the apache configuration like the above requires to reload the service with the following
sudo service apache2 reload
To import or commit files to your Subversion repository over HTTP, the repository should be owned
by the HTTP user. In Ubuntu systems, the HTTP user is www-data. To change the ownership of the
repository files enter the following command from terminal prompt:
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /path/to/repos
By changing the ownership of repository as www-data you will not be able to import or
commit files into the repository by running svn import file:/// command as any user other
than www-data.
Next, you must create the /etc/subversion/passwd file that will contain user authentication details.
To create a file issue the following command at a command prompt (which will create the file and add
the first user):
sudo htpasswd -c /etc/subversion/passwd user_name
To add additional users omit the "-c" option as this option replaces the old file. Instead use this form:
sudo htpasswd /etc/subversion/passwd user_name
This command will prompt you to enter the password. Once you enter the password, the user is added.
Now, to access the repository you can run the following command:
svn co http://servername/svn
The password is transmitted as plain text. If you are worried about password snooping, you
are advised to use SSL encryption. For details, please refer next section.
3.3.3. Access via WebDAV protocol with SSL encryption (https://)
Accessing Subversion repository via WebDAV protocol with SSL encryption (https://) is similar
to http:// except that you must install and configure the digital certificate in your Apache2 web
Version Control System
server. To use SSL with Subversion add the above Apache2 configuration to /etc/apache2/
sites-available/default-ssl.conf. For more information on setting up Apache2 with SSL see
Section 1.3, “HTTPS Configuration” [p. 196].
You can install a digital certificate issued by a signing authority. Alternatively, you can install your
own self-signed certificate.
This step assumes you have installed and configured a digital certificate in your Apache 2 web server.
Now, to access the Subversion repository, please refer to the above section! The access methods are
exactly the same, except the protocol. You must use https:// to access the Subversion repository.
3.3.4. Access via custom protocol (svn://)
Once the Subversion repository is created, you can configure the access control. You can edit the /
path/to/repos/project/conf/svnserve.conf file to configure the access control. For example, to
set up authentication, you can uncomment the following lines in the configuration file:
# [general]
# password-db = passwd
After uncommenting the above lines, you can maintain the user list in the passwd file. So, edit the file
passwd in the same directory and add the new user. The syntax is as follows:
username = password
For more details, please refer to the file.
Now, to access Subversion via the svn:// custom protocol, either from the same machine or a different
machine, you can run svnserver using svnserve command. The syntax is as follows:
$ svnserve -d --foreground -r /path/to/repos
# -d -- daemon mode
# --foreground -- run in foreground (useful for debugging)
# -r -- root of directory to serve
For more usage details, please refer to:
$ svnserve --help
Once you run this command, Subversion starts listening on default port (3690). To access the project
repository, you must run the following command from a terminal prompt:
svn co svn://hostname/project project --username user_name
Based on server configuration, it prompts for password. Once you are authenticated, it checks out
the code from Subversion repository. To synchronize the project repository with the local copy, you
can run the update sub-command. The syntax of the command, entered at a terminal prompt, is as
Version Control System
cd project_dir ; svn update
For more details about using each Subversion sub-command, you can refer to the manual. For
example, to learn more about the co (checkout) command, please run the following command from a
terminal prompt:
svn co help
3.3.5. Access via custom protocol with SSH encryption (svn+ssh://)
The configuration and server process is same as in the svn:// method. For details, please refer to the
above section. This step assumes you have followed the above step and started the Subversion server
using svnserve command.
It is also assumed that the ssh server is running on that machine and that it is allowing incoming
connections. To confirm, please try to login to that machine using ssh. If you can login, everything is
perfect. If you cannot login, please address it before continuing further.
The svn+ssh:// protocol is used to access the Subversion repository using SSL encryption. The
data transfer is encrypted using this method. To access the project repository (for example with a
checkout), you must use the following command syntax:
svn co svn+ssh://[email protected]/path/to/repos/project
You must use the full path (/path/to/repos/project) to access the Subversion repository using
this access method.
Based on server configuration, it prompts for password. You must enter the password you use to login
via ssh. Once you are authenticated, it checks out the code from the Subversion repository.
Version Control System
4. References
• Bazaar Home Page4
• Launchpad5
• Git homepage6
• Gitolite7
• Subversion Home Page8
• Subversion Book9
• Easy Bazaar Ubuntu Wiki page10
• Ubuntu Wiki Subversion page11
4 http://bazaar.canonical.com/en/
5 https://launchpad.net/
6 http://git-scm.com
7 https://github.com/sitaramc/gitolite
8 http://subversion.apache.org/
9 http://svnbook.red-bean.com/
10 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EasyBazaar
11 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Subversion
Chapter 18. Samba
Computer networks are often comprised of diverse systems, and while operating a network made up
entirely of Ubuntu desktop and server computers would certainly be fun, some network environments
must consist of both Ubuntu and Microsoft® Windows® systems working together in harmony. This
section of the Ubuntu Server Guide introduces principles and tools used in configuring your Ubuntu
Server for sharing network resources with Windows computers.
1. Introduction
Successfully networking your Ubuntu system with Windows clients involves providing and
integrating with services common to Windows environments. Such services assist the sharing of data
and information about the computers and users involved in the network, and may be classified under
three major categories of functionality:
• File and Printer Sharing Services. Using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol to facilitate
the sharing of files, folders, volumes, and the sharing of printers throughout the network.
• Directory Services. Sharing vital information about the computers and users of the network with
such technologies as the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Microsoft Active
• Authentication and Access. Establishing the identity of a computer or user of the network and
determining the information the computer or user is authorized to access using such principles and
technologies as file permissions, group policies, and the Kerberos authentication service.
Fortunately, your Ubuntu system may provide all such facilities to Windows clients and share
network resources among them. One of the principal pieces of software your Ubuntu system includes
for Windows networking is the Samba suite of SMB server applications and tools.
This section of the Ubuntu Server Guide will introduce some of the common Samba use cases,
and how to install and configure the necessary packages. Additional detailed documentation and
information on Samba can be found on the Samba website1.
1 http://www.samba.org
2. File Server
One of the most common ways to network Ubuntu and Windows computers is to configure Samba as
a File Server. This section covers setting up a Samba server to share files with Windows clients.
The server will be configured to share files with any client on the network without prompting for a
password. If your environment requires stricter Access Controls see Section 4, “Securing File and
Print Server” [p. 293]
2.1. Installation
The first step is to install the samba package. From a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install samba
That's all there is to it; you are now ready to configure Samba to share files.
2.2. Configuration
The main Samba configuration file is located in /etc/samba/smb.conf. The default configuration file
has a significant amount of comments in order to document various configuration directives.
Not all the available options are included in the default configuration file. See the smb.conf
man page or the Samba HOWTO Collection2 for more details.
First, edit the following key/value pairs in the [global] section of /etc/samba/smb.conf:
workgroup = EXAMPLE
security = user
The security parameter is farther down in the [global] section, and is commented by default.
Also, change EXAMPLE to better match your environment.
Create a new section at the bottom of the file, or uncomment one of the examples, for the
directory to be shared:
comment = Ubuntu File Server Share
path = /srv/samba/share
browsable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = no
create mask = 0755
• comment: a short description of the share. Adjust to fit your needs.
2 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/
• path: the path to the directory to share.
This example uses /srv/samba/sharename because, according to the Filesystem Hierarchy
Standard (FHS), /srv3 is where site-specific data should be served. Technically Samba shares
can be placed anywhere on the filesystem as long as the permissions are correct, but adhering
to standards is recommended.
• browsable: enables Windows clients to browse the shared directory using Windows Explorer.
• guest ok: allows clients to connect to the share without supplying a password.
• read only: determines if the share is read only or if write privileges are granted. Write
privileges are allowed only when the value is no, as is seen in this example. If the value is yes,
then access to the share is read only.
• create mask: determines the permissions new files will have when created.
Now that Samba is configured, the directory needs to be created and the permissions changed.
From a terminal enter:
sudo mkdir -p /srv/samba/share
sudo chown nobody:nogroup /srv/samba/share/
The -p switch tells mkdir to create the entire directory tree if it doesn't exist.
Finally, restart the samba services to enable the new configuration:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
Once again, the above configuration gives all access to any client on the local network. For a
more secure configuration see Section 4, “Securing File and Print Server” [p. 293].
From a Windows client you should now be able to browse to the Ubuntu file server and see the shared
directory. If your client doesn't show your share automatically, try to access your server by its IP
address, e.g. \\, in a Windows Explorer window. To check that everything is working try
creating a directory from Windows.
To create additional shares simply create new [dir] sections in /etc/samba/smb.conf, and restart
Samba. Just make sure that the directory you want to share actually exists and the permissions are
The file share named "[share]" and the path /srv/samba/share are just examples. Adjust
the share and path names to fit your environment. It is a good idea to name a share after a
directory on the file system. Another example would be a share name of [qa] with a path of
3 http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html#SRVDATAFORSERVICESPROVIDEDBYSYSTEM
2.3. Resources
• For in depth Samba configurations see the Samba HOWTO Collection4
• The guide is also available in printed format5.
• O'Reilly's Using Samba6 is another good reference.
• The Ubuntu Wiki Samba 7 page.
4 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/
5 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131882228
6 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007690/
7 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Samba
3. Print Server
Another common use of Samba is to configure it to share printers installed, either locally or over the
network, on an Ubuntu server. Similar to Section 2, “File Server” [p. 288] this section will configure
Samba to allow any client on the local network to use the installed printers without prompting for a
username and password.
For a more secure configuration see Section 4, “Securing File and Print Server” [p. 293].
3.1. Installation
Before installing and configuring Samba it is best to already have a working CUPS installation. See
Section 4, “CUPS - Print Server” [p. 239] for details.
To install the samba package, from a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install samba
3.2. Configuration
After installing samba edit /etc/samba/smb.conf. Change the workgroup attribute to what is
appropriate for your network, and change security to user:
workgroup = EXAMPLE
security = user
In the [printers] section change the guest ok option to yes:
browsable = yes
guest ok = yes
After editing smb.conf restart Samba:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
The default Samba configuration will automatically share any printers installed. Simply install the
printer locally on your Windows clients.
3.3. Resources
• For in depth Samba configurations see the Samba HOWTO Collection8
8 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/
• The guide is also available in printed format9.
• O'Reilly's Using Samba10 is another good reference.
• Also, see the CUPS Website11 for more information on configuring CUPS.
• The Ubuntu Wiki Samba 12 page.
9 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131882228
10 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007690/
11 http://www.cups.org/
12 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Samba
4. Securing File and Print Server
4.1. Samba Security Modes
There are two security levels available to the Common Internet Filesystem (CIFS) network protocol
user-level and share-level. Samba's security mode implementation allows more flexibility, providing
four ways of implementing user-level security and one way to implement share-level:
• security = user: requires clients to supply a username and password to connect to shares. Samba
user accounts are separate from system accounts, but the libpam-smbpass package will sync system
users and passwords with the Samba user database.
• security = domain: this mode allows the Samba server to appear to Windows clients as a Primary
Domain Controller (PDC), Backup Domain Controller (BDC), or a Domain Member Server
(DMS). See Section 5, “As a Domain Controller” [p. 298] for further information.
• security = ADS: allows the Samba server to join an Active Directory domain as a native member.
See Section 6, “Active Directory Integration” [p. 302] for details.
• security = server: this mode is left over from before Samba could become a member server, and
due to some security issues should not be used. See the Server Security13 section of the Samba
guide for more details.
• security = share: allows clients to connect to shares without supplying a username and password.
The security mode you choose will depend on your environment and what you need the Samba server
to accomplish.
4.2. Security = User
This section will reconfigure the Samba file and print server, from Section 2, “File Server” [p. 288]
and Section 3, “Print Server” [p. 291], to require authentication.
First, install the libpam-smbpass package which will sync the system users to the Samba user
sudo apt-get install libpam-smbpass
If you chose the Samba Server task during installation libpam-smbpass is already installed.
Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf, and in the [share] section change:
guest ok = no
Finally, restart Samba for the new settings to take effect:
13 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/ServerType.html#id349531
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
Now when connecting to the shared directories or printers you should be prompted for a username
and password.
If you choose to map a network drive to the share you can check the “Reconnect at Logon”
check box, which will require you to only enter the username and password once, at least
until the password changes.
4.3. Share Security
There are several options available to increase the security for each individual shared directory. Using
the [share] example, this section will cover some common options.
4.3.1. Groups
Groups define a collection of computers or users which have a common level of access to particular
network resources and offer a level of granularity in controlling access to such resources. For
example, if a group qa is defined and contains the users freda, danika, and rob and a second group
support is defined and consists of users danika, jeremy, and vincent then certain network resources
configured to allow access by the qa group will subsequently enable access by freda, danika, and rob,
but not jeremy or vincent. Since the user danika belongs to both the qa and support groups, she will
be able to access resources configured for access by both groups, whereas all other users will have
only access to resources explicitly allowing the group they are part of.
By default Samba looks for the local system groups defined in /etc/group to determine which
users belong to which groups. For more information on adding and removing users from groups see
Section 1.2, “Adding and Deleting Users” [p. 158].
When defining groups in the Samba configuration file, /etc/samba/smb.conf, the recognized syntax
is to preface the group name with an "@" symbol. For example, if you wished to define a group
named sysadmin in a certain section of the /etc/samba/smb.conf, you would do so by entering the
group name as @sysadmin.
4.3.2. File Permissions
File Permissions define the explicit rights a computer or user has to a particular directory, file, or set
of files. Such permissions may be defined by editing the /etc/samba/smb.conf file and specifying
the explicit permissions of a defined file share.
For example, if you have defined a Samba share called share and wish to give read-only permissions
to the group of users known as qa, but wanted to allow writing to the share by the group called
sysadmin and the user named vincent, then you could edit the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, and add the
following entries under the [share] entry:
read list = @qa
write list = @sysadmin, vincent
Another possible Samba permission is to declare administrative permissions to a particular shared
resource. Users having administrative permissions may read, write, or modify any information
contained in the resource the user has been given explicit administrative permissions to.
For example, if you wanted to give the user melissa administrative permissions to the share example,
you would edit the /etc/samba/smb.conf file, and add the following line under the [share] entry:
admin users = melissa
After editing /etc/samba/smb.conf, restart Samba for the changes to take effect:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
For the read list and write list to work the Samba security mode must not be set to security =
Now that Samba has been configured to limit which groups have access to the shared directory, the
filesystem permissions need to be updated.
Traditional Linux file permissions do not map well to Windows NT Access Control Lists (ACLs).
Fortunately POSIX ACLs are available on Ubuntu servers providing more fine grained control. For
example, to enable ACLs on /srv an EXT3 filesystem, edit /etc/fstab adding the acl option:
UUID=66bcdd2e-8861-4fb0-b7e4-e61c569fe17d /srv
noatime,relatime,acl 0
Then remount the partition:
sudo mount -v -o remount /srv
The above example assumes /srv on a separate partition. If /srv, or wherever you have
configured your share path, is part of the / partition a reboot may be required.
