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Server Setup

Depending on your needs and target audience you may choose to setup your own server or rent some space on a managed server from a web hosting company.

Managed Hosting

Web hosting companies will give you a couple hundred MB of disk space and manage the system software. The costs of this option are below $20/month and accounts can be setup in an hour or less. This is a good option to start because it allows you to concentrate you efforts on the applications. The host must be running Apache, MySQL and PHP4 compiled with graphic libraries (GD) for dynamic image creation.

Private Server

Setting up your own server will give you increased control. If you want to keep your data closer to home on a private LAN then this is a good option. Consider the following recommendations.

Server Hardware

The server is the heart of the system. Carefully consider Disk space, CPU, RAM, Backup systems etc. Hardware requirements will vary with different applications.

Recommended Minimum

Pentium 166
64Mb RAM
4 Gig HD
CD Drive (for install, can be removed after)
Ethernet card
3.5 floppy


Red Hat 7.3 (or the Unix/Linux of you choice, we use RH for testing)
X Windows is not needed
Static IP Address
Configure the BIOS to boot without a keyboard
Lynx-SSL (not necessary but useful)

Getting Apache, PHP and MySQL working together is covered in many different tutorials on the Internet. The manuals provide some of the best information for installations. You will need to configure PHP to include the GD libraries into PHP for graphics creation.

The best setup we have found is
1) Install Red Hat 7.3 server configuration, give the /var partion lots of room because MySQL stores the data there
2) Install MySQL using RPMs. (I have not been able to compile MySQL on RH7.3 and the MySQL docs recommends using the RPMs).
3) Start MySQL and make sure it is running.
4) Download and run the automatic Apache/MySQL/PHP installation script from ApacheToolbox. Make sure you include GD lib in the apachetoolbox setup program. If MySQL is running on the machine the Apachetoolbox script will include support for it.

Once you have completed your system software installation you are ready to add users, databases, scripts etc.

Add a user to the system

As root add a new user to the system
adduser data
passwd data

Allow Apache Access to Scripts

chmod 701 /home/data/

Add password for the MySQL root user

shell> mysql -u root mysql
mysql> SET PASSWORD FOR root=PASSWORD('new_password');

Add a database called "data" to MySQL

mysql> create database data;
mysql> quit
**** Managed Hosting installation picks up here ****
If your user name on the host's server is not data change instructions where needed.
Login as data
Create tables inside the database
mysql -p
use data;
create table data_bit(ts timestamp,station tinyint unsigned,element tinyint unsigned,value tinyint unsigned,index(ts));
create table data_number(ts timestamp,station tinyint unsigned,element tinyint unsigned,value float unsigned,index(ts));
create table elements(station tinyint unsigned, element tinyint unsigned,label char(50),discription char(255), red tinyint unsigned, green tinyint unsigned,blue tinyint unsigned);
create table comments(ts timestamp,station tinyint unsigned, comment char(50),index(ts));
create table sync_lock(epoch char(15),usec char(15),randomstr char(50));

Download the FDSserver Tarball

Untar in the /home/data/ directory
tar -xvf FDSserver.tar


Keep your computer on time with NTP. It makes small changes in your computer's clock to keep it in time with atomic clocks around the world.
NTP Installation

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