File:  [LON-CAPA] / doc / Attic / shortest_path_redhat7.2.txt
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Fri Mar 15 16:09:12 2002 UTC (20 years, 4 months ago) by harris41
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a quick painless path for installing LON-CAPA on redhat 7.2

$Id: shortest_path_redhat7.2.txt,v 1.1 2002/03/15 16:09:12 harris41 Exp $

INSTALLING LON-CAPA ON A REDHAT 7.2 SYSTEM

Scott Harrison

* Quick Instructions
* Support
* System Requirements
* Strategy
* Testing
* Acknowledgements

Quick Instructions
------------------

PLEASE contact harris41@msu.edu if these instructions
do not work.
PLEASE subscribe yourself to the ANNOUNCE MAILING LIST!
Go to http://mail.lon-capa.org/mailman/listinfo/lon-capa-announce 

1. Download http://install.lon-capa.org/versions/current/loncapa.tar.gz
   (from a linux terminal, type
    wget http://install.lon-capa.org/versions/current/loncapa.tar.gz)
2. tar xzvf loncapa.tar.gz
3. cd loncapa
4. Read the README file (this file).
5. EXECUTE: ./UPDATE
6. EXECUTE: ./TEST

Please follow the instructions that are given
to you by the TEST command.  You will probably
have to make a few changes and continue to run
TEST until all the system-critical steps are
taken care of.

Support
-------

LON-CAPA is a GPL-based project which originally was, and in a
significant sense still is, located at Michigan State University.  
The installation, software versioning, and specification is
currently maintained by the freeware community which includes
the document author and more importantly you!

Your interest, questions and suggestions are enthusiastically
invited for the specific development of the GPL code.

We do our best to help get you started with a 100% operational
system.  Please e-mail harris41@msu.edu or helen@lon-capa.org
for help with software installation.

System Requirements
-------------------

It should be an intermediate-to-high-level
performance workstation computer.  A ballpark suggestion
is that it is PentiumII or greater, has 20 gigabytes of
harddisk space, 256M RAM, and 400MHz CPU processing speed...
Dr. Kortemeyer at Michigan State University can give a more
thorough response if needed (he has experience with setting
up high-performance web server clusters).

A specifically high-level suggestion is a multi CPU machine
(with a CPU speed of 1 gigahertz), a gigabyte of memory and
at least 40 to 80 gigabytes of hard disk space.

You can use a lesser machine for toying around with LON-CAPA (It will
install an run for a single user on most anymachine) but if you wish
to support students and you wish to support deadline crunches my
suggestion is to go with the above.

LON-CAPA will work on any Intel-based RedHat compatible
hardware.  And, unlike other software systems, it works
comparatively well on dusty old crippled machines without
much RAM or processing.  I am just projecting the characteristics
that make LON-CAPA nice to use without any unreasonable slowness,
and in terms of hard disk space, how to make it at least 5 years
down the road, if not more.

If thousands of students start accessing the box as a web server...
well you may want to consider more options (LON-CAPA supports
load-balancing on multiple computers for instance).  We like
to think of high web server usage as "a good problem" though.. :)

We support Linux OS.  LON-CAPA has been shown to work on Debian,
Mandrake, and RedHat.  Instructions are based on RedHat-centric
installs.  Given the current level of new LON-CAPA feature requests
and frequency of new software versions, we suggest that you stick
with RedHat to reduce high frequency system administration overhead.

Strategy
--------

*** PERL ***
It is important to check and see if your system has all 
needed perl modules in /usr/lib/perl5/.

*** RPMS ***
It is important to:
* keep your RPMs up to date
* try to have a reasonably minimal set

*** MYSQL ***
It should be kept operational at all times.
In case of failure, there is a resynchronizing
strategy so that the data on the filesystem
continually refreshes the data within the
MYSQL database.

*** APACHE ***
LON-CAPA expects that conf/loncapa.conf will be the
last Apache configuration file to be processed before
launching the httpd server.  This may interfere
with other ways in which you utilize your web server.
For instance, LON-CAPA requires that httpd
run as user=www and group=www.

Testing
-------

1. Perl

2. MySQL

3. Web Layer

4. File Status

5. RPM Status

Acknowledgements
----------------

Many thanks to Matthew Hall (Michigan State University),
Guy Albertelli (Michigan State University), Felicia
Berryman (Michigan State University), Gerd Kortemeyer
(Michigan State University) and Martin Siegert (Simon
Frasier University) for their responsive feedback regarding
ideas in this document.


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