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Redirecting with WebAccess

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jim Michael

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Posted: 3 Apr 2007
 

Problem

A Forum reader recently asked:

"I just set up a new GroupWise 7.01 server on NetWare 6.5 SP6 with Apache2 and Tomcat. The default WebAccess directory is mail.domain.com/gw/webacc. I would like my users to be able to type "mail.domain.com" and have them directly go to the login page at https://mail.domain.com/gw.webacc. Currently when they go to mail.domain.com, it takes them to the default Open Enterprise Server Welcome screen. What Web server settings do I need to change?"

And here's the response from Jim Michael ...

Solution

The simplest thing to do is to edit the apache confg file that handles WebAccess and add a redirect, like this:

redirect /index.html https://mail.domain.com/gw/webacc 

That will cause any request for the index page to be redirected (and all browsers, of course, request an index page).

It is whichever apache conf file handles the instance of apache running WebAccess. Usually it is sys:apache2/conf/httpd.conf on NetWare 6.5 boxes.

However, that is NOT "forcing" users to use SSL. A user (for whatever reason) could simply modify the URL back to http:// and the web server won't care. If you really want/need to FORCE users to use SSL, you need to use the Apache rewriter:
https://secure-support.novell.com/KanisaPlatform/Publishing/297/3317621_f.SAL_Public.html

Note that you can't just put in another redirect from http://mail.domain.com/gw/webacc to https://mail.domain.com/gw.webacc. That won't work, because you'll end up in a loop. The only way to "force" SSL is to have apache actually rewrite the requested URL on-the-fly, and that's what mod_rewrite does.

See also TID 10016636.


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