Cloud Platform Topics

Various sysadmin, app development, and cloud hosting topics

Updated info after this post was created: CJ Eller's blog post explains how to custom style the search bar with javascript and CSS. He also provides further details on this in two posts on the community forum: post 1 and post2.

Searching a public or writefreely blog is easy to do, compared to searching private blogs or anonymous posts. It just takes adding an html iframe snippet to a blog page's source code, no javascript or CSS is needed. The blog must be public, if it's a private blog it won't work. For an example, take a look at this blog page: Then view the source code for that page (typically, right-click on the browser page and select View Source). You'll find the following snippet embedded in that code:


A technique exists for searching public or writefreely blogs that is documented in this post. However, if you want to search your anonymous posts and/or private blogs, the following technique using the API works well for that purpose.

Recently I began to look into the API features of and WriteFreely, specifically to use the API to get the content of all my blog posts and anonymous posts in JSON format for the purpose of doing compound searches on this data.

My intention was to periodically download the data to my website using the API and to code one or a series of custom PHP programs to query it from a web page.

The code below is an example showing the API command along with a simple program to do a compound search of the data.


Background I had installed a Debian 9 Stretch GCE test single-user instance that I now wanted to upgrade to Buster. This is a simple f1-micro “free tier” instance with Apache2 and PHP7.3-FPM, Docker, and with no database other than sqlite3. Both Apache and PHP versions were the latest from the repositories. In searches, I found very little info on how to do the upgrade. Note that Google's Debian installs have some differences from standard Debian images.

Some preparatory very helpful tips that I found are that (1) GCE instance boot disks can be attached and reattached, (2) a new persistent disk can be made from a saved snapshot of an instance's boot disk and then attached to the instance (basically swapping out the original boot disk with the new one created from the snapshot, and (3) a article on how to upgrade from version 9 to 10.

With this info, I felt I had two upgrade choices: