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TIPS, INSIGHTS AND THE LATEST FROM THE EXPERTS BEHIND CAKEPHP

Lighty Story

I will tell you a story. Once upon a time... Seriously though, it was not too long ago in the past - but it happened and it is possible you can benefit from it.

What?

This tutorial will show how to make lighttpd 1.4.20 serve virtual hosts with CakePHP applications. Our scenario is quite simple:
  1. For admin purposes, lighttpd will listen on localhost, it will serve several CakePHP applications on several external ip addresses, without SSL.
  2. Virtual hosts will be organized in groups and every group will use one CakePHP core checkout for its virtual hosts.
  3. Every virtual host will have it own access log (this server will not run hundreds of virtual hosts, so we can afford to waste one file descriptor for each) and its own directory for caching of compressed static files.
  4. Management of virtual hosts, their default and custom settings should be as easy as possible, so we can delegate the management of some ip addresses or just groups of virthosts to someone else and sleep well, because nobody will have to touch our precious configuration files.
However, our scenario has some special requirements which we need to solve. By the way, I will be showing you how to do things the hard way from the start. In hopes to spare you a lot of headaches in future. Lighttpd is sweet piece of software, and is under active development. Unfortunately, there are things that are not easy to set up. For example - when using any of provided virtual host modules, it is impossible to set up different access logs and cache directories for compressed content etc. dynamically in a pure lighty config file without external scripts. Everything (except for per virtual host errorlog) is possible by writing necessary configuration by hand. But we willing to work more now, so we can be lazy later! There are several approaches for bash, Ruby etc. However, nothing usable in PHP as far as I know. I will show you how easy it could be. Take this as a working example, I am sharing ideas here, not bullet-proof all-mighty solutions. Lets go for it - and utilize PHP and the include_shell command in our lighttpd configuration file. The motto of this article is: it is easier read generated configuration, then write it by hand.

How? Lighty!

Don't think this is not a good answer. Lets set up a decent lighttpd installation. We'll assume you have it compiled and installed. Lets also assume that you have PHP prepared for lighttpd's ModFastCGI and are just waiting for configuration and the first test run. Also, for shell commands which need to be executed under root account, I'll use sudo in following examples. sudo mkdir /usr/local/etc/lighttpd First of all, we need a directory for our custom configuration. When in doubt, a fast look into its contents will tell you everything one should know about virtual hosts configuration. sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/www/data/default/webroot echo "<html><head><title>It works<body>It works" > /usr/local/www/data/default/webroot/index.html Next we created a directory for our default webroot. It will be used on localhost only, with index.html. sudo touch /var/log/lighttpd.error.log /var/log/lighttpd.access.log sudo chown www:www /var/log/lighttpd.error.log /var/log/lighttpd.access.log Now we need to create error and access log files. The first one will be common for whole server, the second will be used for localhost only. sudo mkdir -p /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/default sudo chown -R www:www /var/cache/lighttpd The last thing we had to prepare was the default directory for caching of compressed static files. In /usr/local/etc/lighttpd.conf we will setup a simple config file containing the common configuration we will utilize later: server.modules = ( "mod_simple_vhost", "mod_magnet", "mod_redirect", "mod_access", "mod_auth", "mod_expire", "mod_compress", "mod_fastcgi", "mod_accesslog" ) server.document-root = "/usr/local/www/data/default/webroot/" server.errorlog = "/var/log/lighttpd.error.log" accesslog.filename = "/var/log/lighttpd.access.log" server.port = 80 server.bind = "127.0.0.1" server.username = "www" server.groupname = "www" server.pid-file = "/var/run/lighttpd.pid" index-file.names = ( "index.php", "index.html", "index.htm", "default.htm" ) # shortened !!! mimetype.assign = ( ... ) url.access-deny = ( "~", ".inc" ) static-file.exclude-extensions = ( ".php", ".pl", ".fcgi" ) dir-listing.activate = "disable" etag.use-mtime = "enable" static-file.etags = "enable" $HTTP["url"] =~ "^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)" { expire.url = ( "" => "access 7 days" ) } compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/default/" compress.filetype = ( "text/plain", "text/html", "text/xml", "text/javascript", "text/css" ) fastcgi.server = ( ".php" => (( "bin-path" => "/usr/local/bin/php-cgi -c /usr/local/etc/php.ini", "socket" => "/tmp/lighttpd_php5.socket", "min-procs" => 1, "max-procs" => 1, "bin-environment" => ( "FCGI_WEB_SERVER_ADDRS" => "127.0.0.1", "PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN" => "4", "PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS" => "1000" ), "bin-copy-environment" => ( "PATH", "SHELL", "USER"), "broken-scriptfilename" => "enable" )) ) simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/www/data/" simple-vhost.document-root = "webroot" simple-vhost.default-host = "default" $HTTP["host"] =~ "^www\.(.*)" { url.redirect = ( "^/(.*)" => "http://%1/$1" ) } How far along are we? So far we have a configured webserver with few preloaded modules and simple common configuration. Our sever is currently:
  1. Listening on localhost:80.
  2. Refusing directory listing or sending some filetypes as plain text.
  3. Using etags and sending expiration headers for a set of static resources to 7 days by default. This allows us to schedule an upgrade of any virtual host just a week before it will happen.
  4. Using compression and caching of compressed static files for several mimetypes.
  5. Starting PHP as FastCGI, with only one parent process (we are going to use opcode cache). We are allowing only few child processes for this example tutorial and killing fcgi child processes after every 1000 requests
  6. Using mod_simple_vhost for name-based virtual hosting (preconfigured for fallback to default webroot).
  7. Redirecting all domains using www subdomain to the shorter version.
You will probably want to tweak some other settings. I am not going to describe all the server.max* configuration options, or talk about other pretty obvious things like mod_evasive, mod_status, mod_rrdtool etc, don't worry. Two things you should consider if some of your visitors will use one of the major browsers. $HTTP["url"] =~ "\.pdf$" { server.range-requests = "disable" } You do not want to cut off IE users from your pdf documents, right? compress.filetype = ( "text/plain", "text/html", "text/xml" ) $HTTP["useragent"] =~ "Firefox" { compress.filetype += ("text/javascript", "text/css" ) } If your visitors are using an old (and/or above mentioned undesirable) internet browser, you can control compression settings per useragent in this way. Instead of the above example, compressing all 5 crucial mimetypes. Ready to go? Ok, start lighttpd and make sure you see what you expect at http://localhost/ echo "<?php phpinfo(); ?>" > /usr/local/www/data/default/webroot/phpinfo.php Just to be sure that fcgi works as expected, try to see info about your current PHP setup at http://localhost/phpinfo.php and watch /var/log/lighttpd.error.log.

