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MONO/Ubuntu part 16 - Logging Apache Accesses and Errors


Summary:

You don't want to expose a web server to the wild without setting up logging. We all know this. We sometimes forget this. Don't.

Windows developers over the years get cushy with IIS's protection and we take it for granted, but now we're on Apache and going back to our roots of not trusting the core is a good thing.

Our current virtual hosts file is quite a bit different from the Apache default file, if we look to that original we'll see the recommended minimum log lines.



MONO/Ubuntu part 15 - Managing files and folders


Summary:

God Forbid

The default behaviour for Apache is to give any user any file that they ask for but you can protect files based on any common or custom file extensions you need.

So far all of our examples have shown a pages-only webapp, no mentions of javascript files, css or images. What all these external resources have in common is that they're typically going to be held in subfolders off of the root.

Related to forbidding folder browsing is forbidding remote access to private files. It's not uncommon to have some quick server-cached lookup data that you want to hold as a file and let the .Net/Mono service work with but not expose to the whole world.



MONO/Ubuntu part 14 - Managed cAse sensitiviTy


Summary:
Introducing Mono IOMAP

Because the Mono Team knew that most of their new users would be coming over from Windows and usually doing their first tests by dumping some previously written web apps on a Linux box 'just to watch it all fail', they created a one-line compatibility command called Mono IOMAP.

Unfortunately for new users, the setting is not the default (but experienced users would probably not want it bo be). It is turned on at the overall Apache service level by adding the following line to the top of the /etc/apache2/httpd.conf file:



MONO/Ubuntu part 12 - Subdomains and Christian porn


Summary:

Before you go-live with the server, you should handle the default IP Address request case. Disabling the default Apache "It Works" site using "a2dissite default" will do it BUT...

If your network DNS is resolving site urls to the box and they have a value registered that you haven't set up yet then each request will make Apache go through its list of enabled sites and, not finding a match, the last site in its collection will be used.

Sooooo, if you have a porn site first and a Christian site to come later, you may not want to tell your DNS administrator about the Christian site until after you have at least a placeholder site set up for it on the server. We're all usually good about this stuff in our SOX-hampered companies but space out on it when pointing multiple Internet domain names to our homeoffice IPs. Do'h!



MONO/Ubuntu part 11 - Handling Apache and Mono Errors


Summary:

Handling Apache/Mono site errors - get past IE's "helpfulness" - managed and unmanages test pages - setting Apache error redirects - managed error handling - 500s are just as deadly in Apache as IIS



MONO/Ubuntu part 10 - Apache default pages


Summary:

Setting the default page

This is easy, just nano the /etc/apache2/sites-available/[site vhost file] and add a DirectoryIndex line for the page that you want to appear if no page is specified in the request.

The only question you have to ask yourself is do you want this to be a static page of non-dynamic html or an ASP.Net page. Most likely, since you're here at smithvoice.com, you'll want it to be an ASPX page... but just remember that if it is a managed page and if you have any serverside issues that kill Mono's ASP.Net (such as a mistake in the web.config) your users will see an unhandleable 500 error *from Mono* that won't bubble up to be redirected by Apache. Standard stuff, same as MS.Net, but something to consider.



MONO/Ubuntu part 9 - Configure MONO on Apache2


Summary:

The basics:

You can get a single simple Mono web app running with one line of configuration code, but to have more control and multiple sites you should get into the VirtualHosts files. Virtual Host files aren't hard and the sooner you start the more ready you'll be when you *need* their power.

Apache "Modules" are like ISAPI Filters. Install them, tell Apache that you want to use them and on what sites, enabled them, they start intercepting requests. Mono itself is a module, your previous one-line installation made it available and enabled Apache-wide so you're just one nano away from ASP.Linux.

Sites in Apache, just like sites in IIS, can be set up and selectively enabled/disabled.

This page shows the details of getting it all right



MONO/Ubuntu part 1 - Why?


Summary:

Why the heck would you do this?

Because a couple of Redmondy friends have moved from kidding to concern over my writing up the Ubuntu/Mono stuff, may I dump something on you?

On the server side I have been with Microsoft OSes since NT3.51.  NT4 was really great for its day, 2000S was better and 2003S has been running my servers at various companies and at my home offices for years now with never a huge issue and never - ever - the big meltdowns that Linux/Mac heads who don’t actually use the OS just love to pass around.  I’ve seen in companies and had my own timeups well over a year and only seen bluescreens because of my own or my coworkers own coding mistakes or IT going cheap on cards and chips.



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