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Hey there! After a long and difficult troubleshoot with some people over in the newbie forum (special thanks to you guys, you know who you are ) I was finally ...
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  1. #1
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    Can't get server to work and wouldn't know how to use it anyway....


    Hey there!

    After a long and difficult troubleshoot with some people over in the newbie forum (special thanks to you guys, you know who you are ) I was finally able to finish this tutorial for setting up a server on CentOS.

    My goal for the server is to host my own websites. I am currently in the process of learning HTML - afterwards i will be trying to learn CSS, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Javascript - and i want to be able to have my website grow as i learn more and more about web developing. But for the life of my I just can't seem to find a break with this server!

    I am not sure everything installed correctly even though it seemed like everything was going pretty well. If you look on page 7 it tells you at the very end that you can now go to <my IP Address>:8080 to use ISPConfig to configure your new server but when i got to that address all i get is a blank page with this code on it:

    Code:
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
    <html><head>
    <title>400 Bad Request</title>
    </head><body>
    <h1>Bad Request</h1>
    <p>Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.<br />
    Reason: You're speaking plain HTTP to an SSL-enabled server port.<br />
    Instead use the HTTPS scheme to access this URL, please.<br />
    <blockquote>Hint: <a href="https://server.silmanserver.com:8080/"><b>https://server.silmanserver.com:8080/</b></a></blockquote></p>
    </body></html>
    I have posted in their forums but they have been pretty unresponsive and after the immense support i got in the newbie forum i feel not only more comfortable posting here but also feel like my problem will be resolved faster.

    My second problem is that even if this was working the way i wanted it to I still have no idea how to get my HTML code up on the server so it displays when i got to my website (i also need help making godaddy tell my domain names to be linked to my specific server).

    My end goal for this server is for me to be able to write and test HTML, CSS, and other code on a laptop and upload it to the server so i can edit my website remotely (if this is too hard i can still write code on my CentOS box but i really wanted to be able to remotely upload code and other media to the server).

    I'm sorry if this feels like i'm asking you guys to explain all of server administration to me, but i really want to learn this and get my problem fixed so i can get to uploading my website.


    Note: If someone has a better guide for making a server on CentOS and thinks that completely restating from scratch is the best option then i am not terribly against just reinstalling CentOS from scratch and trying it over again. Right now i have the Desktop version because it was easiest for me to deal with and i was able to copy and paste outputs to from it to this forum easily instead of typing it up from my laptop that i'm on.

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    I was finally able to finish this tutorial for setting up a server on CentOS.
    man, that is a lot of stuff to be installed from the get-go. that is probably a good guide, but the short-side to it is i think that not enough time is spent focusing on one thing and getting it done, in a way that teaches the user about the process.
    I am not sure everything installed correctly even though it seemed like everything was going pretty well. If you look on page 7 it tells you at the very end that you can now go to <my IP Address>:8080 to use ISPConfig to configure your new server but when i got to that address all i get is a blank page with this code on it:

    Code:
    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
    <html><head>
    <title>400 Bad Request</title>
    </head><body>
    <h1>Bad Request</h1>
    <p>Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.<br />
    Reason: You're speaking plain HTTP to an SSL-enabled server port.<br />
    Instead use the HTTPS scheme to access this URL, please.<br />
    <blockquote>Hint: <a href="https://server.silmanserver.com:8080/"><b>https://server.silmanserver.com:8080/</b></a></blockquote></p>
    </body></html>
    so have you tried to load the suggested link in a browser?

    https://server.silmanserver.com:8080

    note the https protocol at the beginning of the URL. that signifies Secure HTTP.

    if that doesn't work, try:

    http://localhost:80

    also, check the apache error log:

    /var/log/httpd/error_log

    honestly, i know nothing about ISPConfig, it always seemed a bit bloaty to me.

    My second problem is that even if this was working the way i wanted it to I still have no idea how to get my HTML code up on the server so it displays when i got to my website
    copy the files to the document root of your web server. it is defined in the apache config file in a declarative DocumentRoot, and it typically:

    /var/www/html/

    The apache config file is typically at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf. if your webserver is being hosted by some provider, then you'll ftp/sftp the files there, once you've been given account information, or maybe use a browser upload tool provided by the web hosting service.

