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Securing Your Connections: A Guide to SSH Key authentication

Securing Your Connections: A Guide to SSH Keys

SSH (Secure Shell) is a fundamental tool for securely connecting to remote servers. While traditional password authentication works, it can be vulnerable to brute-force attacks. SSH keys offer a more robust and convenient solution for secure access.
SSH authentication using SSH keys

This blog post will guide you through the world of SSH keys, explaining their types, generation process, and how to manage them for secure remote connections and how to configure SSH key authentication.

Understanding SSH Keys: An Analogy
Imagine your home has two locks:

  • Combination Lock (Password): Anyone can access your home if they guess the correct combination.
  • High-Security Lock (SSH Key): Only someone with a specific physical key (your private key) can unlock the door.

    Similarly, SSH keys work in pairs:

  • Private Key: A securely stored key on your local machine. You never share this.
  • Public Key: A unique identifier you share with the server you want to access.
    The server verifies the public key against your private key when you attempt to connect. This verification ensures only authorized users with the matching private key can access the server.

    Types of SSH Keys
    There are many types of SSH keys, we are discussing the two main ones:

    RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman): The traditional and widely supported option. It offers a good balance of security and performance.
    Ed25519 (Edwards-curve Digital Signature Algorithm): A newer, faster, and potentially more secure option gaining popularity.

    RSA vs. Ed25519 Keys:

  • Security: Both are considered secure, but Ed25519 might offer slightly better theoretical resistance against certain attacks.
  • Performance: Ed25519 is generally faster for both key generation and signing/verification compared to RSA. This can be beneficial for slower connections or resource-constrained devices.
  • Key Size: RSA keys are typically 2048 or 4096 bits, while Ed25519 keys are 256 bits. Despite the smaller size, Ed25519 offers comparable security due to the underlying mathematical concepts.
  • Compatibility: RSA is widely supported by all SSH servers. Ed25519 is gaining popularity but might not be universally supported on older servers.

    Choosing Between RSA and Ed25519:

    For most users, Ed25519 is a great choice due to its speed and security. However, if compatibility with older servers is a critical concern, RSA remains a reliable option.

    Generating SSH Keys with ssh-keygen
    Here’s how to generate your SSH key pair using the ssh-keygen command:

    Open your terminal.

    Run the following command, replacing with your desired name for the key pair:

    ssh-keygen -t <key_type> -b 4096 -C "<your_email@example.com>"
  • <key_type>: Choose either rsa or ed25519.
  • -b 4096: Specifies the key size (4096 bits is recommended for strong security).
  • -C “<your_email@example.com”>: Adds a comment to your key (optional).

    You’ll be prompted to enter a secure passphrase for your private key. Choose a strong passphrase and remember it well (it’s not mandatory, but highly recommended for added security).

    The command will generate two files:

    <key_name>>.pub: The public key file (you’ll add this to the server).
    <key_name>>: The private key file (keep this secure on your local machine).

    Important Note: Never share your private key with anyone!

    Adding Your Public Key to the Server’s authorized_keys File

    1. Access the remote server you want to connect to (through a different method if you haven’t set up key-based authentication yet).
    2. Locate the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file on the server (the ~ represents your home directory). You might need to create the .ssh directory if it doesn’t exist.
    3. Open the authorized_keys file with a text editor.
    4. Paste the contents of your public key file (.pub) into the authorized_keys file on the server.
    5. Save the authorized_keys file on the server.

    Permissions:

    Ensure the authorized_keys file has permissions set to 600 (read and write access only for the owner).

    Connecting with SSH Keys
    Once you’ve added your public key to the server, you can connect using your private key:

    ssh <username>@<server_address>

    You’ll be prompted for your private key passphrase (if you set one) during the connection. That’s it! You’re now securely connected to the server without needing a password.

    Benefits of SSH Keys:

  • Enhanced Security: More secure than password authentication, making brute-force attacks ineffective.
  • Convenience: No need to remember complex passwords for multiple servers.
  • Faster Logins: SSH key-based authentication is often faster than password authentication.

    By implementing SSH keys, you can significantly improve the security and convenience of your remote server connections. Remember to choose strong passwords and keep your private key secure for optimal protection.

  • Install the free SSL Certificate on the server’s hostname – cPanel WHM server


    cPanel and WHM (WebHost Manager) is a popular web hosting control panels that allow server administrators to manage web hosting services efficiently. Among their many features, cPanel offers a handy tool called AutoSSL, which provides free SSL certificates for added security. In this guide, I will show you how to use AutoSSL to secure your server’s hostname.

    Step 1: The checkallsslcerts Script

    The checkallsslcerts Script is used by cPanel to issue SSL certificates for server hostname. It’s important to note that checkallsslcerts
    runs as part of the nightly update checks performed on your system. These updates include cPanel’s own update script, upcp (cPanel update script).

    Step 2: When to Manually Run AutoSSL

    In most cases, checkallsslcerts will take care of securing your server’s hostname during the nightly updates. However, there may be instances when you want to update the SSL certificate manually. This is especially useful if you’ve recently changed your server’s hostname and want to ensure the SSL certificate is updated immediately.

    Step 3: Understanding the checkallsslcerts Script

    The `/usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts` script is responsible for checking and installing SSL certificates for your server’s hostname. Here’s what the script does:

    – It creates a Domain Control Validation (DCV) file.
    – It performs a DNS lookup for your hostname’s IP address.
    – It checks the DCV file using HTTP validation (for cPanel & WHM servers).
    – If needed, it sends a request to Sectigo to issue a new SSL certificate.
    – It logs the Sectigo requests for validation.

    You can learn more about the checkallsslcerts script and it’s usage in this article from cPanel:

    Step 4: How to Manually Execute the Script

    To manually run the script, use the following command:

    /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts [options]

    You can use options like `–allow-retry` and `–verbose` as needed.

    Step 5: Troubleshooting and Tips

    If you encounter issues with the SSL certificate installation, the script will provide helpful output to troubleshoot the problem. Ensure that your server’s firewall allows access from Sectigo’s IP addresses mentioned in the guide.

    Common Issue: Unable to obtain a free hostname certificate due to 404 when DCV check runs in /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts

    After running the /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts script via SSH, you may see errors similar to the following:

    FAILED: Cpanel::Exception/(XID bj6m2k) The system queried for a temporary file at “http://hostname.domain.tld/.well-known/pki-validation/B65E7F11E8FBB1F598817B68746BCDDC.txt”, but the web server responded with the following error: 404 (Not Found). A DNS (Domain Name System) or web server misconfiguration may exist.
    [WARN] The system failed to acquire a signed certificate from the cPanel Store because of the following error: Neither HTTP nor DNS DCV preflight checks succeeded!

    Description:
    Encountering errors like “404 Not Found” during the DCV check when running /usr/local/cpanel/bin/checkallsslcerts via SSH? This issue typically arises when the shared IP address doesn’t match the main IP. To resolve it, ensure both IPs match and that the A record for the server’s hostname points to the main/shared IP. Here’s a workaround:

    Workaround:

    1. Confirm that the main IP and shared IP are identical.
    2. Make sure the A record for the server’s hostname points to the main/shared IP.
    3. To change the shared IP:
    Log in to WHM as the ‘root’ user.

  • Navigate to “Home » Server Configuration » Basic WebHost Manager® Setup.”
  • Update “The IPv4 address (only one address) to use to set up shared IPv4 virtual hosts” to match the main IP.
  • Click “Save Changes” and then execute the following via SSH or Terminal in WHM:
    /scripts/rebuildhttpdconf
    /scripts/restartsrv_httpd --hard

    This will help resolve issues with obtaining a free hostname certificate in cPanel/WHM.

    Conclusion

    Securing your cPanel/WHM server’s hostname with a free SSL certificate from AutoSSL is essential for a secure web hosting environment. By following these steps, you can ensure that your server’s hostname is protected with a valid SSL certificate.

    Remember to regularly check your SSL certificates to ensure they remain up-to-date and secure.

