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Installing WriteFreely on AWS LightSail


I recently discovered WriteFreely and decided to install it at writer.thomasott.io to test it. I set it up on AWS Lightsail using the smallest instance available and a standard LAMP stack image. It took about an hour of set-up time and I wanted to share my installation notes here.

  1. Spin up a LAMP stack on AWS Lightsail and attach and static IP to it
  2. Point an A record to the static IP
  3. SSH into the LAMP instance and change the directory to the htdocs
  4. Download WriteFreely in the htdocs directory using sudo
  5. Unzip the tar ball, it will create a writefreely directory
  6. Configure it by following these instructions
  7. Setup the writefreely.service and make sure you set WorkingDirectory=/home/bitnami/htdocs and ExecStart=/home/bitnami/htdocs/writefreely/writefreely
  8. Enable the service by doing sudo systemctl enable writefreely.service and then sudo systemctl start writefreely.service
  9. Run the bncert-tool to get your SSL certs and install
  10. Run sudo writefreely - config to configure as standalone production server
  11. Get your keys by running sudo writefreely - key-gen
  12. Restart Apache or reboot the instance
  13. Check sudo journalctl -f -u writefreely to see if it’s working

I also reviewed this post from the forums, it was very helpful for Apache-based web servers.

Note: Writefreely is a minimalistic blogging software that lets you create publications. It reminds me of Ghost but in a very early “alpha” stage.

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