Forum OpenACS Q&A: Might be a AOLserver problem

Posted by Jarkko Laine on
A bit off topic, but still...

I installed succesfully openACS 4.5 and it's working fine when used
from the server. However, I can't connect to the server from anywhere
else than localhost. I've turned off iptables so it can't be the

I couldn't figure out the reason so I thought that maybe AOLserver
has to be explicitly configured to listen to eth0 but I didn't find
any config file which would have anything to do with that.

I have a fresh Red Hat 7.3 installation. If anyone would have a clue
what's the reason for this, any help would be highly appreciated.

Another question that crossed my mind is that is there already (or
planned) a User's (a kind of "what next") Guide for openACS 4? I have
no prior experience in ACS but I've read Philip and Alex's Guide to
Web Publishing so I think've already a certain level of knowledge
about the system. Still I found myself a bit in front of a wall when
I finally had the system installed and was ready for experimenting
with the tools.


Posted by David Walker on
Use the commands "iptables -L -n" and "ipchains -L -n" to make sure that iptables and ipchains are indeed not running.

Use the command "netstat -nlp|grep nsd" to determine what IP address aolserver is listening to.
Posted by Cathy Sarisky on
Also check that your host name is set to something that will actually resolve to the server from the machine you're using.  (Make a hosts file on the other machine if necessary until DNS set up.)  You might be getting redirected to a host name your other machine can't resolve...
Posted by Samir Joshi on
Hi Jarko,

I found myself in the same boat, then the getting started guide (
though it is for 3.x version, but still it provides many usefull
pointers) came to rescue:

Also, searching the forum will result in some good gems, but this
'knowledge mining' could be quite tedious. I am trying to prepare a
collection of bookmarks - if you find certain threads in forums
especially helpfull for getting started, please let me know. We can
use OACS bookmarks package to maintain  a page with links to
documentation, articles, demo. sites and forum threads relevant to
quick start.

About the first question, when I got that problem, I suspected
firewall configuration could be the cause. But it turned out  simply
that I had to  change the following line in AOLServer config file to
point to my ip address. Placing correct ip address made the server
accessible from outside using the ip address.

set address                <ip address>

Posted by Hanjo Pepoulis on
Hi Jarkko,

you say you can access the pages on localhost. Do you use the alias "localhost" in your browser?

Look in your tcl config file. Change address to something different than "" - if it is set to this one. "" can not be reached in the net.

You can comment the aolserver line in /ect/inittab out and start the server by hand (foreground mode -f).
Look at the output, AOLserver will output the address it "binds" to. Try this address (and port) from different browsers from the network.


If this does not work and no firewalls are running on the webservers machine, try if you can reach the webserver at all. Ping it. Traceroute it. Scan it.


Posted by Jarkko Laine on
Thanks for all the answers,

The reason for AOLserver not listening the eth0 was indeed that it couldn't find the ip from server's configuration [ns_info address]. In fact I had given it the address already once, but then I just tested it with 'lynx localhost', and voilá, AOLserver didn't answer (because it seems not to listen localhost when an ip is explicitly given) so I gave up then and didn't remember to test it with real address.

But now everything seems to be in order and I have a working sceleton and can start thinking about applications.

Thanks again to everyone and cheers,

P.S. USA just beat Mexico 2-0 in the World Cup and went to the quarterfinals against Germany so some of you can go on with your not-too-heated debates about the soccer hegemony 😎