16 min

Installing nodejs, nginx, mysql, junco, and ghost on Digital Ocean Droplet

Week of November 10, 2013

Buying a Domain Name

I used networksolutions.com to buy a domain name.

Web Hosting at Digital Ocean

  • http://digitalocean.com

    • create an account
    • purchase the $5 per month Droplet.
    • I used Ubuntu Linux.
    • Digital Ocean will e-mail the username and password for the Linux server. This info is used to log into the server with SSH.
  • while logged into the web-based Digital Ocean dashboard:

    • click DNS and add the domain name purchased above. the domain name will be associated with the droplet created, but also need to add the domain name to the DNS setting.
    • add the Digital Ocean name servers to the Network Solutions account for the domain name.
  • Linux server

    • use remote shell/SSH to log into the Digital Ocean server and change the password.
    • they provide root access to the server.
    • may need to change config so that root cannot log into the server remotely. create a new user account to login with and then su to root.
    • it's a clean, simple, bare-bones Linux install.
    • need to install gcc.
    • need to install unzip.
    • need to isntall curl.

Installing Node.js


sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install build-essential
sudo apt-get install curl
echo 'export PATH=$HOME/local/bin:$PATH' >> ~/.bashrc
. ~/.bashrc
mkdir ~/local
mkdir ~/node-latest-install
cd ~/node-latest-install
curl http ://nodejs.org/dist/node-latest.tar.gz | tar xz --strip-components=1
./configure --prefix=~/local
make install
curl https ://npmjs.org/install.sh | sh
node -v

Installing Nginx


sudo apt-get install nginx
sudo mkdir /var/cache/nginx
sudo chown web-data:web-data /var/cache/nginx
sudo mkdir /var/www
sudo chown web-data:web-data /var/www
vi /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

Delete everything and replace it with the text below.

user web-data;
worker_processes 4;
pid /run/nginx.pid;

events {
    worker_connections 768;
    # multi_accept on;

http {

    proxy_cache_path  /var/cache/nginx levels=1:2 keys_zone=one:8m max_size=3000m inactive=600m;
    proxy_temp_path /var/tmp;
    include       mime.types;
    default_type  application/octet-stream;
    sendfile        on;
    keepalive_timeout  65;

    gzip on;
    gzip_comp_level 6;
    gzip_vary on;
    gzip_min_length  1000;
    gzip_proxied any;
    gzip_types text/plain text/css application/json application/x-javascript text/xml application/xml application/xml+rss text/javascript;

    gzip_buffers 16 8k;

    upstream ghost_upstream {
      keepalive 64;

    server {
    listen 80;

    server_name YOUR_DOMAIN www.YOUR_DOMAIN;

    if ($host = 'YOUR_DOMAIN' ) {
            rewrite  ^/(.*)$  http://www.YOUR_DOMAIN/$1  permanent;

#        location ~ ^/(ghost/signup/) {
#                rewrite ^/(.*)$ http://YOUR_DOMAIN/ permanent;
#        }

    location ~ ^/(img/|css/|lib/|vendor/|fonts/|robots.txt|humans.txt) {
      root /var/www/core/client/assets;
      access_log off;
      expires max;

    location ~ ^/(shared/|built/) {
      root /var/www/core;
      access_log off;
      expires max;

    location ~ ^/(favicon.ico) {
      root /var/www/core/shared;
      access_log off;
      expires max;

    location ~ ^/(content/images/) {
      root /var/www;
      access_log off;
      expires max;

    location / {
      proxy_redirect off;
      proxy_set_header   X-Real-IP            $remote_addr;
      proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-For  $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
      proxy_set_header   X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
      proxy_set_header   Host                   $http_host;
      proxy_set_header   X-NginX-Proxy    true;
      proxy_set_header   Connection "";
      proxy_http_version 1.1;
      proxy_cache one;
      proxy_cache_key ghost$request_uri$scheme;
      proxy_pass         http://ghost_upstream;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/access.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/error.log;

    include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
    include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;

update: on Apr 17, 2014, I needed to added the following line to the http block accommodate for longer sub-domain names.

http {
    server_names_hash_bucket_size  64;`

Now you need to edit the contents and replace everywhere it says YOUR_DOMAIN with your actual domain like example.com.

