Setting up an Ubuntu server for the first time (2020 Update)

Setting up an Ubuntu server for the first time (2020 Update)

Setting up an Ubuntu server for the first timeSetting up an Ubuntu server for personal computers or for commercial purposes is an easy process for first-time users. The Ubuntu server is an open-source program that comes recommenced when choosing an appropriate Linux distribution for most projects. In this scenario, the installation requires the user to navigate through a text menu-based process and lacks a graphical user interface provided on desktops. This article elaborates on what Ubuntu is, its applicability towards users and business, and an overview of the first time installation process from either a DVD or a USB flash drive.

What is Ubuntu?

Developed by CanonicalUbuntu is a server operating system. Its open-source format enables programmers on a global scale to collaborate and operate with most hardware or virtualization platforms. If users are setting up Ubuntu for the first time, then proper installation will ensure the capabilities of serving websites, file shares, and containers. Additionally, cloud applicabilities provide better data security and deployment for administrators. Most importantly, Ubuntu (2020 update) attracts users with its adaptive connectivity from clouds, servers, containers, desktops, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

General Information about Ubuntu Tools

Ubuntu offers quality services that differ from other competing Linux distributions. the ubuntu cloud enables users to locate resources quickly in an on-demand notice. in collaboration with its OpenStack application, the public and private data obtainable for users push productivity and security to higher standards. Additionally, the ubuntu server specializes in retrieving networks and offering services expressed within internal applications. After installation, the Ubuntu server becomes more versatile for developers.

Compared to substitute Linux distributions, Ubuntu containers are unique are more modern. Containers are highly configurable and provide services of running applications as an operating system. Ubuntu kernels are also modernized to provide users easier transitions form different web browsers without unwanted issues. Also, Ubuntu desktop relies on a Gnome shell and is recommended for most users. The desktop provides specific services for the ubuntu server. Lastly, Ubuntu’s internet of things refers to the program’s ability to be compatible with other servers and devices as a Linux distribution.

Ubuntu Cloud Services:

ubuntu cloud services

The cloud operating system, otherwise known as OpenStack adoption and deployment, provides security, versatility, and convenience in regards to regular updating procedures. Ubuntu’s free cloud operating system and commercial support differentiate the product from other alternatives. OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform that allows businesses to control large pools of computing, storage, and networking in a data center. The simplicity in design is beneficial in the technological community as open-source means that any user that uses Ubuntu can access the source code, make changes, and then share those changes with the district.

As a critical factor, Ubuntu enables routine source code monitoring by a more extensive set of users than proprietary code, which restricts access to its owners only. Furthermore, OpenStack includes the ability to provide on-demand networks, IP addresses, firewalls, and routers. For a business, the ability to define interfaces through an API enables fast-paced infrastructure automation and cloud-style operations.

More About OpenStack

In more detail, the Ubuntu Server on the public cloud creates maintenance and security updates on Ubuntu LTS. It provides enterprise support and management tools directly from Canonical. To elaborate, Canonical is famous for performing workloads on public clouds and ensures flexibility on license fees. For developers, the flexibility improves workload production and operates as expected when many images are added onto projects. This server is optimized and certified to output images on major clouds and is compatible with Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platforms, and more.

Upgrade Cloud

ubuntu-pro-upgrade-cloudAs an upgrade, the Ubuntu Pro is available on the public cloud and differs significantly from its standard version. Most notably, the Pro version of Ubuntu consists of package updates and security maintenance. Additionally, the “Kernel Live-patch” includes security patching and more frequent kernel security updates. The process occurs without a reboot, customizes FIPS and Common Criteria EAL-compliant components for use in environments under compliance regimes such as FedRAMP, PCI, HIPAA, and ISO, and offers patch coverage for Ubuntu’s infrastructure and application repositories. As a result, Ubuntu servers various open-source workloads for better connectivity.

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS or 19.10 Version

When setting up Ubuntu for the first time, the versions available for administrators vary. The Long Term Support (LTS) options are released every six months with a new Ubuntu desktop and server. Generally speaking, the user benefits from having the latest and more accessible applications within the open-source design. In regards to security: Ubuntu Server receives security updates by Canonical for five years by default.

Long Term Support Version

The new 18.04 Long Term Support version includes:

  • Canonical support availability and ESM coverage
  • Major architecture compatibility
  • Smaller and image boots
  • Netplan networking configurations
  • Improved time synchronization with “chrony”
  • Easier installation of Server ISO
  • New Server Iso Interface
  • ZFS Support with volume management and file systems
  • Clustering features for Linux containers
  • Additional CPU, memory, block I/O, graphics, and data storage quota resources
  • Easier application installation and release with snap installers
  • Updated kernel for Linux 4.15
  • AWS, Microsoft Azure, Joyent, IBM, Google Cloud Platform and Rackspace certifications

Also, infrastructure subscriptions, Extended Security Maintenances (ESM), and extended support are available for upgrades.

19.10 Version

As an alternative, the 19.10 Ubuntu Server is the latest version of Ubuntu Server, which includes nine months of security and maintenance updates until July 2020. The Multi-pass for instant Ubuntu VMs provides users the ability to download, configure, and control Ubuntu Server virtual machines with the latest updates already preinstalled.

