UBUNTU : Quick tips

I have heard a lot about the new Linux distro Ubuntu and wanted to try it out on my test machine at home. I chose the “base” install, which apparently just installs the base packages to operate the machine as a server. Couple of things I had to do to get the system up and running

1) The root account in Ubuntu doesn’t have a password by default. This means that you cannot log in or “su” to root. This can be fixed by issuing the following command
“sudo passwd root”
while logged in as the user you create while installing Ubuntu

2) Configure the network interface (eth0, if you only have one) with a static IP address. This can be done by editing the “interfaces” file in “/etc/network“. My file looks as below after the edit

# This file describes the network interfaces available on your system
# and how to activate them. For more information, see interfaces(5).
# The loopback network interface
auto lo
iface lo inet loopback
# This is a list of hotpluggable network interfaces.
# They will be activated automatically by the hotplug subsystem.
mapping hotplug
script grep
map eth0

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static

The text in bold is what I edited

3) Configure apt-get (package installer) to use the Internet archives as the source. This is esp. useful if you don’t have the install CD anymore. This can be done by editing the “sources.list” file located in “/etc/apt/” and commenting out the line with cdrom as the source. In my case it looks like this
# deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 5.04 _Hoary Hedgehog_ – Release i386 (20050407)]/ hoary main restricted“. If you have a different version of Ubuntu, the description might be different, but the source should still say deb cdrom.