Url rewriting

It is possible to use lighttpd's mod_rewrite and create pattern for our static files if we are sure they exist. This approach has downsides though. We want to setup this part of webserver up and forget it exists. This is not possible with mod_rewrite, because for example, we are not going to force our developers to forget about /js/something.js as url for some of application controllers. Instead, we will use mod_magnet and custom Lua script. Visit this thread at CakePHP Google Group. Save the provided script to /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/cleanurl-v6.lua and add the following line to bottom of /usr/local/etc/lighttpd.conf: magnet.attract-physical-path-to = ( "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/cleanurl-v6.lua" ) After restarting lighttpd, we are ready to remove all the .htaccess files from our filesystem and forget they exist. All requests for non-existing static files will be rewritten to /index.php?url=xxx like CakePHP requires.

Virtual hosts

Now we want to set up a directory structure and custom configuration for our virtual hosts and their groups. We will design a directory structure that can be used for dynamic configuration later, with no need to repeat anything obvious in configuration files. In this case, only logs folder matters (make sure it is writable by webserver). We will symlink everything else. Lets use the following directory structure with CakePHP core and our applications checkouts like our standard: # example.com (with redirect from www.example.com) /home/company/ logs/ www/ cake/ mainsite/ ... webroot/ vendors/ # dev-main.example.com and dev-product.example.com /home/development/ logs/ www/ cake/ mainsite/ ... webroot/ product/ ... webroot/ vendors/ # stage-main.example.com and stage-product.example.com /home/staging/ logs/ www/ cake/ mainsite/ ... webroot/ product/ ... webroot/ vendors/ # api.example.com, book.example.com, product.com ( with redirect from www.product.com) /home/product/ logs/ www/ api/ ... index.html book/ ... webroot/ cake/ product/ ... webroot/ vendors/ If you think the above directory tree is overcomplicated, or it seems too long for simple tutorial example, stop reading please, and feel free to come back any time later. It was nice to meet you :-) Things are only getting worse from here on in. For those brave enough to read on, you should have an idea of which domains will use which applications, and which applications will share one CakePHP core and folder for logs (not necessarily, read more). Now we are getting somewhere - we need tell our webserver on which external ip addresses it has to listen for incoming connections, and which virtual hosts map to each ip address. Our www subdomains (redirected) should listen on a different ip address then their short versions. This allows us to use different SSL certificates for them later, if there is a need for secure connections. To show what is possible with our config parser, api.example.com will not use a /webroot/ folder, it contains just static html files. To make things even more tricky, api.example.com and book.example.com will not listen on same ip like their neighbour application product.com. cd /usr/local/etc/lighttpd From now on, we will continue our work in this directory. Lets say that we want to use ip 1.2.3.4 for domains example.com, api.example.com and book.example.com. sudo mkdir -p ./1.2.3.4:80/company sudo ln -s /home/company/www/cake ./1.2.3.4:80/company/cake sudo ln -s /home/company/www/vendors ./1.2.3.4:80/company/vendors sudo ln -s /home/company/www/mainsite ./1.2.3.4:80/company/example.com sudo mkdir ./1.2.3.4:80/product sudo ln -s /home/product/www/cake ./1.2.3.4:80/product/cake sudo ln -s /home/product/www/vendors ./1.2.3.4:80/product/vendors sudo ln -s /home/product/www/api ./1.2.3.4:80/product/api.example.com sudo ln -s /home/product/www/book ./1.2.3.4:80/product/book.example.com What exactly did we just do? We created a folder named 1.2.3.4:80, containing 2 subfolders company and product. These will be used as groups of virtual hosts - their names should be the same as the name of their home directory (by default, path for logs can be adjusted). We will use them for setting paths to log files later. Both company and product have a symlinked cake and vendors folders and symlinks named as real domains and pointing to our app folders. Lets continue - ip 2.3.4:5:80 will be used for rest of the group product. sudo mkdir -p ./2.3.4.5:80/product sudo ln -s /home/product/www/cake ./2.3.4.5:80/product/cake sudo ln -s /home/product/www/vendors ./2.3.4.5:80/product/vendors sudo ln -s /home/product/www/product ./2.3.4.5:80/product/product.com That means only one virtual host for now. Ok, ip 3.4.5.6 is going to be used for the www subdomains. No