server setup in Ubuntu
This page isn't a tutorial on setting up a LAMP in Ubuntu, but rather notes on how to set it up. I just did this in Ubuntu, and wanted to document what I did so if I have to do it again, it'll go much quicker. (Though, it was pretty quick, actually.)
The basics of it are on AskUbuntu.com. I did have to add
sudo apt-get install php5-gd to get GD support for Drupal.
Since I used a VirtualHost to set my doc root to a folder in my /home directory, I used the Ubuntu Wiki article.
Getting the mod_rewrite to work, I did
sudo a2enmod rewrite (plus restarting apache2). Make sure to use AllowOverrides All in the appropriate file.