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Forum OpenACS Q&A: Where is the default homepage

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Posted by Sam Nicholson on
Referring to sec 5 and 6 just above this anchor,

Where in the openacs distro is the default home page?

The provided config.tcl says that pages are in www/
and are one of index.html, index.tcl, index,adp ...
however, I don't see it.

Which page is the intended homepage just prior to the
initial OpenACS install?

Or better, where in the install docs / config.tcl is
this referneced?

Thanks much!

Posted by Orzenil Silva Junior on
Hi Sam,

Look at http://openacs.org/doc/openacs-5-1/how-do-I.html#id2508976 and the other page topics.

I think it is what you want, isn't it?

Posted by Sam Nicholson on
Well it is informative, but not what I wanted.

What I should have said, is that I am following the
instructions in the install docs, but I'm installing
into a pre-existing instance of aolserver. So, I
have to map the /var/aolserver/{blah} into my dirstruct.

What in the given etc/config.tcl tells the server
to find an index.whatever in / or /www when there
is no such critter at the referenced point in the
install? I can certainly copy the file the howto
referenced. But if that is necessary, the docs are
in error. And as I see many folks have gotten this
up, I rather think the docs are correct. However,
they may be incomplete.

So, to be sure, where does the initial, post-install,
preconfigure index.whatever reside?

Thanks again!

Posted by Torben Brosten on
Are you referring to parameter pageroot?

from config.tcl:

# AOLserver's directories. Autoconfigurable.
# Where are your pages going to live ?
set pageroot                  ${serverroot}/www


# Server parameters
ns_section ns/server/${server}

    ns_param  pageroot          $pageroot

Posted by Sam Nicholson on

From etc/config.tcl:
set serverroot "/var/lib/aolserver/${server}"
set pageroot ${serverroot}/www
set directoryfile index.tcl,index.adp,index.html,index.htm
# Server parameters
ns_section ns/server/${server}
ns_param directoryfile $directoryfile
ns_param pageroot $pageroot

unix$ cd ${serverroot}
unix$ ls
ChangeLog log
bin packages
content-repository-content-files readme.txt
database-backup tcl
etc www

unix$ ls www
ls www
SYSTEM default-master.adp login-status.adp site-master.adp
blank-master.adp default-master.tcl login-status.tcl site-master.tcl
blank-master.tcl global robots.txt

There's no index.anything in there.

So, in the standard, vanilla setup as described in
the docs, what is the name of the file that is served as
the initial home page (post install, pre config), and
in what directory is it located?

Or is there a config (in config.tcl) that I'm overlooking
which maps the initial page?

Or is this only correctly handled by install.sh?
But nothing in there *seems* to create an index file
in www/

I'm sure I'm being dense here, so someone please whack
me with a 2x4. But I *think* I've gotten everything
referenced in the install docs covered. But when I
"b. Attempt to connect to the service from a web browser."
via http://myserver.tld:8080/ I get a 404 from aolserver.
I don't get a page that looks like "this," and when I
grep "OpenACS Installation: Welcome" through the entire
distribution, I find it way down in the tree at: packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/openacs-start.html

I have tried just copying that file to /www. I get the
content, but the button fails in calling nstall-data-model?
as it doesn't exist.

Thanks for all your patience!!

Posted by Torben Brosten on
Yes, Sam, the initial page, if one existed, would be at /$serverroot/www/index.*

but since there are no files named index.* there, the server's "request processor" makes a page based on the requested url. 'mydomain.tld:8080/' would be mapped to the default subsite index page files at:


which are a file pair, index.adp and index.tcl

The details of the request processor behavior can be read at:



As an example, one can make a custom first page, based on the template acs-subsite index pages by copying the index.tcl and index.adp page to /$serverroot/www/. and modifying them there.

The templating system has useful features to help build dynamic pages:


Hope this helps,


Posted by Sam Nicholson on
Ah hA!

Thanks all!

I'd have never found it without your help.

It's the tcl library system. In cutting,
pasting and mapping from etc/config.tcl to
my aols-cfg.tcl, I left out:

ns_section ns/server/${servername}/tcl
ns_param library ${pageroot}/tcl

Aolserver sources the files therein (in lex order)
and *that's* where the "default homepage" logic resides.

So, now when I firefix http://my.server:8080/ I get
the "OpenACS Installation: Welcome" page. The button
still doesn't work, but now I'm clue enabled.

Thanks again!