technology

Stripe Canceled My Account Today

4 minute read Updated

They accused me of using their service to sell a "controlled substance".

I received an email from Stripe today. In the letter I was told they are canceling my account:

While we hate to give you anything less than a great experience, it does seem that your business is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement, section A.7.b (“Restricted Businesses and Activities”). Specifically we are unable to receive payments for controlled substances as mentioned here: https://stripe.com/restricted-businesses.

These regulations are firm, so we sadly have no flexibility with them. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to accept new charges on your acount, but we will continue making payouts to your bank account until you receive all of your funds.

We’re very sorry that we have to turn away your business, and wish you the best of luck moving forward. If you think you are receiving this message in error, please let us know and we will be happy to re-review your account.

Deadsimple Wordpress in Kubernetes

2 minute read Updated

A microtutorial to run WordPress locally in Kubernetes under Docker.
How to install Wordpress with Bravada theme for local development in 8 steps. Tip: If this tutorial is too high-level for you, have a look here instead. Step 1: Install Dependencies Lens Docker docker Git git Kubernetes CLI kubectl K3D k3d Helm helm Watch watch Step 2: Clone Sources Clone WordPress Helm Chart from OSA Clone WordPress from Pantheon Systems Put them next to each other.

Self-Hosted Gitea on Vultr using K3s

13 minute read Published

Host your own Gitea server on Kubernetes with K3s and Vultr for $10/month.
Back in 2017 I decided to move my passion project After Dark off GitHub so I could have better repo usage insights. I was surprised to learn how much faster a self-hosted VCS was compared to GitHub. Not only was GitHub limiting the useful metrics I could capture they were actually slowing down my development! Which brings me back to one of if not the most important concepts I learned as a developer after watching a talk given by Paul Irish at Fluent Conf 2012.

Moving from Pantheon.io to Kubernetes

15 minute read Published

How to move a Pantheon WordPress site to K8s and save $400+ a month on hosting.

When I discovered Pantheon in early 2017 I thought I’d found an a hidden gem. The honeymoon ended when Pantheon hiked costs 40% (while taking away Redis) after about six months on their platform. That was a bummer, but not a deal breaker.

Fast-forward three years and Pantheon struck again. Only this time intead of instead of another 40% increase they went for the whole cookie jar with a jaw-dropping 1185.71% increase to $450 per month with a 10-day lead on the bill.

With little time to react to Pantheon’s change I did the most reasonable thing I could think of: let the site go down while I learned to move it to Kubernetes.

My requirements:

  • Get site back up-and-running with the least amount of effort
  • Eliminate visitor-based pricing imposed by hosting company
  • Use minimum possible resources to run WordPress at scale
  • Restore Redis cache Pantheon used to offer with $25 hosting

The rest of this post describes how I moved the Chicago Gang History WordPress website off Pantheon and onto Kubernetes. If you follow this guide, you can retrace my footsteps to migrate from Pantheon to Kubernetes too. At the outset you’ll have a 3-node WordPress cluster on Digital Ocean for $30 a month.

Lens App Primer for Kubernetes with K3s

11 minute read Updated

A practical introduction to Lens with K3s and cert-manager.

Discovered a cool desktop app for managing Kubernetes clusters I want to share called Lens. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a K3s cluster and use Lens metrics to introspect on the cluster. Finally we’ll use Lens to install cert-manager on your cluster for the purpose of issuing SSL certs.

WordPress K3s — Init Containers and Helm

11 minute read Updated

How to create a hardened WordPress installation in Kubernetes using Init Containers and Helm on MacOS.

Last week Pantheon dealt the final blow to the website I drove from 100 visitors up to 80,000 per month. By the time I heard the death knell we had a 10-day advance notice the price of hosting was increasing 1025% to $450/month.

I quickly spun up a Plesk instance on Digital Ocean and installed WordPress on a $10/month VPS but realized Plesk was too bloated for our needs and probably not going to cut the mustard in the scale department should traffic decide to climb.

After initially attempting to deploy Wordpress using the Helm chart by Bitnami via the App Marketplace in Rancher 2.5 I found the chart difficult to use, kept looking and eventually found a an alternative chart on a self-hosted VCS.