You can now restart nginx:

sudo /etc/init.d/nginx restart

Configuring Nginx


Sub Domains


How to add a subdomain?

"You can add subdomains as either A or CNAME records. A records you would point them to a specific IP, and with CNAME records you can point them to a canonical name."

I created CNAME records:

While logged into the Digital Ocean Web admin interface:

  • click "DNS" in the left column.
  • under "Domains," click on the magnifying glass for "View."
  • click on big blue "Add Record" button at upper right.
  • click CNAME
  • enter name: ghost
  • enter hostname: @

Then from this: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-set-up-nginx-virtual-hosts-server-blocks-on-ubuntu-12-04-lts--3

Create the New Virtual Host File

The next step is to create a new file that will contain all of our virtual host information.

nginx provides us with a layout for this file in the sites-available directory (/etc/nginx/sites-available), and we simply need to copy the text into a new custom file:

sudo cp /etc/nginx/sites-available/default /etc/nginx/sites-available/ghost.soupmode.com

Open up the new virtual host file— you will see all the information you need to set up virtual host within.

sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/ghost.soupmode.com

We need to make a couple of changes in these few lines:

server {
    listen   80; ## listen for ipv4; this line is default and implied
    # listen   [::]:80 default ipv6only=on; ## listen for ipv6

    root /home/ghost/default;
    index index.html index.htm;

    # Make site accessible from http://localhost/
    server_name ghost.soupmode.com;

Uncomment "listen 80" so that all traffic coming in through that port will be directed toward the site

Change the root extension to match the directory that we made in Step One. If the document root is incorrect or absent you will not be able to set up the virtual host.

Change the server name to your DNS approved domain name or, if you don't have one, you can use your IP address

You do not need to make any other changes to this file. Save and Exit.

The last step is to activate the host by creating a symbolic link between the sites-available directory and the sites-enabled directory. In apache, the command to accomplish this is "a2ensite."

nginx does not have an equivalent shortcut, but it's an easy command nonetheless.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ghost.soupmode.com

To both avoid the "conflicting server name error" and ensure that going to your site displays the correct information, you can delete the default nginx server block:

sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/default

Step Six—Restart nginx

We’ve made a lot of the changes to the configuration. Restart nginx and make the changes visible.

sudo service nginx restart

Possibly other helpful pages:

  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-set-up-a-host-name-with-digitalocean
  • http://blog.martinfjordvald.com/2010/07/nginx-primer/
  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/how-do-i-setup-subdomains-for-my-droplet
  • https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-set-up-apache-virtual-hosts-on-ubuntu-12-04-lts

Installing and Configuring Ghost

Update currently running Ghost from /home/ghost instead of /var/www.




download the zipped source code https://ghost.org/download/

copy .zip file to Digital Ocean server

install the unzip utility

sudo apt-get install unzip

unzip the ghost source code

unzip ghost-0.3.3.zip

In top-level directory where contents were unzipped:

npm install --production
npm install forever -g
vi /var/www/starter.sh

Paste in the script below:


if [ $(ps aux | grep node | grep -v grep | wc -l | tr -s "\n") -eq 0 ]
    export PATH=/usr/local/bin:$PATH
    export NODE_ENV=production
    NODE_ENV=production forever start --sourceDir /var/www index.js >> /var/log/nodelog.txt 2>&1

Now enter this command:

sudo chmod +x /var/www/starter.sh

Next up we want to fix all the permissions:

sudo chown -R web-data:web-data /var/www/

Now we need to add a line to your crontab:

sudo crontab -e

If this is the first time you've used crontab -e then it will ask you which editor to use. I prefer nano for simple edits, but you can choose anything. Place this line at the end of the file and save:

@reboot /var/www/starter.sh

If not unzipped in /var/www, then:

cp config.js /var/www

The Ghost config.js file is up next. Open it up to edit:

Edit the lines with "url:" right under development and production declarations replacing the default URL with yours:

development: {
    // The url to use when providing links to the site, E.g. in RSS and email.
    url: 'http:// YOUR_DOMAIN',


production: {
    url: 'http:// YOUR_DOMAIN',

I did not edit the database section of the config.js file, since I'm using the default sqlite.

