AWS Hugo Hosting, HowTo

Running your Hugo static blog site is easy and cheap, but there are a few snags I had to solve when I deployed mine. Follow these instruction to host your Hugo blog on AWS S3 and Cloudfront.

Disclaimer

The following works for me. If you’re not comfortable with a CLI, use the AWS Web Console.

Bucket Configuration

Other tutorials use the AWS web console, and feature lots of screenshots, but your’re a savvy Hugo user. We’ll use the AWS Commandline interface tool, ak.k. awscli. You can install it with pip, if you don’t already have it.

sudo pip install awscli
aws configure # Follow instructions to setup

Make a bucket. The name does not matter. No one will see this. If someone is already using that name, you’ll need to pick another. We’ll also add a bucket to hold all of our logs, so that you can know who visited.

# Set your domain here
YOUR_DOMAIN="yourdomain.com"
REGION="us-east-1"
# Don't change these
BUCKET_NAME="${YOUR_DOMAIN}-cdn"
LOG_BUCKET_NAME="${BUCKET_NAME}-logs"

# One fresh bucket please!
aws s3 mb s3://$BUCKET_NAME --region $REGION
# And another for the logs
aws s3 mb s3://$LOG_BUCKET_NAME --region $REGION

Bucket Permissions and Logging

Give AWS the rights to insert logs into your bucket. Then tell S3 to log your website visits to that bucket.

# Let AWS write the logs to this location
aws s3api put-bucket-acl --bucket $LOG_BUCKET_NAME \
--grant-write 'URI="http://acs.amazonaws.com/groups/s3/LogDelivery"' \
--grant-read-acp 'URI="http://acs.amazonaws.com/groups/s3/LogDelivery"'

# Setup logging
LOG_POLICY="{\"LoggingEnabled\":{\"TargetBucket\":\"$LOG_BUCKET_NAME\",\"TargetPrefix\":\"$BUCKET_NAME\"}}"
aws s3api put-bucket-logging --bucket $BUCKET_NAME --bucket-logging-status $LOG_POLICY

Create S3 Bucket Website

We’ll tell S3 to turn our bucket into a website. This will give it a public URL that does redirecting for us. We need this since Hugo blog pages like foo.com/bob/ are really foo.com/bob/index.html. We need to redirect those root paths like /bob/ to /bob/index.html. Normally you’d need rewrite rules with Nginx or Apache, but S3 can do that too.

# Create website config
echo "{
    \"IndexDocument\": {
        \"Suffix\": \"index.html\"
    },
    \"ErrorDocument\": {
        \"Key\": \"404.html\"
    },
    \"RoutingRules\": [
        {
            \"Redirect\": {
                \"ReplaceKeyWith\": \"index.html\"
            },
            \"Condition\": {
                \"KeyPrefixEquals\": \"/\"
            }
        }
    ]
}" > website.json

aws s3api put-bucket-website --bucket $BUCKET_NAME --website-configuration file://website.json

Now you can visit http://<bucket_name>.s3-website-<region>.amazonaws.com to browse your site!

Get Free SSL Certificates

Everything should have SSL, so AWS decided to give away FREE SSL certificates for all AWS users. Thanks, Jeff! Make sure you can access the admin email address on your domain, and then run the following and check your email. The email should go through instantly. Note that we’re also requesting the www. variant of this domain. We’ll use this for redirecting www.foo.com to foo.com.

aws acm request-certificate --domain-name $YOUR_DOMAIN --subject-alternative-names "www.$YOUR_DOMAIN" --idempotency-token "`date +%s`"

The idempotency token will prevent running this twice from sending two requests. Also, note that ACM will renew your certs each year automatically, so this SSL really is set it and forget it.

Call ACM and get the ARN of your cert to use in the next step.

aws acm list-certificates --certificate-statuses ISSUED
# Example result
{
    "CertificateSummaryList": [
        {
            "CertificateArn": "arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:7865196219991:certificate/de305d54-75b4-431b-adb2-eb6b9e546014",
            "DomainName": "yoursite.com"
        }
    ]
}

CloudFront Setup

S3 hosts your files as a website, but we want a vanity domain and custom SSL. Plus, a worldwide 54 edge location CDN would be nice. AWS CloudFront can accomplish all of this quite easily.

First we’ll tell awscli to enable the CloudFront tools, which are presently in “Preview Mode.”

aws  configure  set preview.cloudfront true # Honey badger don't care

This is a long config, so let’s break it down:

Origin Config

We must use the S3 website hosting URL not simply point to the S3 bucket like regular CF setup. This allows us to get index.html redirecting. This also means we cannot use HTTPS Only on the origin, because its domain won’t match the generic S3 certificate AWS uses for all S3 requests.

