CECS 5450

Internet Services

Spring 2003


Assignment #4

Due Date: March 25, 2003

Value: 15 points total


  1. Send the instructor an e-mail telling when you have completed the first part. Send along the URL of UBB with the password to gain access to the secure section of the board. greg@tapr.org.
  2. Post an e-mail to the class list containing the written part of the assignment (part 2). Use the following subject line: Your Name - Assignment 4

Part 1 (10 pts)

      1. Install and Configure the UBB Message Board, place a link to the UBB on your server home page.
      2. Create both public and private groups and post messages.
      3. Create Accounts on UBB for each member of the group.
      4. Change the style and look-and-feel of the Message Board.

Part 2 (5 pts)

  • Locate and read, from any professional journal, two articles relevant to the area of Database driven web approach and/or systems. Write a two paragraph review for each article. The 1st paragraph should describe the contents of the article. The 2nd paragraph should be your reaction to the article. Do not forget to include the reference cite. Use APA format.

  • Reply to at least two postings in a meaningful manner. Be sure to include your name in the subject line like: Re: There Name - Assignment #4 - Your Name

Steps to get UBB Classic Trial working under RedHat 8

Getting the Trial Software
    Visit http://www.infopop.com/products/ubbclassic/trial.html and fill out the request for the trial software. Infopop will then e-mail you information on how to download the file.

    There are many web-based message boards to choose from. UBB is a commercial product and costs money to use. As you might guess there are a few to choose from the Open Source community. UBB is PERL based and has been a very stable development for some time now. In the newer PHP area, CGI Networks lists 28 versions on their web reference page for web-based message boards. Another interesting PHP-based message board is Cobalt. I choose to demo UBB this semester in the class for no other reason than to present a commercial product in the midst of all the open source projects we have been discussing during the course.

Handling UBBclassic-trial.zip

    1. Download the UBBclassic-trial.zip file onto your system.
    2. Create a folder called UBB then move the ZIP file into it and unzip

    Note: The instructions that follow assume you downloaded the file onto your PC or Mac and will be FTPing remotely into the server to do the install. If you are downloading on the server, then the FTP directions become cp and mv commands.

    1. FTP into your system so that you can read and write files into your HTTP data area.
    2. Upload the hello.cgi file located in the UBB help folder into /var/www/cgi-bin
    3. Make sure you set the permissions to 755 (r+x for everyone)
    4. Bring up a browser and test it http://www.yourdomain.edu/cgi-bin/hello.cgi
    5. Wow it doesn't work.
        Error message:
        Premature end of script headers: hello.cgi

        The first major test for any cgi is to run it locally from the terminal.
        Login in and change directories to /var/www/cgi-bin.
        Enter './hello.cgi' to run the perl script locally, so that you can view the results on the screen.

        This returns the following error:
        bad interpreter: No such file or directory

        Edit the file in vi and see what it says, okay there is the problem.
        Notice at the bottom of vi it tells us that the file hello.cgi is a DOS file. If it had been formatted for Unix line breaks there would be nothing shown.

        The files provided by Infopop UBB Classic or DOS formatted not Unix, so we have to use a utility called 'dos2unix' to change the cgi to a UNIX file format. FYI - there is also one called 'unix2dos'.

        Enter 'dos2unix hello.cgi'
        This commands returns the following message:
        dos2unix: converting file hello.cgi to UNIX format ...

        One little problem before we test again.
        dos2unix has a bad habit of changing the permissions back to default.
        Be sure to 'chmod 755 hello.cgi' to ensure it will execute as a script.

    6. Try accessing in your browser http://www.yourdomain.edu/cgi-bin/hello.cgi again
    7. You should get something like this:
      		Hello world from Perl 5.008 
      		.cgi scripts are mapped to Perl.

    8. You have now tested that your cgi-bin area works.
    1. FTP the files (including the Modules subfolder) in UBB/cgi-bin into /var/www/cgi-bin, then dos2unix them, then set the permission to 755.
      dos2unix *
      dos2unix *.cgi
      find ./Modules -print -exec dos2unix {} \;
      chmod -R 755 *.cgi

    2. Delete the following two files from the Modules subfolder (/var/www/cgi-bin/Modules)
      These files have changed under the current version of PERL loaded on your system and will cause problems.
      If you forget to delete these files, you will get an error that looks like this when you go to run ubb6_test.cgi in a few minutes:
      <H1>Software error:</H1>
      <CODE>Invalid [] range "a-Z" in transliteration operator at Modules/vars.pm line 17.</CODE>

