Apache Server & Dynamic DNS

Using XAMPP and NO-IP

Ginger Hunt EDTECH 552 April 10, 2013

Ginger Hunt

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Getting Started

Overview: The Apache Server and Dynamic DNS project consists of three major steps necessary to set up my home computer as a server and create a webpage hosted by my own server. The first task was to download and install an Apache server. The second task was to test the local area network. The final task was to publish the server onto the Internet. We were given the option to publish another type of site through our server for extra credit. I chose to publish a Joomla site.

Ginger Hunt

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Background: All of the instructional videos for this project were based on a Windows machine. I am more comfortable with Apple products so I decided to use XAMPP on my iMac running OS X Mountain Lion. Other products I used included an Apple Airport Extreme, Comcast Arris TM772 router, Adobe Dreamweaver through Adobe Creative Cloud, DNS through No-IP, the Macrospikes CSS template from Freetemplates, and Joomla. Network Diagram: Comcast is my Internet Service Provider. The newly installed cable line currently runs from the back of my garage, under the side door to the Arris router. An ethernet cable connects my AirPort Extreme to the router. All of my hardware devices, including the printer, are currently running wireless connections due to the construction on my house (which is why I am operating out of the garage!). I used my iMac for the project, but use the Samsung touch screen with Windows 8 to run Packet Tracer. The screen shot of my Packet Tracer doesn’t accurately show the ethernet cable between the modem and router or the wireless connection from the router to the iMac.

Ginger Hunt

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Step 1: Download the XAMPP server The video for the course demonstrated how to download a WAMP server for Windows. I watched the video and then found a video on downloading XAMPP to a Mac . (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdWcIEpyO0U) I was able to use a lot of the steps in the Windows video once I found all the correct places on the Mac. For instance, the XAMPP file was already unzipped when I opened the download and the “www” folder inside the WAMP folder is actually the “htdocs” folder in XAMPP. It was a little more time consuming having to translate the steps, but I learned a lot about both operating systems. Step 2: Test the Server at LAN First, I needed to download a free web template. I have to admit this was frightening because when I took 502 almost a year ago, I had a lot of trouble using CSS templates with CS5. This time though, the CSS template downloaded and opened perfectly with CS6. I changed some of the information and saved it. Next, I started the XAMPP server. The control panel is very different from WAMP so I spent a lot of time pouring through the XAMPP folders to see what was in each
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one. I took a guess and changed the index.php file in XAMPP to index.php_BAK and then the CSS template to the index.html. I tested out the local host and it worked! Finally, I was supposed to work on changing the root password of the MySQL server. However, I was still a little shaky on the details so I skipped ahead to Part III. I ended up changing the root password as one of the last items on my checklist. Step 3: Publish to the Internet I went to No-IP to sign up for a free account. I downloaded and installed the Mac version. While I was looking at the options, I decided to pay for a domain name. The video covered free names so I became a bit lost. I ended up spending a few hours trying to figure out what I paid for and where it went on my computer. Because I paid for a name, I didn’t need to pick a host name. However, I was only able to access my site through the IP address for about an hour. I thought I had done something wrong- I even posted it in the forum to see if
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anyone else had the same problem. I went back in to add a host name for the second time and the

name I had paid for ended up working. I eventually found a post from Dr. Hung explaining it could take No-IP a while to connect the dots. The next step was to set up port forwarding because my server was connected to a wireless router. However, because I paid for the service, the No-IP application gave me a choice of manually entering my IP or using their service to get around the router problem so I used their plan. I did go in and open Port 80 on my AirPort Extreme for web sharing anyway.
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Unfortunately, when I did this, I thought it would be a great idea to put on a time limit for Port 80. I chose 5pm-10pm. At exactly 10 pm my entire Internet went down. I was unable to reset the Airport and am waiting until 5pm tonight for it to open back up! Step 4: Revisit the root password of the MySQL server I watched the video on changing the root password provided by Dr. Hung a sixth time. I went back into PhpMyAdmin and followed the directions. I changed the password online and went into the XAMPP folder to reset it there as well. Step 5: Extra Credit: Setting up a Joomla site I wasn’t sure I would have time to set up another site using a different platform, but I was really interested in a few extra points! I would like to learn more about Moodle, but for now Joomla seemed the best bet at 10:00 at night. I watched the video provided by Dr. Hung and

then downloaded Joomla 3.0. I created a new data base in PhpMyAdmin according to the video. Then I went into XAMPP copied the Joomla folder into the htdocs folder. I changed the name to Joomla3. Next I went to localhost/Joomla3 and nothing appeared. I uninstalled and
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reinstalled Joomla three times with no luck. I Googled the problem high and low. I finally came to trapecista.org/wordpress/?p=135. This site had precise instructions for using Joomla, XAMPP, and a Mac. I ended up creating another database in PhpMyAdmin. The instructions on the site warned you needed the file permissions to be “read and write”. I thought because I had them set correctly under my admin name it would work. I ended up having to change the file permissions to read and write for everyone in order to get Joomla to open. I followed the rest of the instructions and it worked!

Ginger Hunt

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Step 6: What I learned and how php+MySQL environments can be used in facilitating teaching and learning. This entire lesson was new for me so the most important thing I learned is that I can take a topic like servers and make it work, even on a different operating system. This environment is going to be extremely helpful in my position as a technology integration specialist. I met with my Principal this morning and explained my project. I am going to continue with the lesson on my own time and learn to set up Moodle. I will then be able to bring online professional development opportunities to teachers in my school district! If all goes well with teachers, I may even start my 5th grade students in Moodle. What a wonderful opportunity for such young students. These are the students growing up with online college courses. The earlier I can reach them, the farther they will be able to go! Thanks Dr. Hung! Your instruction will go farther than you realize!

Ginger Hunt

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