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The use of Univention Company Server (UCS) as a House Server

In an previous article, we reviewed Univention Company Server (UCS). That model was once extra concerned about endeavor purchasers. Then again, UCS will also be used as a house server.

Ingo Steuwer, Head of Skilled Products and services at UCS, has taken a while to provide an explanation for this process in main points. In case you are a DIY hobbyist, you’ll to find this newsletter attention-grabbing.

Univention Company Server (UCS) as a House Server

Univention Company Server (UCS) is principally utilized by skilled IT customers as a device this is simple to arrange and simple to handle. But, personal customers too can benefit from this idea. On this article, I wish to supply an creation to how you’ll arrange your personal server for electronic mail, groupware, and file-sharing in only some steps the use of UCS and the Nextcloud and Kopano apps – permitting you to build an alternative choice to services and products akin to GMail and Dropbox all beneath your personal keep an eye on.

Purchase the or hire a server?

The primary query is in fact: The place do I run the server? In concept, personal customers have the similar choices as corporations: Both on their very own , in their very own “IT heart” (or storeroom), or on a rented device, hosted in different places, e.g., a “devoted server” with a cloud provider supplier or as an Amazon Symbol [https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/B071GDRQ3C]. When taking the verdict, it is very important imagine the way you in reality intend to make use of the server.

A rented device comes to a minimum preliminary funding and isn’t typically related to important bandwidth restrictions, plus it’s more straightforward to be expanded to fit your necessities. This sort of device is sensible in instances of many accesses from other places, e.g., when the server is utilized by participants of an affiliation.

Working a device by yourself community no longer best gives complete keep an eye on over your personal information, but additionally helps further utility situations akin to an ordinary dossier server or the streaming of track and movies to native media avid gamers. Then again, dependency on a non-public Web connection ceaselessly represents a bottleneck when the device is accessed from outdoor; even the very newest VDSL connections include a relatively low add capability. Some Web suppliers don’t enhance get right of entry to from outdoor in any respect. If unsure, the most productive answer is due to this fact to run some checks earlier than making an investment cash in new .

The stairs described under are, in concept, similarly appropriate for each choices.

If purchasing your personal – what do you wish to have?

UCS puts best minimum necessities at the , that means you could have a big variety to make a choice from with regards to conceivable programs. In concept, older desktop will also be appropriate, even though ceaselessly related to disadvantages with appreciate to reliability and gear intake when the device is working across the clock. If you make a decision to put money into a brand-new device, there are a selection of producers providing for this section, programs which might be appropriate for working 24/7 (ceaselessly known as “SOHO NAS” (Small or House Place of business Community Connected Garage) programs). Examples come with the HP programs within the MicroServer vary and the Low Power Servers from Thomas-Krenn.

The correct measurement

The following query is the topic of the device’s measurement. The setup offered right here runs on a device with a smaller CPU and four GB RAM with none issues. The decisive issue is the collection of simultaneous accesses. Because the collection of customers or programs will increase, there’ll sooner or later be a necessity for extra capability. Cloud gives may also be simply expanded. If buying the device, it’s value beginning out with eight or 16 GB RAM and a CPU with four cores.

The arduous disk house required for UCS is negligible – 10 GB is sufficient to stay the working device smartly equipped for a very long time. The decisive issue this is the supposed use, particularly, alternatively, the quantity of information to be stored at the device. When buying , it’s also essential to imagine redundancy by the use of reflected disks (RAID). Additional knowledge in this side will also be discovered within the Debian HowTos related under.

Design: IP and DNS configuration

To get right of entry to the device from the Web, a public IP deal with and corresponding DNS access are required. Should you hire server assets, you’re going to be provided with no less than an IP deal with and ceaselessly additionally a public area.

The general public IP is most often assigned to the personal router in house networks. It must be configured in order that it may move requests directly to the native UCS device. How that is performed is determined by the router itself and most likely at the Web supplier. HowTos are to be had at the Internet for almost all of routers and firewalls. If the personal router does no longer have a public IP, it may turn out tough or unimaginable to run a publicly obtainable server in the back of it. In case of doubt, it’s best to touch your Web supplier or search additional knowledge at the Internet.