Like the Bitnami chart the independent chart includes optional database set-up. Unlike the Bitnami chart, however, the self-hosted chart also includes a Redis object cache, OpenID Connect authentication. It also builds a hardened WordPress Pod using WP CLI from scratch with Ansible inside an Init Container. And in this tutorial I’m going to show you how you install it on macOS with K3D.

K3D Load Balancing — MetalLB on Mac

8 minute read Published

How to workaround the Docker host network limitation on macOS using Kubernetes in Docker with K3s and MetalLB.

In this post I’m going to show you a neat little hack to get a bare metal load balancer called MetalLB working in K3s under Docker Desktop for Mac. Before you get started please follow the steps to set-up K3s using k3d with Rancher if this is your first time using Kubernetes. If you already have a K3D cluster running, we’ll be creating a new one for experimentation.

This hack allows Mac users running Kubernetes locally via Docker have it provide EXTERNAL-IP addresses from a pool of addresses so multiple K8s services can be run on the same port, namely 80 (http) and 443 (https), at the same time. Effectively this is a workaround for docker/for-mac/issues/155. Without this hack LoadBalancer IP addresses will show as <pending> or <none> in kubectl.

Let’s see how it works.

K8s on macOS with K3s, K3d and Rancher

12 minute read Published

How to install and run Rancher for Kubernetes on macOS using K3s and K3d.

In this post we’re going to take a quick look at how to run Rancher in a Kubernetes cluster locally on macOS for development and testing purposes. There are several different ways to run Kubernetes for local development. In this guide I’m going to focus on just one way: K3D.

K3D is a lightweight wrapper to run Rancher Labs' K3s in Docker. K3s is a certified Kubernetes distribution for edge and IoT applications with a small resource footprint and ARMv7 support. Like KiND, K3D uses a container runtime as opposed to a virtual machine — saving precious resources. Unlike KiND, K3D supports the ARM architecture and requires about 16x less RAM.

When you’re finished you’ll have a functional K3s Kubernetes cluster running on your Mac with Rancher UI for cluster management. This guide assumes you’ve never run Kubernetes before and, therefore, also serves as a practical starting point, though I won’t be going into detail about the nuts and bolts of Kubernetes.

Copy Files from Linux to macOS Desktop

3 minute read Published

Easily move files machine-to-machine using Deepin 20 and Midnight Commander.

If you need to copy files from a Linux computer to macOS desktop, this short tutorial will explain how using Arch Linux with Deepin 20 and Midnight Commander. Rather than using a Wi-Fi gateway such as a a router, we’ll connect Arch directly to macOS using the Personal Hotspot in Deepin 20 giving us an M2M connection.

Awesome React Boilerplates

7 minute read Updated

Awesome React starter kits to kick your app development into high gear.

Not interested in reinventing the wheel? Neither am I. Here’s a short list of awesome boilerplates – sometimes called starter kits or seeds – for getting your React applications off the ground in a hurry.

These boilerplates weren’t taken from any list, however awesome it might be. Rather, they’ve gained enough mindshare to find me outside The Stream.

So without further ado…

Reaction Commerce — Getting Started

10 minute read Updated

The Unofficial Guide to getting started with Reaction Commerce v3.

Reaction Commerce is a full-stack, self-hosted commerce platform you can run for as little as $10 on your own VPS. Think of Reaction Commerce as what WooCommerce might’ve become had it not been dependent on PHP/WordPress and instead was rewritten using modern coding languages and development techniques.

Using self-hosted commerce is like having your own personal Shopify, WIX or BigCommerce right at your fingertips. Only there’s no monthly costs to worry about just to use it. And there’s no vendor lock-in which would otherwise make it too difficult or risky to switch between platforms when the need arises.

With commerce goliaths like Amazon doubling quarterly profits in 2020 while, at the same time snubbing their own FBA customers, it’s high time you took a hard look at your e-commerce and take control of your own commerce destiny. In this post I will show you how to set-up your own self-hosted Reaction Commerce stack on a VPS with as little as 2GB of RAM or about $10/month.