symlinks to existing applications are necessary here, because lighttpd will redirect requests coming to www.example.com to example.com automatically. sudo mkdir -p ./3.4.5.6:80/company/www.example.com ./3.4.5.6:80/product/www.product.com We just had to create ip:port directory for the socket, group(s) of www virtualhosts and some domain-based directories just to have something to point default virtual host of this group at. Staging and development checkouts will all share one ip 4.5.6.7. sudo mkdir -p ./4.5.6.7:80/development sudo ln -s /home/development/www/cake ./4.5.6.7:80/development/cake sudo ln -s /home/development/www/vendors ./4.5.6.7:80/development/vendors sudo ln -s /home/development/www/mainsite ./4.5.6.7:80/development/dev-main.example.com sudo ln -s /home/development/www/product ./4.5.6.7:80/development/dev-product.example.com sudo mkdir ./4.5.6.7:80/staging sudo ln -s /home/staging/www/cake ./4.5.6.7:80/staging/cake sudo ln -s /home/staging/www/vendors ./4.5.6.7:80/staging/vendors sudo ln -s /home/staging/www/mainsite ./4.5.6.7:80/staging/stage-main.example.com sudo ln -s /home/staging/www/product ./4.5.6.7:80/staging/stage-product.example.com Four virtual hosts on one ip from different home folders (therefore placed in different groups). The hard part is complete. Lets go through the bothering part of this custom setup. Did I said already that everything is a file? Don't be scared from amount of necessary steps, it will all be worth it in the future. Lets look what we have done in directory /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/: 1.2.3.4:80/ company/ cake/ <-- /home/company/www/cake example.com/ <-- /home/company/www/mainsite vendors/ <-- /home/company/www/vendors product/ api.example.com/ <-- /home/product/www/api book.example.com/ <-- /home/product/www/book cake/ <-- /home/product/www/cake vendors/ <-- /home/product/www/vendors 2.3.4.5:80/ product/ cake/ <-- /home/product/www/cake product.com/ <-- /home/product/www/product vendors/ <-- /home/product/www/vendors 3.4.5.6:80/ company/www.example.com/ <-- empty directory (redirected), necessary for default virtual host product/www.product.com/ <-- empty directory (redirected), necessary for default virtual host 4.5.6:7:80/ development/ cake/ <-- /home/development/www/cake dev-main.example.com/ <-- /home/development/www/mainsite dev-product.example.com/ <-- /home/development/www/product vendors/ <-- /home/development/www/vendors staging/ cake/ <-- /home/staging/www/cake stage-main.example.com/ <-- /home/staging/www/mainsite stage-product.example.com/ <-- /home/staging/www/product vendors/ <-- /home/staging/www/vendors Some new folders with symlinks. Are you still with me? For those who know mod_simple_vhost, you should be already be pretty clear where we are going. Besides the accesslog path and compress folder path, we will also switch simple-vhost.server-root and simple-vhost.default-host in dependency of used socket and some hostname condition for virthost group. Actually, there is a bit more as well that I will show you. The above directory structure shows that we have 7 groups of virtual hosts in 4 sockets, so lets create 7 simple configuration files for our groups of virtual hosts. Configuration file for group is not required in very special case - no regex pattern for this group, only one virtual host inside and - either only group in socket, or (alphabetically) last one. <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/company/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^example\.com', 'default' => 'example.com' ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/product/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'book.example.com' ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/2.3.4.5:80/product/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^product\.com', 'default' => 'product.com' ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/company/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'www.example.com' ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/product/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^(.*)\.product\.com', 'default' => 'www.product.com' ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6:7:80/development/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^dev-(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'dev-main.example.com' ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6:7:80/staging/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^stage-(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'stage-main.example.com' ); ?> And that's it. Every group (subfolder of ip.ad.dr.es:80 socket folder) has the required minimal configuration, and everything is properly set up. So lets see what we can take off from it.