The 19.10 Ubuntu server update includes:

  • Canonical Support
  • Kernel updates for Linux 5.3
  • Ubuntu Server installer updates
  • Ubuntu Advantage improved user experience

Additional Services: Containers, Desktop, IoT

Just for reference, Ubuntu is also highly-ranked in OS for containers. In particular, the “Kernel” version values quality drivers that provide high security and performance, backed with the latest kernels with the latest security capabilities.

The Ubuntu application for general desktops is prepared to run organizations, schools, homes, or enterprises with a great selection of essential applications, like an office suite, browsers, preinstalled email, and media apps, along with games and applications available in the Ubuntu Software Centre. Moreover, the desktop installation of Ubuntu includes advanced features for programmers. For instance, built-in firewalls and virus protection software are available upon installation. Additionally, the program offers a translation software for over 50 languages and includes essential assistive technologies for users.

Ubuntu connectivity features support is identified as “Internet of Things” (IoT) services. Ubuntu works with devices that operate well with smart homes, smart drones, robots, and industrial systems. More specifically, Ubuntu innovates new embedded Linux capabilities with updates on Raspberry, Intel, KVM, Qualcomm Dragonboard, Grove software.


Downloading Requirements

Installation of Ubuntu for the first time requires that 2GB of free storage space is available and that DVD or USB flash drive contains the 18.04LTS or 19.10 version of Ubuntu Server desired for installation. For clarification, users that intend to download a more stable and very well tested version of Ubuntu for the first time should consider the 18.04 LTS version. Reasonably, this particular version used with enterprises may include a potential drawback such as frequent and mandatory system updates. The other Ubuntu version, 19.10, refers to October 19th of the prior year’s updates.

The Download Process

To begin, users must insert the already downloaded Ubuntu Server DVD or USB stick into the hardware drivers. After, users are to restart their computer. If the boot from install media performance is correct, a set of messages would be shown on display. Notably, the boot message and “welcome” screen are a clear indication that the task performance is correct. Otherwise, set the computer to boot from the install media. Then, an on-screen message will prompt administrators of “setting” or “boot menu.” This occurs when pressing either the escape, F2, F10, or F12 key, depending on the manufacturer. Next, press and hold down the prompt key while restarting the computer. By continuing to apply these two functions, the “boot menu” should appear. Finally, choose the drive with the Ubuntu install media located on the drop menu.

Configurations within Boot Menu

Importantly, users setting up Ubuntu for the first time must apply the correct configuration. After the boot message appears, a ‘Language’ menu will display. Navigation with the enter, up, and down keys should assist in this process. Second, the display should encourage users to select the keyboard layout and variants. After setting up Ubuntu for the first time, users may continue to adjust settings through a “preferences” tab. Finally, an install option will appear on the menu, such as “install Ubuntu” and “Install Metal as a Service Controller” (MAAS). Unless installing specific components, the first option should be sufficient. In regards to networking, the installer will begin to detect networks via DHCP automatically.

Additional Configurations

The recommended install for configuring storage is to have an entire disk or partition set aside for running Ubuntu. Here, the options present itself as “Use an entire disk” or “Manual,” which is an option for setting up more complex systems. Immediately, the system will detect the storage disk by using the System ID. It then offers users to select the appropriate device when setting up Ubuntu for the first time. Once complete, confirm partitioning or edit partitioning with manual altering options. As an option, double-check the correct drive was selected to ensure proper setup. Once more, continue through the prompt and locate the confirmation step, which will overwrite the selected configurations and apply changes to the device. Be cautious; the format should appear eligible and accurate towards expectation as the confirmation is not reversible.

Additional Installer Information

The software should now begin to install onto the selected disk; however, the administrator must log in at least one known user, hostname, and password for security. Also, the profile section features an importing SSH Keys field. Either from Ubuntu One, Github, or Launchpad. These require the administrator to enter the username so that the installer may fetch relevant keys and install them on the system.

Software Installation

Lastly, the required information entered will display the process status of the installation. As the installation process continues, the system installs a concise set of useful software. These are needed for servers to limit installation and setup time significantly. The installation message should appear as complete. When setting up Ubuntu for the first time, users may need to remove the install media and press the enter key to reboot the Ubuntu server.


In conclusion, The Ubuntu Server brings economic and technical scalability to the data center. Along with its open-source user-friendliness and adaptability to run through numerous devices, both administrators and businesses may benefit greatly. The adoption and deployment technology also provides excellent security to a wide array of services within cloud operating systems. Overall, the ease of setting up Ubuntu enables more users to adapt to the software and utilize all of its compatibility and stable features.

Do you have personal experience in setting Ubuntu? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Author Bio

Angelo has been involved in the creative IT world for over 20 years. He built his first website back in 1998 using Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop. He expanded his knowledge and expertise by learning a wider range of programming skills, such as HTML/CSS, Flash ActionScript and XML.

Angelo completed formal training with the CIW (Certified Internet Webmasters) program in Sydney Australia, learning the core fundamentals of computer networking and how it relates to the infrastructure of the world wide web.

Apart from running Sunlight Media, Angelo enjoys writing informative content related to web & app development, digital marketing and other tech related topics.