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Old 04-29-2009, 01:38 PM   #1
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 143

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Simple configuration and administration of Apache on Ubuntu 9.04/

Back the the olden days, I would compile Perl and Apache/mod_perl from source and have everything in /usr/local/apache2; logs, conf, cgi-bin, ... My httpd.conf file had about a dozen lines in it. Easy to backup, understand and administer.

I am setting up a simple, development web server on Ubu 9.04, which I am generally impressed with, except for Apache setup and administration. I used Synaptic to get it to the point where http://localhost says "It Works". I am trying to add just a few directories, modules, aliases, etc. I could not even find cgi-bin without wandering through what I hope to be the main config file, /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and grepping the output of find on directories it listed.

Synaptic has ~700 packages found by searching on "apache". "Apache administration" finds twice that many as though I wanted anything apache OR administration. Google gives you the intersection of all of the search terms, not the union. Bug? Egad!

Looking at the spaghetti layout, I find 15 different directories and about a dozen config files reminiscent of Hillary's 1000 page health care master plan. I find no admin tools in any of the installed menus. I compare it to my production Suse 11.0 server which I setup with tools that Suse installed, and find a vastly more complicated and completely dissimilar layout.

I realize that I installed the Workstation, not the server, but is there a simple tool set to handle my most modest needs? Or, would it be less problematic to rip out everything and go back to the /usr/local/apache2 layout?

A tool I find very easy and useful is MysqlAdmin. It has a GUI, shows menus of all of your options, a reasonable amount of explanation on each and it writes 1 configuration file. VirtualBox is another good example of a slick tool. Samba has a concise web interface. These are my speed.

I would like to stick with packages available through stock, Synaptic packages. I searched for "webmin" and got zero hits. "Webmin-apache" gives me the same ~700 packages related to apache. I found a few hits on google, but I would rather not install multiple, conflicting packeges from numerous vendors, each of which thinks it owns my system, stomping on other packages and breaking software -> update.

I am trying to build a garage, not the Pentagon. Which Ubu -> synaptic web server admin tools would suit me?

Thank you,

Old 04-29-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Northeast Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
Posts: 7,249
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you can grab webmin directly from their website.

Webmin was pulled from Debian repos because the guy maintaining the packages for Debian was tired of the work, and got no assistance when he asked...
dpkg -i webmin_1.470_all

When searching for packages you can use grep to reduce what is returned..

show me just apache2 packages containing the keyword perl
user@it-lenny:~$ aptitude search apache2 | grep perl
p   libapache2-authcassimple-perl   - Apache2 module to authentificate trough a 
p   libapache2-authenntlm-perl      - Perform Microsoft NTLM and Basic User Auth
p   libapache2-mod-perl2            - Integration of perl with the Apache2 web s
p   libapache2-mod-perl2-dev        - Integration of perl with the Apache2 web s
p   libapache2-mod-perl2-doc        - Integration of perl with the Apache2 web s
p   libapache2-mod-speedycgi        - apache2 module to speed up perl scripts by
p   libapache2-reload-perl          - Reload Perl modules when changed on disk  
p   libapache2-request-perl         - generic Apache request library - Perl modu

Show me all installed packages containing the word apache
user@it-lenny:~$ aptitude search ~i | grep apache
i   apache2                         - Apache HTTP Server metapackage            
i A apache2-mpm-prefork             - Apache HTTP Server - traditional non-threa
i A apache2-utils                   - utility programs for webservers           
i   apache2.2-common                - Apache HTTP Server common files
Makes searching much more manageable..
Old 04-29-2009, 05:16 PM   #3
Registered: Dec 2005
Posts: 143

Original Poster
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Thumbs up Super web tool for Apache, Mysql, Samba, CVS, ...

I asked 1 mediocre question and got 3 great answers. Webmin is slick and appears to do everything I need now and far into the future. I see the utility of Aptitude over synaptic too. Thanks!!!

I knew there had to be a reason that Apache had mutated into such an incomprehensibly complicated server. I was concerned that microsoft might have embraced it and catastrophically misoverengineered it to extinguish it. It can only be (easily) tamed with a good management tool like Webmin.

I sure am glad I didn't gut it and manually build a skeleton for my immediate needs.

Thanks 1E6,

Old 04-29-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2005
Location: Northeast Ohio
Distribution: linuxdebian
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Since you seem to be interested in Aptitude I'll throw in the links for the aptitude command line guide.. Aptitude is very useful, and I find it easier and faster to use from the command line than trying to find what I need in the synaptic GUI.

Glad you found that information useful.

Cheers !!


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