Intro to FTP / Shell – Richard Pearce-Moses

I demonstrated a way to build a virtual Linux server on your Mac or PC. This virtual space would give people a safe place to learn by playing with the system. If you completely screw up the virtual machine, deleted it and rebuild it.

Links for the following are at

1. Download Ubuntu Linux. You can get 10.04 LTS or 11.10 from Or, wait a couple of weeks, and you can get 12.04 LTS (right now it’s in beta). 10.04 LTS has a more familiar GUI. 11.04 and 11.10 (especially) introduce the Unity interface, which is not universally loved. This file is large and may take thirty to sixty minutes to download.

2. Download and install Oracle VirtualBox software for Macs or PCs with an Intel CPU. You should have at least 2GB of RAM and 10 GB of disk space. In both cases, it’s a standard install. You’ll also want to download the extensions.

3. Create a new, blank VBox.

4. Install Ubuntu. Note: This could easily take an hour or two, depending on how long it takes to apply patches to bring the install up to date, plus the speed of your machine.

Finally, the approach I take is to install the desktop version and make it a server, rather than the other way around. I find it easier to install the server components to a GUI desktop than adding the GUI to a CLI LAMP server. (Just one of my quirks.)

Installing Archon will take you through the steps necessary to convert the desktop install to a LAMP server. Plus, you’ll have Archon installed so you can play with it.

Questions welcome.

If you find this useful, please consider taking ARST 5100 Archives and Technology, a part of Clayton State’s Master of Archival Studies Program. You’ll cover these topics — and more — in greater depth.

Categories: General |

About Richard Pearce-Moses

I've been a practicing archivist for thirty+ years, working with photographs, government records, and personal paper in areas of regional history (TX, AZ), history of photography, and Native American culture. Have been working almost exclusively with digital archives and libraries for more than ten years. Areas of research: knowledge and skills archivists need to work with digital materials, the archival lexicon, and automated, rules-based processing. Currently director of and faculty in the Master of Archival Studies Program at Clayton State University. Started programming in 1968.