Posts tagged testing

A Newcomer’s guide to installing “LORLS In A Box”

As has been mentioned in this blog before, back in the days when the MALS team was still the Library Systems team, they developed the Loughborough Online Reading List System (LORLS) to manage the resources for directed student reading.

A recent rebranding of the University’s Library online presence means we now have a requirement to change the styling of our local installation of LORLS. I am still relatively new to the team and as yet have not had cause to look at the front end of LORLS, known affectionately as CLUMP, and this seemed like an ideal introduction for me.

So where better to start than with the documentation the team already put together. My first port of call is the installation instructions where I discover that some thoughtful techie has already built me a VM to play with. Reading through the guide to the VM you can tell the techie in question was Jon, the passwords used are a good clue but the giveaway is the advice to make a cup of tea and eat a biscuit whilst waiting for the download.

The download and subsequent import into Virtual Box seem to happen with a minimum of fuss but here is where I make my first rookie mistake as I choose to reinitialise the MAC address of all network interfaces.

CentOS maintains a mapping of MAC address to interface IDs and so it spots that the VM no longer has the MAC address it associated with eth0 but does have an entirely new MAC address which it associates with eth1. The configuration of the VMs NIC is tied to eth0 and so I don’t have a working network connection.

This is quick and easy to fix. First I head to /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts where I rename the file ifcfg-eth0 to ifcfg-eth1 (this is not essential but helps with sanity). I then edit this file and change the DEVICE value to be eth1 and update the HWADDR value to be the new MAC address which can be found using ifconfig -a. Restart the network service and all is well.

Of course if you don’t reinitialise the MAC address when importing the VM then you shouldn’t see this issue and it should just work straight away.

When starting the VM, as described in Jon’s instructions, displayed above the login prompt I am shown the IP address assigned to the VM by DHCP and the URL for my LORLS instance. Plugging these into my browser takes me to a vanilla installation of LORLS running on my VM. One note here, be sure to type CLUMP and not clump it is case sensitive.

So all pretty straightforward to get up and running, in fact I am pleased I made the mistake with the MAC address as there would have been little of note to write about otherwise. Now onto setup and customisation but I may save that for another “Newcomer’s guide to LORLS” blog post in the future.

A LORLS virtual machine image

We’ve been thinking recently about how to make it easier for people to try out the LORLS code. This includes ourselves – we sometimes want to spin up a new instance of LORLS for testing some feature or helping another site debug their installation. Normally that would mean doing an operating system, Perl module and then LORLS installation on a new machine (physical or virtual) before it could be used.

With the spread of virtual machine (VM) infrastructure, and the fact that many Universities now use VMs widely, we thought it might be worth making a “LORLS in a box” VM appliance image that people could grab and then use for testing, demos or as the basis of their own installation. The VM image would have LORLS pre-installed along with all the basic Perl modules required in place, and the test data that we use in our sandbox demo.

To that end, here’s a first cut of a LORLS in a box VM image. This is an OVA virtual machine image (both the VM and the disc image).  Be warned that its quite large (over 900MB!) as it has a full operating system disc image included – you might want to have a cup of tea and biscuit handy whilst it downloads. The image was built using the Virtual Box OSE VM platform and is based on a CentOS 6 Linux base, and it should be able to be imported into other VM infrastructures such as VMware.

Once you’ve imported the LORLs-in-a-box VM into your VM infrastructure and started it up, you’ll eventually be presented with a login on the console.  Your VM system may complain about not having a matching ethernet controller the first time you run the VM image – you can ignore this error as the LORLS VM image should work round it when it boots up.  Once booted, the console should also show you the IP address that the VM has picked up and the URL that you can use to get to the CLUMP web front end.  By default the networking in the VM is using a bridged interface that picks up an IPv4 address via DHCP.  This is fine for testing and development, though if you’re using this image as the basis of a production system you’ll probably want to nip in and change this to a static IP address.

To login to the system there’s a “lorls” user with the password “lorls4you” (both without the quotes).  This user can then act as the superuser by using sudo.  The MySQL server on the machine has a root user password of “LUMPyStuff!” (again quoteless) should you wish to go in and tinker with the database directly.  You probably want to change all these passwords (and Linux root password) as soon as you can as everyone now knows them!  You’ll also most probably want to edit /usr/local/LUMP/LUMP.pm file to point at your own site’s Z39.50 server, etc.  There are a couple of demo LORLS web users hard coded into this demo system – user aker (password “demic”) is an academic that owns a reading list, and user “libby” (password “rarian”) is a library staff user.

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