  • How to Install nopCommerce on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx Reverse Proxy and SSL: Step-by-Step Guide

    nopCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that allows users to create and manage their online stores. It is built on the ASP.NET Core framework and supports multiple database systems, including MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostgreSQL as it’s backend. The platform is highly customizable and offers a wide range of features, including product management, order processing, shipping, payment integration, and customer management. nopCommerce is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes because of its flexibility, scalability, and user-friendly interface.
    In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of installing nopCommerce on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx reverse proxy and SSL.

    Register Microsoft key and feed
    To register the Microsoft key and feed, launch the terminal and execute these commands:

    1. Download the packages-microsoft-prod.deb file by running the command:

    wget https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/20.04/packages-microsoft-prod.deb -O packages-microsoft-prod.deb

    2. Install the packages-microsoft-prod.deb package by running the command:

    sudo dpkg -i packages-microsoft-prod.deb

    Install the .NET Core Runtime
    To install the .NET Core Runtime, perform the following steps:

    1. Update the available product listings for installation by running the command:

    sudo apt-get update

    2. Install the .NET runtime by running the command:

    sudo apt-get install -y apt-transport-https aspnetcore-runtime-7.0

    To determine the appropriate version of the .NET runtime to install, you should refer to the documentation provided by nopCommerce, which takes into account both the version of nopCommerce you are using and the Ubuntu OS version. Refer to the link below:

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/install/linux-ubuntu
    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/core/install/linux-ubuntu#supported-distributions

    3. Verify the installed .Net Core runtimes by running the command:

    dotnet --list-runtimes


    4. Install the libgdiplus library:

    sudo apt-get install libgdiplus

    libgdiplus is an open-source implementation of the GDI+ API that provides access to graphic-related functions in nopCommerce and is required for running nopCommerce on Linux.

    Install MySql Server
    Latest nopCommerce support latest MySQL and MariaDB versions. We will install the latest MariaDB 10.6.

    1. To install mariadb-server for nopCommerce, execute the following command in the terminal:

    sudo apt-get install mariadb-server

    2. After installing MariaDB Server, you need to set the root password. Execute the following command in the terminal to set the root password:

    sudo /usr/bin/mysql_secure_installation

    This will start a prompt to guide you through the process of securing your MySQL installation and setting the root password.

    3. Create a database and User. We will use these details while installing nopCommerce. Replace the names of the database and the database user accordingly.

    mysql -u root -p
    create database  nopCommerceDB;
    grant all on nopCommerceDB.* to nopCommerceuser@localhost identified by 'P@ssW0rD';

    Please replace the database name, username and password accordingly.

    4. Reload privilege tables and exit the database.

    flush privileges;
    quit;

    Install nginx

    1. To install Nginx, run the following command:

    sudo apt-get install nginx

    2. After installing Nginx, start the service by running:

    sudo systemctl start nginx

    3. You can verify the status of the service using the following command:

    sudo systemctl status nginx


    4. Nginx Reverse proxy configuration
    To configure Nginx as a reverse proxy for your nopCommerce application, you’ll need to modify the default Nginx configuration file located at /etc/nginx/sites-available/nopcommerce.linuxwebhostingsupport.in. Open the file in a text editor and replace its contents with the following:

    server {
    
        server_name nopcommerce.linuxwebhostingsupport.in;
    
    	listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;
    
    
      location / {
        proxy_pass         http://localhost:5000;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header   Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header   Connection keep-alive;
        proxy_set_header   Host $host;
        proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
        proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
        }
    
    }
    

    You need to replace nopcommerce.linuxwebhostingsupport.in with your domain name
    5. Enable the virtual host configuration file:
    Enable the server block by creating a symbolic link in the /etc/nginx/sites-enabled directory:
    sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/nopcommerce.linuxwebhostingsupport.in /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

    6. Reload Nginx for the changes to take effect:

    sudo systemctl reload Nginx

    Install NopCommerce

    In this example, we’ll use /var/www/nopCommerce for storing the files.

    1. Create a directory:

    sudo mkdir /var/www/nopCommerce

    2. Navigate to the directory where you want to store the nopCommerce files, Download and unpack nopCommerce:

    cd /var/www/nopCommerce
    sudo wget https://github.com/nopSolutions/nopCommerce/releases/download/release-4.60.2/nopCommerce_4.60.2_NoSource_linux_x64.zip
    sudo apt-get install unzip
    sudo unzip nopCommerce_4.60.2_NoSource_linux_x64.zip

    3. Create two directories that nopCommerce needs to run properly:

    sudo mkdir bin
    sudo mkdir logs

    4. Change the ownership of the nopCommerce directory and its contents to the www-data group:

    sudo chown -R www-data.www-data  /var/www/nopCommerce/

    www-data is the user Nginx webserver runs.

    Create the nopCommerce service

    1. Create a file named nopCommerce.service in the /etc/systemd/system directory with the following content:

    [Unit]
    Description=Example nopCommerce app running on Xubuntu
    
    [Service]
    WorkingDirectory=/var/www/nopCommerce
    ExecStart=/usr/bin/dotnet /var/www/nopCommerce/Nop.Web.dll
    Restart=always
    # Restart service after 10 seconds if the dotnet service crashes:
    RestartSec=10
    KillSignal=SIGINT
    SyslogIdentifier=nopCommerce-example
    User=www-data
    Environment=ASPNETCORE_ENVIRONMENT=Production
    Environment=DOTNET_PRINT_TELEMETRY_MESSAGE=false
    
    [Install]
    WantedBy=multi-user.target

    2. Start the nopCommerce service by running:

    sudo systemctl start nopCommerce.service

    3. To check the status of the nopCommerce service, use the following command:

    sudo systemctl status nopCommerce.service

    Also, check if the service is running on port 5000

    sudo lsof -i:5000

    4. After that, restart the nginx server:

    sudo systemctl restart nginx

    Now that the prerequisites are installed and configured, you can proceed to install and set up your nopCommerce store.

    Install nopCommerce
    After completing the previous steps, you can access the website through the following URL: http://nopcommerce.linuxwebhostingsupport.in. Upon visiting the site for the first time, you will be automatically redirected to the installation page as shown below:

    Provide the following information in the Store Information panel:

  • Admin user email: This is the email address of the first administrator for the website.
  • Admin user password: You must create a password for the administrator account.
  • Confirm password: Confirm the admin user password.
  • Country: Choose your country from the dropdown list. By selecting a country, you can configure your store with preinstalled language packs, preconfigured settings, shipping details, VAT settings, currencies, measures, and more.
  • Create sample data: Check this box if you want sample products to be created. It is recommended so that you can start working with your website before adding your own products. You can always delete or unpublish these items later.

    In the Database Information panel, you will need to provide the following details:

  • Database: Select either Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or PostgreSQL. Since, we are installing nopCommerce on Linux and MariaDB, choose the MySQL.
  • Create database if it doesn’t exist: We recommend creating your database and database user ahead of time to ensure a successful installation. Simply create a database instance and add the database user to it. The installation process will create all the tables, stored procedures, and more. Uncheck this option since we can use the database and database user we created earlier.
  • Enter raw connection string (advanced): Select this option if you prefer to enter a Connection string instead of filling the connection fields. For now, leave this unchecked
  • Server name: This is the IP, URL, or server name of your database. Use “localhost”.
  • Database name: This is the name of the database used by nopCommerce. Use the database we created earlier.
  • Use integrated Windows authentication: Leave it unchecked
  • SQL Username: Enter your database user name we created earlier.
  • SQL Password: Use your database user password we used earlier.
  • Specify custom collation: Leave this advanced setting empty.

    Click on the Install button to initiate the installation process. Once the installation is complete, the home page of your new site will be displayed. Access your site from the following URL: http://nopcommerce.linuxwebhostingsupport.in.


    Note:
    You can reset a nopCommerce website to its default settings by deleting the appsettings.json file located in the App_Data folder.

