Author Archives: sean.mcnealy - Page 2

Prefix commands with pseudo

So walking to work this morning I figured what the name “otherroute” is about. It’s about going a different way than normal, to be sure, but now there’s more.

The “route” is pronounced like “root”. As in the user root. And since I’m using homophones (some might use the more derogatory word puns) already, I figure the way you act as “otherroute” is to use the “pseudo” command (see “sudo“). Fun, no? It made me laugh.

Back Online!

I moved recently and had all my computers off for quite a while. Now they’re back, and I intend to write about my new MythTV setup. I’ve got the backend running, and need to get a frontend on an AppleTV for my TV screen.

WordPress Online

EDIT 8/10/09: I’ve been told on the ale.org list that ubuntu’s wordpress package has an older version of wordpress and has not been updated recently. So for now I’ll recommend NOT yet using apt to manage your wordpress install.


otherroute.net is back online.  And after doing some work getting a lot of different settings right, I realized that it could have been much easier.

sudo apt-get install wordpress

Yup, that’s all it takes.

My last webserver was an Xbox that ran Debian.  To set that up, I found all the source files I needed, configured and patched things, compiled and installed.  It was a familiar exercise of trying to compile only to find what’s missing, downloading more compressed tar files, and trying to compile everything again.  An afternoon or two later and I had a moderately working Apache webserver to host my personal website, projects for school, and other things that wanted to run on Linux.  And then I learned about apt, which makes life easier by doing all those things for you.  A single command and you’ve got Apache running.

I wanted to avoid that unnecessary work this time around when getting WordPress running on my new dedicated Ubuntu machine.  I was able to make good use of apt.  It found Apache2 for me and installed it.  It found PHP and MySQL and installed them too.  And then I went off configuring things.  I made a database user and databases.  I worked on the /var/www folder tree where I had put WordPress, setting permissions so that Apache could do everything it needed but nothing more.  I turned on Apache’s mod-rewrite when the usual WordPress URL formatting wouldn’t work, and then turned on an Apache permission for the site when mod-rewrite still wasn’t working.  Before calling everything complete, I wrote a script that would download WordPress’ latest.tar.gz and update the site.  And then I found that apt could have done all that and the updates would have been integrated in my usual system update process.

I had again wasted a couple afternoons configuring things that I could have just had the system do for me.  I hadn’t thought about a different way to do things at the time.  I knew how to do get the job done, so I started working the way I knew how.  Almost exactly like last time, after I was done I found that someone had provided me with a much easier way to get things started and in the future keep them up to date.  This time around, I thought I knew the tools available to me, but my knowledge was dated and the end result was the same as last.

But now I’ve got a new strategy that I learned from this exercise that I didn’t learn before.  Before doing things that I know how to do, I need to reevaluate that my known way is the best way.  Things change too quick, and nothing from a few years ago should be applied to technology today.  Sure, knowing the hard way by hand, like configuring WordPress or compiling Apache, helps in understanding what’s going on, but there’s better, popular and well-known ways to get that done.  And check apt for everything, even webapps.