You are now done. Ghost should be ready to go. Get into the /var/www directory and enter this command:

Next command is not working at the moment. Using the commands in the notes section below.

sudo ./starter.sh

That should start Ghost, nginx was already running, as was mysql. Visit http://YOUR_DOMAIN and you should see the default page.

Other Ghost Install Links to Read


init.d script to run Ghost under a service account. https://gist.github.com/emiller42/7191554


i unzipped the ghost code in /home/ghost. http://0v.org/installing-ghost-on-ubuntu-nginx-and-mysql recommended :

Download the zip file from your ghost.org account. Get it unzipped and uploaded. Make sure you put the files into /var/www. Now go into /var/www and run these commands:

sudo npm install --production
sudo npm install mysql
sudo npm install forever -g

The Ov.org user chose mysql instead of sqlite.

Other options for starting and stopping ghost.

cd /home/ghost
forever start index.js
forever stop index.js

Installing MySQL

if want to use a different database.

This is another simple one. Run this command:

sudo apt-get install mysql-client mysql-server

While its running it will ask you to set a root password. Make sure to remember this.

Now lets add a couple ghost databases and a user. Enter this command to get into mysql's command line interface: (it will ask for the root password you set earlier)

mysql -uroot -p

You should see output like this:

Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 1269
Server version: 5.5.32-0ubuntu0.13.04.1 (Ubuntu)
Copyright (c) 2000, 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

At the "mysql>" prompt you need to enter these commands one at a time: (replace YOUR_PASSWORD with a password you will remember)

create database ghostdev;
create database ghost;
create user 'ghost'@'localhost' identified by 'YOUR_PASSWORD';
grant all privileges on ghost.* to 'ghost'@'localhost';
grant all privileges on ghostdev.* to 'ghost'@'localhost';
flush privileges;

You now have mysql setup with a production and development database.

Using Ghost


The home page and the default test post that came with the Ghost code should display fine.

Now it's time to create an account to create new content.

Navigate to your new blog in your favourite browser, and then change the URL to http://yourURL/ghost/signup

Fill in your Full Name as the name you want to appear as the author of blog posts.

Then enter your Email Address - make sure it's valid, and carefully enter a sensible Password (it needs to be at least 8 characters long).

Hit the big blue Sign Up button, and you will be logged in to your blog. That's it! You can now start writing blog posts.

Message will be displayed: "Ghost is currently unable to send e-mail. See http://docs.ghost.org/mail for instructions"

This isn't critical to setting up your blog so you can get started writing, but it is a good idea to mosey on over to the email documentation at some point, and learn about configuring Ghost to send email. This is currently only used to send you a reset email if you forget your password. Not important for blogging, but really useful if you ever need it!


Sqlite3 command tool


To check what email address is registered to your ghost blog:

Login to your DO command line.

Type apt-get install sqlite3 to install the sqlite3 command line client
Type cd /var/www/ghost/content/data to go to the data directory (assuming they followed my instructions for setting up)
Type sqlite3 ghost.db
Type select * from users;

Compare the email address

Type .exit to exit sqlite3


Retrieving password

If e-mail is not configured, then ...



sqlite3 content/data/ghost-dev.db

sqlite> select * from users

"So I used this site: http://bcrypthashgenerator.apphb.com/ to generate bcrypt hash and updated it in DB:"

sqlite> update users set password="$2a$10$f29LDrB8S1JMfdF40Vmf1.h2OyhtlcefaMrFQVpHeX9XQ7Xiq17 C" where id = 1;

sqlite> .quit


Alternately, just use this hash which is for "password": $2a$10$BQToDNdBtBKCvnrTmMi5m.NK.7i6Qx7YASs.jTkE86I5zqxzE8klC

UPDATE users SET password='<<PASTE_HASH_HERE>>' WHERE email = '<<YOUR_EMAIL_ADDRESS>>'

Type .exit to exit sqlite3

Log into your blog, and change your password to something secure.

