Using Xubuntu as a web server


For those who are interested in running Linux, especially on an older PC, Xubuntu just might fit the bill. Its installation files fit on one disc and include a versatile window manager to boot. However, the basic install isn’t really capable of being a LAMP and FTP-enabled web server. This tutorial explains how to get there.

  1. Get Xubuntu. Install it.
  2. Open a terminal window and enter
    sudo tasksel install lamp-server
  3. Provide the MySQL root password when prompted.
  4. Open a terminal window and enter
    sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin
  5. Then enter
    sudo apt-get install php5-gd
  6. Enter the following into the terminal:
    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
  7. Now, if you navigate to http://localhost/phpmyadmin, you should see the phpMyAdmin login screen
  8. Next, let’s install an FTP server. In a terminal, type in
    sudo apt-get install proftpd gproftpd
  9. Launch gproftpd. Add a user. Take out the following from /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf:
    AllowOverwrite off
  10. Activate the FTP server.
  11. You’re done. Enjoy!

Questions, comments? Let me know.


16 Responses to “Using Xubuntu as a web server”

  1. 1 crazy

    thanks got it all just gotta figure out what to do with it

  2. 2 modulatum

    You’re welcome, I’m glad you got it working.

  3. 3 Terry Davis


    Hiya – great advice here many thanks

    However I am having real difficulty editing the httpd.conf file dueto permission
    tried to chmod 777 and I get not permitted
    If I open i with pico then i see a blank page and that doesn’t sound right
    Tried with ABI word proc and that says file corrupt

    can you enlighten me

    Many thanks

  4. I completed step 7 and then attempted to restart my Apache2ctl, but it keeps coming up with read issues for the httpd.conf file. I tried commenting out the comment lines, but the error keeps occurring. I have not tried commenting out the entire file, as it seems counterproductive.

    I am new to all things Linux and Apache and had a co-worker take a look, but all he told me was that the file looked like an information file vs a configuration file. i would ask him for additional help, but as it is not work related, he is unwilling to help me….

    Any ideas?

  5. 5 Azul

    What is the command to start gproftpd ?

  6. 6 modulatum

    @Terry Davis: That step is not necessary. I recently installed Xubuntu on a machine and installed phpMyAdmin on it without any hacks. I’ve changed the post to reflect this.

    @Dina: Yep, don’t worry about httpd.conf.

    @Azul: gproftpd would do just fine 🙂

  7. 7 itics

    i done until step 3 … after that i get this error >

    tasksel: aptitude failed (100)

    anybody can advice me on how to proceed with this

  8. 8 modulatum

    @itics: Make sure Synaptic package manager and any other package manager is closed before you proceed.

  9. you need to type more, exaplain what really needs to be done if user gets error failed install etc ! typing just like that, doesn’t help much

    • 10 modulatum

      I don’t know your specific configuration, so you’ll have to figure out for yourself what may be causing a failed install.

  10. i’m talking about in general, if for example how a user can Launch gproftpd. Add a user. this wasn’t clear that much. not explained enough for none experienced user.

    most users are following this on xubuntu by the way

    • 12 modulatum

      To launch gproftpd, you type “sudo gproftpd”. Afterwards, go to the user tab, set up a new user account, click Add, make sure the home directory is in /var/www and click Activate.

  11. 13 baerium

    thanks for this tutorial!
    since im new to xubuntu I don’t know if this a usefull info but I testet it (Step 1-7) on a plain 8.10 Install updated to 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) without any problems!
    ftp was not needed so i can’t say something about it…

  12. Thanks for this! I followed it with absolutely no problems until #9 — when the guide seemed to become slightly more curt.

    I’m not complaining, but it did seem to shift at that point a little…I found what I needed in the comments. But, since you spelled it out for us prior to that, it might be more consistent to continue in that fashion for the entire guide.

    Again, this was a huge help and it is much appreciated!

  13. 15 stefan

    I was not able to perform the command:
    sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

    I received an error message:
    apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName
    … waiting apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

    I had to add something in the empty file: “/etc/apache2/httpd.conf”
    I added:
    # ServerName is to be specified to avoid warning during reload

    I was not able to install “gproftpd”:

    Calling synaptic and searching for “proftpd” told me, that there is only a package called “gadmin-proftpd”, hence, I used the command:

    sudo apt-get install gadmin-proftpd

    I’m lost: What does it mean: Activate the FTP server.

    What is necessary to activate the server?



  14. 16 Maxi

    in Xubuntu 11.10 over step 7

    “sudo ln -s /usr/share/phpmyadmin /var/www/”

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