Next Previous Contents

3. Putting it all together

3.1 Apache modules to try

The modules I use besides SSL, PHP and frontpage are:

Module env_module          mod_env.o
Module config_log_module   mod_log_config.o
Module mime_module         mod_mime.o
Module negotiation_module  mod_negotiation.o
Module dir_module          mod_dir.o
Module cgi_module          mod_cgi.o
Module asis_module         mod_asis.o
Module imap_module         mod_imap.o
Module action_module       mod_actions.o
Module alias_module        mod_alias.o
Module rewrite_module      mod_rewrite.o
Module access_module       mod_access.o
Module auth_module         mod_auth.o
Module anon_auth_module    mod_auth_anon.o
Module digest_module       mod_digest.o
Module expires_module      mod_expires.o
Module headers_module      mod_headers.o
Module browser_module      mod_browser.o

3.2 Giving CGI's more security

If you are an ISP (you probably are when you read this) you will want to improve security. The suexec utility allows you to do so; it will execute cgi's under the UID of the webowner instead of executing it under the webservers UID. Go to /usr/src/apache_1.2.6/support and make suexec. chmod 4711 suxec and copy it to the location specified in ../src/httpd.h which is /usr/local/etc/httpd/sbin/suexec by default. If the path seems a little cryptic to you - it did to me - edit httpd.h and set the path to a more comfortable value.

3.3 Compiling and installing the server daemon

Enter /usr/src/apache_1.2.6/src and edit Configuration to set all the Modules you want to include in your Apache daemon. When done, run ./Configure and make. This is the last (and most complicated) compilation step, so cross your fingers. If it succeeds, cp httpsd to /usr/sbin. The daemon is somewhat big, consider this when assembling your webserver. Create the directory /var/httpd with subdirectories cgi-bin, conf, htdocs, icons, virt1, virt2 and logs. In /usr/src/apache_1.2.6/conf edit access.conf-dist, mime.types and srm.conf-dist to suit your needs and copy them to var/httpd/conf/access.conf, srm.conf and mime.types. Copy the httpsd.pem you created with make certificate to /var/httpd/conf. Use the following httpd.conf:

ServerType standalone
Port 80
Listen 80
Listen 443
User wwwrun
Group wwwrun
ServerRoot /var/httpd
ErrorLog logs/error_log
TransferLog logs/access_log
PidFile logs/
MinSpareServers 3
MaxSpareServers 20
StartServers 3

SSLCACertificatePath /var/httpd/conf
SSLCACertificateFile /var/httpd/conf/httpsd.pem
SSLCertificateFile /var/httpd/conf/httpsd.pem
SSLLogFile /var/httpd/logs/ssl.log
DocumentRoot /var/httpd/virt1
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /var/httpd/virt1/cgi-bin/
ErrorLog logs/virt1-error.log
TransferLog logs/virt1-access.log
User virt1admin
Group users

DocumentRoot /var/httpd/virt1
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /var/httpd/virt1/cgi-bin/
ErrorLog logs/virt1-ssl-error.log
TransferLog logs/virt1-ssl-access.log
User virt1admin
Group users
SSLCACertificatePath /var/httpd/conf
SSLCACertificateFile /var/httpd/conf/httpsd.pem
SSLCertificateFile /var/httpd/conf/httpsd.pem
SSLLogFile /var/httpd/logs/virt1-ssl.log
SSLVerifyClient 0

DocumentRoot /var/httpd/virt2
ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /var/httpd/virt2/cgi-bin/
ErrorLog logs/virt2-error.log
TransferLog logs/virt2-access.log

Depending on the modules compiled in, not all directives may be available. You can retrieve a list of available directives with httpsd -h.

3.4 Adding frontpage support to a web

Enter /usr/local/frontpage/version3.0/bin and load ./fpsrvadm. Choose install and apache-fp. The next questions should be answered the following way:

Enter server config filename: /var/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
Enter host name for multi-hosting []:
Starting install, port:, web: ""
Enter user's name []: virt2admin
Enter user's password:
Confirm password:
Creating root web
Recalculate links for root web
Install completed.

The user name must be the unix login of the webowner. The password does not necessarily have to match the system password. You have to manually add sendmailcommand:/usr/sbin/sendmail %r to /usr/local/frontpage/, otherwise your users will not be able to send web-generated eMails. kill -HUP your httpsd to make fp reread its config. You can now access with your frontpage client.

Under some circumstances fpsrvadm complaints that a root web has to be installed first. This is pretty useless, but you should do so to silence fpsrvadm.

3.5 Starting the daemon

Start Apache with httpsd -f /var/httpd/conf/httpd.conf. You can now access both through http and https which is pretty cool. Of course you have to pay for a real certificate if you want to offer webwide SSL or users might laugh at you.

Copy one of the demo files from the php examples directory to virt1 to test phtml.

3.6 Some considerations left

Do not use frontpage 97 extensions. They do not work, at least under Linux. When installing specific versions of the c++ libraries, they appear to work but your logs will soon fill with premature end of script headers and your mailbox will fill with complaints. Do not use frontpage 98 extensions before version Do not be confused, version numbers are somewhat inheterogenous. When telnetting to port 80, typing "get / http/1.0" and hitting return twice, you get a version number 3.0.4 for frontpage.

You can find out the more specific version number by executing /usr/local/frontpage/currentversion/exes/_vti_bin/shtml.exe -version. Older versions have a nasty bug that requires httpd.conf to be writable by the gid of the webserver. This should make you scream if you are at all concerned about security. Versions since are more usable.

3.7 Known bugs

When touching Recalculate Links in the frontpage client, the server starts a process that consumes 99% cpu cycles and some 10 mb of memory. But even for medium-sized webs and fast machines, the client sometimes recieves a timeout message, though the calculation will be finished correctly. Inform frontpage users to be patient and not to hit Recalculate Links several times. Inform yourself to equip the server with at least 64MB.

Please note that at the time of writing both SSL and frontpage work, but not at the same time, that means you can neither publish your web using ssl nor make use of the webbots through https. You can publish your web on port 80 and access it encrypted on port 443, but your counters etc. will be broken. I consider this a bug. This problem shall be fixed in SSL 0.9.0.

3.8 The final word

For those who think the title of this howto is nearly as long as the document: Did you ever listened to Meat Loaf?

O.K. readers, you're done for today. Feel free to send me your feedback, eternal gratitude, flowers, ecash, cars, oil sources etc.

Next Previous Contents

Hosting by: Hurra Communications Ltd.
Generated: 2007-01-26 17:57:49