Install AOLserver 3.3oacs1


by Vinod Kurup


We recommend the use of AOLserver 4.0.1 or later. These instructions are retained as a resource.

Debian users: we do not recommend installing Debian packages for Aolserver or Postgres. Several people have reported problems while trying to install using apt-get instead of from source. If you have the time to debug these and submit what you did, that's great, but if not, you should stick to installing from source.

  1. Unpack the Aolserver tarball.  Download the aolserver tarball and unpack it.

    [root root]# cd /usr/local/src
    [root src]# wget --passive
               => `aolserver3.3oacs1.tar.gz'
    Resolving done.
    Connecting to[]:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 3,858,074 [application/x-compressed]
    100%[====================================>] 3,858,074     66.56K/s    ETA 00:00
    15:39:05 (66.56 KB/s) - `aolserver3.3oacs1.tar.gz' saved [3858074/3858074]
    [root src]# tar xzf aolserver3.3oacs1.tar.gz
    [root src]#
    cd /usr/local/src
    wget --passive
    tar xzf aolserver3.3oacs1.tar.gz

    This section also relies on some OpenACS files, which you can get with the section called Unpack the OpenACS tarball.

  2. Compile AOLserver.  Compile and install AOLserver. First, prepare the installation directory and the source code. The message about BUILD-MODULES can be ignored.

    root@yourserver root]# mkdir -p /usr/local/aolserver
    [root root]# cd /usr/local/src/aolserver
    [root aolserver]# ./conf-clean
    cat: BUILD-MODULES: No such file or directory
    [root aolserver]#mkdir -p /usr/local/aolserver
    cd /usr/local/src/aolserver

    If you are using Oracle, edit conf-db and change postgresql to oracle, or to the word both if you want both drivers installed. In order to get nsoracle to compile, you may need to su - oracle, and then su (without the -) root to set the environment variables properly.

    conf-inst should contain the location where AOLserver is to be installed. Overwrite the tarball's default value with our default value, /usr/local/aolserver:

    [root aolserver]# echo "/usr/local/aolserver" > conf-inst
    [root aolserver]#

    conf-make should contain the name of the GNU Make command on your system. It defaults to gmake. Debian users: ln -s /usr/bin/make /usr/bin/gmake.

    Set an environment variable that the nspostgres driver Makefile needs to compile correctly and run conf, which compiles AOLserver, the default modules, and the database driver, and installs them.

    Debian users, see warning above, but if you do use apt-get for AOLserver 3.3+ad13 and postgresql from apt-get may need to make these symlinks: ln -s /usr/include/postgresql/ /usr/include/pgsql and ln -s /usr/lib/postgresql /usr/local/pgsql)

    [root aolserver]# export POSTGRES=/usr/local/pgsql; ./conf
    Building in /usr/local/aolserver
    with the following modules:
    Starting Build Sat Mar  8 10:28:26 PST 2003
    Running gmake in aolserver/; output in log/aolserver.log
    (several minute delay here)
    Running gmake in nscache/; output in log/nscache.log
    Running gmake in nsrewrite/; output in log/nsrewrite.log
    Running gmake in nssha1/; output in log/nssha1.log
    Running gmake in nsxml/; output in log/nsxml.log
    Running gmake in nspostgres/; output in log/nspostgres.log
    Creating  ...
    Done Building Sat Mar  8 10:31:35 PST 2003
    [root aolserver]# 

    This takes about 5 minutes. It builds aolserver, several modules, and the database driver. (Upgraders, note that the postgres database driver has changed from to All of the results are logged to files in /usr/local/src/aolserver/log. If you run into problems running AOLserver, check these files for build errors.

  3. Add a database-specific wrapper script.  This script sets database environment variables before starting AOLserver; this allows the AOLserver instance can communicate with the database. There is one script each for Oracle and PostgreSQL. They don't conflict, so if you plan to use both databases, install both.

    • Oracle

      [root aolserver]# cd /usr/local/aolserver/bin
      [root bin]# cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.9.0/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/nsd-oracle.txt ./nsd-oracle
      [root bin]# chmod 750 nsd-oracle
      [root bin]#
      cd /usr/local/aolserver/bin
      cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.9.0/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/nsd-oracle.txt ./nsd-oracle
      chmod 750 nsd-oracle
    • PostgreSQL

      [root aolserver]# cd /usr/local/aolserver/bin
      [root bin]# cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.9.0/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/nsd-postgres.txt ./nsd-postgres
      [root bin]# chmod 755 nsd-postgres
      [root bin]#
      cd /usr/local/aolserver/bin
      cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.9.0/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/nsd-postgres.txt ./nsd-postgres
      chmod 755 nsd-postgres
  4. Install tDOM.  Download the tDOM tarball, unpack it, adjust the configuration file to match our patched distribution of aolserver, and compile it.

