Machine Setup

This is a checklist of things for setting up a new machine in Mythic Beasts. The target audience of this document is the Infrastructure Team. Other volunteers should refer to the documentation on requesting infrastructure.


  • Create the machine (choose "Raise Invoice" for billing)
  • Secure the OS
  • Email Mythic to apply our sponsorship
  • Add DNS entries

Creating the machine

  • Don't select "managed hosting", even if we want it.
    As part of our sponsorship from Mythic Beasts we can request their managed hosting option. This can be applied when creating the machine, however doing so means waiting for them to create the machine before we can start using it. Instead we've found it easier to create the machine, set it up and then ask for them to add this on later.

  • Use planned DNS name for the machine as the Service Name.

  • Our servers are mostly in "sov", so putting other machines there is probably a good idea.

  • Prefer the latest Ubuntu LTS unless there's a good reason to pick something else.

  • No need to put anything in the other fields

  • Choose "Raise Invoice" as the billing option

Securing the OS

Exactly what is needed to secure a new machine will depend on its intended use-case, operating system and other factors. In general though we expect that:

  • the firewall will block everything that's not needed
  • root SSH is disabled
  • password SSH is disabled (i.e: keys only)
  • individuals have their own user accounts

These are included for all machines configured via our ansible config, which also creates users for members of the Infrastructure Team.

Applying our sponsorship

Once the machine is created, you'll then need to email Mythic's support asking for them to apply our sponsorship to the new machine. Here's a typical email for that:

Subject: "Student Robotics server '<machine-name>'"


I've just created a new VM '<machine-name>' within Student Robotics' account (number <number>). Please could you apply our sponsorship discount and discard the invoice.

I've configured this machine without managed monitoring for now, however if it would be possible to apply that it to it (also as part of our sponsorship), that would be great.

I'm in the process of configuring the machine with <link to ansible or puppet> and can let you know when that's complete.

Student Robotics volunteer

You should send this from the same email address you use for your Mythic user account.

You can get our account number from the UI once you've logged in (in the top right, where it also shows your user id).

If we're not adding managed hosting then the paragraphs about configuring the machine can be dropped.

Managed hosting

If you also want them to apply managed hosting to the machine this can be requested at the same time (as the above example does). Note that for managed hosting they'll need password-less sudo access to the machine and to poke a hole in the firewall for their monitoring systems to talk through.

If using our ansible config then the firewall rule is included in the default firewall config for all machines.

Typically we set them up with a mythic user which has sudo access enabled. They'll be able to provide the SSH key to allow access for -- it's a single one for our account and is common to the similarly named account on our other machines.

Mythic will need to know what services the machine will run and how they should be monitored. You can include this upfront or wait until they've got set up.

Shared wiki

There is an internal shared wiki which allows us to share notes with the Mythic support team. It is linked from the My Account page in their UI. It can be useful to put information there regarding what a given server is running and how it's configured.


Our forward DNS entries are managed in Digital Ocean.

Reverse DNS entries are managed in Mythic Beasts. We should add reverse DNS entries for all machines, even if they don't have forward DNS.

Remember to add IPv4 as well as IPv6 entries if the machine has connectivity on both.