Apache Toolbox

The Apache Toolbox simplifies installation and configuration of the Apache web server and related modules.
Caveats

Because the Apache Toolbox uses the latest versions of Apache, PHP, etc., it is important to have a fairly recent Linux distribution. The first machine I attempted to use the Apache Toolbox on was an older one running SuSE 6.1 and the installwatch library and PHP wouldn't compile on it. I moved to a machine running Red Hat 6.2, and everything compiled without incident.

I had originally downloaded the large Apache Toolbox tarball complete with source code. When a newer version came out I just downloaded the small Apache Toolbox file and put the newer install.sh script in my existing www-src directory. Even though the newer script was supposed to use an updated version of PHP, it kept using the one installed by the older Apache Toolbox. Once I deleted the configuration file (config.cache) created by the earlier version of the Apache Toolbox the newer version of PHP was used.

While the Apache Toolbox automates the configure, compile and install process, you might have to do a few things by hand. Examples of this include modifying your configuration files to start Apache or changing the default MySQL password.

The Apache Toolbox menu and description pages are a few lines longer than what fits on a normal display, so you might have to scroll a bit to read everything. I also noticed that descriptions for some of the modules, such as mod_auth_radius and mod_auth_POP3, were missing from the descriptions page.

Conclusion

The Apache Toolbox automates the process of obtaining and compiling Apache and Apache modules. It verifies that your system has the prerequisites for running modules and warns about installed RPMs that conflict with the software that it is installing. Its simple menu interface makes it easy to configure Apache to use a wide variety of modules in different combinations. While it doesn't automate the entire process, it does take care of the most tedious tasks.

Resources

Ralph Krause lives in Algonac, Michigan and has been using Linux for several years. He works as a writer and a web-master and can be reached at rkrause@netperson.net.

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