The command that we are going to talk about is tasksel. This stands for “task select.” Now, Ubuntu is trying to become the premier provider of Linux distributions. They have really done a lot of work to improve Ubuntu Linux and they know how to make things as user-friendly as possible. With that in mind, one of the things they came up with was this program called tasksel or task select. When you are trying to set up an Apache web server, an email server, or a virtualization server, for example, note that each of these servers requires a number of different programs in order for it to work. So if you are trying to set up a web server, you need to install Apache, you need to install mySQL, you need to install PHP, and you need to install the connecters so that they can actually work together.
The Ubuntu creators then figured that if you need to install those things, they can create a script that would just install all those things for you. So what will happen is, if you know exactly what you want your server to do and you are really not worried about making it really customized, you can run the tasksel command and choose which pre-packaged server type you want your server to be.
The creators of Ubuntu came up with around ten to twenty different server installation packages that you could choose from. And what happens is if you run the tasksel command, you will get a DOS screen where all of these server installation packages are listed. If you want to make your server an email server for example, all you need to do is select Email server and then it will install all the necessary software you need for that particular server type. This facilitates for a hassle-free installation. It is quick and extremely user- friendly. You can have a full Apache web server running in 30 minutes or less with this command.
The main thing that you have to remember with this command is that you have to put sudo in front of the command. You might be wondering, how come we did not put sudo when we executed the man command? Well, the man command does not necessarily pose any security risk when executed. It is therefore one of those commands where sudo is not necessary.
With the tasksel command, however, remember that we are installing applications with this command. Installation requires modifying certain files in the operating system to accommodate a certain program. If a hacker someone manages to get access and execute the tasksel command to install viruses, you will be in having real big problems.
The creators of Ubuntu realize this as well. They are worried about people installing software that should not be installed onto the server. So, if you are trying to install software, or do any administrative task, you have to put sudo before the command that you are trying to initiate. With that in mind, to properly execute the tasksel command, you have to type in the syntax below:
$ sudo tasksel
Once you type in the command above and press ENTER, you will get the screen below:
So now, you are in the tasksel screen. If you look closely, you will see various options that you can select. These are all the different packages that you can install easily onto the server. If you want your server to be used in cloud computing, you can select one of the cloud computing options available. If you want your server to be a DNS server, you can go ahead and select DNS server, and so forth.
Once you have highlighted the package of your choice, you simply hit the spacebar on your keyboard. That will put an asterisk, and in some cases a check mark, on the box on the left and then you can press ENTER. When you hit ENTER, what will happen is the server will now install all of the software packages that are required in order for it to work.
This process will take a few minutes depending on how fast your computer is. Once the process is done, you will then have a fully functional server.