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The Perfect Server – Ubuntu Natty Narwhal (Ubuntu 11.04) [ISPConfig 2]

This tutorial shows how to set up an Ubuntu Natty Narwhal (Ubuntu 11.04) server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Courier POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc. In the end you should have a system that works reliably, and if you like you can install the free webhosting control panel ISPConfig 2 (i.e., ISPConfig runs on it out of the box).

I will use the following software:

  • Web Server: Apache 2.2.17 with PHP 5.3.5, Python, Ruby, and WebDAV
  • Database Server: MySQL 5.1.54
  • Mail Server: Postfix
  • DNS Server: BIND9
  • FTP Server: proftpd
  • POP3/IMAP: I will use Maildir format and therefore install Courier-POP3/Courier-IMAP.
  • Webalizer for web site statistics

Please note that this setup does not work for ISPConfig 3! It is valid for ISPConfig 2 only!

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Requirements

To install such a system you will need the following:

  • the Ubuntu 11.04 server CD, available here: (i386) or (x86_64)
  • a fast Internet connection.


2 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname with the IP address and the gateway These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.


3 The Base System

Insert your Ubuntu install CD into your system and boot from it. Select your language:


Then select Install Ubuntu Server:


Choose your language again (?):


Then select your location:




If you’ve selected an uncommon combination of language and location (like English as the language and Germany as the location, as in my case), the installer might tell you that there is no locale defined for this combination; in this case you have to select the locale manually. I select en_US.UTF-8 here:


Choose a keyboard layout (you will be asked to press a few keys, and the installer will try to detect your keyboard layout based on the keys you pressed):



The installer checks the installation CD, your hardware, and configures the network with DHCP if there is a DHCP server in the network:


The installer checks the installation CD, your hardware, and configures the network with DHCP if there is a DHCP server in the network:


Enter the hostname. In this example, my system is called, so I enter server1:


Please check if the installer detected your time zone correctly. If so, select Yes, otherwise No:


Now you have to partition your hard disk. For simplicity’s sake I select Guided – use entire disk and set up LVM – this will create one volume group with two logical volumes, one for the / file system and another one for swap (of course, the partitioning is totally up to you – if you know what you’re doing, you can also set up your partitions manually).


Select the disk that you want to partition:


When you’re asked Write the changes to disks and configure LVM?, select Yes:


If you have selected Guided – use entire disk and set up LVM, the partitioner will create one big volume group that uses all the disk space. You can now specify how much of that disk space should be used by the logical volumes for / and swap. It makes sense to leave some space unused so that you can later on expand your existing logical volumes or create new ones – this gives you more flexibility.


When you’re finished, hit Yes when you’re asked Write the changes to disks?:


Afterwards, your new partitions are being created and formatted:


Now the base system is being installed:


Create a user, for example the user Administrator with the user name administrator (don’t use the user name admin as it is a reserved name on Ubuntu 11.04):





I don’t need an encrypted private directory, so I choose No here:


Next the package manager apt gets configured. Leave the HTTP proxy line empty unless you’re using a proxy server to connect to the Internet:



I’m a little bit old-fashioned and like to update my servers manually to have more control, therefore I select No automatic updates. Of course, it’s up to you what you select here:


We need a DNS, mail, and LAMP server, but nevertheless I don’t select any of them now because I like to have full control over what gets installed on my system. We will install the needed packages manually later on. The only item I select here is OpenSSH server so that I can immediately connect to the system with an SSH client such as PuTTY after the installation has finished:


The installation continues:


The GRUB boot loader gets installed:


Select Yes when you are asked Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record?:


The base system installation is now finished. Remove the installation CD from the CD drive and hit Continue to reboot the system:


On to the next step…

4 Get root Privileges

After the reboot you can login with your previously created username (e.g. administrator). Because we must run all the steps from this tutorial with root privileges, we can either prepend all commands in this tutorial with the string sudo, or we become root right now by typing

sudo su

(You can as well enable the root login by running

sudo passwd root

and giving root a password. You can then directly log in as root, but this is frowned upon by the Ubuntu developers and community for various reasons. See

5 Install The SSH Server (Optional)

If you did not install the OpenSSH server during the system installation, you can do it now:

apt-get install ssh openssh-server

From now on you can use an SSH client such as PuTTY and connect from your workstation to your Ubuntu 11.04 server and follow the remaining steps from this tutorial.