    Adding and Securing the nopCommerce
    We will be using Let’s Encrypt to add free and secure SSL certificate.
    Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority that allows you to obtain SSL/TLS certificates for your website. Certbot is a command-line tool that automates the process of obtaining and renewing these certificates, making it easier to secure your website with HTTPS.

    Here are the steps to install SSL with Certbot Nginx plugins:

    1.Install Certbot: First, make sure you have Certbot installed on your server. You can do this by running the following command:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install certbot python3-certbot-nginx

    2. Obtain SSL Certificate: Next, you need to obtain an SSL certificate for your domain. You can do this by running the following command:
    sudo certbot –nginx -d yourdomain.com

    Replace yourdomain.com with your own domain name. This command will automatically configure Nginx to use SSL, obtain a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate and set an automatic redirect from http to https.

    3.Verify SSL Certificate: Once the certificate is installed, you can verify it by visiting your website using the https protocol. If the SSL certificate is valid, you should see a padlock icon in your browser’s address bar.

    4. Automatic Renewal: Certbot SSL certificates are valid for 90 days. To automatically renew your SSL certificate before it expires, you can set up a cron job to run the following command:

    sudo certbot renew --quiet

    This will check if your SSL certificate is due for renewal and automatically renew it if necessary.

    5. nopCommerce also recommend turning “UseProxy setting to true in the appsettings.json file located in the App_Data folder if we are using SSL. So change this value too.


    nopCommerce is a popular open-source e-commerce platform that offers users a flexible and scalable solution for creating and managing online stores. In this tutorial, we provided a step-by-step guide for installing and configuring nopCommerce on Ubuntu Linux with Nginx reverse proxy and SSL. We covered the installation of Microsoft key and feed, .NET Core Runtime, MySQL server, and Nginx reverse proxy. We also discussed how to configure Nginx as a reverse proxy for the nopCommerce application. By following this tutorial, you can set up a secure and reliable nopCommerce e-commerce store on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Installing PHP GEOS module on a RunCloud Server

    PHP GEOS is a PHP extension for geographic objects support, while RunCloud is a cloud server control panel designed for PHP applications. With PHP GEOS module installed on RunCloud, PHP applications can take advantage of geographic data and use the GEOS (Geometry Engine – Open Source) library to perform spatial operations.

    In this blog post, I will show you how to install PHP GEOS module on RunCloud module.

    Steps
    1. Install the required development tools

    Before installing the PHP GEOS module, make sure that the required development tools are installed on your Ubuntu server. You can install them by running the following command:

    apt-get install autoconf

    2. Install GEOS library
    Next, download and install the latest GEOS (Geometry Engine – Open Source)

    wget http://download.osgeo.org/geos/geos-3.9.4.tar.bz2
    tar xvf geos-3.9.4.tar.bz2
    cd geos-3.9.4/
    ./configure
    make
    make install

    3. Install PHP GEOS module

    Now, it’s time to install the PHP GEOS module. Follow the steps below to install it for PHP 8.2:

    # Set module name
    MODULE_NAME="geos"

    Download the latest module files

    git clone https://git.osgeo.org/gitea/geos/php-geos.git
    mv php-geos/ php-geos_PHP82

    # make clean will always fail if you never compile it before
    make clean
    /RunCloud/Packages/php82rc/bin/phpize --clean
    /RunCloud/Packages/php82rc/bin/phpize
    ./configure --with-php-config=/RunCloud/Packages/php82rc/bin/php-config
    make && make install

    This will install geos.so in the correct php extension directory

    4. Add the module to PHP.ini file
    echo "extension=$MODULE_NAME.so" > /etc/php82rc/conf.d/$MODULE_NAME.ini

    And finally restart the PHP FPM service
    systemctl restart php82rc-fpm

    It’s important to note that the above steps are specific to PHP 8.2. If you wish to install the module for a different version, you will need to modify the commands accordingly. For instance, you can replace PHP 8.2 with 8.1 with below changes:
    Replace /RunCloud/Packages/php82rc/bin/phpize with /RunCloud/Packages/php81rc/bin/phpize, replace ./configure –with-php-config=/RunCloud/Packages/php82rc/bin/php-config with ./configure –with-php-config=/RunCloud/Packages/php81rc/bin/php-config, replace /etc/php82rc/conf.d/$MODULE_NAME.ini with /etc/php81rc/conf.d/$MODULE_NAME.ini, and replace systemctl restart php82rc-fpm with systemctl restart php81rc-fpm.

    You can contact me if you need help with installing any custom modules on RunCloud control panel.

    Downgrading PHP Version on Bitnami WordPress in AWS Lightsail instance

    Hi all

    Recently, I helped one of my clients who was using an Amazon Lightsail WordPress instance provided by Bitnami. Bitnami is advantageous in that it provides a fully working stack, so you don’t have to worry about configuring LAMP or environments. You can find more information about the Bitnami Lightsail stack here.

    However, the client’s stack was using the latest PHP 8.x version, while the WordPress site he runs uses several plugins that need PHP 7.4. I advised the client to consider upgrading the website to support the latest PHP versions. However, since that would require a lot of work, and he wanted the site to be up and running, he decided to downgrade PHP.

    The issue with downgrading or upgrading PHP on a Bitnami stack is that it’s not possible. Bitnami recommends launching a new server instance with the required PHP, MySQL, or Apache version and migrating the data over. So, I decided to do it manually.

    Here are the server details:

    Debian 11
    Current installed PHP: 8.1.x

    Upgrading or downgrading PHP versions on a Bitnami stack is essentially the same as on a normal Linux server. In short, you need to:

    Ensure the PHP packages for the version you want are installed.
    Update any configuration for that PHP version.
    Update your web server configuration to point to the correct PHP version.
    Point PHP CLI to the correct PHP version.
    Restart your web server and php-fpm.

    What we did was install the PHP version provided by the OS. Then, we updated php.ini to use the non-default MySQL socket location used by the Bitnami server. We created a php-fpm pool that runs as the “daemon” user. After that, we updated the Apache configuration to use the new PHP version.

    1. Make sure packages for your target version of PHP are installed
    To make sure that the correct packages are available on your system for the PHP version you want, first make sure your system is up to date by running these commands:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt upgrade
    If it prompts you to do anything with config files, usually, you should just go with the default option and leave the current config as-is. Then, install the packages you need. For example, you can use the following command to install common PHP packages and modules:
    sudo apt install -y php7.4-cli php7.4-dev php7.4-pgsql php7.4-sqlite3 php7.4-gd php7.4-curl php7.4-memcached php7.4-imap php7.4-mysql php7.4-mbstring php7.4-xml php7.4-imagick php7.4-zip php7.4-bcmath php7.4-soap php7.4-intl php7.4-readline php7.4-common php7.4-pspell php7.4-tidy php7.4-xmlrpc php7.4-xsl php7.4-fpm

    2. Make sure PHP configuration for your target version is updated
    Find the mysql socket path used by your Bitnami stack by running this command:

    # ps aux | grep –color mysql.sock
    mysql 7700 1.1 2.0 7179080 675928 ? Sl Mar21 11:21 /opt/bitnami/mariadb/sbin/mysqld –defaults-file=/opt/bitnami/mariadb/conf/my.cnf –basedir=/opt/bitnami/mariadb –datadir=/bitnami/mariadb/data –socket=/opt/bitnami/mariadb/tmp/mysql.sock –pid-file=/opt/bitnami/mariadb/tmp/mysqld.pid

    Edit php.ini file

    vi /etc/php/7.4/fpm/php.ini

    Find

    [Pdo_mysql]
    ; Default socket name for local MySQL connects. If empty, uses the built-in
    ; MySQL defaults.
    pdo_mysql.default_socket=

    Replace with

    [Pdo_mysql]
    ; Default socket name for local MySQL connects. If empty, uses the built-in
    ; MySQL defaults.
    pdo_mysql.default_socket= “/opt/bitnami/mariadb/tmp/mysql.sock”

    Find

    mysqli.default_socket =

    Replace with

    mysqli.default_socket = “/opt/bitnami/mariadb/tmp/mysql.sock”

    Create a php-fpm pool file

    vi /etc/php/8.1/fpm/pool.d/wp.conf

    [wordpress]
    env[PATH] = $PATH
    listen=/opt/bitnami/php/var/run/www2.sock
    user=daemon
    group=daemon
    listen.owner=daemon
    listen.group=daemon
    pm=dynamic
    pm.max_children=400
    pm.start_servers=260
    pm.min_spare_servers=260
    pm.max_spare_servers=300
    pm.max_requests=5000

    Feel free to adjust the PHP FPM settings to match your server specifications or needs. Check out this informative article for more tips on optimizing PHP FPM performance. Just keep in mind that Bitnami configures their stack with the listen.owner and listen.group settings set to daemon.

