Deployment of a Magento 2 Website on a Remote AWS Server

Sean Byrne
18 min readFeb 1, 2022

I’m pretty new at this so it took quite a while for me to dial in this process, even referencing the documentation and dozens of online tutorials. Anyway, I hope some of you can avoid some of the trials and tribulations I faced by using this as a reference.

Tech Stack:

  • Magento 2.4 Community Edition (the free version)
  • Apache2
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • AWS: EC2
  • ElasticSearch
  • Composer

Prerequisites to this process:

  • an AWS account (to create this account, AWS will require a credit/debit card number. There’s no cost to create an account, that’s just a requirement they have to create one. Just know that the steps that require a purchase can be skipped but you still will be able to finish the website deployment. I will repeatedly point out in the documentation below what steps can be skipped)
  • a CLI (I used GitBash in this case)
  • an adobe commerce account to download the Magento source files
  • VIM or NANO

Optionals:

  • AWS: Route53 (to purchase and configure a custom domain)
  • An elastic IP address on EC2
  • A custom domain (this will cost money, however I include this in the tutorial because most people want to choose their own URL address to fit the brand of their company. If you’re just following along for educational purposes then this same tutorial can be done without configuring a custom domain.)

This is a lengthy process. Doing this fast, it takes about 3 hours for me. However, the first couple of times, it took me days… but hey, they say “growth is in the struggle.” Anyway, I hope I can save you some of the headaches I endured by sharing my documentation of this process.

A little context on this tech stack, a few months ago I worked at an ecommerce company as their web developer. This was the tech stack that they used to operate their ecommerce websites. I’ve never done much work setting up a server to host a website so I took on the challenge to replicate it. Don’t get excited though, because nothing is special about this tech stack. It’s run-of-the-mill stuff, and other ‘mom-and-pop’ ecom companies across the world use the same stack.

One thing worth noting about this stack is that you could use it to scale up to a million dollar ecom company because the Magento platform was developed to accommodate that type of sales volume.

Anyway, whatever your goal is, I hope you find some value in this long-ass documentation. It’s really boring so good luck and let’s get started!

  1. Login to your AWS account
  2. Navigate to the EC2 dashboard
  3. Create an AWS instance. Click the orange button that says “Launch Instances”

4. Select the Ubuntu server 20.04, 64-bit (x86)

5. Select the t.2 micro instance type and click “Next: Configure Instance Details” (I choose this because it’s free.)

6. No need to change anything here, unless you want. Just scroll down and stick with all of the default settings, then click “Next: Add Storage”

7. Change the storage size from whatever the default is to 30 GiB, then click “Next: Add tags”

8. Adding tags can be skipped and click “Next: Configure Security Group”

9. Configure your security settings (rename the “Security group name” if you want); click “Add Rule” button to add other network traffic protocol types. Specify “Source” as “Anywhere” OR specify “Source” as “Custom” if you know your own IP address.

The first screenshot below shows specifying “Anywhere.” The second one shows specifying “Custom” and then typing one’s own personal IP address.

10. Add the HTTP and HTTPS protocol types, specify “Source” as “Anywhere” for each of them and then click “Review and Launch”

11. Take a moment to review the configurations that you just set and then click “Launch”

12. After clicking the “Launch” button a window will pop-up and prompt you to create a key pair. This is important because this is basically your key to accessing your new server remotely.

  • Select “Create a new key pair” in the drop down box
  • Select “RSA”
  • Type a name for your new key pair(use ‘example’ or the name of you site, or any name you want really)
  • Click “Download Key Pair” — this downloads a .PEM file, leaving it in your ‘Downloads’ folder for now is fine, but if you’re launching for an actual business, then you’ll want to store that file in a more secure location.
  • Click “Launch Instance”

13. After launching the instance, you’ll be redirected to a page like the one below, you can explore around and click some of the links but they can be skipped. To get to the next step just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “View Instances”

Scroll down a little more

14. This Step Can Be Skipped. Skip ahead to step 25 if you’re not using a custom URL address: Associate your new instance to your Elastic IP address; in the left-hand side menu click on “Elastic IPs”

15. If you have an Elastic IP already, select it with the check box and then click the “Action” dropdown box and click “Associate Elastic IP address”

If you don’t have an Elastic IP, that’s fine. You can skip ahead to step 25

16. In the next window, specify the instance to which you want to associate the Elastic IP (all of your instances should automatically appear for you to choose from when you click in the text box, same for the “Private IP address” text box)

17. Check the box next to “Allow this Elastic IP address to be re-associated” and then click “Associate”

18. SKIP TO Step 25 if you don’t have or want to configure a custom domain. To configure the custom domain purchased from the Amazon registrar Route53 (you can purchase a custom domain from any other registrar, but I found it easier to configure a domain from the AWS registrar). Here’s the Amazon documentation regarding this process. Go to Route53 from the AWS Services menu in the top left corner of the window. Refer to the screenshot below:

It’s in my “Recently visited” menu but you might have to scroll through the “All Services” list if you haven’t use the Route53 service before

SIDE NOTE: To continue with this segment of the process is not necessary, but to do it you’ll have to have already purchased a domain from the amazon registrar before doing this segment. SKIP AHEAD to STEP 25 if you don’t want to purchase a domain.

