Installing a Debian Jessie server

By Roger, Thu 01 September 2016, in category Software

debian, install, linux

My first experience with Linux was during the 90's. I started with the old RedHat 5.2. (Not the current RedHat releases) After that I switched to Gentoo, some obscure distro's and ended up with Debian. Here is how I install a clean system. It's more for my administration, but maybe I can help somebody installing his server.


First, download the image at the Debian site. I prefer the netinstaller. Burn it, put it on a USB of feed the image to your virtual and boot the system. There is really not a minimal configuration. It depends on what you going to do with it.


Keep all the normal options. Nothing really special.


Install the next packages.

apt-get install sudo cron-apt fail2ban ntp uptimed tree htop curl

If installing on a virtual enviroment (ESX), also install:

apt-get install open-vm-tools

For security auditing and rootkit checking:

apt-get install snoopy chkrootkit rkhunter



Change the /etc/motd to: (starting with an empty line). Change this to everything you want.

       .'  ..::. `\
      /  .::' `'` /
     / .::' .--.=;
     | ::' /  C ..\
     | :: |   \  _.)
      \ ':|   /  \
       '-, \./ \)\)
name      `-|   );/   '--'-'


Make yourself an admin and sudo user. Now you can read logfiles and use the sudo command.

usermod -a -G sudo <user>
usermod -a -G adm <user>

SSH server config







I prefer to send my syslog data to a remote system, for example papertrail or a self hosted elasticsearch server. See also my post about setting up an own logging server with Logstah, Elasticsearch an Kibana. Put at the end of /etc/rsyslog.conf:

# Send data to remote syslog

And after that, restart rsyslog:

service rsyslog restart


Backports is a Debian repo with newer software from testing, but recompiled for stable. Very handy! Put in /etc/apt/sources.list:

# Backports
deb jessie-backports main