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The Perfect Setup – Debian Etch (Debian 4.0)


This tutorial shows how to set up a Debian Etch (Debian 4.0) based 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. This tutorial is written for the 32-bit version of Debian Etch, but should apply to the 64-bit version with very little modifications as well.

I will use the following software:

  • Web Server: Apache 2.2
  • Database Server: MySQL 5.0
  • 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

In the end you should have a system that works reliably, and if you like you can install the free webhosting control panel ISPConfig (i.e., ISPConfig runs on it out of the box).

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 Debian Etch Netinstall CD (the list of mirrors is available here: http://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/ – I downloaded this one: http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian-cd/4.0_r0/i386/iso-cd/debian-40r0-i386-netinst.iso)
  • a fast internet connection.

 

2 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use the hostname server1.example.com with the IP address 192.168.0.100 and the gateway 192.168.0.1. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

 

3 The Base System

Insert your Debian Etch Netinstall CD into your system and boot from it. Press ENTER to boot:

1

The installation starts, and first you have to choose your language:

2

Then select your location:

3

4

Choose a keyboard layout:

5

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

6

7

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

8

Enter your domain name. In this example, this is example.com:

9

Now you have to partition your hard disk. For simplicity’s sake I will create one big partition (with the mount point /) and a little swap partition so I select Guided – use entire disk (of course, the partitioning is totally up to you – if you like, you can create more than just one big partition, and you can also use LVM):

10

Select the disk that you want to partition:

11

Then select the partitioning scheme. As mentioned before, I select All files in one partition (recommended for new users) for simplicity’s sake – it’s up to your likings what you choose here:

12

When you’re finished, select Finish partitioning and write changes to disk:

13

Select Yes when you’re asked Write changes to disks?:

14

Afterwards, your new partitions are created and formatted:

15

Afterwards, give the root user a password:

16

Confirm that password to avoid typos:

17

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

18

19

20

21

Now the base system is being installed:

23

Next you must configure apt. Because you are using the Debian Etch Netinstall CD which contains only a minimal set of packages, you must use a network mirror:

25

Select the country where the network mirror that you want to use is located (usually this is the country where your Debian Etch system is located):

26

Then select the mirror you want to use (e.g. ftp2.de.debian.org):

27

Unless you use an HTTP proxy, leave the following field empty and hit Continue:

28

Apt is now updating its packages database:

29

You can skip the package usage survey by selecting No:

30

We need a web server, DNS server, mail server, and a MySQL database, 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. Therefore we just select Standard system and hit Continue:

31

The required packages are being installed on the system:

32

When you’re asked Install the GRUB boot loader to the master boot record, select Yes:

34

Afterwards, the GRUB boot loader gets installed:

35

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

36

37

On to the next step…

4 Install The SSH Server

Debian Etch does not install OpenSSH by default, therefore we do it now. Run

apt-get install ssh openssh-server

You will be prompted to insert the installation CD again.

 

5 Configure The Network

Because the Debian Etch 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 192.168.0.100) (please note that I replace allow-hotplug eth0 with auto eth0; otherwise restarting the network doesn’t work, and we’d have to reboot the whole system):

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
#allow-hotplug eth0
#iface eth0 inet dhcp
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
        address 192.168.0.100
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        network 192.168.0.0
        broadcast 192.168.0.255
        gateway 192.168.0.1

Then restart your network:

/etc/init.d/networking restart

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

vi /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1       localhost.localdomain   localhost
192.168.0.100   server1.example.com     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
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

Now run

echo server1.example.com > /etc/hostname

and reboot the system:

shutdown -r now

Afterwards, run

hostname
hostname -f

Both should show server1.example.com.

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

 

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

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list. Comment out the CD. It should look like this:

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

#
# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 _Etch_ - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070407-11:29]/ etch contrib main

#deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 _Etch_ - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070407-11:29]/ etch contrib main

deb http://ftp2.de.debian.org/debian/ etch main
deb-src http://ftp2.de.debian.org/debian/ etch main

deb http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ etch/updates main contrib

Then run

apt-get update

to update the apt package database and

apt-get upgrade

to install the latest updates (if there are any).

 

7 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 libdb4.3-dev libpcre3 libpopt-dev linux-kernel-headers lynx m4 make ncftp nmap openssl perl perl-modules unzip zip zlib1g-dev autoconf automake1.9 libtool bison autotools-dev g++

(This command should go into one line!)

 

8 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 ,usrquota,grpquota to partition /dev/sda1 (mount point /; your device name might be /dev/hda1 or similar)):

vi /etc/fstab

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
#
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/sda1       /               ext3    defaults,errors=remount-ro,usrquota,grpquota 0       1
/dev/sda5       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   udf,iso9660 user,noauto     0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0

To enable quota, run these commands:

touch /quota.user /quota.group
chmod 600 /quota.*
mount -o remount /
quotacheck -avugm
quotaon -avug

9 DNS Server

Run

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

OPTIONS="-u bind -t /var/lib/named"
# Set RESOLVCONF=no to not run resolvconf
RESOLVCONF=yes

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 modify /etc/default/syslogd so that we can still get important messages logged to the system logs. Modify the line: SYSLOGD=”” so that it reads: SYSLOGD=”-a /var/lib/named/dev/log”:

vi /etc/default/syslogd

#
# Top configuration file for syslogd
#

#
# Full documentation of possible arguments are found in the manpage
# syslogd(8).
#

#
# For remote UDP logging use SYSLOGD="-r"
#
SYSLOGD="-a /var/lib/named/dev/log"

Restart the logging daemon:

/etc/init.d/sysklogd restart

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

/etc/init.d/bind9 start

 

10 MySQL

In order to install MySQL, we run

apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client libmysqlclient15-dev

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 = 127.0.0.1:

vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

[...]
#bind-address           = 127.0.0.1
[...]

