UCS Quickstart-3.0

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Univention Corporate Server (UCS) is a Debian GNU/Linux-based server operating system with integrated management system for the central administration of servers, services, clients, desktops and users. This quickstart guide offers a short introduction on how to get startet with UCS. Detailed descriptions can be found in the UCS 3.0 manual.

Preparation & installation


The installation DVD can be downloaded from the Univention website.

The current version is UCS 3.0. An overview of the most important changes since UCS 2.4 can be found in Chapter 1 of the release notes.

Installation DVDs are available for the amd64 (64-bit) and i386 (32-bit) CPU architectures. If you are not sure what hardware you are using, we recommend using the 32-bit version, as this also functions on 64-bit hardware.

Supported hardware

An overview of the hardware certified for and successfully tested with UCS can be found on the Univention website in the area compatible hardware. The list does not claim to be exhaustive, which means that other systems which do not appear on the list are also supported.

The system requirements vary considerably depending on the intended purpose and the number of users. The minimum requirements for the installation are 256 MB memory and 8 GB hard drive space.


The installation is performed via a menu-driven text installer and can be used both interactively and completely profile-based.

The first UCS system role in the UCS domain should always be a domain controller (DC) master. UCS management system (Univention Management Console and infrastructure components such as OpenLDAP, PKI, Kerberos and DNS server) are installed on the DC master by default. All other UCS server and desktop system roles - with the exception of the UCS base system - then join the UCS domain's trust context during their installation. A UCS base system is not a member of the UCS domain and is intended as a firewall system in the DMZ, for example.

Autopartitioning can be used during the installation that creates a LVM partions by default. If hard drive encryption or software RAID is to be used, the installation must be performed in expert mode. However, we recommend a hardware RAID controller for the use of RAID. A list of successfully tested models can be found on the Univention websites in the area compatible hardware.

A valid network configuration should be set during the installation. If, for example, a gateway and a name server are specified, but the name server cannot be reached, this may result in unnecessary timeouts. In these cases, it makes more sense not to specify a gateway.

The DNS domain name needs to contain at least one dot. Otherwise problems will occur when Samba 4 is used (a dot in the domain name is precondition for Active Directory).

Administration (Univention Management Console)

In the standard setting, the installed UCS system offers an overview of the functions and administrator's tools via http or https at ((https://server_ip). The login to the administrator's tools is performed as Administrator with the password specified for the root user during the installation.

New users, groups, computers, etc., can be created on a DC master using Univention Management Console (UMC). The objects created in UMC are saved in the OpenLDAP directory service and replicated to the other UCS systems in the UCS domain.

Additionally a command line interface (Univention Directory Manager) is offered for the integration in scripts or automated tasks. Additional information on this can be found in the UCS manual.

Univention Management Console (UMC) can also be used for the web-based management of single systems, e.g. for starting/stopping system services or for modifying configuration parameters.

UCS updates / Installing additional software

Release or errata updates (security updates and critical bugfixes) can be run in the UMC module Online updates or the command line with the univention-upgrade command.

If there is a internet connection, the updates are downloaded and installed directly from the Univention update server.

There are different ways of installing software packages. The package selection initially made in the Univention installer can be reconfigured in the Univention Management Console module Basic settings in the Software tab.

Alternatively, packages can also be installed or uninstalled via the Univention Management Console module Package management or via univention-install PACKAGENAME on the command line.

Configuration management using Univention Configuration Registry

Univention Configuration Registry is the central tool for managing the local system configuration of a UCS-based system. Direct editing of the configuration files is usually not necessary.

Settings are specified in a consistent format in a registry mechanism, the so-called Univention Configuration Registry variables. These variables are used to generate the configuration files used effectively by the services/programs from the configuration templates (the so-called Univention Configuration Registry templates).

UCR variables are managed via the univention-config-registry command or via its alias ucr on the console or via the UMC module Univention Configuration Registry in the web browser.

Configuration files are automatically updated when the UCR variables registered on them are changed. Example:

ucr set foo=bar
ucr search ldap
eval "$(ucr shell)"

Desktop environment

A minimal desktop based on KDE can be installed. It provides the needed functionality to access the web-based Univention Management Console.

The UCS component Univention Corporate Desktop can be used to deploy centrally managed Linux-based desktops.

Further information

The first source of help for UCS is the manual. Help on UCS is offered in the Univention forum and useful information can be found in the Univention support and knowledge base (SDB). Errors in the documentation or programs can be reported directly in Univention Bugzilla.

Virtualization is described in the following articles:

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