Set up an email service at Mailgun as detailed here: http://docs.ghost.org/mail/

Creating a new post

Click the "New Post" link in upper left part of site.

Ghost uses Markdown. For a new test post, I used the text from this post: http://jothut.com/cgi-bin/junco.pl/blogpost/5118/19Sep2013/Perl-ForecastIO-module-README-for-GitHub

The above ForecastIO readme for GitHub was created in Markdown.

Configuring Ghost



Ghost provides test and production environments.

Ghost Settings


Writing Posts



add /ghost to the end of the URL to the blog.

Install lighttpd

sudo apt-get install lighttpd

vim /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf

add line: server.port = 8080

service lighttpd start


service lighttpd restart

Executing Perl on Nginx



apt-get install libfcgi-perl
server {
  listen   80;
  server_name  example.com www.example.com;
  root   /var/www/example.com;
  access_log  /var/www/logs/example.com.access.log;  

  location / {
      index  index.html index.htm index.pl;

  location ~ \.pl|cgi$ {
      try_files $uri =404;
      gzip off;
      fastcgi_index index.pl;
      fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
      include fastcgi_params;
mkdir /var/www/example.com

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

do this instead of the steps below:

sudo apt-get install fcgiwrap

wget http://nginxlibrary.com/downloads/perl-fcgi/fastcgi-wrapper -O /usr/bin/fastcgi-wrapper.pl

wget http://nginxlibrary.com/downloads/perl-fcgi/perl-fcgi -O /etc/init.d/perl-fcgi

chmod +x /usr/bin/fastcgi-wrapper.pl

chmod +x /etc/init.d/perl-fcgi

update-rc.d perl-fcgi defaults

insserv perl-fcgi

cd /etc/init.d

./perl-fcgi start

[X] http://serverfault.com/questions/254191/how-to-combine-url-rewriting-and-fastcgi-in-nginx

location / {
          root    /path.to.app/;
          index   index.php index.html;
          rewrite                 ^/(.*)$ /index.php?query=$1 break;
          fastcgi_pass  ;
          fastcgi_index           index.php;
          fastcgi_param           SCRIPT_FILENAME  /path.to.app/$fastcgi_script_name;
          include                 fastcgi_params;





Working Nginx config

As of Nov 15, 2013.

At the moment, storing all domain info in the main config file, located at /etc/nginx/nginx.conf

May split info up later into multiple files to be included in the main config, but only Ghost config info is lengthy.

soupmode nginx config

update 20nov2013 - problems with cgi app executing another cgi app on same server. seems to be a problem with fast cgi. trying a different wrapper mentioned here: https://library.linode.com/web-servers/nginx/perl-fastcgi/ubuntu-12.04-precise-pangolin

Installing Junco

downloaded/ftped Junco-15Nov2013.tar.gz to the Digital Ocean Linux server into /home/junco

Unzip and untar in one step:

tar xvfz Junco-15Nov2013.tar.gz

This produces /home/junco/Junco

(I need test this by using the nginx config file to use files in the locations after unzipping and untarring, but for now, will manually copy certain files to key locations such as cgi-bin and html root.)


cp Junco/cgi/junco.pl cgi-bin
cd cgi-bin
vim junco.pl

Change the following line to be:

use lib '/home/junco/Junco/lib'

Save and exit and the file.

chmod 755 junco.pl
chown ghost:ghost junco.pl
cd ..

(I'm still running things as user ghost.)

CSS and JS

Earlier, I created the html docs/root directory called html.

Within the /home/junco directory:

mkdir html/css
mkdir html/javascript
mkdir html/javascript/buttons
mkdir html/javascript/mousestrap
mkdir html/javascript/meanmenu
mkdir html/javascript/splitscreen
cp Junco/css/* html/css
cp -R Junco/javascript/* html/javascript
chown -R ghost:ghost html


cd Junco/sql

Execute based upon the info used when installing the mysql database above:

mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-content.sql

Will receive syntax error about Type=MyISAM.


