Category Archives: Mac

Building a Lamp box using debian linux

LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySql & PHP.  These software packages installed together make for an extremely powerful way of hosting websites. Various forms of Linux can be downloaded for free.  Apache is the most used web server in the world and it’s free. MySql is a powerful relational database and PHP is a powerful scripting language.  Together these programs provide everything you need to create full websites with ineractiviy.  What’s more with the power of a relational database, you can provide very data rich pages to your users.

Over the next few posts, I’m going to detail a method of setting up a fully working LAMP system.  The steps will allow you to build a new lamp system from scratch to run on either a 64-bit intel based processor, or a Raspberry PI.  Apart from the initial steps for installing the Linux OS, everything else will be pretty much the same.

I’m going to install three different systems with this setup.  The first two will be virtual machines running in VMWare (One on VMWare Player in windows, one on VMWare Fusion on Mac OSX). The third will be installed as the main OS for a Raspberry PI Model B.  As these systems are based on different hardware, I need to use two different installers.  For the virtual machines, I can use the installer for Debian linux from here, for my download I chose the “amd64” download as this is for 64-bit processors (which both my desktop and laptop have)  for the Raspberry Pi I used the Raspbian download from here, it’s worth me pointing out that this will also install Debian Wheezy on the PI.

The installers are all fairly straight forward.  For the Intel based images, you are provided with an ISO file which can be plugged directly into VMWare whilst creating the virtual machine.  For the Raspberry PI, the installation process means using another machine to format and install the image onto the SD Card, then boot the PI.

Minimum install

Installing Debian Wheezy as a virtual macihine


Either way, you will end up with the same boot loader and installation options.  For my install, I chose to install  the absolute minimum, no GUI, no tools, or anything, I wanted complete control over the setup process.

Once installed I will be manually installing Apache, PHP, MySQL and an FTP server. This will give me the ability to use the linux machine in the same way that I would use for web hosting.  If I wanted, instead of the FTP, I could use SAMBA to create windows file shares which might work well as an alternative to FTP.  That is a decision that I can make later.  If I desired there is nothing stopping me from having both FTP and SAMBA.

The observant will notice that I after install I executed the APT-GET UPDATE command. This makes sure that my Linux install is completely patched.  I believe that patching is always the better option, it helps with issues like the recent Heartbleed scare.


Next post installing MySql

Reinstalling Lion

mac restoring time capsule data

mac restoring time capsule data

Reinstalling Lion on my Mid-2009 MacBook Pro. This is not as straight forward as if you buy a Mac today, but it’s actually not that bad – well, so far.

MacBook Pro surgery

MacBook Pro with back removed

MacBook Pro with back removed

And so it begins. I removed the screws from my MacBook Pro and lifted the lid.

MacBook pro hard drive crash

Last night the hard drive on my MacBook pro failed. It didn’t die completely, not yet anyway. The symptom was that the interface worked perfectly, but any access to the hard drive would stall, I mean for 5 minutes at a time. All I’d get is the pinwheel and nothing else.

I managed to use the disk utility to verify the disk, but that said everything was ok. I knew differently.

MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro 17 Inch

MacBook Pro 17 Inch

The core of my new workstation is my 17″ MacBook Pro, (Later 2009 edition) When I purchased this, decided that I’d go all in an had the processor upgraded to 3.0Ghz, and got the 512Gb Hard drive. I left the ram on the default 4GB.