Apache user support in Tiger

Last time we showed you how to install Apache 2.2 on OS X Tiger. This time we will show you how to add user directory support to it.

Assuming you installed Apache to /usr/local/apache2 then you need to look at a file called httpd-userdir.conf in /usr/local/apache2/conf/extra. This is the file that tells Apache where there user’s directory is and what directory inside it is the public_html one. Open this file up in a text editor of your choice. There are only two lines you need to edit.

UserDir public_html
<Directory "/home/*/public_html">

This is the default config for Apache but this is designed for linux systems. To make this work on OS X you need to change these lines to the below.

UserDir Sites
<Directory "/Users/*/Sites">

You will notice that public_html has been changed to Sites. If you look in your home directory this folder will be here. We also changed /home to /Users because this is what OS X uses for the user’s directories.

The last thing you need to do is to enable the user directory support in the main httpd.conf file. It will be in /usr/local/apache2/conf. Look for the below line and simply remove the # (hash) symbol from the beginning.

#Include conf/extra/httpd-userdir.conf

Now just save the file and go into system preferences, select sharing then stop and start “Personal Web Sharing”. Now enjoy your user directory support for Apache 2.2 in OS X Tiger.

All comments and questions are welcome. I’m always looking to improve my writing.

User directory suppport on OS X
User directory suppport on OS X

Cats v3

I have been working on a new website for my uncle and aunty. They breed cats and dogs so they use the website do display information about their animals and what kitties and pups they have for sale. Their current website was made in 2005 and the last back end update was in 2006. Since then I have learnt so much more about websites and my code has become much more refined. The new site that is still in development features a small amount of CSS3 and an easy to update layout with all the pages being stored in a sub directory. I am also working on a method to have the English and French site rolled into one where PHP works out if it should serve the end user English or French content.

Mac binary stripping guide

Hey all. Mac users will know that a lot of new apples come with both i383 and ppc executable. If you’d like to save space you can strip one of them from the program. Here is how I did it to Safari 3.1:

First you open up Terminal.app under Utilities in the Applications directory.

Last login: Sun Mar 23 22:04:19 on ttyp1
Welcome to Darwin!
$ cd /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/MacOS/
$ ls
$ file Safari
Safari: Mach-O universal binary with 2 architectures
Safari (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
Safari (for architecture ppc): Mach-O executable ppc
$ lipo -remove i386 Safari -output Safari
$ file Safari
Safari: Mach-O universal binary with 1 architecture
Safari (for architecture ppc): Mach-O executable ppc

For Intel users:
$ lipo -remove ppc Safari -output Safari

The first two commands move you into the Safari.app binary and show you the contents of the folder. The file command shows you that the binary is a fat binary, IE it contains two arches.

Now lipo is the key to all of this. This is a command line tool that creates or operates on a universal files.

The binary you want to edit is located in Contents/MacOS inside the .app file. It is normally the only file in there.

Backup the .app file before you begin just incase you make a mistake.
In firefox it’s called firefox-bin.
Tab-complete is your friend Continue reading “Mac binary stripping guide”

RAID and extra storage

Something I have been thinking of doing for a while was to upgrade the server’s hard drive storage. At the moment it has a 200GB hard drive that is about 80% full. As I have a linux shop and the server is sometimes used as a backup for other computers on the network I have decided to by a 500GB hard drive. To make the new upgrades to the server future proof so that when the time comes to upgrade to a new server I will be able to use some of the parts from the old, I have bought a SATA hard drive. Due to the server not having any SATA ports on the motherboard, or for that matter most other I/O ports, I have bought an Adaptec SATA RAID card to go in the server. This will allow me to add 2 SATA hard drives to the server and these should preform just as fast, if not faster than the current IDE hard drive.

This will mean that at some point, probably next week, the server will be down while I upgrade the kernel and install the new SATA controller and hard drive.

