Ubuntu checklist

This is my checklist (in progress) for installing Ubuntu.

The important thing for me right now is to get it all in one place; I’ll make it pretty and presentable later.


Ubuntu in a VM
Install the distribution
Make sure the network adapter is enabled and in bridged mode

Before installing guest additions make sure to install the following packages:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install build-essential gcc make perl dkms linux-headers-$(uname -r) net-tools ssh nfs-common nfs-kernel-server samba

and then reboot and install the guest additions.

Make df output more friendly by creating a system-wide alias for it:

echo "alias df='df -h -x squashfs -x tmpfs -x devtmpfs'" >> /etc/profile.d/aliases.sh

Make sure to set the “always_set_home” variable in the sudoers file (using visudo)

Helpful commands:

View video resolution capabilities – xrandr -q
List installed packages – sudo apt list –installed

Helpful Web Pages

Helpful page #1

Enable NFS

Finally!  The solution to get the “right” VNC setup

Ubuntu 18.04 switched from LightDM to GDM3. Connecting to the login screen with VNC while using GDM3 is currently not possible. The easiest way to get this VNC functionality back is to simply switch back from GDM3 to LightDM.

LightDM is still being actively developed and used by many Linux distributions including some other flavors of Ubuntu. So no worries there.

Install LightDM

apt install lightdm

Should you for some reason come to regret switching to LightDM:

dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

Once you have LightDM installed and configured as your default greeter..

Install x11vnc from packages

apt install x11vnc

Create the file /lib/systemd/system/x11vnc.service

# Description: Custom Service Unit file
# File: /lib/systemd/system/x11vnc.service

ExecStart=/usr/bin/x11vnc -loop -nopw -shared -xkb -repeat -noxrecord -noxfixes -noxdamage -forever -rfbport 5900 -display :0 -auth guess
ExecStop=/usr/bin/killall x11vnc


Enable the x11vnc service

 systemctl enable x11vnc.service

This assumes screen :0 represents your monitor and binds x11vnc to that monitor instead of a session. If you do not have a monitor (headless) I believe it is possible to install a fake monitor driver and bind x11vnc to that.

Side notes

  1. Incase you are using virt-manager (which also enables VNC on you may want to bind x11vnc to your LAN IP (-listen
  2. The parameters used to start x11vnc tell it not to ask for an additional password (-nopw)

Lets Encrypt/OpenVPN information

Let’s Encrypt HTTPS Certificates for OpenVPN AS (Access Server)

Installing Let’s Encrypt SSL Certs

Customizing the MOTD

Put any customization data into /etc/motd

Installing apache and php

sudo apt update
sudo apt install apache2
sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php
sudo apt install php-mysql php-gd php-xml
sudo apt install phpmyadmin php-mbstring php-gettext

Install phpmyadmin

Reference this guide.

User profile changes

  • If desired, disable the screen saver lock and screen blanking

Other things to document

Listing all installed packages
apt list –installed

Searching for available packages
apt-cache search <keyword>

Changing default editor for visudo
sudo update-alternatives –config editor

Disable screen lock
Settings -> Privacy -> Screen Lock

Disable screen blanking
Settings -> Power -> Blank Screen

Create Samba User
smbpasswd -a <username>