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CHAPTER 3 PERFORMING ESSENTIAL SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION TASKS
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and the tar utility needs the -z switch to extract it. Our example file is compressed with bzip2, so run the tar -jxvf nmap* command to extract the archive. In this command, the option x is used to extract the tar archive, the option v does that in a verbose way so that you ll see what happens, and the option f nmap* specifies that the name of the file you want to extract is anything that starts with nmap. This creates a subdirectory in your current directory in which all source files are installed. Now activate this subdirectory with the cd command. 3. From the directory that was created while extracting the tarball, run the ./configure command. This command will verify that everything required to install the selected software is present on your server. If the utility fails, it is usually because some required software component was not installed. If this is the case, you ll see an error message stating what exactly is missing. Read what software component that is, and install it before you proceed. When ./configure runs without errors, continue with the next step. 4. Compiling software is a lot of work and involves very complex commands. However, the make utility is available to make the compiling process easier. This utility reads a file with the name Makefile that has to be present in the directory with the source files; based on the instructions in that file, it compiles the software. Depending on the software that you want to install, the compiling process can take a long time. Once it s finished, though, continue with the next step. 5. You should now have all the program files that you need. But you re not quite done, because you still have to make sure that these files are copied to the appropriate paths on your server. To do this, you must run the make install command as root. Type sudo make install and press Enter. This completes the installation of the source files for your machine, and they re ready for use.
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Configuring a Graphical User Interface
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Using a GUI on a server can be a very sensitive subject for some people. Some system administrators feel that the GUI is merely a waste of system resources and that there is no need for it on a professional server. These people are basically right, but doing everything at the command line can be quite a chore if you have no Linux experience. Personally, I believe in freedom of choice. You want to use a graphical interface to get familiar with Ubuntu Server That s fine with me. However, if you are an experienced Linux server administrator and you don t want to waste system resources on a useless graphical interface, please skip ahead to the section Creating Backups. That s fine with me as well. Do you still hesitate whether or not to install a GUI If so, Table 3-1 lists some advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. Table 3-1. GUI Advantages and Disadvantages
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Advantages
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Makes administration easier
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Disadvantages
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Security risks Slows down your server GUIs are often rather limited
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CHAPTER 3 PERFORMING ESSENTIAL SYSTEM ADMINISTRATION TASKS
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Are you still with me Good, because that means you want to install a GUI. As you saw in the preceding section, installing software is easy with Ubuntu Server. When installing a graphical interface, however, you need to make some choices, the first of which is what kind of graphical interface you want to use. You basically have two different options: the window manager and the desktop environment. In general, a window manager is a lightweight graphical interface that manages windows on your server, and a desktop environment is a complete graphical workspace that not only creates windows for you, but also offers a wide range of applications. If you have worked with Ubuntu on the desktop, you are probably familiar with the GNOME desktop manager, which is the default graphical user environment for the desktop. Mainly because you probably want to install a graphical desktop to make managing Ubuntu Server easier, in this section you ll learn how to set up the GNOME desktop. I chose GNOME because it is the most complete graphical desktop environment available for Linux. Installing it is rather easy with apt-get, you just have to know what to install. To install everything that is needed, enter the following command: sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg xfonts* gnome This command makes sure that all required software is copied to your system. Some of the software has to be downloaded from the Internet, and it can take a while before everything is installed. After that, you will have a complete graphical user environment, like the one shown in Figure 3-3.
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Figure 3-3. It doesn t come by default, but you certainly can manage Ubuntu Server from a graphical interface.
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