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Make the server setup a single URL including the user ID



  • I've setup alternative server manager platforms , and they use a single URL with a hashed user ID appended that then contains the full setup shell script.

    May I suggest this would be a more convenient way to setup without reliance on the SSH login part.

    Then could work for anyone pasting that into they provider setup script input when creating new servers.

    Perhaps the domain could be appended too, eg:

    https://api.cloudron.io/getScript/5b2a529drca23d0ab5c16455/5650632f2d/setup.sh?domain=my.example.com

    Something like that?


  • Staff

    I remember automating something like this for some service provider/VPS providers - https://git.cloudron.io/cloudron/cloudron-sysadmin .

    Idea was you can just call something like:

    cloudron-sysadmin setup-dns --ip 206.189.228.141 --dns-provider cloudflare --dns-zone hostingprovider.com --domain-name customer.hostingprovider.com --dns-config '{"email":"webmaster@example.com", "token": "cftoken"}' --backup-config '{"provider":"s3", "accessKeyId": "AKIA", "secretAccessKey": "e6r2qF", "bucket": "cloudron-bucket", "prefix": "customer", "region": "us-east-1"}' --tls-provider '{"provider":"letsencrypt-prod"}'
    

    Your idea takes it a bit further though. You provide this all in a curl URL which is very nice.



  • Yup - bearing in mind you don't know the server IP yet when you enter this startup script.


  • Staff

    On a related note, @nebulon and I have wondered if we should change the setup flow of Cloudron. I think people are very accustomed to just "Sign up" on a website, which cloudron does not even have (have you noticed 🙂 ?)

    So, an alternate installation flow is:

    • Make people sign up
    • Then they get a unique curl URL which will setup their Cloudron with license/subscription
      • We can take this further and ask them for DNS credentials here and put them inside cURL as well.

    I think so far we have resisted making changes to the flow. But what do others think?



  • @girish Yes, exactly that. It's how any other server manager I've used works.


  • Staff

    That indeed would also mean the Cloudron would already come up with the appstore account bound to it, which would be much nicer than now and possibly even pre-setup with a license depending on what the user chooses



  • @nebulon Yup - I think you can make the URL per subscription. And allow creation of free subscriptions to get the URL for people to initialise servers with free or paid ready to go:

    Just needs an "Add Server" button on this page:

    To save database clutter, you could limit it to adding one free subscription at a time, that needs to be setup and connected before creating another.

    Admittedly, this does make it easy to make lots of free Cloudrons - but, as I understand, they all have to be a unique master URL.



  • I didn't mind the existing flow at all, but sounds like this idea might makes things even easier, which has got to be a good thing, no? 🙂

    @marcusquinn said in Make the server setup a single URL including the user ID:

    Admittedly, this does make it easy to make lots of free Cloudrons - but, as I understand, they all have to be a unique master URL.

    I've not tried it, but could potentially just use a load of different subdomains?



  • @jdaviescoates said in Make the server setup a single URL including the user ID:

    Admittedly, this does make it easy to make lots of free Cloudrons - but, as I understand, they all have to be a unique master URL.

    In my experience, the people that do this kind of thing never would have paid anyway so I don't think it's too worrisome.



  • Having just set up a new Cloudron subscription for a company, the flow is odd as it doesn't allow for a different person with the payment credentials to handle their part separately.

    There is no buy button on the website, which everyone seems to expect.

    This is a barrier to entry for those who need to buy first, then tell their tech people to install it.


  • Staff

    For some background, one main reason for the current flow is that we didn't want people to mistake that Cloudron is "hosting" the dashboard. We also didn't want them to mistake that we have access to their servers. By making the installation flow go through the website, we thought we might mislead people into thinking that way. This is what some of the SaaS control panels do, they have access to the server and also host the dashboard. We don't do either and cloudron.io is really just a place to make payments...

    Would it be any better if the flow was instead changed to purchase on the website, download some license file and then someone else installs the server as it is right now. Then in App Store view, maybe they can upload the license instead of sign up screen they have now . 🤔

    cc @luckow 🙂



  • @girish Yes, as long as it allows for delegation and a straightforward application of a lic key for example that is async from corp management.

    The dashboard confusion is avoided immediately since you provide local install instructions after, not a management dashboard.



  • @girish kinda makes sense when you explain that. Maybe start with what I said above, then we can see how that website UX can feel.


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