The instructions in this chapter will direct the reader through a complete installation beginning with an empty hard disk drive. It will address installation and configuration of an operating system (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 Server i386), Reciprocal Net site software, and the recommended supporting packages (Apache Httpd, Apache Tomcat, MySQL, Sun’s Java SDK, etc.). The instructions describe one way to assemble a Reciprocal Net site but there are many more.
Substitution of a “clone” distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, such as CentOS or Scientific Linux, is straightforward. In most cases only the on-screen textual labels have changed. These instructions will address the few key distinctions as they arise.
Experienced system administrators may opt to deviate from these instructions more dramatically still to suit local preferences, but should bear in mind that such deviations may frustrate the Reciprocal Net project’s efforts to assist them.
It is assumed that existing Reciprocal Net sites will take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade their server’s operating system and perhaps even to upgrade their server’s hardware. (An unfortunate consequence of three years having elapsed since release 0.6.2 is that PC hardware and software standards have progressed considerably.) For this reason, the procedure for installing a new Reciprocal Net site is similar to that for upgrading an existing Reciprocal Net site. Both procedures are described by this chapter, with colored flags in the left margin signifying instructions applicable to only one procedure or the other.