A few notes on setting up your Android tablet server

tablet_web_serverIn my very first post on this blog I talked about a great site for finding info on getting your phone or tablet or other android device set-up as a web server. While that site is chock full of great information it is a bit guilty of overkill (tech over-kill). Below are a few items that you don’t need to worry about too much when getting your server setup using the KSWeb app going and a few bits of advice:

  • First and foremost if you don’t understand port forwarding or how to configure your router you need to take a step back and learn that stuff first. I rather imagine that if the prospect of running a tablet server interests you that you probably are familiar with ports and forwards and IP addresses and DHCP, etc. If not, take a deep breath and google all those items and learn about them. It really is very, very, simple if you take it one step at a time.
  • You don’t need a static IP. Just make sure to set your router’s lease time to as long as possible. Your device (tablet,  phone, etc) will renew the IP a lot more often than the lease time and you will not lose that IP address. My Linux server at home has been on the same DHCP address for well over a year.
  • You probably don’t need any FTP software at all to maintain your tablet/phone server. (For a CuBox or other android device you might). You can simply download files and extract them to the correct folder right on the tablet using a file manager like ES File Explorer or Astro File manager. You can also directly upload files from your PC via Airdroid.
  • KSWeb comes with a tool for updating your IP using No-IP free dynamic DNS. I am sure it works fine but I also recommend ChangeIP.com, they offer free DNS and if you are running windows at home on your PC they have a small software program to update your IP address. If you are on Linux you can run a shell script via cron to update the IP on ChangeIP. If you would like a copy of the script I use, let me know, I will post it.  It is your choice. I am just recommending changeIP.com because I am familiar with them.
  • I recommend that if you will be moving your tablet to different locations that you install Network Info II from the Google Play store. It is free and a handy tool for checking your network address both local and remote.
  • Don’t try to do too much at one time.  I highly recommend installing WordPress to start with because the install takes literally 5 min. at the most. It has a huge amount of available info, support, plug-ins, and themes to make you a happy camper for weeks.
  • Please remember if something doesn’t work on the first try, that doesn’t mean it won’t work at all. While you can test things from localhost:8080, please don’t install software like WordPress from there. Get that domain name and get it pointed to your tablet/phone/device, then install it. The reason? Because many of these php/database apps write the locations of files with the domain included. So if you don’t want to have to re-install stuff and start over again and again, plan ahead.
  • Last but not least if you were to install a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress or Drupal or Concrete5 and you make an error or it gets all messed up, worry not. Just delete the database in phpMyAdmin, then delete all the files in your /htdocs folder and start over. Chalk it up to learning and don’t get discouraged. If I can get this thing to run, anyone can.

Feel free to leave a comment.  Suffice to say if I find the comment out of line it will be edited.


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