How to get Convos up and running on DigitalOcean

26. Nov, 2019

Not sure how to get your Convos to be truly always online in the cloud? Fear not: This tutorial will help you get up and running on DigitalOcean.

It should only take ten minutes to get up and running, and the running cost will be about 5USD per month.

Registration

The first thing you need is an account at DigitalOcean:

  1. Go to digitalocean.com and click on "Sign up" in the upper right corner.
  2. Follow the instructions.

Create your droplet

You can follow the official "How to Create a Droplet from the DigitalOcean Control Panel", which has the latest screenshots, but you can try to this link to get a pre-filled page.

Note that that the link might be outdated, so below is a breakdown of all the choices. Everything that is not mentioned here, can be left to the default choice.

  1. Click the green Create button in the upper right corner.
  2. Choose Droplets from the dropdown menu.
  3. A Create Droplets page should appear, where you choose your configuration. It should be enough with the following setup to just get started:

    • Distribution: We suggest selecting "Ubuntu 19.10 x64".
    • Plan: The cheapest one (5USD/month) should be enough to get started.
    • Datacenter region: Choose one close to where you live for lowest latency, but any location will work.
    • Select additional options:

      • Tick IPv6 - Not important, but nice to have.
      • Tick Monitoring - Will allow you to see CPU, memory and disk usage from the DigitalOcean admin panel.
      • Tick User data and copy/paste in these two lines of code:

        #!/bin/sh
        wget https://convos.chat/scripts/2019-11-26-digital-ocean-user-data.txt -O - | /bin/sh -
    • Authentication: "SSH keys" is highly recommended, but Choose one-time password, if you don't have any experience with SSH.

    • Choose a hostname: This is not a public domain name, but rather just a way to find your host in the admin panel later on.
    • Enable backups: Nice to have, in case something terrible goes wrong, but optional.
  4. After you've made all the choices on the Create Droplets page, you can click on Create droplet in the bottom of the page.
  5. Have a cup of coffee and wait for a couple of minutes, since running the instructions from User data might take some time. This means that even after the droplet was created successfully, you have to wait about five minutes.

After the droplet is created

You can visit your newly created Convos installation by going to something like http://178.62.18.95/ in your browser, where "178.62.18.95" should be replaced by the IP address you find on the droplets page.

Note however that this is an insecure connection. There's also a secure connection created, but this is unfortunately rejected in Google Chrome. You can however try it out in Firefox: Just replace "http://" with "https://" in the address bar.

A truly secure connection can be accomplished using Cloudflare or Let's encrypt, but that is too much information to fit into this tutorial.

DNS is another thing, where you have a ton of providers to choose from, so it's hard to put that into this tutorial as well. If you want a domain name, we suggest Cloudflare or Gandi.

Upgrading Convos

If a new Convos version is available, you can upgrade Convos by following these instructions:

# Replace 178.62.18.95 with your Droplets' IP address
ssh [email protected]
cd /opt/convos && git pull && ./script/convos install
systemctl restart convos

Doing a refresh in your browser afterwards should give you the latest version of Convos. You can check the current version number in the "Help" page.

Got any issues or questions?

If you run into any issues, then don't hesitate to as us on either Twitter or in the official support channel on freenode, named #convos.

Enjoy your newly created Convos installation!