[Koha] Koha 3.00.00 on Debian Sid - Install Report.

Mahesh T. Pai paivakil at gmail.com
Fri Dec 12 05:32:30 NZDT 2008

First, I am not subscribed, So any questions should be cc'ed to
me. And apologies for cross posting - I cannot figure out which list
this should be sent to. 

I got the system at around 6 PM last Saturday, and finished the job
today (11th) morning - around 11 AM. OS install + Koha configuration
took a mere 5 days. The OS installation was a battle, which ended only
on Tuesday morning. I will not bother the list with details. Suffice
it to say that the fault certainly was not Debian's. My ISP was
corrupting the .iso files I was downloading. :-( The OS was Debian
Sid/Unstable amd64 on a Intel D processor. That is all I needed to
know about the hardware. Pristine install using debootstrap, and other
packages added after rebooting from that install.

Koha debian packages came from git.debian.org, (see the comments on

"deb http://apt.workbuffer.org/ intrepid all"

Is the line I had to add to /etc/apt/sources.lst.

The packaging was buggy, but they got the dependencies right. Every
dependency was fixed properly.

The .debs failed to create sub directories under /etc/koha/ - a
serious problem. I had to create the directories manually, and then do a 
"dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archive/koha-<whatever>.deb" manually.

Easy, eh??  It took me 3 days to sort out problems reaching the koha
web-install page.

I had the following lines in /etc/hosts localhost library librarian.koha catalog.koha. 

"Catalog" is easier to remember than "OPAC", right? 

Since it was intended to be a stand alone system, I was tempted to
leave out port 8080 part in apache2 configuration, but decided that
the people who use it (there is a strong community of librarians here
who are well aware of koha) may get confused with absence of 8080 in
the URL.

All the problems have been already reported on this (or -devel) lists,
and googling was quick to give answers. But that it took 3 days means
there were several problems. 

First was failure of the install scripts to put the table's names, 
user name, and password into the /etc/koha/koha-config.xml file. 

And there is some directive in koha-config.xml which put the "method
to access the database as "sql". It ought to have been "mysql". Once
this was sorted out, the catalog page would load, saying that the
server is down for maintenance. But the web install refused to come
up, complaining of some fatal error. 

This meant I had to manually install CGI::session from the tarball on
cpan, as already mentioned in one of the lists. CGI::session I
manually installed was same as the version in Debian. Guess this
should go int INSTALL.debian file. Except the database configuration,
I guess everything else in that file could be handled by debian
installer, IMHO.

Rounded off the install with a simple index page in /var/www/ with
links to http://librarian.koha:8080 and http://catalog.koha.

Further problems with the debian packages (snd some with koha itself).

1. Cid not create the cron jobs. (I did not realise it, till after I
handed over the system. What are the consequences?)

2. I guess Debian packages does not create the appropriate files in
/etc/init.d/ for the idzebra daemon. The koha-zebraqueue--ctl.sh is
invoking the "daemon" binary, but debian uses start-stop-daemon
binary. Hope things will run. I installed koha-idzebra-server package;
not the koha-basic one.

The work around was to NOT specify to use zebra for indexing.

3. What is the difference between marc21 and unimarc? Librarians would
know it; but not poor souls like me, who would be doing the software
installation. A description of both in the web installer would help; I
chose marc21.

4. What happens if I abort the webinstaller? Some clues on the web
installer pages would be nice. 

BTW, I did this free as in "free beer" for a friend of mine, at a law
school with a mere 5K volumes. ;-) And I will write about the OS
install elsewhere.

Mahesh T. Pai   ||  http://paivakil.blogspot.com
REVOLUTION, n. An abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.

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