Ubuntu Domain Server

Derek Broughton derek at pointerstop.ca
Fri Oct 30 14:41:54 UTC 2009

Dotan Cohen wrote:

>> In the first place, nothing they can do in the world of server
>> configuration is going to be that hazardous, and in the second, it's not
>> and never has been about whether it's wise to let them do that: THEY WILL
>> DO IT.  So it's in _everybody's_ best interest to give them the tools
>> that will prevent them shooting themselves in the foot and making the
>> innertubes worse for everybody.
> Here I agree with you 100%, Derek. It is in everyone's best interest
> to provide those who want to run a server with tools that will prevent
> them from shooting themselves in the foot.
> Slapping a GUI on apache config files is _not_ the tool to give them.

Why not?  Though the thread was originally about Domain servers, not Web 
servers (really, I can't get worried about what Mom and Pop can do with 
their web server), I'm fine with config tools for Apache too.  And they 
don't strictly have to be gui - I just figure any config tool you can make 
can be GUI-ized (sorry for that abuse of the language), and most of the 
people it would be aimed at would be more comfortable there.

> If you could suggest what such a tool would actually do, I'd love to
> hear it. Not the general "make it easy, make it safe" but details.

First - since I've spent way too much time in the last couple of weeks 
trying to explain the concept on Experts Exchange - a designer for 
VirtualHosts.  You would need to:
- know the domain name(s) used to reach the vhost - and test that their DNS 
is correct.  
- select filesystem paths and URLs to be exposed to the server, and the 
Option settings for those paths (with decent help about what those options 
- set log files (and log rotations) for the vhosts.
- set the email address for the vhost's admin and test that the email 
address works.

Another thing that would be hugely useful would be a mod_rewrite rule 

Enablers for the various modules (with, at least, links to the apache 
documentation for those modules).

And of course, syntax check the whole thing before committing it.

I'm actually doing this, in a non-generic way, for a site I administer, 
specifically because I don't consider it worth my time to do it 

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