The following requirement is a publicly resolvable DNS access, which may also be procured from suppliers of “dynamic DNS”, if you happen to don’t have a public area. The router looks after all conversation with the DNS supplier. As such, it is very important be aware of compatibility right here. The next makes use of the area “my-u.s.dnsalias.org” for example.

Within the majority of house networks, DCHP is used to assign IP addresses routinely. However as we noticed, the server’s IP deal with must be configured within the router (see subsequent segment for the ports shared to the outdoor), so the usserver all the time wish to obtain the similar IP deal with. This may also be completed through saving the ussystem or MAC deal with within the router’s DHCP configuration. Then again, a hard and fast IP deal with will also be specified throughout the usinstallation. On this case, alternatively, it will have to be ensured that the router does no longer assign it to some other instrument. When the use of a hard and fast IP, please all the time make sure that the specs for the default gateway and identify server are right kind. Within the majority of instances, the router’s IP is each.

Permit get right of entry to to provider ports

For the services and products described right here, it is crucial to make ports 90 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS) in addition to 587 (SMTP submission for incoming mails) externally to be had. As soon as HTTP has been arrange, this may also be decreased to the encrypted port 443. An get right of entry to to port 22 for SSH may also be sensible for far flung management particularly in programs no longer on house networks. Further ports could also be required for extra utility situations. For instance, if IMAPS/SMTPS will have to even be used for mail purchasers along ActiveSync. Whilst those ports may also be enabled actively within the native router in a house setup, the configuration of a device operated externally by the use of a supplier will have to be arrange in the sort of means that each one different ports are disabled.

UCS setup

For the set up, the usISO symbol is downloaded from Univention and burned to a DVD or transferred to a USB stick. The device will have to then be booted from this medium (BIOS surroundings). The set up starts and along a spread of various steps such because the configuration of the language, the fastened arduous disks are partitioned. In lots of instances, the partitioning recommendation can merely be followed. If you wish to building up the failure security- of the disk garage with a device RAID or expanded partitioning, this may also be arrange manually. For main points, please check with the Debian documentation, as UCS makes use of its set up procedure right here.

The true UCS configuration starts after the fundamental set up.

The next information are sensible for the deliberate setup.

  • Area settings: As you’re putting in the primary (and most likely best) device in a UCS setting, make a selection “Create a brand new area”. You’re then brought on to go into a operating electronic mail deal with, to which the due to this fact required key will probably be despatched.
  • PC settings: You are actually requested for an absolutely certified area identify for the ussystem. The primary a part of that is the identify that will probably be given to the long run device and its DNS area. The elemental configuration of a lot of a UCS device’s services and products is determined by this surroundings. It is vitally tough to modify it at a later time limit. In our instance, we outlined an interior DNS area. The general public DNS access offered earlier than can then be added at a later time limit. It’s also recommendable to make use of a site which in reality can’t be resolved through the general public DNS, as in our instance “united states of americamyhome.intranet”.
  • Device configuration: You’ll make a selection the primary services and products for set up right here. In an interior community, it’s sensible to put in an Energetic Listing-compatible area controller so to be capable of arrange dossier stocks for your community at a later time limit.

Entire documentation of the set up may also be discovered within the product handbook.

After the set up, the device may also be reached by the use of the Web browser at http://. The “Machine and Area Settings” hyperlink permits you to achieve the Univention Control Console (UMC), the place you’ll log in because the “Administrator” the use of the password specified throughout the set up. The rest of the setup is carried out there.

Putting in place Nextcloud

Step one is to put in the considered necessary services and products and carry out the fundamental setup. That is performed by the use of the App Heart, which first must be activated. That is performed the use of the important thing despatched (to the desired e mail deal with) throughout the set up. This may also be uploaded without delay within the greeting conversation following the set up or due to this fact in UMC within the menu (“Burger” icon in most sensible proper) by the use of the “License” and “Import new license” issues.

