Digital Ocean

Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04 TLS...

The site went offline a few hours today. Sorry. It turns out Ubuntu once again changed a major component and the upgrade path didn’t work as it should to keep the lights on after the upgrade. I’ve been updating the security settings on the server all around, and one of the things I wanted to do was adding TLSv1.3 support (and nothing before TLSv1.2). For that I needed, it seemed the best option to push forward the Ubuntu server version to the newer LTS version (18.

Updates...

It’s been quiet here for a while, but be things have been happening behind the scenes. In case your wondering the site (and surroundings) have been seeing a number of updates which eventually may make it into separate posts. I’m running on a Digital Ocean droplet. It was provisioned as an Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is dead by now (as in no more updates including security updates). The server has now been roll up to an Ubuntu 16.

Sending mail from a droplet

As stated earlier this site is now running on a DigitalOcean droplet. A droplet is basically the same as having a “real server”, and when running a bare bones machine, it isn’t born with the ability to handle email - receiving nor sending. As a number of web apps require the ability to handle mail, I had to setup facilities on the server (or droplet) to handle mail. The “default” way to do this would probably be to install sendmail or postfix, as they are full-featured mail server, but configuring a mail-server, keeping it secure and updated is a nightmare I’d like to avoid.

Server setup: A user account

So, I’ve been moving the site to a VPS - a Virtual Private Server. A VPS is basically the same as a physical server to which you can’t have physical access. When you get your virtual server, most likely it will be setup with a basic disk image with an Operating System and a root account. In my case at DigitalOcean I choose to setup an Ubuntu Linux image and here are the first moves you should take after creating the VPS to get the basic security in place.