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David Stamen

Senior Virtualization Engineer

VCAP-DCA | MCSA | VMware vExpert | Cisco Champion | PernixPro

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Did you know you could get host your own blog on Ravello Systems?

Its actually quite easy and even easier with Jekyll. Jekyll is a great static content platform perfect for hosting your blog. It is all based on html/css/markdown and requires absolutely no database.

Please use my previous blog on how to get it deployed.

Lets get started!

  • Logon to your existing Ravello account. If you do not have one you can sign up for the free trial
  • Create your Application

  • Once your application is created you will be dropped to the Canvas. Here we can use a pre-existing blueprint(template) as our base. I used Ubuntu Server 14.04.1 20150301.
  • Click and drag it to your Canvas.

  • By Default, the blueprint is a 1CPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB HDD which should be plenty to run your blog. You can customize your virtual machine on the following fields. Make sure to hit save!
    • Summary: Overall Details of your VM
    • General: Name your VM here, add a description and hostname. You will also create and choose your keypair to use to logon to the linux server
    • System: Allocate your CPU and RAM here
    • Disks: Modify disk size or allocate additional space
    • Network: Set IP to be DHCP or Static within your application.
      • Pro Tip: Use an Elastic IP so your server always has the same external IP
    • Services: Set what ports you want available externally, by default 22 for ssh is there, you will want to add http(port80) for your website to become available.
  • You will now see your updated VM and tabs for the enabled services. Now you are ready to Publish it.

  • Here you will chose whether you want to publish your VM for cost or performance and if you want to use Amazon or Google clouds.
    • I have chosen to use Amazon Performance based out of Virginia. You can see the details and breakdown on cost.

  • Your VM will now be published and started.
    • Once it is started you will see the status and the information to access it.

  • You can ssh to yoserver-jekyll-eagwapmr.srv.ravcloud.com linux VM with the following syntax.
    • ssh [email protected] -i keyfilename.pem
  • Now you are logged on you can install and configure NGINX to host your website.
    • Update the repository: sudo apt-get update
    • Install NGINX: sudo apt-get install nginx
  • Access your blog http://server-jekyll-eagwapmr.srv.ravcloud.com/
    • If you setup your services appropriately you will now see the Welcome to nginx! site. What?! It is that easy? Yep!

  • We will go one step further to reconfigure to host our own blog.
    • Create directory to host your site: sudo mkdir /var/www/mydomain.com
    • Make website folder available publically: sudo chmod 775 /var/www/mydomain.com
    • Upload your website content here. For Jekyll upload the built _sites folder.
  • Now lets configure nginx to host your new website!
    • Copy default configuration file as a template: sudo cp /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-available/mydomain.com
    • Use VIM to update file: VIM /etc/nginx/sites-available/mydomain.com
    • We only need to edit a few lines here:
      • Change host directory from: root /usr/share/nginx/html; to root /var/www/mydomain.com
      • Change server_name to be your websites URL: server_name localhost; to server_name www.mydomain.com mydomain.com;
  • Create link to publish site: sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/mydomain.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
  • Reload nginx config: sudo service nginx restart
  • Your new site is now available! Enjoy being your own hosting provider.