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Get Started with Bitnami VSI Images on IBM Cloud

Introduction

IBM Cloud allows enterprises to find validated and continuously maintained infrastructure and application software. These solutions are suitable for deployment into a public, hybrid, and private cloud as well as in any Kubernetes cluster. Bitnami provides Virtual Server Instance (VSI) images for IBM Cloud, Helm charts on IBM Kubernetes Service (IKS) and Open Virtualized Application (OVA) images for VMware vCenter on IBM Cloud.

These application charts and templates are secure, updated and packaged according to industry best practices, and they provide a way for enterprise users to immediately become productive with the infrastructure of their choice.

This tutorial walks you through the process of obtaining a Bitnami WordPress VSI image from the IBM Cloud Catalog and launching it on IBM Cloud infrastructure.

TIP: You can also learn about launching applications using OVA images on IBM Cloud and Helm charts on IBM Cloud Kubernetes Service.

Overview

If you’re interested in creating a personal or small business blog, chances are that you’re going to use WordPress. WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world, used on over 60 million websites (according to Wikipedia). And it is not hard to see why: WordPress is very easy to use, comes with thousands of extensions and themes, is completely free, and is open source.

In this tutorial, I’ll launch a cloud server with the Bitnami WordPress Stack, which gives you a pre-configured WordPress blog that you can start using right way. But WordPress is just an example: there are hundreds of other Bitnami applications to choose from, and they’re all equally easy to set up.

Here are the steps you’ll follow in this tutorial:

  • Launch the Bitnami WordPress VSI image on an IBM Cloud VPC
  • Obtain WordPress credentials
  • Log in and start using WordPress

Assumptions and prerequisites

This tutorial assumes that:

Step 1: Launch the Bitnami WordPress VSI image on a IBM Cloud VPC

At the end of this step, you will have deployed a VSI image on an IBM Cloud VPC.

The first step consists of searching for the application you wish to deploy (in this case, Bitnami WordPress) in the IBM Cloud Catalog. Follow these steps:

  • Log in to IBM Cloud.

  • From the top menu, select the “Catalog” option and search for the application you wish to deploy. In this case, the required application is the Bitnami WordPress image.

    Select the application from the catalog

  • On the resulting page, select “IBM Cloud” as the target. The “VSI Image” option will be pre-selected by default.

    Select the IBM Cloud VSI Image target

  • Navigate to the “Configure your workspace” section. Enter a name for your workspace, select the resource group in which the application will be stored, and add tags to better identify it.

    Configure workspace

  • Customize the image deployment by opening the “Set the deployment values” section.

    Configure deployment

    • Enter a name for the virtual server in the short_name field.

    • Select an SSH key to associate with the server using the ssh_key field. You will need this SSH key to access the server after it is deployed.

    NOTE: It is important to ensure that the selected SSH key is available in the same region as that set in the deployment configuration.

    • Assign a subnet for the deployment using the subnet field.

    NOTE: You can browse or manage subnets here. Subnets live within a VPC, so you might also need to create a VPC. Please, refer to the official documentation for managing VPCs and subnets.

  • On the right side of the screen, review the summary of the custom settings. Confirm that you have read and agree to the license terms and click “Install” to finish the process.

Deployment will take a few minutes. While the deployment is in progress, you are redirected to the “Schematics -> Workspaces” section, which lets you track the status of the deployment.

Once the deployment is complete, you will be able to obtain the public IP address from the workspace creation log. Refer to the Terraform outputs, as shown in the example image below:

Deployment Outputs

You can also obtain the IP addresses of the virtual server from the “VPC Infrastructure -> Virtual server instances” section. The virtual server will be named using the value specified earlier in the short_name field. The image below has an example:

Virtual server instances for VPC

At this point, you should be able to browse to the server, by entering the server’s public IP address directly into your browser’s address bar. You should now see your WordPress blog’s home page with a sample post, as shown below.

WordPress home page

Step 2: Obtain WordPress credentials

You’re almost done but, before you can log in to WordPress, you need the administrator credentials. Follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the “VPC Infrastructure -> Virtual server instances” section and select the new virtual server.

  • On the resulting page, select the “Actions…” drop-down menu in the upper right corner and click the “Open VNC console” menu item.

The console will show a prompt including the username and password of the application just launched.

SSH to check credentials

TIP: As an alternative, you can also log in to the server console over SSH using the public IP address and obtain the credentials from the /etc/issue file:

Step 3: Log in and start using WordPress

At the end of this step, you will have logged in to WordPress and created a new blog post.

To log in to the WordPress dashboard, follow these steps:

  • Browse to the WordPress dashboard, usually at the URL http://SERVER-IP/wp-admin.

  • Log in with the administrator credentials from the previous step.

    WordPress credentials

You should now arrive at the WordPress dashboard, which allows you to manage posts, pages and comments; customize your blog with themes and plugins; import and export content; manage navigation menus; add or delete new user accounts; and much more.

WordPress credentials

Create your first post

You can now add a new post using the following steps:

  • Select the “Posts -> Add New” menu option to create a new post.

    Add new WordPress post

  • Enter a title and content for the post. You can use the formatting tools at the top of the content area to format your post and add hyperlinks or images.

  • Optionally, choose the format and category for your post.

  • Publish it immediately using the “Publish” button.

    Add new WordPress post

And now, when you visit your blog’s front page, you should see your new post.

WordPress post publishing

Congratulations! You now have a working, fully-functional WordPress blog in the cloud.

Keep your WordPress installation up-to-date

You can keep your WordPress installation up-to-date with the WordPress update feature. To access this:

  • Log in to WordPress using the administrator account.

  • Select the “Dashboard -> Updates” menu item.

    WordPress update

  • Review the resulting page to see if WordPress needs an update. If an update is available, you can install it by clicking the “Update Now” button. You can also re-install WordPress if needed with the “Re-install Now” button.

    WordPress update

To learn more about the topics discussed in this tutorial, use the links below:

Last modification October 22, 2021