    This pool will listen on unix socket “/opt/bitnami/php/var/run/www2.sock”.

    Enable and restart PHP 8.1 fpm service

    systemctl enable php7.4-fpm
    systemctl restart php7.4-fpm

    3. Update your web server configuration to point to the correct PHP version

    Edit file

    vi /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/bitnami/php-fpm.conf

    For some installations, file is located at

    vi /opt/bitnami/apache2/conf/php-fpm-apache.conf

    Inside you file find



    SetHandler “proxy:fcgi://www-fpm”

    Find and replace www.sock with www2.sock

    4. Make sure PHP-CLI points to the right PHP version

    Rename the default PHP installed by bitnami.

    mv /opt/bitnami/php/bin/php /opt/bitnami/php/bin/php_8.1_bitnami.

    create a symlink from newly installed PHP 7.4

    ln -s /usr/bin/php7.4 /opt/bitnami/php/bin/php

    Test the installed version by running below command
    ~# php -v
    PHP 7.4.33 (cli) (built: Feb 22 2023 20:07:47) ( NTS )
    Copyright (c) The PHP Group
    Zend Engine v3.4.0, Copyright (c) Zend Technologies
    with Zend OPcache v7.4.33, Copyright (c), by Zend Technologies

    5. Restart PHP-FPM and your webserver

    sudo systemctl restart php7.4-fpm; sudo /opt/bitnami/ctlscript.sh restart apache

    SSL Certificates: What They Are and Why Your Website Needs Them

    Introduction

    In today’s digital age, website security is more important than ever. One of the key components of website security is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL is a protocol for establishing secure, encrypted connections between a web server and a web browser. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) has historically been the standard encryption protocol for secure communication over the internet. However, it has been replaced by TLS (Transport Layer Security) as the standard encryption protocol. Despite this, SSL is still commonly used as a general term to refer to both SSL and TLS. In this article, we’ll explore what SSL is, why it’s important for website security, and how it works.

    Definition of SSL
    SSL is a security protocol that uses encryption to protect data transmitted between a web server and a web browser. SSL ensures that any data transmitted between the two parties is kept confidential, authenticated, and secure from unauthorized access. SSL is often used to secure online transactions, such as e-commerce purchases, online banking, and other sensitive data transmissions.

    Importance of SSL in website security
    Without SSL, data transmitted between a web server and a web browser is sent in plain text, which can be intercepted and read by hackers. SSL helps to prevent this by encrypting the data so that it cannot be intercepted or read. SSL also provides authentication, which ensures that the website being accessed is the genuine website and not a fake website designed to steal data. In addition, SSL provides integrity, which ensures that the data being transmitted has not been tampered with during transmission.
    SSL helps prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, where an attacker intercepts the data being transmitted and alters it without the knowledge of the sender or receiver.

    How SSL Works

    Explanation of SSL handshake
    When a web browser establishes a connection with a web server using SSL, a process called the SSL handshake occurs. During the SSL handshake, the web browser and web server exchange information and establish a secure, encrypted connection. The SSL handshake consists of the following steps:

    1. The web browser sends a “hello” message to the web server, along with the SSL version number and the list of encryption algorithms that the browser supports.
    2. The web server responds with a “hello” message, along with the SSL version number and the encryption algorithm that will be used for the connection.
    3. The web server sends its SSL certificate to the web browser, which contains the public key needed to encrypt data sent to the server.
    4. The web browser verifies the SSL certificate and sends a message to the web server to begin encrypting data.
    5. The web server responds with a message indicating that it is ready to begin encrypting data.

    SSL encryption and decryption process
    Once the SSL handshake is complete and the secure connection has been established, all data transmitted between the web browser and the web server is encrypted. The data is encrypted using the encryption algorithm negotiated during the SSL handshake. When the encrypted data reaches the web server, it is decrypted using the private key associated with the SSL certificate.

    Role of SSL certificates in SSL
    SSL certificates are an essential component of SSL. SSL certificates are digital certificates that are used to verify the identity of a website and establish a secure, encrypted connection. SSL certificates contain information about the website, such as the domain name, the owner of the website, and the expiration date of the certificate. SSL certificates are issued by trusted third-party certificate authorities (CA) and must be installed on the web server.

    In order to obtain an SSL certificate, the website owner must generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR), which contains information about the website and the public key that will be used for encryption. The CSR is then submitted to a trusted third-party CA, who will verify the website’s identity before issuing the SSL certificate.

    Types of SSL Certificates

    SSL certificates come in different types, each with different validation requirements and levels of assurance. Here are the most common types:

    1. Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates
    Domain Validated (DV) SSL certificates are the most basic type of SSL certificate. They verify that the domain name is registered and under the control of the certificate applicant. DV certificates are easy to obtain and are usually issued within minutes of submitting a certificate signing request (CSR).

    To get a DV SSL certificate, you simply need to prove that you own the domain name by responding to an email or uploading a file to your website. DV certificates only provide basic encryption and do not display any company information in the certificate details.

    2. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates
    Organization Validated (OV) SSL certificates offer a higher level of assurance than DV certificates. In addition to validating the domain ownership, OV certificates also verify that the organization applying for the certificate is legitimate and registered to do business.

    To obtain an OV SSL certificate, the applicant must provide additional information about their organization, such as business registration documents and legal information. OV certificates display the company name in the certificate details, which can help to build trust with website visitors.

    3. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates
    Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates are the highest level of SSL certificate and offer the strongest level of assurance. They provide the most visible sign of trust with a green address bar and the company name displayed in the certificate details.

    To obtain an EV SSL certificate, the applicant must go through a rigorous validation process that includes verifying the legal, physical, and operational existence of the organization. This process can take several days to complete, but the result is a certificate that provides the highest level of assurance and trust.

    EV certificates are typically used by high-profile websites such as banks, e-commerce sites, and government agencies that handle sensitive information.

    Besides the standard SSL certificates, some Certificate Authorities (CA’s) also offer Wildcard SSL certificates. These can be used to secure multiple subdomains with a single certificate.

    The Process of Getting an SSL Certificate

    SSL certificates are issued by a trusted third-party called a Certificate Authority (CA). Getting an SSL certificate involves several steps, including choosing a CA, generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR), and validating the SSL certificate.

    Choosing a Certificate Authority (CA)
    There are many CAs that offer SSL certificates, including popular options such as Let’s Encrypt, Comodo, DigiCert, and Symantec. When choosing a CA, consider factors such as the level of customer support, pricing, and the types of certificates they offer.

    Generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR)
    A CSR is a file that contains information about your website and is used to apply for an SSL certificate. To generate a CSR, you will need to have access to your web server and use a tool such as OpenSSL to create the file.

    When generating a Certificate Signing Request (CSR), you will need to provide the following information:

  • Common Name (CN): This is the domain name that you want to secure with SSL. For example, www.example.com.
  • Organization (O): The legal name of your organization.
  • Organizational Unit (OU): This is the department within your organization that is responsible for the certificate.
  • City/Locality (L): The city where your organization is located.
  • State/Province (ST): The state or province where your organization is located.
  • Country (C): The two-letter country code where your organization is located.
  • Email Address: An email address where the Certificate Authority (CA) can contact you if needed.

    Make sure to double-check your entries for accuracy as any errors may result in delays in obtaining your SSL certificate.

