Basic Configuration & Further Reading

Now that you're logged into a working machine, there are a few basics it'd be good to take care of.

First, you should probably add a non-root user. You can do that with adduser yourname, which will interactively prompt you for some info about the new user.

Again, choose a strong password here.

Next, you'll probably want to give this user the ability to use sudo, and disable root logins over SSH.  Start by making sure that sudo is installed.

...then add your new user to the sudoers group. In my case, this looks like:

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[email protected]:~# addgroup brennen sudo
Adding user `brennen' to group `sudo' ...
Adding user brennen to group sudo
Done.

Finally, tell SSH it shouldn't allow direct root logins any more. Start by opening /etc/ssh/sshd_config in nano.

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nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Next, look for this line:

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PermitRootLogin yes

And change to:

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PermitRootLogin no

And finally restart the SSH service:

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[email protected]:~# service ssh restart
[ ok ] Restarting OpenBSD Secure Shell server: sshd.

Further Reading

With that out of the way, you're ready to explore.

For command line basics, check out our What is the Command Line? and An Illustrated Shell Command Primer.

For general server administration topics, DigitalOcean's community support system is chock full of useful reference material and tutorials.

This guide was first published on Feb 13, 2015. It was last updated on Feb 13, 2015. This page (Basic Configuration & Further Reading) was last updated on Aug 16, 2019.