the great ubuntu NAS project, even more continued…

To maximize my remote file management capabilities, I wanted to install a file manager giving me the same functionality I had before with my FreeNAS 7 server.  This was easy enough since I had previously setup Ajaxplorer on my FreeNAS server, and the steps to setup on Ubuntu are basically the same.  Ajaxplorer has come a long way since I first started playing around with it and it’s now a pretty darned amazing piece of software.  I personally love this because I can view pictures remotely, extremely easily with any web browser – and it looks great!

 

The challenges I had were ensuring I had the right security in place.  Since I installed the Apache2 webserver with Ubuntu Server initially, there wasn’t much to do there, except to setup SSL.  Your mileage may vary, but here’s what I did.

Configure SSL on Apache2

Ok, this is definitely not an quick & easy task so I’m going to redirect you to a couple of resources that I found extremely helpful in getting this all setup.  Everything you need to know for Ubuntu 12.04 SSL certificate generation and apache setup is here:

These other two sites were great also and filled in some of the gaps from the above instructions.

Creating the self-signed certificates:

Setting up Apache2 SSL on Ubuntu:

 

Install Ajaxplorer

  • Step 1: Go to the Ajaxplorer website and download the latest zip (http://ajaxplorer.info).  I’m personally using Ajaxplorer v4.2.0.  There is almost definitely a newer version out there now.
  • Step 2: Unpack the ajaxplorer-4.x.x.zip into a directory off of your webserver root directory.  For example “. \www-ssl\ajaxplorer”.  Confirm that all of the directories and files were created properly and that permissions were set properly (see this page for more details)
  • Step 3: Point your browser to your server IP and new webserver port (i.e. https://192.168.1.101:1234/ajaxplorer) to get started.   A diagnostic tool will be ran once to check that your configuration is ok.  You may get some warnings letting you know if you have any incompatibilities, but Ubuntu has most everything you need already setup.  Despite these warnings you should have a mostly functional web file manager installed.
  • Step 4: Click continue and you should see a warning telling you that the user « admin » has been created with the password « admin » : log in with this id/password, and go the the « Settings » panel to change the admin password.  (Note:  For greater security, it’s best to create a new admin account with a different name, then delete the automatically created ‘admin’ account.  This makes it slightly harder for evil robots to guess the login credentials.)
  • Step 5: Configure your users and repositories. (See this page for more details)

 

Poke a Hole in your Router

Because everyone has a different type of router at home, I won’t even attempt to begin to tell you how to do this.  However, you’ll want to make sure that you port-forward whatever port you defined in your Apache2 configuration above.  You can use a different outside port if you desire, but I like to keep it simple and use the same port number.

Now you can access your stuff anywhere you have an Internet connection.  If you have a Dynamic DNS service to help you remember your IP, even better!

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