Setting up Univention Home Server

The primary app to be put in is Nextcloud, which is really useful as a basic garage location for information from PCs and cell gadgets. That is performed through opening the “App Heart” module within the UMC after which in search of “Nextcloud”. This set up of Nextcloud can then be initiated without delay. To take action, please practice the activates within the internet interface.

As soon as the set up is entire, Nextcloud is available at https:///nextcloud. This hyperlink may be to be had at the evaluation web page of the usserver. Then again, when opened, there are nonetheless warnings in regards to the SSL certificates and the hyperlink to Nextcloud. This will probably be resolved due to this fact throughout the set up of “Let’s Encrypt”.

Putting in place mail & groupware

The second one step considerations the mail and groupware purposes. Right here, we’re the use of Kopano, which can be utilized for free for our functions.

That is performed through putting in the next parts of Kopano from the App Heart module of the UMC one after some other:“Kopano Core”, “Kopano WebApp”, and “Z-Push for Kopano”.

A mail area for Kopano will have to then be registered earlier than continuing with the rest of the configuration. Up till this step, best the “interior” mail area has been configured, which was once specified throughout the set up of UCS (in our instance “united states of americamyhome.intranet”). Then again, it’s not identified externally and can’t be used for mail accounts. The to be had mail domain names are configured by the use of the UMC module “E-Mail”. This module may also be discovered within the “Domain names” space of the UMC or by the use of the hunt serve as. When doing so, it is very important notice that, following registration of a mail area, UCS assumes that each one deal with on this area can also be configured in UCS. It’s thus recommendable to undertake the domain names right here which is able to later even be used for the exterior accesses to the server, on this instance due to this fact “my-u.s.dnsalias.org”.

Person accounts can then be arrange. The “number one mail deal with” is the mail deal with that the consumer will use in Kopano. In different phrases, it will have to use the general public area (e.g., identify@my-u.s.dnsalias.org).

Completing touches to electronic mail

The mail provider is now able to receiving mails despatched to the publicly obtainable mail area (i.e., my-u.s.dnsalias.org). For the sending to serve as with none issues and mails to not be without delay blocked through the junk mail filters of alternative mail servers, this identify will have to even be used as “helo”. This may also be performed through surroundings the UCR variable “mail/smtp/helo/identify” to the publicly obtainable FQDN – on this instance: my-u.s.dnsalias.org. The surroundings of UCR (“Univention Configuration Registry”) variables may also be carried out within the UMC module of the similar identify or within the command line with the command

ucr set mail/smtp/helo/identify=“my-u.s.dnsalias.org”

Setting up Univention Home Server

If conceivable, it’s also recommendable to make use of an SMTP relay host (An exterior server licensed to ship our emails). This particularly applies when the sender’s IP deal with differs from that of the general public area. A information may also be discovered right here.

Incoming mail is routed in line with the DNS entries of your public area. When a mail is meant against your area (my-u.s.dnsalias.org), the IP deal with of the MX file is used. If the MX file isn’t specified, the bottom IP deal with of the area itself is used because the vacation spot. The latter is the case in our configuration: The mail area corresponds to the general public IP deal with of the usserver, with the end result that our device may also be discovered through different programs and contacted for the supply of the mails.

Port 25 is laid out in the usfirewall through default. Then again, port 587 is most well-liked for the direct alternate between mail servers. This may also be authorized through UCR within the firewall. That is performed through surroundings the variable “safety/packetfilter/package deal/handbook/tcp/587/all” to “ACCEPT” – as above for the “helo” string, this may be conceivable right here by the use of the UMC module or the command line.

Following the adjustments, the “postfix” and “univention-firewall” services and products wish to be restarted. This may also be performed by the use of the command line (“provider postfix restart; provider univention-firewall restart”) or through rebooting the server.

