A review of Linux Configuration for Server use, written by
Mark Rais, author of Linux for the Rest of Us 2nd Edition and sr. editor for reallylinux.com.
In this brief introductory article, I share the core details for how to configure Linux so
that it will run your webserver, telnet, ftp, mysql etc.
This means we will be configuring processes including: httpd, mysql, xinetd.
Please note that this article is primarily focused on the RedHat/Fedora Linux flavor.
I also recommend you get familiar with these Commands for Server Administrators .
Summary of Commands
|Trying to Start:
Then try doing this:
||Edit the file
changing the two lines to:
# default: on
disabled = no
then try doing this
|Edit the file /etc/xinetd.d/wu-ftpd
changing the two
# default: on
disabled = no
then run the
Details of Configuring
EDITORS NOTE: Some of the newest flavors of Linux have changed the locations of the configuration files. For this reason please
note that most of these commands apply best to Fedora/Redhat. However, some configuration commands like the use of xinetd or running chkconfig are useful on almost all Linux/Unix systems.
First off, I should mention that this guide is
best used when in front of your Linux computer, with an open xterm
session. The exact commands come from RedHat 7.1+ related server,
but apply to most Linux servers.
TIP 1. When you need to find a particular file/directory
then use the 'locate' command (on Fedora slocate works well too) to find things on your server. Like,
typing: locate xinetd
TIP 2. If you did not know this already, all of
the web server html files for Fedora are placed under: /var/www/html
Step 1. Which Processes are Running On Your
If you don't know, then you need to find out asap! Use the
The output would look
httpd 0:off 1:off 2:off 3:off 4:off 5:off 6:off
The above command will give you a long list of processes with
info beside them like "off". Any process with the word
"off" next to it can be assumed disabled by default
during startup. You should look for your processes that are
usually needed for running a webserver like httpd, telnet, wu-ftp,
mysqld. All of these should be "on" by default.
Step 2. Get Processes
Starting up your webserver (httpd), mysql (mysqld), sendmail, etc.
is easy so long as you follow the directions from the steps below.
For your webserver and mysql, you can enable these things right
away for use during this session.
Change to the initialization (aka init) directory:
This directory (when listed) shows all processes you can start
like httpd and mysqld. For now let's start our web server with
You should then see:
Starting httpd: [ OK ]
Now enable your webserver (httpd) for ALL future STARTUPS!
1. Edit the config files as applied to
the "rc" directory of your choice. Remember that all
resource files activated at different run times are in different
rc.d directories. For instance, when your server is loaded at
runtime level 5 (usual) then all the resources under rc5.d are
activated. Change directory to:
Remember that the rc5.d is a resource directory (under /etc)
for run level 5... etc.
You edit files in these directories to control
what occurs at different run levels. Files with a prefix of K
are NOT installed to run at startup. Files with S
are ready to run at startup. Example names: K74ypserv or S14nfslock.
can always use something like the command:
/sbin/chkconfig --add httpd
to add the web server to the future startups. However, I prefer
doing my change manually.
2. You can manually force this by simply
using a command like:
mv K15httpd S15httpd
Summary for those needing one... You now
should have your webserver started and ready as default for all
future starts with:
- ./httpd start
- mv k15httpd s15httpd
Step 3. What About telnet
Ok, you're smart enough to have noticed that following the steps
above you can not get telnet or ftp started.
That's because they are not part of the initd process,
but rather the xinetd process. The xinetd
process handles the startup of all of your network related
1st Start telnet first by changing
directories to xinetd:
Next type ls to list
all of the processes that can be configured. You'll notice for
instance the file telnet.
2nd Edit the telnet file and change two
# default: on
disabled = no
These lines are not adjacent, but usually the first and last
lines of the configuration file (in our case telnet).
You need to edit all configuration files that
apply to things you're trying to start. Many processes come by
default turned off and disabled = yes. You can edit files like
telnet, wu-ftp, etc.
3rd Once you have edited and saved the
files with the default on and disabled = no, you can force an
automatic restart of the xinetd to load without rebooting:
Finally, you should see:
Stopping xinetd: [ OK ]
Starting xinetd: [ OK ]
Believe it or not, following all of this you should now have
Now check to see what processes you
have running again by using:
the long "process" ps command like: ps -e | grep http.
You can use these same steps above to get mysql and ftp running.
Replace httpd with mysql, and telnet with wu-ftpd. Always
remember there is a difference between configuration and startup
files under initd and xinetd.
Hopes this helps you get
going! Special thanks to John for his inspiration and to Tom
for catching a typo that could have mislead readers!
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