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I've installed Mediawiki on Ubuntu server 14.04. Mediawiki works perfectly when I type the hostname of the server into a browser on one of my network's Windows clients. I've used both:

http://servername/mediawiki

and

http://servername/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page

Both work fine in Chrome and IE running in Windows.

But neither work on either Ubuntu Desktop or Mac OS clients. Enter both the URLs above and I get an error message telling me the server isn't found.

I think it's a problem with Apache, because its default page is accessible from Windows clients if I simply type:

http://servername/

On Linux or Mac OS clients, that just gets a 'server not found' error. On both operating systems, I can get to the default Apache page using the IP address - but simply adding '/mediawiki' to the IP address then also brings up 'server not found'.

But, if I type the following into Mac OS or Ubuntu Desktop clients, I do see the Wiki's home page:

http://server_IP_address/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page

However, I can only see the contents of the page - devoid of all formatting, as if a link to a relevant CSS file had been broken.

I'm reading up on Apache now - but this doesn't seem to be a common problem (or possibly I'm not using the right search terms).

Can anyone give some pointers as to where I should be looking for faults here? I'm assuming it's some kind of problems with DNS settings. Any tips on where to start would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Karl

  • What DNS are the Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu machines using? – Wilf Dec 26 '14 at 13:25
  • They're using Bind now. Before I was simply using the existing defaults on my network. If I had thought about it, I would have known that this meant my router passing DNS queries to my ISP. So no way on Earth it was ever going to resolve a local server. Can now connect to mediawiki and the default Apache page using the local FQDN.Thanks! – user358873 Jan 3 '15 at 11:43
  • In that case you can add as answer below to close the question :) – Wilf Jan 3 '15 at 18:36
  • Good point. Will do. Sorry. New to this. Thanks for the pointer. – user358873 Jan 3 '15 at 20:28
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I was making a basic error. As I said in the comment above, I had left the default network settings in place even after installing Apache and Bind. There was no way that the clients could resolve the local hostnames to the relevant IP addresses.

To fix this, I installed Bind on my Ubuntu server and then added my server to the list of DNS servers my router queries when it gets a request for a web service.

I did this by following these tutorials:

https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-configure-bind-as-a-private-network-dns-server-on-ubuntu-14-04

https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/dns-configuration.html#dns-primarymaster-configuration

This was also helpful for ensuring that Linux clients were able to use the DNS server:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/ubuntus-new-dns-unknown-host

Windows and Mac OS clients on the network seemed to have no problem taking their DNS settings from the router. The Ubuntu clients didn't and consequently couldn't resolve hostnames, until I updated /etc/network/interfaces (after having first backed it up to interfaces.old using the 'sudo mv' command).

If I find a better way to do any of this, I'll update this answer.

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