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Advice for Upgrading Apache on NetWare 6

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Brad Nicholes

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Posted: 30 Aug 2002
 

We've had a lot of readers write in wondering if it's safe to download the latest version of Apache, from www.apache.org, to update the Apache software on their NetWare 6 servers. Here's some advice from Senior Software Engineer, Brad Nicholes.

There is one real issue and one potential issue when downloading Apache from the Apache web site. The Apache binaries that are available on the Apache web site have been built and tested by Novell. Therefore they are official Apache releases. But they have not been compatibility tested with other Novell products.

Possible issues.
The real issue regarding NetWare 6 and the latest Apache release is an MP (multi-processor) vs UP (single-processor) issue. NetWare 6 shipped with the UP version of Apache. This was because of some MP unsafe LCGI modules that were used to configure the Enterprise Web Server.

Which version?
If you are upgrading the Apache web server on your NetWare 6 box by downloading the latest version from the Apache Web site, you must download and install the UP version of Apache 1.3.x. If you want to run the MP version of Apache, It is recommended that you install it to a different directory and/or volume and then run it as a separate instance in protected address space.

The bleeding edge.
The potential issue with downloading and installing the latest version is module incompatibility. There have been times, although very rare, with Apache 1.3.x, when an internal Apache API or structure has changed which requires all external modules to have to be rebuilt. This would affect modules such as iFolder, MOD_JK, MOD_NDS, etc. This has not been a problem so far with Apache 1.3.x due to the fact that 1.3.x is extremely stable. I only mention this as a precaution. If you download and install a newer version and while loading Apache it complains about module incompatibility, you will probably have to downgrade to a previous version.

Finally, I would suggest that you do not upgrade the version of Apache on SYS:/APACHE except through support packs. This way you can be sure that compatibility issues between Apache and other Novell products have been resolved. SP2 includes Apache 1.3.26 which is the latest version of the Apache web server in the 1.3.xx series. If you want to be running the latest and greatest version of Apache for your own purposes, install the latest version in a different location on your NetWare server. This allows the Web Manager and iFolder to run in a known environment and you to have a completely independent version running that you can play with to your heart's content.


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