To match the Samba configuration above the sysadmin group will be given read, write, and execute
permissions to /srv/samba/share, the qa group will be given read and execute permissions, and the
files will be owned by the username melissa. Enter the following in a terminal:
sudo chown -R melissa /srv/samba/share/
sudo chgrp -R sysadmin /srv/samba/share/
sudo setfacl -R -m g:qa:rx /srv/samba/share/
The setfacl command above gives execute permissions to all files in the /srv/samba/share
directory, which you may or may not want.
Now from a Windows client you should notice the new file permissions are implemented. See the acl
and setfacl man pages for more information on POSIX ACLs.
4.4. Samba AppArmor Profile
Ubuntu comes with the AppArmor security module, which provides mandatory access controls. The
default AppArmor profile for Samba will need to be adapted to your configuration. For more details
on using AppArmor see Section 4, “AppArmor” [p. 171].
There are default AppArmor profiles for /usr/sbin/smbd and /usr/sbin/nmbd, the Samba daemon
binaries, as part of the apparmor-profiles packages. To install the package, from a terminal prompt
sudo apt-get install apparmor-profiles apparmor-utils
This package contains profiles for several other binaries.
By default the profiles for smbd and nmbd are in complain mode allowing Samba to work without
modifying the profile, and only logging errors. To place the smbd profile into enforce mode, and have
Samba work as expected, the profile will need to be modified to reflect any directories that are shared.
Edit /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.smbd adding information for [share] from the file server example:
/srv/samba/share/ r,
/srv/samba/share/** rwkix,
Now place the profile into enforce and reload it:
sudo aa-enforce /usr/sbin/smbd
cat /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.smbd | sudo apparmor_parser -r
You should now be able to read, write, and execute files in the shared directory as normal, and the
smbd binary will have access to only the configured files and directories. Be sure to add entries for
each directory you configure Samba to share. Also, any errors will be logged to /var/log/syslog.
4.5. Resources
• For in depth Samba configurations see the Samba HOWTO Collection14
• The guide is also available in printed format15.
• O'Reilly's Using Samba16 is also a good reference.
• Chapter 1817 of the Samba HOWTO Collection is devoted to security.
14 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/
15 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131882228
16 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007690/
17 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/securing-samba.html
• For more information on Samba and ACLs see the Samba ACLs page 18.
• The Ubuntu Wiki Samba 19 page.
18 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/AccessControls.html#id397568
19 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Samba
5. As a Domain Controller
Although it cannot act as an Active Directory Primary Domain Controller (PDC), a Samba server
can be configured to appear as a Windows NT4-style domain controller. A major advantage of this
configuration is the ability to centralize user and machine credentials. Samba can also use multiple
backends to store the user information.
5.1. Primary Domain Controller
This section covers configuring Samba as a Primary Domain Controller (PDC) using the default
smbpasswd backend.
First, install Samba, and libpam-smbpass to sync the user accounts, by entering the following in
a terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install samba libpam-smbpass
Next, configure Samba by editing /etc/samba/smb.conf. The security mode should be set to
user, and the workgroup should relate to your organization:
workgroup = EXAMPLE
security = user
In the commented “Domains” section add or uncomment the following (the last line has been
split to fit the format of this document):
domain logons = yes
logon path = \\%N\%U\profile
logon drive = H:
logon home = \\%N\%U
logon script = logon.cmd
add machine script = sudo /usr/sbin/useradd -N -g machines -c Machine -d
/var/lib/samba -s /bin/false %u
If you wish to not use Roaming Profiles leave the logon home and logon path options
• domain logons: provides the netlogon service causing Samba to act as a domain controller.
• logon path: places the user's Windows profile into their home directory. It is also possible to
configure a [profiles] share placing all profiles under a single directory.
• logon drive: specifies the home directory local path.
• logon home: specifies the home directory location.
• logon script: determines the script to be run locally once a user has logged in. The script needs
to be placed in the [netlogon] share.
• add machine script: a script that will automatically create the Machine Trust Account needed
for a workstation to join the domain.
In this example the machines group will need to be created using the addgroup utility see
Section 1.2, “Adding and Deleting Users” [p. 158] for details.
Uncomment the [homes] share to allow the logon home to be mapped:
comment = Home Directories
browseable = no
read only = no
create mask = 0700
directory mask = 0700
valid users = %S
When configured as a domain controller a [netlogon] share needs to be configured. To enable the
share, uncomment:
comment = Network Logon Service
path = /srv/samba/netlogon
guest ok = yes
read only = yes
share modes = no
The original netlogon share path is /home/samba/netlogon, but according to the
Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS), /srv20 is the correct location for site-specific data
provided by the system.
Now create the netlogon directory, and an empty (for now) logon.cmd script file:
sudo mkdir -p /srv/samba/netlogon
sudo touch /srv/samba/netlogon/logon.cmd
You can enter any normal Windows logon script commands in logon.cmd to customize the
client's environment.
Restart Samba to enable the new domain controller:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
Lastly, there are a few additional commands needed to setup the appropriate rights.
With root being disabled by default, in order to join a workstation to the domain, a system group
needs to be mapped to the Windows Domain Admins group. Using the net utility, from a terminal
20 http://www.pathname.com/fhs/pub/fhs-2.3.html#SRVDATAFORSERVICESPROVIDEDBYSYSTEM
sudo net groupmap add ntgroup="Domain Admins" unixgroup=sysadmin rid=512 type=d
Change sysadmin to whichever group you prefer. Also, the user used to join the domain
needs to be a member of the sysadmin group, as well as a member of the system admin
group. The admin group allows sudo use.
If the user does not have Samba credentials yet, you can add them with the smbpasswd
utility, change the sysadmin username appropriately:
sudo smbpasswd -a sysadmin
Also, rights need to be explicitly provided to the Domain Admins group to allow the add machine
script (and other admin functions) to work. This is achieved by executing:
net rpc rights grant -U sysadmin "EXAMPLE\Domain Admins" SeMachineAccountPrivilege \
SePrintOperatorPrivilege SeAddUsersPrivilege SeDiskOperatorPrivilege \
You should now be able to join Windows clients to the Domain in the same manner as joining
them to an NT4 domain running on a Windows server.
5.2. Backup Domain Controller
With a Primary Domain Controller (PDC) on the network it is best to have a Backup Domain
Controller (BDC) as well. This will allow clients to authenticate in case the PDC becomes
When configuring Samba as a BDC you need a way to sync account information with the PDC. There
are multiple ways of accomplishing this scp, rsync, or by using LDAP as the passdb backend.
Using LDAP is the most robust way to sync account information, because both domain controllers
can use the same information in real time. However, setting up a LDAP server may be overly
complicated for a small number of user and computer accounts. See Section 2, “Samba and
LDAP” [p. 117] for details.
First, install samba and libpam-smbpass. From a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install samba libpam-smbpass
Now, edit /etc/samba/smb.conf and uncomment the following in the [global]:
workgroup = EXAMPLE
security = user
In the commented Domains uncomment or add:
domain logons = yes
domain master = no
Make sure a user has rights to read the files in /var/lib/samba. For example, to allow users in
the admin group to scp the files, enter:
sudo chgrp -R admin /var/lib/samba
Next, sync the user accounts, using scp to copy the /var/lib/samba directory from the PDC:
sudo scp -r [email protected]:/var/lib/samba /var/lib
Replace username with a valid username and pdc with the hostname or IP Address of
your actual PDC.
Finally, restart samba:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
You can test that your Backup Domain controller is working by stopping the Samba daemon on the
PDC, then trying to login to a Windows client joined to the domain.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you have configured the logon home option as a directory on the
PDC, and the PDC becomes unavailable, access to the user's Home drive will also be unavailable. For
this reason it is best to configure the logon home to reside on a separate file server from the PDC and
5.3. Resources
• For in depth Samba configurations see the Samba HOWTO Collection21
• The guide is also available in printed format22.
• O'Reilly's Using Samba23 is also a good reference.
• Chapter 424 of the Samba HOWTO Collection explains setting up a Primary Domain Controller.
• Chapter 525 of the Samba HOWTO Collection explains setting up a Backup Domain Controller.
• The Ubuntu Wiki Samba 26 page.
21 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/
22 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131882228
23 http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596007690/
24 http://samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/samba-pdc.html
25 http://us3.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/samba-bdc.html
26 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Samba
6. Active Directory Integration
6.1. Accessing a Samba Share
Another, use for Samba is to integrate into an existing Windows network. Once part of an Active
Directory domain, Samba can provide file and print services to AD users.
The simplest way to join an AD domain is to use Likewise-open. For detailed instructions see the
Likewise Open documentation27.
Once part of the Active Directory domain, enter the following command in the terminal prompt:
sudo apt-get install samba smbfs smbclient
Next, edit /etc/samba/smb.conf changing:
workgroup = EXAMPLE
security = ads
idmap backend = lwopen
idmap uid = 50-9999999999
idmap gid = 50-9999999999
Restart samba for the new settings to take effect:
sudo restart smbd
sudo restart nmbd
You should now be able to access any Samba shares from a Windows client. However, be sure to give
the appropriate AD users or groups access to the share directory. See Section 4, “Securing File and
Print Server” [p. 293] for more details.
6.2. Accessing a Windows Share
Now that the Samba server is part of the Active Directory domain you can access any Windows server
• To mount a Windows file share enter the following in a terminal prompt:
mount.cifs //fs01.example.com/share mount_point
It is also possible to access shares on computers not part of an AD domain, but a username and
password will need to be provided.
27 http://www.beyondtrust.com/Technical-Support/Downloads/files/pbiso/Manuals/ubuntu-active-directory.html
• To mount the share during boot place an entry in /etc/fstab, for example:
// /mnt/windows cifs auto,username=steve,password=secret,rw 0
• Another way to copy files from a Windows server is to use the smbclient utility. To list the files in
a Windows share:
smbclient //fs01.example.com/share -k -c "ls"
• To copy a file from the share, enter:
smbclient //fs01.example.com/share -k -c "get file.txt"
This will copy the file.txt into the current directory.
• And to copy a file to the share:
smbclient //fs01.example.com/share -k -c "put /etc/hosts hosts"
This will copy the /etc/hosts to //fs01.example.com/share/hosts.
• The -c option used above allows you to execute the smbclient command all at once. This is useful
for scripting and minor file operations. To enter the smb: \> prompt, a FTP like prompt where you
can execute normal file and directory commands, simply execute:
smbclient //fs01.example.com/share -k
Replace all instances of fs01.example.com/share, //,
username=steve,password=secret, and file.txt with your server's IP, hostname, share name,
file name, and an actual username and password with rights to the share.
6.3. Resources
For more smbclient options see the man page: man smbclient, also available online28.
The mount.cifs man page29 is also useful for more detailed information.
The Ubuntu Wiki Samba 30 page.
28 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man1/smbclient.1.html
29 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man8/mount.cifs.8.html
30 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Samba
Chapter 19. Backups
There are many ways to backup an Ubuntu installation. The most important thing about backups is to
develop a backup plan consisting of what to backup, where to back it up to, and how to restore it.
The following sections discuss various ways of accomplishing these tasks.
1. Shell Scripts
One of the simplest ways to backup a system is using a shell script. For example, a script can be used
to configure which directories to backup, and pass those directories as arguments to the tar utility,
which creates an archive file. The archive file can then be moved or copied to another location. The
archive can also be created on a remote file system such as an NFS mount.
The tar utility creates one archive file out of many files or directories. tar can also filter the files
through compression utilities, thus reducing the size of the archive file.
1.1. Simple Shell Script
The following shell script uses tar to create an archive file on a remotely mounted NFS file system.
The archive filename is determined using additional command line utilities.
# Backup to NFS mount script.
# What to backup.
backup_files="/home /var/spool/mail /etc /root /boot /opt"
# Where to backup to.
# Create archive filename.
day=$(date +%A)
hostname=$(hostname -s)
# Print start status message.
echo "Backing up $backup_files to $dest/$archive_file"
# Backup the files using tar.
tar czf $dest/$archive_file $backup_files
# Print end status message.
echo "Backup finished"
# Long listing of files in $dest to check file sizes.
ls -lh $dest
• $backup_files: a variable listing which directories you would like to backup. The list should be
customized to fit your needs.
• $day: a variable holding the day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc). This is used to
create an archive file for each day of the week, giving a backup history of seven days. There are
other ways to accomplish this including using the date utility.
• $hostname: variable containing the short hostname of the system. Using the hostname in the
archive filename gives you the option of placing daily archive files from multiple systems in the
same directory.
• $archive_file: the full archive filename.
• $dest: destination of the archive file. The directory needs to be created and in this case mounted
before executing the backup script. See Section 2, “Network File System (NFS)” [p. 234] for
details of using NFS.
• status messages: optional messages printed to the console using the echo utility.
• tar czf $dest/$archive_file $backup_files: the tar command used to create the archive file.
• c: creates an archive.
• z: filter the archive through the gzip utility compressing the archive.
• f: output to an archive file. Otherwise the tar output will be sent to STDOUT.
• ls -lh $dest: optional statement prints a -l long listing in -h human readable format of the destination
directory. This is useful for a quick file size check of the archive file. This check should not replace
testing the archive file.
This is a simple example of a backup shell script; however there are many options that can be
included in such a script. See Section 1.4, “References” [p. 308] for links to resources providing
more in-depth shell scripting information.
1.2. Executing the Script
1.2.1. Executing from a Terminal
The simplest way of executing the above backup script is to copy and paste the contents into a file.
backup.sh for example. Then from a terminal prompt:
sudo bash backup.sh
This is a great way to test the script to make sure everything works as expected.
1.2.2. Executing with cron
The cron utility can be used to automate the script execution. The cron daemon allows the execution
of scripts, or commands, at a specified time and date.
cron is configured through entries in a crontab file. crontab files are separated into fields:
# m h dom mon dow
• m: minute the command executes on, between 0 and 59.
• h: hour the command executes on, between 0 and 23.
• dom: day of month the command executes on.
• mon: the month the command executes on, between 1 and 12.
• dow: the day of the week the command executes on, between 0 and 7. Sunday may be specified by
using 0 or 7, both values are valid.
• command: the command to execute.
To add or change entries in a crontab file the crontab -e command should be used. Also, the contents
of a crontab file can be viewed using the crontab -l command.
To execute the backup.sh script listed above using cron. Enter the following from a terminal prompt:
sudo crontab -e
Using sudo with the crontab -e command edits the root user's crontab. This is necessary if
you are backing up directories only the root user has access to.
Add the following entry to the crontab file:
# m h dom mon dow
0 0 * * * bash /usr/local/bin/backup.sh
The backup.sh script will now be executed every day at 12:00 am.
The backup.sh script will need to be copied to the /usr/local/bin/ directory in order for
this entry to execute properly. The script can reside anywhere on the file system, simply
change the script path appropriately.
For more in-depth crontab options see Section 1.4, “References” [p. 308].
1.3. Restoring from the Archive
Once an archive has been created it is important to test the archive. The archive can be tested by
listing the files it contains, but the best test is to restore a file from the archive.
