Installing the necessary software on an AWS Amazon Linux AMI server

There is a variety of software you will need to get your new AWS web server up and running. You probably already have the desktop clients if you every did any server work previously, the core server software however will need to be installed, depending on your purposes for the server.

This page will be updated from time to time as new installation and configuration guides are added.

Desktop Clients

Software Description Available at: Documentation
PuTTy Free SSH client. Utilizes basic command line style interface www.putty.org TXT version | HTML version
WinSCP Free SCP/SFTP/FTP client for Windows. Offers a graphical user interface to move and edit files. www.winscp.net HTML version

I am bias to Windows software. All of these programs run on Windows XP and Windows 7 (32-bit & 64-bit systems). If you are running a Linux or Mac system….well…they may work. The program’s name link will go to instructions on configuring the software to access your AWS Instance.

Core Server Software

Software Usage Description Documentation
Apache2 Website hosting The basic web server which deals with internet (http/https) traffic to the server. http://httpd.apache.org/
PHP Dynamic Websites (optional)
Requires:Apache2
Scripting language for creating dynamic webpages. Used by most CMS, Wiki & Blog systems to manage content http://www.php.net/
MySQL Database The basic free SQL database server. Used by many CMS, Wiki & Blog systems to store content. http://www.mysql.com/
phpMyAdmin Database Administration (optional)
Requires:Apache2, PHP & MySQL
Graphical, HTML based admin tool for accessing and managing mySQL databases. http://www.phpMyAdmin.net/
Postfix Mail-Transfer-Agent (ie: email server) Accepts and sends email. Versatile and can be used with a variety of database structures. http://www.postfix.com/
Courier Email Client Portal (optional)
Requires:Postfix
Offers a portal to access email via any client, including MS Outlook, Thunderbird & smart phones. Offers IMAP and POP3 systems. http://www.courier-mta.org/
Spamassassin Email Spam filter (optional)
Requires:Postfix
Works with MTAs to prevent spam from arriving on server http://spamassassin.apache.org/
BIND9 DNS Server (optional) DNS server which allows you to create your own dns records. http://www.bind9.net

Note all of these programs are free, and most are open source. All of the installation instructions are specific to the Amazon Linux AMI. This stripped down version of Linux is a special Amazon derivative of Fedora. When I was originally setting up our servers, some of the differences between RedHat, Ubuntu, Debian and this version of Linux drove me crazy, therefore all of these instructions worked on the newest Amazon Linux AMI version (currently 2012.03).

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