[LON-CAPA-cvs] cvs: doc /build RHEL7_install.frag
raeburn at source.lon-capa.org
Mon Jun 30 11:49:54 EDT 2014
raeburn Mon Jun 30 15:49:54 2014 EDT
Installation instructions for RHEL7.
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<h1>Installing LON-CAPA on a minimal Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 System</h1>
This document guides you through the process of setting up a new LON-CAPA
server running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 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.
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><a href="#obt">Obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 installation iso file or media</a></li>
<li><a href="#net">Determine Network Settings</a></li>
<li><a href="#lin">Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7</a></li>
<li><a href="#upd">Update your system</a></li>
<li><a href="#ilc">Install LON-CAPA</a></li>
<li><a href="#cdc">Create a Domain Coordinator</a></li>
<li><a href="#sts">Start/Restart services</a></li>
<li><a href="#log">Log in to LON-CAPA</a></li>
<h2>1. <a name="obt">Obtain Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7</a></h2>
RHEL7 downloads are available from Red Hat:
Either download the Boot ISO or the RHEL 7 binary
<h2>2. <a name="net">Determine Network Settings</a></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>3. <a name="lin">Minimal Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7c Install</a></h2>
Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux is straightforward.
Documentation is available from
Most of the installation screens are self explanatory.
There are a few steps that require comment and are dealt with below.
<dl style="list-style:square outside none">
<dd>Use English as your installation language.</dd>
<dd>For a fresh install may want to use the automatic partitioning feature of the installer.
If you want to customize partitioning check the "I will configure partitioning" radio button.
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 RHEL, /home should receive at least 10 to 12 GB.
Since Mariadb uses the /var filesystem to store its databases you should
have at least 4 GB of space available on /var. Be sure to
include adequate swap space. A minimum is 512 MB, but you should
typically have 1 or 2x as much swap space as you do physical RAM.</dd>
<dt>Network and Hostname</dt>
<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 your network information. Enter your hostname</dd>
<dd>Select the "Minimal Install" radio button.</dd>
Finish installing your server, reboot it, and log in as root.
LON-CAPA uses the tradition iptables package instead of the recent Firewalld, included for the
first time with RHEL7. Accordingly, you should install iptables-services, disable firewalld,
and enable iptables.
yum install iptables-services
systemctl mask firewalld
systemctl enable iptables
systemctl enable ip6tables
yum install wget
rpm --import http://install.loncapa.org/versions/redhat/RPM-GPG-KEY-loncapa
yum localinstall system-config-firewall-tui-1.2.29-10.el7.noarch.rpm
The system-config-firewall-tui tool should be used to configure the Firewall.
<li>Select Security Level: Enabled, and Customize, to allow
incoming: SSH (remote login), WWW (HTTP) and secure WWW
<li>Select OK, and then Quit</li>
<h2>4. <a name="upd">Update your system</a></h2>
Update your system to the latest versions of the system software using yum.
Reboot your system before continuing with the installation.
Retrieve the rhel7_loncapa_yum file from the LON-CAPA install site:
Install the rhel7_loncapa_yum.conf
mv /etc/yum.conf /etc/yum.conf.backup
cp rhel7_loncapa_yum.conf /etc/yum.conf
The default RHEL7 installation includes SELinux enabled. Until such time as an SELinux security policy has been created for LON-CAPA, SELinux should be disabled.
Retrieve the loncapa_selinux_config file from the LON-CAPA install site:
Install the selinux config file
mv /etc/selinux/config /etc/selinux/config.backup
mv loncapa_selinux_config /etc/selinux/config
<h2>5. <a name="ilc">Installing LON-CAPA</a></h2>
<p> Execute: </p>
yum install LONCAPA-prerequisites
This may take some minutes 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 install.tar
This creates a directory named <tt>installation</tt>. Change to it and
execute the setup script with the following commands:
The script is used to prepare a Linux system to run LON-CAPA, and can also be
used to check the configuration of a system on which LON-CAPA has already been installed. Typically, though, you will run this script only once, when you first install LON-CAPA.
The script will analyze your system to determine which actions are recommended. The script will then prompt you to choose the actions you would like taken.
Once a choice has been entered for all nine possible actions, required changes will be made.
<p>The possible actions are:</p>
<li>Create the www user/group</li>
<li>Install the package LON-CAPA uses to authenticate users.</li>
<li>Set-up the MySQL (Mariadb) database</li>
<li>Set-up MySQL (Mariadb) permissions</li>
<li>Configure Apache web server</li>
<li>Configure start-up of services</li>
<li>Check firewall settings</li>
<li>Stop services not used by LON-CAPA, e.g., services for a print server: cups daemon</li>
<li>Download LON-CAPA source code in readiness for installation</li>
<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
special characters.</i><br>Domain names which include a departmental
abbreviation are not recommended as although LON-CAPA may start in
a single department, other departments frequently join subsequently.
For a domain name: 'msu' is a superior choice to 'msuphys' for example.
<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>Domain's Primary Library Server ID</dt>
<dd>If you are setting up a domain with a single library server, then the domain's primary library server ID will be the LON-CAPA host id of that server (e.g., msul1). Once your domain grows and you need to add more servers, one of the library servers in the domain should be assigned as the domain's primary library server. This will be where domain-wide settings will be stored.<dd>
<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 at localhost</tt>.
<dt>Support email address</dt>
<dd>If you enter an e-mail address here, then users of the system
will be able to click an "Ask Helpdesk" link in the system to
display a web form which they will complete to request support from
your institution's helpdesk. On form submission the contents
will be sent to the e-mail address you specify.
To configure and install LON-CAPA, execute the following commands:
cd /root/loncapa-X.Y.Z (X.Y.Z should correspond to a version number like '2.11.0')
You will need to enter the LON-CAPA configuration information you determined
in the previous section.
<h2>6. <a name="cdc">Creating a Domain Coordinator</a></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 user's password.
Feel free to use the "passwd username" command to change it later.
Replace USERNAME and DOMAIN with an appropriate user name and your domain.
If installing a library server and an access server on separate machines or VMs
you need only run make_domain_coordinator.pl on the library server.
perl make_domain_coordinator.pl USERNAME DOMAIN
<h2>7. <a name="sts">Start/Restart Services</a></h2>
The LON-CAPA network services take a moment to start. Most misconfigurations
will be apparent at this step.
service httpd start
If you receive warnings about missing perl modules, when starting the httpd service
please make sure you followed the instructions in
<b>Installing LON-CAPA Dependencies</b>. If you still have errors, please
contact the LON-CAPA Helpdesk -- helpdesk at loncapa.org
<h2>8. <a name="log">Log in to your LON-CAPA Machine</a></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 contact the LON-CAPA helpdesk.
Installation/update support is available from: helpdesk at loncapa.org
(replace " at " with @).
If there were errors in installation of the dependency RPMs or errors during the
automatic setup, please send us as much information as possible.
If some part of this document is unclear please let us know.
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