How to host OpenCart on AWS Lightsail VM Instance - ServerAvatar

Published : Sep 3, 2023

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AWS Lightsail

AWS Lightsail is a simplified and cost-effective way to launch and manage virtual private servers (VPS) in the cloud. It provides a user-friendly interface for deploying and scaling VPS instances with pre-configured options for operating systems, applications, and storage. Additionally, it offers a predictable pricing model that includes a flat monthly fee based on the instance size and data transfer limits.

Get started with AWS Lightsail


A well-liked open-source e-commerce platform called OpenCart enables companies to easily develop and manage stores on the internet. A variety of extensions are available to increase functionality, and the user-friendly admin interface, Enhanced customisation options with robust capabilities. OpenCart is the perfect option for company owners and entrepreneurs wishing to build a strong online presence since it makes the process of setting up and operating an online store simple. OpenCart offers a flexible and scalable solution for e-commerce success with its SEO-friendly features, multi-store capabilities, support for numerous languages, and support for different currencies.

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Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail

To create a server in AWS Lightsail, First log in to the AWS Lightsail console. Once you are there, Follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Go to the Instance Creation Form

To access the instance creation form, Go to the AWS Lightsail dashboard and click on the orange button with the Create Instance text. See the following image for reference.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 1

Step 2: Select the Location of your Instance

First of all, You have to select the location for your instance. It is always better to select a location closest to your major traffic source. It will decrease the latency for the majority of your website visitors.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 2

If you want to change the location of your server, You can simply update the current region in your AWS account.

Step 3: Select the OS for your Instance

After selecting the location, Select the operating system for your instance. In this case, First, click on OS Only and then select Ubuntu 20.04 as an operating system just like the following image.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 3

Step 4: Select SSH Key and Launch Script (Optional/Advanced)

This is an optional step. Here you can set the Launch script and the main SSH key for your server. If you don't understand the launch script and SSH keys, Just ignore this step.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 4

Step 5: Select the Plan

In this step, select the size of your VM instance. AWS Lightsail provides lots of different options when it comes to plans and pricing. The plan and pricing selection completely depend on the requirements of your site(s). So, select the plan based on the complexity and traffic of your sites.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 5

Step 6: Verify and Create the Instance

Finally, Enter the name of your instance, the number of instances you want to create and assign the tags accordingly for identification. Once done, click on the Create Instance button to start the instance creation process.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 6

It might take a few minutes to deploy the instance. Once done, follow the below-given step to update the firewall rules for the VM instance.

Step 7: Update Firewall Rules

ServerAvatar requires 43210 port open. In total, You need to keep the following ports open on the instance.

  • 22 (SSH): To access your server via SSH.
  • 80 (HTTP): To access your sites on HTTP.
  • 443 (HTTPS): To access your sites on HTTPS.
  • 43210 (ServerAvatar): To allow communication between ServerAvatar and your instance.

To update the firewall rules for a specific instance, Go to the AWS Lightsail dashboard and click on the name of the instance you want to update. Then go to the Networking section and add the missing firewall rules. After updating the firewall rules, the networking section of your Instance should look like the following image.

Create VM Instance in AWS Lightsail - Step 7

Initial Server Configuration

The Initial server configuration includes the installation and configuration of various packages required to host your website. Usually, You have to write commands and modify configuration files. Luckily, With ServerAvatar, Your full server configuration and optimization can be automated.

Here are the three ways to automatically configure your server with ServerAvatar.

Install and Setup OpenCart on Cloud using ServerAvatar

Step1: Create Opencart Database

The Opencart installation process requires database Credentials. So, to create a MySQL database for Opencart, Access the Database tab on the ServerAvatar server panel to create a Database.


To create a Database, Enter the details, such as the Database Name, in the database creation form like the image below.


Database successfully created.

Steps 2: Create PHP Application

Access the Applications tab from the server panel to create a new PHP application for Opencart.


