If you’ve ever went to the trouble of setting up WordPress on a Windows machine yourself, going through a PHP, MySQL and phpMyAdmin installation, then sort through all the IIS crap you run into you’ll love TurnKey Linux virtual appliances (aka pre-installed virtual machine boxes).
You can for example download a WordPress appliance which has all the stuff mentioned above pre-installed, launch it in VMWare Player, go through a 5 minute config et voilà! You have your very own virtual Ubuntu box up and running with a fully functioning fresh WordPress install on it. You can even flex your 1337 Linux command line skillz through “Shell in a box” which simulates a shell window in your browser. Or you can use SFTP/SSH. Wickedness indeed.
There’s more fun to be had though. Lot’s of other cool appliance are available containing tons of Open Source Software to be messed with. There’s a LAMP stack, one for Drupal, Ruby (how hip!) etc. Not quite geeky enough for ya? Well alright, go ahead then, get one of those appliances and upload it to Amazon EC2 and be all “in the cloud”. Cause they can do that you know. Oh yeah.
Don’t know if it’s a good idea though. Security wise and all.
(*) If you have VMWare Player installed and already downloaded the zip file of course. :)
For someone not accustomed to the Unix file system hierarchy you might have a hard time figuring out where the heck that package manager installed software you just selected. That is when it doesn’t occur automatically in your Ubuntu Application menu in the first place. Well there is a simply way to figure that out without having to look through all those mysterious usr, var and etc folders.
Open up your Synaptic Package manager.
Search and select the package you want to know the installation folder of.
Right click it, and select Properties.
Go to the Installed files tab of the property window.
There you have it, all installed files and there location on your disk.
Now you can manually browse to it and run it by double clicking the binary.
If you want to add a shortcut or launcher to your Applications menu for the newly installed app, you can do this by right clicking the Applications menu, and selecting “Edit menus”.
Step by step details on how to add a new entry can be found on ubuntugeek.com.
Online file storage systems usually have the drawback that you have to install a proprietary piece of software on your PC before you can start uploading and downloading files easily. Recently however I came across who.hasfiles.com and it turned out to be ass-kicking. The reason why I tried it in the first place, even though it doesn’t over that much space (only 100 mb) is that is claims work as a native disk for Windows, Mac or Linux.
Now that’s the kind of talk geeks like to hear! It even gets better. I tried this thing out, and besides actually working as promised, it even works through firewalls (like at work), which makes it really super-handy-dandy!
On Windows there’s nothing more to it than mapping your online storage as a new network drive, and using a local drive letter to access it. Hell, you can even use the net use command to map your drive, which means you can map or unmap it from batch scripts to do automated backups etc. Since the drive works like a native USB stick you hooked up to your system, you can access all your files easily through the explorer, using all your favourite software or even from the command line, and you won’t be able to tell the difference. Well, you might be able to guess since it’s going to be a tad slower than your local drives of course. You are connecting over teh interweb remember.
You can read how to map the drives for any OS on their site, and mapping it using the net use command to an X-drive goes like this:
net use x: http://yourname.hasfiles.com/storage/ /user:yourname yourpassword
The name servers are pointing to the new Linux machine from now on, and things are running smooth (so far).
The WordPress database issue was solved by upgrading to the latest 2.3.1 version, which required a DB upgrade anyway, and fixed the tables that where incorrect. I had manually fix the md5 hash codes for the passwords, but since only a few users have accounts here, that wasn’t a problem.
I have nice permalinks up again now, without that index.php thing in them even, so that’s even better than before. I’m using Dean’s Permalink Migration plugin to make sure old links from all over are still working, and not loose too much Google rank etc, though I doubt that all those http errors from the Windows machine did a lot of good for that.
While I’m at it, here’s a tip if you plan to migrate a WordPress installation any time soon. Then you’ve restored a database backup on a new system, the first thing to do is adjust the blog and site URL to the new location. While you’re at it, change the blog title as well.
WordPress has a habit of using those URLs a lot in redirects, and if you forgot to change those, you’ll end up being swung over to the site your backup is from. If you didn’t change your blog title there’s a big chance you won’t notice you’re now working on the live site, and might end up screwing things up.
Which ain’t fun.
You can find and change these parameters in your mySQL database in the wp_options table with the values (option_value) “home“, “siteurl” and “blogname“.