"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

The Answer Guy

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?)MS FrontPage for Linux/Apache:

From Terry Singleton on 18 Aug 1998

Hi there,

Being a newbie LINUX user I searched YAHOO and found your site. It is a relief to actually find a site which has some newbie material..thanks.

I am hoping you can shed some light on this subject.

I recently put up a LINUX server, I am hoping to use it for email and http purposes. However our users are not knowledgeable enough to be able to ftp html files into their directories and therefore we would like to use Front Page. I have downloaded and installed APACHE 1.3.1 and noticed that MS does have FP extensions that are supposed to run on LINUX and APACHE.

(!)I think you are underestimating your users. You might want to find the WS_FTP and/or the "CuteFTP" package. These shareware Windows packages are pretty easy for Windows users --- and work pretty much like the old file manager.
(As for e-mail, I suppose some/many of them will be use Netscape Communicator's POP client. You can also offer them Eudora and Pegasus Mail. These will work with any POP server --- including whichever one was almost certainly already installed with your distribution).
The easiest way to allow your Windows users access to their files on your web server is to install and use Samba. Samba implements the SMB protocol --- which is the native file sharing system that's implemented in Windows for Workgroups, Windows '95, Windows '98, Windows NT, and OS/2 (LAN Manager and LAN Server). files.
With Samba you'd give each user access to their home directory (possibly creating symlinks from their home directories to any shared directories). You users would simply drag and drop files using the same file manager and "Explorer" interfaces that they'd use with any other WfW or NT fileserver.
You can also create group shares (on your Linux or other Unix system) which will automatically show up to the appropriate users in their browse lists.
The last time one of my associates looked into using Microsoft's FrontPage server extensions the idea was abandoned without even attempting the installation. There were showstopper limitations and design features that obviated any need to look further at it.
Her conclusion was also supported by a number of messages that I've read on the Bugtraq and NTSecurity mailing lists.
So I recommend that you reconsider your options and avoid FrontPage if you have any choice in the matter.
If you insist on using FP despite these limitations then you'll probably want to look at:
The Unofficial FP Server Extensions Home Page
Although I've never used it, I've read about another way to upload files to a web server using HTTP POST commands. It's described in the O'Reilly book on _CGI_Programming_ (one with a mouse on the cover) on page 414 (Appendix D).
Basically you create a form that looks like so:
File Upload Form </TITLE></HEAD><BODY><H1>
File Upload Form </H1><HR>
<FORM ACTION="/cgi-bin/upload.pl" 
ENCTYPE="multipart/form-data" METHOD="POST">
Your Name: <INPUT TYPE="text" NAME="username">
File to Upload: <INPUT TYPE="file" NAME="filename">
<INPUT TYPE="submit" VALUE="Send the Multi-part (MIME) file...">
<INPUT TYPE="reset" VALUE="Clear/Restart">
At the time it was only supported in Netscape. This will show up as a form with a filename field, and a "Browse" button next to that. I don't know if any other browsers ever added support for it. (I just check with Lynx 2.7.2 --- it recognized the INPUT TYPE="file" and rendered it as "Not Implemented")
Also you'll have to create/find a cgi script/program that implemented the file/MIME decoding portion of this (I just used "upload.pl" as a placeholder for this example).
That same book listed some Perl 5 modules that might be useful for this sort of thing --- I think one of them was "BasePlus.pm" --- you'd want to search CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network: http://www.cpan.org, http://www.perl.com/CPAN-local among many) for related work.
I don't know for sure but you might start at:
CPAN: By Category: WWW, HTML, HTTP and CGI

(?)Being new to LINUX I have no idea how to get started.
Some of the questions I have:

  1. How do install them,,do they run on 1.3.1?
  2. After installation how are they configure?
  3. How do we setup permissions?
(!)I don't know the answers to any of these questions. However, I think you'll find some instructions at the two sites listed above.

(?)4. Virtual hosting would be nice but I think simply subdir will suffice for each user (using the ~username notation).

(!)There are a couple of HOWTO's on this.
The one you'll want to start with is:

(!)Any help or direction would help.

(!)This is a start.

(?)Re: Linux Gazette

From Terry Singleton on 20 Aug 1998

thanks...I would love some more information on getting SAMBA working. I have read alot about a NFS client. Will I still need the NFS client to connect when using SAMBA.

(!)No. You won't need NFS to access your Samba systems. As for more info on Samba --- there's a whole book on the subject. There's also an SMB-HOWTO that's quite old but should still get you started;
... I gather that this hasn't been updated since '96! I know that Samba has been under constant, sometimes intense, development throughout that time. However, the basics still work that same.

(?)Or if I implement SAMBA will the machine be accessible by \\linuxmachinename like other NT boxes...do I have to create a WINS entry for the LINUX box??

(!)Yes. You can use UNC naming and normal "Explorer" browsing to access your Linux box. It will look "just like" an NT box to those protocols. (Many sysadmin's have reported that they've replaced NT servers with Linux with increases in performance, capacity, reliability --- and no complaints or comments from their users).

(?)Terry comments about Linux' Future

From Terry Singleton on 20 Aug 1998

You really are the answer guy, thanks for your time.

General Comments: Being new to LINUX I am very impressed with it. I initially bought a copy of RedHat to get started with UNIX. The college just bought this bohemith DEC ALPHA server which is to run DEC UNIX. Because I was now to learn this OS I thought it prudent to play with LINUX as it would install on my machine quite easily.

After inserting my setup boot diskette and 20 minutes of answering quite simple questions I am up and running with LINUX and a GUI called CDE. Although I would not install the GUI on a server for a desktop environment it is quite nice.

The RedHat install detected by 3COM905 NIC card, my ATI video card and used my DHCP server to set itself up on the network, I must say that even with NT or 95 most of the time I need to supply additional drivers for the install, not in LINUX's case. Now I must say that I am not sure that these drivers are optimized for the OS but they are functioning fine.

After having great success with LINUX on the desktop and learning most of the basic shell commands I installed LINUX again, this time in a server environment(kind of a rogue operation). Configured sendmail, qpopper and dns; now this little LINUX box handles all our student email and DNS requirements. It replaced 2 NT servers and handles 2000 POP3 users and 1000's of emails per day.

Future Directions: I am hoping LINUX can provide some much needed LDAP services for email address books and I may even consider using LINUX as our corporate web server OS, because LINUX also provides SAMBA file services we may even look to LINUX for our file and print services needs. The only thing holding me back in this arena is MS's ASP technology which is a great server side scripting language. Perhaps when SUN et al finalize JSP (JAVA Server Pages) and the JDK is released for LINUX I will re-examine this issue.

To move this environment to the desktop for the masses I would say to COREL, keep up the good work(they ported Word Perfect to LINUX), to Triteal, keep working on the CDE environment.

LINUX definetly is an OS with much greater potential than any other OS currently in development.

Copyright © 1998, James T. Dennis
Published in Linux Gazette Issue 32 September 1998

[ Answer Guy Index ] phreak abandon javaterm BBS flaws doslinux resume
softwindows convert apache emulate database distrib proxy
disable DVI superblock serial permission detach cdr
rs422 modem notfound tuning libc5 startup clock ping
accounts lilo NDS 95slow nonlinux progenv cluster ftpd

[ Table Of Contents ] [ Front Page ] [ Previous Section ] [ Next Section ]