    Here’s how to generate a CSR using OpenSSL:

    1. Open a command prompt or terminal app.
    2. Run the following command to generate a private key: openssl genrsa -out private.key 2048
    3. Run the following command to generate a CSR: openssl req -new -key private.key -out mydomain.csr
    4. Follow the prompts to enter the required information, such as your website’s domain name, location, and contact information.

    Alternatively, you can use an online CSR generator tools from Namecheap or DigiCert, to generate a CSR.
    https://decoder.link/csr_generator
    https://www.digicert.com/easy-csr/openssl.htm?rid=011592

    It’s important to keep your private key safe and secure because it is required during the installation of your SSL certificate. If your private key is lost or compromised, your SSL certificate will no longer be valid and you will need to generate a new CSR and request a new SSL certificate.

    Validation of the SSL certificate
    Once you have generated a CSR, you will need to submit the CSR to the Certificate Authority (CA). CA will then needs to verify the SSL request. So, you will need to validate your domain ownership to obtain the SSL certificate. The type of validation required will depend on the type of SSL certificate you have chosen.

    a. Domain Validated (DV) SSL Certificates
    For DV SSL certificates, the CA will only validate that you own the domain for which you are requesting the certificate. There are three methods of domain validation that are commonly used:

  • Email Validation: The CA will send an email to a predefined email address associated with the domain, such as admin@yourdomain.com, and ask you to click on a link or reply with a code to confirm ownership.

  • DNS Validation: The CA will ask you to add a specific DNS record to your domain’s DNS settings. This proves that you have control over the domain’s DNS.

  • HTTP File Upload: The CA will ask you to upload a specific file to your website’s root directory. This proves that you have control over the domain and the website associated with it.

    b. Organization Validated (OV) SSL Certificates
    For OV SSL certificates, the CA will perform additional checks to validate the organization’s legal identity, including:

  • Checking the organization’s business registration documents
  • Checking the organization’s physical address and phone number
  • Verifying the organization’s name and the name of the person requesting the certificate

    c. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates
    For EV SSL certificates, the CA will perform the most rigorous checks to validate the organization’s legal identity, including:

  • Checking the organization’s legal existence and business’s government registration documents
  • Checking the organization’s physical address and phone number
  • Verifying the organization’s name and the name of the person requesting the certificate
  • Conducting a thorough background check on the organization’s reputation and business practices

    Once the validation process is complete and the CA will issue the SSL certificate and then the certificate can be installed on the web server.

    In addition to purchasing SSL certificates from a CA, some web hosting providers offer free SSL certificates through Let’s Encrypt, a nonprofit CA that provides free SSL certificates to promote web security. This can be an affordable option for website owners who want to ensure their website is secure. You can also install certbot tools and obtain free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt if you have a root or SSH access to your server.

    Installing an SSL Certificate on Your Server
    The specific steps for installing an SSL certificate may vary depending on your server or service. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by your certificate authority or web server documentation.

    When you receive an SSL certificate for your domain, the Certificate Authority (CA) typically provides a zip file that contains the following files:

    SSL certificate: This is the primary certificate that contains your domain name, public key, expiration date, and other details. The certificate may be in different formats, such as .pem, .crt, or .cer.
    Intermediate certificate(s): These certificates form the chain of trust between the SSL certificate and the root certificate of the CA. They are required for SSL validation and may be included in the SSL certificate itself or provided as separate files.
    Root certificate: This certificate is at the top of the certificate chain and is used to establish trust. It may or may not be included in the SSL certificate.zip file.

    The correct order of installation would be:
    Domain certificate
    Intermediate certificate
    Root certificate

    Note that some SSL/TLS certificate providers may bundle the intermediate and root certificates together in a single file. If this is the case, you only need to install the bundled certificate and the domain certificate.

    You can find detailed instructions on how to install an SSL certificate on Nginx and Apache by following the links provided.

    How to install an SSL certificate on Ubuntu for Nginx

    How to install SSL with Apache on Ubuntu

    SSL and Website Security

    SSL or Secure Socket Layer is a widely used technology to encrypt the data being transmitted between a web server and a web browser. It provides a secure connection and helps protect against cyber attacks like phishing, data theft, and man-in-the-middle attacks. In this section, we will explore how SSL helps protect against cyber attacks and some best practices for SSL implementation to enhance website security.

    How SSL helps protect against cyber attacks:

    Data Encryption: SSL encrypts the data being transmitted between the server and the browser, ensuring that the information is protected and cannot be intercepted by third-party attackers.

    Authentication: SSL certificates provide authentication to the website, ensuring that the user is connecting to the correct website and not a malicious imposter.

    Trustworthiness: SSL certificates are issued by trusted third-party Certificate Authorities (CA), which helps establish the trustworthiness of the website.

    SSL best practices for website security:

    Use strong encryption algorithms: Always use the latest and most secure encryption algorithms, such as AES 256-bit encryption, to encrypt the data being transmitted.

    Keep SSL certificates up-to-date: Regularly update SSL certificates to ensure that they are not expired or revoked.

    Implement HTTPS: Always use HTTPS instead of HTTP to secure your website. HTTPS is a protocol that encrypts the data being transmitted over the internet and provides a secure connection.

    Common SSL vulnerabilities and how to avoid them:

    Weak Encryption: Always use strong encryption algorithms and keep them updated to avoid weak encryption.

    Insecure Certificates: Ensure that SSL certificates are issued by trusted third-party Certificate Authorities (CA) to avoid insecure certificates.

    Expired Certificates: Regularly update SSL certificates to avoid expired certificates, which can lead to vulnerabilities and cyber attacks.

    Conclusion

    In summary, SSL is an essential technology for ensuring secure communication between a website and its visitors. It uses a combination of encryption, authentication, and trust mechanisms to protect against eavesdropping, tampering, and phishing attacks. With the increasing reliance on online services and the growing sophistication of cyber threats, it is more important than ever to secure your website with SSL.

    To get started with SSL, you need to choose a certificate authority, generate a CSR, and complete the validation process. Once you have obtained your SSL certificate, you can install it on your server following the instructions provided by your web server software or hosting provider. Remember to keep your private key secure and regularly renew your SSL certificate to maintain the highest level of security.

    By using SSL, you can not only safeguard your visitors’ data and privacy, but also enhance your website’s reputation, trustworthiness, and search engine visibility. SSL is not just a best practice, but a necessity for any website that wants to thrive in the digital age. So, don’t wait any longer, get your SSL certificate today and start reaping the benefits of a secure website!

  • How to install Redmine on Ubuntu 22.04 with Apache and SSL


    How to install Redmine on Ubuntu 22.04

    Introduction
    Redmine is a powerful and versatile project management tool that can help teams stay organized, collaborate effectively, and track progress towards their goals. Originally developed for the Ruby on Rails community, Redmine is now used by thousands of organizations worldwide, from small startups to large enterprises.

    With Redmine, you can create projects and sub-projects, define tasks and issues, assign them to team members, set due dates and priorities, and track time spent on each task. You can also add comments and attachments to issues, create custom fields and workflows, and generate reports and graphs to visualize project status and progress.

    It is open-source software written in Ruby on Rails and is available under the GNU General Public License.

    Whether you’re a software development team, a marketing agency, a non-profit organization, or any other type of group that needs to manage projects and tasks, Redmine can be a valuable tool to help you stay on track, collaborate effectively, and achieve your goals. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the key features and use cases of Redmine, and provide tips and best practices for getting the most out of this powerful project management tool.

    In this tutorial, we will go through the steps of installing Redmine on an Ubuntu 22.04 server and secure it Let’s Encrypt SSL.

    Prerequisites:

    Ubuntu 22.04 Server
    Root or sudo user access
    A domain name pointed to the server is required for accessing Redmine via a web browser.