Cosmo version 9 – CSS

After I started to make the new version of the site I designed to give up on the new design as I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted. As the current site already has a simple but nice design I designed to stick with that. I have remade the site based on that layout from scratch and it has taken be about 3 hours to do all of the CSS. I have no doubt that once I start to add content and test it in other browsers there will be more work to be done on the CSS but for now I am happy with the outcome.

As the code is made from scratch instead of being copy and pasted it allows me to make it much cleaner and remove any patchy parts where changes had been made in the past. I have also changed the way the the elements of the site are positioned on the page by not using position: absolute apart from on two parts where it is the only possible way to get the style wanted without it being fixed to a bad position on the page. A new logo has been made which is basically me writing “Cosmo” on a tablet. The entire site as it stands at the moment is 100% code with any graphics being SVG files. The XHTML needs to be validated but for now I will work on the back end of the site which I hope will be based on Ruby on Rails but if I am unable to do that I will fall back on PHP.

Cosmo version 9

This is the latest version of my personal website. They normally last as long as the server or until I make any major change to the style or running. The new version will include smooth new SVG graphics and will hopefully be powered by Ruby or at the very least cleaner PHP. As with every website I make it is better than the last in some way as I work hard on improving my skills and knowledge base whilst working on new sites. I have been working a lot with Ruby on Rails recently and I would like the website to run on that. This will require a learning curve as I’ve not made a site using RoR before. I will also need to get Apache HTTPd to server ruby files. I will also have a change log with the site.

Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo P

This computer belongs to my best friend and he managed to accidentally uninstall the sound driver. This would have been a simple problem to fix but he has installed another sound driver for a audio sound card that he does not have. This has caused them to conflict at boot and make the computer blue screen. I did manage to get the computer to boot into normal mode without disabling the sound card in the BIOS by looking in the driver’s directory and removing all the sound drivers that I could find. The biggest problem I am having now is trying to do a repair install of Windows XP Home SP2 as the drivers are still causing a blue screen crash. I have Disabled the sound card again until I can get windows to boot normally again. He has a spare computer that had a PCI sound card in so I could take that out of it and install it into his PC.

Linux Computers in the UK

I have been looking at the idea of selling Linux Computers and the best idea I have had is to build them myself. I’d like to know if there is a demand for Linux Computers before I start to build them. To do this I want people who are interested in Linux computers to leave a comment at the bottom of either this post of the orginal post here. You can also email me on shop [at] bluesquarelinux.co.uk

An idea of the spec I have been looking at. This is just a plan spec, it is not finial in any way.
CPU: Athlon 64 LE-1600 (64 bit)
HDD: 160GB Seagate SATAII
RAM: 1GB DDR2 (1x1024MB)
Drive: LG DVD-RW
OS: Linux 64bit

Toshiba Portégé 3480CT

This is a tiny notebook that I am working on now for the second time. It has had the same problem with spyware and viri and I think that the cause of this is that I did not register the Anti-Virus software. I installed it and left it on the 90 day demo mode so that she could register it herself. The biggest problem I have been facing with this laptop is that I do not know the password for it so I am having to log in as the Administrator. The second problem is the lack of anything useful to me such as optical drive, floppy drive, ethernet or the ability to boot from USB devices like my zip drive. Currently it is doing a boot scan for spyware using Spybot and to give you an idea of this systems performance, the “Time Remaining” counter is counting upwards. My overall plan for this laptop is to make sure the anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software is up to date, scan the computer and defragment it. This should make the computer faster as well as making it much saver to use on the internet. I am also now temped to install firefox on it.

OS chooser

I want to make a little web app to help users of my linux shop choose the right OS for them. The idea of this app is that they select the processor that they have and it then displays the available OSes for that processor architecture. The problem I am facing is that it has been a while since I’ve coded in PHP, Perl or anything other than CSS. I’ve ideally like to make this app in AJAX as this will instantly work without having to reload the page or sent them to another page to display the information they need. Another idea I have just had, literary now as I am writing this, is to have the shop sorted into distros like it is now but also allow them to display the OSes by architecture aswell. Both will require some planning.