My new fire-breathing dragon of a server is sitting idle at the moment. I would have liked to have had it up and running today, but now I’m starting to realize why it took me so long to migrate off my Pentium II-450. Setting up Linux web servers is a lot more complicated than it was in 2001.
They can do a lot more than they could in 2001 too, but when I first built that server, the process literally went in about three steps: Install Debian, apt-get install apache mysql php, then download blogging software, create a MySQL database and account for it, edit a config file, then start blogging. You could get it done in an hour, and a lot of that time was waiting for stuff to load off a CD-ROM or download over a 256K DSL connection.
Try that same drill today, and you’ll have a web server, PHP and MySQL running, but they won’t be talking to each other.
I found several how-to guides for getting Nginx, PHP, MySQL, and WordPress running, but none resulted in a functioning system when I followed them. So then I tried switching back to Apache, and nothing I tried with that resulted in a functioning system either. I just found another Nginx-based guide that someone else used today to get a functioning system (he said it took him six hours). So I’ll try that next, and hope I can do it in less than six hours.
At one point tonight, I decided to start over, and you can imagine my horror when I realized I just destroyed my production server (this one). I’d selected the wrong SSH window. Sysadmin work is a lot harder when a four-year-old is hammering you with questions about everything except what you’re trying to think about. Not that I’m making excuses; I shouldn’t have had that SSH connection to my live server open. I quickly restored the nuked files from a backup, but then the site still didn’t work. For some reason I had a permissions issue. Don’t ask me how I figured that out.