Apache & Instiki on Solaris 10

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Because I’m trying to meet up with a friend of mine in from out of town today, I was forced to scratch a fishing trip to Ten Mile Creek out in Frisco, CO. So all of a sudden I found myself with an extra few hours of my schedule – which makes me feel sort of like I do when I put on a coat I haven’t worn for a while and find a $20 bill in one of the pockets. So as not to waste this unexpected gold mine of free time, I decided I’d get a few things up and running on our V20Z.

While I have plans for that box later this week (schedule permitting) I wanted to get a wiki up and running at a minimum and give it a domain so I can stop pointing to it with a straight IP. So during a leisurely lunch here at the Handlebar & Grill (their network doesn’t lock down many ports, making SSH – as well as IMAP – feasible), I did the following:

  1. Installed Apache using Blastwave (pkg-get -i apache2 [1]); incidentally, Blastwave is currently running a fundraising effort and RedMonk was happy to contribute a modest sum. We encourage anyone using such community based resource to remember to donate, as bandwidth/hosting/etc cost money.
  2. Did the basic Apache configuration bit; dropping in a new index page, etc
  3. Installed Ruby (Blastwave has 1.8.1), also via Blastwave (pkg-get -i ruby)
  4. Fetched the Ruby on Rails-based Instiki packages (wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/5356/instiki-0.10.2.zip) and unzipped them
  5. Installed Instiki – got a weird error
  6. Fetched 0.10.1 of Instiki and unzipped that (unzip instiki.0.10.1.zip)
  7. Installed Instiki successfully (ruby instiki)
  8. Configured Instiki to run in the background via the instructions here:

    nohup /opt/csw/bin/ruby /export/home/user/instiki-0.10.1/instiki
    –storage /var/instiki
    >& /var/logs/instiki.`date08212005.log &

  9. Pointed a test domain at it using the 1and1 Domain admin interface, which is pretty simple to use

One thing that I couldn’t figure out was how to get an Apache virtual host configured so as to make available a wiki.domain.com type URL. I tried a variation of this:

ServerName wiki.mydomain.com
ProxyPass /
ProxyPassReverse /

as it was recommended by the Instiki page here. I kept getting some error about “‘\ServerName’, perhaps mis-spelled or defined by a module not included” – anybody know what’s up with that? My Apache experience is limited mostly to .htaccess files and the like.

Right now, the wiki’s nothing more than a proof-of-concept/placeholder at the moment, but I’ll drop in a link here as soon as I’m happy with the status of the box itself.

This was a very basic install, but I do find it interesting that the deployment of Ruby on Rails apps is pretty much dead simple using the Blastwave & Solaris 10 combination (though I think Instiki’s documentation could be a bit better). I expected to have more trouble finding applications for Solaris than Linux, but who knows – maybe there’s something to these cross-platform dynamic languages 😉

Anyway, next up this week: Splunk for my local Linux box and another Solaris project.

[1] One complaint about pkg-get is that it demands a lot of user interaction; I had to key in “y” seven or eight times during the install. I’m used to unattended installations with Linux, and would prefer that.


  1. some of the 'y's in pkg-get come from pkg-get itself, and some come from pkgadd. You can lose the ones from pkg-get (mostly the dependency stuff) with the -f option; the pkgadd ones, like "are you sure you want to run these scripts with superuser permissions?", can be removed with a /var/sadm/admin file — I think that's the name, pkg-get's manpage has the docs for it anyway. In fact, I think pkg-get puts a sample one in /opt/csw/etc.

    Of course, the usual security caveats apply; using admin-fullauto and the -f option means you really need to trust your package source not to be Hurtful People.

  2. I think the problem is that the example has a bunch backslashes that aren’t meant to be there, if you remove all the backslashes from above it should work. I fixed the Instiki page too.

  3. thx fraxas – will have to give the -f option a whirl. on the trust the maintainers front, doesn't everyone pretty much always click through?

    Matthew: will give that a whirl shortly. thx for the tip, and for fixing the original wiki. much appreciated.

  4. try

    yes | pkg-get upgrade

    (no -f, as it will not install intractive ones)

    Also might want to change
    and change the line in

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