    (i also need help making godaddy tell my domain names to be linked to my specific server).
    do u already have a godaddy account? they should have given you that kind of info when you signed up. you should be able to sign in at their website and have access to that kind of configuration - it should be fairly obvious, but who knows, maybe it isn't...

    My end goal for this server is for me to be able to write and test HTML, CSS, and other code on a laptop and upload it to the server so i can edit my website remotely (if this is too hard i can still write code on my CentOS box but i really wanted to be able to remotely upload code and other media to the server).
    this is why i think stuff like ISPConfig and all that other stuff in the guide is overkill for what you want to do. all you need is apache, an editor (nedit, vim, etc.), and a browser.

    i think i gave you an example of how to write an example HTML file and put it on your server in that previous thread you mentioned. but if you can't dig that up, try:

    1. use your editor to create a file, call it:
    Code:
    /var/www/html/test.html
    2. in test.html, put:
    Code:
    <b>Hello!</b>
    3. make sure apache is started:
    Code:
    service httpd restart
    4. try to load the page in a browser (from the same machine):
    Code:
    firefox http://localhost/test.html
    Edit: also, is server.silmanserver.com pointing to a public ip address, and you are behind a router? if so, you may have NAT/port-forwarding stuff to resolve, which is why starting with localhost instead of your public FQDN is a good idea. you can always sort out that later, it is a completely separate issue. if you are resolving server.silmanserver.com to a local ip address (like in /etc/hosts), then never mind about that.
    Last edited by atreyu; 06-05-2012 at 05:22 AM. Reason: DNS

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by atreyu View Post
    man, that is a lot of stuff to be installed from the get-go. that is probably a good guide, but the short-side to it is i think that not enough time is spent focusing on one thing and getting it done, in a way that teaches the user about the process.

    so have you tried to load the suggested link in a browser?

    https://server.silmanserver.com:8080

    note the https protocol at the beginning of the URL. that signifies Secure HTTP.

    if that doesn't work, try:

    Open Source and Linux Forums

    also, check the apache error log:

    /var/log/httpd/error_log

    honestly, i know nothing about ISPConfig, it always seemed a bit bloaty to me.


    copy the files to the document root of your web server. it is defined in the apache config file in a declarative DocumentRoot, and it typically:

    /var/www/html/

    The apache config file is typically at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf. if your webserver is being hosted by some provider, then you'll ftp/sftp the files there, once you've been given account information, or maybe use a browser upload tool provided by the web hosting service.

    do u already have a godaddy account? they should have given you that kind of info when you signed up. you should be able to sign in at their website and have access to that kind of configuration - it should be fairly obvious, but who knows, maybe it isn't...


    this is why i think stuff like ISPConfig and all that other stuff in the guide is overkill for what you want to do. all you need is apache, an editor (nedit, vim, etc.), and a browser.

    i think i gave you an example of how to write an example HTML file and put it on your server in that previous thread you mentioned. but if you can't dig that up, try:

    1. use your editor to create a file, call it:
    Code:
    /var/www/html/test.html
    2. in test.html, put:
    Code:
    <b>Hello!</b>
    3. make sure apache is started:
    Code:
    service httpd restart
    4. try to load the page in a browser (from the same machine):
    Code:
    firefox http://localhost/test.html
    Edit: also, is server.silmanserver.com pointing to a public ip address, and you are behind a router? if so, you may have NAT/port-forwarding stuff to resolve, which is why starting with localhost instead of your public FQDN is a good idea. you can always sort out that later, it is a completely separate issue. if you are resolving server.silmanserver.com to a local ip address (like in /etc/hosts), then never mind about that.
    That https thing worked! I can even access the control panel from a different computer!

    I am a bit confused when you talk about the root directory of the server and /var/www/http/


    How does the server know which page is the homepage of the website?

    I do have controls in GoDaddy to associate the domain name with a DNS Server but i don't know enough to configure it correctly (i really need like a manual or something, maybe a tutor that can teach me first hand what i'm doing with this server because so far i have just been following the guide and not knowing whats going on)

    Thanks for reposting that example! I am trying to make it so i can write code from my laptop and upload it (along with media such as pictures, etc.) to the server so i can remotely work with my webpage.

