Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2006-02-14
  Some small technical difficulties
The web site on which a large amount of my photos live, has been down for several days, for which I apologize to those needing access to those images. I end up writing about such odd stuff, that if someone else is unfortunate enough to be looking for the same thing, they end up on my page instead of somewhere more useful. If you want a picture of a Miller Maxstar 140, I'm not sure the first choice out of the entire net should be a welder sitting on the floor of my garage ready to go to camp. But the web is a fickle mistress, and so here you are (or at least here a couple hundred visitors a day end up after taking a wrong turn at Google.)

Since I was a unix head in college, I had to break with the crowd upon graduation, and bought myself a unix workstation for home use. Actually it was for work, but work was a startup based out of my one room 300 square foot apartment, so it was with me every waking moment. Actually I got two DecStations right off, and as soon as I could come up with more money, I also added an overpriced SGI 4D35. Over the next couple of years I added more machines, including IBM R6000 servers, HP 7000 RISC workstations, more SGI machines, and some Sun Sparc machines.

When it came time to put up a web server, a Sparc 2 was chosen, as the SGI's still had value running desktops, and the other machines were already dinosaurs. When it started getting long in the tooth (SunOS 4.1.3 never did have an ANSI C compiler for instance), I picked up some used Ultra 10s, one of which became extreme.infomagic.net.

It was handy having a ultrasparc for a web server. It never died, as cheaper PC hardware tended to do back in that day. Linux was already pretty popular, so there weren't to many script kiddies trying to hack into Solaris (I think we did get taken down once though). And every once in a while we'd need to try something weird, that was only available on Suns at the time (like this crazy environment from Sun called Java 1.0). This machine has served us well, but the new ISP has decided that it want to move all the hosted equipment to rackmount, so the Ultra went away on Friday.

Unfortunately I was travelling on Saturday, so I couldn't mess with it right away. I did manage to move some files around Saturday night, but didn't make a lot of progress until the following day when I started messing with the config files. After a couple false starts, I finally had the basics down and went to start things up, only to get:

(13)Permission denied: httpd: could not open error log file /usr/local/www/extreme/log/error.log.
I went and messed around with permissions set, users, etc. But couldn't make any progress beyond that. It didn't help that 'httpd -v' didn't return anything. Not very confidence inspiring. Finally I turned to google and got a hint from this article.
Subject: istalled fine (Fedora core 4) but HTTPD problem

> I can not get Apache (httpd) to start anymore..
> Looking at the '/var/log/httpd/error.log' it is showing me this:
> (13)Permission denied: httpd: could not open error log file /home/www/web1/log/error.log.
> Unable to open logs

> The directory is there, but the error.log file not!

Have you enabled the Fedora Security extensions or set an higher security level sa suggested in the howto? For me it looks like SE Linux or a similar extension is enabled.

It's the third image on http://www.howtoforge.com/perfect_setup_fedora_core_4_p2.

Turns out that SE linux is allergic to web servers. At least normal ones where you haven't locked down every possible directory, scripting language, and redirects. I'm sure its possible to get it working with selinux if you have a couple of weeks to work out all the issues, but if you're just trying to get it to work out of the box, the answer seems to be turn selinux off. So after a quick trip over to /etc/selinux/config and a reboot, httpd was up and running.

So images are back, mpaz4 is actually running three different web sites and a couple of other services, and as long as it doesn't reboot, everything will be fine (not all of the network-scripts are right, and so there's some handholding after boot to get routes and addresses up properly).

 
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