6 Install vim-nox (Optional)

I’ll use vi as my text editor in this tutorial. The default vi program has some strange behaviour on Ubuntu and Debian; to fix this, we install vim-nox:

apt-get install vim-nox

(You don’t have to do this if you use a different text editor such as joe or nano.)


7 Configure The Network

Because the Ubuntu installer has configured our system to get its network settings via DHCP, we have to change that now because a server should have a static IP address. Edit /etc/network/interfaces and adjust it to your needs (in this example setup I will use the IP address

vi /etc/network/interfaces

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).

# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

Then restart your network:

/etc/init.d/networking restart

Then edit /etc/hosts. Make it look like this:

vi /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost     server1

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

Now run

echo > /etc/hostname
/etc/init.d/hostname restart

Afterwards, run

hostname -f

Both should show now.


8 Edit /etc/apt/sources.list And Update Your Linux Installation

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list. Comment out or remove the installation CD from the file and make sure that the universe and multiverse repositories are enabled. It should look like this:

vi /etc/apt/sources.list


# deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 11.04 _Natty Narwhal_ - Release amd64 (20110426)]/ natty main restricted

#deb cdrom:[Ubuntu-Server 11.04 _Natty Narwhal_ - Release amd64 (20110426)]/ natty main restricted

# See for how to upgrade to
# newer versions of the distribution.
deb natty main restricted
deb-src natty main restricted

## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
## distribution.
deb natty-updates main restricted
deb-src natty-updates main restricted

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
deb natty universe
deb-src natty universe
deb natty-updates universe
deb-src natty-updates universe

## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to
## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in
## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
## security team.
deb natty multiverse
deb-src natty multiverse
deb natty-updates multiverse
deb-src natty-updates multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from the 'backports'
## repository.
## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
# deb natty-backports main restricted universe multiverse
# deb-src natty-backports main restricted universe multiverse

deb natty-security main restricted
deb-src natty-security main restricted
deb natty-security universe
deb-src natty-security universe
deb natty-security multiverse
deb-src natty-security multiverse

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
# deb natty partner
# deb-src natty partner

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Ubuntu's
## 'extras' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by third-party
## developers who want to ship their latest software.
# deb natty main
# deb-src natty main

Then run

apt-get update

to update the apt package database and

apt-get upgrade

to install the latest updates (if there are any). If you see that a new kernel gets installed as part of the updates, you should reboot the system afterwards:



9 Change The Default Shell

/bin/sh is a symlink to /bin/dash, however we need /bin/bash, not /bin/dash. Therefore we do this:

dpkg-reconfigure dash

Use dash as the default system shell (/bin/sh)? <– No

If you don’t do this, the ISPConfig installation will fail.


10 Disable AppArmor

AppArmor is a security extension (similar to SELinux) that should provide extended security. In my opinion you don’t need it to configure a secure system, and it usually causes more problems than advantages (think of it after you have done a week of trouble-shooting because some service wasn’t working as expected, and then you find out that everything was ok, only AppArmor was causing the problem). Therefore I disable it (this is a must if you want to install ISPConfig later on).

We can disable it like this:

/etc/init.d/apparmor stop
update-rc.d -f apparmor remove
apt-get remove apparmor apparmor-utils

11 Install Some Software

Now we install a few packages that are needed later on. Run

apt-get install binutils cpp fetchmail flex gcc libarchive-zip-perl libc6-dev libcompress-zlib-perl libdb4.6-dev libpcre3 libpopt-dev lynx m4 make ncftp nmap openssl perl perl-modules unzip zip zlib1g-dev autoconf automake1.9 libtool bison autotools-dev g++ build-essential

(This command must go into one line!)

12 Journaled Quota

(If you have chosen a different partitioning scheme than I did, you must adjust this chapter so that quota applies to the partitions where you need it.)

To install quota, run

apt-get install quota

Edit /etc/fstab. Mine looks like this (I added ,usrjquota=quota.user,,jqfmt=vfsv0 to the partition with the mount point /):

vi /etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# Use 'blkid -o value -s UUID' to print the universally unique identifier
# for a device; this may be used with UUID= as a more robust way to name
# devices that works even if disks are added and removed. See fstab(5).
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    nodev,noexec,nosuid 0       0
/dev/mapper/server1-root /               ext4    errors=remount-ro,usrjquota=quota.user,,jqfmt=vfsv0 0       1
# /boot was on /dev/sda1 during installation
UUID=deae7cd1-b106-47aa-9a7c-512f046d2ebf /boot           ext2    defaults        0       2
/dev/mapper/server1-swap_1 none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto,exec,utf8 0       0

