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I want to make a test server.

LAN using Debian 5 and mac ppc to test ZenCart



10:32 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Greetings to everyone... I have spent several days at LinuxQuestions.org. I am getting nowhere. But, in the cafateria that is the "server" LinuxQuestions is a snack, and WebmasterWorld a meal...

How was that for kissing up?

Well enough sillyness... My question, without being too verbose at the biginning, with longer description at the end is as follows:

I am in need of a LAMP with SSL so I may use it to test the e-commerce package Zen Cart. I can do light programming, I am/was a graphic designer (like the world needs more of them) with a lot of experience with print and web design, networking issues, windows, mac and linux user... but not with setting up servers, or more importantly Apache 2.2, or any apache for that matter... I did get drunk with a Navajo a few years back...

My 1st hurdle: Apache 2.2, I had a little grip on earlier Apache 1.*. But Apache 2.2 is clearly not implemented as it was in my older Debian Etch distro attempt at doing this a few weeks ago.

I am using a older Apple with 900 mhz G4 ppc. I have cleaned out Debian etch and started over with Debian Len, (5.o.*) On the Etch distro set-up I saw that /etc/apache/httpd.conf had the directives for server:192,168.0.100 but in lenny it is an empty file. I get the idea from apache.org I am to use the /etc/apache2.conf to do the directives?

My problem in truth is that I have issues... serious emotional issues. Among which is about doing a thing without a reasonable understanding of what, why or why not, and all that. Bugs me to no end to be poking away until it works... and not really knowing why it worked.

My bigger problem... I need this done yesterday. I am disabled... (big deal, many people are)and I want out of the social security/medicare box. To do this I want to find a way to make some bucks with a e-commerce site... I may get backers, etc. But, I need to test the store "in-house" (or in my case "in-closet"... just kidding) and to demonstrate how it works, so to say, before uploading it a a working whole instead of the other way. The Other Way: If I can not resolve my mental block, I am going to be developing this thing online. Yikes, makes my spleen break out in a rash just to consider it.

So...How do I set up Apache2.conf to respond to my other machine to an address like Just like if it was the internet? I have looked at Bruce Timberlane's LAMP sites that explain how to do this, but I am using a mac, etc. It just is not the same... I think... or at least I still am not getting it to work on my set-up.

Perhaps I should use a IBM w/ an Intel P3 instead? Should I use either one (IBM or MAC) with a different flavor or with a *BSD? I really need a clear path at the start and then a learning path so I come to understand what and why... Perhaps I should use a different server set-up? Cherokee for example?

Thank you for your time and patience.

Thanks again... I am going to peruse this site for what answers I can dig up... I will check back in a bit

[edited by: mack at 11:11 pm (utc) on Feb. 28, 2009]
[edit reason] email address removed [/edit]


11:02 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

hi katiwhompas, welcome to webmasterworld!

I posted a thread quite some time ago about setting up a home based server for testing purposes.


I hope you can get some usefull info from this.



11:36 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks, I have seen similar instructions, I don't know why I had the idea I wanted to go through the command line or vi and create my settings in the modular .conf files... I think it is because in the past with Etch I was not able to get it to work correctly. Of course I had both Apache 1.* and apache 2 and I think there was some conflict. I tried cleaning out the older version, but I did not do it correctly. Now I have a clean install... I will give this another try. I also did not realize I was not to put in an email... I was trying to save this site the bandwidth, I can understand the desirability of keeping things in one place for others with same issues.
I will leave a message regarding my level of success when I am done.

Again, thanks for the pointer and for the welcome...


1:17 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hi again,

My take in this would be to base your descision about operating system/server environment on your chosen web host. That way you are able to more or less build a clone within your lan of the server in the "wild"

For example if your host runs red hat, get the same version and run it locally. A massive advantage I find with this, is being able to set the server up in the same way as your host. Right down to file paths and database names/usernames.

I tend to use shell quite a lot when "talking" to my server, but there are some pretty decent open source tools out there that will give you a fairly good GUI to admin your server. Webmin is a great example of just such an app.

Cloning your host is a great way to know your site will work on your host. It also allows you to have the live site and your dev site, make all your tests locally then FTP the lot to the server.

My typical setup is a Linux Lan server with SSH, ftp access and a web host with FTP. Having a dedicated lan server just gives you a lot of control over the entire process.

Another option open to you is to simply do all the dev and testing in the live server, but possibly password protect the entire site until its finished. This would be a more cost effective solution, but may not give you quite as much control.

I like the idea of having a server on lan because its a backup if nothing else. Somewhere to test new ideas before releasing them.


Edit for typo(s)

[edited by: mack at 4:43 am (utc) on Mar. 1, 2009]


1:33 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Okay, I see clear instructions... great.

But, I am thrown off by one little issue.

My installation of Apache2 (ver 2.2) from Debian has nothing in the /etc/apache2/httpd.conf file. It is blank. According to your thread this is where I will put in my virtual host configuration statement.

In the /etc/apache2/apache2.conf there is a instruction to use it for the virtual host configuration statement.

I am not certain if it makes a difference which I use. Also I run into other site instructions that say I need Bind9. I really do not think I need DNS for a simple, well sort-of simple test server... But again, I am not sure of this.

This is my main issue. I just do not understand the foundation of how Apache and the misc. components of software works and as such I am uncertain of what the heck to do when I see an inconsistancy. I admit I am tired of modifying the httpd.conf in my old setup and I wonder if I need to put the basic original based on the Rob McCool, NCSA server configuration file that I used to see in the older Apache instalation? Then modify that as per instructions? Or use the Apache2.conf area to make the statements? There has got to be some kind of primer for this stuff? Where?

Well, now that I have degenerated into repeating myself I will let it go and search about some more. I will wander back later to check on my post... Thanks.


3:00 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Oh yea, where do I send the story? Do I just load it here for everyone to "enjoy"?


6:01 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Here is what I finally found... It took a few hours, but with this kinda stuff that is supposed to be a good thing.

Anyhow: I find that Debian uses a completely different method of implementing Apache. See: [wiki.apache.org...]

You will see that the older distro that places 1.0 is more like the default Apache.org set-up but once we get into Lenny... watch out. Things Change. So, I am tracking it down... I only hope it is not this damn hard to resolve the rest of it.


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