Dynamic configuration

Extract this file in folder /usr/local/etc/lighttpd. sudo chmod a+x ./simple_config.php Make simple_config.php executable for everyone. Now run it as a non-privileged user. ./simple_config.php | more You should see a basic generated configuration for your sockets, virthosts and virthosts groups. Now we are already looking at a snippet of the generated configuration. # # Simple configuration parser output # # ERROR logfile /home/company/logs/example-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/product/logs/api-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/api.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/product/logs/book-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/book.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/product/logs/product-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/product.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/company/logs/www-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/product/logs/www-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.product.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/development/logs/dev-main-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-main.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/development/logs/dev-product-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-product.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/staging/logs/stage-main-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-main.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR logfile /home/staging/logs/stage-product-access_log can not be created, SKIPPING # ERROR compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-product.example.com/ can not be created, SKIPPING # $SERVER["socket"] == "1.2.3.4:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/company/" simple-vhost.default-host = "example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "example.com" { .... You can see which files this script is trying to create. It will create all of them when you will run it as root once. But there are two things we would like to fix first: access logs /home/company/logs/www-access_log and /home/product/logs/www-access_log are generated for our redirected domains. Lets redirect these logs to those used by domains example.com and product.com: <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/company/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'www.example.com' ); $config['virthosts'] = array( 'www.example.com' => array( 'log' => 'example' ) ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/product/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^(.*)\.product\.com', 'default' => 'www.product.com' ); $config['virthosts'] = array( 'www.product.com' => array( 'log' => 'product' ) ); ?> Running ./simple_config.php as unprivileged user again shows this script is no longer trying to create any www-access_log files. We will not care about directories for compressed content, they can be used later, but we will never serve different content on example.com and www.example.com, so it is logical that they share one log file. Every decent logfile parser can handle several domains in one log file. Now, you can run this script as root: sudo ./simple_config.php and result will look much better now: # # Simple configuration parser output # # NOTICE created logfile /home/company/logs/example-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/example.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/product/logs/api-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/api.example.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/product/logs/book-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/book.example.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/product/logs/product-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/product.com/ # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.example.com/ # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.product.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/development/logs/dev-main-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-main.example.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/development/logs/dev-product-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-product.example.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/staging/logs/stage-main-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-main.example.com/ # NOTICE created logfile /home/staging/logs/stage-product-access_log # NOTICE created compress cache /var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-product.example.com/ # $SERVER["socket"] == "1.2.3.4:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/company/" simple-vhost.default-host = "example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/company/logs/example-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/example.com/" } } else $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/product/" simple-vhost.default-host = "book.example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "api.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/api-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/api.example.com/" } else $HTTP["host"] == "book.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/book-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/book.example.com/" } } } $SERVER["socket"] == "2.3.4.5:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^product\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/2.3.4.5:80/product/" simple-vhost.default-host = "product.com" $HTTP["host"] == "product.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/product.com/" } } } $SERVER["socket"] == "3.4.5.6:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/company/" simple-vhost.default-host = "www.example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "www.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/company/logs/example-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.example.com/" } } else $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(.*)\.product\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/product/" simple-vhost.default-host = "www.product.com" $HTTP["host"] == "www.product.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.product.com/" } } } $SERVER["socket"] == "4.5.6.7:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^dev-(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6.7:80/development/" simple-vhost.default-host = "dev-main.example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "dev-main.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/development/logs/dev-main-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-main.example.com/" } else $HTTP["host"] == "dev-product.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/development/logs/dev-product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-product.example.com/" } } else $HTTP["host"] =~ "^stage-(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6.7:80/staging/" simple-vhost.default-host = "stage-main.example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "stage-main.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/staging/logs/stage-main-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-main.example.com/" } else $HTTP["host"] == "stage-product.