Configuring a fresh Ubuntu server

Ok, so you’ve installed Ubuntu 14.04 on a new machine. Now there are a few things you can do to make your life more comfortable after getting your OS installed, and connected to wifi (which is beyond the scope of this post).

You’ll want to first have ssh set up so you can remote in, even if your graphic driver is not configured.


sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Give your yourself super user access by adding a line to your sudousers file. Then you won’t have to type in your password every time you use sudo.


sudo nano /etc/sudoers

Add this line to the end of the file:

yourusername ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL

Next, you’ll want to set up VNC, so you can put that computer in another room if you want. This way you can be in front of your favorite big monitor or TV and access your Ubuntu box. For this, you will need to install x11vnc on Ubuntu. If you are accessing from Windows, I found that the tightvnc viewer works best with x11vnc.


sudo apt-get install x11vnc

Save password:

sudo x11vnc –storepasswd /etc/x11vnc.pass

Create a startup file:

sudo nano /etc/init/x11vnc.conf

Put this in your x11vnc.conf file:

start on login-session-start
/usr/bin/x11vnc -xkb -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -noxrecord -noxfixes -noxdamage -rfbauth /etc/x11vnc.pass -overlay -cursor -noshared -forever -bg -rfbport 5900 -o /var/log/x11vnc.log
end script

Now, you can reboot Ubuntu and x11vnc will always start up. But if you want to stop/start it manually, you can do this via ssh. This is also handy if your vnc session crashes for some reason or gets stuck.

sudo pkill -f x11vnc
sudo start x11vnc

If you don’t want to deal with sending error reports to Ubuntu by being prompted to send them, then edit this file and set enable=0

sudo nano /etc/default/apport

If you have your source code on an SVN Server:

sudo apt-get install subversion

Some useful things to attach to your tool bar:

Software Updater
Scheduled Tasks
Startup Applications
System Monitor

Some conveniences if you like:


Brightness and Lock:
Turn off screen when inactive for: Never

When lid is closed: Do Nothing

Enable Workspaces

One thought on “Configuring a fresh Ubuntu server

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *