The new Ubuntu Server has arrived and it promises to be the most cloud-friendly platform on the planet. Whether that is true or not has yet to be decided. However, what has been made crystal clear is that the installation of Ubuntu Server has changed. Although the installation is still text-based (keeping it on the lite side), there have been quite a few changes. Not only will you immediately notice a pretty drastic cosmetic change in the installer, there are a few additions that might cause an eyebrow or two to raise (not necessarily in a bad way).
I want to walk you through the process of installing the latest iteration of Ubuntu Server. I’ll highlight only those bits that are significant changes to the previous iterations of the platform.
Get the installer image
Obviously, before you install, you must have the installer image. You can download (for free, of course) the ISO image of Ubuntu Server 18.04 from here. Once you’ve downloaded the image, you can either burn it to CD/DVD/USB or use it for a virtual machine (by way of VirtualBox or VMware). I’ll be installing via VirtualBox (I won’t walk through the process of creating the virtual machine).
The first thing you’ll notice is that the installation itself looks different (Figure A).
Although it might look a bit different, navigating the installation is the same. Use your keyboard arrow keys, the Tab key, and the Enter key.
The first screen to reveal significant change is installation type (Figure B). Here you get to choose from a standard installation (Install Ubuntu) and install two types of MAAS bare-metal cloud installations. The two types of MAAS servers are:
- Region controller (deals with operator requests)
- Rack controller (provides high-bandwidth services to multiple racks)
If you’re not working with MAAS, select the first option and hit Enter on your keyboard. I’ll be going with the standard installation this go ’round.
Screen 4/9 will cause many to do a happy dance. You can finally configure network interfaces to use static IP addresses (Figure C).
You can assign either IPv4 or IPv6 addresses, making it so much easier to have the server ready to go, without having to manually configure the static addresses (post-install).
During the installation, you are prompted to create a new user. In this screen (Figure D), you can also import an SSH identity from either Github or Launchpad. If you opt to import those keys, they will be automatically added to your ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file.
The installation will complete fairly quickly. When it finishes, you’ll be prompted to reboot (Figure E) and you’re ready to start working with your very cloud-friendly server platform.
NOTE: I’ve experienced (on a number of occasions) that the initial login prompt is overrun with output. If this happens to you, simply type your username (even though you don’t see a login prompt), hit Enter, and you’ll be asked for your password. Logging in will work exactly as expected.
Familiar but not
Although the interface is different for the installation, with the exception of a few screens, the process should be quite familiar. The developers have done a great job of making the Ubuntu Server installation one of the easiest you’ll ever experience.
When next we visit the installation of Ubuntu Server 18.04, we’ll take a look at installing the MAAS version.