OVH Server Setup

Server Installation

After logging in to the So You Start web interface you can trigger a reinstall of the server. In the wizard the configuration of the server can be selected.

Step 1: Template Selection

We currently use an Ubuntu Server Template with a Custom Installation.

So on this first page select the Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS (64bits) Template and check the checkbox next to "Custom Installation".


Step 2: Disk partitions

By default the server would be configured with four partitions (/, /boot, /home, swap), since we do not need a /home partition we have to change the partitions.

  1. Delete the /home partition.
  2. Edit the / partition and check the checkbox next to "Use the remaining space"
  3. Press Save

It should then look like the following picture:


Step 3: Options

On the options screen it is important to check the checkbox next to "Use the distribution kernel", beause OVH provides a custom kernel by default, which caused problems in the past in our project.


Step 4: Confirmation

The confirmation screen shows the selected template and the language. By pressing the confirm button all data on the current server are wiped and the server is newly installed.

Server Configuration

By default it is possible to connect to the server through SSH using a username and password. To make access more secure we only want to allow access with a whitelisted SSH key.

Creating the SSH key

Use PuttyGen (or another tool) to create an SSH key for CircleCI.

Export the generated key as an OpenSSH key (in PuttyGen: Conversions > Export OpenSSH key) and save it as a *.pem file.

Copy the public key and save it in another *.pem file.

Lastly save the private key as *.ppk file as well (in PuttyGen: Button "Save private key"), so that you can use it to log in to the server with Putty.

Registering the public key

Connect to the server using SSH (with username and password).

cd ~/.ssh
vi  authorized_keys2

add the public key to the end of the file and save it. The key should have the following format:

ssh-rsa <public key> rsa-key-20190306

Test that login with the public key works by opening another OpenSSH session where you use the private key as authorization.

If you are using PuTTY:

  • Set the correct Auto-login username under Connection > Data
  • Select the saved private key under Connection > SSH > Auth > Private key file for authentication

Disabling password login

When login with the private key works, you can disable the password login.

cd /etc/ssh
vi sshd_config

Disable password authentication by setting PasswordAuthentication no.

To ensure that our changes are accepted the ssh service needs to be restarted:

systemctl restart ssh
systemctl status ssh

The second command is to verify that the service was correctly restarted.

An additional test is that when you try to connect with a new OpenSSH session using username and password, the following error message should appear: "No supported authentication methods available (server sent: publickey)"

Updating public key on Circle CI

Circle CI needs the SSH public key to deploy the server after changes were committed. This is documented on the Circle CI page.

Updating Scenarioo infrastructure

Scenarioo Infrastructure needs to know the IP address of the new server, so that it can connect and update it.

Set the IP address of the new Server under "mainserver" in scenarioo-infrastructure\hosts\hosts_demoserver_ovh.

Update DNS lookup address

Finally, the DNS entry needs to be updated with the IP address of the new server, so that points to the new server. To do this inform bruderol, who manages the DNS entry.

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