Because I currently manage several blogs (and may be managing several more in the future) I’m looking into moving them all, including this one, to a single platform. To that end, I’ve been evaluating many services and software offerings. I wanted to evaluate Wordpress more thoroughly, so I tried to download and install it into an Ubuntu VM I’ve had kicking around, but I couldn’t even get Apache to talk to PHP.
I’d removed and reinstalled the apache2, php5, and libapache2-mod-php5 packages without success. For some reason unknown to me, it’s just not working.
Perhaps this is betraying my ineptitude at running and managing Ubuntu, but this is a common theme for me. Very often whenever I try to do something that I think should be trivial on Linux I run into roadblocks, with the only symptom being that whatever I’m trying to do just isn’t working. Again, I expect that if I were more experienced with the system I could dive in, identify, and fix my problem.
But I’m not that experienced. Even though I ran Linux for years before I switched to Mac OS X, and even though I ran a VPS instance running Ubuntu for over two years, apparently this is not enough to have even basic competency when it comes to diagnosing problems like this. And I’m at the point where I just don’t have the patience to play these little games anymore; having to mess around with various configuration files and verifying that things have the appropriate owner and permissions. I’m tired of it all.
One big reason that there is such a problem is that the Linux filesystem is a mess, and incredibly stateful. Install one package and thousands of files are scattered across hundreds of directories. And if the wrong one gets misconfigured or messed with somehow the entire thing comes crashing down. When it does, you have the choice of spending an unknown amount of time attempting to track down and fix the problem or throwing up your hands and just starting over from scratch. I’m tempted just to toss my VM, get the latest Ubuntu ISO and reinstall from a known-good state. But again, you can only do this so many times before it becomes tiresome.
Unfortunately, my alternatives aren’t any better. BSD and Mac OS X both have very similar stateful filesystems, and I’d never consider running a Windows server. I guess I’ll just have to deal with the reality of the situation - but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.