GoCommerce is Netlify's headless e-commerce for JAMstack sites. Whatever that means.
It acts as your database when you have a single page app (possibly in React) that sells stuff. Integrates through
<script> tags with JSON in them.
I hear Netlify is working on a fully hosted solution. It's not ready yet.
Digital Ocean droplets are a glorified VPS, virtual private server. I'm told it's actually an IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and competes with Amazon's AWS…
Sure felt a lot like ssh-ing into a VPS and mucking about. 🤷♀️
Recently, I had to make these two work together. I looked for a guide, but none could be found. So here's a collection of my notes with some explanation.
The whole process takes about 10 minutes, if you know what you're doing. Writing this will help me know what I'm doing next time :)
I was given an existing droplet. This assumes you have a Digital Ocean Droplet running Ubuntu. Just the initial "Here's your VPS" setup that comes out of the box.
Next we have to set up a user because running things as
root is bad. I won't go into why it's bad right now because it's just something I remember from my Linux-using days many years ago. It's bad. Don't do it.
The instructions boil down to:
- Login as root
- Create new user (I used
- Give it
- Add your personal public ssh key to the server's authorized keys
- Login as new user
Once you have a new user, it's time to login and set up Gocommerce. This involves installing
sqlite3, and a few knickknacks.
Login to your server. My user was called
$ ssh gocommerce@<YOUR_IP>
sqlite3. SQLite is a simple database that's easy to setup. If you want to use this for real production, I suggest opting for Postgres.
$ sudo apt-get update$ sudo apt-get install sqlite3 sqlite3-dev
apt is Ubuntu's package management system. Much like
update updates the local listing of software packages,
install installs them. I used to know why this was
apt-get and not just
I also used to know why you need to install
sqlite3-dev, but I have since forgotten. Doesn't matter.
You now have SQLite and can create local database. Single file, SQL interface. Wonderful.
Installing Golang is a little harder. You can't use the default package because Gocommerce needs at least Go version 1.7.
As I painfully discovered, the official version in Ubuntu packages is 1.6, and that's not good enough.
Here's what it boils down to.
You install Go with these
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gophers/archive$ sudo apt-get update$ sudo apt-get install golang-1.9-go
I installed the incorrect version of Go at first, so I also had to overwrite its executable with a link to the new one. You might not have to do this, and it's probably a bad way of doing it, but 👇
$ cd /usr/bin$ sudo rm go$ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/go-1.9/bin/go
When you run
go version it should say 1.9.
Then we get to create
$GOPATH and set it up in our
$ vim ~/.bashrc
Add these lines at the end of that file:
export GOPATH="$HOME/go"export GOBIN="$GOPATH/bin"export PATH="$GOBIN:$PATH"export PATH="$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin"
This creates your
$GOBIN variables then adds them to
$PATH. Go needs these to be able to execute stuff and load itself up.
Next you have to create that directory →
$ mkdir -p ~/go/src
This puts a directory called
go in your home dir and a
src dir inside that.
~/go/src is where all your Go code is going to live.
Now that you have Go running, it's time to set up Gocommerce.
First, create the directory it's going to live in.
$ mkdir ~/go/src/github.com/netlify
Next go there and clone the repo from Github. Ubuntu comes with git preinstalled, so there's no need to worry about that.
$ cd ~/go/src/github.com/netlify$ make deps$ make build_linux
make deps installs Go dependencies that Gocommerce uses and
make build_linux builds Gocommerce itself. You have to build it for Linux because we're running Ubuntu.
On your dev machine, if it's a Mac, you'd use
make build to compile for a Mac. You can see what Netlify considers the default :)
To configure Gocommerce, you edit a
.env file in its dir,
You can see details in Gocommerce README. Something like this 👇
GOCOMMERCE_SITE_URL=http://jamcommerce.netlify.comGOCOMMERCE_JWT_SECRET="thisissupersecret"GOCOMMERCE_DB_DRIVER=sqlite3DATABASE_URL=gotrue.dbGOCOMMERCE_DB_AUTOMIGRATE=trueGOCOMMERCE_API_HOST=<your ip>PORT=9111GOCOMMERCE_MAILER_HOST=smtp.sendgrid.netGOCOMMERCE_MAILER_PORT=587GOCOMMERCE_MAILER_USERfirstname.lastname@example.orgGOCOMMERCE_MAILER_PASS=<mailer pass>GOCOMMERCE_MAILER_SUBJECTS_ORDER_CONFIRMATION="Thank you for your order!"GOCOMMERCE_MAILER_SUBJECTS_ORDER_RECEIVED="A new order has been placed"GOCOMMERCE_PAYMENT_STRIPE_ENABLED=trueGOCOMMERCE_PAYMENT_STRIPE_SECRET_KEY=<your stripe key>
The tricky one to find was that
GOCOMMERCE_DB_AUTOMIGRATE. That keeps your database schema up to date.
You'll need Stripe (or Paypal) and some sort of SMTP service. I'm using sendgrid here.
You can run Gocommerce using
./gocommerce. This runs the service directly, and you can check that it's running at
But it's going to stop running once your ssh session times out. Not good.
We have to turn
gocommerce into a Daemon, a script that runs in the background.
systemd is the system that Ubuntu uses to manage automatically starting scripts.
To do this, you create
/etc/systemd/system/gocommerce.service. I used vim, so
sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/gocommerce.service.
This assumes the user you created earlier is called
gocommerce and that you haven't moved the
You can now start the service.
$ systemctl start gocommerce
You should see a 404 error page on
http://<your ip>:9111. That means gocommerce is running and serving request.
You can now close your ssh connection and
gocommerce should keep running in the background forever.
Here's how it works 👇
And get thoughtful letters 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Ready to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, modern backend for the frontend engineer.
Ready to learn how it all fits together and build a modern webapp from scratch? Learn how to launch a webapp and make your first 💰 on the side with ServerlessReact.Dev
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️