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Arnold K. Pizer - Installing WeBWorK on Redhat Linux 7.1

Arnold K. Pizer - Installing WeBWorK on Redhat Linux 7.1

by Arnold Pizer -
Number of replies: 0
inactiveTopicInstalling WeBWorK on Redhat Linux 7.1 topic started 10/16/2001; 4:11:25 PM
last post 10/16/2001; 4:11:25 PM
userArnold K. Pizer - Installing WeBWorK on Redhat Linux 7.1  blueArrow
10/16/2001; 4:11:25 PM (reads: 3628, responses: 0)

Installing WeBWorK on a Red Hat Linux 7.1 System

Samuel Hathaway, <>;

This document details the setup and configuration of Red Hat 7.1 for use with WeBWorK. Use it along with the Installing WeBWorK on a Linux System document. Before beginning the installation, you should also consult the Red Hat 7.1 Installation Guide at Manual/install-guide/.

Step 1: During the Red Hat installation

While installing Red Hat Linux, there are several options that are important to WeBWorK. These are listed below with recommended settings.

Install Type: This affects which packages we will need to install later. We recommend "Server System".

Firewall Configuration: If you choose to install a firewall, keep in mind that WeBWorK requires incoming HTTP connections, and you may benefit from allowing other types of inconming connections (such as telnet, SSH, FTP, or SCP) for professors. SSH and SCP servers are installed by default on the "Server System" install type, so opening those ports in your firewall configuration will enable those services.

Account Configuration: Make sure you create at least one user account, in addition to the root account. You an use this user account as the "regular user account" in the setup of WeBWorK.

Package Group Selection: This option is only shown if you choose the "Server System" install type. Select the "Web Server" package, the "GNOME" package and also check "Select individual packages".


Step 2: Installing individual packages

Many administrative tasks are easier using linuxconf. The other packages are required for WeBWorK to function properly.

Select the following packages.
packagediscdirectorypackage names
Linuxconf1Applicaions->Systemgnome-linuxconf, linuxconf
TeTeX (and LaTeX2HTML)2Applicaions->Publishingtetex, tetex-afm, tetex-dvilj, tetex-dvips, tetex-fonts, tetex-latex

Also select any other packages you want to install at this time (e.g. your favorite editor). When RedHat checks for dependencies, accept the default of installing additional packages to resolve all dependencies (if any).


Step 3: linuxconf

To launch linuxconf, open a terminal and type the following:

> su -
Password: <type root password>
# linuxconf &

Now that linuxconf is installed, you can use it to replace several of the command-line operations in the Installing WeBWorK on a Linux System document:

shell tasklinuxconf panel
useradd, usermod, userdelConfig: User acounts->Normal->User accounts
groupadd, groupmod, groupdelConfig: User accounts->Normal->Group definitions
/etc/init.d/httpd, adding apache to rc filesControl: Control panel->Control service activity

linuxconf also has many other capabilities. Consult the Red Hat documentation for more information.

Step 4: Starting apache

  1. Open linuxconf.
  2. Click the "Control" tab
  3. Click Control panel->Control service activity.
  4. Select httpd from the list of services. A panel will appear detailing your apache status.
  5. Click "Start". It is at the bottom of the panel. After a moment, apache's status should be listed as "Running".
  6. Check the "Startup: Automatic" checkbox.
  7. Click "Accept".
  8. Close linuxconf

Apache is now started, and will start whenever the computer is rebooted. To verify that apache is working, open Netscape and open http://localhost/. You should see a page titled "Test Page".


Step 5: Read Installing WeBWorK on a Linux System

At this point, begin reading the Installing WeBWorK on a Linux System document. Keep the following in mind:

  • You still have to configure LaTeX2HTML. The configuration file is stored at:
  • You will need to install TTH.
  • Apache on Red Hat 7.1 runs as the user apache in the group apache. When the installaton instructions refer to the user wwserver and the group wwserver, you can substitute apache.
  • Apache's configuration file httpd.conf is located in the directory /etc/httpd/conf/ .
  • Apache's DocumentRoot is /var/www/html/ and cgi-bin directory is /var/www/cgi-bin/ .
  • You will want to use the "ScriptAlias" method of linking WeBWorK's cgi directory to the web server, rather than the symlink method. Be careful to put the ScriptAlias for WeBWorK before the ScriptAlias for cgi-bin in httpd.conf.

Good luck!

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