Forum OpenACS Q&A: Oasis: OpenACS & .LRN VM new version

On the heels of Cathy's enthusiastic vserver thread I have updated Oasis, my prepackaged OpenACS and .LRN virtual machine.

This one is built on Debian stable (with some unstable packages recommended by Roberto ) and uses daemontools as suggested by the docs, to keep things humming.


TCL 8.4
AOLServer 4.0r5
Pg  7.4.2
Openacs 5.1.1  (port 8000)
.LRN 2.0.3 (port 8080)

username password (for .LRN and openacs) : nobody@localhost / test
username password for Debian : root/rootpass, john/johnpass
For those into fringe web development platforms, I had hoped to include an alternative web server running some OpenACS code on port 80, but code rot has ensured it didn't make it into this release.

If you have questions about getting it up and running, your best bet to get it read and answered by a knowledgable person is to post here -- as opposed to emailing me directly. But I'll do my best to respond either way.

Alternatively, you may want to try Malte Sussedorf's Knoppix distribution mentioned here. It has a few advantages -- it's VM technology-agnostic, and may work MS Virtual PC, VMWare (I tested it here), coLinux etc. It includes a Jabber server and a complete desktop development environment.

Also, one of Postgresql's competitors was jealous that Postgres has been shipping via VM for a few years, so they've decided to follow suit. Your Oracle 10i grid, like your OpenACS or .LRN server environment, is now only a download away.


Posted by Jonathan Ellis on
Nice.  I used the original Oasis image a couple times.  No way would I recommend OpenACS to someone without a pretty decent level of sysadmin ability otherwise.  Thanks!
Posted by xx xx on
The project is great, but I just gave it a try and failed ( and I'm used to working with VMware).
The disk gave inconsistency errors and nothing was running. Maybe I should download again but I was too lazy.

Did you try it with VMware 4.5.2 ? The debian kernel seems to be 2.2. VMware offers kernel 2.4 and 2.6 only, so I have chosen "other". Maybe you could update the installation instructions. These are extremely important for newbies. It should even explain how to go from .tgz to .vmdk

Posted by John Sequeira on

Thanks for the bug report.  I developed it with VMWare 4.0 ... so I'm surprised the kernel was an issue with 4.5.

Anyway,  the instructions definitely need to be updated.  I think 5.0 is out in a month but I'll make sure the instructions make sense with at least 4.5 as soon as I can.

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Aldert, what exactly do you mean when you say, "The debian kernel seems to be 2.2"?

Are you actually running a Linux 2.2.x kernel on a Debian box? That's verging on crazy, as 2.2.x is ancient. Debian 3.0 Stable, now very old, shipped with kernel 2.4.18. I believe it also included a 2.2.x kernel, but I'm not aware of any reason to ever use that.

The current Debian Unstable and Testing have both 2.4.x and 2.6.x kernels.

Posted by xx xx on
Andrew, I'm not sure. I deleted the installation, but I remember "kernelversion" reported 2.2

John, I tested the download just to see if I could recommend it to newbies. The main problem I ran into was an inconsistency with the VM disk. This maybe due to a corrupted download but more likely to a VMware installation problem.

Please include a README.txt in the download. It should be crystal clear to newbies what steps to take, especially since debian is not a standard OS that VMware offers during configuration. Also, I would recommend using NAT. Bridged networking is nice and clear, but not when you try to make it work on a laptop with windows (or if you don't have a network card). Some network functions will be brought down if no cable is connected to the network card. I couldn't get bridge networking to work stable on my laptop even with some tweaking of the registry and new drivers. Thanks.

Posted by John Sequeira on

Thanks for the feedback.  I remember having problems with tgz files with the 4.5 version,  which is one reason I switched to zip (better for Windows evaluators,  less chance browser will get confused.)

I find that for my laptop,  using both a host-only (or NAT) _and_ a bridged adapter in the VM to be a good way to go.  That way if you make sure your web/db servers are bound to all IP addresses,  your dev environment will still function.

I'll try to update the download in a few days to reflect your comments.

Thanks again