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/staging/logs/stage-product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-product.example.com/" } } } Getting close to what we need from this setup. I will process several steps now, and then I will paste here final output of config parser for you to compare with above one. We have another domain manual.example.com (with no virthost set) and we want to redirect it to api.example.com with configuration only, it will be using its own manual-access_log. Furthermore, we want book.example.com condition happen sooner then the condition on api.example.com, because book is gaining more traffic, and attach domain aliases bibliotheca.example.com and bookstore.example.com to book.example.com. Also, expire headers for book should be set for 2 years and as previously mentioned api.example.com is not using /webroot/ folder. <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/product/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'book.example.com' ); $config['virthosts'] = array( 'book.example.com' => array( 'expire' => array( '^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)' => 'access 2 years' ), 'aliases' => array( 'bibliotheca.example.com', 'bookstore.example.com' ) ), 'api.example.com' => array( 'webroot' => '/' ), 'manual.example.com' => array( 'redirect' => 'http://api.example.org/' ) ); ?> All of it is fixed now. We even do not need folder/symlink for manual.example.com in this case. Important note: we do not have to create folders for domains bibliotheca.example.com and bookstore.example.com, because they are aliases for book.example.com and it is used as default virtual host for this group! If you will set alias for non-default virtual host, you have to symlink aliased application several times to group folder - every time with a different domain name. We want all staging sites to store logs in /home/development/logs. Also all staging and development sites should use expire headers for 5 minutes only and have to use http auth (one common file for now). <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6:7:80/development/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^dev-(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'dev-main.example.com', 'expire' => array( '^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)' => 'access 5 minutes' ), 'auth' => array( 'backend' => 'htpasswd', 'file' => '/var/projects/company/.trac.htpasswd', 'protect' => array( '/' => array( 'realm' => 'Development Access', 'require' => 'valid-user' ) ) ) ); ?> <?php # /usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6:7:80/staging/config.php $config['group'] = array( 'host' => '^stage-(.*)\.example\.com', 'default' => 'stage-main.example.com', 'expire' => array( '^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)' => 'access 5 minutes' ), 'logs' => '/home/development/logs', 'auth' => array( 'backend' => 'htpasswd', 'file' => '/var/projects/company/.trac.htpasswd', 'protect' => array( '/' => array( 'realm' => 'Staging Access', 'require' => 'valid-user' ) ) ) ); ?> This has all been fixed now. Now our simple_config.php returns this: # # Simple configuration parser output # $SERVER["socket"] == "1.2.3.4:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/company/" simple-vhost.default-host = "example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/company/logs/example-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/example.com/" } } else $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/1.2.3.4:80/product/" simple-vhost.default-host = "book.example.com" $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(book\.example\.com|bibliotheca\.example\.com|bookstore\.example\.com)" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/book-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/book.example.com/" $HTTP["url"] =~ "^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)" { expire.url = ("" => "access 2 years") } } else $HTTP["host"] == "api.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/api-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/api.example.com/" simple-vhost.document-root = "/" } else $HTTP["host"] == "manual.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/manual-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/manual.example.com/" url.redirect = ( ".*" => "http://api.example.org/" ) } } } $SERVER["socket"] == "2.3.4.5:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^product\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/2.3.4.5:80/product/" simple-vhost.default-host = "product.com" $HTTP["host"] == "product.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/product.com/" } } } $SERVER["socket"] == "3.4.5.6:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/company/" simple-vhost.default-host = "www.example.com" $HTTP["host"] == "www.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/company/logs/example-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.example.com/" } } else $HTTP["host"] =~ "^(.*)\.product\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/3.4.5.6:80/product/" simple-vhost.default-host = "www.product.com" $HTTP["host"] == "www.product.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/product/logs/product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/www.product.com/" } } } $SERVER["socket"] == "4.5.6.7:80" { $HTTP["host"] =~ "^dev-(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6.7:80/development/" simple-vhost.default-host = "dev-main.example.com" $HTTP["url"] =~ "^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)" { expire.url = ("" => "access 5 minutes") } auth.backend = "htpasswd" auth.backend.htpasswd.userfile = "/var/projects/company/.trac.htpasswd" auth.require = ( "/" => ( "method" => "basic", "realm" => "Development Access", "require" => "valid-user" ) ) $HTTP["host"] == "dev-main.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/development/logs/dev-main-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-main.example.com/" } else $HTTP["host"] == "dev-product.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/development/logs/dev-product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/dev-product.example.com/" } } else $HTTP["host"] =~ "^stage-(.*)\.example\.com" { simple-vhost.server-root = "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/4.5.6.7:80/staging/" simple-vhost.default-host = "stage-main.example.com" $HTTP["url"] =~ "^(/css/|/files/|/img/|/js/|/images/|/themed/|/favicon.ico)" { expire.url = ("" => "access 5 minutes") } auth.backend = "htpasswd" auth.backend.htpasswd.userfile = "/var/projects/company/.trac.htpasswd" auth.require = ( "/" => ( "method" => "basic", "realm" => "Staging Access", "require" => "valid-user" ) ) $HTTP["host"] == "stage-main.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/development/logs/stage-main-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-main.example.com/" } else $HTTP["host"] == "stage-product.example.com" { accesslog.filename = "/home/development/logs/stage-product-access_log" compress.cache-dir = "/var/cache/lighttpd/compress/stage-product.example.com/" } } } Now it looks like we are set with everything we needed. One last line for /usr/local/etc/lighttpd.conf is: include_shell "/usr/local/etc/lighttpd/simple_config.php" And that's all. Before you will start or restart lighttpd, try and see if it can parse the new configuration (with our include) without errors, or inspect how it sees configuration after parsing: lighttpd -t -f /usr/local/etc/lighttpd.conf lighttpd -p -f /usr/local/etc/lighttpd.conf It is better to run the above commands as root, off course.

