The Blog of Tom Webster

Chronic Ranter, Reviewer, and Developer. I speak only for myself, opinions are my own.

Virtual Web Server: Part 8 - RVM Setup

  2013-05-11 06:49:00 PDT

For Ruby applications, managing dependencies manually can be difficult. Luckily RVM is there to make everything easier on us. RVM manages different Ruby versions, dependencies, and gem versions. It is hugely helpful in getting Ruby and Rails installed quickly and easily.

Log into the root account, then install the dependencies: sudo apt-get -y install build-essential openssl libreadline6 libreadline6-dev curl git-core zlib1g zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt-dev autoconf libc6-dev ncurses-dev automake libtool bison subversion python. After you install that, we need to download RVM and install RVM and Rails 1.9.3: curl -L https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable --rails --autolibs=enabled --ruby=1.9.3.

Now you have Ruby and Rails ready to do your bidding.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Getting a Server
  2. Getting a Domain Name
  3. Automatic Updates
  4. Apache2 Setup
  5. PHP and MySQL Setup
  6. ProFTPd Setup
  7. WordPress Setup
  8. RVM Setup - You are here
  9. Git Setup
  10. OctoPress Setup
  11. Rackspace Backups

Virtual Web Server: Part 7 - WordPress Setup

  2013-05-09 02:24:00 PDT

Now that you have a user and are able to upload files, lets get a WordPress blog going. The first thing to do is download the latest WordPress package, extract it, then upload it via your newly created FTP server. I like FileZilla for FTP work, but any FTP client will work.

Head over to the site, you should see that you need to create a configuration file. If you don't see this, and see an error message instead, make sure you have php5-mysql installed. You can do this with apt-get install php5-mysql then service apache2 restart. For the configuration file, we'll need to first get our database details. This poses somewhat of a problem, though, we don't have a database currently. Log onto your server's root account via SSH, then log onto your MySQL instance with mysql -u root -p and enter your MySQL password (this should be different from your user password). Follow along with the commands below to create a new database and authorizations so we can finish the WordPress setup (all commands should be run from the MySQL command prompt):

Create a new database: CREATE DATABASE exampledatabase;
Create a new MySQL User: GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON exampledatabase.* TO "exampleuser"@"localhost" IDENTIFIED BY "MakeAComplexPasswordHere";
Refresh permissions: FLUSH PRIVILEGES
Exit the console: exit

Click Let's go! on the WordPress wizard and fill in the details below:

Database Name: exampledatabase
User Name: exampleuser
Password: YourComplexPasswordHere
Database Host: localhost
Table Prefix: wp_

WordPress should then generate a text box with a lot of configuration data in it. Copy all of this text into a file named wp-config.php, then upload it to the root of your web directory via FTP.

Now your configuration is done, go ahead and proceed with the install. The rest is simple, set up a name for your site, set up a username/password for WordPress, then get on with building cool things. The internet is ripe with WordPress themes, plugins, advice, and examples, do some Googling, figure out what you want to do from here.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Getting a Server
  2. Getting a Domain Name
  3. Automatic Updates
  4. Apache2 Setup
  5. PHP and MySQL Setup
  6. ProFTPd Setup
  7. WordPress Setup - You are here
  8. RVM Setup
  9. Git Setup
  10. OctoPress Setup
  11. Rackspace Backups

Virtual Web Server: Part 6 - ProFTPd Setup

  2013-05-09 01:36:00 PDT

Now that you have most of what you need to run some simple sites, you need a way to open it up to people, allow them to upload their own files. This is where ProFTPd comes in. First, install it with apt-get install proftpd. There are some configuration options as you set it up. Right now, select standalone when the installer asks you whether to run as a service or standalone server.

Now we have to create a user who will manage our domain. I usually set this name to the domain name itself without the ending (so example would manage www.example.com). Create a new user with adduser example and set a good, complex password. Debian will ask you for more details, but you don't need to fill these out. This creates a new user and home directory. We actually don't want our user to use /home/example as their home directory, we want them to be jailed to the web directory. Open up /etc/passwd in your text editor of choice, we're going to make some changes to this new user. We need to set a new home directory, and more imporantly, a new shell, we don't want the user logging on via SSH, they don't need that kind of access. Check out the example below for configuration details.

bob:x:0:0:root:/home/bob:/bin/bash
# The above user can log in interactively, and their home folder is in the usual location
alice:x:1000:1000:,,,:/var/www/www.example.com:/bin/false
# The above user can't log in interactively, and their home folder is set to their public website folder.

