I wanted to see if I could get the self-hosted WordPress.org software installed on an OpenBSD server — the devio.us machine that offers free shell accounts (though I’m not sure if they’re doing that at this exact moment).
It worked. And it did take 5 minutes.
I mucked around on the command line and broke it. Then I took another 5 minutes and reinstalled WordPress.
I broke it a couple more times. That’s what new blogs are for — breaking.
I started a new blog, Master and Server, mostly just to see if I could install the WordPress.org software on the devio.us OpenBSD server, but also to provide a place to detail my experiments with servers in general.
The blog’s (and my) mission:
Mortals can (and should be able to) install, configure and use servers
Mucking with servers is fun
Life is better when you know how things work
In my first “project,” I am somewhat surprised at how easy it is to install WordPress in devio.us’ OpenBSD environment, even when I make an error and have to reinstall. Five minutes times two is pretty darn easy.
I believe that it’s fairly easy to turn just about any Linux server into a WordPress installation. There is even a port of WordPress for OpenBSD. I thought that I’d try to run Movable Type on OpenBSD, but getting PHP and Perl working with the Web server looks incredibly difficult. If somebody else did this and laid out how they managed it (like How to Forge), I could probably follow along, but the difficulty of dealing with the chroot environment in OpenBSD’s default Apache Web server — which isolates the Web server’s files from the rest of the computer for security purposes — makes it extremely difficult for mortals to set up services in the Web server environment.
For a normal Web server with nothing but HTML pages (and no PHP, Perl/CGI), OpenBSD couldn’t be an easier system to use. It’s when things get more complicated that this that the non-OpenBSD geek is especially challenged.
But as I say, there is a WordPress port for OpenBSD, as well as WordPress packages for GNU/Linux systems such as Debian. I also seem to remember talk about a Movable Type package for Debian Lenny, and if it made the installation and configuration of the blogging system easier, I’d be all for it.
As it is now, between installing and configuring MySQL (or PostgreSQL), making sure PHP and Perl are running and getting all the directory permissions correctly set, putting together one of these blogging systems, even on Linux, is no trivial matter. The last time I set up Movable Type, all the MySQL issues I was having prompted me to dump it and use SQLite as my database software. At least MT gives you some options in this regard.