Articles – GL on Spacesports

How to install and run your own Geeklog

This article will attempt to show you how to install your very own Geeklog (GL) and use it. Geeklog’s has recently just moved to their new home @ http://www.geeklog.net  GL’s developers does provide a good and comprehensive installation guide but it seems I have friends who still have problem installing them. Anyway, I’ll show you how to install GL on Lycos UK and Spacesports as they provide a free mySQL database and has PHP support.

Instructions for Lycos*  |  Instructions for Spacesports (See below)

* This article is gone as Lycos does not support FTP properly, submitting each file via their Explorer in IE takes too much time and effort!

TOC

1. Introduction
2. Difference of CMS and Forums
3. Let’s Start already!
Register with Spacesports
But there’s no mySQL dB?!
Registering for a CGI spaceports account
Summary of all the stuffs we need to install GL
Download GL and Configuring
Editing config.php and lib-common.php
config.php
lib-common.php
Upload all Files
A list of file to be on Spaceports to avoid quota exceeding but enable GL to install
Test your site and do some administration.
Common Problems at this stage
Change the password for the Admin and Moderators account
Common Problems at this stage
4. Plugins
Other Recommendations
5. Thank you
6. Related Links

Some Intro

GL is what is also known as a CMS, content management system where everything is done online, from adding in stories, links, voting and all administration of the site is done via the website. Just “Point and Click”. So you can concentrate on the contents of the website than spending time coding it. Some also coined the term “blog” which actually mean CMS.

ITCoW runs on GL too and so that free up a lot of my time writing articles such as this. Articles here at ITCoW are stored in GL’s “staticpages” as they are officially known. Staticpages are pages that does not change and a link is static, does not change. No dynamic contents too, just plain HTML coding. I normally write my articles in Frontpage/ Firstpage 2000 or Dreamweaver sometimes first, then copy and paste the HTML codes into GL.

I hope this guide will help fellow users who wanna run a version of GL of their own and this is by no way a “better” installation guide. GL’s official guide is good enough but at times, you may be stopped here or there with problems. That is where you should submit a story to GL’s official site, wait for it to be published and have someone post a reply to your message.

Difference of CMS and Forums

CMS and GL in particular is different from a forums system. I’ll compare phpBB which is a forum system and GL, a CMS.

In phpBB, you register, an e-mail is sent to you (or may not, depends if the site running that phpBB is configured to do so) with the password. You go back to that forum, login and start posting. Anonymous posting may also be allowed or disallowed, meaning you need to register in order to post a new thread or post a reply. That’s all about it with a forum system.

Whereas in GL, you register, a whole new world opens up! Once you register, you can post in the Forum, post up Links, upload/download Files, view the Gallery, post Stories and personalised the whole GL site to your liking. However that does not alter the contents of the site in any way.

But I have my own Domain

I understand that you have your own domain but if you are able to follow through this guide and have the original GL (with no plugins) running with no problems, I believe it would be of no problem installing it on your domain. You may also wanna know more of this flavour of CMS first before buying/ registering a domain/webhost.

I heard of others…

Yes, Geeklog is not the only CMS around. There are many others but GL provided the needs I needed with ease of administration. You should also see if other CMS suits you before running a site on it. I ran php Website initially but then switch to phpNuke then finally Geeklog which is the best in covering my needs. Refer to the links at the end f this article for more CMS.

       

Let’s Start already!

OK, ok but first let’s see what is needed in order to run your very own GL.

1. You will need to have PHP and mySQL installed.
2. Download the latest version of GL, I’ll be using 1.3.7, we’ll add in some fun stuffs later. They comes in the form of plugins.
3. An account with Spacesports.
4. A FTP client software. I’ll be using WS FTP Pro.


