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Laravel News:
Laravel Forge API
Feb 28, 2017 @ 14:36:37

The Laravel News site has posted an official announcement about the Forge API being released for public use. Forge is a service that makes it easier to set up and configuration servers by taking care of a lot of the details for you.

Laravel Forge just announced it’s first official API that allows you to create and interact with your servers and sites.

This was a highly requested feature and the API includes support for all the features Forge provides including Servers, Services, Daemons, Firewall Rules, Sites, SSL, and more.

The post includes how to get started with the API, where to get your API token and how to send it over for authorization handling. You can find more information about the Forge API in the documentation on the Forge site.

tagged: laravel forge api release announcement server setup configure

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-forge-api

DotDev.co:
Manage custom VM with Laravel Forge
Feb 15, 2017 @ 10:22:14

On the DotDev.co blog today there's a post from Jordon Brill showing you how to manage custom VMs with Laravel Forge. In his particular setup, the VMs he was working with weren't ones created by Forge so he needed to do some custom work to integrate the two.

I had a legacy php application that I wanted to move to a newer version of php. This application is not built on Laravel but rather is a conglomerate of a bunch of different php scripts and pieces of different frameworks. We recently deployed a Laravel-based application to a server running on AWS via Laravel Forge and Laravel Envoyer and fell in love with the service. We were completely up and running in about 10 minutes and it was great.

This case, however, was a bit outside of the typical scenario since it was not a Laravel application and Forge wasn’t going to be creating the server on one of the built-in services that Forge has an integration with (Linode, DigitalOcean, and AWS).

He starts by creating a new VM instance of a Ubuntu-based Linux system. He then shows how to connect it up to Laravel Forge via the "Custom VPS" option. This provides you with a custom command and token to use to make the connection to manage the server via Forge from then on. He does point out a few "gotchas": that it all needs to be run as the "root" account and that you'll need to open SSH ports in your firewall (if you have one) to allow the Forge service access.

tagged: laravel forge envoyer vm custom setup ubuntu tutorial

Link: https://dotdev.co/manage-custom-vm-with-laravel-forge-dc4c3218e415#.sehaglgkh

Freek Van der Herten:
Using Varnish on a Laravel Forge provisioned server
Jan 05, 2017 @ 14:19:15

Freek Van der Herten has a post to his site showing you how to set up Varnish with a Laravel Forge server. Forge is a service that makes it simpler to set up and manage servers and the applications installed without having to mess with the details yourself.

For a project we’re working on at Spatie we’re expecting high traffic. That’s why we spent some time researching how to improve the request speed of a Laravel application and the amount of requests a single server can handle. There are many strategies and services you can use to speed up a site. In our specific project one of the things we settled on is Varnish. In this post I’d like to share how to set up Varnish on a Forge provisioned server.

He gives a high level overview of what Varnish is and what benefit it provides to your application (complete with illustrations) and includes a link to a presentation introducing Varnish to PHP developers. Then he moves on to installing Varnish on the server, updating the VCL configuration file and opening a port for you to use when connecting to the Varnish service. He shows the difference in the response headers when Varnish handles the response and the updates you'll need to make to get your Laravel application to play nicely with Varnish with this package.

He ends the post with examples of how to test the performance difference and some final steps to update the config and have it run on port 80 instead of the default 6081.

tagged: laravel forge varnish provision server tutorial setup configure performance

Link: https://murze.be/2017/01/varnish-on-a-laravel-forge-server/

Freek Van der Herten:
An unofficial Forge API
Nov 18, 2016 @ 10:54:09

In this quick post to his site Freek Van der Herten looks at the "unofficial Forge API" you can use to do some (limited) things with your Forge account and servers. Forge is a service in the Laravel ecosystem for managing and deploying servers with a simple and clean frontend interface.

You might not know this but Forge already has an API, it’s just not a documented and feature complete one. Open up your dev tools and inspect the web requests being sent while you do various stuff on Forge.

Marcel Pociot published a new package called Blacksmith (great name Marcel) that can make calls to that API.

The package submits a login form behind the scenes to authenticate but other than that it's normal API calls. The package includes methods allowing you to:

  • get a list of all active servers
  • return server by ID
  • get the listing of sites
  • update metadata
  • get environment information

...among other things. You can find out more about the package in its GitHub repository.

tagged: laravel forge api unofficial package blacksmith

Link: https://murze.be/2016/11/unofficial-forge-api/

Community News:
Taylor Otwell AMA (Ask Me Anything)
Mar 28, 2016 @ 10:57:37

Taylor Otwell, the original creator of the Laravel framework, recently did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) over on the Hashnode site, answering questions from all around the world about anything and everything.

Taylor Otwell is the creator of Laravel PHP framework. He also created Lumen, Forge, and Envoyer. Shoot any questions you want Taylor to answer!

There's a huge list of questions asked covering a wide range of topics (and not just Laravel ones either):

  • Spark
  • VueJs
  • Beanstalkd vs Amazon SQS vs Redis
  • Thoughts on Docker
  • Why he chose to work as a developer
  • Forge improvements
  • How Laravel got to where it is today

As mentioned, there's plenty more questions where these came from to be sure to look through the entire post and check out the answers!

tagged: taylorotwell askmeanything ama interview hashnode community laravel forge envoyer

Link: https://hashnode.com/ama/with-taylor-otwell-cilmj90zh000k6t53il0rdgqp

Laravel News:
How To: Optimizing SSL on Laravel Forge
Jan 14, 2016 @ 09:27:59

On the Laravel News site there's a post showing you how to optimize your SSL support on Forge, the Laravel-related tool that makes creating and configuring servers simpler. The post focuses on a recently added feature to Forge, support for Let's Encrypt certificates, and other SSL optimizations.

