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The comic should run on any platform that supports Node, but I generally run it on Ubuntu Linux.
These instructions outline the required steps to set up a new server to serve the comic application,
including the MySQL database and nginx.
If the server doesn't have an SSH server installed, I install it and perform the rest of the steps
from an SSH session.
> sudo apt-get install openssh-server
New installations often need a bunch of security updates applied.
> sudo apt-get update
> sudo apt-get upgrade
> sudo reboot
Now we get to the real stuff for the comic. I currently use MySQL as a database, and nginx
as a reverse proxy in front of the Node application.
> sudo apt-get install git
> sudo apt-get install unzip
> sudo apt-get install mysql-server
> sudo apt-get install nginx
The code currently expects /temp instead of /tmp.
> sudo ln -s /tmp /temp
The comic has been tested on Node 5.5.0, but other versions will work. Just change the download
path and filename below to use a different one.
> wget
> sudo tar -C /usr/local --strip-components 1 -xzf node-v5.5.0-linux-x64.tar.gz
To generate the static images of the comic, PhantomJS is required. The current version, 2.0.0, has
no publicly available binary for Linux at this time. To build it, do the following (it takes a while):
> sudo apt-get install build-essential g++ flex bison gperf ruby perl libsqlite3-dev libfontconfig1-dev libicu-dev libfreetype6 libssl-dev libpng-dev libjpeg-dev python libx11-dev libxext-dev ttf-mscorefonts-installer
> wget
> unzip
> cd phantomjs-2.0.0
> ./
> sudo cp ./bin/phantomjs /usr/local/bin
> sudo chmod 775 /usr/local/bin/phantomjs
* Note - I built it for Ubuntu 14.04.3 64-bit and keep a copy of the binary around. If you can get it,
just skip to the part about copying it to /usr/local/bin and go from there.
Installing the comic application, to run under a user named "comic" and lives in /opt/comic.
> sudo useradd -M comic
> cd /opt
> sudo git clone
> cd comic
> sudo npm install
> sudo cp /opt/comic/data/config.json.tmplt /opt/comic/data/config.json
> sudo chown -R comic:comic /opt/comic
Set up the database in MySQL. Whatever user and password you use here must be the same you'll put in
the config.json file before starting the app. Also note that when prompted for a password, it's asking
for the MySQL root password.
> cd /opt/comic/sql
> sudo chmod +x
> sudo ./ amphibian <user> <password>
Set up nginx to proxy HTTP requests on port 80 to whatever high port the comic runs on. By default,
the comic app listens on port 3000 but you can change that if you edit /opt/comic/nginx/amphibian before
running these steps. You'll have to set config.json to match whatever you decide to use.
If this is for production,
> cd /opt/comic/nginx
> sudo cp amphibian /etc/nginx/sites-available/amphibian
> sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/amphibian /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
> sudo service nginx restart
...or if this is for a test environment,
> cd /opt/comic/nginx
> sudo cp amphibian-test /etc/nginx/sites-available/amphibian-test
> sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/amphibian-test /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/
> sudo service nginx restart
Before starting the app for the first time, edit the config file and set all the values properly.
This mainly will involve setting the database access information to whatever user and password
you used above.
> sudo vi /opt/comic/data/config.json
Set the comic app to auto-start when the machine boots. Also gives you a way to control the process.
> cd /opt/comic
> sudo cp comic_start /etc/init.d/comic
> sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/comic
> sudo update-rc.d comic defaults
Start it up!
> sudo /etc/init.d/comic start
If everything worked, navigating to http://localhost should show you something. Of course, you
won't have any comic data at this point.