To enable quota, run these commands:

mount -o remount /

quotacheck -avugm
quotaon -avug


13 DNS Server


apt-get install bind9

For security reasons we want to run BIND chrooted so we have to do the following steps:

/etc/init.d/bind9 stop

Edit the file /etc/default/bind9 so that the daemon will run as the unprivileged user bind, chrooted to /var/lib/named. Modify the line: OPTIONS=”-u bind” so that it reads OPTIONS=”-u bind -t /var/lib/named”:

vi /etc/default/bind9

# run resolvconf?

# startup options for the server
OPTIONS="-u bind -t /var/lib/named"

Create the necessary directories under /var/lib:

mkdir -p /var/lib/named/etc
mkdir /var/lib/named/dev
mkdir -p /var/lib/named/var/cache/bind
mkdir -p /var/lib/named/var/run/bind/run

Then move the config directory from /etc to /var/lib/named/etc:

mv /etc/bind /var/lib/named/etc

Create a symlink to the new config directory from the old location (to avoid problems when bind gets updated in the future):

ln -s /var/lib/named/etc/bind /etc/bind

Make null and random devices, and fix permissions of the directories:

mknod /var/lib/named/dev/null c 1 3
mknod /var/lib/named/dev/random c 1 8
chmod 666 /var/lib/named/dev/null /var/lib/named/dev/random
chown -R bind:bind /var/lib/named/var/*
chown -R bind:bind /var/lib/named/etc/bind

We need to create the file /etc/rsyslog.d/bind-chroot.conf

vi /etc/rsyslog.d/bind-chroot.conf

… and add the following line so that we can still get important messages logged to the system logs:

$AddUnixListenSocket /var/lib/named/dev/log

Restart the logging daemon:

/etc/init.d/rsyslog restart

Start up BIND, and check /var/log/syslog for errors:

/etc/init.d/bind9 start


14 MySQL

In order to install MySQL, we run

apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient-dev

You will be asked to provide a password for the MySQL root user – this password is valid for the user root@localhost as well as, so we don’t have to specify a MySQL root password manually later on:

New password for the MySQL “root” user: <– yourrootsqlpassword
Repeat password for the MySQL “root” user: <– yourrootsqlpassword

We want MySQL to listen on all interfaces, not just localhost, therefore we edit /etc/mysql/my.cnf and comment out the line bind-address =

vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

# Instead of skip-networking the default is now to listen only on
# localhost which is more compatible and is not less secure.
#bind-address           =

Then we restart MySQL:

/etc/init.d/mysql restart

Now check that networking is enabled. Run

netstat -tap | grep mysql

The output should look like this:

root@server1:~# netstat -tap | grep mysql
tcp        0      0 *:mysql                 *:*                     LISTEN      7220/mysqld

15 Postfix With SMTP-AUTH And TLS

In order to install Postfix with SMTP-AUTH and TLS do the following steps:

apt-get install postfix libsasl2-2 sasl2-bin libsasl2-modules procmail

You will be asked two questions. Answer as follows:

General type of mail configuration: <– Internet Site
System mail name: <–

Then run

dpkg-reconfigure postfix

Again, you’ll be asked some questions:

General type of mail configuration: <– Internet Site
System mail name: <–
Root and postmaster mail recipient: <– [blank]
Other destinations to accept mail for (blank for none): <–,, localhost.localdomain, localhost
Force synchronous updates on mail queue? <– No
Local networks: <– [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128
Use procmail for local delivery? <– Yes
Mailbox size limit (bytes): <– 0
Local address extension character: <– +
Internet protocols to use: <– all

Next, do this:

postconf -e ‘smtpd_sasl_local_domain =’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous’
postconf -e ‘broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_sasl_authenticated_header = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_sasl_authenticated,permit_mynetworks,reject_unauth_destination’
postconf -e ‘inet_interfaces = all’
echo ‘pwcheck_method: saslauthd’ >> /etc/postfix/sasl/smtpd.conf
echo ‘mech_list: plain login’ >> /etc/postfix/sasl/smtpd.conf

Afterwards we create the certificates for TLS:

mkdir /etc/postfix/ssl
cd /etc/postfix/ssl/
openssl genrsa -des3 -rand /etc/hosts -out smtpd.key 1024

chmod 600 smtpd.key
openssl req -new -key smtpd.key -out smtpd.csr

openssl x509 -req -days 3650 -in smtpd.csr -signkey smtpd.key -out smtpd.crt

openssl rsa -in smtpd.key -out smtpd.key.unencrypted

mv -f smtpd.key.unencrypted smtpd.key
openssl req -new -x509 -extensions v3_ca -keyout cakey.pem -out cacert.pem -days 3650

