New images on City Cloud. This time with something extra.

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Since City Cloud got out of beta, a couple of years ago, we have been steadily adding images and upgrading when necessary. We have added quite a few options in terms of operating systems, we currently have Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Gentoo, Fedora Core, Red Hat Enterprise, FreeBSD and Windows 2008 server.

Images allow you to setup a new VM and have an operating system up and running in a matter of minutes. This saves you a lot of hassle. Now, we are going to go a step further and add something extra.

Read on to find out more.

Again and again

When installing a web server, a database server or an application, the process usually ends up being the same. Install the operating system, setup configuration options, change the defaults to make the server more secure and finally install the applications. For instance, installing something like Apache on different servers is a fairly similar process, which varies only when setting up a specific site (that might require a different module than the default, or a different configuration on the virtual host file, etc).

With the advent of mainstream Cloud Computing, there are a few companies that offer servers that come pre-packaged with standard software. We do that here with the 1-click installers on our shared web hosting environment but now we are going a step further and offer you something like that, only this time, for City Cloud.

Our first image: L.AM.P.

Our idea is to constantly give you new images. On this occasion we are starting with a pretty popular one: L.A.M.P.

For those of you who still are not aware, L.A.M.P. is an acronym for a popular platform comprised of a variant of Linux, Apache web server, MySQL database server and the PHP scripting language.

This setup basically allows you to upload a site (via SCP which is already enabled), create a virtual host, setup the database and off you go.

Instructions and details

Let’s get down to the specifics. The software installed, is the following:

  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux 11.10 64-bit Server (Oneiric Ocelot)
  • Apache 2 (MPM prefork) version: 2.2.20
  • PHP version 5.3.6-13
  • MySQL server version 5.1

We have also taken the liberty to create a dummy user and a virtual host, along with a small php script that you can use to check that everything is working fine. And of course, you could base your first site off of that or delete it altogether.

The user is called “webuser” and the virtual host is called “dummy-site”. Please refer to the Apache documentation on how to manage virtual hosts.

You can easily test that everything is working by pointing your IP address (check the server details on the City Cloud control panel) to the host “dummy-site”. Which basically means adding the following line to your Windows or Linux hosts file:

public_ip_address dummy-site

After that, just point your browser to http://dummy-site and if everything went well, you should see the output of the phpinfo() function which displays a comprehensive list of options available to PHP.

For your information, the credentials for the users are on the description of the VM, this includes the administrator user, the regular user and the MySQL root password. Bear in mind that the system has been setup so you have to change them at your first login (the same process implemented for the other images).

From here on, it´s up to you to continue setting up your website.

Just the beginning

Our idea is to upload one new image per week, for a least several weeks. We are aiming for those applications that are the most used ones but if you have a suggestion for a pre-packaged one, feel free to leave a comment and we´ll take it into consideration.

Last but not least, we have labeled this image as Beta so feel free to test it and report back to us if you find anything odd. Be advised that you will be still charged for the usage of the VM so use it with care, although thanks to our flexible hourly rate platform, you can easily test this in less than an hour and then delete it or continue using it.