  "Origins": {
    "Quantity": 1,
    "Items": [
      {
        "Id": "$BUCKET_NAME-origin",
        "OriginPath": "",
        "CustomOriginConfig": {
          "OriginProtocolPolicy": "http-only",
          "HTTPPort": 80,
          "OriginSslProtocols": {
            "Quantity": 3,
            "Items": [
              "TLSv1",
              "TLSv1.1",
              "TLSv1.2"
            ]
          },
          "HTTPSPort": 443
        },
        "DomainName": "$BUCKET_NAME.s3-website-$REGION.amazonaws.com"
      }
    ]
  }

Logging Config

  • Log CF hits to the buckets we already made

    "Logging": {
    "Bucket": "$LOG_BUCKET_NAME.s3.amazonaws.com", 
    "Prefix": "${BUCKET_NAME}-cf/", 
    "Enabled": true
    }
    

Cache Behavior Config

  • We want everyone coming to the site to use SSL, so we’ll redirect port 80 → 443.
  • Cache content for 30min by DefaultCacheBehavior
  • Only forward HEAD and GET requests, cache them too
  • Gzip content if possible (reduce bandwidth usage, faster)
  • Don’t forward headers
  • Don’t trust other signers

    "DefaultCacheBehavior": {
    "DefaultCacheBehavior": {
    "ViewerProtocolPolicy": "redirect-to-https",
    "DefaultTTL": 1800,
    "AllowedMethods": {
      "Quantity": 2,
      "Items": [
        "HEAD","GET"
      ],
      "CachedMethods": {
        "Quantity": 2,
        "Items": [
          "HEAD","GET"
        ]
      }
    },
    "MinTTL": 0,
    "Compress": true,
    "ForwardedValues": {
      "Headers": {
        "Quantity": 0
      },
      "Cookies": {
        "Forward": "none"
      },
      "QueryString": false
    },
    "TrustedSigners": {
      "Enabled": false,
      "Quantity": 0
    }
    }
    }
    

SSL Config

  • Use the new SSL cert from ACM, referenced by the ARN
  • Use SNI, breaking wood burning browsers on WinXP, because it’s FREE
  • Warning: Not using SNI costs $600/mo, so use SNI

    "ViewerCertificate": {
    "SSLSupportMethod": "sni-only", 
    "ACMCertificateArn": "$SSL_ARN", 
    "MinimumProtocolVersion": "TLSv1", 
    "Certificate": "$SSL_ARN", 
    "CertificateSource": "acm"
    }
    

Error Config

  • Forward Cloudfront Not Found and Forbidden errors to your custom pages
  • Cache failures for 5min, then try the Origin again

    "CustomErrorResponses": {
    "Quantity": 2,
    "Items": [
        {
            "ErrorCode": 403, 
            "ResponsePagePath": "/404.html", 
            "ResponseCode": "404",
            "ErrorCachingMinTTL": 300
        }, 
        {
            "ErrorCode": 404, 
            "ResponsePagePath": "/404.html", 
            "ResponseCode": "404",
            "ErrorCachingMinTTL": 300
        }
    ]
    }
    

Redirect Config

  • Mask the ugly default CF domain with your vanity domain
  • Accept root and www. variants

    "Aliases": {
    "Quantity": 2,
    "Items": [
        "$YOUR_DOMAIN", "www.$YOUR_DOMAIN"
    ]
    }
    

Misc Config

  • Serve foo.com/index.html to foo.com requests
  • Use all edge nodes worldwide
  • Turn it on

    {
    "DefaultRootObject": "index.html", 
    "PriceClass": "PriceClass_All", 
    "Enabled": true
    }
    

Making the Distribution

Sorry, it’s really ugly, but such is bash escaping.