After you set up your user like alice in the example above, we need to change the permissions on our new user's home directory. Use this command to set the owner and group of the folder to your new user: chown -R example:example /var/www/www.example.com/. Now we're ready to set some ProFTPd configuration options. Open up /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf and copy my configuration file below.

#
# /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf -- This is a basic ProFTPD configuration file.
# To really apply changes reload proftpd after modifications.
#

# Includes DSO modules
Include /etc/proftpd/modules.conf

# Set off to disable IPv6 support which is annoying on IPv4 only boxes.
UseIPv6             on
# If set on you can experience a longer connection delay in many cases.
IdentLookups            off

ServerName          "Debian"
ServerType          standalone
DeferWelcome            off

MultilineRFC2228        on
DefaultServer           on
ShowSymlinks            on

TimeoutNoTransfer       600
TimeoutStalled          600
TimeoutIdle         1200

DisplayLogin                    welcome.msg
DisplayChdir                .message true
ListOptions                 "-l"

DenyFilter          \*.*/

# Use this to jail all users in their homes
DefaultRoot         ~

# Users require a valid shell listed in /etc/shells to login.
# Use this directive to release that constrain.
RequireValidShell       off

# Port 21 is the standard FTP port.
Port                21

# In some cases you have to specify passive ports range to by-pass
# firewall limitations. Ephemeral ports can be used for that, but
# feel free to use a more narrow range.
# PassivePorts                  49152 65534

# If your host was NATted, this option is useful in order to
# allow passive tranfers to work. You have to use your public
# address and opening the passive ports used on your firewall as well.
# MasqueradeAddress     1.2.3.4

# This is useful for masquerading address with dynamic IPs:
# refresh any configured MasqueradeAddress directives every 8 hours
<IfModule mod_dynmasq.c>
# DynMasqRefresh 28800
</IfModule>

# To prevent DoS attacks, set the maximum number of child processes
# to 30.  If you need to allow more than 30 concurrent connections
# at once, simply increase this value.  Note that this ONLY works
# in standalone mode, in inetd mode you should use an inetd server
# that allows you to limit maximum number of processes per service
# (such as xinetd)
MaxInstances            30

# Set the user and group that the server normally runs at.
User                proftpd
Group               nogroup

# Umask 022 is a good standard umask to prevent new files and dirs
# (second parm) from being group and world writable.
Umask               022  022
# Normally, we want files to be overwriteable.
AllowOverwrite          on

# Uncomment this if you are using NIS or LDAP via NSS to retrieve passwords:
# PersistentPasswd      off

# This is required to use both PAM-based authentication and local passwords
# AuthOrder         mod_auth_pam.c* mod_auth_unix.c

# Be warned: use of this directive impacts CPU average load!
# Uncomment this if you like to see progress and transfer rate with ftpwho
# in downloads. That is not needed for uploads rates.
#
# UseSendFile           off

TransferLog /var/log/proftpd/xferlog
SystemLog   /var/log/proftpd/proftpd.log

<IfModule mod_quotatab.c>
QuotaEngine off
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_ratio.c>
Ratios off
</IfModule>


# Delay engine reduces impact of the so-called Timing Attack described in
# http://security.lss.hr/index.php?page=details&ID=LSS-2004-10-02
# It is on by default.
<IfModule mod_delay.c>
DelayEngine on
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_ctrls.c>
ControlsEngine        off
ControlsMaxClients    2
ControlsLog           /var/log/proftpd/controls.log
ControlsInterval      5
ControlsSocket        /var/run/proftpd/proftpd.sock
</IfModule>

