April 16, 2014

Merging Linux and Java on the Server Side - page 5

Merging Java and Linux on the Server Side

  • December 11, 1999
  • By Kevin Reichard

A truly personal Web server, vqServer is designed for individuals and smaller companies wishing to serve Web pages from a modest PC.

Installation is a matter of unzipping the downloaded file (you'll need an unzip program with Linux; the gzip command found in most Linux distributions will work), placing the files in the correct locations, and then launching vqServer from the Java interpreter. When you're finished, you've actually installed two servers: an HTTP server on port 80 and an administration server on port 9090.

Administering vqServer is a simple affair, performed by connecting your Web browser to the Control Centre. This application, which is password protected, oversees file locations, aliases, logfiles, hit, authorized users, access control lists, file types, sessions, general session settings, the TCP/IP port where the server listens for HTTP requests (the default is 8080) and more. Also, you can set the minimum and maximum number of threads the server keeps available for handling requests; when you set a minimum number of threads you're also enabling thread caching, which improves performance by decreasing the overhead associated with creating, maintaining, and destroying threads. With this you can shut down a server, abort all HTTP connections (useful when there are errant Java servlets and CGI scripts) or stop all loaded servlets.

The file-handling capabilities in vqServer are noteworthy. Instead of forcing files into a public directory, vqServer uses aliases to map requests to actual filenames. The noteworthy aspect to this is that you can associate actions with specific filenames: to send the file, to redirect a request to another location, to run a Java servlet or run a CGI script.

In addition, aliases control who has access to a file, which brings us to a discussion of vqServer's security features. vqServer manages access from a list of users and passwords, as well as access control lists. When you associate an alias with an access control list, only those users listed in the access control list have access to the file.

vqServer keeps track of users on a detailed level: when the users were first registered and the last time they accessed your Web server, what ACLs are associated with the user and more.

The emphasis in vqServer, not surprisingly, is on Java servlets, which can be more efficient than CGI scripts. The Control Centre in vqServer is a Java servlet, and there are a few other example Java servlets included with vqServer. Since vqServer conforms to version 2.0 of the Sun servlet specification, there shouldn't be too many problems when running outside servlets. In addition, vqServer allows CGI scripts to be run.

You won't ever see a large corporate installation of vqServer: it's simply not the sort of feature-rich product that penetrates a corporate consciousness. But as a relatively secure Web server for a personal site--say, running a small Web site from an office or departmental computer, chiefly for file-sharing purposes--then vqServer is worth checking out.

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