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Author Topic: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?  (Read 4218 times)

Offline Catherine Constantine

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How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« on: April 06, 2018, 04:14:04 AM »
Hello, I made an account to ask this as I am an owner of a Raspberry Pi 3 model B computer and it is just sitting there idle collecting dust. I've thought about purchasing a new microSD card and turning the device into a forum server. However, I am new to hosting on my own so I lack experience.

What are the pre-requisites for hosting an SMF forum on my Raspberry Pi 3 model B computer?

and

What are the security measures I should take to ensure that nobody can hack into my system?

I am slow and have a hard time understanding things that I read so forgive me if I may lose some of your patience.

Offline GigaWatt

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2018, 09:32:44 AM »
First, you'd have to set up a LAMP server (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP). CentOS, Debian... the choice is up to you. Don't know if CentOS has an ARM release, but there are quite a few Debian releases for Raspberry Pi (Raspbian, Linutop, etc.).

Second, you'd have to configure your server... easier said than done. If you've never done it before, I'd suggest to keep your expectations low. If you succeed, great, if not, don't sweat it, try again... and again, and again ::) :D.

About the security measures... basically, your OS should take care of that. Each of the additional components (Apache, MySQL, PHP) have their own settings which allow or disallow some things, but you'll get to that once you've got the server up and running ;).

Don't forget to also set up a DynDNS account (I presume you'll be running the forum from your home).
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Offline Kindred

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2018, 10:41:50 AM »
in general, unless you have a VERY good understanding of server setup and especially server security, it is *NOT* recommended to run your own server as host... especially not from your home network.
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Offline Catherine Constantine

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2018, 03:58:26 AM »
in general, unless you have a VERY good understanding of server setup and especially server security, it is *NOT* recommended to run your own server as host... especially not from your home network.

Are there any guides that hold your hand through this?

Offline Kindred

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2018, 09:31:31 AM »
if you have to ask - then you are probably not ready to host your own server
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Offline GigaWatt

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2018, 04:24:09 PM »
Are there any guides that hold your hand through this?

Google "raspberry pi http server" ;).
"This is really a generic concept about human thinking - when faced with large tasks we're naturally inclined to try to break them down into a bunch of smaller tasks that together make up the whole."

"A 500 error loosely translates to the webserver saying, "WTF?"..."

Offline Colin

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2018, 11:02:57 PM »
This can definitely be done with some fiddling. Out of curiosity why are you planning on hosting a web server and forum on a raspberry pi? If this is just for a learning experience go for it, but for anything else there is probably a better solution.
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Offline GigaWatt

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2018, 07:38:56 AM »
People have hosted sites on their routers. Why not on a Raspberry Pi ;). If the site or forum isn't very busy, a 10Mbps connection will suffice ;).
"This is really a generic concept about human thinking - when faced with large tasks we're naturally inclined to try to break them down into a bunch of smaller tasks that together make up the whole."

"A 500 error loosely translates to the webserver saying, "WTF?"..."

Offline Aleksi "Lex" Kilpinen

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2018, 01:28:40 AM »
I've been thinking of trying something similar just for fun, haven't gotten there yet though, but for a real live forum setup this isn't probably the best of ideas.
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Offline GigaWatt

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2018, 01:05:53 PM »
Trust me, it'll work ;). The previous admin of my forum hosted the forum on a router with OpenWRT on it (it was a temporary setup). It wasn't that bad. It was a bit slow and CPU usage was at 95% most of the time, but hey, it worked :D. All you have to do is install some extra packages, like a database engine, PHP and Apache on it. There are precompiled mini/micro packages... and you'd probably have to say goodbye to the web GUI, there probably won't be enough room on the flash to store the web GUI as well.

On the other hand, there are a lot of routers these days with 16MB of flash and 64MB (some even have 128MB) of RAM, so you could even keep the web GUI :). But, you'd have to configure the server from terminal, the web GUI for OpenWRT doesn't have settings for Apache, PHP, MySQL. Store everything on a MicroSD or a shared network folder (NAS, whatever) and just let the router do the rest of the work, that's it :). If it's a Raspberry Pi, you could even boot it via PXE :D.
"This is really a generic concept about human thinking - when faced with large tasks we're naturally inclined to try to break them down into a bunch of smaller tasks that together make up the whole."

"A 500 error loosely translates to the webserver saying, "WTF?"..."

Offline Jailer

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2018, 05:47:42 PM »
I had SMF running on a Rpi2b running FreeBSD for a short while. It worked ok and it was fun setting it up.

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 09:49:13 PM »
About the security measures... basically, your OS should take care of that.

N... No. Just no. Don't rely on that.
When using a *nix install you most certainly have to configure a firewall. Either manually or by using a third-party application.

A forum can absolutely be ran on a Raspberry Pi by the way. Of course it can't get overly busy due to limited resources, but overall it's not too bad and doable. But yeah, you do need to know what you're doing. :)
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Offline GigaWatt

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2018, 06:46:17 PM »
When using a *nix install you most certainly have to configure a firewall. Either manually or by using a third-party application.

Well, I've ran some test websites on home build CentOS rigs... didn't need a firewall on the rigs.

Oh, you're right, I just remembered, I had to reconfigure pfSense on my local (home) network ;). Thanks for the reminder ;).
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"A 500 error loosely translates to the webserver saying, "WTF?"..."

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Re: How to run a forum on a Raspberry Pi 3 model B?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2018, 07:09:30 PM »
Quote
Well, I've ran some test websites on home build CentOS rigs... didn't need a firewall on the rigs.

You do if you want it properly hardened for production.
But sure, a hardware firewall works as well. To some extent.
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