Question

Creating a local environment from an existing droplet?

I have a custom site running on an Ubuntu LAMP 16.04 droplet. The site is built with PHP and has entries in a SQL database.

What’s the best way to clone this droplet as-is (SQL database and all) and run it locally? Once local I’ll configure it with Git and use GitHub Actions to rsync back to the production server.

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Accepted Answer

Hello,

It would depend on what OS you are using on your local environment. For example, if you have a Windows PC, you could install the WAMP stack which would allow you to have Apache/PHP/MySQL on your laptop. If you have a Mac, you could do the same with MAMP:

https://www.mamp.info/en/mac/

Once you have your local dev environment up and running, you could download your website files via SFTP with a tool like FileZilla:

https://docs.digitalocean.com/products/droplets/how-to/transfer-files/

Regarding your database, you could use the mysqldump command-line tool to export a backup of your database and import it to your local environment after that:

How to export/backup a MySQL/MariaDB database with mysqldump

Alternatively, what I like to do personally is to have an exact copy of my production server rather than run my projects on my laptop. So what I usually do is to restore a backup of my production server and use it as a development environment/server.

Then I use VS Code with an extension called Remote-SSH, which allows me to connect to my server via SSH through VS Code and I am able to make changes to my project directly on the dev server just as I would if it was an actual local project.

Here is a great tutorial on how to do that:

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-use-visual-studio-code-for-remote-development-via-the-remote-ssh-plugin

Hope that this helps! Best, Bobby