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Monday, January 28 2013

Web Hosting Provider Support

It has been an interesting few days here in The Office Where Really Cool Things Happen. I wrote a stripped down, bare bones, just shy of a shopping cart application for a client who doesn't actually sell online. No payment card processing, no quantities, no options, just an opportunity to request samples and/or quotes for products. It was great fun writing it. More fun than it should have been, probably, but every now and then it's nice to take on a simple little job and do really well at it because it's so simple and so small.

Then the interesting but not in a good way part came: Making it run on the client's virtual server at a strange place that shall not be named. This hosting provider has the usual cPanel thing, and advertises that SSH access is available and root access can be provided on request. I really shouldn't need either, though I do prefer SSH so I can use scp rather than FTP or some silly web based uploader. scp is more secure, more convenient, and faster for a command-line guy like me. Eh, if I can get it I'll appreciate it, if not I'll be quite content to appreciate that I've got a happy client. But if it were that darn easy I'd not have a story to tell.

There's more ...

UPDATE 2013/01/29: Resolution Is At Hand!

It appears that the stunning incompetence of the virtual server provider will end this story with a move to another host. The decision was based on the projection that it would be faster to move everything than to convince the current outfit to simply add one or two lines of text to an Apache virtual host configuration file.

This doesn't look at all like the 21st century we were promised when LBJ was in the White House! At least we got the tiny portable phones. :-)

UPDATE 2013/01/30: Well, Almost...

Today's news is that the new provider has thrown up a different set of hurdles.

  1. The account's cPanel doesn't include a Perl module installer.
  2. The account didn't come with SSH access at all but they did reconfigure for it, so in theory I can login and install the needed modules from the command line. I prefer that anyway.
  3. BUT there was a firewall in the way, and they had to reconfigure that.
  4. THEN SSH public key authentication failed.
  5. THEN their support folks told me that it was because I didn't have the corresponding private key on my workstation. I do, though, and it's the sixth or seventh in a series of workstations the same darn key has been on.
  6. SO... I went in via cPanel and fixed that problem. Newer versions of SSH servers don't look for the file authorized_keys2 any more because support for it was deprecated in the year 2001. I copied it to authorized_keys and logged in just fine. Once there I blew away the misnamed file then hard linked the name to the authorized_keys file just to keep that problem from biting in the future.
  7. NOW my module installation fails because the user I can login as doesn't have permission to use the gcc compiler.
  8. AND it apparently requires someone more deific than the front line support personnel to decide whether or not I can be trusted with a compiler.

I can work around that silliness easily enough, but first I have to create a 32 bit environment with appropriate versions of things. I'd rather not have to go to so much bother, but as they say in the movies, "a man's got to do what a man's got to do".

→ committed: 1/28/2013 20:28:12

[ / system_admin] permanent link

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Right On, Newegg!

All I can say is "Right On, Newegg!"

→ committed: 1/28/2013 04:04:05

[ / e-commerce] permanent link

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