    Step 1: Update Ubuntu System
    The first step is to update the Ubuntu system to ensure that all the packages are up-to-date. You can do this by running the following command:
    sudo apt update
    Step 2: Install Dependencies
    Redmine requires several dependencies to be installed before it can be installed. To install them, run the following command:

    sudo apt install -y build-essential libmagickwand-dev libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libffi-dev libyaml-dev zlib1g-dev libssl-dev git imagemagick libcurl4-openssl-dev libtool libxslt-dev ruby ruby-dev rubygems libgdbm-dev libncurses-dev

    Also, install Apache and Apache mod Passenger module
    sudo apt install -y apache2 libapache2-mod-passenger

    Note: libapache2-mod-passenger is a module for the Apache web server that enables the deployment of Ruby on Rails web applications. It provides an easy way to configure and manage Ruby on Rails applications within an Apache web server environment.

    Step 3: Create a Redmine User
    Create a dedicated Linux user for running Redmine:
    useradd -r -m -d /opt/redmine -s /usr/bin/bash redmine

    Add the user to the www-data group to enable Apache to access Redmine files:
    usermod -aG redmine www-data

    Step 4: Install and Secure MariaDB
    MariaDB is a popular open-source database management system and is used as the backend for Redmine. To install and secure MariaDB, run the following commands:
    sudo apt install -y mariadb-server

    Enable and run the database service.

    systemctl enable --now mariadb
    mysql_secure_installation

    Note: mysql_secure_installation is used to secure the installation by performing a series of security-related tasks, such as:

  • Setting a root password for the MySQL or MariaDB server.
  • Removing the anonymous user accounts, which are accounts without a username or password.
  • Disabling remote root logins, which can be a security vulnerability.
  • Removing the test database, which is a sample database that is not needed for most production environments.
  • Reloading the privilege tables to ensure that the changes take effect.

    Create a database and User. Replace the names of the database and the database user accordingly.

    mysql -u root -p
    create database redminedb;
    grant all on redminedb.* to redmineuser@localhost identified by 'P@ssW0rD';

    Reload privilege tables and exit the database.

    flush privileges;
    quit

    Step 5: Download and Extract Redmine
    Download the latest version of Redmine and extract it to the /opt/redmine directory using the following command:

    curl -s https://www.redmine.org/releases/redmine-5.0.5.tar.gz | sudo -u redmine tar xz -C /opt/redmine/ --strip-components=1

    Create Redmine configuration file by renaming the sample configuration files as shown below;

    su - redmine
    cp /opt/redmine/config/configuration.yml{.example,}
    cp /opt/redmine/public/dispatch.fcgi{.example,}
    cp /opt/redmine/config/database.yml{.example,}

    The sample configuration files are provided by Redmine as a starting point for configuring your installation.

    Step 6: Configure the Database
    Modify the config/database.yml file and update database name, username, and password for the production environment:

    nano /opt/redmine/config/database.yml
    In the file, replace the default configuration with the following:

    production:
      adapter: mysql2
      database: redminedb
      host: localhost
      username: redmineuser
      password: "P@ssW0rD"
      encoding: utf8mb4
    

    Since the configuration file is an yaml, you need to use proper Indentation.

    Save and close the file.

    Step 7: Install Bundler and Redmine Dependencies
    Install Bundler for managing gem dependencies and run the following commands:

    sudo gem install bundler

    Login as redmine user and execute below commands:

    su - redmine
    bundle config set --local without 'development test'
    bundle install
    bundle update
    exit

    Step 8: Configure File System Permissions
    Ensure that the following directories are available in the Redmine directory (/opt/redmine):

    tmp and tmp/pdf
    public and public/plugin_assets
    log
    files

    Create them if they don’t exist and ensure that they are owned by the user used to run Redmine:

    for i in tmp tmp/pdf public/plugin_assets; do [ -d $i ] || mkdir -p $i; done
    chown -R redmine:redmine files log tmp public/plugin_assets
    chmod -R 755 /opt/redmine

    Step 9: Configure Apache
    Create a new Apache virtual host file for Redmine:
    sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/redmine.conf

    Paste the following configuration into the file:

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName redmine.linuxwebhostingsupport.in
        DocumentRoot /opt/redmine/public
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/redmine-error.log
        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/redmine-access.log combined
        <Directory /opt/redmine/public>
            Require all granted
            Options -MultiViews
            PassengerEnabled on
            PassengerAppEnv production
            PassengerRuby /usr/bin/ruby
        </Directory>
    </VirtualHost>
    

    Save the file and exit the text editor. Replace redmine.linuxwebhostingsupport.in with your domain name.

    Enable the Redmine site by running the following command:

    sudo a2ensite redmine.conf

    Restart Apache to apply the changes:

    sudo systemctl restart apache2

    Allow Apache through the Ubuntu UFW firewall:

    sudo ufw allow 'Apache Full'

    Install Certbot and the Apache plugin for Let’s Encrypt:

    sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-apache

    Adding Lets Encrypt SSL certificate

    You need to make sure your domain is properly pointed to the server IP, otherwise, Let’s encrypt will fail.

    Obtain an SSL certificate for your domain by running the following command:

    sudo certbot --apache

    Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

    Restart Apache to apply the SSL configuration:

    sudo systemctl restart apache2

    Open your web browser and go to https://redmine.linuxwebhostingsupport.in/. You should see the Redmine home screen.

    Login to the admin area using your Redmine admin username and password. If this is your first login, you will need to reset your admin password.

    https://redmine.linuxwebhostingsupport.in/login

    Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured Redmine on your Ubuntu server. In the previous steps, we have covered the installation and configuration of Redmine, including setting up the database, configuring Apache, and securing Redmine with Let’s Encrypt SSL.


    However, one critical aspect of Redmine that you might want to configure is email delivery for notifications. This feature is essential for keeping team members informed about project updates, new issues, and changes to existing issues. In this section, we will show you how to configure email delivery in Redmine.

    Configuring SMTP for Email Delivery in Redmine

    Redmine supports email delivery for notifications, which you can set up using the following steps:

    Step 1 – Open Configuration File

    First, you need to open the configuration.yml file in a text editor:

    sudo nano /opt/redmine/config/configuration.yml

    Step 2 – Configure Email Settings

    Next, scroll down to the production section of the file, uncomment the following lines by removing the # symbol at the beginning of each line, and replace the values with your SMTP server’s settings:

    # specific configuration options for production environment
    # that overrides the default ones
    production:
      email_delivery:
        delivery_method: :smtp
        smtp_settings:
          address: "your.smtp.server.com"
          port: 587
          domain: "your.domain.com"
          authentication: :login
          user_name: "your_email@example.com"
          password: "your_email_password"
          enable_starttls_auto: true
    # specific configuration options for development environment
    # that overrides the default ones
    

    Replace the values for address, port, domain, user_name, and password with your SMTP server’s settings:

    address: The address of your SMTP server.
    port: The port number to use for SMTP server (usually 587).
    domain: The domain name of your organization or server.
    user_name: The email address of the user account to use for sending emails.
    password: The password for the user account to use for sending emails.
    Save the configuration.yml file.

    Since the configuration file is an yaml, you need to use proper Indentation.

    Step 3 – Restart Apache

    Finally, restart Apache to apply the changes:

    sudo systemctl restart apache2
    And that’s it! Redmine is now configured to deliver email notifications to your team members.

    Conclusion

    Redmine is a powerful project management tool that can help you manage your software development projects effectively. In this blog post, we have covered the installation and configuration of Redmine on Ubuntu, including setting up the database, configuring Apache, securing Redmine with Let’s Encrypt SSL, and configuring email delivery.

    With these steps, you should now have a working Redmine installation that can help you track your projects, collaborate with your team, and stay on top of your development process. Good luck!

  • Step-by-Step Tutorial: Setting up Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP Stack) on Ubuntu 22.04 for Beginners

    What is a LAMP Stack?

    LAMP stack is a popular combination of open-source software that is used to run dynamic websites and web applications. The acronym LAMP stands for Linux (operating system), Apache (web server), MySQL (database management system), and PHP (scripting language).

    Linux provides the foundation for the LAMP stack, serving as the operating system on which the other software components are installed. Apache is the web server that handles HTTP requests and serves web pages to users. MySQL is a powerful database management system that is used to store and manage website data. PHP is a popular scripting language used to create dynamic web content, such as interactive forms and web applications.