• To see a listing of the archive contents. From a terminal prompt type:
tar -tzvf /mnt/backup/host-Monday.tgz
• To restore a file from the archive to a different directory enter:
tar -xzvf /mnt/backup/host-Monday.tgz -C /tmp etc/hosts
The -C option to tar redirects the extracted files to the specified directory. The above example will
extract the /etc/hosts file to /tmp/etc/hosts. tar recreates the directory structure that it contains.
Also, notice the leading "/" is left off the path of the file to restore.
• To restore all files in the archive enter the following:
cd /
sudo tar -xzvf /mnt/backup/host-Monday.tgz
This will overwrite the files currently on the file system.
1.4. References
• For more information on shell scripting see the Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide1
• The book Teach Yourself Shell Programming in 24 Hours2 is available online and a great resource
for shell scripting.
• The CronHowto Wiki Page3 contains details on advanced cron options.
• See the GNU tar Manual4 for more tar options.
• The Wikipedia Backup Rotation Scheme5 article contains information on other backup rotation
• The shell script uses tar to create the archive, but there many other command line utilities that can
be used. For example:
• cpio6: used to copy files to and from archives.
• dd7: part of the coreutils package. A low level utility that can copy data from one format to
• rsnapshot8: a file system snapshot utility used to create copies of an entire file system.
• rsync9: a flexible utility used to create incremental copies of files.
1 http://tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/
2 http://safari.samspublishing.com/0672323583
3 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CronHowto
4 http://www.gnu.org/software/tar/manual/index.html
5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup_rotation_scheme
6 http://www.gnu.org/software/cpio/
7 http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/
8 http://www.rsnapshot.org/
9 http://www.samba.org/ftp/rsync/rsync.html
2. Archive Rotation
The shell script in Section 1, “Shell Scripts” [p. 305] only allows for seven different archives. For a
server whose data doesn't change often, this may be enough. If the server has a large amount of data, a
more complex rotation scheme should be used.
2.1. Rotating NFS Archives
In this section, the shell script will be slightly modified to implement a grandfather-father-son rotation
scheme (monthly-weekly-daily):
• The rotation will do a daily backup Sunday through Friday.
• On Saturday a weekly backup is done giving you four weekly backups a month.
• The monthly backup is done on the first of the month rotating two monthly backups based on if the
month is odd or even.
Here is the new script:
# Backup to NFS mount script with
# grandfather-father-son rotation.
# What to backup.
backup_files="/home /var/spool/mail /etc /root /boot /opt"
# Where to backup to.
# Setup variables for the archive filename.
day=$(date +%A)
hostname=$(hostname -s)
# Find which week of the month 1-4 it is.
day_num=$(date +%d)
if (( $day_num <= 7 )); then
elif (( $day_num > 7 && $day_num <= 14 )); then
elif (( $day_num > 14 && $day_num <= 21 )); then
elif (( $day_num > 21 && $day_num < 32 )); then
# Find if the Month is odd or even.
month_num=$(date +%m)
month=$(expr $month_num % 2)
if [ $month -eq 0 ]; then
# Create archive filename.
if [ $day_num == 1 ]; then
elif [ $day != "Saturday" ]; then
# Print start status message.
echo "Backing up $backup_files to $dest/$archive_file"
# Backup the files using tar.
tar czf $dest/$archive_file $backup_files
# Print end status message.
echo "Backup finished"
# Long listing of files in $dest to check file sizes.
ls -lh $dest/
The script can be executed using the same methods as in Section 1.2, “Executing the Script” [p. 306].
It is good practice to take backup media off-site in case of a disaster. In the shell script example the
backup media is another server providing an NFS share. In all likelihood taking the NFS server to
another location would not be practical. Depending upon connection speeds it may be an option to
copy the archive file over a WAN link to a server in another location.
Another option is to copy the archive file to an external hard drive which can then be taken off-site.
Since the price of external hard drives continue to decrease, it may be cost-effective to use two drives
for each archive level. This would allow you to have one external drive attached to the backup server
and one in another location.
2.2. Tape Drives
A tape drive attached to the server can be used instead of an NFS share. Using a tape drive simplifies
archive rotation, and makes taking the media off-site easier as well.
When using a tape drive, the filename portions of the script aren't needed because the data is sent
directly to the tape device. Some commands to manipulate the tape are needed. This is accomplished
using mt, a magnetic tape control utility part of the cpio package.
Here is the shell script modified to use a tape drive:
# Backup to tape drive script.
# What to backup.
backup_files="/home /var/spool/mail /etc /root /boot /opt"
# Where to backup to.
# Print start status message.
echo "Backing up $backup_files to $dest"
# Make sure the tape is rewound.
mt -f $dest rewind
# Backup the files using tar.
tar czf $dest $backup_files
# Rewind and eject the tape.
mt -f $dest rewoffl
# Print end status message.
echo "Backup finished"
The default device name for a SCSI tape drive is /dev/st0. Use the appropriate device path
for your system.
Restoring from a tape drive is basically the same as restoring from a file. Simply rewind the tape and
use the device path instead of a file path. For example to restore the /etc/hosts file to /tmp/etc/
mt -f /dev/st0 rewind
tar -xzf /dev/st0 -C /tmp etc/hosts
3. Bacula
Bacula is a backup program enabling you to backup, restore, and verify data across your network.
There are Bacula clients for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X - making it a cross-platform network
wide solution.
3.1. Overview
Bacula is made up of several components and services used to manage which files to backup and
backup locations:
• Bacula Director: a service that controls all backup, restore, verify, and archive operations.
• Bacula Console: an application allowing communication with the Director. There are three versions
of the Console:
• Text based command line version.
• Gnome based GTK+ Graphical User Interface (GUI) interface.
• wxWidgets GUI interface.
• Bacula File: also known as the Bacula Client program. This application is installed on machines to
be backed up, and is responsible for the data requested by the Director.
• Bacula Storage: the programs that perform the storage and recovery of data to the physical media.
• Bacula Catalog: is responsible for maintaining the file indexes and volume databases for all files
backed up, enabling quick location and restoration of archived files. The Catalog supports three
different databases MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
• Bacula Monitor: allows the monitoring of the Director, File daemons, and Storage daemons.
Currently the Monitor is only available as a GTK+ GUI application.
These services and applications can be run on multiple servers and clients, or they can be installed on
one machine if backing up a single disk or volume.
3.2. Installation
If using MySQL or PostgreSQL as your database, you should already have the services
available. Bacula will not install them for you.
There are multiple packages containing the different Bacula components. To install Bacula, from a
terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install bacula
By default installing the bacula package will use a MySQL database for the Catalog. If you want to
use SQLite or PostgreSQL, for the Catalog, install bacula-director-sqlite3 or bacula-director-pgsql
During the install process you will be asked to supply credentials for the database administrator and
the bacula database owner. The database administrator will need to have the appropriate rights to
create a database, see Section 1, “MySQL” [p. 210] for more information.
3.3. Configuration
Bacula configuration files are formatted based on resources comprising of directives surrounded by
“{}” braces. Each Bacula component has an individual file in the /etc/bacula directory.
The various Bacula components must authorize themselves to each other. This is accomplished using
the password directive. For example, the Storage resource password in the /etc/bacula/baculadir.conf file must match the Director resource password in /etc/bacula/bacula-sd.conf.
By default the backup job named Client1 is configured to archive the Bacula Catalog. If you plan on
using the server to backup more than one client you should change the name of this job to something
more descriptive. To change the name edit /etc/bacula/bacula-dir.conf:
# Define the main nightly save backup job
By default, this job will back up to disk in
Job {
Name = "BackupServer"
JobDefs = "DefaultJob"
Write Bootstrap = "/var/lib/bacula/Client1.bsr"
The example above changes the job name to BackupServer matching the machine's host
name. Replace “BackupServer” with your appropriate hostname, or other descriptive name.
The Console can be used to query the Director about jobs, but to use the Console with a non-root
user, the user needs to be in the bacula group. To add a user to the bacula group enter the following
from a terminal:
sudo adduser $username bacula
Replace $username with the actual username. Also, if you are adding the current user to the
group you should log out and back in for the new permissions to take effect.
3.4. Localhost Backup
This section describes how to backup specified directories on a single host to a local tape drive.
• First, the Storage device needs to be configured. Edit /etc/bacula/bacula-sd.conf add:
Device {
Name = "Tape Drive"
Device Type = tape
Media Type = DDS-4
Archive Device = /dev/st0
Hardware end of medium = No;
AutomaticMount = yes;
# when device opened, read it
AlwaysOpen = Yes;
RemovableMedia = yes;
RandomAccess = no;
Alert Command = "sh -c 'tapeinfo -f %c | grep TapeAlert'"
The example is for a DDS-4 tape drive. Adjust the “Media Type” and “Archive Device” to match
your hardware.
You could also uncomment one of the other examples in the file.
• After editing /etc/bacula/bacula-sd.conf the Storage daemon will need to be restarted:
sudo service bacula-sd restart
• Now add a Storage resource in /etc/bacula/bacula-dir.conf to use the new Device:
# Definition of "Tape Drive" storage device
Storage {
Name = TapeDrive
# Do not use "localhost" here
Address = backupserver
# N.B. Use a fully qualified name here
SDPort = 9103
Password = "Cv70F6pf1t6pBopT4vQOnigDrR0v3LT3Cgkiyjc"
Device = "Tape Drive"
Media Type = tape
The Address directive needs to be the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) of the server. Change
backupserver to the actual host name.
Also, make sure the Password directive matches the password string in /etc/bacula/baculasd.conf.
• Create a new FileSet, which will determine what directories to backup, by adding:
# LocalhostBacup FileSet.
FileSet {
Name = "LocalhostFiles"
Include {
Options {
signature = MD5
File = /etc
File = /home
This FileSet will backup the /etc and /home directories. The Options resource directives configure
the FileSet to create an MD5 signature for each file backed up, and to compress the files using
• Next, create a new Schedule for the backup job:
# LocalhostBackup Schedule -- Daily.
Schedule {
Name = "LocalhostDaily"
Run = Full daily at 00:01
The job will run every day at 00:01 or 12:01 am. There are many other scheduling options
• Finally create the Job:
# Localhost backup.
Job {
Name = "LocalhostBackup"
JobDefs = "DefaultJob"
Enabled = yes
Level = Full
FileSet = "LocalhostFiles"
Schedule = "LocalhostDaily"
Storage = TapeDrive
Write Bootstrap = "/var/lib/bacula/LocalhostBackup.bsr"
The job will do a Full backup every day to the tape drive.
• Each tape used will need to have a Label. If the current tape does not have a label Bacula will send
an email letting you know. To label a tape using the Console enter the following from a terminal:
• At the Bacula Console prompt enter:
• You will then be prompted for the Storage resource:
Automatically selected Catalog: MyCatalog
Using Catalog "MyCatalog"
The defined Storage resources are:
1: File
2: TapeDrive
Select Storage resource (1-2):2
• Enter the new Volume name:
Enter new Volume name: Sunday
Defined Pools:
1: Default
2: Scratch
Replace Sunday with the desired label.
• Now, select the Pool:
Select the Pool (1-2): 1
Connecting to Storage daemon TapeDrive at backupserver:9103 ...
Sending label command for Volume "Sunday" Slot 0 ...
Congratulations, you have now configured Bacula to backup the localhost to an attached tape drive.
3.5. Resources
• For more Bacula configuration options refer to the Bacula User's Manual10
• The Bacula Home Page11 contains the latest Bacula news and developments.
• Also, see the Bacula Ubuntu Wiki12 page.
10 http://www.bacula.org/en/rel-manual/index.html
11 http://www.bacula.org/
12 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Bacula
Chapter 20. Virtualization
Virtualization is being adopted in many different environments and situations. If you are a developer,
virtualization can provide you with a contained environment where you can safely do almost any
sort of development safe from messing up your main working environment. If you are a systems
administrator, you can use virtualization to more easily separate your services and move them around
based on demand.
The default virtualization technology supported in Ubuntu is KVM. KVM requires virtualization
extensions built into Intel and AMD hardware. Xen is also supported on Ubuntu. Xen can take
advantage of virtualization extensions, when available, but can also be used on hardware without
virtualization extensions. Qemu is another popular solution for hardware without virtualization
1. libvirt
The libvirt library is used to interface with different virtualization technologies. Before getting started
with libvirt it is best to make sure your hardware supports the necessary virtualization extensions for
KVM. Enter the following from a terminal prompt:
A message will be printed informing you if your CPU does or does not support hardware
On many computers with processors supporting hardware assisted virtualization, it is
necessary to activate an option in the BIOS to enable it.
1.1. Virtual Networking
There are a few different ways to allow a virtual machine access to the external network. The
default virtual network configuration includes bridging and iptables rules implementing usermode
networking, which uses the SLIRP protocol. Traffic is NATed through the host interface to the
outside network.
To enable external hosts to directly access services on virtual machines a different type of bridge than
the default needs to be configured. This allows the virtual interfaces to connect to the outside network
through the physical interface, making them appear as normal hosts to the rest of the network.
1.2. Installation
To install the necessary packages, from a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install qemu-kvm libvirt-bin
After installing libvirt-bin, the user used to manage virtual machines will need to be added to the
libvirtd group. Doing so will grant the user access to the advanced networking options.
In a terminal enter:
sudo adduser $USER libvirtd
If the user chosen is the current user, you will need to log out and back in for the new group
membership to take effect.
You are now ready to install a Guest operating system. Installing a virtual machine follows the same
process as installing the operating system directly on the hardware. You either need a way to automate
the installation, or a keyboard and monitor will need to be attached to the physical machine.
In the case of virtual machines a Graphical User Interface (GUI) is analogous to using a physical
keyboard and mouse. Instead of installing a GUI the virt-viewer application can be used to connect
to a virtual machine's console using VNC. See Section 1.6, “Virtual Machine Viewer” [p. 321] for
more information.
There are several ways to automate the Ubuntu installation process, for example using preseeds,
kickstart, etc. Refer to the Ubuntu Installation Guide1 for details.
Yet another way to install an Ubuntu virtual machine is to use uvtool. This application, available as
of 14.04 allows you to set up specific VM options, execute custom post-install scripts, etc. For details
see Section 2, “Cloud images and uvtool” [p. 323]
Libvirt can also be configured work with Xen. For details, see the Xen Ubuntu community page
referenced below.
1.3. virt-install
virt-install is part of the virtinst package. To install it, from a terminal prompt enter:
sudo apt-get install virtinst
There are several options available when using virt-install. For example:
sudo virt-install -n web_devel -r 256 \
--disk path=/var/lib/libvirt/images/web_devel.img,bus=virtio,size=4 -c \
ubuntu-14.04-server-i386.iso --network network=default,model=virtio \
--graphics vnc,listen= --noautoconsole -v
• -n web_devel: the name of the new virtual machine will be web_devel in this example.
• -r 256: specifies the amount of memory the virtual machine will use in megabytes.
• --disk path=/var/lib/libvirt/images/web_devel.img,size=4: indicates the path to the virtual disk
which can be a file, partition, or logical volume. In this example a file named web_devel.img in
the /var/lib/libvirt/images/ directory, with a size of 4 gigabytes, and using virtio for the disk bus.
