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  #1  
Old 25th March 2007, 15:05
hairshirt hairshirt is offline
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Thumbs down In search of the perfect howto

Gentlemen,

Please allow me first to spend a little time in venting my spleen. I am sick to the back teeth with all these howto’s not only here but throughout 90% of the Linux and Unix internet world on how to do this and how to do that.

I’m sick to the back teeth on following these howto’s (to the letter) religiously and them just not working. It’s a waste of time sometimes peasing about with some of these howto’s as they're not kept up to date. I’m really (really) interested in this open source thing (movement) and love linux/unix and have no trouble using it. But how the heck is one to learn more when what should be solutions to simple configs are so difficult to obtain information on resolving a situation where a “howto” does not work correctly. The internet is festooned with these, so called, howto’s. I come from a school of thought that says it’s better to be shown how to do something (correctly and with the exercise working correctly), learn from that and THEN after it’s up and running, learn how to tweak, improve and solve problems. Not spend a great deal of time trying to correct the mistakes in the “howto” in the first place. That’s not proactive – it’s fire fighting and you learn little or nothing.

An example: I’ve been trying to install a Debuntu 6.06 web server with ispconfig for bluddy months now and it’s driving me bonkers.

My attitude is thus: If someone tells me that I can do something (and learn something) from following a simple cut and paste exercise (such as create a web server with Debuntu 6.06 together with ispconfig) I simply expect it to work. If it does not (but it should) work then I expect to be able to look in the forums for further advice. Not trawl though piles of detritus. There is simply no excuses from a web site professing to offer this advice and there are no excuses for not keeping it up-to-date. If these “howto’s” are not up to the job, then dump them. Example – “howto” install Debuntu Server with DTC control panel should be called how to copy someone else’s bad work, make it worse and then waste a great deal of some poor, unsuspecting sod's time. Do you actually test these “howto’s” yourself before placing them within your web site or do you just plonk them on your site anyway in your guile for content regardless of it’s quality or accuracy.

Now on to my problem:

My system: An old PIII, 700anodd MB RAM, on and network and connected to the internet… 2 NIC’s.

Installed Debuntu 6.06 – basic install and then followed the instructions on the perfect Debuntu Server 6.06 with a view the later installing ispconfig. ispconfig is installed and, from what I can tell (which I can't really) working.

server1.knightsofni.dyndns.org


1.
During install I got this(or this similar):

mysqladmin: connect to server at 'server1.knightofni.dyndns.org' failed
error: 'Unknown MySQL server host 'server1.knightofni.dyndns.org ' (1)'
Check that mysqld is running on server1.knightofni.dyndns.org and that the port is 3306.
You can check this by doing 'telnet server1.knightofni.dyndns.org 3306'

Why? (This was retried after the install of ispconfig.)


2.
Why can I not access any one of my three dyndns domains from the internet using the prefix www.? I can only access them without the www. Prefix.


3.
And the most annoying. Why am I receiving this error in Webmin when I attempt to go the Servers > proftpd ?

The ProFTPD config file /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf does not exist or is not valid. Maybe your module configuration is incorrect.


4.
And lastly, why can I not upload via FTP (cant even log in) using Ipswitch WS_Ftp?

I do hope that someone sensible can help me out here.

Thank you in advance and in anticipation.

Last edited by hairshirt; 25th March 2007 at 17:44.
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  #2  
Old 25th March 2007, 17:36
falko falko is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
Gentlemen,

Please allow me first to spend a little time in venting my spleen. I am sick to the back teeth with all these howto’s not only here but throughout 90% of the Linux and Unix internet world on how to do this and how to do that.