    I have no idea if server.silmanserver.com is pointing to a public IP address, i am such a noob with this that i have less than novice experience. what is FQDN? I am so confused.... I am sorry if i'm trying to ask you guys to teach me to be a web admin, but i feel like it shouldnt be this difficult to get a home server and simple webpage online.

    If this tutorial is too much i can restart from scratch but my ultimate goal is to make a fluid, dynamic website that can integrate code that i write for it (i know thats thinking long term but thats what i want to learn eventually).
    If you think ISPConfig is bloaty then what do you recommend? I know you said all i need is apache and a text editor but how do i turn that into a home server where i can edit webpages remotely?

    I am currently not behind a router but this weekend i will try to get behind one since the general consensus in my newbie thread was that it is preferable

    thanks for replying btw! You were so much help in my newbie thread, this is exactly why i posted here because of how supportive everyone is!.

  4. #4
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    The first thing is to tell the server that is called whatever your site is called. Assuming your site is called silman.dev, add an entry to your hosts file
    Code:
    ip-address silman.dev
    As you are only doing one site at the moment, you shouldn't need to modify the Apache configuration. When you start working with multiple sites, you will use virtual hosts. A Debian based introduction to how I approach it. The main differences with CentOS will be configuration file names and locations.

    You will need to add the name in the hosts file of any computer that you want to access your server from. Alternatively, you can set up a DNS server on your server and make sure that is the first DNS server used by the clients. It is probably simpler just to edit the host files.

    The default document is usually called index.html but you can add others by modifying the Apache configuration. If you have installed PHP, then I think it will automatically set up index.php as a default also.

    To upload your files, use scp which is secure copy and copies over ssh. You can use a GUI by opening your file manager on the client and going to the location ssh://server.name. On Windows, there is a piece of software called WinSCP.

    Yes, it is a good idea to be behind a router
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    I am a bit confused when you talk about the root directory of the server and /var/www/http/
    actually, i said /var/www/html, but that is just the default document root directory, on a non-virtual host. it is a good place to started testing. if you are doing your first example on your local server, and not pushing it to a webserver on goddaddy or something, then you can start using that directory. to know the directory for sure, you can do:

    Code:
    grep ^DocumentRoot /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
    How does the server know which page is the homepage of the website?
    like elija, said, by default it uses "index.html", but you can look for the DirectoryIndex declarative i the httpd.conf config file. You can also just explicitly load the page in the browser, e.g.:

    Code:
    http://localhost/test/foo.html
    that would look for this local file:

    Code:
    /var/www/html/test/foo.html
    I do have controls in GoDaddy to associate the domain name with a DNS Server but i don't know enough to configure it correctly (i really need like a manual or something, maybe a tutor that can teach me first hand what i'm doing with this server because so far i have just been following the guide and not knowing whats going on)
    as far as public ip address, you want to use the internet-facing ip address on your router. you can get it via a "what is my ip" google search, or try:
    Code:
    lynx -dump checkip.dyndns.org
    I have no idea if server.silmanserver.com is pointing to a public IP address, i am such a noob with this that i have less than novice experience.
    from your local server, do:
    Code:
    ping -c3 server.silmanserver.com
    nslookup server.silmanserver.com
    what is FQDN?
    Fully Qualified Domain Name. Sorry, i shouldn't have lobbed that one at you. I just meant that I think you should focus on using your local server only at first. i.e., edit HTML files on your local box, server them up via your local apache webserver, and view them via a browser on the same machine (or another one on the same local LAN).

    Once you get that mastered, uploading to godaddy, etc., will be a next step, and should not be too hard. hopefully, you will be able to push them via scp, etc. like elija said.

    I am so confused.... I am sorry if i'm trying to ask you guys to teach me to be a web admin, but i feel like it shouldnt be this difficult to get a home server and simple webpage online.
    don't worry, and it should not be too hard, and isn't. just stick with it, once you figure it out, you'll love how easy it really is.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    The first thing is to tell the server that is called whatever your site is called. Assuming your site is called silman.dev, add an entry to your hosts file
    Code:
    ip-address silman.dev
    As you are only doing one site at the moment, you shouldn't need to modify the Apache configuration. When you start working with multiple sites, you will use virtual hosts. A Debian based introduction to how I approach it. The main differences with CentOS will be configuration file names and locations.