Next we configure Postfix for TLS (make sure that you use the correct hostname for myhostname):

postconf -e ‘myhostname =’

postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_auth_only = no’
postconf -e ‘smtp_use_tls = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_use_tls = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/postfix/ssl/smtpd.key’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/postfix/ssl/smtpd.crt’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/postfix/ssl/cacert.pem’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_loglevel = 1’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_received_header = yes’
postconf -e ‘smtpd_tls_session_cache_timeout = 3600s’
postconf -e ‘tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom’

The file /etc/postfix/ should now look like this:

cat /etc/postfix/

# See /usr/share/postfix/ for a commented, more complete version

# Debian specific:  Specifying a file name will cause the first
# line of that file to be used as the name.  The Debian default
# is /etc/mailname.
#myorigin = /etc/mailname

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

readme_directory = no

# TLS parameters
smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/postfix/ssl/smtpd.crt
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/postfix/ssl/smtpd.key
smtpd_use_tls = yes
smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtpd_scache
smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtp_scache

# See /usr/share/doc/postfix/TLS_README.gz in the postfix-doc package for
# information on enabling SSL in the smtp client.

myhostname =
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
myorigin = /etc/mailname
mydestination =,, localhost.localdomain, localhost
relayhost =
mynetworks = [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128
mailbox_command = procmail -a "$EXTENSION"
mailbox_size_limit = 0
recipient_delimiter = +
inet_interfaces = all
inet_protocols = all
smtpd_sasl_local_domain =
smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
smtpd_sasl_authenticated_header = yes
smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_sasl_authenticated,permit_mynetworks,reject_unauth_destination
smtpd_tls_auth_only = no
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes
smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/postfix/ssl/cacert.pem
smtpd_tls_loglevel = 1
smtpd_tls_received_header = yes
smtpd_tls_session_cache_timeout = 3600s
tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom

Authentication will be done by saslauthd. We have to change a few things to make it work properly. Because Postfix runs chrooted in /var/spool/postfix we have to do the following:

mkdir -p /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd

Now we have to edit /etc/default/saslauthd in order to activate saslauthd. Set START to yes and change the line OPTIONS=”-c -m /var/run/saslauthd” to OPTIONS=”-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd -r”:

vi /etc/default/saslauthd

# Settings for saslauthd daemon
# Please read /usr/share/doc/sasl2-bin/README.Debian for details.

# Should saslauthd run automatically on startup? (default: no)

# Description of this saslauthd instance. Recommended.
# (suggestion: SASL Authentication Daemon)
DESC="SASL Authentication Daemon"

# Short name of this saslauthd instance. Strongly recommended.
# (suggestion: saslauthd)

# Which authentication mechanisms should saslauthd use? (default: pam)
# Available options in this Debian package:
# getpwent  -- use the getpwent() library function
# kerberos5 -- use Kerberos 5
# pam       -- use PAM
# rimap     -- use a remote IMAP server
# shadow    -- use the local shadow password file
# sasldb    -- use the local sasldb database file
# ldap      -- use LDAP (configuration is in /etc/saslauthd.conf)
# Only one option may be used at a time. See the saslauthd man page
# for more information.
# Example: MECHANISMS="pam"

# Additional options for this mechanism. (default: none)
# See the saslauthd man page for information about mech-specific options.

# How many saslauthd processes should we run? (default: 5)
# A value of 0 will fork a new process for each connection.

# Other options (default: -c -m /var/run/saslauthd)
# Note: You MUST specify the -m option or saslauthd won't run!
# The -d option will cause saslauthd to run in the foreground instead of as
# a daemon. This will PREVENT YOUR SYSTEM FROM BOOTING PROPERLY. If you wish
# to run saslauthd in debug mode, please run it by hand to be safe.
# See /usr/share/doc/sasl2-bin/README.Debian for Debian-specific information.
# See the saslauthd man page and the output of 'saslauthd -h' for general
# information about these options.
# Example for postfix users: "-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd"
#OPTIONS="-c -m /var/run/saslauthd"
OPTIONS="-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd -r"

Next add the postfix user to the sasl group (this makes sure that Postfix has the permission to access saslauthd):

adduser postfix sasl

Now restart Postfix and start saslauthd:

/etc/init.d/postfix restart
/etc/init.d/saslauthd start

To see if SMTP-AUTH and TLS work properly now run the following command:

telnet localhost 25

After you have established the connection to your Postfix mail server type

ehlo localhost

If you see the lines




everything is fine.