# From above
SSL_ARN="arn:aws:acm:us-east-1:7865196219991:certificate/de305d54-75b4-431b-adb2-eb6b9e546014"

CALLER_REF="`date +%s`" # current second
echo "{
    \"Comment\": \"$BUCKET_NAME Static Hosting\", 
    \"Logging\": {
        \"Bucket\": \"$LOG_BUCKET_NAME.s3.amazonaws.com\", 
        \"Prefix\": \"${BUCKET_NAME}-cf/\", 
        \"Enabled\": true,
        \"IncludeCookies\": false
    }, 
    \"Origins\": {
        \"Quantity\": 1,
        \"Items\": [
            {
                \"Id\":\"$BUCKET_NAME-origin\",
                \"OriginPath\": \"\", 
                \"CustomOriginConfig\": {
                    \"OriginProtocolPolicy\": \"http-only\", 
                    \"HTTPPort\": 80, 
                    \"OriginSslProtocols\": {
                        \"Quantity\": 3,
                        \"Items\": [
                            \"TLSv1\", 
                            \"TLSv1.1\", 
                            \"TLSv1.2\"
                        ]
                    }, 
                    \"HTTPSPort\": 443
                }, 
                \"DomainName\": \"$BUCKET_NAME.s3-website-$REGION.amazonaws.com\"
            }
        ]
    }, 
    \"DefaultRootObject\": \"index.html\", 
    \"PriceClass\": \"PriceClass_All\", 
    \"Enabled\": true, 
    \"CallerReference\": \"$CALLER_REF\",
    \"DefaultCacheBehavior\": {
        \"TargetOriginId\": \"$BUCKET_NAME-origin\",
        \"ViewerProtocolPolicy\": \"redirect-to-https\", 
        \"DefaultTTL\": 1800,
        \"AllowedMethods\": {
            \"Quantity\": 2,
            \"Items\": [
                \"HEAD\", 
                \"GET\"
            ], 
            \"CachedMethods\": {
                \"Quantity\": 2,
                \"Items\": [
                    \"HEAD\", 
                    \"GET\"
                ]
            }
        }, 
        \"MinTTL\": 0, 
        \"Compress\": true,
        \"ForwardedValues\": {
            \"Headers\": {
                \"Quantity\": 0
            }, 
            \"Cookies\": {
                \"Forward\": \"none\"
            }, 
            \"QueryString\": false
        },
        \"TrustedSigners\": {
            \"Enabled\": false, 
            \"Quantity\": 0
        }
    }, 
    \"ViewerCertificate\": {
        \"SSLSupportMethod\": \"sni-only\", 
        \"ACMCertificateArn\": \"$SSL_ARN\", 
        \"MinimumProtocolVersion\": \"TLSv1\", 
        \"Certificate\": \"$SSL_ARN\", 
        \"CertificateSource\": \"acm\"
    }, 
    \"CustomErrorResponses\": {
        \"Quantity\": 2,
        \"Items\": [
            {
                \"ErrorCode\": 403, 
                \"ResponsePagePath\": \"/404.html\", 
                \"ResponseCode\": \"404\",
                \"ErrorCachingMinTTL\": 300
            }, 
            {
                \"ErrorCode\": 404, 
                \"ResponsePagePath\": \"/404.html\", 
                \"ResponseCode\": \"404\",
                \"ErrorCachingMinTTL\": 300
            }
        ]
    }, 
    \"Aliases\": {
        \"Quantity\": 2,
        \"Items\": [
            \"$YOUR_DOMAIN\", 
            \"www.$YOUR_DOMAIN\"
        ]
    }
}" > distroConfig.json

# Now apply it
aws cloudfront create-distribution --distribution-config file://distroConfig.json

Nice. You’ve got a CloudFront distribution. Run the below to get the domain name for use next.

aws cloudfront list-distributions --query 'DistributionList.Items[].{id:Id,comment:Comment,domain:DomainName}'
# i.e. d8ukw3iojeij2.cloudfront.net

Route 53 Domain Setup

Only one more step! We’ll point your Route 53 hosted domain to the CF distribution. This uses an alias for the zone apex and a CNAME for the subdomain.

Find your current hosted zone (domain). i.e. /hostedzone/ZAAWZQV036URT

aws route53 list-hosted-zones

This config alias the domain to your Cloudfront distribution.

  • The bare domain get’s aliased
  • The www subdomain uses a CNAME
  • Aliases all refernce zone ZAAWZQV036URT, because AWS says so
  • UPSERT so that this config is applied idempotently

    {
    "Changes": [
    {
      "Action": "UPSERT",
      "ResourceRecordSet": {
        "AliasTarget": {
          "HostedZoneId": "Z2FDTNDATAQYW2",
          "EvaluateTargetHealth": false,
          "DNSName": "d8ukw3iojeij2.cloudfront.net."
        },
        "Type": "A",
        "Name": "yoursite.com."
      }
    },
    {
      "Action": "UPSERT",
      "ResourceRecordSet": {
        "ResourceRecords": [
          {
            "Value": "d8ukw3iojeij2.cloudfront.net"
          }
        ],
        "Type": "CNAME",
        "Name": "www.yoursite.com.",
        "TTL": 300
      }
    }
    ]
    }
    

Ok, here goes. Build the json and submit it. Note, you’ll need to wait ~TTL seconds for the DNS to propagate.

HOSTED_ZONE_ID="/hostedzone/ZAAWZQV036URT"
DISTRO_URL="d8ukw3iojeij2.cloudfront.net"

echo "{
    \"Comment\": \"Let there be Hugo!\",
    \"Changes\": [
        {
            \"Action\":\"UPSERT\",
            \"ResourceRecordSet\": {
                \"AliasTarget\": {
                    \"HostedZoneId\": \"Z2FDTNDATAQYW2\", 
                    \"EvaluateTargetHealth\": false, 
                    \"DNSName\": \"$DISTRO_URL.\"
                }, 
                \"Type\": \"A\", 
                \"Name\": \"$YOUR_DOMAIN.\"
            }
        },{
            \"Action\":\"UPSERT\",
            \"ResourceRecordSet\": {
                \"ResourceRecords\": [
                    {
                        \"Value\": \"$DISTRO_URL\"
                    }
                ],
                \"Type\": \"CNAME\",
                \"Name\": \"www.$YOUR_DOMAIN.\",
                \"TTL\": 300
            }
        }
    ]
}" > r53Batch.json

aws route53 change-resource-record-sets --hosted-zone-id $HOSTED_ZONE_ID --change-batch file://r53Batch.json

Deployment

Great job, you’re an AWS API zen master now! That was easy, right? At least it will be easy to redo later or script with Ansible.

Note, because there are 54 edge nodes worldwide, it may take some time (i.e. 30min) for your distribtion to be complete. Go get a cup of coffee and let the interwebs stabalize.

See the next post to Deploy Hugo Files to S3.