Recommended tools for Ubuntu Server

Recently, I decided to setup my old Ubuntu laptop as a Samba/SSH server. I use it both for testing and storing files to share on the network. When initially setting this up I opened up SSH to the internet so I could access at work and make updates, install tools and run backups. I found a lot of useful tools over the last few weeks of running it and thought I would do a short write up of some of the best that I found.

  • Cockpit – I never imaged how much I would love this tool until I used it. Cockpit gives you a browser GUI to view logs, services, performance stats, etc. It even lets you access terminal and start/stop services. I cannot recommend this tool enough for monitoring your system.
  • Fail2ban – After opening SSH to the web I was looking through my logs and of course I saw tons of attempted connections. I thought I need to do something to make sure that it will be more difficult to brute-force. Fail2ban allows you to block attacker’s by either permanently or temporarily banning there IP address.

These are the two big ones I have been using on my server recently. I played with a few other tools like Deluge for torrent stuff and Nextcloud/Owncloud but I had issues with these and didn’t like some of the limitations. As I test other tools I will either add them here or create a new post.

EDIT 11/15/18:

I found another great tool to add to the list.

  • NoMachine – An excellent remote desktop tool and replacement for VNC or XRDP. Both VNC and XRDP had considerable lag making it almost impossible for me to complete any tasks using those services. NoMachine does a great job reducing lag. All you have to do to set it up is install the .DEB package on the host machine and the client machine. Then on the host open ports 4000 TCP and 4011-4999 UDP. I have not run into any issues at this time.

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