Forum OpenACS Q&A: New Install Help on RedHat Aug2001

Posted by Bob OConnor on

Ok we have a clean slate and clean machine with RedHat 7.1. and it's August 2, 2001 and we want to install OpenACS 3.2.5.

Beyond what the documentation has I want to get *current* version recommendations...stuff that WORKS!

We have avoided RPM's in the past 'cause they seem to put things in atypical locations... but reassure me... The documentation says that RPMs are using some *standard* "Linux File Hierarchy Standard" /var/lib/aolserver... vs the more familiar /web/myserver/
Is that what we are moving to? and why?

Here is what I have so far... Please help fill in the missings....

  • Postgresql
    Postgresql 7.1.2 with tcl and...what else?
    from pg: postgresql-tcl-7.1.2-5PGDG.i386.rpm
    What about this patch?
    And if source, do we *only* need the -tcl version?

  • AolServer/NaviServer
    AolServer 3.what? and ad?? what....
    At quick downloads there is: "AOLserver 3.2-ad12 with nsxml RPMs"
    I've also seen AolServer 3.3 ad13 and 3.4 is out and there are forum discussions...
    Should we just stick with 3.2-ad12?

    We also want tcl 8.x because of the new functionality but don't want any memory leaks if there are any.

    We are considering using JUST AolServer OR (maybe) Apache as the virtual we can do a few static sites also.
    Thoughts? Again source vs RPM issues...

  • OpenACS!
    This page:
    for those lurking has this:
    OpenACS (3.2.5)
    OpenACS AOLserver RPMs(3.2.5)
    OpenACS Apache RPMs(1.0.3)
    AOLserver Postgres Driver (2.0.0)
    AOLserver 3.2-ad12 with nsxml RPMs
    OpenACS Documentation (3.2.5)

I'm Looking forward to a discussion and recommendations.

Thanks in advance...


Posted by Dave Bauer on
AOLserver 3.3+ad13 is the best bet if you do not want memory leaks.
Nsvhr does not seem to work with it though.

OpenACS 3.2.5 does not require nsxml so unless you need it for something else you do not have to install it.

You need the Postgres driver from

I don't use RPM so I cannot recommend if you should use them or not.

Posted by Tom Mizukami on
Johnathan has the AOLserver 3.3-ad13 RPM up on his server in the /openacs directory, I haven't tried them yet. Maybe he'll post here if they are ready to go.

No real reason to switch to the RPMs if you are already comfortable with where everything goes. That said, I like them because they work, and make setting up a machine really fast.

Posted by Roberto Mello on
If you're starting fresh:

PostgreSQL 7.1.2, --with-tcl if you want to use the search for bboards.

AOLserver 3.3ad13 - fixes a memory leak and other things.

OpenACS 3.2.5.

The RPMs (and Debian packages) put things according to the Linux Standards Base. I personally like it much much much more than the popular "/web" and "/usr/local/pgsql". For one, libraries should go in in /usr/lib. When I install PG from source, I have to include "/usr/local/pgsql/lib" in my library path. If I install it from the Debian (or RPM) packages, I don't have to do anything because the libraries are put in the correct locations.

I haven't used the RPMs but I heard very good things about it. They work and Jonathan has done great effort to keep them nice and clean, a work for which the community is grateful for. It makes setting up a machine much faster.

But there's nothing wrong with doing everything from source. It's up to you. But it's better to choose either one, by that I mean either install everything from RPM or everything from source.

Posted by Jonathan Marsden on
You can do static sites under Aolserver if you wish, no need to run Apache for that.

My first pass aolserver-3.3+ad13 RPM is indeed on my site already (well spotted!), but has had near-zero testing so far, and the companion aolserver-nsxml RPM (only needed for OpenACS 4.x) does not incude libxslt functionality.

I am hoping to test the newer aolserver setup a bit more, and create a version in which aolserver-nsxml uses libxslt...I just need to make the time to do so.

If you are already comfortable doing from-source installs, then either source or RPMs will "work" for you. My personal opinion is that if you pick a distribution based on RPM, it makes sense to use RPM for things you add to that machine too, for overall ease of system management.

If you want a halfway approach, there's nothing to stop you grabbing my SRPMs and recompiling them on your machine and then installing from the resulting locally-created binary RPMs. If that makes you feel more 'in control' of the server as a whole, it might be worth considering.

One thing I did notice in my early testing -- the current aD aolserver-3.3+ad13 tarball does not compile/install nsvhr and nsunix modules by default, whereas the older aolserver-3.2+ad12 tarball did. I don't know why that changed. If you are likely to be doing virtual hosting using AOLserver, that might be something to explore a bit further. I'll probably add nsvhr and nsunix back into the next aolserver-3.3+ad13 RPM set I create, unless I find some clear good reason not to do that.

Lastly, there's no reason you couldn't install aolserver-3.2+ad12 initially from RPMs, and upgrade to 3.3+ad13 once I release an official set using that version of the codebase.

On the file location issue... where the files go doesn't affect whether the server works anyway. If you maintain a bunch of servers, all using the aD-style /web/servername hierarchy, it may be that you should stay consistent with that for easier system administration? But if we ever want to see OpenACS RPMs included in a distribution, we can't use /web, it breaks all the rules. I didn't invent the 'new' locations out of thin air, I used the PG RPMs as an example to follow, since Lamar has been doing this kind of work (and had the RPMs included in Red Hat) for longer than I have.

If you need a transition plan for your tech staff (or just for yourself) as you get used to the new location, maybe a symlink:

  mkdir /web
  ln -s /var/lib/aolserver/servers/defaultacs /web/server01

or similar would be handy?

Posted by Jonathan Marsden on

Judging from your question about redirects, you made your choice and have a working new server.  It might be good if you could post here describing what you decided to do and why, and how the fresh install went... so others following in your footsteps can benefit?

Posted by Bob OConnor on

So, Johnathan,

You want the rest of the story...

This setup is on hold until I get a new and improved white box.... This was for a box on my small lan connected to DSL... I want a box to have as a dev box... In the mean time, We are moving Openacs from a 6.2 box to a 7.0 box at a data center... Read more HERE

I took an 2yr old AMD 300Mhz box and tried and tried and tried to install linux 7.1 from CD. Many times the install would crash hard... keyboard lockup....and in NO consistent location. So I replaced the CD drive, Did a memory check with an old dos program, checked the hard drive with Steve Gibson's spinrite program. Everything checks out ok so I'm left with the mother board problem ??? I guess when I have time, I'll put windoz back on this machine... Oh, I did notice an occasional shakyness on the monitor and eliminated the monitor as the source because the onscreen display did NOT shake when the image behind did... THe video card is PART of the motherboard...

BTW... I had to get the freedos version of fdisk to be able to fully removed partitions from the drive and reformat as small dos16 so I could run spinrite... There are probably better tools for linux ....

I finally did get Linux 7.1 installed but it is still not stable and my one try with the RPMs failed... but it's the box not me or you!. LATER........


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