Now what?

Think twice about patterns for groups - don't be surprised if you get 'It works' page or default virthost of another group, if you are too lazy to read the generated configuration! Groups are processed in alphabetical order - just so you know which patterns are going to be checked first. Well, it is possible to change order of groups - change name of some company group folder to xxx_company and: $config['group'] = array( 'name' => 'company', Now you should be fine - this group in folder named xxx_company instead of company, and everything will still work. Everything that is necessary should be up and running now. Lighttpd should serve all virtual hosts from groups in sockets from now on. Read how to clear cache for mod_compress too. Smart brain should ask now, why we are using mod_simple_vhost, if our parser generates configuration for every virtual host it founds in our configuration files and directory structure. We don't do it, but you can - read code. Note for these who do not want or can not follow our default logs location, home directories, cache directories, user account lighttpd will use, or want to store directory structure with sockets/groups/virthosts somewhere else - read code too ;-) Reason why we set mod_simple_vhost for this example as default is simple - to get some domain serving some application, we need only one simple thing: symlink to app directory with domain name, placed in some virtual group in proper socket. This virtual host will be accessible immediately - although, restart of webserver is still necessary to have configuration for access logfile and compress directory for this virtual host (otherwise default accesslog and compress dir will be used), but not required. A few questions remain, what and how needs to be done in obvious use cases - adding new ip addresses, groups, virthosts, or moving whole groups over sockets, moving virthosts over sockets, etc... I assume this part will be sweet piece of cake for you. Definitely - feel free to call simple_config.php as often as you want to. It is highly reccommended to save functional configuration to a backup file by redirecting the output. Sure, one can use include "/some/path/generated_output.conf" exclusively, instead of include_shell - it is up to you. Backup, backup, backup. This is nothing more then a functional example, but the entire code lives in one class, so feel free to change or extend it for your needs. It is released under MIT license and is provided as it is, so you can do anything you want with it (except for removing license and copyright note). Keep in mind it was not tested in all possible situations and some of things I did not mention in this tutorial (but they are implemented in code) were not intensively tested yet. If you feel that some of the subdomains used in this tutorial sound familiar to you, you are probably right. I didn't said it was going to be a fairy tale. I said, I will tell you a story. To be continued...