The output on my system looks like this:

root@server1:/etc/postfix/ssl# telnet localhost 25
Connected to localhost.localdomain.
Escape character is ‘^]’.
220 ESMTP Postfix (Ubuntu)
ehlo localhost
250-SIZE 10240000
250 DSN
221 2.0.0 Bye
Connection closed by foreign host.



to return to the system’s shell.


16 Courier-IMAP/Courier-POP3

Run this to install Courier-IMAP/Courier-IMAP-SSL (for IMAPs on port 993) and Courier-POP3/Courier-POP3-SSL (for POP3s on port 995):

apt-get install courier-authdaemon courier-base courier-imap courier-imap-ssl courier-pop courier-pop-ssl courier-ssl gamin libgamin0 libglib2.0-0

You will be asked two questions:

Create directories for web-based administration? <– No
SSL certificate required <– Ok

During the installation, the SSL certificates for IMAP-SSL and POP3-SSL are created with the hostname localhost. To change this to the correct hostname ( in this tutorial), delete the certificates…

cd /etc/courier
rm -f /etc/courier/imapd.pem
rm -f /etc/courier/pop3d.pem

… and modify the following two files; replace CN=localhost with (you can also modify the other values, if necessary):

vi /etc/courier/imapd.cnf


vi /etc/courier/pop3d.cnf


Then recreate the certificates…


… and restart Courier-IMAP-SSL and Courier-POP3-SSL:

/etc/init.d/courier-imap-ssl restart
/etc/init.d/courier-pop-ssl restart

If you do not want to use ISPConfig, configure Postfix to deliver emails to a user’s Maildir*:

postconf -e ‘home_mailbox = Maildir/’
postconf -e ‘mailbox_command =’
/etc/init.d/postfix restart

*Please note: You do not have to do this if you intend to use ISPConfig on your system as ISPConfig does the necessary configuration using procmail recipes. But please go sure to enable Maildir under Management -> Server -> Settings -> EMail in the ISPConfig web interface.

17 Apache/PHP5/Ruby/Python/WebDAV

Now we install Apache:

apt-get install apache2 apache2-doc apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils apache2-suexec libexpat1 ssl-cert

Next we install PHP5, Ruby, and Python (all three as Apache modules):

apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5 libapache2-mod-ruby libapache2-mod-python php5 php5-common php5-curl php5-dev php5-gd php5-idn php-pear php5-imagick php5-imap php5-mcrypt php5-memcache php5-ming php5-mysql php5-pspell php5-recode php5-snmp php5-sqlite php5-tidy php5-xmlrpc php5-xsl

Next we edit /etc/apache2/mods-available/dir.conf:

vi /etc/apache2/mods-available/dir.conf

and change the DirectoryIndex line:

<IfModule mod_dir.c>

          #DirectoryIndex index.html index.cgi index.php index.xhtml index.htm
          DirectoryIndex index.html index.htm index.shtml index.cgi index.php index.php3 index.xhtml


Now we have to enable some Apache modules (SSL, rewrite, suexec, include, and WebDAV):

a2enmod ssl
a2enmod rewrite
a2enmod suexec
a2enmod include
a2enmod dav_fs
a2enmod dav

Restart Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

We have to fix a small problem with Ruby. If you install ISPConfig and enable Ruby for a web site, .rbx files will be executed fine and displayed in the browser, but this does not work for .rb files – you will be prompted to download the .rb file – the same happens if you configure Ruby manually for a vhost (i.e., it has nothing to do with ISPConfig). To fix this, we open /etc/mime.types

vi /etc/mime.types

… and comment out the application/x-ruby line:

#application/x-ruby                             rb

Restart Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Now .rb files will be executed and displayed in the browser, just like .rbx files.

In the next chapter (17.1) we are going to disable PHP (this is necessary only if you want to install ISPConfig on this server). Unlike PHP, Ruby and Python are disabled by default, therefore we don’t have to do it.


17.1 Disable PHP Globally

(If you do not plan to install ISPConfig on this server, please skip this section!)

