11.15. Linux flavours

11.15.1. Common administrative commands


CentOS 6.5




Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Package management

apt-get, dpkg, and for convenience gdebi


General system update

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

sudo yum update

Package type



Extra security

Nothing complex by default

SELinux; file permissions must be set with chcon

Autostarting daemons at boot

Usually happens automatically

Usually need to configure with chkconfig

Which OS version am I running?

lsb_release -a
uname -a
cat /etc/centos-release
uname -a


Default Python versions (CamCOPS requires 3.4)

2.7, 3.4



Apache main configuration file

Usually /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Usually /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Apache SSL configuration file

Usually /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl

Usually /etc/httpd/conf.d/ssl.conf

Granting access in Apache config file

Apache 2.4:
Require all granted
Apache 2.2:
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

Default Apache system user



Default SSL certificate location



Default Apache log directory



Restarting Apache

  • sudo service apache2 [start|stop|restart]

  • sudo apache2ctl [start|stop|restart]

  • sudo apachectl [start|stop|restart]

  • sudo service httpd [start|stop|restart]

  • sudo apachectl [start|stop|restart]


supervisord configuration file

Usually /etc/supervisor/supervisord.conf

Usually /etc/supervisord.conf

Restarting supervisord

  • sudo service supervisor [start|stop|restart]

  • sudo supervisorctl

  • sudo service supervisord [start|stop|restart]

  • sudo supervisorctl


Default MySQL configuration file



Restarting MySQL

sudo service mysql [start|stop|restart]

sudo service mysqld [start|stop|restart]

Default MySQL log



CamCOPS packages


sudo gdebi install camcops_VERSION_all.deb

sudo yum install camcops_VERSION.noarch.rpm


sudo dpkg –remove camcops

sudo yum remove camcops

11.15.2. Installing CamCOPS prerequisites under CentOS 6.5

Ensure additional repositories are in use:

# RPMForge: see http://www.tecmint.com/install-and-enable-rpmforge-repository-in-rhel-centos-6-5-4/
# Use "cat /etc/centos-release" to see CentOS version; use "uname -a" to detect 32-bit/64-bit version.
# For example, for 64-bit CentOS 6.5:

sudo rpm -Uvh http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm

# EPEL: see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/EPEL
# For example:

sudo rpm -Uvh https://anorien.csc.warwick.ac.uk/mirrors/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

# Something providing Python 3 in package form (see http://stackoverflow.com/questions/8087184):
sudo yum install https://centos6.iuscommunity.org/ius-release.rpm

# We need MySQL 5.5 or higher: http://www.webtatic.com/packages/mysql55/
sudo rpm -Uvh http://mirror.webtatic.com/yum/el6/latest.rpm

Potential prerequisites for what follows:

sudo yum install blas-devel lapack-devel libffi-devel libpng-devel links nano openssl-devel python-devel

Install Python 3 (which comes with pip and setuptools). Note: CentOS 6.5 (December 2013) provides Python 2.6 (2009). You can’t just replace it, because its system scripts need Python 2.6. CentOS is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora 14 (another Red Hat derivative) moved to Python 2.7 in 2010. CamCOPS needs Python 3 (e.g. 3.4).

# For Python 3.4L
sudo yum install python34u

# For Python 3.5 (with some other helpful things):
sudo yum install python35u python35u-pip libxml2-devel libxslt-devel python35u-devel gcc

# Test:
python3 --version
pip3 --version

Install MySQL:

sudo yum install mysql55 mysql55-server mysql-devel

Install Apache:

sudo yum install httpd httpd-devel mod_ssl

Ensure you have Supervisor:

  • On CentOS, the default version (via yum installation) is of supervisord==2.1 (as reported by pip freeze), which is too old for the [include] directive (which came in with version 3.0). To upgrade:

    pip install requests[security]  # because Python 2.6 doesn't have SSL otherwise
    pip install supervisor==3.2.0
    # Don't copy the next line blindly. Do you have an old /etc/supervisord.conf that you want to keep?
    echo_supervisord_conf > /etc/supervisord.conf  # make a new blank config
  • Then add these lines to /etc/supervisord.conf:

    files = /etc/supervisor/conf.d/*.conf
  • Then ensure supervisord restarts on boot. On Ubuntu, this is automatic. On CentOS, run

    sudo chkconfig --add supervisord
    sudo chkconfig supervisord on  # default runlevels (--level 2345) are fine

11.15.3. Setting up MySQL under Linux

  1. Under Ubuntu, if you are happy to leave the data files at their default location, skip this step. Check/edit the MySQL configuration (see table above for filenames). See Getting Started with MySQL. In particular:

    • datadir should point to your database files (default often /var/lib/mysql, but /srv/mysql is one alternative).

    • Other options are explained here.

    • If you create a blank directory (such as /srv/mysql), you will need to use the mysql_install_db tool; see Postinstallation Setup and Testing; an example command is

      sudo mysql_install_db --user=mysql --basedir=/usr --datadir=/srv/mysql
    • Manual start: sudo /usr/bin/mysqld_safe –user=mysql &. Manual stop: sudo mysqladmin shutdown.

    • Service start/stop: see table above.

    • If it starts manually but not as a service (in a manner that depends on your data directory), you have a challenging problem; an option is to return to the default data directory!

    • To log in prior to securing the database: mysql.

    • See also the CentOS MySQL installation guide.

    • Default logfile: /var/log/mysqld.log or /var/log/mysql/…

  2. Secure your MySQL installation by running mysql_secure_installation.

    • Login after securing: mysql -u root -p.

    • Similar username/password requirements now apply to manual shutdowns.

  3. Ensure that the max_allowed_packet parameter is large enough.

    • This parameter needs to be set large enough that the largest binary large objects (BLOBs) can be uploaded. CamCOPS BLOBs are mostly photographs from tablets. A high-end tablet in 2014 might have an 8 megapixel (MP) camera, with each pixel taking 3 bytes, i.e. 24 Mb. Furthermore, the transfer takes more space thanks to somewhat inefficient encoding. The MySQL server default value is just 1 Mb 1.

    • You must set this parameter for the server, and for the mysqldump tool.

    • A suggested value is 32 Mb. Edit my.cnf to include max_allowed_packet values in the [mysqld] and [mysqldump] sections (creating them if necessary).

    • Similar editing of the [client] section of my.cnf is unnecessary, firstly because some other MySQL clients may not recognize the option and might choke on it, and secondly because CamCOPS uses MySQLdb (MySQL-Python), which uses the MySQL C API, which has a default limit of 1 Gb 2.

  4. Set some other MySQL parameters for TEXT-heavy tables; see Troubleshooting: Row size too large.

  5. Thus, edit my.cnf to include the following:

    max_allowed_packet = 32M
    innodb_strict_mode = 1
    innodb_file_per_table = 1
    innodb_file_format = Barracuda
    # Only for MySQL prior to 5.7.5 (http://dev.mysql.com/doc/relnotes/mysql/5.6/en/news-5-6-20.html):
    # innodb_log_file_size = 512M
    max_allowed_packet = 32M
  6. Ensure MySQL is running as a service (as above).

  7. Create the CamCOPS database. See create a database.