Laravel Forge was recently to allow one-click installations of Let’s Encrypt certificates. It is now easier than ever to have your own SSL!

Let’s take a few extra minutes to optimize your server and help it perform faster and be more secure. In this tutorial we will look at using SSL session caching, HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), and Hypertext Transfer Protocol 2 (HTTP/2).

The example they give are more Force-centric but the SSL changes and optimizations themselves could be used on any server running Nginx. They talk about:

  • the SSL Log-Jam Fix
  • SSL Optimizations (optimized cypher suite, OCSP stapling)
  • HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
  • HTTP/2

The post ends with a screenshot of how to test the new configuration and how to restart the web service to put it all into effect. There's also a link to an SSL checker that can help you verify things are set up correctly.

tagged: ssl forge laravel tutorial session cache hsts http2 nginx configuration

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/01/optimizing-ssl-laravel-forge/

Scotch.io:
Deploy PHP Apps Easily with Laravel Forge
Jun 18, 2015 @ 08:27:04

The Scotch.io site has a new post that wants to help make your Laravel deployments on Forge a simple thing. Forge is a "frontend" to make deployment on the hosting platform of your choice simpler with features for configuring the server, application deployment and automation (like push to deploy).

Forge is an incredible tool in the family of Laravel products that helps developers focus on developing, not deploying and hosting. I personally use it when deploying Laravel applications and it does make life much easier. Many of the pain points of hosting are taken care of for you so you can get right back to developing. [...] We’ll be diving into how we can deploy a Laravel application to Forge using Digital Ocean and GitHub.

He starts with a brief introduction to how Forge works and cooperates with the Digital Ocean stack to create the server and deploy the application. He answers a few questions about "why should you use Forge" and then gets into the actual setup of the server. He walks you through:

  • Linking the project to a GitHub or BitBucket repository
  • Adding SSH keys to connect to use for connecting to the server
  • Creating a server

He also goes through some of the server management features Forge offers in its dashboard including monitoring services, server tools and basic site management controls. Once everything is set up, he shows how to deploy from the GitHub repository and how to use third-party integrations (like Slack or HipChat) and the use of environment variables.

tagged: tutorial deploy application laravel forge github digitalocean

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/deploy-php-apps-easily-with-laravel-forge

Matt Stauffer:
Installing Sendy (for emails) on Laravel Forge
Jun 05, 2015 @ 09:18:37

In Matt Stauffer's latest post he shows you how to integrate Sendy for sending emails into your Laravel application. This is the first part of a new series.

Last week I decided to finally bite the bullet and take the advice I've been giving so many others: I committed to creating an email newsletter to recap some of my favorite posts and also to give me a space to share some thoughts I don't have space for anywhere else. So, time to get my newsletter-sending-setup up and running.

He starts by explaining his decision to use Sendy, choosing a self-hosted application over a service. There's a one-time fee to purchase it, but it's relatively inexpensive for the features that come bundled. He then gets into the steps to implement it and integrate it into your application:

  • Buy Sendy and prep your code
  • Install Sendy on Forge (with a few sub-points)
  • Set up your domain
  • [Read] Sendy's Getting Started Guide
  • Set up cron jobs
  • [Create] Templates

He also sneaks in a signup form example with a double use - it also signs you up for his newsletter.

tagged: laravel forge sendy application selfhosted install configure tutorial

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/installing-sendy-for-emails-on-laravel-forge

Product & Support:
Interview with Taylor Otwell
May 15, 2015 @ 09:09:33

The Product & Support site has posted an interview with Taylor Otwell, the creator of the Laravel framework. In it they talk about what Laravel is, how it treats users as "customers" and the community around it.

Taylor is the creator of Laravel, founder of Laravel Forge and founder of Envoyer . I spoke with him about open source software and making the transition to entrepreneurship.

Taylor also answers questions about the ecosystem around the framework (marketing, documentation, etc) and how its helped the popularity of the framework. He also shares a few things he might have changed if he could start over with Laravel, including features he feels are "overdone". They also talk about Taylor's move from a full-time job into being self-employed and how that works with two large open source projects to maintain. Check out the full interview for the answers to these and other questions.

tagged: taylorotwell interview laravel framework community envoyer forge

Link: http://productandsupport.com/taylor-otwell/

Samuel Stenton:
Install Node.Js and Ghost on a Laravel Forge Server
Dec 10, 2014 @ 09:18:08

In this recent post to his site Samuel Stenton shows you how to get Ghost (a recent player in the blogging space) and Node.js installed on a Laravel Forge server. The Laravel Forge service makes it quick and easy to create and launch virtual machines on the cloud service of your choosing.

He's broken it down into five steps (not including signing up for Forge if you haven't already):

  • Step 1: Install Node.js
  • Step 2: Download and Configure Ghost
  • Step 3: Install and Run
  • Step 3: Configure NGINX to Serve our Ghost Blog Correctly
  • Step 5: Not finished quite yet!

That final step includes the instructions to restart the needed software when/if the server happens to be rebooted.

tagged: ghost laravel forge instance cloud tutorial nodejs install configure

Link: http://samuelstenton.com/install-ghost-laravel-forge-server/