| Program Updates|
This function manages and installs updates for Vision For Apache automatically. If you have a valid NetLoony license, you'll be receiving updates from us via e-mail. These updates contain enhancements, extra functions and new Apache command support.
Each update e-mail will have a .dat file attachment and instructions, plus news about the NetLoony project. Copy the dat file into the NetLoony update directory which is located in the Vision 'root' directory. If you are not sure where this is, click on the top 'Vision tab, then the 'About' tab. Scroll the system information panel down. The Working Dir shown is the vision 'root' directory.
You will be prompted for conformation to install the update(s). When agreed, the Installation process takes just a couple of seconds! The updates won't appear until NetLoony has been restarted.
If you have any problems, try the Troubleshooting Updating Problems section.
We also advise you keep all the update emails as a reference
| Apache Information|
This function provides information about the Apache server your are using:
- Build Date & Time
- Module Magic Number
- Compile SettingsExample
| Server Control|
Server Control is simply an easy way to control the Apache server. UNIX and Win32 versions do this in different ways - and both are supported automatically.
For the UNIX version, NetLoony manipulates the 'apachectl' application which comes as standard with the apache distribution. If this is not available, then control will be unavailable. The Win32 version submits commands directly via the Apache executable.
- Options - provides extra initialisation parameters to be entered. These are retained for regular use.
- Output - displays a log of control actions. This log is retained for a history of Server actions.
- Processes - works for UNIX platforms only. This displays information about the Apache processes. Also, the UNIX 'ps' command, used to gain this information, can be defined specifically for your system and to how much detail you require. The default 'ps' switch is -ef.
This facility is currently only available with the UNIX distributions. NetLoony manipulates the 'ab' application and stores URLs and returned results to provide a simple level of performance analysis.
Here is a screen shot of a graph produced by the program:
You might notice there is a simple trend line (split average pivot), to give an at-a-glance view of the performance trend. Remember, performances can be effected by network congestion and poor routing strategies.
There are also different types of graph to select from:
There is often a delay when using this function, especially if the host is unavailable. Please be patient! - it may look like the program has stalled, but it is just waiting for a response.
Remember, Network or host problems will cause a delay and the performance results can be effected by network congestion and poor routing strategies.
| Syntax Check|
This checks the integrity of all the command settings contained in the httpd.conf file. Any errors will be displayed.
Note: If the syntax is okay, but Apache is still not starting. Check the Apache errors log, as it is likely your network settings are incorrect.
| Error Logs|
The error log contains captured details of Apache server activity. The level of detail captured is defined by the user. Controls for this can be found in the category.
The error log analyser is a fast way to extract specific log entries, and then view these entries based on date, client and user details. Using this facility is very easy:
- Error Log Location - location of the error_log. The location can be stored by using the button for a regularly accessed log. If you restart VFA, the stored file location is automatically recalled.
- Error Type, Date, Client and User - Clicking on an Error Type will automatically (after a pause) return specific Dates, Clients and Users relating to the selected Error Type. Now any combination of Dates, Clients and Users can be used to find specific error log entries, just by clicking the
- Error Details - are the results of the users query. This displays log entries exactly as they are stored within the log file. These can be cut and paste (using the operating systems cut and paste shortcuts) as required.
| Transaction Logs|
This facility allows you to record all NetLoony actions, so you know what was configured and when. You can monitor performance using the performance monitoring tool, then refer to the transactions logs to match what was commands were configured to make which performance change.
Any actions recorded include date, time and the command or section involved. The date and time for using NetLoony is also recorded.
The logging is configurable to which actions you would like to record:
- Written - command written, might not necessarily have changed
- Added - new command added
- Removed - command deleted
Sections (such as directories, virtual hosts etc.)
- Added - new section
- Removed - section deleted
- State - section has been enabled or disabled
These logs can be automatically purged using the Housekeeping function, if required, to save disk space. The logs can be to keep a constant 25 to 150 entries, or no restriction at all.
| User & Group Access|
This function is found in the
mod_authsub-category. It creates the necessary group and user files to enable basic authentication.
To create a new
USERbasic authorisation file:
- First enter the file name and location in the
- Now you can enter your list of users:
- Enter the username
- The following window will appear:
- Enter and verify the password, then click
- You should have something like the following:
(The text to the right of the username is the encrypted password)
- Once you are happy, you can the file.
To create a new
GROUPis even easier:
- Enter the file name and location in the
- Now you can enter your list of groups:
- Enter the groupname
- Then enter your list of users for each group:
- Click on the correct group
- Enter the username in the 'members' section below
- You should have something like the following:
- Again, once you are happy, you can the file.
| Remote Configuration|
Until the remote configuration module is developed and released (which will allow you to configure multiple servers from one window), here are the instructions to run NetLoony remotely, allowing you to graphically configure remote servers (one window per remote server). These instructions relate only to X11 platforms only:
- Each remote host must have Java and JFC/Swing components (if required) installed.