19. In the “Domain Name” column, click on the address of the domain you want to configure

20. On the next page, Click “Create record”

21. Edit the following:

Routing policy: Choose the applicable routing policy. For more information, see Choosing a routing policy.

Record name: Enter the domain name that you want to use to route traffic to your EC2 instance. The default value is the name of the hosted zone.

For example, if the name of the hosted zone is example.com and you want to use acme.example.com to route traffic to your EC2 instance, enter acme.

Value/Route traffic to: Choose IP address or another value depending on the record type. You’ll need to get the public IP address for your instance which can be found on your Instance’s dashboard. Look for “public IPv4 address”

Record type: Choose A — IPv4 address

TTL (seconds): Accept the default value of 300.

Refer to the screenshot below then click “Create records” when you’re finished

Repeat steps 19–21 a second time, however when you get to the step shown in the screenshot above, don’t type anything in the “Record name” box. Just leave that box blank. Then repeat as you did when you created the other record.

22. After clicking on “Create records” you’ll be redirected and you should see a success message

23. Navigate to the EC2 Instances dashboard on you AWS account

24. At this point, your instance is ready to be accessed remotely. Do so by checking off the box next to your new instance and click the “Connect” button on your EC2 Instances dashboard

25. After clicking on the “Connect” button, you will be taken to another window

  • To connect via SSH make sure the “SSH client” tab is selected in the new window.
  • To run the commands indicated, open up your preferred CLI or terminal(I use git bash on Windows)

26. Open up a CLI terminal

27. Navigate to the directory where you have the .pem file, if you just downloaded it then it should be in your “Downloads” folder

28. now type and run: chmod 400 <your_file_name>.pem

29. Then copy and paste the ssh command as provided by AWS in the example, under Step. 4 of Connect to Instance (that ‘example’ will be unique to your AWS instance)

As you you can see I received an error and that’s because I had another .pem file previously associated with my Elastic IP address so I had to edit the “known-hosts” file in the .ssh directory. If this is your first time launching an instance then you won’t have this issue, however if you attempt this tutorial several times then you’ll have to do this troubleshooting.

  • I updated the “known-hosts” file by running the command:

ssh-keyscan -t rsa server_ip yourIPaddress

  • Then copy and paste the output from the above command into the known_hosts file
  • I found the known_hosts file in the .ssh directory of my local machine
  • Open up the file in Notepad and delete the previous instances hash and replace it with the new instance’s hash that was obtained from the output of that last command we ran.
  • After Updating the known-hosts file I can successfully access my AWS instance remotely from my local machine

30. When connecting to the server for the first time after updating the “known-hosts” file, the command line will ask “are you sure you want to continue connecting?” and there you will want to copy and paste the string above the question that starts with “SHA”. refer to the screenshot below:

31. Once you login and have remote access to your instance, update and upgrade the server by running the commands:

sudo apt update

sudo apt upgrade

32. Now is time to create the SWAP memory since we chose the free t2.micro instance type and need a workaround to accommodate the 2 GiB requirement to run Magento

Type this series of commands in your terminal from the home directory of your instance:

sudo vi swap.sh — this creates and lets you edit your new swap file

#!/bin/bash — add this to the top of the new swap file, save and exit

sudo fallocate -l 4G /swap.img

ls -lh /swap.img

sudo chmod 600 /swap.img

ls -lh /swap.img

sudo mkswap /swap.img

sudo swapon /swap.img

echo ‘/swap.img none swap sw 0 0’ | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

cat /etc/fstab

cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=10

33. Then go to the /etc/ directory to edit the sysctl.conf file

cd /etc/

sudo vi sysctl.conf

  • And add the following line to the bottom of the file:

vm.swappiness=10

  • Save and Exit

34. Return back to your main directory, after exiting the sysctl.conf file type and run:

cd

  • Then run the following commands:

sudo chmod +x swap.sh

sudo sh swap.sh

35. Then verify that the SWAP memory has been created by running the command:

free -h

36. Now we’re ready to install the Apache server

Types these commands:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install apache2

sudo systemctl start apache2.service

sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

37. Then verify it has downloaded by running the command:

apache2 -v

38. Then verify the apache server is up and running in the browser by typing the instance’s IP address in an internet browser

