[LON-CAPA-cvs] cvs: doc /build RHEL4_install.frag
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Installation instruction for Reh Hat Enterprise Linux 4.
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<h1>Installing LON-CAPA on a minimal Red Hat Enterpise Linux 4 ES System</h1>
This document guides you through the process of setting up a new LON-CAPA
server running Red Hat Enterpise Linux 4 (ES) with a minimum of packages installed.
The computer will be configured solely as a LON-CAPA server and will be
expected to have no other services running. Your server is expected to have
a reasonably fast connection to the internet.
More information is available at
<h2>Before you begin</h2>
Installing Linux is getting easier and easier. However, it is still a
non-trivial undertaking and experience with Red Hat Linux will make this
process easier. You will be required to log in to the machine and execute
some routine Unix commands. Familiarity with the Apache web server, mod_perl,
perl, and MySQL are not required to install and run LON-CAPA.
The installation process takes the following steps:
<li> Obtain Red Hat Enterprise Server installation CDs</li>
<li> Determine Network Settings</li>
<li> Install Red Hat 4</li>
<li> Update your system</li>
<li> Install LON-CAPA</li>
<li> Create a Domain Coordinator</li>
<li> Start/Restart services</li>
<li> Log in to LON-CAPA</li>
<h2>Obtain Red Hat Enterprise Server CDs</h2>
RHEL4 ES CDs can be purchased from Red Hat:
For the minimal install on 32-bit architecture you will need only the first two CDs.
<h2>Determine Network Settings</h2>
You will need to know the following network settings for your installation.
<b>Note:</b>You must have a static IP address to use LON-CAPA.
DHCP is <em>not</em> supported.
<li>ip address </li>
<li>domain name server(s) </li>
<h2>Minimal Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Install</h2>
Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux is quite easy if you've installed any of
the Red Hat products before. Documentation is available from
Specific comment is provided for some of the installation steps below.
<dl style="list-style:square outside none">
<dd>Choose "Server" installation
<dt>Partitioning your Drive</dt>
<dd>You may want to use the automatic partitioning feature of the installer,
however you should review the results and be prepared to modify them.
LON-CAPA resource files are stored in the /home directory, so the
majority of the disk space should be allocated here. If you have 20 GB
of space for RHEL4, /home should receive at least 10 to 12 gigs.
Since MySQL uses the /var filesystem to store its databases you should
have at least 4 gigs of space available on /var. Be sure to
include adequate swap space. A minimum is 512 Megs, but you should
typically have 1 or 2x as much swap space as you do physical RAM.</dd>
<dd>LON-CAPA will <b>not</b> work with a machine set up to use a dynamic
IP address. When configuring your network card, be sure to unselect
the DHCP option and enter in your network information.</dd>
<dd>Select SSH (remote login), HTTP/HTTPS (web server).</dd>
<dd>Choose an SElinux setting of 'disabled' or 'warn', unless you are
familiar with SElinux and writing security policies
<b>and want to help us write a security policy for LON-CAPA</b>.
<dd>Choose the "Customize software packages to be installed" option.
<dt>Package Group Selection</dt>
<dd>Choose 'Minimal' which is the last item on the list.</dd>
Finish installing your server, reboot it, and log in as root.
The firewall should be customized to allow incoming ssh and www.
Additional ports used by LON-CAPA are 5663 and 8080.
Enter these in the entry box as <nobr>"5663:tcp, 8080:tcp"</nobr>.</dd>
<h2>Update your system</h2>
<p>Import the GPG key for use in verifying packages retrieved from the Red Hat Network.
rpm --import /usr/share/rhn/RPM-GPG-KEY
Next you will need to register your server with the Red Hat Network.</p>
<p>Information about registration for the Red Hat Network can be found at:
<a href="http://www.redhat.com/software/rhn/">http://www.redhat.com/software/rhn/</a>. You can register directly from the server where you will be installing LON-CAPA using:
Once you have registered your system so it has access to Red Hat package updates, you should first check the up2date configuration, and make any necessary changes (e.g., disable skipping of kernel updates).
