WordPress + nginx quick setup

wordpress-logo-notext-rgbWordPress is a very popular blogging platform. We have a number of posts on how to set it up and keep it up to date on here already. In general those methods focus on deploying under the Apache web server.

Recently we were pointed to a scripted method developed by they guys at rtcamp.com. They have a bunch of python scripts that have developed into a pretty neat tool-set for fast easy WordPress setup under Nginx.

You can use an existing mysql database service or let the tool install the latest version of the high performance mariadb database.

EasyEngine also configures email so you can get all those useful notices from your new wordpress install. And sets up basic security to help you get started with confidence.

It includes change control using git, which should be very handy for developers. And implements a built in backup function (ee site backup) and the ability to update wordpress from the command line.

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Credit card processor change

4442855985_235331b281_oFYI our original credit card processor (WorldPay) has pulled out of the New Zealand market.  We are now using a different credit card processor (BNZ).

You may find that the transaction description that appears on your CC statement is slightly different.  It should still clearly identify the payment as being to RimuHosting (including for customers of our other services, like LaunchtimeVPS Zonomi DNS Hosting, Bakop, Pingability and 25 Mail St

The new processor provides more detailed 'declined' error messages.  Which should make resolving any payment issues a little easier.

We continue to be able to charge in USD, AUD, EUR, GBP and NZD.  Some credit card issuers are adding on fees for USD transactions on USD accounts if the credit card processor is overseas.  If you see any extra fees please do let know the details.  It would be good to know which card issuers are guilty of this practice and what they are charging.

Image credit: gdsdigital

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Running Vagrant in your VPS

vagrantVagrant is often used to set up development environments in a standardized way, so that your software project deployed via vagrant has a standard environment with all the operating system components and set-up it needs to work properly. It creates a virtual machine to provide this environment, so that different developers can work on it without needing to reconfigure their workstations to the requirements of the application.

If you want to use vagrant on a rimu server, you'll have no problems with a rimuhosting dedicated server. However, if the project budget doesn't stretch that far yet, what other options do you have? Normally you can't create virtual machines on your ri.mu VPS, because it's a virtual machine itself, and currently virtual machines can't be nested inside other virtual machines. However, you can use Vagrant's docker provider, which uses linux containers to provide the virtual machine. This works because linux containers, unlike virtual machines, will run inside the XEN virtual machines that are used for ri.mu VPSs.

In this post, I show how to set up a Debian docker container with systemd and an ssh server, so we can ssh into it and it behaves like a regular VM. (This is not the "Docker way" of doing things, but it works well with Vagrant.) Continue reading

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Getting help

sandrThe following conversation plays out in our inbox and Live Chat a good few times a week.

In fact, you may have received a link to this post from one of those places.

If so, then the dialog below could be an easy way for you to better understand your situation and to get the quickest resolution to your problem...

"Is there a problem in $datacentername?"

There might be.  There are lots of servers and switches in each of the data centers we use.

A better opener might be something like "When I go to $someurl it says $something and instead it should be loading $suchandsuchapage".

Let us know:

  • what you are doing (URL you are on, command you are running, ...),
  • what you are seeing, and
  • what you expect to see.

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Restoring an Exploited WordPress files

wordpress-hackedI previously had a 10 step process to replace all the files in a wordpress, this got rid of most file based exploits.

Since then i have written a shell script that pretty much incorperates that

wget http://blog.rimuhosting.com/files/restorewordpress.sh
chmod +x restorewordpress.sh
./restorewordpress.sh /full/path/to/documentroot

Note: This does not do custom themes or plugins (only ones from wordpress.com), and its a good idea to double check the wp-config.php is clean, either before, or immediately after doing this.

Please let me know if you have any issues at all with this script, or modifications needing to be made.

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Free Kubernetes hosting for developers

KubernetesRimuHosting are working on a command line tool set to easily setup and manage a Kubernetes cluster.  We are currently in a trial phase.

During this phase we will be providing free Kubernetes cluster hosting to developers needing an easy-to-setup, publicly-accessible Kubernetes cluster to hack on.

Just email support at rimuhosting, mention this blog post URL and give us a brief summary of what you plan to do.  We will help get you setup with your own Kubernetes cluster for a few months (no cost).

If you are heading to KubeCon this month, this could be the perfect setup for trying out different recipes.

For more details on our Kubernetes management tool stack see our project at https://github.com/pbkwee/rimuhosting-k8s .  We invite you to fork the project and contribute improvements.  Let us know what you are working on: $$$ bounties are on offer.

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Kubernetes support on RimuHosting VMs

Kubernetes"Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions. Using the concepts of "labels" and "pods", it groups the containers which make up an application into logical units for easy management and discovery."

After our recent introduction of CoreOS support we are extending our containerization support by adding a Kubernetes toolset: commandline tools that work with our server management API to setup a Kubernetes master server and multiple minions.  This toolset has been open sourced and is available for you to use in setting up and operating your Kubernetes clusters.

This is an initial release and we welcome your pull requests and feedback.

For the latest version of this document see https://github.com/pbkwee/rimuhosting-k8s

Using rimuhosting-k8s

Get a server API key at https://rimuhosting.com/cp/apikeys.jsp

If you do not already have a server with us, you will need to email RimuHosting and ask them to enable automated server setups on your account.

Git clone this project as well as https://github.com/pbkwee/RimuHostingAPI. The https://github.com/pbkwee/RimuHostingAPI project has a few changes required for rimuhosting-k8s and Python3.

Then on both run:

python3 setup.py build install

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RimuHosting offering CoreOS

coreos-logoYou can now order RimuHosting VMs running CoreOS!

CoreOS lets you provide startup 'recipies' (via cloud init files) to automatically install and provision container based micro services and applications.  You can use tools like fleet and kubernetes to manage clusters of CoreOS servers.

Setting up a CoreOS server is easy.  You just use our regular ordering or install pages.  When you select the CoreOS option you will be prompted to provide a block of (standard) cloud init data.  If you are using your API, then provide a /var/lib/coreos-install/user_data file via our file_injection_data parameter.

About our setup:

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Letting 3rd parties update credit card details

3714941137_cebcdcac56_mSome of our customers pay for their servers using a 3rd party's credit card (their boss', partner's or a generous friend's).

Every now and then those details need to get updated (new CC expiry dates, or a replacement card).


You can now let 3rd parties set their credit card details on our site without having to get them a login to the RimuHosting control panel.  And without them having to give you their credit card details.

The 3rd party credit credit card link is on each credit card billing details page.  It only works for that specific page, not other pages/cards.  It is only valid for a fixed time (currently 48 hours).  To use it simply copy and paste the link to the cardholder so they can update or set the credit card details.

Image credit: barsen

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DebConf15 Report


Canon EOS 650D

We love Debian.  A lot.  In fact we make it our recommended distro.  We do that since it makes it easy to deploy, and maintain most recent packages resulting in fewer sysadmin headaches for us and our customers.

This year we decided to send a delegation of one (Juan Rossi) to attend DebConf 15.  Juan had a great time at the conference and here is a precis of what was seen... Continue reading

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