Create Ubuntu Droplet at Digital Ocean

Create Ubuntu Droplet at Digital Ocean

by John Vincent

Posted on May 12, 2018

Article that describes the creation and configuration of a Ubuntu droplet at Digital Ocean and the deployment of the TaskMuncher application.

This is part of a series of discussions regarding Deploying TaskMuncher to a Digital Ocean Droplet.

For more details, please see Deploy TaskMuncher

Create Ubuntu Droplet at Digital Ocean

Useful reference

Sign in to Digital Ocean

  • Create Droplet
  • Ubuntu 16.04 x64
  • Standard: $5/month
  • Choose a datacenter region
  • No SSH key
  • Hostname: taskmuncher

The Ubuntu droplet is created and an IP provided.

Set Root Password


  • Select droplet
  • Access (left nav)
  • Reset Root Password
    • Password is emailed.

Get password from your email.

  • Launch Console

  • root

    • {password-from-your-email}
  • Change password

How To Connect To Your Droplet with SSH

Useful reference

Initial Setup reference

  • Connect to droplet
    • ssh root@{your-ip}
The authenticity of host '<your-ip> (<your-ip>)' can't be established.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?
  • Yes

Basic user configuration

  • Add user

    • adduser {remote-user}
    • {password}
  • Root privileges

    • usermod -aG sudo {remote-user}

Create bin directory

mkdir bin

Add bin to PATH and add aliases

su - {remote-user}
vi .profile



lf() { ls -FaC $*; }

Basic root configuration

Add aliases to root

sudo -s
vi /etc/bash.bashrc

lf() { ls -FaC $*; }

Add Public Key Authentication

From Mac

cd .ssh
Enter file in which to save the key (/Users/<my-user>/.ssh/id_rsa): id_taskmuncher
  • passphrase: do not provide a passphrase

Generates two files

  • private: id_taskmuncher
  • public:

Store key in keychain

chmod 600 id_taskmuncher*
ssh-add -K id_taskmuncher

Add to .ssh/config

Host taskmuncher
    UseKeychain yes
    AddKeysToAgent yes
    HostName <your-ip>
    User <your-user>
    IdentityFile ~/.ssh/id_taskmuncher

Copy public key to remote server

cd .ssh
ssh-copy-id <remote-user>@<your-ip>

Verify Public Key on Remote Server

  • Login to digital ocean droplet
  • su - <remote-user>
  • cd .ssh
  • view authorized_keys
    • Key should be present
    • Remove all other keys

Test SSH to Remote Server

ssh <remote-user>@<your-ip>

Disable Password Authentication

As root or your sudo user, open the SSH daemon configuration

sudo vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config


PasswordAuthentication no


PubkeyAuthentication yes
ChallengeResponseAuthentication no

reload the SSH daemon:

sudo systemctl reload sshd

Test Log In

ssh <remote-user>@<your-ip>

should log in without any passwords.

Script SSH to

Optional, from local system, add the following to your bin directory


# script to ssh into the taskmuncher
echo "Script to ssh into the taskmuncher"
echo " "
echo " "
echo "Remote Server: $REMOTE_SERVER"
echo " "
echo "Completed"

From now on, to access the droplet


Restart Droplet and Test

Before you spend any more time configuring your droplet make sure the access is set up correctly.

  • Exit editors etc

As root

shutdown -h now

From dashboard,

  • refresh page
  • Power
  • Notice Droplet is powered down
  • Power On

Verify ssh


if any problems here, go back and fix.

Set Up a Basic Firewall

Firewall Rules Reference

List applications:

sudo ufw app list

Available applications: OpenSSH

Ensure firewall allows SSH connection:

sudo ufw allow OpenSSH

enable the firewall:

sudo ufw enable

You can see that SSH connections are still allowed by typing:

sudo ufw status

Add Swap

Swap reference

Check System for Swap

sudo swapon -s

Check current disk usage

df -h

Create Swap File

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1G count=4

if this fails with:

dd: memory exhausted by input buffer of size 1073741824 bytes (1.0 GiB)

then try:

sudo fallocate -l 4G /swapfile

Check swap file

ls -lh /swapfile

Enabling the Swap File

Secure the swap file:

sudo chmod 600 /swapfile

tell our system to set up the swap space:

sudo mkswap /swapfile

enable the swap:

sudo swapon /swapfile


sudo swapon -s

Make the Swap File Permanent

Edit configuration file:

sudo vi /etc/fstab

Add to the end:

/swapfile   none    swap    sw    0   0

Tweak your Swap Settings

Current swappiness value by typing:

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

For a VPS system, this number needs to be close to zero.

Edit configuration file:

sudo vi /etc/sysctl.conf

At the bottom, add:


Another related value that you might want to modify is the vfs_cache_pressure. This setting configures how much the system will choose to cache inode and dentry information over other data.

cat /proc/sys/vm/vfs_cache_pressure
sudo vi /etc/sysctl.conf
vm.vfs_cache_pressure = 50

Check Swap

sudo swapon --summary
free -h

Install Basics

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zip wget

Install Node and Npm

Installing Node

Node V8 - Best for Production

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs
which node

which npm

node -v

npm -v

Node V6 - Reference Purposes Only

curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs
which node

which npm

node -v

npm -v

Node V4 - Reference Purposes Only

Install Node v4

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nodejs
sudo apt-get install npm
nodejs -v

npm -v
which node
which npm
sudo apt-get remove nodejs
sudo apt-get remove npm
cd /etc/apt/sources.list.d

and remove any node list.

sudo apt-get update

Install PM2

Use PM2, a production process manager for Node applications with a built-in load balancer.

Shutdown Ghost. Ensure Ghost is shutdown before proceeding.

Install PM2

sudo npm install pm2 -g
pm2 -v

Install HTML-Minifier

sudo npm install html-minifier -g
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