Setting up a secure File and Web Server

Hi folks. I am a complete Linux noob but been working with Windows for 25 years. I installed Ubuntu 18.04. Managed to set up remote access using No Machine but I really want to set up an online file share that is as secure as it can be without being silly. Hopefully it can work like a network folder that I can access on remote computers AND my local network. Drop in files, drag and drop them out again. Perhaps even open a file on a local machine and have it saved back into the folder on the server.

I also need to set it up as a web server for light traffic websites. I have a Django site, a few php sites and I also want to have a go at setting up a Zimbra mail server. All running on the same machine.

To start with I believe I need to get set up with a static IP from my ISP. Then build the folder sharing, then the web sharing platform, then be able to pocket the web sharing into individual websites running virtual machines for installation of Django and PHP software and whatever Zimbra needs. I expect it’ll need its own DNS to route the different domains to the website pockets too.

Any tips on packages to have a look at, where to start or how to proceed would be much appreciated.

Hi Cameron,

Welcome to our forums.

If you know your external IP address, and want to set up secure file sharing, you can set up ssh server on the Linux box, so you can reach it remotely. You’ll have to forward a port on your router to port 22 of your box if you would like to reach it from outside your network.

You may also be interested in setting up passwordless ssh connection with disabling password based logins, so you and only you can login with your own key.

If that’s in place you can use the neat feature of Nautilus for example to drag and drop files with ease from your local machine to the remote one at home.

To set up a web server you could start with Apache installation on Ubuntu, and forward the port trough your router as well to reach it from outside your network.

I advise to use caution, if you can reach your services from the outside, anyone else can, so keep security in mind before publishing anything.

For virtualization a good starting point could be setting up KVM on the Ubuntu box.

While I hope these guides prove useful, you should know you have countless ways to set up your environment, as there are many tools for each and any service.

Hello Sandmann.

Thanks for such an enthusiastic welcome. And thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll work through them and let you know how I go. I am sure I’ll have a few follow up questions so glad to have someone like yourself around being generous with their knowledge.


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