Pre-reqs for ICRISAT LIMS Install

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I pushed Tomcat 6 to a temp directory for now. I'll get back to that later after downloading and installing the latest version of Apache.

Once everything is up and running deploying Java-based web applications is supposed to be as simple as accessing some configuration panel and specifying where the WAR file is located (A WAR file is a kind of archive with all of the Java components you need to run the application. It is basically a compressed archive). Of course, unless you have all of your pre-requisites on your target machine you will only get error messages, so let's begin.

Before continuing I think it is important to mention why I'm bothering to do any of this on Windows. It might be far easier to deploy all this on Linux, but my guess is that more people testing this out for the first time are comfortable on Windows.

I elected to download the MSI file for Windows without crypto from the the Apache Foundation website -- it was 5.4MB, not too bad. I figured the crypto might make the install take longer.

I'm running Windows Vista so this takes an additional few steps than if I had a Windows Server handy. I picked the typical install option since I know what I'm doing and can modify the configuration afterwards anyway. During the install I just specified 'localhost' as the domain, my machine name in the second prompt (run 'hostname' in a console on your machine to find out your machine's name) and some e-mail address in the third prompt. Click Next and 'ok' to accept everything.

The next step is to run a quick test of Apache. In order to start it up you have two options: you can use the menu or the Apache Monitor launch tool. The menu option to start Apache is simply Start->All Programs->Apache HTTP Server 2.2->Control Apache Server->Start. The Apache Monitor launch tool is at the lower right hand side of your desktop and looks like a small feather sticking out of a white circle with a right facing triangle inside of it. Right clicking on that will allow you to run the Apache Monitor tool. Try to just 'run' Apache using either method. Note: if you already have Internet Information Server (IIS) or any other webserver using port 80 installed and running Apache will not start because it will not be able to bind to that port. You'll have to modify the configuration a bit to use a different port. In my case I swapped it to use port 90.

For background's sake, HTTP web servers use numbered ports to communicate with the outside world. As a convention, HTTP servers normally all want to use port 80. If you have more than one webserver running on your machine you will have to configure them not to interfere with one another. That normally means changing the others to use different ports.

Now, you would think that modifying Apache's configuration would be as easy as opening the httpd.conf (this is the file Apache uses to store its configuration settings) on Vista, and you would be essentially correct. You can access this file using the menu option, Start->All Programs->Apache HTTP Server 2.2->Configure Apache Server which is just a link to the file itself. This method of modifying httpd.conf was obviously conceptualized on a different version of Windows since Windows Vista doesn't really allow you to modify files in the Program Files directory this way. You need administrator access.

Before you can edit the httpd.conf in the Program Files directory you need to change your mode of access. This means you'll have to open the editor in administrator mode and then access the file. A common way to do this is to open Notepad as Administrator [1] and then access the file. It is in "C:/Program/ Files/Apache Software Foundation/Apache2.2/conf/httpd.conf."

Once you have the file opened in the correct mode you'll essentially need to change the Listen directive from port 80 to 90. Then save the file. Whenever you change the httpd.conf file you will have to restart Apache. If you screw up Apache will not start, so be sure to have a backup copy handy. The last step is to point your browser to the easy-to-remember URL: http://localhost:90. You should see a very boring 'It works!' message.

Next I'll either install PostgreSQL on Windows or Tomcat.



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