    [root root]# cd /usr/local/src
    [root src]# wget --passive
               => `tDOM-0.7.8.tar.gz'
    Resolving done.
    Connecting to[]:80... connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
    Length: 826,613 [application/x-compressed]
    100%[====================================>] 826,613      138.06K/s    ETA 00:00
    16:41:04 (138.06 KB/s) - `tDOM-0.7.8.tar.gz' saved [826613/826613]
    [root src]# tar xzf tDOM-0.7.8.tar.gz
    [root src]# cd tDOM-0.7.8/unix
    [root unix]#
    cd /usr/local/src
    wget --passive
    tar xzf tDOM-0.7.8.tar.gz
    cd tDOM-0.7.8/unix 

    Edit the file CONFIG and change this section:

    # ----------------------------------------------------
    # aolsrc="/usr/src/aolserver-3.4"
    # ../configure --enable-threads --disable-tdomalloc \
    #   --with-aolserver=$aolsrc \
    #   --with-tcl=$aolsrc/tcl8.3.4/unix 


    # ----------------------------------------------------
    ../configure --enable-threads --disable-tdomalloc \
      --with-aolserver=$aolsrc \

    And configure and compile:

    [root unix]# sh CONFIG
    creating cache ./config.cache
    checking for memmove... yes
      (many lines omitted)
    creating Makefile
    [root unix]# make
      (many lines omitted)
              -Wl,-rpath,/usr/local/lib -o tcldomsh;\
    [root unix]# cp /usr/local/aolserver/bin/
    [root unix]# cd /usr/local/aolserver/bin/
    [root bin]# ln -s
    [root bin]#
    sh CONFIG
    cp /usr/local/aolserver/bin/
    cd /usr/local/aolserver/bin
    ln -s
  5. Install nsopenssl (OPTIONAL)

  6. Install Full Text Search with OpenFTS (OPTIONAL)

  7. Install nspam (OPTIONAL)

  8. Test AOLserver.  In order to test AOLserver, we'll run it using the sample-config.tcl file provided in the AOLserver distribution, under the nobody user and web group. The sample-config.tcl configuration writes to the default log locations, so we need to give it permission to do so or it will fail. Grant the web group permission to write to /usr/local/aolserver/log and /usr/local/aolserver/servers.

    [root root]# cd /usr/local/aolserver
    [root aolserver]# chown -R root.web log servers
    [root aolserver]# chmod -R g+w log servers
    [root aolserver]# ls -l
    total 32
    drwxr-sr-x    2 root     root         4096 Mar  8 12:57 bin
    drwxr-xr-x    3 root     root         4096 Mar  8 10:34 include
    drwxr-sr-x    3 root     root         4096 Mar  8 10:34 lib
    drwxrwsr-x    2 root     web          4096 Mar  8 10:31 log
    drwxr-sr-x    3 root     root         4096 Mar  8 10:31 modules
    -rw-r--r--    1 root     root         7320 Mar 31  2001 sample-config.tcl
    drwxrwsr-x    3 root     web          4096 Mar  8 10:31 servers
    [root aolserver]#
    cd /usr/local/aolserver
    chown -R root.web log servers
    chmod -R g+w log servers
    ls -l

    Note: AOLserver4.x does not include a default start page, so we create one for this test. Type echo "Welcome to AOLserver" > /usr/local/aolserver40r8/servers/server1/pages/index.html

    Now, we'll run a quick test to ensure AOLserver is running correctly. We'll use the sample config file provided with AOLserver. This file will attempt to guess your IP address and hostname. It will then start up the server at port 8000 of that IP address.

    [root aolserver]# ./bin/nsd -t sample-config.tcl -u nobody -g web
    [root aolserver]# [08/Mar/2003:15:07:18][31175.8192][-main-] Notice: config.tcl: starting to read config file...
    [08/Mar/2003:15:07:18][31175.8192][-main-] Warning: config.tcl: nsssl not loaded -- key/cert files do not exist.
    [08/Mar/2003:15:07:18][31175.8192][-main-] Warning: config.tcl: nscp not loaded
    -- user/password is not set.
    [08/Mar/2003:15:07:18][31175.8192][-main-] Notice: config.tcl: finished reading
    config file.

    The first warning, about nsssl, can be ignored. We won't be using nsssl; we'll be using nsopenssl instead, and we haven't fully configured it yet. The nscp warning refers to the fact that, without a user and password in the config file, the administrative panel of AOLserver won't load. We don't plan to use it and can ignore that error as well. Any other warning or error is unexpected and probably a problem.

    Test to see if AOLserver is working by starting Mozilla or Lynx on the same computer and surfing over to your web page. If you browse from another computer and the sample config file didn't guess your hostname or ip correctly, you'll get a false negative test.

    [root aolserver]# lynx localhost:8000

    You should see a "Welcome to AOLserver" page. If this doesn't work, try going to If this still doesn't work, check out the Troubleshooting AOLserver section below. Note that you will not be able to browse to the web page from another machine, because AOLserver is only listening to the local address.

    Shutdown the test server:

    [root aolserver]# killall nsd
    [root aolserver]#

    The killall command will kill all processes with the name nsd, but clearly this is not a good tool to use for managing your services in general. We cover this topic in the Keep AOLserver alive section.

  9. Troubleshooting.  If you can't view the welcome page, it's likely there's a problem with your server configuration. Start by viewing your AOLserver log, which is in /usr/local/aolserver/log/server.log. You should also try to find lines of the form:

    [01/Jun/2000:12:11:20][5914.4051][-nssock-] Notice: nssock: listening on http://localhost.localdomain:8000 (
    [01/Jun/2000:12:11:20][5914.4051][-nssock-] Notice: accepting connections

    If you can find these lines, try entering the URL the server is listening on. If you cannot find these lines, there must be an error somewhere in the file. Search for lines beginning with the word Error instead of Notice.

    The sample-config.tcl file grabs your address and hostname from your OS settings.

    set hostname        [ns_info hostname]
    set address         [ns_info address]

    If you get an error that nssock can't get the requested address, you can set these manually. If you type, AOLserver will try to listen on all available addresses. Note: ns_info address doesn't appear to be supported in current versions of AOLserver.

    set hostname        [ns_info hostname]
    #set address         [ns_info address]
    set address
  10. Install Analog web file analyzer. (OPTIONAL)

($Id: aolserver.html,v 1.55 2018/04/25 08:38:27 gustafn Exp $)