Setting up WordPress on Apache and MySql on a Linux VPS host

I’ve run this blog for the past couple of years on OpenShift Online. I’ve been excited that the new Online v3 is moving to a container based service, but the cost per month is now much more than I wanted to pay. I was about to setup WordPress on AWS in an EC2 instance (if for nothing more than to get some experience playing with EC2), but after posting on Twitter for suggestions, there was a suggestion to check out cheap Virtual Private Server (VPS) offerings. The lowendbox.com site covers many offers from hosting companies offering VPS based services, so I took a look and picked up a 2 CPU core, 512MB, 200GB disk VPS for $2.50 a month. That’s a manageable cost and looks like a comparably price for a low end VPS server.

To get started after provisioning my VPS , I created a new user with sudo access instead of using the default root user created on initial setup:

  • adduser newuser
  • usermod -aG sudo newuser

On my Ubuntu 14.04 minimal server install, apparently even sudo is not yet installed, so per steps here, su’d to root, and then installed sudo:

  • su -
  • apt-get update
  • apt-get install sudo

Installed mysql-server. There’s many guides for installing MySQL, but here’s one as a reference.

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install mysql-server

During installation I got this error, and the server failed to start during installation:

/var/lib/dpkg/info/mysql-server-5.5.postinst: line 150: logger: command not found
ATTENTION: An error has occured. More info is in the syslog!

From this post here, the fix is to:

  • apt-get --reinstall install bsdutils

As this ran, the mysql install started showing additional input and the server started up.

Next, setup:

  • sudo mysql_secure_installation

Followed the prompts and remove anonymous user access, test database etc.

Created a new MySQL database with user/password that WordPress will use to access the database, following steps here.

Installed apache:

sudo apt-get install apache2

Installed php modules for apache:

sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5

Hitting the WordPress setup url, got this error:

Your PHP installation appears to be missing the MySQL extension which is required by WordPress.

This is fixed by installing the php mysql package (discussed here):

apt-get install php5-mysql

Installing WordPress from scratch is covered in detail here. The only additional step I needed to do was to tell Apache to server index.php so you’d see the WordPress site when hitting the site root url.

This can be done by editing /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and adding a DirectoryIndex:

<Directory /var/www/>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride None
        DirectoryIndex index.php
        Require all granted
</Directory>

Restart apache and you should be up and running:

sudo service apache2 restart

As  start this is pretty good. It looks like the default apache and mysql settings are maxing out my 512MB so I’ve got some tuning to do, and then I need to migrate my WordPress database across, but so far so good!

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