• -c ubuntu-14.04-server-i386.iso: file to be used as a virtual CDROM. The file can be either an ISO
file or the path to the host's CDROM device.
• --network provides details related to the VM's network interface. Here the default network is used,
and the interface model is configured for virtio.
• --graphics vnc,listen= exports the guest's virtual console using VNC and on all host
interfaces. Typically servers have no GUI, so another GUI based computer on the Local Area
Network (LAN) can connect via VNC to complete the installation.
• --noautoconsole: will not automatically connect to the virtual machine's console.
• -v: creates a fully virtualized guest.
1 https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/installation-guide/
After launching virt-install you can connect to the virtual machine's console either locally using a GUI
(if your server has a GUI), or via a remote VNC client from a GUI based computer.
1.4. virt-clone
The virt-clone application can be used to copy one virtual machine to another. For example:
sudo virt-clone -o web_devel -n database_devel -f /path/to/database_devel.img \
• -o: original virtual machine.
• -n: name of the new virtual machine.
• -f: path to the file, logical volume, or partition to be used by the new virtual machine.
• --connect: specifies which hypervisor to connect to.
Also, use -d or --debug option to help troubleshoot problems with virt-clone.
Replace web_devel and database_devel with appropriate virtual machine names.
1.5. Virtual Machine Management
1.5.1. virsh
There are several utilities available to manage virtual machines and libvirt. The virsh utility can be
used from the command line. Some examples:
• To list running virtual machines:
virsh -c qemu:///system list
• To start a virtual machine:
virsh -c qemu:///system start web_devel
• Similarly, to start a virtual machine at boot:
virsh -c qemu:///system autostart web_devel
• Reboot a virtual machine with:
virsh -c qemu:///system reboot web_devel
• The state of virtual machines can be saved to a file in order to be restored later. The following will
save the virtual machine state into a file named according to the date:
virsh -c qemu:///system save web_devel web_devel-022708.state
Once saved the virtual machine will no longer be running.
• A saved virtual machine can be restored using:
virsh -c qemu:///system restore web_devel-022708.state
• To shutdown a virtual machine do:
virsh -c qemu:///system shutdown web_devel
• A CDROM device can be mounted in a virtual machine by entering:
virsh -c qemu:///system attach-disk web_devel /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
In the above examples replace web_devel with the appropriate virtual machine name, and
web_devel-022708.state with a descriptive file name.
1.5.2. Virtual Machine Manager
The virt-manager package contains a graphical utility to manage local and remote virtual machines.
To install virt-manager enter:
sudo apt-get install virt-manager
Since virt-manager requires a Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment it is recommended to
be installed on a workstation or test machine instead of a production server. To connect to the local
libvirt service enter:
virt-manager -c qemu:///system
You can connect to the libvirt service running on another host by entering the following in a terminal
virt-manager -c qemu+ssh://virtnode1.mydomain.com/system
The above example assumes that SSH connectivity between the management system
and virtnode1.mydomain.com has already been configured, and uses SSH keys for
authentication. SSH keys are needed because libvirt sends the password prompt to another
process. For details on configuring SSH see Section 1, “OpenSSH Server” [p. 80]
1.6. Virtual Machine Viewer
The virt-viewer application allows you to connect to a virtual machine's console. virt-viewer does
require a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to interface with the virtual machine.
To install virt-viewer from a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install virt-viewer
Once a virtual machine is installed and running you can connect to the virtual machine's console by
virt-viewer -c qemu:///system web_devel
Similar to virt-manager, virt-viewer can connect to a remote host using SSH with key authentication,
as well:
virt-viewer -c qemu+ssh://virtnode1.mydomain.com/system web_devel
Be sure to replace web_devel with the appropriate virtual machine name.
If configured to use a bridged network interface you can also setup SSH access to the virtual machine.
1.7. Resources
• See the KVM2 home page for more details.
• For more information on libvirt see the libvirt home page3
• The Virtual Machine Manager4 site has more information on virt-manager development.
• Also, stop by the #ubuntu-virt IRC channel on freenode5 to discuss virtualization technology in
• Another good resource is the Ubuntu Wiki KVM6 page.
• For information on Xen, including using Xen with libvirt, please see the Ubuntu Wiki Xen7 page.
2 http://www.linux-kvm.org/
3 http://libvirt.org/
4 http://virt-manager.et.redhat.com/
5 http://freenode.net/
6 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/KVM
7 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Xen
2. Cloud images and uvtool
2.1. Introduction
With Ubuntu being one of the most used operating systems on most of the cloud platforms, the
availability of stable and secure cloud images has become very important. As of 12.04 the utilization
of cloud images outside of a cloud infrastructure has been improved. It is now possible to use those
images to create a virtual machine without the need of a complete installation.
2.2. Creating virtual machines using uvtool
Starting with 14.04 LTS, a tool called uvtool greatly facilitates the task of generating virtual machines
(VM) using the cloud images. uvtool provides a simple mechanism to to synchronize cloud-images
locally and use them to create new VMs in minutes.
2.2.1. Uvtool packages
The following packages and their dependancies will be required in order to use uvtool:
• uvtool
• uvtool-libvirt
Installation of uvtool is done the same as for any other application by using apt-get:
$ apt-get -y install uvtool
This will install uvtool's main commands:
• uvt-simplestreams-libvirt
• uvt-kvm
2.2.2. Get the Ubuntu Cloud Image with uvt-simplestreams-libvirt
This is one of the major simplifications that uvtool brings. It is aware of where to find the cloud
images so only one command is required to get a new cloud image. For instance, if you want to
synchronize all cloud images for the amd64 architecture, the uvtool command would be:
$ uvt-simplestreams-libvirt sync arch=amd64
After an amount of time required to download all the images from the internet, you will have a
complete set of cloud images stored locally. To see what has been downloaded use the following
$ uvt-simplestreams-libvirt query
release=oneiric arch=amd64 label=release (20130509)
release=precise arch=amd64 label=release (20140227)
release=quantal arch=amd64 label=release (20140302)
release=saucy arch=amd64 label=release (20140226)
release=trusty arch=amd64 label=beta1 (20140226.1)
In the case where you want to synchronize only one specific cloud-image, you need to use the
release= and arch= filters to identify which image needs to be synchronized.
$ uvt-simplestreams-libvirt sync release=precise arch=amd64
2.2.3. Create the VM using uvt-kvm
In order to be able to connect to the virtual machine once it has been created, it is necessary to have
a valid SSH key available for the ubuntu user. If your environment does not have a ssh key, you can
easily create one using the following command:
$ ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/ubuntu/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/ubuntu/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/ubuntu/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
4d:ba:5d:57:c9:49:ef:b5:ab:71:14:56:6e:2b:ad:9b [email protected]
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 2048]----+
S . ...=.|
o . .+ .|
. . o o |
The creation of a new virtual machine using uvtool is easy. In its simplest form, you only need to do:
$ uvt-kvm create firsttest
This will create a VM named firsttest using the current LTS cloud image available locally. If you
want to specify a release to be used to create the VM, you need to use the release= filter
$ uvt-kvm create secondtest release=trusty
The uvt-kvm wait {name} can be used to wait until the creation of the VM has completed
$ uvt-kvm wait secondttest --insecure
Warning: secure wait for boot-finished not yet implemented; use --insecure.
2.2.4. Connect to the running VM
Once the virtual machine creation is completed, you can connect to it using ssh:
$ uvt-kvm ssh secondtest --insecure
For the time being, the --insecure is required so you should be using this mechanism to connect to
your VM only if you completely trust your network infrastructure
You can also connect to your VM using a regular ssh session using the IP address of the VM. The
address can be queried using the following command:
$ uvt-kvm ip secondtest
$ ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa [email protected]
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is 3a:12:08:37:79:24:2f:58:aa:62:d3:9d:c0:99:66:8a.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
Welcome to Ubuntu Trusty Tahr (development branch) (GNU/Linux 3.13.0-12-generic x86_64)
* Documentation:
System information disabled due to load higher than 1.0
Get cloud support with Ubuntu Advantage Cloud Guest:
0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.
Last login: Fri Mar 21 13:25:56 2014 from
2.2.5. Get the list of running VMs
You can get the list of VM running on your system with this command:
$ uvt-kvm list
2.2.6. Destroy your VM
Once you are done with your VM, you can proceed to destroy it with:
$ uvt-kvm destroy secondtest
2.2.7. More uvt-kvm options
The following options can be used to change some of the characteristics of the virtual memory that
you are creating
• --memory : Amount of RAM in megabytes. Default: 512
• --disk : Size of the OS disk in gigabytes. Default: 8
• --cpu : Number of CPU cores. Default: 1
Some other parameters will have an impact on the cloud-init configuration
• --password password : Allow login to the VM using the ubuntu account and this provided password
• --run-script-once script_file : Run script_file as root on the VM the first time it is booted, but never
• --packages package_list : Install the comma-separated packages specified in package_list on first
A complete description of all available modifiers is available in the manpage of uvt-kvm
2.3. Resources
If you are interested in learning more, have questions or suggestions, please contact the Ubuntu Server
Team at:
• IRC: #ubuntu-server on freenode
• Mailing list: ubuntu-server at lists.ubuntu.com8
8 https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-server
3. Ubuntu Cloud
Cloud computing is a computing model that allows vast pools of resources to be allocated on-demand.
These resources such as storage, computing power, network and software are abstracted and delivered
as a service over the Internet anywhere, anytime. These services are billed per time consumed
similar to the ones used by public services such as electricity, water and telephony. Ubuntu Cloud
Infrastructure uses OpenStack open source software to help build highly scalable, cloud computing
for both public and private clouds.
3.1. Installation and Configuration
Due to the current high rate of development of this complex technology we refer the reader to
upstream documentation9 for all matters concerning installation and configuration.
3.2. Support and Troubleshooting
Community Support
• OpenStack Mailing list10
• The OpenStack Wiki search11
• Launchpad bugs area12
• Join the IRC channel #openstack on freenode.
3.3. Resources
• Cloud Computing - Service models13
• OpenStack Compute14
• OpenStack Image Service15
• OpenStack Object Storage Administration Guide16
• Installing OpenStack Object Storage on Ubuntu17
• http://cloudglossary.com/
9 http://docs.openstack.org/havana/install-guide/install/apt/content/
10 https://launchpad.net/~openstack
11 http://wiki.openstack.org
12 https://bugs.launchpad.net/nova
13 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing#Service_Models
14 http://www.openstack.org/software/openstack-compute/
15 http://docs.openstack.org/diablo/openstack-compute/starter/content/GlanceMS-d2s21.html
16 http://docs.openstack.org/trunk/openstack-object-storage/admin/content/index.html
17 http://docs.openstack.org/trunk/openstack-object-storage/admin/content/installing-openstack-object-storage-on-ubuntu.html
4. LXC
Containers are a lightweight virtualization technology. They are more akin to an enhanced chroot than
to full virtualization like Qemu or VMware, both because they do not emulate hardware and because
containers share the same operating system as the host. Containers are similar to Solaris zones or BSD
jails. Linux-vserver and OpenVZ are two pre-existing, independently developed implementations
of containers-like functionality for Linux. In fact, containers came about as a result of the work to
upstream the vserver and OpenVZ functionality.
There are two user-space implementations of containers, each exploiting the same kernel features.
Libvirt allows the use of containers through the LXC driver by connecting to 'lxc:///'. This can be very
convenient as it supports the same usage as its other drivers. The other implementation, called simply
'LXC', is not compatible with libvirt, but is more flexible with more userspace tools. It is possible to
switch between the two, though there are peculiarities which can cause confusion.
In this document we will mainly describe the lxc package. Use of libvirt-lxc is not generally
recommended due to a lack of Apparmor protection for libvirt-lxc containers.
In this document, a container name will be shown as CN, C1, or C2.
4.1. Installation
The lxc package can be installed using
sudo apt-get install lxc
This will pull in the required and recommended dependencies, as well as set up a network bridge for
containers to use. If you wish to use unprivileged containers, you will need to ensure that users have
sufficient allocated subuids and subgids, and will likely want to allow users to connect containers to a
bridge (see Section 4.2.3, “Basic unprivileged usage” [p. 330]).
4.2. Basic usage
LXC can be used in two distinct ways - privileged, by running the lxc commands as the root user;
or unprivileged, by running the lxc commands as a non-root user. (The starting of unprivileged
containers by the root user is possible, but not described here.) Unprivileged containers are more
limited, for instance being unable to create device nodes or mount block-backed filesystems. However
they are less dangerous to the host, as the root userid in the container is mapped to a non-root userid
on the host.
4.2.1. Basic privileged usage
To create a privileged container, you can simply to
sudo lxc-create --template download --name u1
or, abbreviated
sudo lxc-create -t download -n u1
This will interactively ask for a container root filesystem type to download - in particular the
distribution, release, and architecture. To create the container non-interactively, you can specify these
values on the command line:
sudo lxc-create -t download -n u1 -- --dist ubuntu --release trusty --arch amd64
sudo lxc-create -t download -n u1 -- -d ubuntu -r trusty -a amd64
You can now use lxc-ls to list containers, lxc-info to obtain detailed container information, lxc-start
to start and lxc-stop to stop the container. lxc-attach and lxc-console allow you to enter a container, if
ssh is not an option. lxc-destroy removes the container, including its rootfs. See the manual pages for
more information on each command. An example session might look like:
sudo lxc-ls --fancy
sudo lxc-start --name u1 --daemon
sudo lxc-info --name u1
sudo lxc-stop --name u1
sudo lxc-destroy --name u1
4.2.2. User namespaces
Unprivileged containers allow users to create and administer containers without having any root
privilege. The feature underpinning this is called user namespaces. User namespaces are hierarchical,
with privileged tasks in a parent namespace being able to map its ids into child namespaces. By
default every task on the host runs in the initial user namespace, where the full range of ids is mapped
onto the full range. This can be seen by looking at /proc/self/uid_map and /proc/self/gid_map, which
both will show "0 0 4294967295" when read from the initial user namespace. As of Ubuntu 14.04,
when new users are created they are by default offered a range of userids. The list of assigned ids
can be seen in the files /etc/subuid and /etc/subgid See their respective manpages for more
information. Subuids and subgids are by convention started at id 100000 to avoid conflicting with
system users.
If a user was created on an earlier release, it can be granted a range of ids using usermod, as follows:
sudo usermod -v 100000-200000 -w 100000-200000 user1
The programs newuidmap and newgidmap are setuid-root programs in the uidmap package, which
are used internally by lxc to map subuids and subgids from the host into the unprivileged container.
They ensure that the user only maps ids which are authorized by the host configuration.