    You will need to add the name in the hosts file of any computer that you want to access your server from. Alternatively, you can set up a DNS server on your server and make sure that is the first DNS server used by the clients. It is probably simpler just to edit the host files.

    The default document is usually called index.html but you can add others by modifying the Apache configuration. If you have installed PHP, then I think it will automatically set up index.php as a default also.

    To upload your files, use scp which is secure copy and copies over ssh. You can use a GUI by opening your file manager on the client and going to the location ssh://server.name. On Windows, there is a piece of software called WinSCP.

    Yes, it is a good idea to be behind a router
    Got it! The website domain name i bought from godaddy is: silmanserver.com so are you saying in the terminal of my Serverbox i should run
    Code:
    ip-address silmanserver.com
    ?

    What did you mean when you were talking about editing host files vs a DNS server for clients?

    I have WinSCP on my laptop (running windows) and i have used it for my Intro to programming and problem solving class at my University (Its just a class on C which is required for me major)

    I will get behind a router as soon as possible. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by atreyu View Post
    actually, i said /var/www/html, but that is just the default document root directory, on a non-virtual host. it is a good place to started testing. if you are doing your first example on your local server, and not pushing it to a webserver on goddaddy or something, then you can start using that directory. to know the directory for sure, you can do:

    Code:
    grep ^DocumentRoot /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

    like elija, said, by default it uses "index.html", but you can look for the DirectoryIndex declarative i the httpd.conf config file. You can also just explicitly load the page in the browser, e.g.:

    Code:
    http://localhost/test/foo.html
    that would look for this local file:

    Code:
    /var/www/html/test/foo.html
    as far as public ip address, you want to use the internet-facing ip address on your router. you can get it via a "what is my ip" google search, or try:
    Code:
    lynx -dump checkip.dyndns.org

    from your local server, do:
    Code:
    ping -c3 server.silmanserver.com
    nslookup server.silmanserver.com
    Fully Qualified Domain Name. Sorry, i shouldn't have lobbed that one at you. I just meant that I think you should focus on using your local server only at first. i.e., edit HTML files on your local box, server them up via your local apache webserver, and view them via a browser on the same machine (or another one on the same local LAN).

    Once you get that mastered, uploading to godaddy, etc., will be a next step, and should not be too hard. hopefully, you will be able to push them via scp, etc. like elija said.


    don't worry, and it should not be too hard, and isn't. just stick with it, once you figure it out, you'll love how easy it really is.
    You were correct about the defualt directory:

    Code:
    [Silman@server ~]$ grep ^DocumentRoot /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
    DocumentRoot "/var/www/html"
    i appear to not have lynx because i got this when looking for my internet facing ip

    Code:
    [Silman@server ~]$ lynx -dump checkip.dyndns.org
    bash: lynx: command not found
    Here is the ping results, they look good:

    Code:
    [Silman@server ~]$ ping -c3 server.silmanserver.com
    PING server.silmanserver.com (128.120.175.117) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from server.silmanserver.com (128.120.175.117): icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.033 ms
    64 bytes from server.silmanserver.com (128.120.175.117): icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.035 ms
    64 bytes from server.silmanserver.com (128.120.175.117): icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=0.032 ms
    
    --- server.silmanserver.com ping statistics ---
    3 packets transmitted, 3 received, 0% packet loss, time 1999ms
    rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.032/0.033/0.035/0.004 ms
    and here is the lookup results, i dont know how to interpret these"
    Code:
    [Silman@server ~]$ nslookup server.silmanserver.com
    Server:		169.237.250.250
    Address:	169.237.250.250#53
    
    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name:	server.silmanserver.com
    Address: 68.178.232.99
    Okay so im going to try to do some development straight from the box for now and see if i can access them on the box itself. It looks like that is what you guys are urging me to do and worry about remote control later.

