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From Watkin <po...@watkin.info>
Subject Re: Gui configuration of Apache etc
Date Sun, 19 Jul 2009 00:36:29 GMT

As with most things Linux some terminal commands are required in order to set up the GUI way
of doing things with Apache etc.
For the purposes of this email ubuntu is being used.

First things first. In Ubuntu there is no root user. Most things are done via the sudo command
in a terminal.
The simplest way to get Apache etc up and running and then configured in a GUI manner that
I have come across is as follows:

1. After installing Ubuntu, install a LAMP server in a terminal using:

$sudo tasksel install lamp-server

During this installation you will be prompted to provide a password for the root user of MySQL
which is a good idea (make is obscure using asterisks, %,^ and other symbols and say 10 characters

You can test that Apache works by:


You should see a web page saying "It works".

To test PHP5 is running probably the easiest way is to use the command in a terminal to enable
PHP5, namely:

$sudo a2enmod php5

If PHP5 is running you should get a message back in terminal which says it is already enabled

2. Change the group and owner of the web server directories. This is done in terminal as follows:

$sudo chown user-id /var/www
$sudo chgrp user-id /var/www

where the user-id is the user you log in on the Ubuntu machine. (comment - If you can think
of a better alternative I'd be interested in hearing it).

3. Download phpmyadmin

$sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin

This installs by default into usr/share/ so to make it accessible from your web browser create
a symbolic link in the folder that you keep your site - var/www for this example and likely
to be the same for you if you haven't changed things. In this example the symbolic link has
the name "phpmyadmin" but of course you can call it what you like. Open a terminal and enter;

sudo ln -s /usr/share/phpmyadmin /var/www/phpmyadmin

Now point your web browser to phypmyadmin at http://localhost/phpmyadmin if you are connecting
to it locally.
You now have a web way of administering the MySQL database and can test if it is running by
logging in.

4. Now for the GUI Apache admin side of things. To do this we will now install Webmin which
has a web based interface (also can be used for a lot more than just configuring Apache, e.g.
user accounts, DNS, file sharing etc too):

To prepare your machine you first need to install the following packages:

$sudo aptitude install perl libnet-ssleay-perl openssl libauthen-pam-perl libpam-runtime libio-pty-perl

Now download the latest webmin using the following command or from here

wget http://garr.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/webadmin/webmin_1.480_all.deb

Note Re above URL, check first which is the latest version at: http://www.webmin.com/download.html

Next install this package using the following command

$sudo dpkg -i webmin_1.480_all.deb

This will complete the installation.

As mentioned earlier Ubuntu doesn't allow logins by the root user by default. However, the
user created at system installation time can use the sudo commands to effectively switch to
root. Webmin will allow any user who has this sudo capability to login with full root privileges.

Now you need to open your web browser and enter the following

https://localhost:10000/ if connecting to it locally.

When doing the above, you may at some point see a message saying "Could not reliably determine
the server's fully qualified domain name". That's because DNS hasn't been configured. You
can do that from within webmin, however I am yet to find the best way to do that with the
machine being on my LAN and still be able to make it available over the real Internet without
needing to register a website name with a DNS registrar. In the meantime, using the IP address
to access things works just fine. However, it should be mentioned that while the LAMP server
installs with certain defaults configured it probably isn't a fully secure locked down installation,
so that will also need to be looked at, in particular regarding the Apache web server. I have
my machine sitting behind a router which is a start.



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