Getting Started

Before diving into the details of this little project, a little background on my experiences:

I’ve been playing with servers for over a decade now, both for work and as a hobby. Whether it was a spare machine set up to host and serve my music to machines in the home, or a VPS hosting a handful of websites, or a full-blown, state-of-the-art rack with super powers and chocolate sprinkles hosting enterprise-level applications, I’ve always had my hands in tinkering with things.


When I first heard of the Raspberry Pi, I was intrigued with the possibilites. I fully understood its limitations, but I wanted to get my hands into playing with one to discover its potential. I was so excited, I didn’t just buy one; why have one when you can buy two at twice the price?

The first already had a purpose in mind. I set it up as a Raspbmc device attached to my TV to serve digital files from a network share. The second, however, didn’t have a clear purpose. Since I bought it, it has served as an SSH server, a Mumble server, an OpenVPN server, or some combination of the three. I thought about serving a wordpress site from the Pi, but had a VM on my desktop that was doing that already. So, why change it up? Simple: curiousity!

I stumbled on — more specifically this tutorial series about installing WordPress using Nginx and MySQL on a Raspberry Pi. I had always used Apache for my web-servering needs, so the thought of branching out to a different solution actually seemed interesting. I’ve never had any problems with Apache, but why not try something new? I’ve also primarily used MySQL for my WordPress databases and will likely continue doing so. I did recently read about MariaDB and am toying with the idea of going with that option down the road, but there is still some time to make that decision yet. 

In my next post, I’ll break down the harware and software I’ll be using for this project and provide links to the items for anyone that wants to do some research on them. If anyone has any questions, feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter — @goestocollege!