Re: Help needed to install a server

peter Murray-rust (
Thu, 11 Jan 1996 14:42:11 +0000 (GMT)

Thanks very much indeed for your mail. This is exactly the sort
of thing that makes a successful course. When people have a question
like this and post it, it stimulates discussion and also gets very
constructive replies.

You have also chosen the right mailing list to use. People
should feel free to post *any* technical questions here, no matter how
apparently trivial. Lots of us don't know 'which button to press when X
comes up on the screen'. One of the really exciting things about the
course is that 'students' realise that they often know more than the
tutors in a particular area! This is a reflexion of how complex the
subject is, not a criticism of the tutors!! So, if you are a student and
you know the answer to someone's problem, we'd love you to answer.


On Thu, 11 Jan 1996, Jens Loesel

> Hello members of the PPS2
> Here is a short question for help.
> Working for a company as postdoctoral chemist since the start
> of this year I'm allowed to use my computers at work to
> attend at the course, but for reasons of safety I can't
> use my workstation as URL.

I will discuss this problem in a few days. I know what the problems are
when people work from companies (I work for a company myself) and so am
very sympathetic. Besides firewalls there are also a number of other
problems which I'll discuss. later.

> Having just left Frankfurt University, my old group owns an
> Indy workstation. I still have full access to it, I already
> started after christmas to build some Webpages for my old
> group, but I wasn't able to finish it while in Frankfurt.
> What's missing, is the server software. So who could me
> help?
> What I need is server software for an Silicon Graphics
> Indy workstation.

It's very easy to install the server software. However, you don't say if
you are connected on the Internet and whether you have a dmoain name and
IP address. Assuming that you do then:

You don't have to be root to run a server unless you want to offer it
from port 80 (the standard for WWW/HTTP). You will see many servers with
high numbered ports (usually 8000) and that is an indication that they
are run by non-superusers.

You then need to decide on the server software. I am most familiar with
NCSA, but there is also a server from CERN which I think is more
flexible, though I haven't updated for serval months. PPS1 was run withe
CERN. There are also commercial products but I think you can easily do
it all for free.

If you are running NCSA, downlaoad the stuff from the NCSA/Mosaic site (
I am not sure exactly where) . You'll then have to configure i (e.g.
port number, top directory, etc.) It's not too difficult if you follow
the script precisely. For example:
./conf holds configuration files
./htdocs is the top of your document ree (/ on the URL)
./cgi-bin holds the scripts and cgi executables
./logs holds you log files (which machines have accessed thei
Since the client *might* access resources on the server side if it's
wrongly configured, I'd use a non-superuser to start with.

> Also a person I could ask
for advice, when I try to install > it via the net from my new place.
> My computer background is good, and I already installed
> several programs, but never over the net and I'm not a Unix
> specialist.

I would be very surprised if PPS2 can't help. Part of the point of our
virtual course is that the boundaries of what is on the 'syllabus'
are fuzzy. (I don't mean that assessment isn't fair, but that it's
reasonable to explore things like we are doing at the moment.)

> I still have super user rights and back in Frankfurt they know,
> that I will install the server. Unfortunately I've been the person
> in group, knowing most about the Web.
> For people who think they may help me, mail to:

This is sufficiently important that we should mail replies to
'technical'. We are going to develop other important server technology
during the course and so this is very valuable to discuss.

One of the tools that *I* would like to start using is Hyper-G -
anyone had any epxerience??


Peter Murray-Rust, Glaxo Research & Dev. (; (BioMOO: PeterMR)
Birkbeck College,, CBMT/Daresbury,