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Making the ZENworks Asset Management Console URL Behave Properly

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Stefan Evans

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Posted: 10 Jan 2007
 

ENVIRONMENT:
ZENworks Asset Management server-side components such as the Web Console are essentially Windows-only. I've tested this on Windows 2003 with SP1, but there's no reason it shouldn't work on Windows 2000 Server with SP4.

In the default installation of ZENworks Asset Management, including versions all the way up to the current 7.0 SP1, remotely accessing the ZENworks Asset Management Web Console requires one to type this in its entirety: http://your-server:8080/rtrlet/rtr -- and many companies, unfortunately, live with that.

A hold-over from the original Tally Systems implementation, this ZAM Web Console URL can't get much uglier because:

  1. It requires you to always specify the stand-alone Tomcat port of 8080, and
  2. Moreover you and any manager/analyst/etc at your company has to know the path to the webapp plus its main Java servlet: /rtrlet/rtr

Here's how to make the ZAM Web Console URL behave as it always should have.

Solution

Opening assumption: Standard HTTP port 80 is currently un-used; that is, neither IIS nor another webserver has previously been installed by the adminstrator.

Download these free and open-source components from Apache's website:

As you will soon see, both components will tie in nicely with the ZAM7-bundled versions of Sun Java and Tomcat 5 already installed on your Web Console server.

Next, perform the following steps:

  1. Install the Apache HTTP Server. At the end of the installation, I'd recommend answering "Yes" when prompted if Apache should be a Service that loads on reboot.
  2. Install the Tomcat Connector:
    1. Rename the downloaded file to mod_jk.so (i.e. from "mod_jk-apache-2.2.3.so" into just "mod_jk.so").
    2. Copy this renamed file into the Apache install location's "modules" sub-folder.
  3. In the Apache install location's "conf" sub-folder, use Notepad to edit the httpd.conf to add these two lines to the very bottom of the file:
    LoadModule jk_module modules/mod_jk.so
    Include "C:/Program Files/Apache Software Foundation/Apache2.2/conf/zam.conf"
    The zam.conf file is provided at the end of this article.

    NOTE: Ensure you make the Include line match your install location if you did not just accept the default path, or your Apache version differs. Also, use the forward-slash path delimiter instead of the usual Windows back-slash.
  4. Restart the Apache HTTP Server service; this should load the Tomcat Connector module as well as properly instruct Apache on how to integrate in the Tomcat-based Web Console application.

    At this point, no more specifying the :8080 port when trying to access the Web Console! It's integrated into Apache on port 80. But we're still not done....
  5. In the Apache install location's "htdocs" sub-folder, rename the existing placeholder index.html. Using Notepad create a new index.html file with only this line in it:

    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" CONTENT="0;URL=http://your-server/rtrlet/rtr?act=network.Login&rtyp=login">
    NOTE: Don't miss changing the "your-server" part of this redirect.

So now when you go to access the root path, by specifying just the webserver name in your browser, you're automatically redirected by Apache to the deeper-link login screen.

In summary, what used to be required for the ZENworks Asset Management Web Console
http://your-server:8080/rtrlet/rtr
has been replaced with the far more intuitive URL:
http://your-server

Alternative solution path: Without delving into too much of the the specifics, instead of Apache with the Tomcat Connector (mod_jk), you can accomplish the same result by using IIS 5+ with a different build of the same Tomcat Connector.

To everyone out there: thank me by writing your own cool tips or articles that I know you're just sitting on, mulling over the effort of submission. But that doesn't go for you folks at Novell... I want that iPod Nano someday, so you still need to thank me by way of an unexpectedly huge reward of points!

Example

# This is the sample zam.conf file to include and
# activate your stand-alone Tomcat webapp.

#########################################################
# Auto configuration for the /rtrlet context starts.
#########################################################

#
# The following line makes apache aware of the location of the /rtrlet context
#
Alias /rtrlet "C:/Tomcat5/webapps/rtrlet"
<Directory "C:/Tomcat5/webapps/rtrlet">
   Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
   Order allow,deny
   Allow from all
</Directory>

#
# The following line mounts all JSP files and the /rtrlet/ uri to tomcat
#
JkMount /rtrlet/* ajp13
JkMount /rtrlet/*.jsp ajp13

#
# The following line prohibits users from directly accessing WEB-INF
#
<Location "/rtrlet/WEB-INF/">
   AllowOverride None
   deny from all
</Location>
#
# Use Directory too. On Windows, Location doesn't work unless case matches
#
<Directory "C:/Tomcat5/webapps/rtrlet/WEB-INF/">
   AllowOverride None
   deny from all
</Directory>

#
# The following line prohibits users from directly accessing META-INF
#
<Location "/rtrlet/META-INF/">
   AllowOverride None
   deny from all
</Location>
#
# Use Directory too. On Windows, Location doesn't work unless case matches
#
<Directory "C:/Tomcat5/webapps/rtrlet/META-INF/">
   AllowOverride None
   deny from all
</Directory>

#######################################################
# Auto configuration for the /rtrlet context ends.
#######################################################

If you have any questions you may contact Stefan at stefan.evansTAKETHISOUT@TAKETHISOUTgulfstream.com


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