4.2.3. Basic unprivileged usage
To create unprivileged containers, a few first steps are needed. You will need to create a default
container configuration file, specifying your desired id mappings and network setup, as well as
configure the host to allow the unprivileged user to hook into the host network. The example below
assumes that your mapped user and group id ranges are 100000-165536.
mkdir -p ~/.config/lxc
echo "lxc.id_map = u 0 100000 65536" > ~/.config/lxc/default.conf
echo "lxc.id_map = g 0 100000 65536" >> ~/.config/lxc/default.conf
echo "lxc.network.type = veth" >> ~/.config/lxc/default.conf
echo "lxc.network.link = lxcbr0" >> ~/.config/lxc/default.conf
echo "$USER veth lxcbr0 2" | sudo tee -a /etc/lxc/lxc-usernet
After this, you can create unprivileged containers the same way as privileged ones, simply without
using sudo.
lxc-create -t download -n u1 -- -d ubuntu -r trusty -a amd64
lxc-start -n u1 -d
lxc-attach -n u1
lxc-stop -n u1
lxc-destroy -n u1
4.2.4. Nesting
In order to run containers inside containers - referred to as nested containers - two lines must be
present in the parent container configuration file:
lxc.mount.auto = cgroup
lxc.aa_profile = lxc-container-default-with-nesting
The first will cause the cgroup manager socket to be bound into the container, so that lxc inside the
container is able to administer cgroups for its nested containers. The second causes the container to
run in a looser Apparmor policy which allows the container to do the mounting required for starting
containers. Note that this policy, when used with a privileged container, is much less safe than the
regular policy or an unprivileged container. See Section 4.9, “Apparmor” [p. 334] for more
4.3. Global configuration
The following configuration files are consulted by LXC. For privileged use, they are found under /
etc/lxc, while for unprivileged use they are under ~/.config/lxc.
• lxc.conf may optionally specify alternate values for several lxc settings, including the lxcpath, the
default configuration, cgroups to use, a cgroup creation pattern, and storage backend settings for
lvm and zfs.
• default.conf specifies configuration which every newly created container should contain. This
usually contains at least a network section, and, for unprivileged users, an id mapping section
• lxc-usernet.conf specifies how unprivileged users may connect their containers to the hostowned network.
and default.conf are exist both under /etc/lxc and $HOME/.config/lxc, while lxcusernet.conf is only host-wide.
By default, containers are located under /var/lib/lxc for the root user, and $HOME/.local/share/lxc
otherwise. The location can be specified for all lxc commands using the "-P|--lxcpath" argument.
4.4. Networking
By default LXC creates a private network namespace for each container, which includes a layer 2
networking stack. Containers usually connect to the outside world by either having a physical NIC
or a veth tunnel endpoint passed into the container. LXC creates a NATed bridge, lxcbr0, at host
startup. Containers created using the default configuration will have one veth NIC with the remote
end plugged into the lxcbr0 bridge. A NIC can only exist in one namespace at a time, so a physical
NIC passed into the container is not usable on the host.
It is possible to create a container without a private network namespace. In this case, the container
will have access to the host networking like any other application. Note that this is particularly
dangerous if the container is running a distribution with upstart, like Ubuntu, since programs which
talk to init, like shutdown, will talk over the abstract Unix domain socket to the host's upstart, and
shut down the host.
To give containers on lxcbr0 a persistent ip address based on domain name, you can write entries to /
etc/lxc/dnsmasq.conf like:
If it is desirable for the container to be publicly accessible, there are a few ways to go about it. One is
to use iptables to forward host ports to the container, for instance
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -i eth0 --dport 587 -j DNAT \
Another is to bridge the host's network interfaces (see the Ubuntu Server Guide's Network
Configuration chapter, Section 1.4, “Bridging” [p. 40]). Then, specify the host's bridge in the
container configuration file in place of lxcbr0, for instance
lxc.network.type = veth
lxc.network.link = br0
Finally, you can ask LXC to use macvlan for the container's NIC. Note that this has limitations and
depending on configuration may not allow the container to talk to the host itself. Therefore the other
two options are preferred and more commonly used.
There are several ways to determine the ip address for a container. First, you can use lxc-ls --fancy
which will print the ip addresses for all running containers, or lxc-info -i -H -n C1 which will print
C1's ip address. If dnsmasq is installed on the host, you can also add an entry to /etc/dnsmasq.conf
as follows
after which dnsmasq will resolve C1.lxc locally, so that you can do:
ping C1
ssh C1
For more information, see the lxc.conf manpage as well as the example network configurations under
4.5. LXC startup
LXC does not have a long-running daemon. However it does have three upstart jobs.
• /etc/init/lxc-net.conf: is an optional job which only runs if /etc/default/lxc-net specifies
USE_LXC_BRIDGE (true by default). It sets up a NATed bridge for containers to use.
• /etc/init/lxc.conf loads the lxc apparmor profiles and optionally starts any autostart containers.
The autostart containers will be ignored if LXC_AUTO (true by default) is set to true in /etc/
default/lxc. See the lxc-autostart manual page for more information on autostarted containers.
• /etc/init/lxc-instance.conf: is used by /etc/init/lxc.conf to autostart a container.
4.6. Backing Stores
LXC supports several backing stores for container root filesystems. The default is a simple directory
backing store, because it requires no prior host customization, so long as the underlying filesystem
is large enough. It also requires no root privilege to create the backing store, so that it is seamless for
unprivileged use. The rootfs for a privileged directory backed container is located (by default) under
/var/lib/lxc/C1/rootfs, while the rootfs for an unprivileged container is under ~/.local/share/
lxc/C1/rootfs. If a custom lxcpath is specified in lxc.system.com, then the container rootfs will be
under $lxcpath/C1/rootfs.
A snapshot clone C2 of a directory backed container C1 becomes an overlayfs backed container, with
a rootfs called overlayfs:/var/lib/lxc/C1/rootfs:/var/lib/lxc/C2/delta0. Other backing store
types include loop, btrfs, LVM and zfs.
A btrfs backed container mostly looks like a directory backed container, with its root filesystem in
the same location. However, the root filesystem comprises a subvolume, so that a snapshot clone is
created using a subvolume snapshot.
The root filesystem for an LVM backed container can be any separate LV. The default VG name can
be specified in lxc.conf. The filesystem type and size are configurable per-container using lxc-create.
The rootfs for a zfs backed container is a separate zfs filesystem, mounted under the traditional /var/
lib/lxc/C1/rootfs location. The zfsroot can be specified at lxc-create, and a default can be specified
in lxc.system.conf.
More information on creating containers with the various backing stores can be found in the lxc-create
manual page.
4.7. Templates
Creating a container generally involves creating a root filesystem for the container. lxc-create
delegates this work to templates, which are generally per-distribution. The lxc templates shipped with
lxc can be found under /usr/share/lxc/templates, and include templates to create Ubuntu, Debian,
Fedora, Oracle, centos, and gentoo containers among others.
Creating distribution images in most cases requires the ability to create device nodes, often requires
tools which are not available in other distributions, and usually is quite time-consuming. Therefore lxc
comes with a special download template, which downloads pre-built container images from a central
lxc server. The most important use case is to allow simple creation of unprivileged containers by nonroot users, who could not for instance easily run the debootstrap command.
When running lxc-create, all options which come after -- are passed to the template. In the following
command, --name, --template and --bdev are passed to lxc-create, while --release is passed to the
lxc-create --template ubuntu --name c1 --bdev loop -- --release trusty
You can obtain help for the options supported by any particular container by passing --help and the
template name to lxc-create. For instance, for help with the download template,
lxc-create --template download --help
4.8. Autostart
LXC supports marking containers to be started at system boot. Prior to Ubuntu 14.04, this was done
using symbolic links under the directory /etc/lxc/auto. Starting with Ubuntu 14.04, it is done
through the container configuration files. An entry
lxc.start.auto = 1
lxc.start.delay = 5
would mean that the container should be started at boot, and the system should wait 5 seconds before
starting the next container. LXC also supports ordering and grouping of containers, as well as reboot
and shutdown by autostart groups. See the manual pages for lxc-autostart and lxc.container.conf for
more information.
4.9. Apparmor
LXC ships with a default Apparmor profile intended to protect the host from accidental misuses of
privilege inside the container. For instance, the container will not be able to write to /proc/sysrqtrigger or to most /sys files.
The usr.bin.lxc-start profile is entered by running lxc-start. This profile mainly prevents lxcstart from mounting new filesystems outside of the container's root filesystem. Before executing the
container's init, LXC requests a switch to the container's profile. By default, this profile is the lxccontainer-default policy which is defined in /etc/apparmor.d/lxc/lxc-default. This profile
prevents the container from accessing many dangerous paths, and from mounting most filesystems.
Programs in a container cannot be further confined - for instance, MySQL runs under the container
profile (protecting the host) but will not be able to enter the MySQL profile (to protect the container).
lxc-execute does not enter an Apparmor profile, but the container it spawns will be confined.
4.9.1. Customizing container policies
If you find that lxc-start is failing due to a legitimate access which is being denied by its Apparmor
policy, you can disable the lxc-start profile by doing:
sudo apparmor_parser -R /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.lxc-start
sudo ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/usr.bin.lxc-start /etc/apparmor.d/disabled/
This will make lxc-start run unconfined, but continue to confine the container itself. If you also wish
to disable confinement of the container, then in addition to disabling the usr.bin.lxc-start profile,
you must add:
lxc.aa_profile = unconfined
to the container's configuration file.
LXC ships with a few alternate policies for containers. If you wish to run containers inside containers
(nesting), then you can use the lxc-container-default-with-nesting profile by adding the following line
to the container configuration file
lxc.aa_profile = lxc-container-default-with-nesting
If you wish to use libvirt inside containers, then you will need to edit that policy (which is defined in /
etc/apparmor.d/lxc/lxc-default-with-nesting) to uncomment the following line
mount fstype=cgroup -> /sys/fs/cgroup/**,
and re-load the policy.
Note that the nesting policy with privileged containers is far less safe than the default policy, as
it allows containers to re-mount /sys and /proc in nonstandard locations, bypassing apparmor
protections. Unprivileged containers do not have this drawback since the container root cannot write
to root-owned proc and sys files.
Another profile shipped with lxc allows containers to mount block filesystem types like ext4. This can
be useful in some cases like maas provisioning, but is deemed generally unsafe since the superblock
handlers in the kernel have not been audited for safe handling of untrusted input.
If you need to run a container in a custom profile, you can create a new profile under /etc/
apparmor.d/lxc/. Its name must start with lxc- in order for lxc-start to be allowed to transition
to that profile. The lxc-default profile includes the re-usable abstractions file /etc/apparmor.d/
abstractions/lxc/container-base. An easy way to start a new profile therefore is to do the same,
then add extra permissions at the bottom of your policy.
After creating the policy, load it using:
sudo apparmor_parser -r /etc/apparmor.d/lxc-containers
The profile will automatically be loaded after a reboot, because it is sourced by the file /etc/
apparmor.d/lxc-containers. Finally, to make container CN use this new lxc-CN-profile, add the
following line to its configuration file:
lxc.aa_profile = lxc-CN-profile
4.10. Control Groups
Control groups (cgroups) are a kernel feature providing hierarchical task grouping and per-cgroup
resource accounting and limits. They are used in containers to limit block and character device access
and to freeze (suspend) containers. They can be further used to limit memory use and block i/o,
guarantee minimum cpu shares, and to lock containers to specific cpus.
By default, a privileged container CN will be assigned a cgroup called /lxc/CN. In the case of name
conflicts (which can occur when using custom lxcpaths) a suffix "-n", where n is an integer starting at
0, will be appended to the cgroup name.
By default, a privileged container CN will be assigned a cgroup called CN under the cgroup of the task
which started the container, for instance /usr/1000.user/1.session/CN. The container root will
be given group ownership of the directory (but not all files) so that it is allowed to create new child
As of Ubuntu 14.04, LXC uses the cgroup manager (cgmanager) to administer cgroups. The cgroup
manager receives D-Bus requests over the Unix socket /sys/fs/cgroup/cgmanager/sock. To
fascilitate safe nested containers, the line
lxc.mount.auto = cgroup
can be added to the container configuration causing the /sys/fs/cgroup/cgmanager directory to be
bind-mounted into the container. The container in turn should start the cgroup management proxy
(done by default if the cgmanager package is installed in the container) which will move the /sys/fs/
cgroup/cgmanager directory to /sys/fs/cgroup/cgmanager.lower, then start listening for requests
to proxy on its own socket /sys/fs/cgroup/cgmanager/sock. The host cgmanager will ensure that
nested containers cannot escape their assigned cgroups or make requests for which they are not
4.11. Cloning
For rapid provisioning, you may wish to customize a canonical container according to your needs and
then make multiple copies of it. This can be done with the lxc-clone program.
Clones are either snapshots or copies of another container. A copy is a new container copied from
the original, and takes as much space on the host as the original. A snapshot exploits the underlying
backing store's snapshotting ability to make a copy-on-write container referencing the first. Snapshots
can be created from btrfs, LVM, zfs, and directory backed containers. Each backing store has its
own peculiarities - for instance, LVM containers which are not thinpool-provisioned cannot support
snapshots of snapshots; zfs containers with snapshots cannot be removed until all snapshots are
released; LVM containers must be more carefully planned as the underlying filesystem may not
support growing; btrfs does not suffer any of these shortcomings, but suffers from reduced fsync
performance causing dpkg and apt-get to be slower.
Snapshots of directory-packed containers are created using the overlay filesystem. For instance,
a privileged directory-backed container C1 will have its root filesystem under /var/lib/lxc/C1/
rootfs. A snapshot clone of C1 called C2 will be started with C1's rootfs mounted readonly under /
var/lib/lxc/C2/delta0. Importantly, in this case C1 should not be allowed to run or be removed
while C2 is running. It is advised instead to consider C1 a canonical base container, and to only use
its snapshots.
Given an existing container called C1, a copy can be created using:
sudo lxc-clone -o C1 -n C2
A snapshot can be created using
sudo lxc-clone -s -o C1 -n C2
See the lxc-clone manpage for more information.
4.11.1. Snapshots
To more easily support the use of snapshot clones for iterative container development, LXC supports
snapshots. When working on a container C1, before making a potentially dangerous or hard-to-revert
change, you can create a snapshot
sudo lxc-snapshot -n C1
which is a snapshot-clone called 'snap0' under /var/lib/lxcsnaps or $HOME/.local/share/lxcsnaps. The
next snapshot will be called 'snap1', etc. Existing snapshots can be listed using lxc-snapshot -L -n
C1, and a snapshot can be restored - erasing the current C1 container - using lxc-snapshot -r snap1 n C1. After the restore command, the snap1 snapshot continues to exist, and the previous C1 is erased
and replaced with the snap1 snapshot.
Snapshots are supported for btrfs, lvm, zfs, and overlayfs containers. If lxc-snapshot is called on a
directory-backed container, an error will be logged and the snapshot will be created as a copy-clone.
The reason for this is that if the user creates an overlayfs snapshot of a directory-backed container
and then makes changes to the directory-backed container, then the original container changes will be
partially reflected in the snapshot. If snapshots of a directory backed container C1 are desired, then an
overlayfs clone of C1 should be created, C1 should not be touched again, and the overlayfs clone can
be edited and snapshotted at will, as such
lxc-clone -s -o C1 -n C2
lxc-start -n C2 -d # make some changes
lxc-stop -n C2
lxc-snapshot -n C2
lxc-start -n C2 # etc
4.11.2. Ephemeral Containers
While snapshots are useful for longer-term incremental development of images, ephemeral containers
utilize snapshots for quick, single-use throwaway containers. Given a base container C1, you can start
an ephemeral container using
lxc-start-ephemeral -o C1
The container begins as a snapshot of C1. Instructions for logging into the container will be printed to
the console. After shutdown, the ephemeral container will be destroyed. See the lxc-start-ephemeral
manual page for more options.
