WeBWorK Question Server Installation

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This page presents very detailed instructions on how to install the WeBWorK Question Server. This material assumes a very basic understanding of UNIX shell commands.

Step 1: Getting the Software

Right now there is only one way to acquire the software; downloading from a SVN server. In the future there will be zipped packages available to download off the web.


This package is hosted at http://question2.webwork.rochester.edu/svn/wwqs/trunk From most terminals you can run:

   svn co http://question2.webwork.rochester.edu/svn/wwqs/trunk wwqs

This will create a folder named 'wwqs' in your current working directory. If you are getting a message about the 'svn' command not being found on your machine you need to go ahead and install SVN. Instructions on how to do this for your Linux distribution are readily available by consulting Google.

Step 2: Program Prerequisites

The WeBWorK Question Server requires a few programs to run correctly.

  • apache 1 or 2
  • perl
  • tth
  • latex
  • dvipng

These programs are usually installed by default on most Linux distributions. They can all be found using the respective package management systems.

Apache Web Server

Most Linux distributions come installed with a version of Apache. If you do not already have a version installed on your machine it is recommended to get Apache2. You can find this using the package management system for your Linux distribution or as FreeBSD port.

It is very important that you use Apache2 with the pre-forking model.

Step 3: CPAN Prerequisites

If this is the first time your installing CPAN packages you might need to configure the program. Here is a list of CPAN prerequisites:

  • File::Which
  • LWP::Simple
  • MIME::Base64
  • Safe
  • GD
  • Apache(1,2)::SOAP
  • mod_perl(1,2)

You can install a CPAN package by running the following code.

   perl -MCPAN -e "install PACKAGE_NAME"

Any prerequisites that these packages require should also be installed.

Apache Dependencies

The two packages Apache::SOAP and mod_perl are dependent on the version of Apache you are running. If you are running Apache1 you will need:

  • Apache::SOAP
  • mod_perl

If you are running Apache2:

  • Apache2::SOAP
  • mod_perl2

Mod Perl

Mod perl can be acquired through various methods. It is recommended that you use the one out of CPAN. This will resolve conflicts with the SOAP package.

Step 4: PG Libraries

You will need the WeBWorK PG libraries. You can get the latest version from the main WeBWorK CVS. The following code will get it into your current directory:

   cvs -d :pserver:anoncvs@cvs.webwork.rochester.edu:/webwork/cvs/system checkout -r rel-2-4-0 pg

You should now have a directory named 'pg'. It is recommended that you move this directory to /opt/pg.

Step 5: Setup Script

Now you need to run the setup script. This is located under wwqs/bin/setup. The following code will run the setup script.

   cd wwqs/bin/setup 
   sudo perl setup.pl

Answer the questions or use the defaults in hard brackets. To use the defaults just leave the questions blank.

The setup script will give you a WSDL path which you need to note. This is necessary for configuration of WeBWorKMoodleQuestionType As well as the path to the problemserver.apache-config file.

Step 6: Apache Configuration

You now need to find your apache configuration file. This is usually called httpd.conf or apache.conf. At the end of the file append the following line


You now need to restart apache. This can usually be done with the apache2ctl or apachectl command.