OSX 10.5 Server oddities

So after pulling out my (non-existent) hair for the past two days I think I’ve finally figured out how Apple deals with Virtual Web Servers under Leopard. If you go to the Server Admin and look under the Web Service you’ll notice the Sites icon and if you’re like me you assume that since Apple obviously has gone to great lengths to design a unified interface for Admins, that they would give you access to all the basic/intermediate options. NOPE!!!!! Read on and see if you’ve run into any of these problems.

1) First of all, I don’t understand why apple’s webserver (apache) is configured to automagically reroute you to http://www.mysite.com/groups/workgroup when you really just want to get to the index.html in the (so called) document root. Apple assumes that when you type http://www.mysite.com that you really want to go to http://www.mysite.com/groups/workgroup. That is plain dumb. And to make it worst there is no place in the interface to disable (or modify) this. So get out your terminals, we’re gonna do some surgery:

  • Go to /etc/apache2/sites folder and find the appropriate .conf file for your main site. If you only have one site configured, it will most likely be “0000_any_80_.conf” or something similar.
  • Edit the file using your favourite editor (make sure you sudo, so you can modify the file).
  • look for this line toward the end of the file:RedirectMatch temp ^/$ "/groups/workgroup/"
  • Comment the line if you want to get back to regular apache behaviour (ie: no redirect), or modify the part in quotes to Redirect you to the groups page for example.
  • Save the file and restart apache from server manager….DONE!!!!!

2) And while we are on the subject of obscurity, If you want to have multiple virtual hosts with their own blogs/wikis hosted under their individual virtual hostnames, Apple strikes again by hiding the options and only enabling the workgroup services under the “main” webserver address. Here is how you fix that:

  • Make sure your Virtual hosts are working (ie: sitea.domain.com and siteb.domain.com go to two different webpages on the same server). You’ll notice that if you have multiple groups (a and b) then you can not have groupa’s wiki under sitea.domain.com and groupb’s wiki under siteb.domain.com. By default (until you go and manually do the next step described below), all wiki/blog/calendar stuff pretaining to groups is available on the default site (sitea.domain.com in this case).
  • So stop web services from Server Admin
  • Bring up Directory utility and click on groups and choose your specific group (groupb in our case).
  • If you now click the edit button, you’ll notice a server pull down shows up. That’s the secret. Set the server to serverb.domain.com, save, close directory tool and restart the web services and you’ll now have individual group services under different virtual host addresses.

Hope this helps…..The above 2 problems are discussed (not in great detail) under the following two Apple Support Discussions:

1) Always goes to the wiki page
2) Wiki – No group with that name hosted on this server?

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2 responses to “OSX 10.5 Server oddities”

  1. This redirect issue was exactly what I needed to know about, thanks!

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