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Dependencies - Launch Cloud Instance

Before deploying a web server, first a cloud instance must be lauched. The instruction to do this can be found here. For the remainder of the instructions the ip address used is, this is for demonstration purposes and you should replace it with your assigned floating IP address.

  1. login to
  2. Don’t forget volume size
  3. Choose Debian 9.2.2 (not required, but the remaining instructions are Debian centric).
  4. Choose persistent (ephemeral is for shorter jobs) (4C-8GB)
  5. Setup keypair
  6. Associate floating ip

(Optional) Apply IP Address to your name server

If you have a registered domain name you should apply your floating IP address to it so that you can use the "let's encrypt" service to enable the secure socket layer without client side warnings. It is often best to do this at the beginning as there is typically a delay in updating the name service.

Server Setup

Login to Server & perform preliminaries

At this point log into the server to ensure that the service is up and running. There are a number of steps you can perform that will make the remaining steps easier. First loging to the server. Then setup a user prompt to make navigation easier. Switch to root (or use sudo in from of the remaining commands). Update and upgrade the system. Last install the manual pages.

   $ ssh debian@
   $ echo 'export PS1="\[\e[33m\]\w\[\e[0m\]\n\[\e[32m\]\u@\h$ \[\e[0m\]"' >> .bash_aliases
   $ sudo su root
   $ apt update
   $ apt upgrade
   $ apt install man

Apt error

If you receive the "apt error" mesage put "nameserver" in /etc/resolve.conf.

   $ echo 'nameserver >>' /etc/resolve.conf

Secure the SSH login

The following changes will disable logging into the server by using a password on any account and prevent logging into root remotly. Root can still be accessed by logging into a sudo enabled account and using the command su root. For more information on the sshd_config file options, go here. The unattended-upgrades package is used to keep they server up to date automatically.

   $ sudo vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config
   ChallengeResponseAuthentication no
   PasswordAuthentication no
   PermitRootLogin no
   $ service ssh reload
   $ apt install unattended-upgrades
   $ dpkg-reconfigure --priority=low unattended-upgrades
   $ sudo unattended-upgrade -d

Install webserver and suppporting packages


   $ apt install mysql-server
   $ mysql_secure_installation #password=password


Installing the Apache webserver will allow you to access a default page at your ip address. (ex, or Note that https will not yet work. httpd is the Apache HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) server program. It is designed to be run as a standalone daemon process. When used like this it will create a pool of child processes or threads to handle requests. In general, httpd should not be invoked directly, but rather should be invoked via apachectl on Unix-based systems or as a service on Windows NT, 2000 and XP and as a console application on Windows 9x and ME.

   $ apt install apache2
   $ service apache2 start #add 80, 443 to default security group rules
   $ a2enmod cgid.load #(optional) enable cgi scripting, a2dismod to remove

Basic information & settings

  1. Document root Directory: /var/www/html or /var/www
  2. Main Configuration file:
    1. /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf (RHEL/CentOS/Fedora)
    2. /etc/apache2/apache2.conf (Debian/Ubuntu).
  3. Default HTTP Port: 80 TCP
  4. Default HTTPS Port: 443 TCP
  5. Access Log files of Web Server: /var/log/apache2/access_log
  6. Error Log files of Web Server: /var/log/apache2/error_log
  7. service apache2 {start|stop|graceful-stop|restart|reload|force-reload}
  8. apachectl -v
    1. see

Secure Apache with SSL certificates

Going to https is now possible but will trigger a warning.

   $ a2enmod ssl
   $ a2ensite default-ssl.conf
   $ service apache2 restart

Enable let's encrypt (requires a domain name)

   $ apt install git
   $ sudo git clone  /opt/letsencrypt
   $ cd /opt/letsencrypt
   $ ./certbot-auto --authenticator webroot --installer apache

Add basic user-password verfication

   $ mkdir /var/www/passwd
   $ htpasswd -c /var/www/passwd/passwords user
   $ vim /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
   <Directory /var/www/html>
       Require valid-user
       AuthType basic
       AuthName "Restricted Files"
       AuthUserFile "/var/www/passwd/passwords"
   $ service apache2 restart

Helper packages

Install PHP

   $ apt -y install php7.0 libapache2-mod-php7.0 php7.0-mysql php7.0-gd php7.0-opcache
   $ echo ‘<?php phpinfo(); ?>’ > /var/www/html/test.php

Give www-data an ssh key and ownership of home directory

$ chmod 774 /var/www/html $ chown www-data:www-data -R /var/www $ mkdir /var/www/.ssh $ chown www-data:www-data /var/www/.ssh $ sudo -u www-data ssh-keygen -C www-data #no passphrase for now