I’m sick to the back teeth on following these howto’s (to the letter) religiously and them just not working. It’s a waste of time sometimes peasing about with some of these howto’s as there are not kept up to date. I’m really (really) interested in this open source thing (movement) and love linux/unix and have no trouble using it. But how the heck is one to learn more when what should be solutions to simple configs are so difficult to obtain information on resolving a situation where a “howto” does not work correctly. The internet is festooned with these, so called, howto’s. I come from a school of thought that says it’s better to be shown how to do something (correctly and with the exercise working correctly), learn from that and THEN after it’s up and running, learn how to tweak, improve and solve problems. Not spend a great deal of time trying to correct the mistakes in the “howto” in the first place. That’s not proactive – it’s fire fighting and you learn little or nothing.
I can assure you that I double-test each tutorial written by myself before I publish it. I know that each tutorial that I wrote works for me, so I assume they should work for everyone else. The same goes for tutorials written by Till.
Unfortunately the software world is so complex that even little changes in your setup can cause big problems. But you can't blame that on our tutorials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
An example: I’ve been trying to install a Debuntu 6.06 web server with ispconfig for bluddy months now and it’s driving me bonkers.
Why didn't you simply ask here in the forum instead of wasting a few month's time? I'm sorry, but this is not very smart...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
If it does not (but it should) work then I expect to be able to look in the forums for further advise.
You can't expect people to have the same problems than you and simply look them up in the forum. If you don't find threads dealing with your problem, YOU should get active and post here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
There is simply no excuses from a web site professing to offer this advise and there are no excuses for not keeping it up-to-date.
This web site is kept up-to-date. It has become a full-time job for Till and me (even on weekends).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
Do you actually test these “how-to’s” yourself before placing them within your web site or do you just plonk them on your site anyway in your guile for content regardless of it’s quality or accuracy.
This is simply not possible. As I said above: I double-test my own tutorials, but not other one's tutorials. My day only has 24 hours (like yours, I assume). I fly over the tutorials to see if they make sense, but I can't test them all (if I'd do, I couldn't write my own tutorials anymore, help in the forum, etc.).

But if you have some spare time and like to help us, then PM me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
1.
During install I got this(or this similar):

mysqladmin: connect to server at 'server1.knightofni.dyndns.org' failed
error: 'Unknown MySQL server host 'server1.knightofni.dyndns.org ' (1)'
Check that mysqld is running on server1.knightofni.dyndns.org and that the port is 3306.
You can check this by doing 'telnet server1.knightofni.dyndns.org 3306'

Why? (This was retried after the install of ispconfig.)
There must be a different hostname in the Host field of the mysql.user table. Try to find it out and replace it with server1.knightofni.dyndns.org and restart MySQL. Afterwards, the command will work (btw, this problem is covered here in the forum).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
2.
Why can I not access any one of my three dyndns domains from the internet using the prefix www.? I can only access them without the www. Prefix.
Because (technically spoken) www.example.com is totally different and independent from example.com. You can have different content on example.com and www.example.com. Only because you're used to use www, this doesn't mean it works by default. You must register the www domain at dyndns.org, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
3.
And the most annoying. Why am I receiving this error in Webmin when I attempt to go the Servers > proftpd ?

The ProFTPD config file /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf does not exist or is not valid. Maybe your module configuration is incorrect.
What's the output of
Code:
ls -la /etc/proftpd.conf
and
Code:
ls -la /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf
?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
4.
And lastly, why can I not upload via FTP (cant even log in) using Ipswitch WS_Ftp?
What's the output of
Code:
netstat -tap
?

I hope you're not one of those guys that expect help without giving back to the community (because that's the feeling I get from your statements...).
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  #3  
Old 25th March 2007, 18:20
hairshirt hairshirt is offline
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Default

Falko, may I firstly thank you for your reply. I’m very grateful.

I’m not going to get involved in a load of tit-for-tat nonsense. I’m grateful for your offer of help and that’s that.

I will say that your site does offer some of the best “howto’s” out there. But, again, I say that I have followed some of the howto’s many times and to the letter with little or no success. I don’t expect to keep posting for help on a forum. What puzzles me is that I can setup a server for a single site as well as setup a server for virtual sites and deal with the peculiarities of Debuntu over Fedora Core and have it up and working fine.

There is nothing special about my hardware. It’s a bogg standard PIII with enough ram. What on earth could I be doing wrong following a completely new install, following the instructions on your site and then for it not to work. Please explain what you think that I may be doing wrong.

I have changed nothing from what you have outlined apart from the domain.

