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Old 11-26-2002, 09:34 AM   #1
sillyputty
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Registered: Nov 2002
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Question Should I start over?


I inherited a Red Hat 7.2 Linux box with Apache Web Server not too long ago at my company. Not having a very extensive background with Linux or Apache, I have been struggling with one question.

The person who originally built the system is not longer with the company. They didn't seem to install software in default locations. There are applications installed and processes running that I have no idea what they are for.

My question is, I feel like I should make a back up of the web site data, nuke the hard drive and install a new copy of Linux and Apache. I feel like it would help me better manage the system. Is this is a crazy thing to do, or should I just try and clean up all of the junk this other person installed in the machine?

Should I install Red Hat Linux 8 or continue to use 7.3? Is installing Apache 2 a move I should make?

Also, are there any newbie sites out there that can help me walk through setting up the server and the basic configurations?

Thanks for any help.

sillyputty


 
Old 11-26-2002, 09:56 AM   #2
peeples
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Registered: Sep 2002
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Distribution: tried a lot of 'em, now using kubuntu
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How long can your website be down?

It took me about one entire weekend to get Apache 1.3.26 installed with mySQL and PHP4.2.2; what with all of the configuring and testing to make sure it worked.

Have you updated the database for the "locate" command ( type "updatedb" while logged in as root)? That's the easiest way I know to find where stuff is. And it seems that all programmers have a different idea of where their programs should be installed (/bin, or /usr/bin, or /usr/local/bin, or /sbin, or /usr/sbin, or /usr/local/sbin, etc.). So really, reinstalling RedHat probably won't help a whole lot.

Personally, if it was me, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Just determine where the programs are that you need to use to administer the system and make a note of where they are. Or, better yet, get a newer version of the programs you need, and install them in the correct places.

Just my $.02
 
Old 11-26-2002, 11:36 AM   #3
stickman
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Before you nuke the system, you should probably find out what those processes are. Otherwise, you might discover that some functionality on your site is missing and you won't know what software he was using. If you don't know what they are for and you remove them, you might wind up breaking your site.
 
Old 11-26-2002, 01:24 PM   #4
Bert
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Registered: Jul 2001
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Distribution: GNU/Linux Slackware 8.1, Redhat 8.0, LFS 4.0
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With all respect sillyputty, I'm not sure whay they put a linux newb in charge of a Unix machine.

BE CAREFUL! What might look like junk (for example all that stuff in the /dev directory) is actually _very important_.

The whole point of a linux box is that you don't have to reboot for new configurations to take effect.
Linux is not like windows.
Consider the BSD boxes in Japan http://uptime.netcraft.net/up/today/top.avg.html which have been running (without a reboot) for four years. Those systems are not simply rebooted. Use a gui tool like up2date to get all the RPMs for your system. It will install them while the system is up. You need to do this to take advantage of security patches because as UnSpawn (security mod here) might say, security is an ongoing task.
On the file structure, what are you not happy with? - there are standard directories for certain files but generally even a bad sysadmin won't change much there.

Go to your boss and ask to buy a good bok on Linux. If you don't feel that's a great idea now, look for stuff on google because most of the documentation is out there, not in books.

If you do decide to reboot, install Redhat 8.0, the blue curve theme is very pretty and redhat 7.2 was ... well, not so nice.

Good luck
Bert
 
Old 11-26-2002, 02:23 PM   #5
sillyputty
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Registered: Nov 2002
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Bert,

I am the one mainly because I am the only person with any hardware experience in the company (small shop).

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion on up2date, I will check that out. Anyour correct, I don't think there is anything really wrong with the system, it just seemed unorganized.

So, it looks like everything should be just fine. I guess I just need to make sure I know where everything is and update old apps.

Thanks for the help.

sillyputty
 
Old 11-26-2002, 03:22 PM   #6
stickman
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bert
Consider the BSD boxes in Japan http://uptime.netcraft.net/up/today/top.avg.html which have been running (without a reboot) for four years. Those systems are not simply rebooted. Use a gui tool like up2date to get all the RPMs for your system. It will install them while the system is up. You need to do this to take advantage of security patches because as UnSpawn (security mod here) might say, security is an ongoing task.
I'm curious about whether those systems are patched up to current levels. While it's pretty easy to patch an application and restart it, it's a bit more difficult when those patches are kernel related. I'm just curious what these people do when the instructions say "recompile your kernel and reboot".
 
  


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