Apache Sandbox

Apache Sandbox by David Whelan David Whelan Upon installing Debian, I chose to have Apache 2 installed as a default package. That seemed easy enough. The major product I intend to install is Koha, an open source integrated library system (ILS), an application I’ve installed with some success on Windows previously. I’d tested Apache to make sure that the server was running and that I could access port 80. But then I started to fool around and broke it.

The error was a common one, apparently.  Apache would not start, issuing the error “No Pidfile Found”.  I used Google to see what I could find in the way of help, but while a number of entries showed others with the same problems, I didn’t find any definitive answers as to why.  Most pointed to the fact that the PIDFile location wasn’t correct.

This was complicated as the configuration for Apache on Debian was significantly different from what it was on Windows.  But the PIDFile location was fine, in /etc/apache2/apache2.conf.  The changes I had made only related to the virtualhosts, which were located in the /etc/apache2/sites-enabled folder.  So I removed them and my “No PIDFile Found” error disappeared.  The problem seemed to be in the <virtualhosts> tag itself, in how I was trying to configure the port.  Even when I mistyped the path to the document root, the error stayed gone, even though the server still wouldn’t start!

It’s taken some noodling, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it.  I miss the old “apache -t” to test my syntax.  I’m sure there is an equivalent I have not yet learned.  I’m still digging around for good books on Linux and Debian, and am already browsing the O’Reilly Linux in a Nutshell book.  It’s been great both for giving me more detail about the Debian dpkg and apt-get utilities, as well as a reminder of the few Unix commands I once knew and had forgotten.

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David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.