Nelson's log

Ubuntu server notes from an old Debian user

I’m setting up a new Linux server and using Ubuntu for it for the first time. I’ve been a Debian guy for a long time now (and before then, Red Hat), so Ubuntu is both new and old. I switched to it because it’s got a faster upgrade cycle than Debian, but I like all the extra tools they’ve added, too.

Here’s some of the new things in Ubuntu I’ve learned about. The Ubuntu server docs are an excellent place to start.

One thing they haven’t improved is libresolv; it still queries nameservices serially, one at a time. Worse, the first entry in /etc/resolv.conf for me named 192.168.1.100 as the nameserver, a bogus entry from the initial setup in a different DHCP environment. So every DNS query was waiting 5 seconds for that to time out. I fixed it by putting Google’s 8.8.8.8 as the first nameserver.

My next project is to automate all my deployment of my own stuff to the server using Puppet or maybe Chef Solo. I’m trying to avoid the thing where my servers become an irreproducible rat’s nest of random crap I’ve collected over time. OTOH, I can tell already it’s going to be a lot of work for one little personal projects server.