4.12. Lifecycle management hooks
Beginning with Ubuntu 12.10, it is possible to define hooks to be executed at specific points in a
container's lifetime:
• Pre-start hooks are run in the host's namespace before the container ttys, consoles, or mounts are
up. If any mounts are done in this hook, they should be cleaned up in the post-stop hook.
• Pre-mount hooks are run in the container's namespaces, but before the root filesystem has been
mounted. Mounts done in this hook will be automatically cleaned up when the container shuts
• Mount hooks are run after the container filesystems have been mounted, but before the container
has called pivot_root to change its root filesystem.
• Start hooks are run immediately before executing the container's init. Since these are executed
after pivoting into the container's filesystem, the command to be executed must be copied into the
container's filesystem.
• Post-stop hooks are executed after the container has been shut down.
If any hook returns an error, the container's run will be aborted. Any post-stop hook will still be
executed. Any output generated by the script will be logged at the debug priority.
Please see the lxc.container.conf manual page for the configuration file format with which to specify
hooks. Some sample hooks are shipped with the lxc package to serve as an example of how to write
and use such hooks.
4.13. Consoles
Containers have a configurable number of consoles. One always exists on the container's /dev/
console. This is shown on the terminal from which you ran lxc-start, unless the -d option is
specified. The output on /dev/console can be redirected to a file using the -c console-file option to
lxc-start. The number of extra consoles is specified by the lxc.tty variable, and is usually set to 4.
Those consoles are shown on /dev/ttyN (for 1 <= N <= 4). To log into console 3 from the host, use
sudo lxc-console -n container -t 3
or if the -t N option is not specified, an unused console will be automatically chosen. To exit the
console, use the escape sequence Ctrl-a q. Note that the escape sequence does not work in the console
resulting from lxc-start without the -d option.
Each container console is actually a Unix98 pty in the host's (not the guest's) pty mount, bindmounted over the guest's /dev/ttyN and /dev/console. Therefore, if the guest unmounts those or
otherwise tries to access the actual character device 4:N, it will not be serving getty to the LXC
consoles. (With the default settings, the container will not be able to access that character device and
getty will therefore fail.) This can easily happen when a boot script blindly mounts a new /dev.
4.14. Troubleshooting
4.14.1. Logging
If something goes wrong when starting a container, the first step should be to get full logging from
sudo lxc-start -n C1 -l trace -o debug.out
This will cause lxc to log at the most verbose level, trace, and to output log information to a file
called 'debug.out'. If the file debug.out already exists, the new log information will be appended.
4.14.2. Monitoring container status
Two commands are available to monitor container state changes. lxc-monitor monitors one or more
containers for any state changes. It takes a container name as usual with the -n option, but in this case
the container name can be a posix regular expression to allow monitoring desirable sets of containers.
lxc-monitor continues running as it prints container changes. lxc-wait waits for a specific state
change and then exits. For instance,
sudo lxc-monitor -n cont[0-5]*
would print all state changes to any containers matching the listed regular expression, whereas
sudo lxc-wait -n cont1 -s 'STOPPED|FROZEN'
will wait until container cont1 enters state STOPPED or state FROZEN and then exit.
4.14.3. Attach
As of Ubuntu 14.04, it is possible to attach to a container's namespaces. The simplest case is to simply
sudo lxc-attach -n C1
which will start a shell attached to C1's namespaces, or, effectively inside the container. The attach
functionality is very flexible, allowing attaching to a subset of the container's namespaces and security
context. See the manual page for more information.
4.14.4. Container init verbosity
If LXC completes the container startup, but the container init fails to complete (for instance, no login
prompt is shown), it can be useful to request additional verbosity from the init process. For an upstart
container, this might be:
sudo lxc-start -n C1 /sbin/init loglevel=debug
You can also start an entirely different program in place of init, for instance
sudo lxc-start -n C1 /bin/bash
sudo lxc-start -n C1 /bin/sleep 100
sudo lxc-start -n C1 /bin/cat /proc/1/status
4.15. LXC API
Most of the LXC functionality can now be accessed through an API exported by liblxc for which
bindings are available in several languages, including Python, lua, ruby, and go.
Below is an example using the python bindings (which are available in the python3-lxc package)
which creates and starts a container, then waits until it has been shut down:
# sudo python3
Python 3.2.3 (default, Aug 28 2012, 08:26:03)
[GCC 4.7.1 20120814 (prerelease)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import lxc
__main__:1: Warning: The python-lxc API isn't yet stable and may change at any p
oint in the future.
>>> c=lxc.Container("C1")
>>> c.create("ubuntu")
>>> c.start()
>>> c.wait("STOPPED")
4.16. Security
A namespace maps ids to resources. By not providing a container any id with which to reference a
resource, the resource can be protected. This is the basis of some of the security afforded to container
users. For instance, IPC namespaces are completely isolated. Other namespaces, however, have
various leaks which allow privilege to be inappropriately exerted from a container into another
container or to the host.
By default, LXC containers are started under a Apparmor policy to restrict some actions. The details
of AppArmor integration with lxc are in section Section 4.9, “Apparmor” [p. 334]. Unprivileged
containers go further by mapping root in the container to an unprivileged host userid. This prevents
access to /proc and /sys files representing host resources, as well as any other files owned by root on
the host.
4.16.1. Exploitable system calls
It is a core container feature that containers share a kernel with the host. Therefore if the kernel
contains any exploitable system calls the container can exploit these as well. Once the container
controls the kernel it can fully control any resource known to the host.
Since Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal) a container can also be constrained by a seccomp filter. Seccomp is
a new kernel feature which filters the system calls which may be used by a task and its children.
While improved and simplified policy management is expected in the near future, the current policy
consists of a simple whitelist of system call numbers. The policy file begins with a version number
(which must be 1) on the first line and a policy type (which must be 'whitelist') on the second line. It is
followed by a list of numbers, one per line.
In general to run a full distribution container a large number of system calls will be needed. However
for application containers it may be possible to reduce the number of available system calls to only
a few. Even for system containers running a full distribution security gains may be had, for instance
by removing the 32-bit compatibility system calls in a 64-bit container. See the lxc.container.conf
manual page for details of how to configure a container to use seccomp. By default, no seccomp
policy is loaded.
4.17. Resources
• The DeveloperWorks article LXC: Linux container tools18 was an early introduction to the use of
• The Secure Containers Cookbook19 demonstrated the use of security modules to make containers
more secure.
• Manual pages referenced above can be found at:
• The upstream LXC project is hosted at linuxcontainers.org22.
• LXC security issues are listed and discussed at the LXC Security wiki page23
• For more on namespaces in Linux, see: S. Bhattiprolu, E. W. Biederman, S. E. Hallyn, and D.
Lezcano. Virtual Servers and Check- point/Restart in Mainstream Linux. SIGOPS Operating
Systems Review, 42(5), 2008.
18 https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-lxc-containers/
19 http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-lxc-security/index.html
20 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man7/capabilities.7.html
21 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/lxc.conf.5.html
22 http://linuxcontainers.org
23 http://wiki.ubuntu.com/LxcSecurity
Chapter 21. Control Groups
Control groups (cgroups) are a kernel mechanism for grouping, tracking, and limiting the resource
usage of tasks. The kernel-provided administration interface is through a virtual filesystem. Higher
level cgroup administration tools have been developed, including libcgroup and lmctfy. Additionally,
there is guidance at freedesktop.org for how applications can best cooperate using the cgroup
filesystem interface (see Resources).
As of Ubuntu 14.04, the cgroup manager (cgmanager) is available as another cgroup administion
interface. It's goal is to respond to dbus requests from any user, allowing him to administer only those
cgroups which have been delegated to him.
Section 1, “Overview” [p. 344] will describe cgroups in more detail. Section 2,
“Filesystem” [p. 345] will describe the long-standing cgroups filesystem interface. Section 4,
“Manager” [p. 347] will describe the cgroup manager.
Control Groups
1. Overview
Cgroups are the generalized feature for grouping tasks. The actual resource tracking and limits are
implemented by subsystems. A hierarchy is a set of subsystems mounted together. For instance, if the
memory and devices subsystems are mounted together under /sys/fs/cgroups/set1, then any task which
is in "/child1" will be subject to the corresponding limits of both subsystems.
Each set of mounted subsystems consittutes a 'hierarchy'. With exceptions, cgroups which are children
of "/child1" will be subject to all limits placed on "/child1", and their resource usage will be accounted
to "/child1".
The existing subsystems include:
• cpusets: fascilitate assigning a set of CPUS and memory nodes to cgroups. Tasks in a cpuset cgroup
may only be scheduled on CPUS assigned to that cpuset.
• blkio : limits per-cgroup block io.
• cpuacct : provides per-cgroup cpu usage accounting.
• devices : controls the ability of tasks to create or use devices nodes using either a blacklist or
• freezer : provides a way to 'freeze' and 'thaw' whole cgroups. Tasks in the cgroup will not be
scheduled while they are frozen.
• hugetlb : fascilitates limiting hugetlb usage per cgroup.
• memory : allows memory, kernel memory, and swap usage to be tracked and limited.
• net_cls : provides an interface for tagging packets based on the sender cgroup. These tags can then
be used by tc (traffic controller) to assign priorities.
• net_prio : allows setting network traffic priority on a per-cgroup basis.
• cpu : enables setting of scheduling preferences on per-cgroup basis.
• perf_event : enables per-cpu mode to monitor only threads in certain cgroups.
In addition, named cgroups can be created with no bound subsystems for the sake of process tracking.
As an example, systemd does this to track services and user sessions.
Control Groups
2. Filesystem
A hierarchy is created by mounting an instance of the cgroup filesystem with each of the desired
subsystems listed as a mount option. For instance,
mount -t cgroup -o devices,memory,freezer cgroup /cgroup1
would instantiate a hierarchy with the devices and memory cgroups comounted. A child cgroup
"child1" can be created using 'mkdir'
mkdir /cgroup1/child1
and tasks can be moved into the new child cgroup by writing their process ids into the 'tasks' or
'cgroup.procs' file:
sleep 100
echo $! > /cgroup1/child1/cgroup.procs
Other administration is done through files in the cgroup directories. For instance, to freeze all tasks in
echo FROZEN > /cgroup1/child1/freezer.state
A great deal of information about cgroups and its subsystems can be found under the cgroups
documentation directory in the kernel source tree (see Resources).
Control Groups
3. Delegation
Cgroup files and directories can be owned by non-root users, enabling delegation of cgroup
administration. In general, the kernel enforces the hierarchical constraints on limits, so that for
instance if devices cgroup /child1 cannot access a disk drive, then /child1/child2 cannot give itself
those rights.
As of Ubuntu 14.04, users are automatically placed in a set of cgroups which they own, safely
allowing them to contrain their own jobs using child cgroups. This feature is relied upon, for instance,
for unprivileged container creation in lxc.
Control Groups
4. Manager
The cgroup manager (cgmanager) provides a D-Bus service allowing programs and users to
administer cgroups without needing direct knowledge of or access to the cgroup filesystem. For
requests from tasks in the same namespaces as the manager, the manager can directly perform the
needed security checks to ensure that requests are legitimate. For other requests - such as those from a
task in a container - enhanced D-Bus requests must be made, where process-, user- and group-ids are
passed as SCM_CREDENTIALS, so that the kernel maps the identifiers to their global host values.
To fascilitate the use of simple D-Bus calls from all users, a 'cgroup manager proxy' (cgproxy) is
automatically started when in a container. The proxy accepts standard D-Bus requests from tasks in
the same namespaces as itself, and converts them to SCM-enhanced D-Bus requests which it passes
on to the cgmanager.
A simple example of creating a new cgroup in which to run a cpu-intensive compile would look like:
cgm create cpuset build1
cgm movepid cpuset build1 $$
cgm setvalue cpuset build1 cpuset.cpus 1
Control Groups
5. Resources
• Manual pages referenced above can be found at:
• The upstream cgmanager project is hosted at linuxcontainers.org5.
• The upstream kernel documentation page on cgroups can be seen here 6.
• The freedesktop.org control group usage guidelines can be seen here7.
1 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/cgm.1.html
2 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man5/cgconfig.conf.5.html
3 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/cgmanager.8.html
4 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/cgproxy.8.html
5 http://cgmanager.linuxcontainers.org
6 https://git.kernel.org/cgit/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/tree/Documentation/cgroups
7 http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/systemd/PaxControlGroups/
Chapter 22. Clustering
Distributed Replicated Block Device (DRBD) mirrors block devices between multiple hosts. The
replication is transparent to other applications on the host systems. Any block device hard disks,
partitions, RAID devices, logical volumes, etc can be mirrored.
To get started using drbd, first install the necessary packages. From a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install drbd8-utils
If you are using the virtual kernel as part of a virtual machine you will need to manually
compile the drbd module. It may be easier to install the linux-server package inside the
virtual machine.
This section covers setting up a drbd to replicate a separate /srv partition, with an ext3 filesystem
between two hosts. The partition size is not particularly relevant, but both partitions need to be the
same size.
1.1. Configuration
The two hosts in this example will be called drbd01 and drbd02. They will need to have name
resolution configured either through DNS or the /etc/hosts file. See Chapter 8, Domain Name
Service (DNS) [p. 143] for details.
• To configure drbd, on the first host edit /etc/drbd.conf:
global { usage-count no; }
common { syncer { rate 100M; } }
resource r0 {
protocol C;
startup {
wfc-timeout 15;
degr-wfc-timeout 60;
net {
cram-hmac-alg sha1;
shared-secret "secret";
on drbd01 {
device /dev/drbd0;
disk /dev/sdb1;
meta-disk internal;
on drbd02 {
device /dev/drbd0;
disk /dev/sdb1;
meta-disk internal;
There are many other options in /etc/drbd.conf, but for this example their default
values are fine.
• Now copy /etc/drbd.conf to the second host:
scp /etc/drbd.conf drbd02:~
• And, on drbd02 move the file to /etc:
sudo mv drbd.conf /etc/
• Now using the drbdadm utility initialize the meta data storage. On each server execute:
sudo drbdadm create-md r0
• Next, on both hosts, start the drbd daemon:
sudo service drbd start
• On the drbd01, or whichever host you wish to be the primary, enter the following:
sudo drbdadm -- --overwrite-data-of-peer primary all
• After executing the above command, the data will start syncing with the secondary host. To watch
the progress, on drbd02 enter the following:
watch -n1 cat /proc/drbd
To stop watching the output press Ctrl+c.