Next update your system to the latest versions of the system software using up2date.
Reboot your system before continuing with the installation.
Retrieve the RHEL4_loncapa_rhnsources file from the LON-CAPA install site:
Install the RHEL4_loncapa_rhnsources
mv /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources.backup
cp RHEL4_loncapa_rhnsources /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources
<p>Import the GPG key for use in verifying LON-CAPA packages retrieved from the LON-CAPA installation site.
rpm --import http://install.loncapa.org/versions/redhat/RHEL/RPM-GPG-KEY-loncapa
<p>Execute the installation </p>
up2date install LONCAPA-prerequisites
This may take a moment due to LON-CAPA's large number of dependencies.
<h3>Retrieve and execute LON-CAPA setup program</h3>
Retrieve the LON-CAPA setup with the following command:
Extract the archive with the following command:
tar xf redhat_install.tar
This creates a directory named <tt>installation</tt>. Change to it and
execute the setup script with the following commands:
This script will prompt you for the MySQL root password and will download the latest LON-CAPA release.
<h3>Determine LON-CAPA Settings</h3>
LON-CAPA requires a number of identifying parameters to be set in order
for it to function at all. Below is a list with descriptions.
<dt>Host Type (library or access)</dt>
<dd>The server must be designated a 'library' or an 'access' server. In
general you should have a library server for your instructors to create
their course content on and run their courses. Students should connect
to access servers. If you are doing the first install of LON-CAPA at
your site, or if you are playing with it for your own edification you
should make your machine a 'library' server.</dd>
<dd>Each site or school which installs LON-CAPA needs its own domain.
Here at MSU we use 'msu'. You should choose something short but
meaningful. <i>Restriction: One word, no hyphens, underscores, or
<dt>LON-CAPA host id</dt>
<dd>Each LON-CAPA server requires a unique internal name. We use names
such as "msul1" for the first library server. <i>Restriction: One word,
no hyphens, underscores, or special characters.</i>
<dt>Host administrator email</dt>
<dd>The amount of email sent to this address is relatively minimal. Messages
are sent every time the system starts up, or if the system is in
serious trouble. On a laptop, make this <tt>root@localhost</tt>.
To configure and install LON-CAPA, execute the following commands:
cd /root/loncapa-N.N (N.N should correspond to a version number like '2.0')
You will need to enter the LON-CAPA configuration information you determined
in the previous section.
<h2>Creating a Domain Coordinator</h2>
You will need at least one user at your site who has the role of
'domain coordinator'. This user creates accounts for other users and
grants them additional privileges. The make_domain_coordinator.pl script
invoked below requires that you enter the users password. The password will
show in plaintext as you type it. Feel free to use the "passwd username"
command to change it later. Replace USERNAME and DOMAIN with an
appropriate user name and your domain.
perl make_domain_coordinator.pl USERNAME DOMAIN
(WILL PROMPT FOR PASSWORD HERE)
chown USERNAME:www ~USERNAME/public_html
chmod 0775 ~USERNAME/public_html
chmod a+x ~USERNAME
The LON-CAPA network services take a moment to start. Most misconfigurations
will be appearant at this step.
If you receive warnings when starting the httpd about missing perl modules,
please make sure you followed the instructions in
<b>Installing LON-CAPA Dependencies</b>. If you still have errors, please
contact the LON-CAPA development team.
<h2>Log in to your LON-CAPA Machine</h2>
Point a web browser at your new machine and log in as the domain
<h2>If things aren't working right</h2>
If you've followed the steps above and the server doesn't start or you think
there's something wrong, please get in touch with the LON-CAPA support team.
You can submit a help request using our web form:< br />
<a href="http://support.loncapa.org/help/">http://support.loncapa.org/help/</a><br />
If there were errors in installation of the dependency RPMs or during the
automatic setup, please send us as much information as possible.
If some part of this document is unclear please let us know.