- Each remote host must have NetLoony installed.
- Each remote host must have X11 installed, but not necessarily running (to keep resource usage at the minimum).
- Allow remote hosts to direct their display to your machine by:
- xhost - any remote host user;
- xauth - specific remote host users;
COMMAND: refer to xauth manual pages and your current xauth configuration
- rlogin or telnet into the remote host, and login.
- Change directory to the NetLoony root directory (where all the *.class files are located).
- Enter the command:
java vision -display yourmachinename:0 &
- NetLoony will start as normal, but all actions will relate only to the remote host.
Be careful not to have too many remote NetLoony windows displayed at once. Things could start to get a little confusing as there is no indication of which window belongs to which host apart from the server configurations themselves.
| Apache Build & Install|
This function provides a graphical interface for the excellent Apache 1.3 Autoconf-style Interface (APACI); theHere are the reasons why we thought it was necessary to implement a GUI for APACI:
'./configure'command in other words, which is currently only available for UNIX machines.
- Functions and Modules: Make the user aware of all the functions and modules available.
- Configuration Settings: Allow settings to be saved and used for future Apache releases.
- Errors: Reduce possible typo errors and prompt the user when errors occur.
What might the user gain from this?
- Performance: We have found a lot of users are not too sure of which modules to compile into the Apache Binary, so 'most' or 'all' modules are compiled in - thinking this is a safe option. This results in a rapid loss of performance. Being made aware of what is available and compiling exactly what is required will always optimise the performance of the Apache server.
- Integrity: The same reason as above, but also the user is being made aware of any errors and configuration rules.
- Reduced Maintenance: Users are able to have the required configuration recorded and recalled. This can be used for future updates or when further builds are required. The user is informed of any errors and the progress of the build process. Also, information is shown for every configuration setting as they are used.
- Flexibility: Options are available for novice and experts; these are indicated in the 'Further Information' display.
1 Main Contains configuration actions and a display of action results 2 Layout Directory, File or Value options (enable with user defined value) 3 Standard Modules List of standard Apache modules with options (enable, disable, shared) 4 Other Modules User definable list of 3rd party modules with options (add, activate, shared) 5 Rules List of Apache configuration rules with options (enable, disable) 6 Variables List of Apache configuration variables with options (enable with user defined value) 7 suEXEC List of Apache suEXEC options (enable with user defined value) 8 Options Miscellaneous options and Help documents
Further Information & Help - built-in information or Apache documentation relating to variables, modules, commands or actions
- User Level: - Expected user knowledge of Apache (low = novice, high = expert)
- Purpose: - Description of function
- Default Value: - default value if not user defined
- Default State: - default state (enabled/disabled) if not user defined
- Actions: - Control options available to user
- Note: - Other information or exceptions
- Installation: - Refers to Apache's INSTALL documentation
- DSO: - Apache's Dynamic Shared Objects documentation
- suEXEC: - Apache's suEXEC documentation
Settings - interface for configuring settings
Configuring these settings is very easy:
- Read the text in 'Further Information' - clicking on a setting might be necessary to view more information about it
- Adjust setting (if required) using checkboxes or entering values
- Verify settings are correct by clicking or enabling '
show-layout' in options then clicking '
- When you are happy - start building
Actions - implement configuration
- Configure: - [Stage 1] Run APACI with user's configuration
- Make: - [Stage 2] Build Apache binaries
- Install: - [Stage 3] Install Apache (optional)
Clicking, or enabling '
show-layout' in options then clicking '
Configure', is a worthwhile habit. Using either forces VFA to perform a basic check for any anomalies. If these are found they are removed. '
Configure' without '
show-layout' will perform this check, then run APACI immediately afterwards; this should be done when you are happy with the integrity of the settings.
The above message is displayed while actions are processing. When this disappears, you will be informed that either errors occurred or the process has completed. Some machines take longer to process than others so please be patient.
Errors - being made aware of anomalies
You will be informed of any errors during '
Make' or '
A window will pop up informing you that errors have occurred:
- Files could not be found or are not readable
- Errors have been reported - examine messages after 'Possible Errors:' in the 'Output' display
Not all messages after 'Possible Errors:' are errors. It is up to you to examine these and verify their relevancy. Sometimes using the 'verbose' option will produce non-errors messages. The same when installing Apache, messages informing directories have been created will appear after 'Possible Errors:'.
Output - results of actions
Example of APACI submission ('
Example of ('
Missing Options - APACI options that have not been implemented.
These can be implemented in future updates if there is enough demand.