Compiling MapServer can be fun

OK, I’ll be honest. I had no idea what I was getting myself into with these dependencies. RedHat Enterprise obviously isn’t aimed at open source GIS so it isn’t the best option out of the box (for some reason even PHP wasn’t installed). Well I’ve got it down and I believe by tomorrow I’ll have MapServer compiled and running. Once the logic of how this all works is understood, it really isn’t that hard if you are comfortable using command line. One book I did pick up today was Tyler Mitchell’s Web Mapping Illustrated. Though it is a little dated, it did help me better understand how to compile MapServer. Proj.4 was the hardest part to get figured out, but even that was wasn’t that hard (lets just say I didn’t read the directions correctly).

I’ve gotten a couple people asking me why RedHat and why Linux in the first place. First I have to use RedHat because our IT group requires it. Why? I don’t know and I’m sure they would give me a different answer every time. At least RedHat Enterprise support of our Dell servers is great so I’ve got no real issues with RedHat at this time. Now why Linux? I’m a Windows guy so why would I bring this nightmare upon myself? I figure for right or wrong, a total open source (hmm is RedHat Enterprise really open source?) is the best way to go. I’m getting a little anti Microsoft anyway these days because of issues with Windows Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005, so I figure why not step over the fence and give the Linux a try.


4 Responses to “Compiling MapServer can be fun”

  1. October 19, 2006 at 11:58 pm

    RHEL is definitely open source, it just isn’t open binary. 🙂 If you want free-as-in-speach-and-beer Linux install that is binary compatible with RHEL, try out CentOS, which is basically RHEL compiled to binary with all the RH trademarked property stripped out. (It’s all completely legal, this is one of the things open source allows you to do.)

  2. October 20, 2006 at 3:05 am

    To bad you don’t have the Debian option. It’s loaded with ready-to-run, current, open source GIS packages. Installing MapServer would be as simple as “apt-get install MapServer”. MapServer, all the dependencies, done.

  3. October 20, 2006 at 3:36 am

    Don’t tease me like that Sean. I’m actually glad that the IT folks let me do this without much fuss and RedHat isn’t that bad. I think this extra work is good for me as it is teaching me how all this stuff works so down the line it should pay dividends.

  4. October 20, 2006 at 4:09 am

    When installing RHEL choose the tackle box option which installs all the packages that come with RHEL. Just be sure to turn off the services you don’t need. Use chkconfig to see what daemons you have running and turn off things like sendmail and such. If your test server is behind a firewall this is less of an issue.

    Apache with PHP should be installed by default so you must have been selective in your install. Make sure you also run up2date since that is the only way you are going to get a more recent version of some of the packages.

    The real problem is that RH does not follow the same numbering scheme when they apply patches. So sometimes this messes with whether or not if finds dependencies. You can always look at http://www.rpmfind.net/ to see if some kind soul has made some RPMs for you. The problem is whether or not your admin will allow RPMs which don’t come from redhat.

    Don’t waste time hanging out in the redhat channel on freenode since the signal to noise ratio is way too low. Your best bet is to buy one of your linux admins something from thinkgeek and then team admin. This is the way I learned a lot about adminning a Linux box. If you can come hang out on osgeo on freenode there are a bunch of helpful/fun ppl there who might be able to help.

    Keep the great posts coming!

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