All four domains, including the one I’m using for the server are registered at dyndns. I’m simply adding the prefix for the server of : server1.(and then the domain obtained from dyndns.) I have also tried server1.monty.local.

Here is the information you asked for:

root@server1:/home/mark# ls -la /etc/proftpd.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2936 2007-03-25 11:50 /etc/proftpd.conf


root@server1:/home/mark# ls -la /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf
ls: /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf: No such file or directory


root@server1:/home/mark# netstat -tap
Active Internet connections (servers and established)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name
tcp 0 0 *:mysql *:* LISTEN 3859/mysqld
tcp 0 0 *:10000 *:* LISTEN 4463/perl
tcp 0 0 *:81 *:* LISTEN 4193/ispconfig_http
tcp 0 0 *:ftp *:* LISTEN 4445/proftpd: (acce
tcp 0 0 server1.knightso:domain *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp 0 0 localhost.locald:domain *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp 0 0 localhost.localdoma:953 *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp 0 0 *:smtp *:* LISTEN 4386/master
tcp6 0 0 *:imaps *:* LISTEN 3720/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *op3s *:* LISTEN 3755/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *op3 *:* LISTEN 3735/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *:imap2 *:* LISTEN 3700/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *:www *:* LISTEN 4294/apache2
tcp6 0 0 *:ssh *:* LISTEN 4031/sshd
tcp6 0 0 ip6-localhost:953 *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp6 0 0 *:smtp *:* LISTEN 4386/master
tcp6 0 0 *:https *:* LISTEN 4294/apache2
tcp6 0 296 server1.knightsofni:ssh ::ffff:192.168.1.1:3207 ESTABLISHED5456/sshd: mark [pr

Regarding your comment about supporting this forum… I help support a few of the forums that are scattered around. And when I have the time, I may start helping in supporting this forum.

I run my own rack with one FreeBSD, two Debuntu 6.06 and two Windows Web Servers on a 100mb pipe. This is a home development plaything server and it’s proving a nightmare.

I put in to something what I get out of something. All I'm getting at present is agro…

If I have to start from scratch, I will. Just show me the way.
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  #4  
Old 25th March 2007, 19:01
Hans Hans is offline
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Default Another reaction

The people who create and post these Howto's (including myself) have good intentions and want to share their experience with others.
My own howto's are tested before i publish them, but if it happens that i make a mistake, i would like to have some feedback within the forums.
Doing so, we can create things better!

If you have problems with one of the Howto's published on Howtoforge, i do recommend to post your questions within the "HOWTO-Related Questions" section within the Forums.
Become an active member and you'll discover how much you can teach!
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  #5  
Old 25th March 2007, 19:05
hairshirt hairshirt is offline
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Yes, alright, thank you Hans.
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  #6  
Old 26th March 2007, 16:50
falko falko is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
Here is the information you asked for:

root@server1:/home/mark# ls -la /etc/proftpd.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2936 2007-03-25 11:50 /etc/proftpd.conf


root@server1:/home/mark# ls -la /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf
ls: /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf: No such file or directory
Webmin seems to look in the wrong place for proftpd.conf. Try this to get around it:
Code:
mkdir /etc/proftpd
ln -s /etc/proftpd.conf /etc/proftpd/proftpd.conf
Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
root@server1:/home/mark# netstat -tap
Active Internet connections (servers and established)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name
tcp 0 0 *:mysql *:* LISTEN 3859/mysqld
tcp 0 0 *:10000 *:* LISTEN 4463/perl
tcp 0 0 *:81 *:* LISTEN 4193/ispconfig_http
tcp 0 0 *:ftp *:* LISTEN 4445/proftpd: (acce
tcp 0 0 server1.knightso:domain *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp 0 0 localhost.locald:domain *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp 0 0 localhost.localdoma:953 *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp 0 0 *:smtp *:* LISTEN 4386/master
tcp6 0 0 *:imaps *:* LISTEN 3720/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *op3s *:* LISTEN 3755/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *op3 *:* LISTEN 3735/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *:imap2 *:* LISTEN 3700/couriertcpd
tcp6 0 0 *:www *:* LISTEN 4294/apache2
tcp6 0 0 *:ssh *:* LISTEN 4031/sshd
tcp6 0 0 ip6-localhost:953 *:* LISTEN 4428/named
tcp6 0 0 *:smtp *:* LISTEN 4386/master
tcp6 0 0 *:https *:* LISTEN 4294/apache2
tcp6 0 296 server1.knightsofni:ssh ::ffff:192.168.1.1:3207 ESTABLISHED5456/sshd: mark [pr
Proftpd is listening. I tried to connect and got
Quote:
! Can't get "server1.knightofni.dyndns.org" host entry
! Connection to server1.knightofni.dyndns.org failed
And there's really no DNS record for server1.knightofni.dyndns.org:
Code:
mh1:~# dig server1.knightofni.dyndns.org

