6 Server Setup Checklists for Sysadmins (Apache, Ubuntu, Proxy, FTP, and More)

Benjamin Brandall
February 7, 2018

How do you set up your servers? You probably just know how to, like it’s an instinct. But is it the absolute best way to do it? Are you leaving holes in your security, or forgetting to add users that desperately need access?

Or, look at it another way:

If you’re the only one who knows your server setup methods, how are you going to train your team? Processes are a solid basis for your business’ expansion as the question of how to do a task is answered automatically, in the clearest and most efficient way every time.

“If you don’t have a good backup or if you don’t have good documentation and the customer calls you because of a disaster in the middle of the night, you’re in [trouble] right there. It’s not a place where I ever want to find myself.” — Jonathan Broyles, senior systems engineer at CisCom Solutions

It’s just as unsafe to have undocumented systems as it is to leave data not backed up. You might have no documentation, a dusty runbook, or a partial process library. Whichever stage you’re at, it’s a good idea to consolidate it in a tool that can manage updating, running, and tracking documentation as it’s used.

That’s how Process Street helps. We have a huge library of pre-made IT process templates you can edit and get started with, so if you want to jump right into creating documentation, sign up for free and check the templates out inside the app.

Add templates to your Process Street account, assign members, and then have them run checklists for each time the procedure is started. From the dashboard, you can track process activity and get a birds-eye view of what’s going on in your team.

Let’s get started with some of the most requested server setup checklists:

Linux Apache Server Setup Checklist

Apache serves 46% of all active websites, and 92% of Apache servers are running on Linux. We already have an Apache setup checklist for Windows (further down this post), so it makes sense to provide a Linux guide, too. In this checklist, you’ll set up a simple server to serve HTML content locally.

Click here to get access the Linux Apache server setup checklist

Linux Samba File Server Setup Checklist

Where there are Windows machines in an office, Linux often isn’t far away. But how do you seamlessly share files between two separate operating systems? Samba was built to solve that exact issue, and allows you to set up a shared folder accessible to anyone on the same network (or anyone you give permission to). In this server setup checklist, you’ll set up a shared folder with the desired user permissions.

Click here to access the Linux Samba file server setup checklist

Linux FTP Server Setup Checklist

An FTP server allows its users to download and upload files to shared base, and control user permissions. It’s probably a good idea to set up FTP on a server that also hosts content, so users can access and modify the content remotely. In this checklist, we’ll look at using vsftpd on Linux to set up an FTP server that allows the download and upload of files through an FTP client, or the terminal.

Click here to access the Linux FTP server setup checklist

Ubuntu Server Setup Process

This process walks through every new server setup step from scratch, and assumes you haven’t got Linux installed yet on the machine. Going past the basic Apache-only setup we described in the other Apache checklist in this pack, this process includes MySQL and DNS setup, allowing you to host files on the web, not just locally. Here’s everything you need to know to set up a fresh Ubuntu machine as a web server.

Click here to access the Ubuntu server setup checklist

Linux Proxy Server Setup Checklist

In the business world, proxy servers are most often used by penetration testing teams to simulate difficult-to-trace network attacks. This checklist shows you how to set up a Linux machine with a proxy server using ProxyChains, a favored tool for many information security specialists thanks to its ability to chain multiple proxies together and switch between them at random. When this setup is complete, you’ll be able to nmap, wget, and ssh over networks without leaving a trace.

Click here to access the Linux proxy server setup checklist

Windows Apache Server Setup

Linux’s bare bones architecture and simplicity make it perfect for running servers — the less going on, the less that can go wrong. While Windows machines run less than 10% of global Apache servers, you might want to run a server on Windows if there are no other alternatives. This checklist has got you covered as you navigate the tricky world of Windows servers.

Click here to access the Windows Apache server setup checklist

Even more IT processes

IT departments, take note — these pre-made processes could make your operations run an awful lot smoother. In the past, we’ve put together processes for web maintenance, information security, MSPs, and more. Here are the packs of examples:

And, don’t forget to sign up for a free Process Street account and access many more pre-made IT templates inside.

Are there any server setup checklists you would recommend as additions to this list? Let me know in the comments!

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