Posts Tagged ‘Linux’

Installing SVN and TRAC in Ubuntu 9.04 with Apache2 SSL

September 11, 2009 8 comments

This tutorial will guide you through installation of Apache, HTTPS, Subversion and Trac, in order to have an (almost) complete development environment for your team.

This article is divided in following steps

1. Installing Subversion
2. Installing Apache
3. Configuring Apache with SSL
4. Configuring Subversion with Apache (and SSL)
5. Installing Trac

You may choose for example to see how to install Apache and SSL, or having Apache plus subversion without Trac.
Steps are voluntary isolated, and will require more operations than, for instance, issuing an “apt-get install trac” that will download and install all the packages in one step; but this will hopefully allow the readers to choose picking one section and forget about unneeded components.
I’ll not explain what Subversion is, or what SSL is, etc. Ask google, for this info: I just say that for your software project you may need a server with those tools ready for your team.


You need Ubuntu 9.04, in my case I used the “desktop edition” 32bit. But possibly this tutorial should be valid for Debian and previous Ubuntu version; but I have not verified that: if you do, post a comment to report your experience.


After installing your server you have to ensure that apt system is up to date with available software on the repositories. Type the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

upgrading installed packages may be a good idea to do now:

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

Answer Yes if asked to download and install the upgrades.

1. Installing Subversion

From the command line type the command:

$ sudo apt-get install subversion

If everything went fine you should able to verify the Subversion version installed with following command:

$ svn –version

svn, version 1.5.4 (r33841)
compiled Aug  7 2009, 01:44:11

Copyright (C) 2000-2008 CollabNet.
Subversion is open source software, see
This product includes software developed by CollabNet (http://www.Collab.Net/).

The following repository access (RA) modules are available:

* ra_neon : Module for accessing a repository via WebDAV protocol using Neon.
– handles ‘http’ scheme
– handles ‘https’ scheme
* ra_svn : Module for accessing a repository using the svn network protocol.
– with Cyrus SASL authentication
– handles ‘svn’ scheme
* ra_local : Module for accessing a repository on local disk.
– handles ‘file’ scheme

For now, let’s stop here: how to create the Subversion repository, configure the users etc. Will be explained later in conjunction with Apache2 configuration. Maybe I’ll write something on how to deal with svnserve, svnadmin, and user access control, in another article.

Later we will see how to create a repository, configure it with apache and HTTP basic authentication.

2. Installing Apache

To install apache 2 type the command:

$ sudo apt-get install apache

When finished you should be able to connect with the browser at http://localhost and see the message “It works!”. Or you may verify that at the command line installing and using curl:

$ sudo apt-get install curl

$ curl http://localhost
<html><body><h1>It works!</h1></body></html>

3. Configuring Apache with SSL

Now we want to configure apache to run HTTPs.
Following command will enable ssl Apache2 module with a2enmod (cryptic name for “Apache2 enable module”:

$ sudo a2enmod ssl

The previous command will suggest you to restart apache to let it to reload the configuration; ignore that message for now.

We need to enable the HTTPS port (443). Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf and ensure that port 443 is defined as follows:

$ sudo gedit /etc/apache2/ports.conf

# If you just change the port or add more ports here, you will likely also
# have to change the VirtualHost statement in
# /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default
# This is also true if you have upgraded from before 2.2.9-3 (i.e. from
# Debian etch). See /usr/share/doc/apache2.2-common/NEWS.Debian.gz and
# README.Debian.gz

NameVirtualHost *:80
Listen 80

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
# SSL name based virtual hosts are not yet supported, therefore no
# NameVirtualHost statement here
NameVirtualHost *:443
Listen 443

I added the clause NameVirtualHost *:443 in the for SSL; this is not strictly necessary but it will be useful later if you want to have a VirtualHost for trac and other development services.

Now we need to configure the SSL site. Fortunately we have already the configuration file for that, we just need to enable it with a2ensite (cryptic name for “apache2 enable site”)

$ sudo a2ensite default-ssl

Again, the above command will suggest to reload apache configuration to activate the changes. This time the suggestion is almost right. As we made several changes I prefer to restart apache with following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
* Restarting web server apache2

apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName
… waiting apache2: Could not reliably determine the server’s fully qualified domain name, using for ServerName

If everything went fine you should see the above warning. You can ignore it, unless you want to configure the ServerName for your server. But this is out of scope, so do a search on Google, or consult an Apache expert.

So, if everything went fine, now we should be able to connect to our server through SSL.
You can use firefox or curl, as before, but this time the URL will be https://localhost

$ curl -k https://localhost
<html><body><h1>It works!</h1></body></html>

the -k option is to ignore certification validation. Also firefox will complain that our certificate is invalid, but you can add it to exceptions and it will nomore bug you with those messages.

