I'm trying to write a guide with some essentials that one should do after his/her server has finished "building", important things like setting up a secondary user that's non-root, locales, perhaps even disabling a password login and using keys instead. If you do decide to participate mind providing code examples in addition to a small description?

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade to update package lists and install the latest security updates for packages, and also installing aptitude and relying on it since it handles dependencies better.

apt-get install locales if you don't already have it installed. type locale and if you see any warnings at the top, do dpkg-reconfigure locales, select your locale ( mine is en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 ), generate and that should be taken care of, to avoid any locale issues when installing / upgrading packages.

1) Enable spoofing protect and syncookies:

spoofprotect=yes
syncookies=yes

2) For server will be enough 3 consoles. Edit /etc/inittab:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1
2:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty2
3:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty3
#4:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty4
#5:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty5
#6:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty6

3) Secure OpenSSH

4) Install utils:

aptitude install screen htop

apt-get install aptitude to grab the front end apt wrapper which handles dependencies far better. After doing so ( or if you already have it ), install some "essential" packages with aptitude install ~pstandard which grabs packages such as perl and dnsutils.

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