Univention Portal

The usserver’s evaluation web page, the “Univention Portal”, supplies a just right creation to the to be had services and products. It’s now simply to be had by the use of “https://my-u.s.dnsalias.org”. Then again, there are nonetheless two issues inflicting issues: Certificates warnings within the browser and “faulty hyperlinks” at the portal web page. Each may also be solved simply:

Let’s Encrypt TLS certificate

Via default, the usweb server makes use of a self-signed certificates, which leads to warnings within the browser. The set up of a certificates by the use of “Let’s Encrypt” is helping right here; we now have printed a corresponding integration as a “cool answer”. It’s recommendable to specify the exterior area in UCR upfront. That is performed through surroundings the UCR variable “letsencrypt/domain names”, in our instance to “my-u.s.dnsalias.org”. Moreover, for the certificates to be followed without delay through the internet and mail server, “letsencrypt/services and products/apache2” and “letsencrypt/services and products/postfix” every wish to be set to “sure”. All of the considered necessary steps are described within the related wiki article.

Portal optimization

The shortcuts within the Univention Portal, the primary web page when gaining access to the ussystem Internet interface, nonetheless use the interior area which was once specified throughout the set up. As this can’t be resolved for accesses from the Web, the addresses wish to be tailored. Those shortcut addresses are configured within the LDAP. They may be able to be discovered within the “Area” space within the “LDAP Listing” module within the UMC. Within the tree proven, the entries “nextcloud” and “kopano-webapp” may also be discovered beneath “univention/portal”.

Setting up Univention Home Server

After opening, the right kind trail for the exterior area may also be entered beneath “Hyperlinks” respectively – within the instance, we used https://my-u.s.dnsalias.org/nextcloud/ for Nextcloud and https://my-u.s.dnsalias.org/kopano/ for Kopano.

Setting up Univention Home Server

Of entirety of Nextcloud

Then again, the primary get right of entry to to Nextcloud by the use of the general public area produces an error message. Nextcloud registers internally the area with which UCS was once put in and rejects get right of entry to by the use of different domain names for safety causes. The general public domain names may also be authorized both by the use of the configuration information or by the use of the hyperlink given within the Nextcloud error message. Should you practice this hyperlink, you’ll log in because the “Administrator” the use of the password specified throughout the set up of UCS and allow the exterior area.

In some situations, this workflow comes with a hitch: The hyperlink for the sharing refers back to the interior area, which can’t be resolved to an IP deal with within the webhosting situation described. An access within the “hosts” dossier (beneath Linux: /and so on/hosts) may give lend a hand right here, with which the interior FQDN of the usservers may also be resolved to the general public IP deal with. On this configuration, the enabling of the general public DNS area introduced through Nextcloud then purposes with none issues.

Then again, you’ll additionally exchange to Nextcloud’s docker container by the use of the command “univention-app shell nextcloud” within the command line, set up an editor by the use of “apt set up vim”, and edit the dossier “/var/www/html/config/config.php” in response to the Nextcloud HowTo.


Customers can now be created at the device. For each account created in UCS, a corresponding account may be created routinely in Nextcloud and, if a number one mail deal with has been specified, in Kopano too. The consumer can then log in to each services and products with the account password. Password adjustments are conceivable by the use of the menu within the Univention Portal.

Kopano and Nextcloud will also be used on smartphones. An “Trade” account is about up for the synchronization of mails, contacts, and appointments with Kopano. Additional knowledge in this may also be discovered within the Kopano documentation. Nextcloud gives its personal Android or iOS app, by the use of which information may also be exchanged with the smartphone and photographs and movies taken at the telephone routinely stored to the server.


This setup supplies a just right basis for mounting further services and products from the numerous apps to be had for UCS.

  • The Fetchmail integration can be utilized to proceed receiving present electronic mail addresses very easily. The usserver then routinely obtain mails from different suppliers and shows them within the Kopano inbox.
  • Publicly obtainable servers are ceaselessly the objective of computerized assaults. Whether it is conceivable to get right of entry to SSH within the firewall, this get right of entry to will have to be limited. Examples are to be had right here.
  • If the collection of customers will increase, it may be useful to provide them the choice of resetting their passwords themselves. This may also be performed the use of the “Self Provider” app within the App Heart.
  • Nextcloud may also be expanded with a complete vary of plug-ins. The “Collabora” plug-in, which makes it conceivable to edit Place of business information without delay within the browser can turn out in particular useful when coping with a lot of paperwork.

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