Get a free Linux server with Google Cloud Platform

google-cloud-linux

After writing about the free (for one year) server available from AWS (see here), I thought I would write about a similar free server from Google Cloud Platform (GCP). There is one main difference between the two; Amazon provide a micro-server for 12 months for free as long as you stay within the allowable package where as Google provide you with a $300 credit that can last up to a maximum of 12 months. Amazon limits the free server instance for your account; 750 hours up-time per month (i.e. one continuously on instance), 1 CPU, 1Gb RAM and a maximum

Upgrade to PHP 5.6 on Ubuntu with GD library fix

PHP 5.6 GD

I’ve been running a couple of Ubuntu servers on AWS (not the free ones) for years that are still using PHP 5.5. Even though it is out of support I’ve kept with it. They host one of my old applications that I thought may be a problem on PHP 5.6 or later. I have two of these Ubuntu 14.04 LTS servers; one for test and one for production. I had a recent request to host another application that required PHP 5.6 as a minimum. These servers are under utilised so I went ahead and upgraded on the test server. Both

Get a free Linux server from Amazon Web Services

AWS free cloud server

I always have doubts when I see a claim that something is free but I needed to set up a server for a short period of time and have it publicly available for a few months. It will host three small demo applications and the number of users will be very low and their activity non-intensive. I really didn’t want to purchase anything as it’s for a non-profit or go through the trouble of setting up a more permanent solution as it has no reuse after this exercise. I knew AWS had a “free” tier and so I wondered if

Setting up a secure website certificate on an Ubuntu server

HTTPS Traffic

This article goes through the steps required to create and install a secure certificate on a website which will allow web traffic to be encrypted over https. The article uses the default website on an Apache 2 Ubuntu web server. It also mentions what to do for multiple websites each with their own secure certificate. It is part of my other articles on setting up an Ubuntu Linux server hosted using Amazon Web Services, but the same principals can be applied to any website on any server as the steps are the same. The starting point for this article is

Setting up a MySQL database on a Linux server

Setting up a MySQL database on a Linux server

This article goes through the steps required to create a MySQL database, a database user and give database permissions to that user. It also covered importing structure and data from a script together with a bit of information about creating tables and adding data. It is part of my other articles on setting up a “Ubuntu Linux” server hosted using Amazon Web Services, but the same principals can be applied to any Linux server as this article is just about using MySQL commands. If you do not already have MySQL installed then check out my previous article on “Setting up

Setting up scheduled tasks known as Cron Jobs on a Ubuntu server

Cron Jobs

In this short article, I will set up scheduled tasks known as Cron Jobs on a Ubuntu server. This will allow me to automatically run PHP scripts on the server at various points in time without any interaction. Any user account on the Ubuntu server can set up their own Cron Jobs which will run under their own account. If you want to make sure the scheduled task has full access to everything then it will need to run under a privileged account such as the “root” user and you can do that from a user account that has sudo

Hosting multiple websites on a single Apache server

Multiple Websites

In this article I will run through the setup of multiple websites on Apache on a single Ubuntu LAMP server. LAMP is a common acronym for a typical setup and stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. I will go through step by step using FileZilla (for transferring files) and PuTTY (command line interface for configuring the server). There are example screens walking through each step showing both enabling or disabling the default Apache website and adding/enabling other websites. The process is the same for each additional domain so after the section on the default website, it is repeatable for

Steps to securing your Apache web server on Ubuntu

Apache Security

This article goes through some of the things you can do to protect your web server from certain types of attacks and to keep the disclosure of information down to a minimum. It will show you how to help prevent clickjacking, SSL cipher or mime-based attacks. It will show you how to avoid error messages and other methods giving away more information than is needed. These can mostly be prevented at a server level so that they apply to all websites that you publish on the server. A brief description of what is being prevented and the resolution is included

Fixing GD by replacing the version in the bundled PHP package

PHP GD Library

The GD Library in PHP allows developers to output images from code in various formats rather than output HTML mark-up for displaying web pages or snippets. It is a very popular method of creating images used on web forms where the validity of a human user needs to be attained (this method is commonly known as Captcha). However, a bundled PHP distribution might not come with GD enabled and fully functioning such as those used by the “apt-get install php5” command on Ubuntu. Even after “apt-get install php5-gd” is run to fetch and installed the GD Library, PHP might not

Setting up Apache, MYSQL and PHP on Ubuntu Linux (LAMP)

Ubuntu LAMP

This article shows you the commands required to set up an Apache web server on a fresh Ubuntu Linux installation from a Command Line Interface. It goes through the steps to setup PHP and MySQL and link both to the Apache web server. It doesn’t just finish there though. I also cover installing OpenSSL for managing secure certificates, VSFTP for file transfer protocol accounts and the GD PHP image library. These are popular things to do for say running WordPress but not essential to a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) setup. The examples use Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Long Term