Configuring Linux for QPLA

Applies to the following products: 
Questionmark Perception
Applies to the following Perception versions: 
Perception 5.2
Perception 5.1

If you are installing a multi-tiered environment and you intend to use Linux to install the Questionmark Presentation Layer for Assessments you will need to ensure that the Linux server you are using is set up correctly. You need to have Apache and PHP installed on Linux.

This section provides information about how to manually configure Apache and PHP on the following Linux distributions:

It also provides details about how to check that PHP is working and all the extensions are enabled in the section:

The Linux distributions listed above are distributions that Questionmark Support. However, if you are attempting to use an unsupported distribution assistance from Questionmark will be limited.

If you are installing Perception on a Linux platform it means you have opted to install in a multi-tiered environment. Prior to completing the steps below you should ensure that you have configured your Windows server systems to allow Perception Version 5 (Enterprise Manager and QABS) to be installed. Once you have done this you will also need to configure your Linux server with some of the items listed above. The following information assumes you have already installed Linux and are proficient with operating in a Linux environment. Linux needs to be able to access the other tiers of Perception via a network or the Internet.

Configuring Ubuntu Server 8 or 9

To install Apache, PHP and SAMBA on Ubuntu you will need to have an appropriate administrative user. This section shows you how to install the necessary components from the command line. This is because Ubuntu Server 8 or 9 is a stripped down install and does not include any graphical user interface like KDE or GNOME by default. From the command prompt you will need to run the following:

sudo apt-get install apache2

sudo apt-get install php5

sudo apt-get install php5-curl

sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5

sudo apt-get install php5-xsl

sudo apt-get install smbfs

sudo apt-get install smbclient

Once installed you will need to restart Apache, do this by running the following from the command prompt:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Once you have installed and configured Apache and PHP test it is working by navigation to the following page:

http://<linuxserver>/

Where <linuxerver> is the host name for your Linux server. You should see the message 'It works!' if Apache was installed correctly.

To check the status of your PHP installation you will need to create a test file to connect to from a browser. You can create the test file in VI, VIM, NANO , or any other text editor.

For example, to create the info.php file in NANO enter the following text at the command prompt:

sudo nano /var/www/info.php

To test your PHP installation:

    1. Start by creating the file info.php in the /var/www directory as described above
    2. Insert the following line into the info.php file:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

  1. Save the changes
  2. Now check that the extensions are enabled, refer to Testing PHP for details.

You will also need to install a ZIP tool to extract the QPLA files into Apache when you install it. To install a ZIP tool enter the following at the command prompt:

sudo apt-get install zip

If the steps above do not work, please refer to the documentation associated with your Linux distribution for more details.

Configuring RedHat Enterprise Linux 5

RedHat Enterprise Linux 5 can either be configured in 2 different ways:

  • Through a Graphical User Interface
  • Via Command prompt

This section assumes you will be using the GUI to setup and install RedHat. RedHat can be configured during installation to include all the relevant packages. However, this section assumes you have installed a basic installation and are configuring Linux manually.

To install Apache 2 and PHP, please follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to RedHat
  2. Click Applications followed by Add/Remove Software
  3. Click the Search tab
  4. Enter httpd in the text-box and click Search

    A list of packages matching the searched term will be displayed.

  5. Select the httpd-2.x.x-xx.el5.<arch>

    Where x is the version number and <arch> is the architecture that matches your installation. For example, httpd-2.2.3-22.el5.i386

  6. Click Apply and wait for the package to be installed
  7. Return to the Search tab and enter PHP in the text-box and click Search
  8. Place a tick against the following packages:
    • php-5.x.x-xx.x.el5.<arch>
    • php-xml-5.x.x-xx.x.el5.<arch>
    • php-soap-5.x.x-xx.x.el5.<arch>

    Where x is the version of the extension you would like to install and <arch> is the architecture that matches your installation. For example, i386. It is recommended that you install the latest version of each extension.

