Installing Magento on a Linode VPS with Ubuntu 9.10

Magento is an interesting and emerging player in the e-commerce space. I wanted to get a feel for the application so I thought I’d install a copy of the community edition in a Linode VPS.


Although you can run all of the following as the root user, it is strongly recommended to create a non-root account and run the following commands using sudo.

  1. Become a Linode customer and create an instance in the Linode Manager using the Ubuntu 9.10 profile.
  2. SSH into your VPS instance using the root account and the password that you configured when provisioning your Linode.
  3. Install the core software for a LAMP Server (Apache, MySQL, PHP) by running the following command:
    sudo tasksel install lamp-server
    A blue installation progress screen will appear, you’ll be asked to provide certain configuration parameters (like a root password for MySQL.
    When the blue screen disappears the installation of Apache, MySQL and PHP will be complete.
  4. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and uncomment the ‘universe’ repsoitories.
  5. Update apt so that it is aware of the new repositories by running the following command:
    sudo apt-get update
  6. Install mcrypt by running the following command:

    $ sudo apt-get install php5-mcrypt

  7. Enable mcrypt by editing the php.ini file by editing /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini and adding the following line to
    the extensions section of the php.ini file:
  8. Generate new Symlinks in /etc/apache2/mods-enabled so that Apache 2 enable the extension for URL rewriting by running the following
    $ sudo a2enmod rewrite
  9. Next the following lines need to be put at the end of /etc/apache2/apache2.conf:

    <Directory "/var/www/magento">
    AllowOverride All
    (Assuming that Magento is going to be installed in /var/www/magento otherwise, edit the path accordingly)
  10. Next install the additional software required for the installation with the following commands:

    $ sudo apt-get install php5-curl php5-gd subversion
  11. Restart Apache for the PHP settings and the Apache settings to take affect:

    $ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

  12. Create a MySQL database for the installation with the following command:
    $ sudo mysqladmin -u root -p create 'magento'

  13. Install Magento from subversion using the following commands:

    $ cd /var/www
    $ sudo svn checkout
    $ sudo mv 1.3 magento
  14. Set the correct permissions for the installation wizard with the following commands:

    $ sudo chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/magento/app
    $ sudo chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/magento/var
    $ sudo chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/magento/media
    $ sudo chmod 770 /var/www/magento/app/etc
    $ sudo chmod 770 /var/www/magento/var
    $ sudo chmod 770 /var/www/magento/media
    $ sudo chmod 770 /var/www/magento/media/downloadable
    $ sudo chmod 770 /var/www/magento/media/import
  15. You should now be able to run the Magento Installation Wizard by pointing your browser at http://hostname/magento/ .

Your mileage may vary but the above steps worked for me.

This post was inspired by Installing Magento on Slicehost with Ubuntu.


Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Beta under VMware Fusion 2.06

This evening I installed the recently released Ubuntu 9.10 Beta in virtual machine under VMware Fusion version 2.06 on OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).

I downloaded the “Alternate Install” ISO so that I would have an image that will work for the widest variety of hardware and situations.

The installation went fine and operationally the system appears to run just fine, but the installation of the VMware Tools consistently gave a “black screen” upon reboot. I tried a couple (1 2 ) of the proposed workarounds with no success.

So at this point I’d suggest not installing the VMware Tools or at a minimum creating a Snapshot of the system prior to installing the tools to allow for an easy recovery.

VMware Fusion 2.0.5 now includes support for Ubuntu 9.04

The recently released VMware Fusion 2.0.5 now officially supports Ubuntu 9.04. In addition over 80 bugs have been fixed.

Workarounds like this install tools hack and this keyboard, mouse, and shared folders tip are no longer necessary.

After removing the previous version of the VMwareTools, installing the version that ships with 2.0.5 (7.9.6-173382), and rebooting, all is well.

Intel Launches Nehalem-based Xeon Processors

This week Intel officially launched their new Nehalem-based Xeon processors.

Nehalem-based processors for desktops were launched last year under the Core i7 brand.

Intel claims that in addition to offering significantly higher level of performance than the processors that they replace, the Nehalem systems will consume up to 20 per cent less energy.

The architecture boasts the following features:

  • Integrated memory controller supporting two or three memory channels of DDR3 SDRAM or four FB-DIMM channels.
  • Integrated graphics processor (IGP) located off-die, but in the same CPU package.
  • A new point-to-point processor interconnect, the Intel QuickPath Interconnect, replacing the legacy front side bus.
  • Simultaneous multithreading (SMT) by multiple cores and hyperthreading, which enables two threads per core.
  • Turbo Boost which allows the operating system to request more performance, and if the chip is within its thermal power constraints, it can ramp up the clock speed for each individual core.
  • Improved virtualization performance

This appears to be one of the most significant releases of an x86 architecture processor in the last several years.

The new processor interconnect (QPI) in and of itself in rectifies a long standing architectural weakness in Intel processors.

OpenSolaris and Solaris have already been optimized for the Nehalem and provide good examples of the improvements enabled by this new architecture.

I guess it is safe to declare that my current desktop dream machine is the new Nehalem-based Mac Pro.

Installing Ubuntu 9.04 beta Under VMware Fusion

This morning I installed the recently released Ubuntu 9.04 Beta in virtual machine under VMware Fusion on OS X.

I usually download the “Alternate Install” ISO so that I have an image that will work for the widest variety of hardware and situations.

The installation went fine, but after the first boot following the installation the automatic installation of the VMware tools did not work and continued to fail. Initiating the “Install VMware Tools” function from the menu caused an ever increasing number of instances of Nautilus file browser windows to be opened. (Note: If this is happening to on your system use the “Cancel Install of VMware Tools” function from the menu.)

The first thing I tried was to run the Update Manager to apply any updates since the beta ISO was released. Sadly, despite applying about 165MB in updates the problem remained.

Next, I opened a Terminal session and ran the following command to ensure that I had an adequate minimal build environment for the installation of the tools. I thought that perhaps a build component was missing that VMware Tools was expecting to find.
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential

When that did not work I decided to try manually installing the tools.

I started by initiating the “Install VMware Tools” function from the VMware Tools menu, and then opened a Terminal window and performed the following actions:

  • $ df -v (to see the mount point of the virtual cdrom image that contains the install tools archive)
  • $ cd /media/cdrom (use the actual mount point on your system)
  • $ cp VMwareTools-7.9.3-146107.tar.gz ~/Desktop (use the actual filename on your system)
  • Clicked “Cancel the VMware Tools Installation” from the VMware Tools menu and went back to the Terminal
  • $ cd ~/Desktop
    $ tar xvfz VMwareTools-7.9.3-146107.tar.gz
    $ cd vmware-tools-distrib
    $ sudo ./
    and take the defaults to each question.

So far everything else seems to be functioning normally.

The next step is to begin working on a 9.04 release of pywebdev package.

Ubuntu v9.04 Beta under VMware Fusion
Ubuntu v9.04 Beta under VMware Fusion