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How to configure mono 2.10, .NET 4.0 and ASP.NET MVC to run on an Ubuntu Apache web server.

The challenge...

As per my previous post [post title here], I wanted to configure mono on my recently installed Ubuntu machine.  Specifically, I wanted to be able to use the latest .NET functionality as well as ASP.NET MVC integration with Apache.  In this post, I plan to provide the steps and resources in which I took to accomplish my goals.

Let's start with the Ubuntu machine....

The Ubuntu desktop specifications

The machine in which I've installed Ubuntu is an OLD machine that I had laying around the house.  My Android has more horsepower than this old Dell, however, Ubuntu 10.4 seems to operate at a perfectly acceptable capacity.  I plan to "refresh" my Linux skills and look for spare RAM to add to this machine before I upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04.  The recommended minimum requirements for Ubuntu 12.04 are as follows;

[For installing]

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu 12.04 is 384 MB of memory for Ubuntu Desktop. Note that some of your system's memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal; however, it will complete successfully, and the system will perform adequately once installed.

[For upgrading]

While the minimum memory requirement for 32bit is 384 MB, a minimum of 512 MB is needed for the 64bit installation. On systems with only the bare minimum amount of memory, it is also strongly recommended to use the "Install Ubuntu" option as it uses less memory than the full live session.

Ubuntu Desktop System Requirements for 12.04 LTS

What's with all the aPtitude?

As much as I love aptitude, I'm quite annoyed by the time it takes for source repositories to list packages as "stable".  I understand that this has nothing to do with the package manager itself and that the Ubuntu version carries more of the blame, even so, I wanted to simply apt-get install mono-complete, I would be stuck with mono 2.4.  Since I wanted to use   some newer functionality, I had some planning to do.  The overall process went a little something like this;

  • Find a bash script that compiles all of the mono packages that I needed to get the job done.
  • Execute the script and watch some T.V while I waited for the massive compile to complete.
  • Move the Apache mono module configuration into the "available modules" folder to enable mod-mono under Apache.
  • I needed to create an Apache virtual host configuration file with the mod-mono specific settings that are required.
  • I had to prepare my file system to serve my ASP.NET applications (c:\inetpub\wwwroot\ for all you Windows natives).
  • I needed to provide a simple solution to publish ASP.NET applications from Visual Studio on my Windows 7 machine to my Ubuntu web server.
  • Finally I needed to restart apache2, publish a web application and test the fruits of my labor.

BASHing mono into shape

As I stated before, I wasn't going to apt-get install my way into the wonderful world of mono with all of the specific details that my target installation required.  Luckily, I found this post http://www.integratedwebsystems.com/2011/02/mono-2-10-install-script-for-ubuntu-fedora/  in which someone created a BASH script that would download all of the specific packages and compile the sources to produce the exact environment that I was after.  I'm sure  if I had used a modern PC it wouldn't have taken so long, never the less, the compilation was quite a time consuming task indeed!  The script was authored very well in that if there was an error detected, the script would break execution to make it easier for you to find what went wrong.  Fortunately, my compilation completed without a hitch!

 

Enabling mod_mono in Apache

The BASH script had installed created the mod_mono.conf configuration file but I had to find it and copy it to the enabled modules directory so that Apache would recognize it.

Here is the command that I executed from a terminal to copy the file to the proper location

sudo cp mod_mono.conf /etc/apache2/mods-enabled

Of course I had to find the configuration file before I could copy it

sudo find -name mod_mono.conf

With the configuration file in place, I restarted Apache to make sure all was well

sudo service apache2 restart

The service restarted successfully so I felt OK with what had been done so far.

Creating the mono virtual host configuration file

There is a webiste that will require you to fill in some input fields and click a button to generate this file the virtual host configuration with mono specific settings.  I merely had to modify one line of the file.

The website is http://go-mono.com/config-mod-mono/

I simply used localhost as my server name and it generated the physical path of /srv/www/localhost.

I used nano to edit the file and I modified the MonoDirectory line to point to the correct path of my mono_server4 binary's path which I was able to search and find to be /opt/mono-2.10/bin .

Creating wwwroot, or /svr/www ...

It was now time to prepare my file system to setup a home for my site hosting.  This basically involved creating some folders, setting permissions and creating an alias link or two.

Create the directories

sudo mkdir /srv/www
sudo mkdir /srv/www/localhost

Assign a root group to the folder

sudo chown root:www-data /srv/www/localhost -R

Change the directory attributes

sudo chmod 775 /srv/www/localhost -R

I then moved the virtual host site generated file to the appropriate path

mv ~/Desktop/localhost.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available

I then created a symbol link so I could refer to the vhost configuration file with leading zeros (Apache loads the configurations alphabetically).

sudo ln -s ../sites-available/localhost.conf "000-localhost.conf"

I restarted Apache, fired up firefox, browsed http://localhost and that's all it took...  I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I hope this helps someone configure ASP.NET MVC under Apache on Ubuntu using mono.  Until next time.. ~/Buddy James

 

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Comments (2) -

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mouse click the up coming post
6/4/2013 9:56:38 PM #

Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you're interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

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Alex
Alex
6/11/2013 10:09:30 PM #

i have a ubuntu box running ispconfig3 as my web hosting panel. I was wondering if this tutorial could be modified to include ISPConfig3's type settings. I would try myself, which I have, but don't want to disable what I do have running. (Break the Box). Unfortunately I don't have another box to test on. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Alex

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About the author

My name is Buddy James.  I'm a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer from the Nashville, TN area.  I'm a Software Engineer, an author, a blogger (http://www.refactorthis.net), a mentor, a thought leader, a technologist, a data scientist, and a husband.  I enjoy working with design patterns, data mining, c#, WPF, Silverlight, WinRT, XAML, ASP.NET, python, CouchDB, RavenDB, Hadoop, Android(MonoDroid), iOS (MonoTouch), and Machine Learning. I love technology and I love to develop software, collect data, analyze the data, and learn from the data.  When I'm not coding,  I'm determined to make a difference in the world by using data and machine learning techniques. (follow me at @budbjames).  

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