Spoiler: When you start accumulating machines, their maintenance becomes tedious. We will see how to install Ubuntu Landscape in order to easily manage your fleet of Ubuntu machines. Landscape is installed by adding the correct repository to Ubuntu, then simply installing the package. A few configuration elements allow you to send less personal data to Canonical (company managing Landscape) or to ask it to send alerts by email using postfix.
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As and when needed, we installed more and more services on our servers (IPBX, gitlab, NAS, Web sites…). And to get it right, we chose to do 1 machine = 1 service. Why ?
As much as possible, network services should be hosted in separate environments.
Recommendation 6 by ANSSI (French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems)
And so that a machine is not compromised, keeping it up to date is essential.
It is recommended that you have a regular and responsive security update procedure.
Recommendation 8 by ANSSI (French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems)
This is when Landscape comes into its own. It will make it possible to easily manage a whole fleet of Ubuntu with a single glance and a single click.
Landscape is available in three versions: Landscape SaaS, Landscape On-premises, and Ubuntu Advantage.
The version we are interested in is the Landscape On-premises. This is the standalone version of Landscape which can be installed on our own network. The other versions are services sold by Canonical. The On Premises version allows you to manage up to 10 machines free of charge.
The installation is done on an Ubuntu server which will be dedicated to Landscape (remember, 1 machine = 1 service !!). I’ll pass you the installation of the Ubuntu server. What you should know is that Landscape is easily installed using these 3 commands:
sudo add-apt-repository --update ppa:landscape/19.01 sudo apt-get update sudo apt install landscape-server-quickstart
The first line adds a PPA (Personal Package Archives). Landscape is not part of the official Ubuntu repositories, so you must explicitly add its repository in order to be able to install it.
The second line updates the list of files available in the APT repositories. Since we have added a repository, it is necessary to update this list.
Finally, the third line installs Landscape on the server. This is the so-called quickstart installation. This allows for quick and easy installation of Landscape. However, the documentation recommends not to use the quickstart installation for infrastructures with more than 500 clients (it is not our case).
The only item to configure when installing Landscape is postfix. You must then select the postfix configuration compatible with your own infrastructure. If in doubt, know that it is possible to reconfigure everything using the command :
sudo dpkg-reconfigure postfix
Once the installation is complete, the Landscape interface can be accessed by typing the machine’s url in a browser.
As the certificate is self-signed, this causes an alert in the browser. You can add an exception right away, and configure your own certificates later. By adding a security exception, one can access the Landscape web interface. This asks to create the first user. The latter will automatically be the administrator of Landscape.
Suppression of statistics
If you’re like us and don’t like your data being sent, even if it’s statistics or bug reports, Landscape can be configured to prevent sending.
To do this, check the last box on the Settings page to prevent this sending of data.
- Do not track anonymous usage statistics
It is possible to configure alerts in order to be warned, for example, when a pc needs to be updated or rebooted … To do this, in the home screen, click on Configure Alerts at the bottom or at the top on Alerts.
In the alerts screen, all you have to do is click on the alert you want to receive.
And after ?
Landscape is a powerful tool for managing a fleet of machines running Ubuntu. In order to take full advantage of it, you must now add clients to it.
It is a pity that the project no longer seems to be maintained. The copyright of the corresponding site mentions © 2005-2018 Canonical Ltd. (so 2018), and it is not possible to install it on the latest versions of Ubuntu.