Lessons Learned From Creating My Own Fargo Publisher Server

I think that I have successfully created my own instance of Fargo Publisher, and I learned some lessons along the way that might be helpful to others who wish to create their own instance of Fargo Publisher.

To set up my own server and install Fargo Publisher, I followed the instructions written by Chris Dadswell, including buying a virtual server at CloudAtCost. For the most part, I believe I ended up with the exact same configuration Dave has set up for folks to use on his servers, including storing content on Amazon S3.

My instance of Fargo Publisher is set up in DNS as follows:

  • frankmcpherson.net is an A record pointing to a Debian VM hosted by CloudAtCost.

  • blog.frankmcpherson.org is a CNAME record pointing to the S3 bucket hosting the content published by Fargo Publisher.

  • pub.frankmcpherson.org is a CNAME record pointing to frankmcpherson.net.

I won't repeat the instructions that Chris and Dave have provided, but rather provide a summary of the lessons I learned in order to get everything working.

  • Chris's instructions for installing node.js on the Debian server is missing a step. I had to add "sudo dpkg -i node_*" as shown on Github. Until I did this node.js would not run.

  • In order for Fargo Publisher to redirect to S3 it must run on port 80. Initially I set fpServerPort to 8080 as Chris' instructions show. I could access blog content at the URL blog.frankmcpherson.org/users/testing4/ but I could NOT access blog content using testing4.frankmcpherson.net. Fargo Publisher will redirect but appears to need to listen on port 80 in order to do so. At least it would not work for me until I changed it to port 80.

  • The name that you enter in the Server field in Fargo's CMS settings by clicking [Your Drop box name], Settings, CMS must be a CNAME pointing to the server hosting Fargo Publisher. Further, the CNAME must be associated with a domain other than the one hosting Fargo Publisher.

    • Initially, I had entered the name of the server hosting Fargo Publisher, frankmcpherson.net and when I did that Fargo would not talk to the publisher. When I tried to check the version of Fargo Publisher by entering frankmcpherson.net/version I would see a message saying there was nothing to display at blog.frankmcpherson.org/users/version.

    • Next, I tried to create a CNAME on frankmcpherson.net (pub.frankmcpherson.net) and that produced the same result.

    • Finally, I created a CNAME for frankmcpherson.org, which is the domain I am using to point to S3, and pointed it to frankmcpherson.net. After doing this I could check the version and status of Fargo Publisher, and once I entered that CNAME (pub.frankmcpherson.org) in Fargo, I could publish new content.

  • Changing the value of the Server field in Fargo's CMS Settings may require completely getting out of Fargo and then reloading to be safe. For some reason there were instances where after I changed publishing server names Fargo refused to communicate with the server and only way I could resolve it was to shut down the tab hosting Fargo. This is happening for me in Chrome.

  • You can only name an outline once, and that name includes what you specify in fpDomain. After pointing Fargo to my Fargo Publisher server, I tried to move an existing blog I created on smallpict.com (sportsbeat.smallpict.com) to frankmcpherson.net.

    • Render all pages resulted in no content being pushed to my S3 bucket.

    • Next I tried to "re-name" the outline by clicking File, Name outline and got a message saying I could not set the name for the outline because it was already named sportsbeat.smallpict.com.

    • Consequently, it appears the only way you can migrate a Fargo blog from one Fargo Publisher Server to another is to create a new outline in Fargo, copy the content from the old outline to the new, then name that new outline using the name of your choice. While it's pretty simple to copy the contents of one outline to another, this migration step could be simpler.

Remaining issues to resolve:

  • Fargo is not rendering the links on monthly and yearly index pages and bread crumb navigation links at the top of article pages correctly. As an example, click here, which brings you to the July 2014 index page and then click the title for any one of the articles.

Last built: Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 5:51 PM

By Frank McPherson, Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 10:24 AM. When in doubt, blog.