Installer errors and fixes

I've just installed CumulusClips on my server, and have some bug reports for you:

1. After browsing to the installer directory, it first shows Welcome and then Requirements. If some requirements are missing, I fix the error ("apt-get install ffmpeg" or increase the upload size), but then I can't reload the requirements page to see if everything is now happy. The only way to go back to the start of the installer is to clear my cookies! The menu on the left (welcome, requirements, ... database ...) should have links to let me restart the process, or reload a page.

2. The requirements page isn't quite thorough enough... it ought to check for all the modules/formats of ffmpeg, not just the main binary, and for the presence of mysql and the relevant PHP extensions.

3. The FTP setup page doesn't tell us which permissions are specifically missing. In this case, I needed to do:
chown -R www-data /var/www/cumulusclips rather than merely (as per the docs) grant access to cc-core/logs and cc-content/uploads.

4. The database script in cc-install/database.php fails (with a blank screen) if the mysql extension is missing. It should do "if ! function_exists("mysql_connect") { die ("Please install php-mysql extension and retry"); }
before mysql_connect() is called.

5. The installed auto-detected my base-url as:
https://www.MYSITE.org:443/cumulusclips/
rather than
https://www.MYSITE.org/cumulusclips
(and then proceeded to fail to accept this as valid).

Hopefully these will help - they caught me out quite badly.

Comments

  • Thank you for your feedback. You bring up some good issues. Allow me to address some of these for you:

    1 - This is by design. If you can't go back to a previous step it means that step's requirements have been fulfilled. After installation you can go back and tweak things in the config or admin panel.

    2 - You're correct. We are working on this.

    3 - The FTP step and the write access to the uploads and logs directories are unrelated.

    The FTP step tried to determine if Apache can perform write operations on the script files. If it can't then it prompts for FTP access. It doesn't neccessarily mean that permissions are missing.

    Some setups run Apache under the account's username, i.e. php-cgi, some as the Apache account. In many cases the site owner may not want the files to be owned by Apache. This is why we don't ask for specific ownership or permissions on all the files.

    We do require that certain files, mainly the logs and uploads directories be writeable. There are many ways to achieve this, setting permissions, ownership, etc.

    In your case, giving Apache ownership of all files would allow you to bypass FTP and the directory permissions. It would also require you mess with user groups or permissions if you wanted to make changes to files via FTP or SSH.

    4 - Good point.

    5 - The base url that was detected seems find. It appended the port because it determined it wasn't the standard port. In your case, with https (port 443), it should still work with the port explicitly specified.

    However, there the fact that it wouldn't allow to remove the explicit port should be addressed. We will investigate.
  • Thanks for your reply.

    Re #1, that makes sense, excepting that you can't even revisit the *same* step to check that you have now fulfilled its requirements.

    Re #3, it's not possible to skip the FTP setup without granting apache complete ownership of all the PHP files. There is no way to proceed otherwise. I don't actually want apache to be able to self-modify (that seems a security hazard), nor do I want to allow the FTP alternative.

    Re #5, this is a problem I think with the PHP script that validates the user-input.

    Rather more weirdly, there is also something wrong with the directory structure.
    https://www.MYSITE.org/cumulusclips/ works to show the home-page.
    https://www.MYSITE.org/cumulusclips/cc-admin exists, but now (after my initial admin login timed out) redirects to https://www.MYSITE.org/cumulusclips/login/ which does not.

    The homepage has several links to login/ videos/ members/ and upload/
    However, none of these actually work. They all appear broken, and I can't see the directories within the cumulusclips directory on the server either.

    Is it possible something has been omitted from the current release tarball?

  • I found the fix for the last problem: enabling htaccess, and mod rewrite.
    However, .htaccess has been deprecated for some time, and most servers don't encourage it.

    Can I suggest that you should at least test for this and warn if it's disabled?
    And add it to the instructions for setup.
This discussion has been closed.