Configuration files.

Bryan McClendon jidar at
Fri May 12 13:24:17 PDT 2000

I have been going through the Installation instructions and have
installed all of the Perl modules as well as configured Apache, MySQL,
and the freeside user. I had no trouble with this as it was all familiar
material to me, but the configuration files portion is another matter. 

Basically, it doesn't make any sense. I've reread it over and over and
what I am supposed to be doing with these configuratoin files is not
apparent to me.

For instance, the documentation states that
"/usr/local/etc/freeside/mapsecrets" is read, and each line in this file
is a username and a filename seperated by whitespace. Well that file
doesnt exist (in fact that directory doesnt exist) so I gather that I
must create it, and when I do I have to put usernames and filenames in
it. What usernames? Im told these usernames don't come from the local
system but come from Apache, and by that I suppose they are referenced
from my /etc/httpd/conf/users file (created with htpasswd). Of coarse my
apache users file doesnt have anything in it so I dont have any users to
put on these lines that require usernames and filenames. And even if I
did, what relationship do these usernames have with these filenames? Do
I just randomly put usernames next to filenames? I doubt it.

Next I read "Filenames are located in /usr/local/etc/freeside". They
are? How so? I just made that directory so I'm certain it's empty. I can
only assume that this means that Im supposed to put the files that I
list in this mapsecrets file in this directory. I hope thats right,
because it certainly isn't clear. 

Then it says that "The specified filename is parsed..." "Three lines,
database engine, username, password". Lets ignore the fact that I still
don't know any usernames or passwords, and try to figure out how I make
a filename have 3 lines. Especially when the example filename is only 1
line that only has the database engine listed. I guess this means that
the specified filename refers to a -file- that contains 3 lines;
database engine, username, and password. Also the filename itself should
contain the database engine in it..?

I could go on, but basically this documentation is only slightly better
than nothing at all. No doubt it makes sense to the person that wrote
it, but it isn't making any sense to me. Can I just get an ls -la of a
dummy config directory, and maybe an example mapsecrets? In fact.. an
explanation of what things are, as opposed to how they are supposed to
look might be good too.

I suppose I could do it the way everyone else has no doubt done it,
trial and error, but it just burns my ass. I have never had any trouble
reading any documentation in my career as a network administrator, and
at this point I kind of take for granted that I can figure something out
if I just RTFM. I am most definately not the kind of person who likes to
learn things by screwing them up a few times first.

Sorry if this comes across as a flame, it isn't inteaded to be one.

Bryan McClendon
Parsons Internet Administrator
jidar at

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