Basic CakePHP markup for designers

This article assumes you practice semantic markup and have a fairly good understanding of CSS. CakePHP does a number of things automatically that designers might not expect, which can cause confusion for designers and difficulty for developers in implementing markup. I hope to provide some general purpose information and guidelines to designing for a CakePHP site. I would like to make a couple quick notes first however. CakePHP is a very flexible platform where markup can be re-used very easily. The more you as a designer try to make reusable markup, the easier your developers life will be. One of the most important things that you can do is to avoid id's other than for top level wrappers such as columns. This allows the developer to change content to address shifting specifications without having to rewrite chunks of CSS in order to avoid Id conflicts in the generated markup. CakePHP has a flexible output system that lets developers easily specify how output is generated. Unlike some applications such as older CMS systems which have a specified header and footer that are called before and after the content, Cake applications render their (x)html into a layout. Two main types of output are rendered into a layout, Views and Elements. Views are the page specific content, such as a blog post, or an entry form. Elements are blocks of markup that can be used across multiple pages, and can be used in the layout, in the view, or even from inside another element. Form related tags can appear in any of the output region types, but it is helpful if you as a designer try to avoid having forms span multiple elements or different sections. Doing so makes it much easier to ensure that the form will work correctly every time it appears. By default most form elements are wrapped in a div with descriptor classes such as “input text” for a text field. Check boxes, and radio buttons are wrapped in a fieldset instead of a div. Also by default the form helper automatically generates id's for the form input widget, and a label that matches it. This is another situation where it is easier to avoid an id attribute and use a class name as a designer. If you specify and ID, your developer has to check that it has not been used in CSS to specify a style, or choose to override it with your specified value and loose flexibility in the future. Examples of form widgets: Select box:   Blog blog. Text field:   Title Check Boxes:   Status Published Allow Comments Moderate   The other CakePHP core utility that generates a fair amount of HTML is the paginator helper. While the helper itself has been covered on the bakery before and is worthy of several blog posts itself, I'd at least like to touch on the default markup generated by the helper.   You can easily specify a string that will appear in between the spans, and each of the other elements are called separately, so they can be in other spots on the page, or have markup between. Unfortunately it is not easily possible to remove the span from the markup, but it would be fairly easy to change the pagination output to something similar to this:  

