Since we'll be travelling for the forseeable future, I decided to move the blog off the little server and up to Amazon Web Services, where it will be somebody else's problem to keep it running, accessable and online.

And Lightsail bids fair to be a pretty cheap hosting solution! For about $40/yr, I get to run my own VM and install any OS and CMS I want. I'll stick with Ghost for now.

Amazon deserves kudos for making it all so frictionless. You sign up for a free account, choose from bare bits or a preconfigured thing and you're up and running! I found the variety of off-the-shelf VM images a bit disappointing / and / or forbidding:

  1. Amazon linux is based on Centos (fork of Red Hat). It's the no-brainer choice, except all my hard-won Debian and Ubuntu command line fu goes away. yum instead of apt and I didn't even look to see whether they use systemd. I'm sure it's all stable and efficient, but not now.
  2. There are several images maintained by Bitnami, including a Ghost image (but I want to run 2 different sites, and it's based on Apache), a Nginx (but it includes a lot of PHP cruft and is based on Ubuntu 16 LTS) and a Node.js (old Ubuntu, Apache again and Redis, which I will not be using). Decided to roll my own and learn a bit.

So I started with a vanilla Ubuntu 18.10 image, latest Node, latest Nginx and Ghost. Ran through the well documented setup. Since I am running both this blog and www.bobssoftwareworks.com from the same instance, I naturally struggled with Nginx. But prevailed! and here we are!

Bonus: in the course of migrating all the content, I discovered the missing images in an odd corner of the old server and have restored them to their original glory here.