PostNuke

software development

#1

Hello. I was wondering if anyone has attempted to install PostNuke (www.postnuke.com)? It looks like all of the parts are there (MySQL, PHP). Thanks, --chris


#2

I’m not entirely sure what you’re asking here. I wandered into this thread as I was looking for some info on installing PostNuke on Dreamhost and what all you had to do to make it work with the PHP situation here at Dreamhost? I know there’s a very minimal install of PHP used here and most of the really good scripts need to be modified to run as cgi. Could anyone who has had experience running the postnuke CMS here please chime in and lemme know what’s involved making it run?

as for your question ckolar, I’ve installed and run a few postnuked sites on another host’s machine with the more normal/default PHP install and it’s really simple to get going. There’s also some nice modules for it that are simple installs as well, it’s really a very nice package. And in theory, everything is here to run it.

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#3

Hi Jason. I have been running several sites on servers that I own that are about to go away. Some of the sites that I run use PostNuke and I have been looking for a hosting service that would let me run it – nothing too fancy, mostly just PN and a few of the standard modules.

From my experience I have been able to get it running on Red Hat and Mandrake boxes with the standard php/mod_php/apache/mysql packages, but since I have always run it on boxes where I was root I just took it for granted that I would be able to do what I needed to in order to get it going. Dreamhost is in the top of the running for a place for me to migrate to (I run a lot of Mailman lists, which is what they use for the mail lists so it distinguished them in that way), if I knew for sure that others were able to run PostNuke in this environment that would be great.

I would also be interested in knowing about the other host’s machine where you have been able to run PN since it might make a good backup provider if DH will not be able to do it.

I appreciate your taking the time to post.

–chris


#4

tell you what, I’ll fire a support request to Dreamhost posing this question as the boards are not as active as some I’ve seen. I’ll report back their answer here for you. I wasn’t aware that you were not hosting here…

As for the host I’m using, I hesitate to answer for the simple fact that they are having some serious problems, growing pains I think, at the moment. In no way shape or form would I recommend them over Dreamhost at this point in time. I’ve only got a few domains there that aren’t really important, just to test the waters as I was getting a little tired of DH’s prices and restrictive security policies.

Now that DH has brought their prices and services into line I would say they are your best bet, in fact I’ll quit fooling with the other host altogether now save the few acccounts I have there already. The Dreamhost folks really are a fantastic bunch. The stability and security is a1+ and the support is right inline with that as well.

I’ll get back to you here… meanwhile, I don’t know if you’ve been through [color=#CC0000]the knowledgebase[/color] yet?

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#5

Hey all.

I’m the head developer at DreamHost.

From everything I’ve seen, PostNuke should be fine. It seems to be a fine piece of software.

I haven’t tried to install it myself, but it doesn’t require anything strange or assumptive.

The fact that it tells you to make the config file world-writable pre-install and then chmod it back is heartening.

It’s at least better than the million half-broken PHP gallery scripts out there. It should be fine for any of you. There is nothing explicitly preventing you from running it for sure. If it doesn’t read/write files other than the one config file and doesn’t run external procs, it’s good as gold.

Keep in mind that our PHP security policies were implemented for good reason. Most web hosts make it literally impossible to secure your scripts.

And Jason, way to suck up! It’ll get you far with me!

nate


#6

Thanks Jason, I appreciate your passing it along. Sorry that I was not clear on being a customer yet, I just want to get a good idea that I am only going to have to go through the migration process once. I run a bunch of sites gratis for non-profits and while I will be happy to move everything to keep it all going, all of the free time in my life will disappear if there are technical problems on the host end and I wind up having to move everything again.

I appreciate all of the information that you are turning up for me.

–chris


#7

I set up a test of PostNuke on Dreamhost [color=#CC0000]HERE[/color] if you’d care to get in there, register, submit stuff, give it whatever workout you would like…

It installed perfectly normal-like with no modifications required. It’s v.71Rogue.

I’ll check in later this evening to see if you’ve submitted anything, then I’ll have a go at approving it all. Feel free to run or suggest any tests, I’m happy to help you give it a workout as I’m contemplating this as well for some of my sites here. I welcome the testing help :slight_smile:

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#8

Pretty awesome Jason. I created an account and submitted a news story without any hitches. I really appreciate your taking the time to set it up for testing. I’ll check back in a bit to see if you’ve posted my news story. ttyl, --chris


#9

hey no problem! If you decide to come over use me as a referrer: jkmabry

now I feel like a prostitute =)

Glad to help

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#10

I’m poking around and have not found any problems so far. Thinking back to the original phpNuke there were a lot of problems with permissions and the system needing to write to a lot of places. I think that PN has done away with most of these issues as it tightened security. It looks like it is happy gating mail as well, given that it sent me the password.

Thoughts:

  • The phpBB module should work, given that the program itself runs happily on DH.

  • It would nice to have a category set up in the links section so we could test a user submitted link.

  • Most of the rogue modules just add necessary database foo and don’t mess around with anything at the filesystem level, so they should be ok.

  • Themes should work as well, given that they just need to be untarred with the proper permissions and are only read by the system.

If there is a list of forbidden commands somewhere I would be happy to grep through the PN source looking for problems as well. It almost appears to be going too smoothly. :slight_smile:

I’ll certainly remember you at signup time. Thanks again for helping out with this.

–chris


#11

Thanks for posting Nate. It looks like Jason’s implementation is working normally, I’m scratching my head trying to think of other ways that it might try to access the filesystem other than the config file but none come directly to mind (and I know that they are in the process of doing away with config file issues by storing configuration information in the DB).

