I’ve recently had to set up and manage about a dozen Linux based virtual servers (not a huge number, but still) and it’s handly to have a separate user account on these machines that I can use to connect to for interactive use. With that in mind here are a couple of quick tips for setting things up for a more pleasant experience with minimal fuss.
I like to use zsh as my shell, but that’s easy enough to install via apt-get and so can be added to an automated build script. The fastest way to get a good configuration installed is via Oh My Zsh!, it uses the fairly horrible
curl | sh installation style, so I don’t like to add it to an automated script, but it’s easy enough to check and run manually:
$ curl -L http://install.ohmyz.sh | sh
$ curl http://j.mp/spf13-vim3 -L -o - | sh
Then I usually set up a couple of aliases based on what the machine will be used for, and I’m done.