39. Next, ensure that apache will be automatically started everytime you roboot your server by running the following command:

sudo systemctl is-enabled apache2

40. Now, time to install MySQL and create the database. Type the command:

sudo apt install mysql-server

41. Verify the download by running:

mysql -V

42. Next, run the following command to remove insecure default settings:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

  • And then you’ll be prompted to make a new password
  • Select ‘yes’ for all the other stuff

43. Configure password access for the MySQL root account

For much of the rest of this tutorial I used the following guide to help me finish the installation: https://www.thecoachsmb.com/how-to-install-magento-2-on-ubuntu/

44. Test login to your MySQL root user

45. configure a password for the MySQL Root Account Login with the root user:

  • Now set the password with the following command:

ALTER USER ‘root’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY ‘your_password’;

NOTE: replace ‘your_password’ with something of your choosing, I just used ‘magento2’ for the sake of learning but if this is for something for more than just learning then you should consider something more secure

46. Verify the mysql.user table with the following command:

SELECT user,authentication_string,plugin,host FROM mysql.user;

47. Create a new mysql user for the magento2 project

  • First type:
    exit
  • Then log back in with the new password created for the root user:
  • Create the new user, then verify by typing in all the following underlined commands (REMEMBER: use your own password if you’re creating a project for more than just educational purposes)
  • TYPE the following commands in MySQL:

CREATE USER ‘your_own_username’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED BY ‘your_own_password’;

ALTER USER ‘your_own_username’@’localhost’ IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY ‘your_own_password’;

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO ‘your_own_username’@’localhost’ WITH GRANT OPTION;

SELECT user,authentication_string,plugin,host FROM mysql.user;

48. Exit MySQL

  • Log back in with the new user account we just created
  • Create a database
  • Then exit

49. Finally, update your APT repository. After exiting MySQL, type:

sudo apt update

50. Install PHP and Required Extensions. run the following:

sudo apt install php7.4 libapache2-mod-php7.4 php7.4-common php7.4-gmp php7.4-curl php7.4-soap php7.4-bcmath php7.4-intl php7.4-mbstring php7.4-xmlrpc php7.4-mysql php7.4-gd php7.4-xml php7.4-cli php7.4-zip php7.4-json

51. Verify the download, type:

php -v

52. Now edit the /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dir.conf file

Type:

sudo vi /etc/apache2/mods-enabled/dir.conf

Move index.php to the front of the list like in the screenshot below

Save and exit

53. then type:

sudo phpenmod mbstring

54. Enable apache rewrite module:

sudo a2enmod rewrite

then type:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

55. Configure the PHP settings

php -i | grep "Configuration File"

The above command pulls up all of the php information then ‘pipes’ that info to be searched with the grep command to specifically find “Configuration File”

56. Now that you have the directory for the file, go edit the php.ini file:

  • Type:

sudo vi /etc/php/7.4/cli/php.ini

  • Then, once in the file, search for and edit the following lines:

max_execution_time

max_input_time

memory_limit

  • And change them to have the following values:
  • save and exit

57. Reload the apache2 server. Type:

sudo systemctl reload apache2

58. Install and Configure ElasticSearch, first install java. Type:

sudo apt install openjdk-16-jdk

59. Verify the download

java -version

60. Install curl package

  • run the following two commands consecutively:

sudo apt install curl

sudo curl -sSfL https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | sudo gpg — no-default-keyring — keyring=gnupg-ring:/etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/magento.gpg — import

61. Then we’ll add the Elasticsearch repository to the system using the following command:

sudo sh -c ‘echo “deb https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/7.x/apt stable main” > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-7.x.list’

… and modify the permissions:

sudo chmod 666 /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/magento.gpg

62. Update the cache, and then install the ElasticSearch package:

sudo apt update

sudo apt install elasticsearch

63. Reload it by running:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

64. Then Start and Enable the Elasticsearch service by typing:

sudo systemctl enable elasticsearch.service

65. Then type:

sudo systemctl start elasticsearch.service

Wait a moment, this step takes a few minutes.