1 Register with Spacesports

1.1. Go to Spacesports’s webpage @ http://www.spaceports.com/, then click on the Signup link as shown below.

1.2. Fill in your preferred username and e-mail. We signed up on 31 Dec 2002 8.18pm.

1.3. A notification will be sent to you within an hour as they claim.

1.4. I got the mail at 31 Dec 2002 at around 9pm

Date: 12/31/2002 06:02:23 -0700
From: Spaceports <webmaster@spaceports.com>
To: itcow <itcow@etegration.com>
Subject: Spaceports Account
All headers
Your free Spaceports account has been activated!  Upload your files to
the public_html directory on your account using the FTP site and login
information provided below.  You currently have a twenty megabyte disk
quota.  If you need more space, visit http://config.spaceports.com/ to
apply for an upgrade.  If you have any questions, please review the
FAQ at: http://www.spaceports.com/faq/

Username: itcow
Password: **********
FTP Site: galileo.spaceports.com
Web Site: http://galileo.spaceports.com/~itcow/

Please register your Spaceports site at: http://config.spaceports.com/

1.5. Next is some basic details is asked.

1.6. After that, you’ll get to this page:

1.7. But wait a minute, but where’s the mySQL database?! READ! The Spacesports FAQ does says

How do I get a MySQL database?To get a MySQL database you need to have a CGI-BIN account. (You can sign up for a CGI-BIN account by logging into the members section.) Then all you need to do is login to the members section (config) with your CGI-BIN information, click the mySQL button, and it’ll create the database for you.

Meaning, you need to click on the Register for a CGI site link.

And it’s:

“Login information will be e-mailed to you within the hour.”

More waiting again…off for a short break…

1.8. Yes, at last I got my mail and it reads:

Date: 12/31/2002 16:00:47 GMT
From: Spaceports <webmaster@spaceports.com>
To: itcow <itcow@etegration.com>
Subject: Spaceports CGI Account
Your new Spaceports CGI account has been activated. Upload your files
to your public_html directory using the FTP site and login information
provided below.  All scripts must have .cgi or .pl extensions, and can
be accessed through the web site address listed below. Use this space
for CGI related files only. PHP files must have a .php extension.
All users on this server are limited to a 10 meg quota and a limit of
1000 files. Spaceports does not currently offer support for CGI;
however, we have created a user forum where you can post and
respond to CGI questions at: http://forum.spaceports.com/

Username: itcow
Password: *************
FTP Site: cgi-bin.spaceports.com
Web Site: http://cgi-bin.spaceports.com/~itcow/

Your home directory is /home3/itcow/public_html

The CGI-BIN server is aggressively firewalled. To connect to it, you
must use the passive mode setting in your FTP client. (Read the help
files that came with your particular client to learn how to set this).
Failure to set this mode will result in a “Can’t build data connection:
Permission denied.” (or a 425) error.

There is no way to make outgoing network connections from the server.
All e-mail has been disabled on the server as well.

Always read the FAQ (http://www.spaceports.com/faq) and read through
the forums (http://forum.spaceports.com) before reporting a problem
to support — if the answer, or fix is in either place, you will be
pointed there.

All right! That’s all the information we need to install Geeklog. Currently I have:

1. UserID – itcow and password that has just been mailed to me. For Spacesports, I will need to install GL on the CGI server due to their policy on security.

Important Note: Also do note that your Planet account will be deleted if you do not have a index.html page. Create a page to link it to your CGI server like me. Read this.

2. FTP site is FTP Site: cgi-bin.spaceports.com
3. Web Site: http://cgi-bin.spaceports.com/~itcow/

4. Home path /home3/itcow/public_html
5. Database name is “the
same as your CGI-BIN username. Your CGI-BIN username is also your mySQL username, and your password is the same as your CGI-BIN password.” as stated in the FAQ and so simple!

Now we need to configure Geeklog before uploading all the files onto the server.


2. Geeklog

2.1. Download a copy of Geeklog from GL’s official site @ ITCoW.com or http://www.geeklog.net

2.2. Uncompress it with Winzip.

2.3. After extracting you will need to edit just 2 files. Don’t worry, I’ll take you thought it. This steps is also described in Geeklog’s installation files located in the doc folder you have unzipped together with all other GL files.

