How to install a personal web server

You don't need to be a system administrator to run your own web server

The other server we installed was OpenSSH, and you can also make use of this from any SSH client - Putty on Windows, for example, or the ssh command from any Linux machine. Type

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ssh followed by the IP address of your server and you'll see the same login screen you do when you start your machine. Log in and you'll be able to do everything you can from the machine, only remotely. This means you can now hide your server away somewhere and use a remote connection when you need to change things, either from the internet or from your LAN.

Most people don't build a website from scratch (although the world might be a better place if more people had to), so we're going to install a pre-built web framework that should make it easy to get your content online from your own server.

The software we're going to install is WordPress, which is probably the world's most popular blogging platform. There's more to it than blogs though - it's a comprehensive and easy to use content management system that can be easily augmented and themed using its fantastic plug-in system. All it needs is Apache, MySQL, Linux and PHP - all of which we've already covered.

Install Wordpress


The first step is to grab the Ubuntu packages for WordPress by typing sudo apt-get install wordpress. Unfortunately, this doesn't include any configuration.

Once the packages are installed, we first need to create a symbolic link from the folder where WordPress is installed to the folder that Apache is using to serve content.

This can be done by first removing the old www folder with the command sudo rm -rf /var/www, and then replacing it with the link by typing sudo ln -s /usr/share/wordpress/var/www/.

We now need to run a script that will create the MySQL database for us automatically. This can be done with the following command: sudo bash /usr/share/doc/wordpress/examples/setup-mysql -n wordpress

Here, 'wordpress' is the username for the database, and '' is the IP address of the server from which you need to access it. If you want access from the internet, it needs to be your connection's IP address rather than that of the server on your LAN.

With a bit of luck, when you point your browser at the server, the 'It Works' message will have been replaced by the WordPress installation screen.

The final steps are to walk through this easy installation to build your required setup. Just enter a site name, email address and password. A few moments later, you'll find yourself with a fully fledged WordPress installation. Log in and start playing.