    Please post more information to guide me to get this online though! I really need help.

  7. #7
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Let's head back to some basics to get you started.

    Firstly, you don't need a domain to develop a website. It will come in handy when you want other people to see it though. Given that you have a domain called silman.com let's call your development version silman.dev

    On your server run the following command
    Code:
    vim /etc/hosts
    and add a line to the IPV4 section which has the following
    Code:
    1.2.3.4 silman.dev
    where 1.2.3.4 is your server's IP Address. Once you have saved that file, your server will know that it is called silman.dev.

    Also on your server, edit the file /var/www/index.html and add the following to it, replacing any contents that are already there. If the file doesn't exist then you can create it
    Code:
    <html>
    	<head>
    		<title>Hello world!</title>
    	</head>
    	<body>
    		<h1>Hello world</h1>
    		<p>This is exciting</p>
    	</body>
    </html>
    On your client machine add the same information to the hosts file
    Code:
    1.2.3.4 silman.dev
    and visit silman.dev in your browser. Assuming you are on the same network, there are no firewall issues and selinux doesn't get in the way you should see the page.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    Let's head back to some basics to get you started.

    Firstly, you don't need a domain to develop a website. It will come in handy when you want other people to see it though. Given that you have a domain called silman.com let's call your development version silman.dev

    On your server run the following command
    Code:
    vim /etc/hosts
    and add a line to the IPV4 section which has the following
    Code:
    1.2.3.4 silman.dev
    where 1.2.3.4 is your server's IP Address. Once you have saved that file, your server will know that it is called silman.dev.

    Also on your server, edit the file /var/www/index.html and add the following to it, replacing any contents that are already there. If the file doesn't exist then you can create it
    Code:
    <html>
    	<head>
    		<title>Hello world!</title>
    	</head>
    	<body>
    		<h1>Hello world</h1>
    		<p>This is exciting</p>
    	</body>
    </html>
    On your client machine add the same information to the hosts file
    Code:
    1.2.3.4 silman.dev
    and visit silman.dev in your browser. Assuming you are on the same network, there are no firewall issues and selinux doesn't get in the way you should see the page.
    From the guide that i followed my hosts file is already edited a1nd has
    Code:
    128.120.175.117 server.silmanserver.com server
    but i added 128.120.175.117 silman.dev anyway so i can follow your guide, should i delete the other line? (server.silmanserver.com is the name of the computer itself as per the guide)

    I should also note that here is no IPv4 section or IPv6 section in hosts, its just a couple lines (i have IPv6 disabled so i think its in the proper place)

    I also wanted to ask you what you meant by "client machine"

    Thanks for the guide btw!!! i really appreciate this!

    EDIT: When i make index.html in /var/www/ and write that html code and save it I try going to silman.dev (it has been added to my hosts) but all that comes up is some "Apache 2 Test Page powered by CentOS" thing

  9. #9
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    but i added 128.120.175.117 silman.dev anyway so i can follow your guide, should i delete the other line? (server.silmanserver.com is the name of the computer itself as per the guide)
    That's fine. You can have many names for the same IP Address

    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    I should also note that here is no IPv4 section or IPv6 section in hosts, its just a couple lines (i have IPv6 disabled so i think its in the proper place)
    That's also fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    I also wanted to ask you what you meant by "client machine"
    The computer with the web browser on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silman View Post
    EDIT: When i make index.html in /var/www/ and write that html code and save it I try going to silman.dev (it has been added to my hosts) but all that comes up is some "Apache 2 Test Page powered by CentOS" thing
    We had this happen on a server at work but unfortunately I can't remember the solution at the moment.
    What do we want?
    Time machines!

    When do we want 'em?
    Doesn't really matter does it!?


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    The computer with the web browser on it.
    The CentOS box has a browser on in (Since i am using the desktop install untill i have a good grasp of whats going on), but my windows laptop also has a browser. Would they both be equally good clients?

    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    We had this happen on a server at work but unfortunately I can't remember the solution at the moment.
    I will google this problem when i get back from Lab in a couple hours, i can't see it being very difficult to troubleshoot. I will post back when i'm home.

    Thanks again for the help!

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