• Finally, add a filesystem to /dev/drbd0 and mount it:
sudo mkfs.ext3 /dev/drbd0
sudo mount /dev/drbd0 /srv
1.2. Testing
To test that the data is actually syncing between the hosts copy some files on the drbd01, the primary,
to /srv:
sudo cp -r /etc/default /srv
Next, unmount /srv:
sudo umount /srv
Demote the primary server to the secondary role:
sudo drbdadm secondary r0
Now on the secondary server promote it to the primary role:
sudo drbdadm primary r0
Lastly, mount the partition:
sudo mount /dev/drbd0 /srv
Using ls you should see /srv/default copied from the former primary host drbd01.
1.3. References
• For more information on DRBD see the DRBD web site1.
• The drbd.conf man page2 contains details on the options not covered in this guide.
• Also, see the drbdadm man page3.
• The DRBD Ubuntu Wiki4 page also has more information.
1 http://www.drbd.org/
2 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man5/drbd.conf.5.html
3 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man8/drbdadm.8.html
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DRBD
Chapter 23. VPN
OpenVPN is a Virtual Private Networking (VPN) solution provided in the Ubuntu Repositories. It is
flexible, reliable and secure. It belongs to the family of SSL/TLS VPN stacks (different from IPSec
VPNs). This chapter will cover installing and configuring OpenVPN to create a VPN.
1. OpenVPN
If you want more than just pre-shared keys OpenVPN makes it easy to setup and use a Public Key
Infrastructure (PKI) to use SSL/TLS certificates for authentication and key exchange between
the VPN server and clients. OpenVPN can be used in a routed or bridged VPN mode and can be
configured to use either UDP or TCP. The port number can be configured as well, but port 1194 is the
official one. And it is only using that single port for all communication. VPN client implementations
are available for almost anything including all Linux distributions, OS X, Windows and OpenWRT
based WLAN routers.
1.1. Server Installation
To install openvpn in a terminal enter:
sudo apt-get install openvpn easy-rsa
1.2. Public Key Infrastructure Setup
The first step in building an OpenVPN configuration is to establish a PKI (public key infrastructure).
The PKI consists of:
• a separate certificate (also known as a public key) and private key for the server and each client,
• a master Certificate Authority (CA) certificate and key which is used to sign each of the server and
client certificates.
OpenVPN supports bidirectional authentication based on certificates, meaning that the client must
authenticate the server certificate and the server must authenticate the client certificate before mutual
trust is established.
Both server and client will authenticate the other by first verifying that the presented certificate
was signed by the master certificate authority (CA), and then by testing information in the nowauthenticated certificate header, such as the certificate common name or certificate type (client or
1.2.1. Certificate Authority Setup
To setup your own Certificate Authority (CA) and generating certificates and keys for an OpenVPN
server and multiple clients first copy the easy-rsa directory to /etc/openvpn. This will ensure that
any changes to the scripts will not be lost when the package is updated. From a terminal change to
user root and:
mkdir /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
cp -r /usr/share/easy-rsa/* /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
Next, edit /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/vars adjusting the following to your environment:
export KEY_CITY="Winston-Salem"
export KEY_ORG="Example Company"
export KEY_EMAIL="[email protected]"
export KEY_CN=MyVPN
export KEY_OU=MyVPN
Enter the following to generate the master Certificate Authority (CA) certificate and key:
cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
source vars
1.2.2. Server Certificates
Next, we will generate a certificate and private key for the server:
./build-key-server myservername
As in the previous step, most parameters can be defaulted. Two other queries require positive
responses, "Sign the certificate? [y/n]" and "1 out of 1 certificate requests certified, commit? [y/n]".
Diffie Hellman parameters must be generated for the OpenVPN server:
All certificates and keys have been generated in the subdirectory keys/. Common practice is to copy
them to /etc/openvpn/:
cd keys/
cp myservername.crt myservername.key ca.crt dh2048.pem /etc/openvpn/
1.2.3. Client Certificates
The VPN client will also need a certificate to authenticate itself to the server. Usually you create a
different certificate for each client. To create the certificate, enter the following in a terminal while
being user root:
cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
source vars
./build-key client1
Copy the following files to the client using a secure method:
• /etc/openvpn/ca.crt
• /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/client1.crt
• /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/client1.key
As the client certificates and keys are only required on the client machine, you should remove them
from the server.
1.3. Simple Server Configuration
Along with your OpenVPN installation you got these sample config files (and many more if if you
[email protected]:/# ls -l /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/
total 68
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3427 2011-07-04 15:09 client.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 4141 2011-07-04 15:09 server.conf.gz
Start with copying and unpacking server.conf.gz to /etc/openvpn/server.conf.
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/server.conf.gz /etc/openvpn/
sudo gzip -d /etc/openvpn/server.conf.gz
Edit /etc/openvpn/server.conf to make sure the following lines are pointing to the certificates and
keys you created in the section above.
ca ca.crt
cert myservername.crt
key myservername.key
dh dh2048.pem
Edit /etc/sysctl.conf and uncomment the following line to enable IP forwarding.
Then reload sysctl.
sudo sysctl -p /etc/sysctl.conf
That is the minimum you have to configure to get a working OpenVPN server. You can use all the
default settings in the sample server.conf file. Now start the server. You will find logging and error
messages in your syslog.
[email protected]:/etc/openvpn# service openvpn start
* Starting virtual private network daemon(s)...
Autostarting VPN 'server'
[ OK ]
Now check if OpenVPN created a tun0 interface:
[email protected]:/etc/openvpn# ifconfig tun0
Link encap:UNSPEC HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
inet addr:
1.4. Simple Client Configuration
There are various different OpenVPN client implementations with and without GUIs. You can
read more about clients in a later section. For now we use the OpenVPN client for Ubuntu which
is the same executable as the server. So you have to install the openvpn package again on the client
sudo apt-get install openvpn
This time copy the client.conf sample config file to /etc/openvpn/.
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/client.conf /etc/openvpn/
Copy the client keys and the certificate of the CA you created in the section above to e.g. /etc/
openvpn/ and edit /etc/openvpn/client.conf to make sure the following lines are pointing to those
files. If you have the files in /etc/openvpn/ you can omit the path.
ca ca.crt
cert client1.crt
key client1.key
And you have to at least specify the OpenVPN server name or address. Make sure the keyword client
is in the config. That's what enables client mode.
remote vpnserver.example.com 1194
Also, make sure you specify the keyfile names you copied from the server
ca ca.crt
cert client1.crt
key client1.key
Now start the OpenVPN client:
[email protected]:/etc/openvpn# service openvpn start
* Starting virtual private network daemon(s)...
Autostarting VPN 'client'
[ OK ]
Check if it created a tun0 interface:
[email protected]:/etc/openvpn# ifconfig tun0
Link encap:UNSPEC HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
inet addr:
Check if you can ping the OpenVPN server:
[email protected]:/etc/openvpn# ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_req=1 ttl=64 time=0.920 ms
The OpenVPN server always uses the first usable IP address in the client network and only
that IP is pingable. E.g. if you configured a /24 for the client network mask, the .1 address
will be used. The P-t-P address you see in the ifconfig output above is usually not answering
ping requests.
Check out your routes:
[email protected]:/etc/openvpn# netstat -rn
Kernel IP routing table
Genmask UH UGH
0 0
0 0
0 tun0
0 tun0
0 0
0 eth0
0 0
0 eth0
MSS Window
irtt Iface
1.5. First trouble shooting
If the above didn't work for you, check this:
• Check your syslog, e.g. grep -i vpn /var/log/syslog
• Check that you have specified the keyfile names correctly in client.conf and server.conf.
• Can the client connect to the server machine? Maybe a firewall is blocking access? Check syslog
on server.
• Client and server must use same protocol and port, e.g. UDP port 1194, see port and proto config
• Client and server must use same config regarding compression, see comp-lzo config option
• Client and server must use same config regarding bridged vs routed mode, see server vs serverbridge config option
1.6. Advanced configuration
1.6.1. Advanced routed VPN configuration on server
The above is a very simple working VPN. The client can access services on the VPN server machine
through an encrypted tunnel. If you want to reach more servers or anything in other networks,
push some routes to the clients. E.g. if your company's network can be summarized to the network, you could push this route to the clients. But you will also have to change the routing
for the way back - your servers need to know a route to the VPN client-network.
Or you might push a default gateway to all the clients to send all their internet traffic to the VPN
gateway first and from there via the company firewall into the internet. This section shows you some
possible options.
Push routes to the client to allow it to reach other private subnets behind the server. Remember that
these private subnets will also need to know to route the OpenVPN client address pool (
back to the OpenVPN server.
push "route"
If enabled, this directive will configure all clients to redirect their default network gateway through
the VPN, causing all IP traffic such as web browsing and DNS lookups to go through the VPN (the
OpenVPN server machine or your central firewall may need to NAT the TUN/TAP interface to the
internet in order for this to work properly).
push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp"
Configure server mode and supply a VPN subnet for OpenVPN to draw client addresses from. The
server will take for itself, the rest will be made available to clients. Each client will be able to
reach the server on Comment this line out if you are ethernet bridging.
Maintain a record of client to virtual IP address associations in this file. If OpenVPN goes down or
is restarted, reconnecting clients can be assigned the same virtual IP address from the pool that was
previously assigned.
ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt
Push DNS servers to the client.
push "dhcp-option DNS"
push "dhcp-option DNS"
Allow client to client communication.
Enable compression on the VPN link.
The keepalive directive causes ping-like messages to be sent back and forth over the link so that each
side knows when the other side has gone down. Ping every 1 second, assume that remote peer is down
if no ping received during a 3 second time period.
keepalive 1 3
It's a good idea to reduce the OpenVPN daemon's privileges after initialization.
user nobody
group nogroup
OpenVPN 2.0 includes a feature that allows the OpenVPN server to securely obtain a username and
password from a connecting client, and to use that information as a basis for authenticating the client.
To use this authentication method, first add the auth-user-pass directive to the client configuration. It
will direct the OpenVPN client to query the user for a username/password, passing it on to the server
over the secure TLS channel.
# client config!
This will tell the OpenVPN server to validate the username/password entered by clients using the
login PAM module. Useful if you have centralized authentication with e.g. Kerberos.
plugin /usr/lib/openvpn/openvpn-plugin-auth-pam.so login
Please read the OpenVPN hardening security guide1 for further security advice.
1.6.2. Advanced bridged VPN configuration on server
OpenVPN can be setup for either a routed or a bridged VPN mode. Sometimes this is also referred
to as OSI layer-2 versus layer-3 VPN. In a bridged VPN all layer-2 frames - e.g. all ethernet frames
- are sent to the VPN partners and in a routed VPN only layer-3 packets are sent to VPN partners.
In bridged mode all traffic including traffic which was traditionally LAN-local like local network
broadcasts, DHCP requests, ARP requests etc. are sent to VPN partners whereas in routed mode this
would be filtered. Prepare interface config for bridging on server
Make sure you have the bridge-utils package installed:
1 http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/howto.html#security
sudo apt-get install bridge-utils
Before you setup OpenVPN in bridged mode you need to change your interface configuration. Let's
assume your server has an interface eth0 connected to the internet and an interface eth1 connected to
the LAN you want to bridge. Your /etc/network/interfaces would like this:
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
auto eth1
iface eth1 inet static
This straight forward interface config needs to be changed into a bridged mode like where the config
of interface eth1 moves to the new br0 interface. Plus we configure that br0 should bridge interface
eth1. We also need to make sure that interface eth1 is always in promiscuous mode - this tells the
interface to forward all ethernet frames to the IP stack.
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
auto eth1
iface eth1 inet manual
up ip link set $IFACE up promisc on
auto br0
iface br0 inet static
bridge_ports eth1
At this point you need to bring up the bridge. Be prepared that this might not work as expected and
that you will lose remote connectivity. Make sure you can solve problems having local access.
sudo ifdown eth1 && sudo ifup -a Prepare server config for bridging
Edit /etc/openvpn/server.conf changing the following options to:
;dev tun
dev tap
up "/etc/openvpn/up.sh br0 eth1"
Next, create a helper script to add the tap interface to the bridge and to ensure that eth1 is
promiscuous mode. Create /etc/openvpn/up.sh:
/sbin/ip link set "$TAPDEV" up
/sbin/ip link set "$ETHDEV" promisc on
/sbin/brctl addif $BR $TAPDEV
Then make it executable:
sudo chmod 755 /etc/openvpn/up.sh
After configuring the server, restart openvpn by entering:
sudo service openvpn restart Client Configuration
First, install openvpn on the client:
sudo apt-get install openvpn
Then with the server configured and the client certificates copied to the /etc/openvpn/ directory,
create a client configuration file by copying the example. In a terminal on the client machine enter:
sudo cp /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/client.conf /etc/openvpn
Now edit /etc/openvpn/client.conf changing the following options:
dev tap
;dev tun
ca ca.crt
cert client1.crt
key client1.key
Finally, restart openvpn:
sudo service openvpn restart
You should now be able to connect to the remote LAN through the VPN.
1.7. Client software implementations
1.7.1. Linux Network-Manager GUI for OpenVPN
Many Linux distributions including Ubuntu desktop variants come with Network Manager, a nice
GUI to configure your network settings. It also can manage your VPN connections. Make sure you
have package network-manager-openvpn installed. Here you see that the installation installs all other
required packages as well:
[email protected]:~# apt-get install network-manager-openvpn
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
liblzo2-2 libpkcs11-helper1 network-manager-openvpn-gnome openvpn
Suggested packages:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
liblzo2-2 libpkcs11-helper1 network-manager-openvpn
network-manager-openvpn-gnome openvpn
0 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 0 to remove and 631 not upgraded.
Need to get 700 kB of archives.
After this operation, 3,031 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
To inform network-manager about the new installed packages you will have to restart it:
[email protected]:~# restart network-manager
network-manager start/running, process 3078
Open the Network Manager GUI, select the VPN tab and then the 'Add' button. Select OpenVPN as
the VPN type in the opening requester and press 'Create'. In the next window add the OpenVPN's
server name as the 'Gateway', set 'Type' to 'Certificates (TLS)', point 'User Certificate' to your user
certificate, 'CA Certificate' to your CA certificate and 'Private Key' to your private key file. Use the
advanced button to enable compression (e.g. comp-lzo), dev tap, or other special settings you set on
the server. Now try to establish your VPN.
1.7.2. OpenVPN with GUI for Mac OS X: Tunnelblick
Tunnelblick is an excellent free, open source implementation of a GUI for OpenVPN for OS X. The
project's homepage is at http://code.google.com/p/tunnelblick/. Download the latest OS X installer
from there and install it. Then put your client.ovpn config file together with the certificates and keys
in /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Tunnelblick/Configurations/ and lauch Tunnelblick
from your Application folder.
# sample client.ovpn for Tunnelblick
remote blue.example.com
port 1194
proto udp
dev tun
dev-type tun
ns-cert-type server
reneg-sec 86400
auth-retry interact
comp-lzo yes
verb 3
ca ca.crt
cert client.crt
key client.key
1.7.3. OpenVPN with GUI for Win 7
First download and install the latest OpenVPN Windows Installer2. OpenVPN 2.3.2 was the latest
when this was written. As of this writing, the management GUI is included with the Windows binary
You need to start the OpenVPN service. Goto Start > Computer > Manage > Services and
Applications > Services. Find the OpenVPN service and start it. Set it's startup type to automatic.
