JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Porting my blog for the second time, deployment part 1

This is post #53 of my series about how I port this blog from Blogengine.NET 2.5 ASPX on a Windows Server 2003 to a Linux Ubuntu server, Apache2, MySQL and PHP. A so called LAMP. The introduction to this project can be found in this blog post /post/Porting-my-blog-for-the-second-time-Project-can-start.

It is time for deployment. I decided to stop hosting the blog at home on my own server. It is time for a server running in a proper server room. Actually I made the calculation that if I bought my own server and hosted it myself that would probably be around 2000 euro. Then that is the equivalent of eleven years worth of virtual private server. There are several options for this but I decided to make use of the same company I use for my domain names  Argeweb bv. Logging in and ordering the vps was done in under a minute.


I ordered the following VPS:

  • Ubunto 14.04
  • 2 Gb internal memory
  • 150 Gb of diskspace
  • 2 cores processor
  • 1 snapshot
  • 15 Euro per month. Discount the first month.

At 9:36 PM came the order confirmation. At 9:49 PM came the login information. That is 13 minutes later!

Immediately I tucked all the logon information in my digital vault.

So I got all information but the IP number of my new server. Where can I find the IP number?

"IP-adres: Deze vindt u in Mijn Argeweb"


A few seconds later I got a new menu item in my administration panel.

To log into my new system I launch PuTTY and directs it to the IP address of my new server. Here is my first login ever:

Ehh, what should I do now?

At this point it is a very clean computer. Suppose I start with making one snapshot? But should the server be turned off when making snapshots? Hmm... There was nothing in the documentation saying it had to be turned off first so I just went ahead and made it!

Looks nice with that mixed English and Dutch.

Then I try to log into my new server with WinSCP and that also works as I got used to. Flawlessly. So now when I am done with the oh and the ah I figured that the plan from here is to figure out all steps needed to make the server operational and make proper notes of what I did and in what order.

Here below are all steps I took to bring my new vps up to a level where I could start publishing the blog. I wrote this as if someone should be able to make these steps to create such a server. It is very likely that the only person who wants to read this is myself but you never know? So here are all steps for installing the PHP, MySql, Apache on this Ubuntu. The more likely future of this is that I make some kind of install script of this so that if someone wanted a clean empty JensBlog server they could just install it from a script. But perhaps I will never do that. For now I write it for myself. For this list I created a zip archive (for myself) with the necessary files from the development server.

1 Update the server # apt-get update Following the advice given here:
2   # apt-get upgrade Newer version of /etc/default/grub was available. I decided to use it.
3 Install mysql server. # sudo apt-get install mysql-server During install provide a very strong complex password for root user.
4 Harden the mysql server. # mysql_secure_installation 1. Kept the already entered password; 2. Removed the anonymous user; 3 Disallowed remote login to root; 4. Remove test database - yes. 5. Reloaded priviliges.
5 Logged in to mysql # mysql -u root -p (For help give h)
6 While logged into mysql give the following command create database jensblog;  
7 While logged into mysql give the following command use jensblog;  
8 Copy the creation sql script 'jensblog001.sql' from the zip archive into this location on the server: /usr/local/bin/ [Drag and drop in WinSCP]  
9 While logged into mysql give the following command source /usr/local/bin/jensblog001.sql;  
10 Check that all tables are created. Use this command in mysql: show tables; +--------------------+
| Tables_in_jensblog |
| Category           |
| CategoryType       |
| Feedback           |
| Post               |
| PostCategory       |
| PostURL            |
| URL                |
7 rows in set (0.00 sec)
11 Check if perl was installed. # perl -v This command said perl was installed so that was fine. If not installed I had to install it here.
12 Copy '' to /usr/local/bin from the zip   This is the perl program importing the blog.
13 Create jensblog as /usr/local/bin/jensblog   This is the location of the old BlogEngine.NET files.
14 Copy the old blog engine files to the jensblog directory created in the previous step.    
15   # apt-get install libxml-libxml-perl  
16   # apt-get install libdbd-mysql-perl  
17   # apt-get install libswitch-perl  
18   # apt-get install liburi-encode-perl  
19   # apt-get install libhtml-parser-perl  
20   # apt-get install apache2 Set up the webserver Apache2.
21 In /var/www create new directory jensblog    
22 in jensblog create public_html    
23 Create a file post.php in this directory with the content as given in the comment to the right.    
24 Set permission of www # chmod -R 755 /var/www  
25 Log in to your dns administration console and create a test domain   This is only necessary if you already got a domain that you would not like to take down until your configurations has finished. For example Later you can remove www2 with the final domain.
26 Creating in /etc/apache2/sites-available   Copy and modify from provided zip archive.
27 Create directory log in /var/www/jensblog    
28 Enable your test site. # a2ensite  
29 Restart the webserver. # service apache2 reload  
30 Enter the domain name of your test site. In my case it is Check if the test document will display   If it displays then you are on track.
31 Enable the Apache2 rewrite rule engine. # a2enmod rewrite This makes it possible to change requested URLs on the fly.
32 Install php # apt-get install php5 libapache2-mod-php5 php5-mcrypt  
33 Restart the webserver. # service apache2 restart  
34 Copy .htaccess from the zip archive and put it in /var/www/jensblog/public_html    
35 Copy rewrite_test.php into /var/www/jensblog/public_html and rename it to post.php   Rename rewrite_test.php into post.php
36 Test the site. Enter   If the site replies:
Test Args
No valid args
All is fine.
37 Copy all files from the BlogEngine directory into  /var/www/jensblog/public_html    
38 In dbconnection.php set the correct password to the database    
39   # apt-get install php5-mysql Install modules in php to create a connection between php5 and MySql
40   # service apache2 restart  
41 Set to executable # chmod o+x /usr/local/bin/  
42 Set correct password for the database in    
43 Create folder media in /var/www/jensblog/public_html   The tool downloads fotos to the media directory.
44 Now run to import the previous blog to the new blogengine. Note to self: Develop an alternative program setting up an empty blog.
45 In these files change $domain = "…" to the correct domain. For example domain.php Note to self: It should only be necessary to change the domain in domain.php
46 Create folder images in /var/www/jensblog/public_html    
47 Copy the files in the zip archive Images to the images directory.    
48 Create folder ckeditor in Create folder images in /var/www/jensblog/public_html    
49 Copy the files in the zip archive CkEditor to the ckeditor directory.    
50 Make www-data user the owner of the media folder. # chown www-data:www-data /var/www/jensblog/public_html/media  
51   # apt-get install php5-gd  
52   # service apache2 restart  

