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Building and hosting a website on Amazon EC2

Posted on 2010-11-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

Recently I signed up to check the ubuntu cloud computing demo
https://10.cloud.ubuntu.com/
It was amazing that I could connect through PUTTY and access a Unix server distro, However I could only use the terminal services (bash shell) and I could not run any graphical interfaces or programs such as firefox or openoffice  i.e Honestly I expected to run a whole Ubuntu OS using this service  but all I got to see was access to the bash terminal and the ability to run some commands. They gave me only an hour for trying it out so I could not explore more option, but I guess there isnt much to it than the ability to use a bash terminal. Is there something I am missing here ?

My requirement is that I should be able to use the cloud as an other computer running a linux server. Essentially I want to run a webserver, build my websites, that uses a mysql database and host this website.
I have signed up for Amazon EC2 and tempted to use this service and I guess I should be able to do these using this cloud.

Can someone give me a breakdown, a step by step instruction of what I should be doing in order to run my own website using Amazon EC2 in layman's language.  

Thank you
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Question by:haravallabhan
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:yarwell
yarwell earned 501 total points
ID: 34143484
I just ran the Ubuntu test too. I asked it to set up a wordpress server rather than just the base install, which it did and I created a blog entry and I could access it from my Android phone on the web (to save me getting confused what I was looking at on the PC).

Also once into the shell on the cloud server I did 'sudo tasksel --section server' and asked it to set up a LAMP server.

All of the above were presented to me as options on the screen. I did ask it to install the text based window manager byobu when starting the EC2 trial.

I'm not sure you've grasped what you can do with a remote server. You can't run something like OpenOffice on it unless you were to set up some sort of remote window manager to access the process. You can have the server run a blog or email server or whatever where you interact via a web browser or it "does a job" like shifting email but fundamentally a server isn't a client !
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shalomc earned 501 total points
ID: 34146705
The difference between the EC2 cloud and a regular server lies in the elasticity, scalability and environment.
Running a single server is quite similar in the cloud and in your private network.
To start with, you should know how to do what you want to do in a regular environment.
Once you know that - the leap to the cloud is not very large :)

You can install a X client on the EC2 instance and then run a graphical interface, but there are cheaper ways to have a virtual desktop.  
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Dushyant Sharma
Dushyant Sharma earned 498 total points
ID: 34850418
first, running graphical interface is memory and process consuming so it strictly should not be run on a webserver.

second, running ec2 is very simple. try installing elastic fox

http://aws.amazon.com/developertools/609?_encoding=UTF8&jiveRedirect=1

this will help you to create and run an ec2 instance.

you can select a preinstalled ubuntu machine image and run it as your instance. after running you can connect using putty and start your application.

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by:haravallabhan
ID: 36441934
Could have been bit more explanatory
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