2.4 Editing config.php and lib-common.php

config.php

2.4.1 Open config.php with an editor that display line numbers so it’ll be easy to follow through, or you can search, but it’s a waste of time and trust me, it’s a long configuration file! I would strongly recommend using Firstpage 2000. A HTML editor software that is free! Grab a copy from http://www.evrsoft.com/

lib-common.php

2.4.2 Open lib-common.php located in the public_html folder and edit Line 65, put in the path accordingly.

2.4.3. – Change Line 51, 52 and 53

Line 51 is your database name which in my case is “itcow” (remember: “the same as your CGI-BIN username. Your CGI-BIN username is also your mySQL username, and your password is the same as your CGI-BIN password.”) I have blurred out line 53 as it contains my password. Remember to keep your password from anyone. Line 52 is my Lycos UK’s username.

2.4.4 – Lastly, change:

– Line 87 to the URL of the site
– Line 89 to your site name
– Line 90 to a slogan for your site
– Line 91 to your site e-mail address

2.4.5. – /path/to/geeklog (Line 67)

You’ll get to see this a lot when you install Geeklog. The path to geeklog is always asked when you wanna install plugins etc. The path is stated in the mail or you can find the path by simply FTPing this file phpsysinfo.php into your account. Then access it using it any web browser. You need to unzip this file THEN upload it. my path to GL is /home3/itcow/public_html/geeklog

3. Up those files

3.1 Now all you need to do is to FTP all the files onto Spacesports servers. Start your FTP client software, I will be using WS FTP Pro and FTP to (for my case, check your e-mail’s message for your Spacesports CGI FTP server address) cgi-bin.spaceports.com

3.2 Transfer all files over to the public_html folder ON Spacesports server, as I have stated in the config.php file that my site will be at http://cgi-bin.spaceports.com/~itcow/geeklog/public_html, I will create a folder name “geeklog” in public_html and upload all files there. Please don’t be confuse with the public_html folder that Geeklog has. They are different and do different things.

While transferring, I encountered the disk quota exceeded problem. You have to delete away geeklog-1.3.7/public_html/layout/ and all sub directories in them EXCEPT XSilver. Also, do not upload the geeklog-1.3.7/doc folder to save space and geeklog-1.3.7/*.* EXCEPT config.php

So in the end you should have:

/etc/ and all files within this folder
/include/ and all files within this folder
/language/ and all files within this folder
/logs/ and all files within this folder
/plugins/ and all files within this folder
/public_html/ and all files within this folder
/sql/ and all files within this folder
/system/ and all files within this folder
/config.php

After uploading all the above files, go to the installation webpage.

Mine is located @ http://cgi-bin.spaceports.com/~itcow/geeklog/public_html/admin/install/install.php (don’t try that URL, it’s invalid, read this on to know why) and you’ll see the following, click on next, it’s good to check the path again (/home3/itcow/public_html/geeklog)

Click on Next:

And finally:

IMPORTANT: Once you have your site up and running without any errors, do not forget to remove the install directory /home3/itcow/public_html/geeklog/public_html/admin/install

I’ll delete the install folder before proceeding. FTP to your CGI server on spaceports, go to /home3/itcow/public_html/geeklog/public_html/admin/ and delete the install directory. Now you have just made your site secure!


Deleting the install folder on the server.

4 – Test your site and do some administration.

4.1 I now just have to go to the URL http://cgi-bin.spaceports.com/~itcow/geeklog/public_html/ and be amazed!

4.2 Common Problems at this stage

See the following screenshot:

That’s common and it happens as Geeklog is unable to write some files to itself/server, simply FTP to your CGI server again and go to /public_html/geeklog/logs (note the path as you may have installed into other path), you will see the following:

Select both the files, access.log and error.log and right click like the following and go to FTP Commands > CHMOD (this depends on your FTP client too, the menu may be @ different place, I am using WS FTP Pro).

Then type in 777 in the Numeric value and click ok.