<IfModule mod_ctrls_admin.c>
AdminControlsEngine off
</IfModule>

#
# Alternative authentication frameworks
#
#Include /etc/proftpd/ldap.conf
#Include /etc/proftpd/sql.conf

#
# This is used for FTPS connections
#
#Include /etc/proftpd/tls.conf

#
# Useful to keep VirtualHost/VirtualRoot directives separated
#
#Include /etc/proftpd/virtuals.con

# A basic anonymous configuration, no upload directories.

# <Anonymous ~ftp>
#   User                ftp
#   Group               nogroup
#   # We want clients to be able to login with "anonymous" as well as "ftp"
#   UserAlias           anonymous ftp
#   # Cosmetic changes, all files belongs to ftp user
#   DirFakeUser on ftp
#   DirFakeGroup on ftp
#
#   RequireValidShell       off
#
#   # Limit the maximum number of anonymous logins
#   MaxClients          10
#
#   # We want 'welcome.msg' displayed at login, and '.message' displayed
#   # in each newly chdired directory.
#   DisplayLogin            welcome.msg
#   DisplayChdir        .message
#
#   # Limit WRITE everywhere in the anonymous chroot
#   <Directory *>
#     <Limit WRITE>
#       DenyAll
#     </Limit>
#   </Directory>
#
#   # Uncomment this if you're brave.
#   # <Directory incoming>
#   #   # Umask 022 is a good standard umask to prevent new files and dirs
#   #   # (second parm) from being group and world writable.
#   #   Umask               022  022
#   #            <Limit READ WRITE>
#   #            DenyAll
#   #            </Limit>
#   #            <Limit STOR>
#   #            AllowAll
#   #            </Limit>
#   # </Directory>
#
# </Anonymous>

This configuration jails users in their home directories, which we've just set to be the public web directory. You do need to run service proftpd restart to apply the configuration changes.

Have your users log in with the following details (changed to fit your domain/username of course):

Host: www.example.com
Port: 21
Username: example
Password: # the password you set for this user #

Now your users can push and pull files to set up their websites.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Getting a Server
  2. Getting a Domain Name
  3. Automatic Updates
  4. Apache2 Setup
  5. PHP and MySQL Setup
  6. ProFTPd Setup - You are here
  7. WordPress Setup
  8. RVM Setup
  9. Git Setup
  10. OctoPress Setup
  11. Rackspace Backups

Museum Madness Portable

  2013-05-07 04:00:00 PDT

When I was a kid, I played a ton of the game Museum Madness. An old MECC game that was all about learning various subjects, solving cool puzzles, and enjoying the point-and-click adventure world. Unfortunately, the company eventually went under, leaving the game as Abandonware. Getting this old game to run isn't terrible on Windows 7, but unless you know your way around DosBox or a command line interface, your average user may run into trouble. To fix this problem, I created a double-click-to-run Museum Madness launcher. All of my code is open source and freely available, the game itself is kind of under a grey-ish abandonware type license, so I'm not entirely sure if you can deconstruct it. I grabbed the game data from Abandonia.com, who host a TON of abandoned games, go check it out. In the mean time, here's the game:

GitLab Repo

Windows XP/7 x86 and x64 - You can try it on other Window's platforms, I haven't tested it though.

Linux x64

Want it ported to a different system? Do it, send me a pull request.

Virtual Web Server: Part 5 - PHP and MySQL Setup

  2013-05-02 13:15:00 PDT

Next on our list, we need to get PHP and MySQL set up if we're ever going to host something like WordPress or Drupal. Let's get everything installed with apt-get install php5 mysql-server php5-mysql. During the setup, you will need to set a password for the root user of the MySQL server. Make sure to set something long, complicated, and different than your shell password, you don't want your entire server compromised if someone figures out your MySQL password.

Now, restart Apache with service apache2 restart so we can start using PHP.

Next, navigate to where you put the example file last time, remove your old example file (it should be index.html), and make index.php with these contents:

<?php
phpinfo();
?>

Now, head over to your site and take a look, you should see something similar to this:

If you see that, you're done here. Next, we'll set up FTP accounts, then get WordPress running.

Other posts in this series:

  1. Getting a Server
  2. Getting a Domain Name
  3. Automatic Updates
  4. Apache2 Setup
  5. PHP and MySQL Setup - You are here
  6. ProFTPd Setup
  7. WordPress Setup
  8. RVM Setup
  9. Git Setup
  10. OctoPress Setup
  11. Rackspace Backups
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