My name is Kat. I’m one of Sharky’s friends who decided to give new life to this website.
By way of introduction, I’ll be doing a series of tutorials on seedboxes. Starting with the easiest and most basic seedbox possible, and working our way up to some pretty advanced topics.
In this series, I’ll describe how any novice can become the ninja-admin of their own BitTorrent server. Notice I said “can”, not “will”. Developing any skill takes time and dedication; that said, getting started is a lot less scary than many assume. The first seedbox we build will be simple, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be powerful.
Setting up your own seedbox is easier than you think, but first you need a remote Linux server.
Start with a small server
A good bet is to start with a small, quality server from Leaseweb. You can choose how much space you need and how much bandwidth you want to pay for. For this tutorial I purchased their smallest cloud server for 9 euros. This won’t get us very far with its default 500GB of data transfer and 40GB of disk space, but it is enough to get us started and demonstrate how easy this really is. Leaseweb is a good option for many reasons and is mostly what I use for my EU boxes, but you can use any server as long as you are careful to understand the bandwidth issues. I’ll write more about that later.
Once you pick a server, choose to have the latest version of Ubuntu installed on it. Ubuntu is easy to get started with and has a huge amount of support on the web if you get stuck.
After paying for the server, many hosting companies will simply send you a welcome email with the IP address and root password. Leaseweb does not send the password, but they do send the IP address in the email. You can find the root password of your new Leaseweb server in their Self Service Center (SSC). Select ‘Manage’:
Now click ‘Show’ under billing information:
Scroll down to show the root password:
Once we have the IP address and root password we can send commands to the server using SSH.
Connecting to the server from Mac or Linux
Those of you who are lucky enough to be using Linux or Mac can simply fire up a Terminal and enter this command, replacing the ‘xx.xx.xx.xx’ with the IP address of your server.
kat@fresh:~$ ssh email@example.com
You will likely get a message saying something like “The authenticity of the host can’t be established.” This is fine because it is the first time we are connecting to the server. Type
yes and then enter your password. Now you’re in. Feel the power?
Connecting to the server from Windows
On Windows you need to download a program to access your new server. A popular choice for many people using a Windows machine is called Putty. You can get it here.
Start up Putty and enter
firstname.lastname@example.org where it says, “Host Name (or IP address)”. (Obviously replacing xx.xx.xx.xx with the real IP address of your server.)
Click “Open” and it will connect to the server as root and prompt you for the password. Now you’re in, and feeling the power yourself. Right?
Welcome to your new server
Regardless of your local operating system, after connecting to your server you’ll have entered the world of Linux.
Welcome to Ubuntu 11.04 (GNU/Linux 2.6.38-15-virtual x86_64) * Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com/ System information as of Tue May 8 22:40:51 CEST 2012 System load: 0.0 Processes: 67 Usage of /: 2.0% of 33.56GB Users logged in: 1 Memory usage: 11% IP address for eth0: xx.xx.xx.xx Swap usage: 0% Graph this data and manage this system at https://landscape.canonical.com/ Last login: Tue May 8 20:20:58 2012 from xx-xx-xx-xx.example.net root@KATBOX001:~#
The last line that says
root@KATBOX001:~# will likely say something else, maybe
root@XYZ001:~#. This is your command prompt. The flashing cursor is where you can type commands on the server. As soon as you type a command, like
uptime, and hit enter, the server runs that command. It then reports back any response and gives you a new prompt.
root@KATBOX001:~# uptime 18:36:24 up 1 min, 1 user, load average: 0.15, 0.07, 0.03 root@KATBOX001:~#
Change your password
After you have recovered from the excitement that you have root access to a server that you can do whatever you want with, you should probably take a moment to change your password. There is a better and more secure option for authenticating to your server, but I’ll write about ssh keys later. For now, change your password using this command: While you’re recovering from the excitement inherent to gaining root access to a server you can do whatever you want with, you should probably take a moment to change your password. There is a better and more secure option for authenticating to your server with SSH keys, but I’ll write about that later. For now, change your password using this command:
Type in your new password; make it long and unguessable.
The second thing to do with any newly installed Linux server is to upgrade it to the latest packages. This will install any securty and bug fixes since the last release. Type the following:
root@KATBOX001:~# aptitude update && aptitude safe-upgrade -y
You’ll see lines scrolling by as Ubuntu upgrades itself. You are now the admin of your own linux server. You’ll see lines scrolling by as Ubuntu upgrades itself. Being the admin of your own linux server is fun, isn’t it?
Where do we go from here?
There are many directions we could take. Many would say the next step would be to create a non-privileged user account and learn to use the
sudo command. That is important, especially for multi user servers and servers with important business information. But to me, seedboxes are basically disposable. If I mess up, the worst that can happen is I have to reinstall.
I should note here that reducing the complexity for absolute beginners is central as we start this tutorial series. So don’t be nervous - live on the edge. We’ll just play around as root for a while. ;-)
In the next post, we will install a BitTorrent client and start seeding some real torrents.