Ubuntu 14.04 Backup Servers

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The old black 1U rack mount boxes we have historically used for backups have rather old motherboards and CPUs so installing an in support version of Ubuntu is difficult as it does not just requires 32-bit support but also allow for a lack of Physical Address Extension (PAE) on the CPU. For SOWN's backup server a lack of PAE is not an issue as these servers only require minimal RAM (currently 512MB) but finding support from this old processor was difficult. Eventually, we found this:


https://help.ubuntu.com/community/9w


Specifically the ISO - http://phillw.net/isos/linux-tools/9w/Trusty-npae124-text-9w.iso

With this ISO imaged onto a CD (DVD would also be OK) and using an external ATAPI drive we did the following:

1. Booted the server from the ISO image.


2. From the command prompt reached used parted to create a partition table on the completely new 1TB SATA disk (i.e. /dev/sda):

#> parted /dev/sda
(parted) mklabel msdos
(parted) quit

3. Use suggested mkusb command in the blurb proceeding the command prompt and follow instructions and choose yes on the one to write to /dev/sda.


4. Once complete, reboot the server remembering to remove the ATAPI CD/DVD drive as the server starts to boot.


5. Login using username guru and password changeme.


6. Create a new account with your own username and password, make sure it is added to admin group in /etc/groups and when you are confident you can reliably get root access from this user, switch all occurrences of guru assigned to a group in /etc/groups to this new user. Then also disable the guru user in /etc/passwd by setting the shell to /bin/false. (It may also be worth being double sure it is disable by resetting the password for the guru user to line noise).


7. As root use parted to create an extended partition for the rest of the disk and then create a logical partition to fill this whole extended partition:

#> parted /dev/sda
(parted) mkpart extended 4000 1000000
(parted) mkpart logical 4000 1000000
(parted) mkfs 5 ext2
(parted) quit


8. Now use blkid to get this the UUID for this new partition (probably /dev/sda5) and add it to /etc/fstab with the same setting as the / partition but using /data/ and ext2 rather than ext4. Use mkdir to create a mountpoint /data/


9. Reboot and login and use df -h to check the new partition is mounted and has the expected amount of disk space.


Now setting up the server as the backup server is much as before you will just need to symlink the auth account's home folder to /data/ and do similar with the /home/protected_backups/ folder.