Now fill up the required details in the application form, as seen in the image below.


Note that:

If you want to host Opencart on your domain, then make sure to point your domain to the current IP address of your server, and for that:

  1. Log in to your domain provider site, where you buy your domain. Click here for more info about your domain name.
  2. Access DNS Manager to edit your DNS records (contact the support team if you don’t find them)
  3. Change the IP address of A Record of your website to the > current server’s IP address.

To host Opencart on your subdomain, for example,, create a new application with the subdomain as your primary domain and follow the same procedure. For accessing Opencart on the subdomain, you need to add your subdomain on A Record that points to the current IP address of your server. To point to an IPV6 address, you would need to use an AAAA record.

Click to Next Step.

Now, choose the method and service provider: Git and GitHub (follow as per the snapshot).


Continue the process by entering the necessary information as provided below:
Repository Type: Public
Branch: master
Deployment script: (keep this Script box empty)


Proceed by clicking the "Next Step".

You can either create a new System User or select an existing one.


Next, choose PHP version 8.0 or above. As we're specifically seeking "index.php" or "index.html" within the custom setup. It is available in upload directory of Opencart. So, our custom webroot is upload.

Custom Webroot: upload


Proceed to the next steps and ensure your details and requirements are accurately entered.

After confirming, click on Create Application to initiate the application creation process.

Step 3: Rename a file

On the file manager, go to the upload folder and check the Show Hidden Files box and rename the .htaccess.txt file to .htaccess.

Follow Snapshot to rename files.


Similarly rename,

  1. config-dist.php to config.php at same directory path (public_html -> upload).
  2. config-dist.php to config.php at directory path (public_html -> upload -> admin).

Note: - To rename a file follow the same procedure as visualised in the snapshot. Check the directory path of the file.

Step 4: Change file permissions

Select both config.php files one by one and click the Change Permission button. To access config.php follow the same directory path used in step 3.

Follow the given snapshot to change the file permission for both files.


Change the permission to 0755, like the following image.


Successfully change the permission.

Step 4: Code Modification

In order to configure OpenCart, you may need to make some code modifications. Follow the provided directory path to open the file and make the necessary code changes.

To modify, Open: upload/system/storage/vendor/twig/twig/src/Loader/FilesystemLoader.php

On line 90, replace

$checkPath = $this->isAbsolutePath($path) ? $path : $this->rootPath.$path;


$checkPath = $this->rootPath.$path;

Follow Snapshot Procedure to modify code.


Save the changes(ctrl + s).

Successfully deploy Opencart on the server through the ServerAvatar.

Step 4: Install and setup Opencart

Now access the site URL from the Application panel to install and set up Opencart.


Click on Continue.


We have already created a database for Opencart in step 1. To establish a connection between the database and the application, enter the database credential we have already made. You can access all your database credentials, like database name, username, and password, by accessing the database tab from the server panel.

  1. Enter the following database credential we have already created in ServerAvatar:
    DB Driver: MySQLi
    Hostname: localhost
    Username: Username of database
    Password: Database password
    Database Name: Database name
    Prefix: change the database table prefix as you want

  2. To create administrator enter the following details:
    Username: any username
    Password: your password
    Email: your email

Note:- Please remember the credentials you entered above for logging into Opencart.


Click Continue.

Login as admin with admin username and password on the next page to access the admin panel.


Successfully install and setup Opencart on the server through the ServerAvatar.

Step 5. Secure OpenCart admin panel

Follow the Security Notification popup to the admin panel. It points-
• To delete the installation directory after accessing the store admin panel.
• To move the storage directory outside of the web directory(e.g. public_html).
• To rename the admin directory to your choice.
That’s it. Use the power of an open-source tool flexibly to make an impressive e-Commerce store.
Check OpenCart documentation for more information related to installation and functionalities.

Thank you for choosing ServerAvatar! We warmly welcome you to our vibrant community of ServerAvatar.