1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'TYPE=MyISAM' at line xxx

Response in the stack overflow thread:

Note The older TYPE option was synonymous with ENGINE. TYPE was deprecated in MySQL 4.0 and removed in MySQL 5.5. When upgrading to MySQL 5.5 or later, you must convert existing applications that rely on TYPE to use ENGINE instead.
CREATE TABLE dave_bannedwords(
  KEY id(id) -- this is superfluous in the presence of your PK, ergo unnecessary

Edit the .sql files and change




Then execute the following:

mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-content.sql
mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-users.sql
mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-tags.sql
mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-backlinks.sql
mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-sessionids.sql
mysql -ujunco -pyourpassword -D junco < junco-following.sql


cd /home/junco/Junco/yaml

Edit junco.yaml and make appropriate changes.


Edit Junco/lib/Junco/Config.pm and point to the .yaml file.

Execute cgi-bin/junco.pl from the command prompt or from the browser at http://junco.soupmode.com/cgi-bin/junco.pl

Currently receive error:

Can't locate Crypt/SSLeay.pm in @INC (@INC contains: /home/junco/Junco/lib /etc/perl /usr/local/lib/perl/5.14.2 /usr/local/share/perl/5.14.2 /usr/lib/perl5 /usr/share/perl5 /usr/lib/perl/5.14 /usr/share/perl/5.14 /usr/local/lib/site_perl) at /home/junco/Junco/lib/REST/Client.pm line 82. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /home/junco/Junco/lib/REST/Client.pm line 82. Compilation failed in require at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/Rest.pm line 10. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/Rest.pm line 10. Compilation failed in require at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/BlogData.pm line 7. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/BlogData.pm line 7. Compilation failed in require at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/Format.pm line 9. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/Format.pm line 9. Compilation failed in require at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/Stream.pm line 5. BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at /home/junco/Junco/lib/Junco/Stream.pm line 5. Compilation failed in require at (eval 11) line 2.

Current perl version:

perl -v

returns: perl v5.14.2 (2011)

WTF??? This works fine on older versions of Perl on HE.net servers.

I tried this:

perl -MCPAN -e 'install Crypt::SSLeay'

But install failed. Nice.

Okay, now works!!!



Executed the following commands from the above links:

sudo apt-get install libssl-dev
perl -MCPAN -e 'install Crypt::SSLeay'

And now the Junco app works for receiving the login page. Excellent. So far.

Edit .yml config file to allow new user signups.

Success. Created a new account. Activated account. Logged in. Changed password.

Nginx Server Blocks



We can create these links by typing:

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/example.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/test.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Installed Mailgun

I created an account at https://mailgun.com to send email from my web apps, hosted at the Digital Ocean droplet.

Within the Digital Ocean web admin, I added DNS records for a domain.

Installed the Perl modules WWW::Mailgun

perl -MCPAN -e 'install WWW::Mailgun

test mailgun script

#!/usr/bin/perl -wT

use strict;
use WWW::Mailgun;

     my $mg = WWW::Mailgun->new({
        key    => 'api-key-provided-by-mailgun',
        domain => 'something.mailgun.org',
        from   => 'Mailgun Sandbox <postmaster@sandboxwhatever.mailgun.org>'

          to      => 'Pat Doe <patdoe@patdoe.com>',
          subject => 'hello from test script',
          text    => 'Hello there'


On Sep 22, 2014, I enabled SSL for soupmode.com:

SSL update

in sep 2015, i updated the cert by using startssl.com again.

but in sep 2016, i switched to let's encrypt.


Chrome info

May 14, 2015

Within the Chrome browser, the following information is provided about the SSL cert that I use at soupmode.com.

The identity of this website has been verified by StartCom Class 1 Primary Intermediate Server CA but does not have public audit records.

Your connection to soupmode.com is encrypted with modern cryptography.

The connection uses TLS 1.2.

The connection is encrypted and authenticated using AES_128_GCM and uses ECDHE_RSA as the key exchange mechanism.


Test run on May 14, 2015. Soupmode.com received an 'F' grade. Got some work to do.


tags: #webhosting - #nodejs - #javascript - #ghost - #blogging - #ssl

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