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OK, now you have your server running on the Amazon Cloud and Digital Mines is managing it for you, what next? Apps! Let’s get some software installed on it.

In this post we’ll explain how to connect to your server. In the next few days you may not even have to do this step, we’ll be releasing an extremely powerful application deployment system where you’ll be able to do everything inside the control panel with a few clicks. Keep an eye on this blog for some sneak-peak pics of the system in action.

In the meantime, there is no harm in knowing how to connect and install the standard way. You may still need it for some niche apps you want to install at any stage.

One of the big advantages of Digital Mines over traditional shared hosting is that you have full control over your server and can get command-line (aka shell) access to do whatever you want. However, to make sure evil-doers cannot do the same, security has naturally been increased. So no more FTP passwords being sent in the clear!

A small drawback of the increased security is that connecting the first time requires you to follow a few setup steps. We’re going to walk you through the process for connecting from a Windows machine but Mac or Linux is very similar. We are also assuming you have deployed the default Ubuntu server. You’ll only have to carry these steps out once and, after that, connecting will just be a matter of double-clicking an icon.

First you need to install PuTTY from here. Pick the file called putty-0.60-installer.exe. Once downloaded, run the installer.

Then login to your Digital Mines Control Panel to get your SSH key:

 

Copy that Private Key into a text editor and save it as something like MyDigitalMinesKey.ssh

Run the application called PuttyGen that was installed with PuTTY:

Click Conversions->Import Key and select the ssh file above when asked.

You’ll then see a screen like this:

 

Click Save Private Key.

When asked if you’d like to save it without a password, click Yes.

Save it to a name like MyDigitalMinesKey.ppk

OK, that’s the security key imported. Now it’s time to actually connect to the server.
Run PuTTY itself and you’ll see a screen like this:

 

In your Digital Mines Control Panel, go to your Server and you’ll see the Public IP address:

 

Enter that Public IP Address in “Host Name (or IP Address)” in Putty.

Click on the Connect Category and then the Data sub-category. Enter ubuntu as the auto-login username:

 

Click on the SSH Category and expand it out. Click on the Auth sub-category.
Click Browse on the “Private Key for authentication” field and browse to the MyDigitalMinesKey.ppk file you created earlier:

 

Go back up to the top of the categories and click on “Session”.

Enter something like “MyFirstDigitalMinesServer” in the “Saved Sessions” field

Click Save. From now on you just have to double-click that MyFirstDigitalMinesServer entry to login to your server.

Now click Open and answer Yes to the question about Cache…….and you should be connected and logged into your server!

 

In the next post we’ll show you how to install some apps.

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This is the first in a series of Howtos we will do this month. No, you don’t have to roll up your sleeves, the whole point it that the experience will be utterly painless! So let’s head on over to the main Digital Mines site and kick-off the sign-up process.

(Sidenote: Let us know in the comments if you’d also like to see screencasts with voiceovers).

Sign-up takes approx 1 minute.

 

Just enter an email address and password and you are done. You do not need to have an Amazon Web Services account to use Digital Mines.

 

Once you click “Create Account”, you are immediately logged in and you’ll see that you have no services configured yet:

 

When you click “Add Service”, you’ll be asked if you want to Create Cloud Services or Import Cloud Services. We’ll cover the Import functionality in a later post. For the purposes of this Howto, we are assuming you haven’t used Amazon Web Service before.

 

Once you click on “Create Cloud Services”, you’ll see a pop-up about Creating an Instance. An Instance is just a virtual server that will run on the Amazon Cloud.

 

Now for the fun bit, creating your first running server. It’s going to take you all of 30 seconds!

 

Don’t worry, to get a FREE server, you have to fill in exactly one box on the form, the server name. I’ve called it MyFirstServer. Leave everything else at the defaults. And then click “Deploy”.

 

Note that this free server is far more powerful than anything you would have dealt with if you previously used a shared hosting account. You’ll be able to install anything on it and it has far more welly and storage included.

 

There will be a delay at this point if you are a new user and this is your first server. Go off, make a cup of tea and when you come back, lo, a running server:

 

You now have your own personal virtual server running in the Amazon AWS Cloud in Dublin managed by Digital Mines! How easy was that?

In the next posts we’ll show you how to login to your server, install some standard apps and get a basic web-site up and running.

If you have any questions at all, let us know in the comments.

 

 

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