Then we restart MySQL:

/etc/init.d/mysql restart

Now check that networking is enabled. Run

netstat -tap

In the output you should see a line like this one:

tcp        0      0 *:mysql                 *:*                     LISTEN     3281/mysqld

Run

mysqladmin -u root password yourrootsqlpassword
mysqladmin -h server1.example.com -u root password yourrootsqlpassword

to set a password for the user root (otherwise anybody can access your MySQL database!).

11 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 sasl2-bin libsasl2-modules libdb3-util procmail

You will be asked two questions. Answer as follows:

General type of configuration? <– Internet Site
Mail name? <– server1.example.com

Then run

dpkg-reconfigure postfix

Again, you’ll be asked some questions:

General type of configuration? <– Internet Site
Where should mail for root go <– [blank]
Mail name? <– server1.example.com
Other destinations to accept mail for? (blank for none) <– server1.example.com, localhost.example.com, localhost.localdomain, localhost
Force synchronous updates on mail queue? <– No
Local networks? <– 127.0.0.0/8
Use procmail for local delivery? <– Yes
Mailbox size limit <– 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_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:

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’
postconf -e ‘myhostname = server1.example.com’

The file /etc/postfix/main.cf should now look like this:

cat /etc/postfix/main.cf

# See /usr/share/postfix/main.cf.dist 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 (Debian/GNU)
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

# 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:${queue_directory}/smtpd_scache
smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${queue_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 = server1.example.com
alias_maps = hash:/etc/aliases
alias_database = hash:/etc/aliases
myorigin = /etc/mailname
mydestination = server1.example.com, localhost.example.com, localhost.localdomain, localhost
relayhost =
mynetworks = 127.0.0.0/8
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_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

Restart Postfix:

/etc/init.d/postfix restart

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” to OPTIONS=”-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd -r”:

vi /etc/default/saslauthd

#
# Settings for saslauthd daemon
#

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

# 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"
MECHANISMS="pam"

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

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

# Other options (default: -c)
# See the saslauthd man page for information about these options.
#
# Example for postfix users: "-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd"
# Note: See /usr/share/doc/sasl2-bin/README.Debian
OPTIONS="-c -m /var/spool/postfix/var/run/saslauthd -r"

Now start saslauthd:

/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

250-STARTTLS

and

250-AUTH PLAIN LOGIN

everything is fine.

The output on my system looks like this:

server1:/etc/postfix/ssl# telnet localhost 25
Trying 127.0.0.1…
Connected to localhost.localdomain.
Escape character is ‘^]’.
220 server1.example.com ESMTP Postfix (Debian/GNU)
ehlo localhost
250-server1.example.com
250-PIPELINING
250-SIZE 10240000
250-VRFY
250-ETRN
250-STARTTLS
250-AUTH PLAIN LOGIN
250-AUTH=PLAIN LOGIN
250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES
250-8BITMIME
250 DSN
quit
221 2.0.0 Bye
Connection closed by foreign host.

Type

quit

to return to the system’s shell.

 

12 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

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.

13 Apache/PHP5

Now we install Apache:

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

Next we install PHP5:

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

You will be asked the following question:

Continue installing libc-client without Maildir support? <– Yes

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.htm index.shtml index.cgi index.php index.php3 index.pl index.xhtml

</IfModule>

Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf and add Listen 443:

vi /etc/apache2/ports.conf

Listen 80
Listen 443

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

a2enmod ssl
a2enmod rewrite
a2enmod suexec
a2enmod include

Reload the Apache configuration:

/etc/init.d/apache2 force-reload

 

13.1 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
[...]

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

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

<IfModule mod_php5.c>
#  AddType application/x-httpd-php .php .phtml .php3
#  AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps
</IfModule>

Then restart Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

 

14 Proftpd

In order to install Proftpd, run

apt-get install proftpd ucf

You will be asked a question:

Run proftpd from inetd or standalone? <– standalone

Then open /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf and change UseIPv6 from on to off; otherwise you’ll get a warning like this when you start Proftpd:

– IPv6 getaddrinfo ‘server1.example.com’ error: Name or service not known

vi /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

[...]
UseIPv6                         off
[...]

For security reasons you can also add the following lines to /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf (thanks to Reinaldo Carvalho; more information can be found here: http://proftpd.org/localsite/Userguide/linked/userguide.html):

vi /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf

[...]
DefaultRoot ~
IdentLookups off
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

15 Webalizer

To install webalizer, just run

apt-get install webalizer

 

16 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.

 

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

Run

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

 

18 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: http://www.ispconfig.org/manual_installation.htm

 

18.1 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 Debian’s suExec is compiled with /var/www as Doc_Root. Run

/usr/lib/apache2/suexec -V

and the output should look like this:

server1:/etc/postfix/ssl# /usr/lib/apache2/suexec -V
-D AP_DOC_ROOT=”/var/www”
-D AP_GID_MIN=100
-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_UID_MIN=100
-D AP_USERDIR_SUFFIX=”public_html”

Unless you install ISPConfig in expert mode and change the default web root (which is /var/www), you will be able to run CGI scripts under suExec with ISPConfig. The following screenshot is taken from an ISPConfig installation in expert mode. If you want to use ISPConfig, then don’t change the default web root:

38

  • Debian: http://www.debian.org
  • ISPConfig: http://www.ispconfig.org

 

 

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