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Last edited: January 27, 2020
Cloud services are popular and are replacing local servers. The purpose of this page it to document my trials/tribulations, as well as provide a "how I did it" page.
My project was to copy a simple website (this one actually), to the Amazon AWS cloud. They claim online that this can be done on 3 minutes. Not true at all -- maybe 3 hours start to finish. I thought I could prepare for this by reading an online book on AWS. This was just gibberish. So here is my list of things to do.
So after all this, I was able to copy my website to AWS, and it seems to work , but it has a strange Amazon name (generated by Amazon). The name is :
I use older versions of Dreamweaver (i.e 3, 4 and 5), that don't require subscriptions to Adobe, to edit my websites that are mainly content. I don't subscribe to the Adobe "creative cloud". Why buy the whole cow if all you want is milk? These versions of Dreamweaver need ftp to upload/download, which means that you have to install ftp on your AWS server. They don't work with sftp. Thus Dreamweaver 3-5 is "crippled". Sftp doesn't work with Dreamweaver 3-5 because there is no method of supplying Dreamweaver the private key for authentication. One wonders what Adobe was thinking when they implemented Dreamweaver with an "SFTP" option but no method of entering the private key.
FTP is not secure, because it doesn't use encryption. So using FTP to upload to AWS is a security issue.
The best way to manage this security problem is to set up a testing server locally, make sure everything works locally, and only use secure transfers (perhaps with winscp) to your public web site. This is probably the best solution for crippled Dreamweaver 3-5 based sites, but it requires more work to set up a local server. For this solution, you still have to get ftp working on your testing server, which should not be publicly accessible.
So this section is about installing an ftp server on your ubuntu site, whether it be a testing server or a AWS server. If you are doing this on the public site, you have to configure ftp so that it requires some sort of login (no anonymous of course), and it points to your Ubuntu web directory (/var/www/html in Ubuntu 14.04 and later). Probably not necessary if you are using a testing server. By the way, using a NAS as a testing server is easy but a bad idea (because you can't control the stack). Setting up a local virtual ubuntu is probably the best idea (i.e. similar to the AWS machine).
In previous attempts to install FTP, I have NEVER managed to get vsftpd working, but have succeeded with proftpd. As mentioned above, getting ftp to work for Dreamweaver means being unsecure because Dreamweaver 3, 4 and 5 don't do certificates in "manage sites". So you have to ignore all of the stuff in the online instructions about certificates. For security, you just have to depend on the fact that you are not doing much uploading/downloading with Dreamweaver, and you should choose a very secure username/password pair. It is also best if you are not doing anything that needs security anyway. Use a secure method (like winscp) if you need to to do something securely. Of course, if someone hacks your ftp, with some sort of method of watching your web traffic and uploads some php, you are dead. So this is intrinsically risky.
Lets say you have a domain name that you own called "whatever.com", and you want to have people who type in "whatever" in their browser, to end up on your amazon page, which might be called something like "ec2-18-224-173-6.us-east-2.compute.amazonaws.com". Obviously, you don't want people to have to type this in. You want to switch the DNS (domain name server) over to knowing that ec2-18-224-173-6.us-east-2.compute.amazonaws.com is where you go when you type in "whatever" in your browser. What you want to do is to change your nameserver. This is free, because you pay for this already when you renew your domain name.
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