In ISPConfig you will configure PHP on a per-website basis, i.e. you can specify which website can run PHP scripts and which one cannot. This can only work if PHP is disabled globally because otherwise all websites would be able to run PHP scripts, no matter what you specify in ISPConfig.

To disable PHP globally, we edit /etc/mime.types and comment out the application/x-httpd-php lines:

vi /etc/mime.types

#application/x-httpd-php                                phtml pht php
#application/x-httpd-php-source                 phps
#application/x-httpd-php3                       php3
#application/x-httpd-php3-preprocessed          php3p
#application/x-httpd-php4                       php4
#application/x-httpd-php5                       php5

Edit /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/php5.conf and comment out the SetHandler lines:

vi /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/php5.conf

<IfModule mod_php5.c>
    <FilesMatch "\.ph(p3?|tml)$">
        #SetHandler application/x-httpd-php
    <FilesMatch "\.phps$">
        #SetHandler application/x-httpd-php-source
    # To re-enable php in user directories comment the following lines
    # (from <IfModule ...> to </IfModule>.) Do NOT set it to On as it
    # prevents .htaccess files from disabling it.
    <IfModule mod_userdir.c>
        <Directory /home/*/public_html>
            php_admin_value engine Off

Then restart Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart


18 Proftpd

In order to install Proftpd, run

apt-get install proftpd ucf

You will be asked a question:

Run proftpd: <– standalone

For security reasons add the following lines to /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf (thanks to Reinaldo Carvalho; more information can be found here:

vi /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

DefaultRoot ~
ServerIdent on "FTP Server ready."

ISPConfig expects the configuration to be in /etc/proftpd.conf instead of /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf, therefore we create a symlink (you can skip this command if you don’t want to install ISPConfig):

ln -s /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf /etc/proftpd.conf

Then restart Proftpd:

/etc/init.d/proftpd restart

19 Webalizer

To install webalizer, just run

apt-get install webalizer geoip-database


20 Synchronize the System Clock

It is a good idea to synchronize the system clock with an NTP (network time protocol) server over the internet. Simply run

apt-get install ntp ntpdate

and your system time will always be in sync.


21 Install Some Perl Modules Needed By SpamAssassin (Comes With ISPConfig)


apt-get install libhtml-parser-perl libdb-file-lock-perl libnet-dns-perl libnetaddr-ip-perl perl-modules


22 ISPConfig

The configuration of the server is now finished, and if you wish you can now install ISPConfig on it. Please check out the ISPConfig installation manual:

Before you install ISPConfig, there’s one important thing you must do. Open /usr/include/stdio.h and replace getline with parseline in line 671:

vi /usr/include/stdio.h

   This function is not part of POSIX and therefore no official
   cancellation point.  But due to similarity with an POSIX interface
   or due to the implementation it is a cancellation point and
   therefore not marked with __THROW.  */
extern _IO_ssize_t parseline (char **__restrict __lineptr,
                            size_t *__restrict __n,
                            FILE *__restrict __stream) __wur;

If you don’t do this, the installation will fail because of the following error:

htpasswd.c:101: error: conflicting types for ‘getline’
/usr/include/stdio.h:671: note: previous declaration of ‘getline’ was here
make[2]: *** [htpasswd.o] Error 1
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/ISPConfig-2.2.stable/install_ispconfig/compile_aps/apache_1.3.41/src/support’
make[1]: *** [build-support] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/ISPConfig-2.2.stable/install_ispconfig/compile_aps/apache_1.3.41′

make: *** [build] Error 2
ERROR: Could not make Apache

You can undo the change to /usr/include/stdio.h after the successful ISPConfig installation (but don’t forget to change it back whenever you want to update ISPConfig!).


22.1 A Note On SuExec

If you want to run CGI scripts under suExec, you should specify /var/www as the home directory for websites created by ISPConfig as Ubuntu’s suExec is compiled with /var/www as Doc_Root. Run

/usr/lib/apache2/suexec -V

and the output should look like this:

root@server1:~# /usr/lib/apache2/suexec -V
-D AP_DOC_ROOT=”/var/www”
-D AP_HTTPD_USER=”www-data”
-D AP_LOG_EXEC=”/var/log/apache2/suexec.log”
-D AP_SAFE_PATH=”/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin”
-D AP_USERDIR_SUFFIX=”public_html”

So if you want to use suExec with ISPConfig, don’t change the default web root (which is /var/www) if you use expert mode during the ISPConfig installation (in standard mode you can’t change the web root anyway so you’ll be able to use suExec in any case).


  • Ubuntu:
  • ISPConfig: