Ubuntu Server on a Raspberry Pi

As a follow up to a previous post about Raspberry Pi setups, I recently found out that Ubuntu has an official server distribution for Raspberry Pi.

Here are my steps to setting up a Raspberry Pi for development and testing.

Ubuntu Server Image

Connect to the Device

Find your PC’s IP:

# alias for `ip address`
ip a

Scan your network for the new device:

sudo nmap -sn <BASE IP>/24

# e.g., scan between and
sudo nmap -sn

ssh to the new device:

# default username and password is `ubuntu`
ssh ubuntu@<Device IP>

Update Device Settings

Add New User Account

Add a non-root user that’s not the default account:

sudo adduser nicholas
sudo adduser nicholas sudo, admin

Switch to the new user:

sudo su - nicholas

Remove the old, default account

sudo pkill -u ubuntu
sudo deluser -remove-home ubuntu

Install fail2ban: 1

sudo apt install fail2ban

Edit fail2ban settings:

sudo vim /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

Add the following:

enabled = true
port = 22
filter = sshd
logpath = /var/log/auth.log
maxretry = 3

Restart fail2ban to use the new settings:

sudo systemctl restart fail2ban

Use a Public Key for ssh

From your local machine, copy your ssh public key to the new device:

ssh-copy-id nicholas@<Device IP>

Update the ssh config on the device:

sudo vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Update the following for better security:

AllowUsers nicholas
LoginGraceTime 1m
PermitRootLogin no
ChallengeResponseAuthentication no
PasswordAuthentication no
UsePAM no

Update Device Hostname

Change the hostname name in /etc/hostname:

sudo vim /etc/hostname

Change the hostname in /etc/hosts:

sudo vim /etc/hosts

Add the following line to /etc/hosts:	<MY NEW HOSTNAME>

Keep your new hostname on reboot, by editing the following: 2 3 4

sudo vim /etc/cloud/cloud.cfg

Change the file to have:

preserve_hostname: yes

Install avahi-daemon to broadcast hostname on network: 5

sudo apt install avahi-daemon

  1. https://www.lifewire.com/harden-ubuntu-server-security-4178243 ↩︎

  2. https://askubuntu.com/questions/1028633/host-name-reverts-to-old-name-after-reboot-in-18-04-lts ↩︎

  3. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-change-the-hostname-on-ubuntu-18-04/ ↩︎

  4. https://askubuntu.com/questions/59458/error-message-sudo-unable-to-resolve-host-none ↩︎

  5. https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/255713 ↩︎

Nicholas Nadeau, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Nicholas Nadeau, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Project Director

Nicholas Nadeau is the project director at Halodi Robotics, leading their mission of bringing safe and capable humanoid robots to everyone.