When I was done with this I started using my temporary server and at first I noticed nothing but as I went editing pages they got destroyed. This was really annoying. Long story short html tags would get zapped upon opening a post for editing and it was settings in the CkEditor causing this behavior. Rather the greater than and less than symbols in pairs would get zapped.

So I studied this and it has taken me a lot of research to find out what this is about. The CKEditor makers wants to make a WYSIWYG editor. People writing about html code are "out of luck" when using the CKEditor. Well, no there are solutions but I don't get them to work. I am clearly not clever enough. I gave up on that.

So I made my own solution for this little issue. This solution is based on these two wonderful characters:

I found them here at this site:

Here I am going to tell you how I solved this but it is a little bit like talking about Voldemort (the one that you must not mention in the Harry Potter books) while you are next to him. But please enjoy!

So suppose we have a character that looks like less-than and greater-than but they aren't? In my routine loading data from the database I made sure that all text within pre start and end tags are changed into the prec and succ characters. The text is loaded in CKEditor and it survives the WYSIWYG zapping tag routine.

So when that worked I could get literal less-than and greater-than characters within pre tags to survive the zapping. This was the first step. I was delighted. Then what happened if I pasted html sourcecode into the CKEditor? These would come escaped as ampersand+lt+semicolon and ampersand+gt+semicolon so they would be safe when reloaded into the editor. NO! So when I made also these codes into prec and succ characters then pasted html source code would survive as well.

So are we done then? No, when people would browse my site they would see something that looks like html source code but it would not work if it was copied and pasted into an editor. So for this issue the line numbering routine was changed so that if it was seeing the prec and succ it would turn them into real greater-than and less-than characters.

Then it worked!

Now it is time for a little issue. Do you remember that my old blog could not edit any more categories and that I could not add for example 2016. Well now I can do that but it is a little tedious to go and do it manually for all posts published this year. So there is a remedy for that! A sql query obviously.

mysql≻ use jensblog
Database changed
mysql≻ start transaction;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql≻ insert PostCategory (PostID, CategoryID) select Post.ID, 47 from Post where PublishedOn ≻ '2016-01-01';
Query OK, 14 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Records: 14  Duplicates: 0  Warnings: 0

mysql≻ select * from PostCategory where CategoryID = 47;
| PostID | CategoryID |
|     41 |         47 |
|     47 |         47 |
|    126 |         47 |
|    133 |         47 |
|    155 |         47 |
|    176 |         47 |
|    191 |         47 |
|    258 |         47 |
|    276 |         47 |
|    437 |         47 |
|    440 |         47 |
|    459 |         47 |
|    464 |         47 |
|    466 |         47 |
14 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql≻ commit;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)


Wonderful. Now I am ready to go on to the next challenge of the deployment, redirections.

But that is for the next time.

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If you need to send me a link or something personal you can do that on jens at malmgren dot nl.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.