; <<>> DiG 9.2.1 <<>> server1.knightofni.dyndns.org
;; global options:  printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NXDOMAIN, id: 17481
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;server1.knightofni.dyndns.org. IN      A

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
dyndns.org.             600     IN      SOA     ns1.dyndns.org. hostmaster.dyndns.org. 3436296670 600 300 604800 600

;; Query time: 63 msec
;; SERVER: 213.191.92.84#53(213.191.92.84)
;; WHEN: Mon Mar 26 16:46:21 2007
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 98
Either you create server1.knightofni.dyndns.org, or change the hostname of your server. A temporary workaround is to add server1.knightofni.dyndns.org to /etc/hosts.
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  #7  
Old 26th March 2007, 17:40
hairshirt hairshirt is offline
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Falko, thank you for your efforts.

I've dumped the whole lot, never to return to this particular episode.

I've installed (to your credit) sme server and will use that as my developement, web server plaything.

No hard feelings.

Mark
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  #8  
Old 26th March 2007, 18:32
falko falko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
No hard feelings.
Neither from my side.
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  #9  
Old 6th April 2007, 00:23
wyzzkid wyzzkid is offline
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Default my two cents worth

well, I am gonna throw in my 2¢ worth, if no one minds too much...

I spend a tremendous amount of time reading and trying to learn much myself while also holding down a full time and 2 part time jobs,,such is life. Believe me, when I say that I know the frustrtation of things not working, etc, and I also try vigorously to solve before I ask ,,, 'nuff said.

How many times, I have seen things work on one machine and not the next, I have long since lost count. Surely no one expects a how-to to work on every combination of hardware,,,or do they? (Not to mention, every bit of software is in a constant state of flux.) I think it is great that there are dedicated people, spending their time to help out others that are struggling; so I think, if one wants better responses, it is usually better IMHO to start off with thanks, rather than venting, before asking for help. You will find it more rewarding in the short run, and in the end. Of course, when venting, it often is better to offer a solution, or at least a suggestion, rather than an insult ,,, but that might just be me venting,,, I mean, venting doesnt really produce any benefit, and often harm, and then there are all the apologies that go with it...

I mean, it is just a suggestion, and perhaps this doesnt belong here in this forum (but I posted it anyway), but I think people should be thanked for their hard work, and asked for things politely,,, but hey, that's just me
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  #10  
Old 7th April 2007, 10:47
cheros
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Default Post your problem early ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by hairshirt
Gentlemen,

Please allow me first to spend a little time in venting my spleen. I am sick to the back teeth with all these howto’s not only here but throughout 90% of the Linux and Unix internet world on how to do this and how to do that.
Well, in over 25 years of computing I have not come across a better set of tutorials than these aptly named 'Perfect' guides so I'm sorry, it's only going to get worse..

However, rule 1 if you have a problem is to fire a quick message in the relevant forum, explaining the problem in as much detail as you can get your hands on. A copy of the command line and the result, for instance, works wonders.

The guys who write this wonderful stuff NEED you to ask those questions, because you may have unearthed a problem they didn't even know about. Your question will allow them to (a) help you specifically and (b) improve the guide so the question won't appear again. Simple efficiency.

Oh, and rule 2 is accepting that they're human too, only robots are infallible - until their batteries run out :-)

/// P ///
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