When you start the OpenVPN MI GUI the first time you need to run it as an administrator. You have
to right click on it and you will see that option.
You will have to write your OpenVPN config in a textfile and place it in C:\Program Files\OpenVPN
\config\client.ovpn along with the CA certificate. You could put the user certificate in the user's home
directory like in the follwing example.
# C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config\client.ovpn
remote server.example.com
port 1194
proto udp
dev tun
dev-type tun
ns-cert-type server
reneg-sec 86400
auth-retry interact
comp-lzo yes
verb 3
ca ca.crt
2 http://www.openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/downloads.html
cert "C:\\Users\\username\\My Documents\\openvpn\\client.crt"
key "C:\\Users\\username\\My Documents\\openvpn\\client.key"
management 1194
auth-retry interact
; Set the name of the Windows TAP network interface device here
dev-node MyTAP
Note: If you are not using user authentication and/or you want to run the service without user
interaction, comment out the following options:
auth-retry interact
management 1194
You may want to set the Windows service to "automatic".
1.7.4. OpenVPN for OpenWRT
OpenWRT is described as a Linux distribution for embedded devices like WLAN router. There are
certain types of WLAN routers who can be flashed to run OpenWRT. Depending on the available
memory on your OpenWRT router you can run software like OpenVPN and you could for example
build a small inexpensive branch office router with VPN connectivity to the central office. More
info on OpenVPN on OpenWRT is here3. And here is the OpenWRT project's homepage: http://
Log into your OpenWRT router and install OpenVPN:
opkg update
opkg install openvpn
Check out /etc/config/openvpn and put your client config in there. Copy certificates and keys to /etc/
config openvpn client1
option enable 1
option client 1
option dev tap
option dev tun
option proto udp
option ca /etc/openvpn/ca.crt
option cert /etc/openvpn/client.crt
3 http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/vpn.overview
option key /etc/openvpn/client.key
option comp_lzo 1
Restart OpenVPN:
service openvpn restart
You will have to see if you need to adjust your router's routing and firewall rules.
1.8. References
• See the OpenVPN4 website for additional information.
• OpenVPN hardening security guide5
• Also, Pakt's OpenVPN: Building and Integrating Virtual Private Networks6 is a good resource.
4 http://openvpn.net/
5 http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/howto.html#security
6 http://www.packtpub.com/openvpn/book
Chapter 24. Other Useful Applications
There are many very useful applications developed by the Ubuntu Server Team, and others that are
well integrated with Ubuntu Server Edition, that might not be well known. This chapter will showcase
some useful applications that can make administering an Ubuntu server, or many Ubuntu servers, that
much easier.
Other Useful Applications
1. pam_motd
When logging into an Ubuntu server you may have noticed the informative Message Of The Day
(MOTD). This information is obtained and displayed using a couple of packages:
• landscape-common: provides the core libraries of landscape-client, which is needed to manage
systems with Landscape1 (proprietary). Yet the package also includes the landscape-sysinfo utility
which is responsible for displaying core system data involving cpu, memory, disk space, etc. For
System load:
Usage of /:
Memory usage:
Swap usage:
30.2% of 3.11GB
Users logged in:
IP address for eth0:
Graph this data and manage this system at https://landscape.canonical.com/
You can run landscape-sysinfo manually at any time.
• update-notifier-common: provides information on available package updates, impending filesystem
checks (fsck), and required reboots (e.g.: after a kernel upgrade).
pam_motd executes the scripts in /etc/update-motd.d in order based on the number prepended to
the script. The output of the scripts is written to /var/run/motd, keeping the numerical order, then
concatenated with /etc/motd.tail.
You can add your own dynamic information to the MOTD. For example, to add local weather
• First, install the weather-util package:
sudo apt-get install weather-util
• The weather utility uses METAR data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
and forecasts from the National Weather Service. In order to find local information you will need
the 4-character ICAO location indicator. This can be determined by browsing to the National
Weather Service2 site.
Although the National Weather Service is a United States government agency there are weather
stations available world wide. However, local weather information for all locations outside the U.S.
may not be available.
1 http://landscape.canonical.com/
2 http://www.weather.gov/tg/siteloc.shtml
Other Useful Applications
• Create /usr/local/bin/local-weather, a simple shell script to use weather with your local ICAO
# Prints the local weather information for the MOTD.
# Replace KINT with your local weather station.
# Local stations can be found here: http://www.weather.gov/tg/siteloc.shtml
weather -i KINT
• Make the script executable:
sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/local-weather
• Next, create a symlink to /etc/update-motd.d/98-local-weather:
sudo ln -s /usr/local/bin/local-weather /etc/update-motd.d/98-local-weather
• Finally, exit the server and re-login to view the new MOTD.
You should now be greeted with some useful information, and some information about the local
weather that may not be quite so useful. Hopefully the local-weather example demonstrates the
flexibility of pam_motd.
1.1. Resources
• See the update-motd man page3 for more options available to update-motd.
• The Debian Package of the Day weather4 article has more details about using the weatherutility.
3 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/trusty/en/man5/update-motd.5.html
4 http://debaday.debian.net/2007/10/04/weather-check-weather-conditions-and-forecasts-on-the-command-line/
Other Useful Applications
2. etckeeper
etckeeper allows the contents of /etc to be stored in a Version Control System (VCS) repository.
It integrates with APT and automatically commits changes to /etc when packages are installed or
upgraded. Placing /etc under version control is considered an industry best practice, and the goal of
etckeeper is to make this process as painless as possible.
Install etckeeper by entering the following in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install etckeeper
The main configuration file, /etc/etckeeper/etckeeper.conf, is fairly simple. The main option
is which VCS to use and by default etckeeper is configured to use Bazaar. The repository is
automatically initialized (and committed for the first time) during package installation. It is possible to
undo this by entering the following command:
sudo etckeeper uninit
By default, etckeeper will commit uncommitted changes made to /etc daily. This can be disabled
using the AVOID_DAILY_AUTOCOMMITS configuration option. It will also automatically
commit changes before and after package installation. For a more precise tracking of changes, it is
recommended to commit your changes manually, together with a commit message, using:
sudo etckeeper commit "..Reason for configuration change.."
Using bzr's VCS commands you can view log information:
sudo bzr log /etc/passwd
To demonstrate the integration with the package management system (APT), install postfix:
sudo apt-get install postfix
When the installation is finished, all the postfix configuration files should be committed to the
Committing to: /etc/
added aliases.db
modified group
modified groupmodified gshadow
modified gshadowmodified passwd
modified passwdadded postfix
Other Useful Applications
added resolvconf
added rsyslog.d
modified shadow
modified shadowadded init.d/postfix
added network/if-down.d/postfix
added network/if-up.d/postfix
added postfix/dynamicmaps.cf
added postfix/main.cf
added postfix/master.cf
added rc3.d/S20postfix
added rc4.d/S20postfix
added rc5.d/S20postfix
added rc6.d/K20postfix
added resolvconf/update-libc.d
added resolvconf/update-libc.d/postfix
added rsyslog.d/postfix.conf
added ufw/applications.d/postfix
Committed revision 2.
For an example of how etckeeper tracks manual changes, add new a host to /etc/hosts. Using bzr
you can see which files have been modified:
sudo bzr status /etc/
Now commit the changes:
sudo etckeeper commit "added new host"
For more information on bzr see Section 1, “Bazaar” [p. 276].
2.1. Resources
• See the etckeeper5 site for more details on using etckeeper.
• The etckeeper Ubuntu Wiki6 page.
5 http://kitenet.net/~joey/code/etckeeper/
6 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/etckeeper
Other Useful Applications
• For the latest news and information about bzr see the bzr7 web site.
7 http://bazaar-vcs.org/
Other Useful Applications
3. Byobu
One of the most useful applications for any system administrator is an xterm multiplexor such as
screen or tmux. It allows for the execution of multiple shells in one terminal. To make some of the
advanced multiplexor features more user-friendly and provide some useful information about the
system, the byobu package was created. It acts as a wrapper to these programs. By default Byobu uses
tmux (if installed) but this can be changed by the user.
Invoke it simply with:
Now bring up the configuration menu. By default this is done by pressing the F9 key. This will allow
you to:
• View the Help menu
• Change Byobu's background color
• Change Byobu's foreground color
• Toggle status notifications
• Change the key binding set
• Change the escape sequence
• Create new windows
• Manage the default windows
• Byobu currently does not launch at login (toggle on)
The key bindings determine such things as the escape sequence, new window, change window, etc.
There are two key binding sets to choose from f-keys and screen-escape-keys. If you wish to use the
original key bindings choose the none set.
byobu provides a menu which displays the Ubuntu release, processor information, memory
information, and the time and date. The effect is similar to a desktop menu.
Using the "Byobu currently does not launch at login (toggle on)" option will cause byobu to be
executed any time a terminal is opened. Changes made to byobu are on a per user basis, and will not
affect other users on the system.
One difference when using byobu is the scrollback mode. Press the F7 key to enter scrollback mode.
Scrollback mode allows you to navigate past output using vi like commands. Here is a quick list of
movement commands:
• h - Move the cursor left by one character
• j - Move the cursor down by one line
• k - Move the cursor up by one line
Other Useful Applications
• l - Move the cursor right by one character
• 0 - Move to the beginning of the current line
• $ - Move to the end of the current line
• G - Moves to the specified line (defaults to the end of the buffer)
• / - Search forward
• ? - Search backward
• n - Moves to the next match, either forward or backward
3.1. Resources
• For more information on screen see the screen web site8.
• And the Ubuntu Wiki screen9 page.
• Also, see the byobu project page10 for more information.
8 http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/
9 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Screen
10 https://launchpad.net/byobu
Appendix A. Appendix
1. Reporting Bugs in Ubuntu Server Edition
The Ubuntu Project, and thus Ubuntu Server, uses Launchpad1 as its bugtracker. In order to file a bug,
you will need a Launchpad account. Create one here2 if necessary.
1.1. Reporting Bugs With apport-cli
The preferred way to report a bug is with the apport-cli command. It must be invoked on the machine
affected by the bug because it collects information from the system on which it is being run and
publishes it to the bug report on Launchpad. Getting that information to Launchpad can therefore be a
challenge if the system is not running a desktop environment in order to use a browser (common with
servers) or if it does not have Internet access. The steps to take in these situations are described below.
The commands apport-cli and ubuntu-bug should give the same results on a CLI server.
The latter is actually a symlink to apport-bug which is intelligent enough to know whether a
desktop environment is in use and will choose apport-cli if not. Since server systems tend to
be CLI-only apport-cli was chosen from the outset in this guide.
Bug reports in Ubuntu need to be filed against a specific software package, so the name of the
package (source package or program name/path) affected by the bug needs to be supplied to apportcli:
apport-cli PACKAGENAME
See Chapter 3, Package Management [p. 20] for more information about packages in
Once apport-cli has finished gathering information you will be asked what to do with it. For instance,
to report a bug in vim:
apport-cli vim
*** Collecting problem information
The collected information can be sent to the developers to improve the
application. This might take a few minutes.
*** Send problem report to the developers?
After the problem report has been sent, please fill out the form in the
automatically opened web browser.
What would you like to do? Your options are:
1 https://launchpad.net/
2 https://help.launchpad.net/YourAccount/NewAccount
S: Send report (2.8 KB)
V: View report
K: Keep report file for sending later or copying to somewhere else
I: Cancel and ignore future crashes of this program version
C: Cancel
Please choose (S/V/K/I/C):
The first three options are described below:
• Send: submits the collected information to Launchpad as part of the process of filing a new bug
report. You will be given the opportunity to describe the bug in your own words.
*** Uploading problem information
The collected information is being sent to the bug tracking system.
This might take a few minutes.
*** To continue, you must visit the following URL:
You can launch a browser now, or copy this URL into a browser on another computer.
1: Launch a browser now
C: Cancel
Please choose (1/C):
The browser that will be used when choosing '1' will be the one known on the system as wwwbrowser via the Debian alternatives system3. Examples of text-based browsers to install include
links, elinks, lynx, and w3m. You can also manually point an existing browser at the given URL.
• View: displays the collected information on the screen for review. This can be a lot of information.
Press 'Enter' to scroll by screenful. Press 'q' to quit and return to the choice menu.
• Keep: writes the collected information to disk. The resulting file can be later used to file the bug
report, typically after transferring it to another Ubuntu system.
What would you like to do? Your options are:
S: Send report (2.8 KB)
V: View report
K: Keep report file for sending later or copying to somewhere else
I: Cancel and ignore future crashes of this program version
C: Cancel
Please choose (S/V/K/I/C): k
Problem report file: /tmp/apport.vim.1pg92p02.apport
3 http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/en/man8/update-alternatives.8.html
To report the bug, get the file onto an internet-enabled Ubuntu system and apply apport-cli to it.
This will cause the menu to appear immediately (the information is already collected). You should
then press 's' to send:
apport-cli apport.vim.1pg92p02.apport
To directly save a report to disk (without menus) you can do:
apport-cli vim --save apport.vim.test.apport
Report names should end in .apport .
If this internet-enabled system is non-Ubuntu/Debian, apport-cli is not available so the
bug will need to be created manually. An apport report is also not to be included as an
attachment to a bug either so it is completely useless in this scenario.
1.2. Reporting Application Crashes
The software package that provides the apport-cli utility, apport, can be configured to automatically
capture the state of a crashed application. This is enabled by default (in /etc/default/apport).
After an application crashes, if enabled, apport will store a crash report under /var/crash:
-rw-r----- 1 peter
whoopsie 150K Jul 24 16:17 _usr_lib_x86_64-linux-gnu_libmenu-cache2_libexec_me
Use the apport-cli command without arguments to process any pending crash reports. It will offer to
report them one by one.
*** Send problem report to the developers?
After the problem report has been sent, please fill out the form in the
automatically opened web browser.
What would you like to do? Your options are:
S: Send report (153.0 KB)
V: View report
K: Keep report file for sending later or copying to somewhere else
I: Cancel and ignore future crashes of this program version
C: Cancel
Please choose (S/V/K/I/C): s
If you send the report, as was done above, the prompt will be returned immediately and the /var/
crash directory will then contain 2 extra files:
-rw-r----- 1 peter
whoopsie 150K Jul 24 16:17 _usr_lib_x86_64-linux-gnu_libmenu-cache2_libexec_me
-rw-rw-r-- 1 peter
-rw------- 1 whoopsie whoopsie
0 Jul 24 16:37 _usr_lib_x86_64-linux-gnu_libmenu-cache2_libexec_me
0 Jul 24 16:37 _usr_lib_x86_64-linux-gnu_libmenu-cache2_libexec_me
Sending in a crash report like this will not immediately result in the creation of a new public bug. The
report will be made private on Launchpad, meaning that it will be visible to only a limited set of bug
triagers. These triagers will then scan the report for possible private data before creating a public bug.
1.3. Resources
• See the Reporting Bugs4 Ubuntu wiki page.
• Also, the Apport5 page has some useful information. Though some of it pertains to using a GUI.
4 https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs
5 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Apport
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