Pro tip: Run the latest Nginx version on Ubuntu

For some reason or another, the version of Nginx available in the standard Ubuntu repositories is old. Fortunately, there’s an alternate repository maintained. The Nginx install page shows us how to add it:

sudo su -
nginx=stable # use nginx=development for latest development version
add-apt-repository ppa:nginx/$nginx
apt-get update
apt-get install nginx

If you get an error like:

-bash: add-apt-repository: command not found

you need to:

aptitude install python-software-properties

Compiling from source is a pain. Do this instead (tested on Ubuntu 10.10).

Now served with Slicehost

If you’re reading this, then my website is now being served from 100% tasty Slicehost goodness.

For the past year, I’ve been using the most basic WebFaction plan for a few of my personal sites as well as several projects. WebFaction is known for its one-click installers, which make it super simple to get an instance of WordPress, Django, Trac/SVN, and a number of other web applications running in a matter of minutes. The downside and upside is that it’s managed hosting, however. WebFaction served my prior needs well but, about a month ago, I decided to make the switch to Slicehost to offer two opportunities: continuing practice with server administration and greater control over the entire stack when I need it.

Another awesome advantage to Slicehost is that their documentation is absolutely superb. I started out with a vanilla Ubuntu Karmic Koala instance, ran through all of the basic configuration and necessities, and installed Nginx in front of Apache in less than an hour. It’s not the first time I’ve set one up, but whomever writes their articles would make landing a space shuttle a walk in the park. The biggest hassle, and this is why it’s taken me a month to finish up, is just ensuring each site migration goes smoothly. Now that this is complete, though, I can go back to building out my website as my personal hub and, eventually, personal data repository.

If you’d like to purchase a sturdy yet flexible virtual private server, tell Slicehost I sent you.