Monthly Archives

April 2012

Setting Up a Website on Amazon AWS

Amazon AWS Enrollment

After signing up for AWS I was enrolled automagically into their wonder 1-Year Free Tier Service meant as a means of allowing new business’ / users to effectively learn their cloud systems without fear of spending money. Its not only a sharply smart business move, its also an enjoyable experience, as I found earlier this week.

Obviously you can’t go crazy, I’ll leave it to you to check out their FAQs on the Free Tier service.

Before their new GUI into their AWS system it was supposedly some sort of a nightmare requiring 3rd party apps using their API or web-browser plugins like “Elastifox”. *shudder*

Fortunately for you and I, that’s a thing of the past with their new login system at

Instance Wizard

So I went through their Wizard for creating a new EC2 Instance (where you basically go through the process of creating your very own Virtual Machine in the Amazon cloud).

What’s great about this Wizard is that you no longer have to go through the hurdle of figuring how to create the machine, installing the OS (they now let you use virtual hard drives images of pre-installed operating systems).

In my case I went with most of the default options, selected my default image with an install of Ubuntu 11.10 (apparently still have to wait for Ubuntu 12.04 [Precise Pangolin] to make it out of Beta 2) on an 8GB EBS Volume (read: “hard drive” or “virtual hard drive” if you please), Also when I created my default security settings I made to open up ports 80 and 10000. (80 for the obvious reason that if you can’t access this port, a website won’t do you much good, and 10000 to access webmin – my favorute linux web-based administration tool)

Final Instance Setup

Anyhow, after doing that, I requested an Elastic IP address and assigned it to my new virtual machine. Then I “turned on” the computer (or “instance”) within 2 minutes it was fully booted and ready to be accessed.

Linux Server Setup

I promptly proceeded to SSH into my new box (which you can access by use of Java if you right-click on your instance and click on “Connect“.

Be sure to connect as ubuntu instead of root and use your PEM file that you get to download when creating the instance.

Personally I then upload my personalized .bashrc config file and promptly sudo su since that’s my style. Stick to yours and dont bug me, I’ve been on Unix since 1988 and I’m not going to change my habits now 😉

Next thing’s next I installed a LAMP environment (including phpmyadmin), you can use any method you like – personally I like to manually install each package using apt-get instead of using something like tasksel , but there are plenty of on-line guides for that.

Next I installed webmin :

1. Edit apt sources

Edit /etc/apt/sources.list

At the end of the file, add these two lines, then save and close:

deb sarge contrib
deb sarge contrib

2. Import now the GPG key using these commands:

apt-key add jcameron-key.asc
apt-get update

3. Install now Webmin with this command:

apt-get install webmin

4. Be sure to set the password:

/usr/share/webmin/ /etc/webmin root password

Then enter /var/www/ and viola! You now have a website ready-to-go on Amazon’s amazing new AWS cloud.


Last things last would be to install mosh – which if you haven’t heard of this before, consider it the next level in remote login, its as much an advancement above telnet as SSH was. Check out more about it


add-apt-repository ppa:keithw/mosh
apt-get update
apt-get install mosh