    3. FTP the Members folder (not the files but the entire folder) into /var/www/cgi-bin
    4. dos2unix the files inside the directory
    5. Set permissions for this directory and the files members_test.cgi and index.html to 777.
      chmod 777 .
      chmod 777 *
        drwxrwxrwx    2 root         4096 Mar  4 01:58 .
        drwxr-xr-x    7 root         4096 Mar  4 01:56 ..
        -rwxrwxrwx    1 root            0 Mar  4 01:58 index.html
        -rwxrwxrwx    1 root           90 Mar  4 01:58 member_test.cgi

    6. Upload the files in the UBB/variables folder into /var/www/cgi-bin
    7. convert them
      dos2unix v*.cgi
    8. Set permissions for all of these files to 777.
      chmod 777 v*.cgi

    9. Create a directory named /var/www/html/ubb for the non-cgi files.
    10. Set permissions on this directory to 777.

    11. Upload from the UBB/noncgi directory all files and subdirectories and their contents into this new /var/www/html/ubb directory on your server.Ý
    12. dos2unix the files inside the Template directory only. DO NOT touch the images with the converter.
    13. chmod 755 * for the files converted inside the Template directory.

    14. Upload ubb6_test.cgi (located in the UBB/help folder), to /var/www/cgi-bin.
    15. dos2unix ubb6_test.cgi
    16. Set permission on the file to 755.

    17. ./ubb6_test.cgi locally to see if you get any errors first.
    18. You should see HTML displayed.

    19. Open ubb6_test.cgi in your browser (http://yoursystem.edu/cgi-bin/ubb6_test.cgi)
    20. Run all of the tests except for the last one.

    21. If any of the tests fail, you will need your web admin to set permissions for you (by the way that is you :-). Information on permissions is provided here: http://www.infopop.com/support/ubbclassic/install.html. Once you have finished with the ubb6_test.cgi file, delete it; leaving it on the server poses a security risk.

    22. Open your browser and type http://www.yourdomain.edu/cgi-bin/cp.cgi.

    23. Bookmark this pageÖ.you will be needing this to administer your UBB.classicô community.


      You will see setup instructions and several fields of information to fill in and submit. If you have difficulty finding your paths, use the system environmentals link or ask your system administrator for help (that is you again :-). The UBB.classicô software may have your paths and URLs already filled in. Please check them to ensure they are correct. If you are confused about paths vs URLs, see the ìAdditional Installation Tipsî on the Installation Documentation page.
      Absolute Path for UBB CGI Directory: /var/www/cgi-bin
      Absolute Path for UBB Graphics (NonCGI) Directory: /var/www/html/ubb

      After you have correctly submitted the basic configuration properly, you will be greeted with a confirmation screen. You will now need to log into your control panel to complete your setup. Click on the link that says ìclick here.î


      Before you can log into the control panel you must first create your Administrator login.

      Look for the line above the login box that says "Please set up your admin profile by clicking here." Click on the "click here" link.

      Fill in all of the data fields and click the submit button. Review your profile and make any changes needed. Once you have finished setting up this profile, close that browser window to return to the control panel.

      Enter the username and password for the administrator you just created and click the "Submit Identification Now" button. Welcome to your new control panel.


      You must now review and configure all of the Primary Settings. Click on the Primary Settings drop-down menu. You should receive a menu of 11 items. Read, review, and set all of the Primary Settings carefully and in order, top to bottom. You will be prompted after each screen if you forgot something. The Configuration Settings screen should already be accurate; you had to set these previously in order to access the control panel.

      Note to Internet Explorer users: Internet Explorer may only display some options in the Primary Settings drop-down menu. You may need to scroll the drop-down menu in order to see all of the options.


    Your board is now set up and functional. You can continue to navigate around the control panel, make forum settings changes, customize your Wordletô lists, and review the rest of the UBB.classicô features, or you can visit your board by clicking the link in the upper left corner (your boardís name).

    The URL for your new UBB.classicô community is:

    Whereís my Control Panel?
    Once you have the UBB.classicô software installed on your web server, open your browser and type in your .edu address. At the end of the address, youíll need to type in cp.cgi. It will look like one of the following (depending on how your directories are set up): http://www.yourdomain.edu/cgi-bin/cp.cgi

    The control panel will appear just like a web page, but with loads of pop-up/dropdown menus you can use to set up your community!