Turning your Raspberry Pi into a personal web server

Picture of Turning your Raspberry Pi into a personal web server
LAMP is an acronym that stands for LinuxApacheMySQLPHP and are components required to run a Dynamic HTML webpage.

This instructable will demonstrate how you can turn your Raspberry Pi into a personal web server. The steps to install all of the components are relatively straight forward. After your personal web server is complete, you can use it to host a custom HTML or PHP resume, or a personal landing page which is what I chose to do. 
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
- Raspberry Pi

- SD memory card (4GB or larger)

- Power adapter compatible with the MicroB connector on the Raspberry pi

- Ethernet patch cable

- HDMI compatible monitor and HDMI cable

- USB Keyboard (no mouse is necessary, you can navigate the entire interface via keyboard. Arrow keys,  Enter, ESC, etc.)

Step 2: Preparation

The Raspberry Pi always needs to boot off of an SD card loaded with an operating system (OS) disk image.

You may buy an SD card that has already been made bootable complete with the Raspberry Pi OS or you may buy a blank card and

There are many OS versions offered for the Raspberry Pi, however, in this example, I have chosen to use Raspbian “Wheezy”.

Download the OS disk image and write it to your memory card. To write the image I used Win32 Disk Imager. Once the image is written to the card, plug the card into the Raspberry Pi's SD card reader and power on the device. (Be sure you have all the proper I/O devices plugged in, i.e., keyboard, Ethernet cable,  HDMI monitor.)

I figured it out on my own.

1) create an user and force root to be owner of it
cd /home
mkdir john
useradd -d /home/john -M -N -g users john
sudo chown root:root /home/john
sudo chmod 755 /home/john
2) create a group and add the user to it.
$ groupadd sftponly
$ usermod john -g sftponly
$ usermod john -s /bin/false
3) Change the subsystem location on /etc/ssh/sshd_config:
#Subsystem sftp /usr/lib/openssh/sftp-server
Subsystem sftp internal-sftp
4) Add the following to the end of the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file:
# This section must be placed at the very end of sshd_config
Match Group sftponly
ChrootDirectory %h
ForceCommand internal-sftp
AllowTcpForwarding no
5) Restart ssh
$ service ssh restart
6) Finally create a password for the user if you were not prompted to.
sudo passwd john

I almost forgot, you also need a folder your user can actually write to since /home/john is owned my root.

cd /home/john
sudo mkdir www
sudo chown john:users /home/john/www
sudo chmod 755 /home/john/www

then set the root of your website to /home/john/www

cnl22183 months ago

Thanks for the great tutorial! Got me setup quickly and correctly!

Drdray13 months ago

hi great tutorial! I am wondering how do you get to the part in step seven where you changes things from yes to no? I've already gotten to the black window with the options at the bottom

derekiswise5 months ago

HI, thank you so much for this tutorial. Could you add the adding the html resume part soon. I am only 13 and just got the server working right and I have a html page i coded i want to put on there. (my eventual goal is to have my raspberry pi gpio's controlled online with a live video stream. i am good with the video stream but need to add the html.)

i just got it all figured out! i am going to use to get a subdomain for free because i have a dynamic ip and need a dns

GraziCNU (author)  derekiswise4 months ago

Glad to hear you figured out your own issue! Only 13? Good on you starting young! I wish I was that ambitious when I was that age haha.


Justinvent11 months ago
Awesome work! I'm going to build this in the coming weeks.
GraziCNU (author)  Justinvent11 months ago
Thanks man, keep me posted on what you choose to do with it!
Is it possible to use this sever with an address that does not show up as the sever's IP?
GraziCNU (author)  Justinvent11 months ago
If you know your pi's public IP address you can use an Internet domain registrar to forward and mask the IP with a personal domain name. GoDaddy is an obvious example, but I know there are others that are cheaper (I'll look into it and report back). Just a heads up as well, you also may run I to issues if your modem/router does not have a static IP. If it's dynamic, your public IP will change and you won't be forwarding your domain to the right address. I'm pretty sure if you call your ISP you can have them set your modem to a static IP.

Normally a static ip costs more. A possibility is it is a dns so you install the extra software and every time you ip changes it tells changes the ip in the registrar. Not only that but you get like 3 free sub domains when you sign up. Hope this helps

pidan9 months ago
Well done thanks
I wish to host multiple websites all with a different domain name but not the ip address (e.g
mechagen10 months ago
Is it possible to make a private steam game server out of this or would I need some more or different programs? By the way good work!
GraziCNU (author)  mechagen10 months ago
I have not personally attempted this, but in checking around, I have seen that this can be done. Thanks for the compliment too, by the way!
jblieden10 months ago
i have a question, when i see the black terminal page and it says rasberrypi on the top it looks like a windows 7 page. are you running the commands from another computer into the rasberrypi or the rasberrypi directly? This is for a school project so any help is appreciated.
GraziCNU (author)  jblieden10 months ago
I'm remotely running the commands from another computer by using SSH. Hop over to step #4, it explains a bit more about the process there. If you still have questions after skimming the instructions, just write back and I'd be more than happy to offer more assistance!
ibauters11 months ago
Sorry to bother you again so shortly, but I get a 403 for every file I upload (using FTP) to the raspberry pi, how can I fix the permissions so everything I upload is accessible from the web (octal 644)
GraziCNU (author)  ibauters11 months ago
(removed by author or community request)
ibauters GraziCNU11 months ago
I figured out how to fix it!
You need to adjust the 'umask' setting in vsftpd.conf
Works like a charm for me!
GraziCNU (author)  ibauters11 months ago
Glad to hear you figured it out! If you get a moment, feel free to post your adjustments here just in case someone else runs into the same issue :)
ibauters11 months ago
Can you explain how to install Node.js on a Pi with the server running like you explained here?
GraziCNU (author)  ibauters11 months ago
I've never installed it before, but I'd be more than happy to look into it for you. Give me about week and I'll create a full instructable for that :)
willb2811 months ago
hay love the how to do you think you could make a how to on adding HTML :)
GraziCNU (author)  willb2811 months ago
That was actually going to be my next step with this Instructable. Stay tuned!