66. Now we’re ready to configure Elasticsearch. Go to edit the elasticsearch.yml file

  • Uncomment the lines shown in the screenshots below by removing the # from in front of the line and changing them to match the values shown

67. Edit the elasticsearch.service file. Type:

sudo vi /usr/lib/systemd/system/elasticsearch.service

  • Then edit the file by changing the value for TimeoutStartSec equal to 900 like in the screenshot below:
  • Save and Exit

68. Start elasticsearch by typing:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

  • Then type:

sudo systemctl restart elasticsearch.service

69. Now test if elasticsearch is working by making a GET request with curl

  • Type:

curl -X GET ‘http://localhost:9200’

  • The output should look like the screenshot below:

70. Install Composer, Type the following commands:

curl -sS https://getcomposer.org/installer -o composer-setup.php

  • then

sudo php composer-setup.php — install-dir=/usr/bin — filename=composer

71. Now verify it has been installed by typing:

composer

Now we have our environment ready to install Magento onto the remote server.

72. Go to the html folder html by typing:
cd /var/www/html

73. Type this to download the free community edition:
sudo composer create-project — repository-url=https://repo.magento.com/ magento/project-community-edition <install-directory-name>

For <install-directory-name> ….replace that with a name of your choosing like in the example below where I use ‘magento2’

sudo composer create-project — repository-url=https://repo.magento.com/ magento/project-community-edition magento2

74. It will ask you the following:

75. Now you have to login or create an account at https://marketplace.magento.com/

At this account is where you’ll find your key pair to allow you download from the the magento (adobe commerce) repository

76. Click on the link that says “Access Keys” after logging into your magento.commerce.com account. This link will take you to your page that has your credentials for the username and password to download the magento2 repo via composer.

77. Say ‘yes’ to storing your credentials and press enter

78. Set the permissions:

Go to the directory of the magento2 installation

cd /etc/www/html/<your_directory’s_name>

79. Set Permissions:

sudo find var generated vendor pub/static pub/media app/etc -type f -exec chmod g+w {} +

sudo find var generated vendor pub/static pub/media app/etc -type d -exec chmod g+ws {} +

sudo chown -R <Magento user>:<web server group> .

⇒ sudo chown -R ubuntu:www-data .

sudo chmod u+x bin/magento

OR

sudo find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

sudo find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;

sudo find var pub/static pub/media app/etc generated/ -type f -exec chmod g+w {} \;

sudo find var pub/static pub/media app/etc generated/ -type d -exec chmod g+ws {} \;

sudo chown -R <Magento user>:<web server group> .

sudo chmod u+x bin/magento

This block of code came from this magento.stackexchange answer

BUT use ‘ubuntu’ (ubuntu is the default user name on an AWS ubuntu instance) for the <Magento user> as shown in the screenshot below and this solves the error “Proxy does not exist”

80. Here’s where we configure the installation

php bin/magento setup:install — base-url=<your_own_URL> — db-host=localhost — db-name=magento2 — db-user=magento2 — db-password=magento2 — admin-firstname=admin — admin-lastname=admin — admin-email=admin@admin.com — admin-user=admin — admin-password=admin123 — language=en_US — currency=USD — timezone=America/Denver — backend-frontname=admin — use-rewrites=”1" — search-engine=elasticsearch7 — elasticsearch-host=localhost — elasticsearch-port=9200

IMPORTANT: make sure you have no typos. The error below came from not having two hyphens before the parameter

81. Change the documentRoot to Pub

This is found in the 000-default.conf file in the directory: /etc/apache2/sites-available/

change the directory to pub, next to the DocumentRoot directive:

82. Then add:

<Directory “/var/www/html”>

AllowOverride all

</Directory>

Without this bit of code, the page won’t render any of the CSS

83. Restart the server:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

84. Now the cache must be flushed for developer and production mode. This will also show how to switch between the two modes

a. Switch to production mode:

sudo php bin/magento deploy:mode:set production

b. Flush the cache:

sudo php bin/magento cache:flush

c. Switch to developer mode

sudo php bin/magento deploy:mode:set developer

d. Flush the cache:

sudo php bin/magento cache:flush

e. Delete cached files:

sudo chmod -R 777 var pub/static generated generated/

85. Upgrade the database and deploy the static-view files

a. php bin/magento indexer:reindex

b. php bin/magento setup:upgrade

c. php bin/magento setup:static-content:deploy -f

d. php bin/magento cache:flush

86. Test the url address in the browser to see if the website renders properly. It should look like the screenshot below:

87. Disable the 2factor authentication to login to the admin page. In the CLI, TYPE: php bin/magento module:disable Magento_TwoFactorAuth

88. Access the admin page. In the browser, TYPE: <your_url>.com/admin

89. Login

90. You did it!

Last Remarks

If you’re like me and not familiar with setting up remote servers and configuring domains, etc… then this might take a while and you’ll probably have to reference several resources to get through this process. No problem, that’s what I had to do too.

I hope this humble step-by-step guide helped you. Good luck and thanks for reading.

--

--