    Together, these software components create a powerful platform for building and deploying web applications. The LAMP stack is highly customizable and widely used, making it an excellent choice for developers and system administrators alike.

    Prerequisites

    1. Ubuntu server: You will need an Ubuntu server to install the LAMP stack. You can use a Virtual/CLoud server or a physical server as per your requirement.

    2. SSH access: You will need SSH access to your Ubuntu server to be able to install the LAMP stack. SSH (Secure Shell) is a secure network protocol that allows you to access and manage your server remotely.

    3. Non-root user with sudo privileges: It is recommended that you use a non-root user with sudo privileges to install and configure the LAMP stack. This is because running as root can pose a security risk and may lead to unintended consequences if something goes wrong. You can also run the commands as root user.

    4. Basic familiarity with Linux command line: A basic understanding of how to use the Linux command line interface (CLI) to run commands and navigate your Ubuntu server is recommended, not mandatory.

    Installing a LAMP Stack on Ubuntu
    In this section, the process of installing a LAMP Stack on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is outlined. These instructions can be applied to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as well.

    A LAMP stack is a popular combination of open-source software used to run dynamic websites or web applications. LAMP stands for Linux (operating system), Apache (web server), MySQL (database management system), and PHP (scripting language). In this guide, we will walk you through the steps involved in installing and configuring a LAMP stack on an Ubuntu server.

    Step 1: Update Your Ubuntu Server
    Before we begin installing LAMP stack components, let’s update the server’s software packages by running the following command:

    sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

    Step 2: Install Apache
    Apache is the most widely used web server software. To install it, run the following command:

    sudo apt install apache2

    Once the installation is complete, you can check the status of Apache by running the following command:

    sudo systemctl status apache2
    This will display Apache’s status as either active or inactive.

    Step 3: Install MySQL
    MySQL is a popular open-source database management system. To install it, run the following command:

    sudo apt install mysql-server
    Once the installation is complete, you can check the status of MySQL by running the following command:

    sudo systemctl status mysql
    This will display MySQL’s status as either active or inactive.

    Step 4: Install PHP
    PHP is a popular server-side scripting language used to create dynamic web content. To install it, run the following command:

    sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql

    There are several additional PHP modules recommended for a CMS like WordPress. You can install them by running the command below:
    sudo apt-get install php-curl php-gd php-xml php-mbstring php-imagick php-zip php-xmlrpc
    After installing these modules, you will need to restart your Apache server for the changes to take effect. You can do this by running the following command:

    sudo systemctl restart apache2

    Setting up firewall rules to allow access to Apache web server

    UFW is the default firewall with Ubuntu systems, providing a simple command-line interface to configure iptables, the software-based firewall used in most Linux distributions. UFW provides various application profiles that can be utilized to manage traffic to and from different services. To view a list of all the available UFW application profiles, you can run the command:

    sudo ufw app list

    Output
    Available applications:
    Apache
    Apache Full
    Apache Secure
    OpenSSH

    These application profiles have different configurations for opening specific ports on the firewall. For instance:

    Apache: Allows traffic on port 80, which is used for normal, unencrypted web traffic.
    Apache Full: Allows traffic on both port 80 and port 443, which is used for TLS/SSL encrypted traffic.
    Apache Secure: Allows traffic only on port 443 for TLS/SSL encrypted traffic.

    To allow traffic on both port 80 and port 443(SSL), you can use the Apache Full profile by running the following command:

    sudo ufw allow in "Apache Full"

    You can verify that the change has been made by running the command:
    sudo ufw status

    Output

    Status: active
    
    To                         Action      From
    --                         ------      ----
    OpenSSH                    ALLOW       Anywhere                                
    Apache Full                ALLOW       Anywhere                  
    OpenSSH (v6)               ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)                    
    Apache Full(v6)            ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)   
    

    To test if the ports are open and Apache web server is accessible, you can try visiting your server’s public IP address in a web browser using the URL http://your_server_ip. If successful, you should see the default Apache web page.

    If you can view this page, your web server is correctly installed and accessible through your firewall.

    Configuring the MySQL Database server
    Upon installation of MySQL, it is immediately available for use. However, in order to utilize it for web applications such as WordPress and improve the security of said applications, it is imperative to generate a database user and database. To complete the configuration process for MySQL, please adhere to the following steps.

    To configure MySQL and improve application security, follow these steps:

    1. Log in to the MySQL shell as the root user:

    sudo mysql -u root

    2. Using the MySQL shell, you can create the wpdatabase database and generate a new user account for accessing the web application. Instead of using the placeholders “dbuser” and “password” in the CREATE USER query, you should provide a real username and password. Furthermore, you should grant complete permissions to the user. After each line, MySQL should respond with “Query OK.”

    CREATE DATABASE wpdatabase ;
    CREATE USER 'dbuser' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
    GRANT ALL ON wpdatabase .* TO 'dbuser';

    Exit the SQL shell:
    quit

    3. Set a password for root’@’localhost:

    sudo mysql
    ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password by 'password';

    Exit the SQL shell:
    quit

    Note: Replace “password” with a strong password.
    4. Use the mysql_secure_installation tool to increase database security:

    sudo mysql_secure_installation

    When prompted to change the root password, leave it unchanged. Answer Y for the following questions:

    Remove anonymous users?
    Disallow root login remotely?
    Remove test database and access to it?
    Reload privilege tables now?

    To log in to the MySQL shell as root after this change, use “sudo mysql -u root” and type “quit” exit the SQL Shell.

    It’s worth noting that when connecting as the root user, there’s no need to enter a password, despite having defined one during the mysql_secure_installation script. This is due to the default authentication method for the administrative MySQL user being unix_socket rather than password. Although it may appear to be a security issue, it actually strengthens the security of the database server by only allowing system users with sudo privileges to log in as the root MySQL user from the console or through an application with the same privileges. As a result, you won’t be able to use the administrative database root user to connect from your PHP application. However, setting a password for the root MySQL account acts as a precautionary measure in case the default authentication method is changed from unix_socket to password.

    Creating a Virtual Host for your Website

    In order to host multiple domains from a single server, Apache web server provides the capability to create virtual hosts. These virtual hosts are beneficial as they allow you to encapsulate configuration details for each domain. In this tutorial, we will walk you through setting up a domain named “example.com”. However, it is important to keep in mind that you should replace “example.com” with your own domain name.

    By default, Ubuntu 22.04’s Apache web server has a single virtual host that is enabled and configured to serve documents from the /var/www/html directory. While this is a workable solution for a single site, it becomes cumbersome when hosting multiple sites. Therefore, instead of modifying /var/www/html, we will create a directory structure within the /var/www directory specifically for the example.com site. In doing so, we will leave /var/www/html in place as the default directory to be served if a client request does not match any other sites.

    1. First, create a new directory for the “example.com” website files:

    sudo mkdir /var/www/example.com

    2. Assign the ownership of the directory to the web server user (www-data):

    sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/example.com

    3. Create a new virtual host configuration file for “example.com” using the nano text editor:

    sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/example.com.conf

    4. Add the following configuration to the file, replacing “example.com” with your own domain name:

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName example.com
        ServerAlias www.example.com
        DocumentRoot /var/www/example.com
    
        <Directory /var/www/example.com>
            Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
            AllowOverride All
            Require all granted
        </Directory>
    
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/example.com_error.log
        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/example.com_access.log combined
    </VirtualHost>
    

    This configuration specifies that the “example.com” domain should use the files located in the /var/www/example.com directory as its document root.

    5. Disable the default Apache site configuration to avoid conflicts:

    sudo a2dissite 000-default.conf

    6. Enable the “example.com” site configuration:
    sudo a2ensite example.com.conf

    7. Restart Apache to apply the changes:
    sudo systemctl restart apache2

    8. Create a test “hello world” HTML file:
    sudo nano /var/www/example.com/index.html

    Add the following HTML code to the file:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
        <title>Hello World</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <h1>Hello World!</h1>
    </body>
    </html>
    

    9. Save and close the file.

    10. Finally, configure your DNS records to point the “example.com” domain to your server’s IP address. Once the DNS records are updated, you can access the website by visiting “http://example.com” in your web browser.