Above is a Before look

and after:

That’s it, go back and refresh your GL site’s main page, mine is @ http://cgi-bin.spaceports.com/~itcow/geeklog/public_html/ and it’s gone! See below:

4.2 Change the password for the Admin and Moderators account.

Next, we will change the password for the Admin account. It depends on you to whether you need the Moderator account. For me, I don’t need it, so I will be deleting it.

4.2.1 Login as Admin, the userid is Admin and password is “password”.

4.2.2 Then click on Account Information located under User Functions. This will only menu (the User Functions and Admins Only) will only display when the Admin login. When a user log in, he will only see the User Functions. From here on, I will refer these as Blocks which they are officially known as in Geeklog.

4.2.3 Then change all the info about yourself as you deem fit and click Save Information. See below:

That’s it for changing the Admin password and details. Next I will delete the Moderator account.

Common Problems at this stage:

Error Message: “Specified upload directory, /home3/itcow/public_html/geeklog/public_html/images/userphotos is not a valid directory
File Upload Errors:” appears. Don’t worry!

This seems to be a glitch with Geeklog’s installation problem, they did not create this folder for you and it has been so for that past few release. We’ll just create ourselves.

Create a folder name “userphotos” under /home3/itcow/public_html/geeklog/public_html/images/ and CHMOD it to 777 and you’re done.

That’s it, you have a running Geeklog and now all you have to do is maintain it, build up a site with your very own look, change the vote to something else, move the blocks around to suit you and your user’s taste and that’s it! Keep adding in stuffs.

Plugins

What are they you asked? Well, some people and very kind and knowledgeable ones too saw the need of extra feature needed with their own version of GL. The official release of GL may not be enough for them and thus they began programming on Geeklog adding in Forums system that can work perfectly within GL or some other functions like a ShoutBox, A photo Gallery or a a download repository which I will show you one by one on how to install all of them as these are some plugins ITCoW have too.

Plugins are mostly free*, as they comes from the opensource community.

* Free in opensource is defined as: ““Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.” A more concise definition can be found @ http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html

Some plugins ITCoW.com uses and recommend:

1. Forum (See Country Web, Blaine’s Site or SF’s site)
This is the best yet! Written from scratch just for GL!
See demo @ ITCoW.com | Download from ITCoW.com

2. Gallery (See http://www.geeklog.net/article.php?story=20030116092558996 )
This is a custom hack of the official Gallery. It was plotted over to GL and integrated!
See demo @ ITCoW.com | Download Installation Instruction | Integration Instructions from ITCoW.com

3. IP Plot (http://www.langfamily.ca/filemgmt/singlefile.php?lid=19)
This will show you where each user who is browsing your site is located on a world map.
See demo @ ITCoW.com. | Download from ITCoW.com

4. File Management (See http://www.langfamily.ca/filemgmt/singlefile.php?lid=28)
A download section that is customisable and easy to add files etc. User also will have a good interface on your GL site to download the files they need.
See demo @ ITCoW.com | Download from ITCoW.com

Drop by ITCoW.com’s forum or visit the official GL’s website and Get Submitted if you need help. Plugins questions can also be asked in our forum or @ GL or better yet, ask at the respective developers’ website(s).

Other Recommendations:

Get more themes @ Squatty.com’s download section here. More Plugins @ http://www.squatty.com/filemgmt/viewcat.php?cid=2, http://geeklogplugins.sourceforge.net/ and http://sourceforge.net/projects/geeklogplugins

Thank You

This has been a really long tutorial and has taken me more than 2 months to write as other commitment like work and personal life etc and of course there was the spaceports.com’s problem of not able to run GL properly. All the step above WILL work as the dated of this article’s written date. Good luck and I hope you find this useful, thanks for reading! Submit your site to us and be included in our Link’s page. We’ll be glad to add you in!

Related Links

CMS:

Geeklog Official Site
GL’s official Documents
phpNuke
php Website
PostNuke

phpBB – Opensource Forum system
mySQL
PHP
Lycos UK
Spacesports
phpMyadmin

Squatty
Blaine
CWeb

– Contributed by etegration
23 Feb 2003

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