If everything went fine, now we should have Apache2, HTTP and HTTPs ready.

4. Configuring Subversion with Apache (and SSL)

First of all, we need to install the Subversion modules for Apache2.

$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-svn

They will be enabled by default. So you don’t need to run a2enmod.

We only need to configure a repository. Let’ say our project is called ‘myproject’.

First of all, let’s decide where our svn repositories will be created. I like /var/local/svn :

$ sudo mkdir /var/local/svn/

Then let’s create the repository using following procedure:

$ sudo mkdir /var/local/svn/myproject
$ sudo chown www-data:www-data /var/local/svn/myproject
$ sudo -u www-data svnadmin create /var/local/svn/myproject

Above commands will ensure that the user www-data (which is the apache user) can fully access the repository for reading and updating it.

We need to configure the repository in Apache. Edit /etc/apache2/mods-available/dav_svn.conf using:

$ sudo gedit /etc/apache2/mods-available/dav_svn.conf

And add a section like the following one:

<Location /svn/myproject>
DAV svn
SVNPath /var/local/svn/myproject
AuthType Basic
AuthName “My Project Subversion Repository”
AuthUserFile /etc/subversion/myproject.passwd
Require valid-user

In the above file we indicated that, at the location svn our repository should respond. And for updating the repository we want a valid user. As per above configuration anonymous consultation is allowed; but you can disable it commenting with a leading ‘#’ the lines <LimitExcept … and </LimitExcept> or just removing them as in following example:

<Location /svn/myproject>
DAV svn
SVNPath /var/local/svn/myproject
AuthType Basic
AuthName “My Project Subversion Repository”
AuthUserFile /etc/subversion/myproject.passwd
Require valid-user

The above configuration indicates to Apache that even for consulting the repository we want a valid user.
But valid users need a password, and in fact we indicated a password file for our repository called /etc/subversion/myproject.passwd. So let’s create a password file with a couple of users:

$ sudo htpasswd -c /etc/subversion/myproject.passwd luigi
$ sudo htpasswd /etc/subversion/myproject.passwd mario

The -c option indicates that the password file should be created as new; and it is only necessary for the first user. Be aware of the fact that -c overwrites the existing password file without asking anything. Personally I think this is a quite stupid behavior, but that’s the way it is.

Now we should be ready.

Let’s reload apache configuration to make the changes effective:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

and let’s test with the browser that our svn repository is now accessible through HTTP and HTTPs at following urls:

We can also use curl to verify it is working:

$ curl http://username:password@localhost/svn/myproject/
<html><head><title>myproject – Revision 0: /</title></head>
<h2>myproject – Revision 0: /</h2>
<hr noshade><em>Powered by <a href=””>Subversion</a&gt; version 1.5.4 (r33841).</em>

$ curl -k https://username:password@localhost/svn/myproject/
<html><head><title>myproject – Revision 0: /</title></head>
<h2>myproject – Revision 0: /</h2>
<hr noshade><em>Powered by <a href=””>Subversion</a&gt; version 1.5.4 (r33841).</em>

Now we can also download our project using svn

$ svn co https://localhost/svn/myproject myproject –username luigi

“luigi” is obviously my username, substitute it with yours.
The first time it will prompt for accepting the SSL certificate, answer to accept it permanently (p). Then it will optionally ask you for the password, type it.
We can also test that modifying the remote repository is working with:

$ svn mkdir -m “created the trunk for the project” https://localhost/svn/myproject/trunk –username luigi

It will answer: Committed revision 1. If so, we’ve done.

5. Installing Trac

To install trac files and required dependencies, type the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install trac
$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-python

Let’s create the directories for trac web folder:

$ sudo mkdir /var/local/trac
$ sudo chown www-data:www-data /var/local/trac

edit Apache configuration file for one of your enabled sites (in this example I modify the default http one, but you can choose to put trac on HTTPS modifying default-ssl)

$ sudo gedit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default

and add the following lines at the end of the file, before the </VirtualHost> tag:

<Location /projects>
SetHandler mod_python
PythonInterpreter main_interpreter
PythonHandler trac.web.modpython_frontend
PythonOption TracEnvParentDir /var/local/trac
PythonOption TracUriRoot /projects
PythonOption PYTHON_EGG_CACHE /tmp

# use the following for one authorization for all projects
# (names containing “-” are not detected):
<LocationMatch “/projects/[[:alnum:]]+/login”>
AuthType Basic
AuthName “trac”
AuthUserFile /etc/trac/trac.passwd
Require valid-user

Create a password file for trac users (if you want you can reuse or link the passwd file used for subversion repositories)

$ sudo htpasswd -c /etc/trac/trac.passwd luigi
$ sudo htpasswd  /etc/trac/trac.passwd mario
… continue this way for all your users.

