At some point towards the end of last week I had the idea of writing a blog. I spent a while looking around for a decent online blogging tool, and, as I suspect most people do, I landed on blogger.com. It looked fairly swish, and had plenty of useful features. Except one. Where is the support for categories? So, moving on, and with the advice of some friends, I ended up at wordpress.org. It ticked all the boxes and is available in the FreeBSD ports collection.
This is where things went downhill. Step one, I figured, would be to get the existing packages on my server updated, since I’d quite like to use PHP5 for running WordPress, and I noticed it also needed MySQL. This didn’t take too long, despite there being a new version of perl to install. The problems came when I tried to build MySQL; it wouldn’t even build. After a while I got it to build and install, only to discover PHP behaving oddly as well; it would hang when WordPress used it’s mail() function.
I asked a few fellow FreeBSD developers, but didn’t get much sympathy since I was at that point running FreeBSD 5.2.1, a long since outdated version.
So on Sunday I started the task of upgrading to RELENG_5 (see my other post for more). The build process was fairly straightforward, thankfully. Then I noticed the serial line to my server was down, so I figured it would best to wait until Monday to do the actual install.
On Monday the install went fine, gvinum started without any problems, and the machine booted up with no unusual errors. There were a few tense moments during the actual reboots, but a lot of relief afterwards. I was surprised to find my PHP problems, and a long standing issue with mutt, had gone away before I’d even started the rebuilds.
The rest of Monday, and half of Tuesday was spent rebuilding all the packages on the system. By the end of Tuesday I was ready to start setting up the blog.
So, I make that the best part of 5 days to set up a blog. Surely that’s got to be a record?
Now to think about which theme to use…