Category: School

IIS7: What a change

In the next few weeks, I am required to use one of my most scariest server products I have used. IIS. I use to manage a small network that used IIS for hosting internal mail interface and other web based products our company used. Back then, we were running IIS6 on Server 2003 R2, and what a scary machine that was. IIS6 wasn’t very intuitive compared to other Microsoft server products at that time. When you needed to add a site or add a CGI extension, it always felt you had to hack it to get something to work and you never went back to it after it was working.

I was required to install it for a programming class and what a change. For someone that never had proper training on IIS, the new interface has defiantly been improved and is now very intuitive.

To install IIS7 was open Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> “Turn Windows feature on or off”. I checked the “Internet Information Service” in the list and that was it. Windows installed the service without needing the disks.

It was that easy to get the new web server up and running on my local development machine.

IIS7 Main screen
Browsed to http://localhost to make sure my new IIS server was running.

I remember spending hours in the server room trying to get PHP installed on the old IIS6 machine we were running. I thought, I wonder how easy it will be on IIS7? Turns out very easy! Microsoft now has an installation you can download that installs PHP 5.3.13 into your IIS.

A few things need to be done first. Make sure you have installed CGI. Windows does not do this by default.

CGI Installation
Be sure “CGI” is checked.

IIS is now ready for the PHP installation. Go to php.iis.net to download the executable. Once you have it download, run it and follow the on screen instruction.

That is it! You have now installed PHP on your IIS server. Create a phpinfo() file on the root of your web-server to make sure everything is working.

My phpinfo().

If you run into the error “Handler “PHP53_via_FastCGI” has a bad module “FastCgiModule” in its module list” it means CGI is not installed. Go back into Windows Features and check “CGI”.

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OpenSUSE – You suck

This semester at school we have a class called “Second Operating System”. Just like you would expect, we are learning Linux. Unfortunately, the teachers have opted to go with OpenSUSE as the primary OS to teach. First day was to do the setup on either our laptops or the desktop machines the school provides. I opted to install OpenSUSE in Sun’s VirtualBox.

VirtualBox is a great desktop test environment mostly used by programmers to test programs in. It supports Linux and Windows as a gust operating system allowing you to install operating systems on a base Windows install. This means that I don’t have to dual boot 2 operating systems.

After installing openSUSE, first thing I wanted to do was install the Addition tools that come with VirtualBox. This will allows the mouse to flow between the virtual machine and the actual machines desktop freely. It also allows the display to run in “Seamless mode”. Seamless mode run the guest OS right on top of the desktop of the machine seamlessly.

The problem with this is you need to install the kernel source headers. Not a big deal with most OS’s but with OpenSUSE, she wasn’t going to go willing. In Ubuntu when you go to install the kernel source headers it asks you if you really want to do this then enables the correct repositories. OpenSUSE says it doesn’t exist then you have to go hunting for how to do it. So I did what ever n00b does and went to Google and tryed finding a site that shows how to install the files that were required.

Turns out that if you go in about 5 menus deep in the crap thing they call a control panel, there is a spot where you can add the repos. It gives you a nice list of about 20 repos that if you didn’t have any prior Linux knowledge you would have no idea what one to add. So I added all of them.

I ran a repo update using there crappy application manager. It took 30 minutes to check all the repos and 6 of them failed. Explain that to me. :S So after using the search feature found exactly what I was looking for. After that everything installed and ran fine, accept a few things:

  1. Seamless mode doesn’t work
  2. Internet is up and down (no other VM does this)
  3. Installing any application is the biggest pain in the but ever

To conclude, I hate OpenSUSE. I don’t recommend using it at all. They make doing anything twice as difficult as it should be. Why make it so hard?

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