Setting up LAMP + WordPress

I wanted to research writing a WordPress plug-in. The problem? I have no idea how to do that!

I figured I’d need a WordPress environment to play in. So, rather than installing MySQL on my workstation and adding more clutter, I figured – why not just bring up the typical, simple installation that everyone uses?

What is LAMP?
You may have seen this acronym floating around, it means: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. That combination makes for a useful environment for development. This concept has been around for years, but for me personally, I haven’t really done anything with it.

Where do you start?
Well, it seems like Ubuntu is really the goto Linux distribution lately. It’s Debian-based which means it’s pretty reasonable to work with, a everything seems to work with it. So, I started by creating an Ubuntu virtual machine in Hyper-V. Download the .iso from here:

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

create a new virtual machine in Hyper-V and install the OS. Then, see here for fixing the default resolution.

Installing the “AMP” part of “LAMP”:
In the olden days (more than like 2+ years ago), this is where things turned into a nightmare. Rarely would there be an “installer”, and if there was, it didn’t work. You’d have to download, and perhaps even compile the dependencies, then compile the product you want – it was, a nightmare.

However, just like pretty much every other technology, there came about the idea of a “package manager” – similar to NuGet, Bower, NPM, which are all quite similar to the concept of an App Store for your phone. These package repositories have pre-built packages that you can add to your system, similar to how you add an app to your phone.

For Debian-based systems like Ubuntu, you can use “apt-get”, for Red Hat-based distributions, you’d use “rpm”, and for everything else, “yum” is still fairly popular. So, for our purposes, let’s get it simple and use “apt-get”. So, how to you install the Apache web server, MySQL, and then PHP? With these commands:

$ # Install the Apache web server.
$ sudo apt-get install apache2

$ # Install PHP5
$ sudo apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mysql

$ # Install MySQL
$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client

$ # Install WordPress
$ sudo apt-get install wordpress

It literally doesn’t get any easier than that, and it just works!

I’m back at a command-line… um, now what?
Oh yeah, I forgot – so the installers don’t really tell you much.

For Apache and PHP – on my installation, the web server root is at:

/var/www/html/

and there is even a default index.php in that root folder too. So, put PHP or HTML files there if you like, and you should be able to open a browser and navigate to that computers name or IP address on port 80.

For MySQL – you can use “mysqladmin” at any prompt to see a help screen, and you can start configuring your server from there. You can also use “mysql –u root –p” with a blank password and that may work (depending on the version). You can also install a PHP front-end for MySQL administration. I couldn’t get it working, but try installing:

$ sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

and there is a small wizard that you go through.

For WordPress – the root of the default site is:

/usr/share/wordpress/

however, this is not automagically mapped in Apache. To do that, edit this file:

$ sudo pico /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default.conf

In there, you’ll see a “DocumentRoot” – which is the root directory of the website, and which folder on the file system to which it points. In the empty line after that, add this line:

Alias /wordpress /usr/share/wordpress

Like this:

image

That will make it so that when you navigate to http://localhost/wordpress on the linux machine, it will serve the pages in the /usr/share/wordpress directory. You’ll need to restart the web server daemon for the change to take affect. You do that with:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

After that, you’ll see that the directory is now mapped to the URL.

Bottom line:
Particularly if you’ve never messed around with Linux, this is just a short crash-course on how to get a basic web installation set up. If you did this on a virtual machine, it’s even easier because it doesn’t require any hardware or for you to “mess up” any of your current configuration!

Posted in Computers and Internet, General, Infrastructure, Linux, Uncategorized

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