    Testing the LAMP Stack Installation on Your Ubuntu Server
    To ensure that the LAMP stack configuration is fully functional, it’s necessary to conduct tests on Apache, PHP, and MySQL components. Verifying the Apache operational status and virtual host configuration was done earlier. Now, it’s important to test the interaction between the web server and PHP and MySQL components.

    The easiest way to verify the configuration of the Ubuntu LAMP stack is by using a short test script. The PHP code does not need to be lengthy or complex; however, it must establish a connection to MySQL. The test script should be placed within the DirectoryRoot directory.

    To validate the database, use PHP to invoke the mysqli_connect function. Use the username and password created in the “Configuring the MySQL Database server” section. If the attempt is successful, the mysqli_connect function returns a Connection object. The script should indicate whether the connection succeeded or failed and provide more information about any errors.

    To verify the installation, follow these steps:

    1. Create a new file called “phptest.php” in the /var/www/example.com directory.

    <html>
    <head>
        <title>PHP MySQL Test</title>
    </head>
        <body>
        <?php echo '<p>Welcome to the Site!</p>';
    
        // When running this script on a local database, the servername must be 'localhost'. Use the name and password of the web user account created earlier. Do not use the root password.
        $servername = "localhost";
        $username = "dbuser";
        $password = "password";
    
        // Create MySQL connection
        $conn = mysqli_connect($servername, $username, $password);
    
        // If the conn variable is empty, the connection has failed. The output for the failure case includes the error message
        if (!$conn) {
            die('<p>Connection failed: </p>' . mysqli_connect_error());
        }
        echo '<p>Connected successfully</p>';
        ?>
    </body>
    </html>
    

    2. To test the script, open a web browser and type the domain name followed by “/phptest.php” in the address bar. For example, if your domain name is “example.com”, you would enter “example.com/phptest.php” in the address bar. Make sure to substitute the actual name of the domain for “example.com” in the example provided.

    http://example.com/phptest.php

    3. Upon successful execution of the script, the web page should display without any errors. The page should contain the text “Welcome to the Site!” and “Connected successfully.” However, if you encounter the “Connection Failed” error message, review the SQL error information to troubleshoot the issue.

    Bonus: Install phpMyAdmin
    phpMyAdmin is a web-based application used to manage MySQL databases. To install it, run the following command:

    sudo apt install phpmyadmin
    During the installation process, you will be prompted to choose the web server that should be automatically configured to run phpMyAdmin. Select Apache and press Enter.

    You will also be prompted to enter a password for phpMyAdmin’s administrative account. Enter a secure password and press Enter.

    Once the installation is complete, you can access phpMyAdmin by navigating to http://your_server_IP_address/phpmyadmin in your web browser.

    Congratulations! You have successfully installed and configured a LAMP stack on your Ubuntu server.

    Summary
    This guide walks through the process of setting up a LAMP Stack, a combination of the Linux operating system, Apache web server, MySQL RDBMS, and PHP programming language, to serve PHP websites and applications. The individual components are free and open source, designed to work together, and easy to install and use. Following the steps provided, you can install the LAMP Stack on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS using apt, configure the Apache web server, create a virtual host for the domain, and integrate the MySQL web server by creating a new account to represent the web user. Additional PHP packages are required for Apache, PHP, and the database to communicate. A short PHP test script can be used to test the new installation by connecting to the database.

    Adding Domain Aliases in iRedMail: A Simple bash script

    iRedMail is a powerful and open-source mail server solution that simplifies the process of setting up and managing email services. It supports popular email protocols, including IMAP, POP3, and SMTP, and can be used to host multiple email domains. In this guide, we’ll explore how to add domain aliases to iRedMail’s free version with a MySQL backend.

    What Are Domain Aliases?
    Domain aliases are additional domain names that point to an existing email domain. For example, if you have a primary domain like example.com, you can set up domain aliases like domain.ltd so that emails sent to username@domain.ltd are delivered to the corresponding mailbox of username@example.com. Domain aliases are a convenient way to manage multiple email addresses under a single domain.

    The Bash Script:
    Here’s a Bash script that simplifies the process of adding domain aliases in iRedMail. You can use this script to automate the task:

    #!/bin/bash
    
    # Author: 	Abdul Wahab
    # Website: 	Linuxwebhostingsupport.in
    # Print purpose and note
    printf "Purpose: Add an alias domain in iRedMail. \n\n"
    printf "Note: Let's say you have a mail domain example.com hosted on your iRedMail server, if you add domain name domain.ltd as an alias domain of example.com, all emails sent to username@domain.ltd will be delivered to user username@example.com's mailbox. So here domain.ltd is the alias domain and example.com is the traget domain \n\n"
    
    # Prompt the user to enter the alias domain name
    read -p "Enter the alias domain name: " ALIAS_DOMAIN
    
    # Prompt the user to enter the target domain name
    read -p "Enter the target domain name: " TARGET_DOMAIN
    
    # Connect to the vmail database and check if the target domain exists in the domain table
    RESULT=`mysql vmail -N -B -e "SELECT COUNT(*) FROM domain WHERE domain='$TARGET_DOMAIN'"`
    if [ $RESULT -ne 1 ]
    then
      echo "Error: The target domain $TARGET_DOMAIN does not exist in the domain table. You need to add the target domain first"
      exit 1
    fi
    
    # Insert the alias domain record
    mysql vmail <<EOF
    INSERT INTO alias_domain (alias_domain, target_domain)
    VALUES ('$ALIAS_DOMAIN', '$TARGET_DOMAIN');
    EOF
    
    # Print completion message
    echo "Alias domain $ALIAS_DOMAIN has been added for $TARGET_DOMAIN."
    

    How to Use the Script:

    Copy the provided Bash script into a text file, e.g., add_domain_alias.sh.
    Make the script executable by running the following command:

    chmod +x add_domain_alias.sh

    Execute the script by running ./add_domain_alias.sh in your terminal.
    Follow the prompts to enter the alias domain and target domain names.
    The script will connect to the MySQL database and insert the alias domain record.

    Conclusion:
    Adding domain aliases in iRedMail is a straightforward process, and the provided Bash script can simplify it even further. With domain aliases, you can efficiently manage multiple email addresses under a single domain, enhancing your email hosting capabilities.

    Feel free to use this script to streamline your iRedMail email domain management, making it easier to accommodate various email addresses and domains.

    How to remove or compress huge MySQL general and query log table

    How to remove or compress huge MySQL general and query log table

    If you have enabled MySQL general or slow logging, it can create quite big log, depending upon your MySQL usage/queries.
    So we may have to periodically clear them to save space.

    Please note that MySQL can save logs to either table or files. This document assumes you are using table as log output.

    Files: slow_log.CSV and general_log.CSV (The location and the name of the file can be different)

    By default, logging is to CSF file.

    MYSQL supports run time clearing of these logs. So no need to restart the MySQL service.
    Never delete the CSV file directly. It can crash MySQL.

    Slow query log

    SET GLOBAL slow_query_log='OFF';
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS slow_log2;
    CREATE TABLE slow_log2 LIKE slow_log;
    RENAME TABLE slow_log TO slow_log_backup, slow_log2 TO slow_log;
    gzip /var/db/mysql/mysql/slow_log_backup.CSV 
    DROP TABLE  slow_log_backup;
    SET GLOBAL slow_query_log = 'ON';
    

    General log

    USE mysql;
    SET GLOBAL general_log = 'OFF';
    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS general_log2;
    CREATE TABLE general_log2 LIKE general_log;
    RENAME TABLE general_log TO general_log_backup, general_log2 TO general_log;
    gzip /var/db/mysql/mysql/general_log_backup.CSV 
    DROP TABLE  general_log_backup;
    

    What we did is create new log table, move current log file to a backup copy and compress the backup and remove it.

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