  9. Click Apply and wait for the package to be installed
  10. Return to the Search tab and enter CURL in the text-box and click Search
  11. Select curl-7.xx.x-x.el5.I386

    Where x is the version of the extension you would like to install and <arch> is the architecture that matches your installation. For example, i386.. It is recommended that you install the latest version of each extension.

  12. Click Apply and wait for the package to be installed
  13. Return to the Search tab and enter SAMBA in the text-box and click Search
  14. Place a tick against the following package if they are not already installed:
    • samba-common-3.x.xx-x.x.el5.<arch>
    • samba.client-3.x.x.xx.-x.x.el5.<arch>

    Where x is the version of the extension you would like to install and <arch> is the architecture that matches your installation. For example, i386.. It is recommended that you install the latest version of each extension.

  15. Click Apply and wait for the package to be installed

Once installed Apache can be started.

Starting Apache

Once Apache is installed you will need to start the service. To do this complete the following steps:

  1. Select System | Administration | Server Settings | Services and enter the administrators password if necessary
  2. In the list on the left hand side of the window locate the httpd service and click Start
  3. Click Save and close the application

Once this has been done you should check that Apache is correctly serving pages. To do this browse to the following address:

http://<linuxserver>

Where <linuxserver> is the name or IP address of you RedHat Linux machine.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the following address if you are browsing from your Linux server:

http://localhost/

You should see a page similar to the following displayed if Apache is running correctly:

Now that Apache has been setup and configured you will need to check that PHP is also available. To do this complete the following steps from the command prompt as the root user:

  1. Enter the following:

    gedit /var/www/html/info.php

  2. The GEdit window opens. Add the following to the file

    <?php phpinfo(); ?>

  3. Click Save
  4. Now check that the extensions are enabled, refer to Testing PHP for details.

If the steps above do not work, please refer to the documentation associated with your Linux distribution for more details.

Configuring Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise 11

SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 is a Graphical User Interface enabled Linux distribution. To install the necessary components to run QPLA, please follow the steps below:

  1. Click Computer followed by Install Software
  2. Enter your administrative password and click Continue
  3. In the Search text-box, enter Apache and click Search
  4. Place a tick against the following packages:
  • apache2
  • apache2-mod-php5
  • apache2-example-pages
  • In the Search text-box enter PHP and click Search
  • Place a tick against the following extensions:
    • php5-curl
    • php5-xsl
    • php5-soap
    • php5-openssl (only if you intent to use SSL)
  • Now in the Search text-box enter cifs and click Search
  • Place a tick against the cifs-mount extension
  • Click Accept
  • Click Continue and wait for the packages to install
  • Now that Apache has been installed you will need to configure it. To do this:

    1. Click Computer | YaST
    2. Locate and click HTTP Server
    3. Click Next
    4. Ensure the Enable PHP5 Scripting check-box is selected and click Next
    5. Click Next again
    6. You will not be setting any Virtual Hosts so click Next
    7. Select the Start Apache2 Server When Booting option button and click Finish

    Once you have installed and configured Apache and PHP test it is working by navigating to the following page:

    http://<linuxserver>/

    Where <linuxerver> is the host name for your Linux server. You should see the message 'It works!' if Apache was installed correctly.

    To check the status of your PHP installation you will need to create a test file to connect to from a browser. You can create the test file in GEdit, or any other text editor. To create the info.php file in GEdit complete the following steps at the command prompt once logged in as the root user:

      1. Enter the following:

        gedit /srv/www/htdocs/info.php

      2. Add the following line into the info.php file:

    <?php phpinfo(); ?>

    1. Save the changes
    2. Now check that the extensions are enabled, refer to Testing PHP for details.

    If the steps above do not work, please refer to the documentation associated with your Linux distribution for more details.

    Testing PHP

    Once you have created the info.php page carry out the following steps to check that everything is configured correctly:

      1. Navigate to the following page on your Linux server:

    http://<linuxserver>/info.php

    or if viewing from the Linux server:

    http://localhost/info.php

    1. Check that the XSL, CURL and SOAP extensions are present and enabled

    Once you have configured Linux and confirmed that it is all working, please refer to the Linux/Windows environment section for instruction on installing the relevant part of Perception on Linux.