Create the trac environment for your project:

$ sudo -u www-data trac-admin /var/local/trac/myproject initenv

It will ask you some questions related to your project. Here’s my answers in blue

Project Name [My Project]> My Project
Database connection string [sqlite:db/trac.db]> [Just press Enter to accept the default]
Repository type [svn]>  [Just press Enter to accept the default]
Path to repository [/path/to/repos]> /var/local/svn/myproject

Now let’s restart apache:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Check that trac works properly connecting the browser to http://localhost/projects or use curl to verify that the url is responding properly as we did before. This url should display a link to “My Project”, click on it and you should see the project home page. Clicking on login the browser should ask you to provide username and password as recently defined with htpasswd command.

Last thing to do: add yourself as administrator for Trac. This will enable the Admin menu and allow to do much of the administration operations from the web, that you could also do at the command line with trac-admin tool.
Execute the following command:

$ sudo -u www-data trac-admin /var/local/trac/myproject permission add luigi TRAC_ADMIN

This will make the username ‘luigi’ administrator for the project.

You can tune additional configuration settings in Trac to enable email notification, change the project logo, etc. Everything you need to know is on Trac website. For the configuration check here:

Categories: SVN Tags: , , , ,

Ten Major Differences in Linux and Windows

May 27, 2008 1 comment

  1. Reduces the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome
  2. When linux is properly installed, there no longer a need to use the mouse. Chances of you using a mouse is close to zero.

  3. Use the extra cash for rewards
  4. Linux is 100% free while Windows Vista Ultimate costs $398.99 at the time of writing. Companies that pay a licensing annually could have used the money for other things like buying an additional server to reduce the load or even give a bigger bonus to its loyal employees.

  5. Formats are free, freedom is preserved
  6. Linux file formats can be accessed in a variety of ways because they are free. Windows on the other hand makes you lock your own data in secret formats that can only be accessed with tools leased to you at the vendor’s price. “What we will get with Microsoft is a three-year lease on a health record we need to keep for 100 years”

  7. Zero risk in violating license agreements
  8. Linux is open source so you are unlikely to violate any license agreement. All the software is happily yours. With MS Windows you likely already violate all kinds of licenses and you could be pronounced a computer pirate if only a smart lawyer was after you. The worldwide PC software piracy rate for 2004 is at 35%. Which means that 3 out of 10 people are likely to get into real trouble.

  9. Transparent vs Proprietary
  10. MS Windows is based on DOS, Linux is based on UNIX. MS Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) is based on Microsoft-own marketing-driven specifications. Linux GUI is based on industry-standard network-transparent X-Windows.

  11. Better network, processing capabilities
  12. Linux beats Windows hands down on network features, as a development platform, in data processing capabilities, and as a scientific workstation. MS Windows desktop has a more polished appearance, simple general business applications, and many more games for kids (less intellectual games compared to linux’s).

  13. Customizable
  14. Linux is customizable in a way that Windows is not. For example, NASlite is a version of Linux that runs off a single floppy disk and converts an old computer into a file server. This ultra small edition of Linux is capable of networking, file sharing and being a web server.

  15. Flexibility
  16. Windows must boot from a primary partition. Linux can boot from either a primary partition or a logical partition inside an extended partition. Windows must boot from the first hard disk. Linux can boot from any hard disk in the computer.

  17. Mobility
  18. Windows allows programs to store user information (files and settings) anywhere. This makes it impossibly hard to backup user data files and settings and to switch to a new computer. In contrast, Linux stores all user data in the home directory making it much easier to migrate from an old computer to a new one. If home directories are segregated in their own partition, you can even upgrade from one version of Linux to another without having to migrate user data and settings.

  19. Proven Security
  20. Why isn’t Linux affected by viruses? Simply because its code has been open source for more than a decade, tested by people all around the world, and not by a single development team like in the case of Windows. This leads to a lightning fast finding and fixing for exploitable holes in Linux. So that my friends, proves Linux as having an extremely enhanced security and lesser chances of exploits compared to Windows.

Categories: Linux Vs Windows Tags: ,

What is Linux And what Linux Have?

May 27, 2008 2 comments

Linux is the name usually given to any Unix-like computer operating system that uses the Linux Kernel. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development. Source code can be freely modified, used, and redistributed by anyone.

The system’s utilities and libraries usually come from the GNU operating system, announced in 1983 by Richard Stallman.

The nameLinux comes from the Linux kernel, started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds.

The GNU contribution is the basis for the alternative name GNU/Linux.

Predominantly known for its use in servers, Linux is supported by corporations such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Oracle Corporation, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems.

It is used as an operating system for a wide variety of computer hardware, including desktop computers, supercomputers, E-book readers, video game systems such as the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, several arcade games, and embedded devices such as mobile phones and routers.

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