Webserver use, configuration and management
Practical: More web server installation and configuration
Laurie (2003), Chapters 1, 2 and 3
Last week's practical notes set out all of the basic details and installation and configuration advice. This week's session is intended to give you plenty of time to complete all of the tasks, as well as try out a few of the extension suggestions. In the past, students only had the one practical session to complete the tasks, and many found it difficult to keep up to date. This meant that later in the course many were still trying to get to grips with the initial setup details. Use this week for consolidation.
By the end of today’s session you should have:
- Installed Apache correctly (e.g. to your N: drive on the CommsLab servers), with a simple, easy to type location, and being run in a manual mode not as a service.
- Tested the initial install with a web browser (on the web server PC and from another PC) and looked at the manual pages reached from the “It worked” greetings page.
- Built up a new minimum httpd.conf file and tested it with a browser. Shut it down tidily using a separate console window.
- Edited the conf file so as to work with another website in another WebRoot directory. Sorted out the location of the conf file in the website. Started Apache using the new site, tested from a browser, and closed tidily.
- Set up a couple of simple error response messages.
Do ensure that you have made notes as to what you have done. You may need to come back to the same task later. At some stage you will need to get printouts of the various files you have created, the httpd.conf, the various log files etc.You may need to take the files away on a memory stick, floppy disc or similar to print them.
All these tasks require Internet research so make sure your PC is booted to the University network rather than the CommsLab.
- Look up the web server monitoring service at http://www.serverwatch.com/webservers.html. Can you locate any other monitoring sites? What proportion of the server market does Apache currently hold? Do all of the monitoring services agree?
- Find any web pages that claim to argue the pros and cons of using Apache vs. Microsoft Internet Information Server vs. any other server software. Do you agree with them? Are they up to date (i.e. do they reflect the latest version of each software)?
- Undertake a web search for graphical Apache configuration tools. The majority will be for Linux etc, but some will run under Windows. Do you think they add anything significant to the task of setting up Apache? You may try them out on the CommsLab network.