What Is LXD Containers and How to Install It on a WordPress Hosting Plan

Linux containers have been around for a while now, but they have mostly remained in the realm of developers and system administrators. Thanks to technologies like LXC (a lightweight kernel-based virtualization container) and LXD (a declarative, atomic host for container deployments), making it easier to deploy and manage containers on a network. And all of this runs on top of the flexibility of the open source WordPress platform.

In this article, we will discuss what is Linux containers and how to install LXD containers on a WordPress hosting plan. You will learn how to create a WordPress container and how to deploy WordPress websites with containers.

Key Features of LXD

Linux Containers allow you to encapsulate a complete operating system and its associated applications into a single container. This means you can treat the container like a virtual machine, installing all the apps and software you need into it. Because Linux containers are so lightweight, you can run multiple containers on a single physical server – which is a major benefit when scaling out web services or expanding an application – while keeping the resource requirements minimal. This also means you can more easily move containers around to different servers or workstations without worrying about performance issues.

Another key feature of LXD is that it is highly compatible with popular open source projects. This means you can use the same repository of code to build nearly all applications, including containers. This also makes it easier to create multi-platform applications and tools that can be used on different operating systems.

Why Install WordPress on a Linux Container?

WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) available, and for good reason. It is extremely flexible, highly extendable, and comes with a large community that supports it. Not bad for a free software!

WordPress also runs on almost every OS – meaning you can create a container for it – which makes it a perfect candidate for multi-platform use.

What makes WordPress unique is its inclusiveness. As a CMS, WordPress is exceptionally flexible, and allows you to build websites with ease and speed, using a variety of powerful tools and plugins to customize almost any aspect of the experience. This also makes it highly extendable. For example, if you run into trouble while working on a WordPress site, you can always look into the plugin repository to see if there is a solution for your specific needs. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even write your own plugin to solve your problem!

Linux containers allow you to run multiple PHP based websites on one physical server, using the LAMP stack (GNU/Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) to create a PHP hosting environment. Using a combination of these technologies gives you a potent platform for multi-platform development and deployment.

How to Install LXD on a WordPress Hosting Plan

Now that you have decided to run WordPress on Linux containers, how do you install it? There are a few options. First, you can use a tool like Linode to launch a droplet containing the LAMP stack (plus some extra tools like Git) and allocate a static IP address to it. Second, you can use an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) and follow the instructions to install the LAMP stack inside an EC2 instance, using the AMI ID to launch a new EC2 instance when done. Third, you can install WordPress themselves using the Docker toolkit and their included LAMP stack pre-configured AMI or droplet. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.

Use a Linode Droplet

You can opt to use a Linode droplet in order to get started with WordPress containers. Droplets are inexpensive at $5 per month, and include a number of features that make them suitable for use as a PHP hosting environment. Namely, they come with a free domain name, a free static IP address, and an unlimited amount of bandwidth.

You’ll also need to have a place to host the WordPress site. For small websites, you can use their free tier which offers you a 70 GB storage volume, along with 500 MB of bandwidth each month. For larger websites, you can opt for their $15 per month premium plan, which offers you a 140 GB storage volume, along with 1 GB of bandwidth each month.

Launch an EC2 Instance Using an AMI

Another way to install WordPress on a Linux container is to use an AMI to launch a new EC2 instance. Amazon Machine Images are digital assets that allow you to launch web servers, WordPress installations, and other software and tools in a simple and streamlined manner. You can use an AMI to launch an EC2 instance (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud), which will offer you a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) and a static public IP address.

To get started, simply visit the Amazon Marketplace web interface, and search for AMIs in the “Linux Server” category. Once you find one that suits your needs, click on the AMI and you will be taken to a dashboard that lists all the applications pre-installed on the AMI. Look for the WordPress section, and click on the “Launch a Server” button to start up an EC2 instance.

You’ll have to configure a couple of settings on the EC2 instance before you can install WordPress. First, set a root password – the instance will not have a root password by default – and then, change the hostname of the instance to something more meaningful. You can also allocate an amount of storage, based on the plan you select, and define the amount of RAM (random access memory) that will be available to the instance. Finally, you will need to specify the location of the WordPress installation folder – we’ll cover this in a bit – and confirm your settings by clicking the “Launch” button.

Use the Docker Toolkit to Install WordPress

Another way to install WordPress on a Linux container is to use the Docker toolkit. Docker is an open source project that provides a command line tool for application deployment and management, as well as a relatively straight-forward GUI (graphical user interface) for the same functionality. In simpler terms, Docker provides the tools to install and run apps inside containers.

If you are familiar with the concept of containers, then installing and configuring apps using Docker should come as no surprise. To get started, you will need to download and install the Docker toolkit on your computer. Once you have done that, you can use the toolkit to install WordPress. To do this, simply navigate to https://wordpress.org/latest.php in your web browser and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once you have installed WordPress on a Linux container, the next step is to deploy your new website. There are a number of ways to do this, but we suggest using WordPress itself as much as possible. Why? Well, it’s simple. Despite all the tools and technologies available for deployment, nothing beats good old-fashioned, hands-on experience when it comes to getting a site live. So, if you have WordPress available on your local machine, you can simply log in using your credentials and start pushing content to the live instance. If not, then you’ll need to spin up a Linode or EC2 instance and install WordPress on it using one of the above methods. Once you have done that, you can copy and paste the web address of your new site into your browser’s address bar to view it in live mode.

What Are WordPress Containers?

As we mentioned above, WordPress is highly extendable. This means you can build applications or websites using WordPress, and these applications and websites can then be run on any server or workstation that is connected to the internet. This makes WordPress perfect for use inside containers. So, in a way, containers are just a fancy way of saying “Web apps.”

Inside a WordPress container, you will find a fully-fledged version of WordPress, along with a very minimal set of CGI scripts (common gateway interface) for basic functionality such as viewing and editing posts and pages. These scripts are then used by apps and tools – like Moodle, bbPress, and many more – that you can install and use to expand the functionality of WordPress to meet your specific needs.

Why Use WordPress as a Base For Your Applications?

WordPress offers a wealth of functionality, and this makes it the perfect base for building apps and websites. Why? Well, simply put, because everything you might need is already there!