Set Up Your Own Link Shortening Service with a Raspberry Pi

“Link shortening” happens when a short URL, such as http://bit.ly/2bo3XYY, points to the same web page as a longer link, such as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC.  Short links are often used where there are a limited number of characters available, such as an SMS text or a Twitter post.  Short links are also quicker to type and neater than the associated full length links.

Two of the main providers of short links are Bitly and Google (Goo.gl).  For example, I used Bitly to create the short link in the above paragraph.  However, if you have a Raspberry Pi (or any kind of Linux server), you don’t need to use a provider.  You can create your own short links.  This article explains how. Continue reading

Using a Domain Name with a Raspberry Pi Web Server

The Raspberry Pi’s low power consumption makes it well suited to the role of always-on web server. This post describes how to use a domain name with your Pi-based web site. Setting up a web site on the Pi is very easy and was explained in an earlier post of mine, just here.

This article explains how to set up a domain name with your web site, so that you can surf to http://your.domain.name instead of http://your.ip.address. It assumes that you have already have an Apache web site running. If not, please read the above post, before coming back here. Continue reading

Simple Nextcloud Installation on Raspberry Pi

*UPDATED November 2017 for Raspbian Stretch*. The Raspberry Pi’s low power consumption makes it well suited to the role of always-on web server. This post describes how to install Nextcloud onto the Pi.  Nextcloud is an open source software package providing remote file sharing services, similar to Dropbox. But with Nextcloud, you retain ownership, security and control of the shared data. Nextcloud works well on a Pi 2 and Pi 3 but will run very slowly on a Pi 1.

The below procedure describes how to install Nextcloud version 12.0.0, the latest stable version at the time of writing (27th May 2017), but it should work for later/future versions too.
Continue reading

Simple Picture Gallery on Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a small Linux computer designed to help children learn programming. Being a full Linux System, it can also be used as a server or as the basis for various projects. The Pi’s low power consumption makes it particularly suited to the role of always-on web server.

This post describes how to create a simple photo gallery on the Pi, which can be shared over the internet with or without password protection. While not as polished as Flickr, Smugmug or similar services, it allows you to retain ownetship, control and security of the shared images. Continue reading

Simple Webcam on Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi’s low power consumption makes it well suited to the role of always-on server. This post describes how to attach a simple webcam to a Raspberry Pi and have it take a snapshot every few minutes, and how to view the pictures on the web. Just like a traditional webcam.

My Raspberry Pi was purchased from New It in the UK. It was installed with Debian 7 (“Wheezy”) by applying the image “2014-01-07-wheezy-raspbian.zip” downloaded from the raspberrypi.org downloads page. The following procedure was then performed without any further pre-work (other than enabling ssh in the basic setup). Continue reading

Install WordPress Blog on Raspberry Pi

The Pi’s low power consumption makes it well suited to the role of always-on web server. This post describes how to install WordPress on the Raspberry Pi and get a blog going. Hosting your own blog means you keep ownership of your own data, and you are not dependant on blogger.com or whoever.

If you have already installed WordPress and just want to upgrade it, perhaps because a new version has been released, please see my article How to Upgrade WordPress on Linux

My Raspberry Pi was purchased from New It in the UK and runs Debian 7 (“Wheezy”).

Install Apache

Install the Apache web server with these commands. It might take 10 minutes or so to complete. A few other packages will also be installed. Continue reading

BT Home Hub Cannot Access SSL Website

This article explains why the BT Home Hub routers appears unable to access SSL/TLS (https) websites on your internal home network.  It may interest users in the UK, where the Home Hub is a popular router/ADSL modem.

Hosting your own website(s) at home is pretty easy these days.  You have a small server running Apache, and configure your router to forward port 80 to it.  For SSL sites, you forward port 443.  That’s about it. Continue reading

Create a Basic Website on a Raspberry Pi

This article was revised and updated on 29th May 2017.

The Raspberry Pi is a small Linux computer designed to help children learn programming. Being a full Linux System, it can also be used as a server or as the basis for various projects. This post describes how to install Apache onto the Pi and set up a basic web site.

My Raspberry Pi was purchased from RS Components in the UK. It was installed with Raspbian “Jessie” (Debian 8) by applying the image “2017-04-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img” downloaded from the raspberrypi.org downloads page, where it is described as “Minimal image based on Debian Jessie”. The following procedure was then performed without any further pre-work (other than enabling ssh in the basic setup). Continue reading

http_proxy in Red Hat 5

This post is about setting the http_proxy environment variable in Red Hat 5. Newer versions of the OS allow the variable to be set in either of two ways, that is:

# export http_proxy=http://192.168.1.100:8080
# export http_proxy=192.168.1.100:8080

Both will work. A subsequent call to yum will read the http_proxy environment variable and act on it, using the named proxy to obtain a network connection to the relevant repository. I have tested this successfully on Red Hat 5.7.

Yum Failures

Older versions of Red Hat 5 are more fussy. RHEL 5.4 will allow the first form above (export http_proxy=http://192.168.1.100:8080), but use the second form and yum will barf extravagantly, leaving you with a lengthy Python trace back. Continue reading