Do you have any suggestions of things to look for in the source that would be an obvious no-no? If this works it might make you popular given that many of the nuke hosting options are not as affordable as DH.

Thanks,

–chris


#12

Yeah, I’m thinking it’s gonna work, and I couldn’t be happier. As for your questions of Nate and I on what commands… an excerpt from the mail announcing the restrictions in sept/oct of 2001:

“The second restriction will prevent any PHP script from executing any external commands. The backticks (``) operator will be disabled, as will the system(), passthru(), exec(), and all other related functions that execute external commands. We’re really sorry to have to do this, but it is in everyone’s best interests.”

They have implemented a workaround for this though. All you need to do is run these apps as a cgi, change the extension from PHP to PCGI. It works fine but it’s a bit of a hassle, especially with large apps like postnuke and gallery just to name a couple. For code handicappeds like myself, pouring through the code and changing applicable extension references is a major pain. I was very glad that I’ve had to do none of this with postnuke so far, I’m wondering about some of the modules… we shall see.

I’ve not had the time to go through the code for the functions above but will try to get to it if you don’t beat me there.

I’ve gone through the admin and tried to add categories and sections and the like, go to town. As you said, I really don’t foresee too many problems but it never hurts to abuse it first to make sure. Too bad we don’t have an army of soccer moms trying to use it.

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#13

Yeah, the only things you have to worry about w/r/t stuff like this on DH are:

  1. PHP opening files. Obviously files outside of a homedir are bad, but PHP breaks and gives open_basedir errors when it shouldn’t sometimes. The PHP folk don’t seem to care. Fairly obscure error though.

  2. PHP executing things. No external procs from a PHP script w/o PHP-CGI, period.

  3. We charge if you abuse MySQL. So far that means 11 people out of like 20,000 customers. So you’ve got to have a SUPER busy site and poor coding, but it’s something to consider.

  4. In general, if your site is getting so much traffic and using so many resources that it’s making your shared machine unstable, we’ll ask you to pay for a dedicated server. You’ll probably hit #3 before this, and if you’re getting that kind of traffic you can probably afford a dedicated server.

The last two are just things to keep in the back of your head. It happens maybe once a month that we find somebody whose site is that big/unweildy.

That’s about it!

Have fun with PHPNuke!

Nate.


#14

[quote]Have fun with PHPNuke!

[/quote]

i think that postnuke and phpnuke are different.


#15

Thanks Nate for the information. WRT being abusive, I will be running some pretty small sites that are mostly of local interest, I would be surprised (pleasantly in some cases) if they actually became large enough to be a problem.

Cheers,

–chris


#16

Things continue to look good, and it looks like more good news from Nick in his post. I was wondering Jason if PN is generating any unusual nubmer of connecterions (or whatever that measure of DB usage is called). I’ve never looked closely at the number of connections/lookups PN generates.

Cheers,

–chris


#17

<< Day >> Disk Usage Connects Queries (Conueries)
2002-04-09 0.004 MB 56 1797 0.003 MCn 1.284
2002-04-10 1.191 MB 145 4237 0.008 MCn 1.169
Totals: 0.083 MB 225 6324 0.012 MCn 1.124

looks like a ton of room to spare, the total there for the conueries (I assume this is pronounced “canaries” like the bird, sweet coinage there dhgeeksquad!) is .012 for a couple of days and the most inexpensive DH plan gives you 5 million…

I think we’re in good shape! If I’m not reading this wrong in the panel.

A little reading if you like: https://kbase.newdream.net/?area=2583

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#18

Oooh boy. Attempting my first remote-hosted postnuke install as we speak. Completely hung up on the mysql bit. I added a mysql user and hostname on the dreamhost webpanel, then went to continue the installation.

Do I have to wait for this hostname to propagate like a normal DNS entry? I hope that is the case, because when I continue with the install it gives the error:
"Warning: Unknown MySQL Server Host ‘mysql.atlantagoth.com’ "
I created the host name only moments ago… I’m hoping its just a propagation issue.

Any other tips about installation would be great too. Is there a really hand-holding Howto anyone could recommend?
Thank you.
Sherrod

girlvinyl.com


#19

yes ma’am, there is an advertised wait of about an hour for the hostname I think.

As for handholding, you don’t seem to be too out of sorts and diagnosed the first problem perfectly, I think you should probably proceed with confidence.

You may have to create the nuke database manually but I don’t think so. I do remember that it will create all the tables without a hitch. I think the database creation issue was with another host, sorry I don’t recall, it’s late :P~

Post back if there’s a problem.

[color=#0000CC]jason[/color]


#20

YEA!
Wow, thank you everyone who has posted in the forums SO much for your help. I installed my postnuke with all the blazing fancy options and it is all set to go. I am opening it to the public on May 1st.

I even got a few extra modules and blocks loaded to help increase my reet factor. I found out that gallery from sourceforge won’t work due to the disabled exec(). That really doesn’t bother me so much as I used My_eGallery and found that its a little more what I want since I would prefer my users not have it so easy when uploading mass amounts of images.

I’m really happy with it so far. I will keep messing with it and seeing what sorts of cool things I can do.

Also - the irony! The May 2002 issue of Linux Magazine has a nice article on PostNuke installation. Its part 2 of 3, continuing next month is how to tweak and customize.

AND - same issue of Linux Magazine… a one page intro to GNU MailMan - the mlm that dreamhost uses, that I just switched to from yahoo egroups. Yea! Yea! Yea~!

[It also has an article on switching from zsh to bash. I did that a while ago and have been SO happy. Dunno if dh supports other shells though.]

s
girlvinyl.com