Articles about software development operations

In this page, you will find articles that are related to computer infrastructure operations that are performed in the course of software development.

Examples include how to setup the server infrastructure to run Python applications, WordPress applications and etc.

Configuring Nginx for PHP web applications

Nginx and PHP FastCGI Process Manager (FPM) are often used side by side for PHP applications. In such a setting, Nginx will be the first point of contact for incoming HTTP requests, acting as a reverse proxy server for the PHP FastCGI Process Manager.

The PHP FastCGI Process Manager then interprets the HTTP requests that it receives from Nginx and runs the PHP scripts for generating the corresponding HTTP responses for Nginx to return back to the HTTP client.

This post discusses a set of configurations that you can use for configuring Nginx for your PHP web applications.


Configuring Nginx to serve files for a static website

In the world of HTTP, static files are content hosted on a web server that does not change. Some examples of static files include images, CSS files, JavaScript files and HTML files.

Although it is not too hard to implement a dynamic website through a content management framework like WordPress on your own server, there are cases where it makes more sense to just host a couple of static files to realise your website.

Nginx is an excellent web server for serving static websites. If you already have Nginx running on a Raspberry Pi 3 or any other kinds of server, you may want to configure it to serve files for your static website.

Building a reverse proxy server with Nginx, Certbot, Raspbian Stretch Lite and Raspberry Pi 3

The Nginx reverse proxy server runs well on Raspberry Pi 3 and you can use it behind a router to route HTTP traffic to upstream web applications.

A Raspberry Pi 3 reverse proxy server is a very useful appliance to help us host multiple websites from home.

Some examples of web applications that you may want to host at home includes:

This post discusses how you can build a reverse proxy server with nginx, Certbot, Raspbian Stretch Lite and Raspberry Pi 3 to proxy HTTP traffic directed at applications on your home network.

Understanding the difference between the root and alias directives in Nginx

Nginx is a web server that is good for serving as a reverse proxy server, load balancer or HTTP cache.

One of the most important task in configuring Nginx to proxy HTTP / HTTPS traffic is telling Nginx where to look for files that it needs for serving HTTP / HTTPS requests.

This posts discusses the root and alias directives that we can use in Nginx configuration files for mapping a url from a HTTP request to a file on the server file system.

Installing Certbot on Raspbian Stretch Lite for obtaining Let’s Encrypt’s browser-trusted certificates

By offering free browser-trusted certificates, Let’s Encrypt makes it easy for ordinary folks like you and me to deploy secure web applications that serve HTTPS traffic 24-7.

The issuance of Let’s Encrypt certificates is automated by software participating in the ACME protocol. We will need to run such a software on devices which host web servers serving HTTPS traffic.

The Raspbian Stretch Lite operating system is a way to create performant web-based appliances with Raspberry Pis. If you need to secure your web-based applications on Raspbian Stretch Lite, you may choose to install Certbot on Raspbian Stretch Lite as a first step.

This post extends Certbot’s installation instruction on Debian Stretch to provide the steps for installing Certbot on Raspbian Stretch Lite.