Meet the CakeDC

The articles section of our site will include best practices, business advice, and technical advice, updated weekly or more often by our talented developers. Our articles will touch upon a wide range of topics from our experiences and expertise. Check back frequently for fresh thoughts from our seasoned talent, including Mark Story who was at CakeFest in Argentina providing updates daily on the talks. As a founder of and lead developer at the Cake Development Corporation, I am proud to provide the inaugural article for the all new CakeDC.com. It has been a long and wonderful last 12 months, and CakeDC has helped bring reality to the limitless potential of our clients' projects. Like any great recipe, the ingredients of Cake Development Corporation have been hand–selected and carefully measured to create the very best blend of talent, imagination, and sophistication of any team in the world. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to our outstanding development team, as well as provide a little background about where our company has come from and where we are headed. After spending nearly 2 years working exclusively on CakePHP and seeing its popularity growing daily, Garrett Woodworth and I realized the need for a team of experts devoted to building the best applications for clients. Therefore, in 2007, Garrett and I formed Cake Development Corporation – a company dedicated to bringing the potential of CakePHP to life while supporting its further development and aiding clients in the rapid development of web applications. In this venture, Garrett and I recognized that we had a unique and rarely realized opportunity to do what we love as our full–time jobs – and, unlike during those initial two years of development, actually get paid to do it. As a business partner, I could not have asked for anyone better than Garrett. A key player in the development of CakePHP, Garrett continues to develop the code and drive the machines that keep users coming back for more. He is extremely passionate about the work he does and takes pride in delivering quality products that are the best of their kind, a true leader the team members can look up to. In fact, I have come to think of him as a younger brother – someone whom I respect greatly, but with whom I also spar from time to time (in a healthy way, of course). After a short time, it became necessary to bring on some new talent. Garrett and I welcomed a third developer Jitka Koukalová, to our small family in 2007. Jitka, a developer who was active in the CakePHP community and was vital contributor to its code, was an amazing addition to our team from the beginning, and exhibited great skill in, and equally great appreciation for, our open source platform. With great attention to detail, she became instrumental in server security and maintenance. Her ability to find an issue and fix it fast along with her classy and professional demeanor would make her a mentor to future members of the Cake development team. Florian Krämer, the next to join CakeDC, soon became our second great recruit. Florian has continually proven himself to be extremely knowledgeable when it comes to developing applications. Florian's meticulous attention to detail, outstanding work ethic, and dogged pursuit of excellence continue to be hugely important assets of our company. But more than a colleague, I consider Florian a good friend. Apart from his great skill, his fun and personable demeanor make him a great team member and someone I genuinely enjoy working with. He has a great sense of humor – or, at least, he appreciates mine! Having seen a great deal of growth in 2007, we sought to expand our development team in early 2008 by welcoming aboard a whole new crop of distinguished developers with a great working knowledge of CakePHP and a passion for its vast capabilities. The first of this group was Yevgeny Tomenko. Yevgeny knows an astounding amount about the inner workings of application development, and I am continually amazed at his dependability and sheer speed. Since joining our team, he has become a great "go–to" person who uses his years of experience to help guide the others on the team. I really love how passionate he is about our product, and it’s great to see such a talented and focused guy enjoying his work at CakeDC. Next, after spending some time watching Niles Rowland help others in the CakePHP IRC channel, we realized he would be a true asset to the CakeDC team. We recruited him in early 2008, and since then he has been a very knowledgeable and dependable part of the development team with a vast understanding of CakePHP and programming in general. Soon to follow Niles were Erin McCargar and Daniel Feinberg, both of whom came aboard in May of 2008. Erin has a long history working with CakePHP and is looked up to as an advisor by those on her team. Daniel, a key person when it comes to machine learning, is very knowledgeable with CakePHP. With outstanding attention to detail and a great skill in their fields of expertise, both are willing and able to go the extra mile to make a project shine. Finally, our most recent addition to the family is Mark Story who joined the team in November of 2008. Mark brings a lot to CakeDC; he is a core developer of CakePHP with design experience that is second to none. Mark is all about getting things done right the first time, and is great at working with others. The rest of the team truly looks up to him for both his skill and amicable personality. This eclectic group of talent is the heart and soul of CakeDC, the family unit that makes our company stand a head and shoulders above the rest. After seeing how far we have come in the last two years, I am very excited to see what this team can accomplish next! We are looking forward to all the challenges that lay ahead and can’t wait to help our clients create a brighter, more innovative future.

Felix Geisendörfer - Jquery and CakePHP

Felix started off by baking his application. While baking his controller he added in the Javascript Helper and RequestHandler Component. This will save adding them in later. Because the demo was based on Jquery the Ajax helper could not be used. However, Felix raised a very good issue of using a helper vs. writing Javascript. His opinion is that if you want to build a heavy AJAX application you should write all your javascript. If you just need a bit of AJAX sprinkled on you can use the helper. However, helpers are difficult to use in wide applications as they abstract one language into another which is tricky. Felix talked briefly about how he organizes his javascript. He likes to have specific javascript files for each controller/view placed in js/views as well as a few utility libraries. This allows his projects to reuse general js code as well as keep the Javascript separate for each view.

Adding jquery.form

Felix recommends using the form jquery plugin for working with forms. It allows you to easily add ajax behavior to your forms. After adding jquery.forms to the layout and creating his view js file. He was able to quickly make his form Ajax-ified. A question was asked about using JSON with Ajax in CakePHP. Felix then demonstrated how you could create a JSON Ajax view. By adding Router::parseExtensions('json'); Felix then created his json layout and his json view. Extension based views need to go into a directory that shares the name with the extension. By adding a 2nd and 4th parameter to $.get() you can force a json return. $.get('/cakefest/view/2.json', {}, function(response, status){ //handle response here }, 'json'); Is an example of how to do this. A question about pagination was asked. Felix's solution was to use a selector and attach an event to all your pagination buttons.   This concludes CakeFest Argentina. I had a really great time and would like to thank everyone who came out, and everyone who presented. I would also like to thank all of our sponsors, SaniSoft, Zeadoo, WidgetPress and the CakeDC. Lastly, thanks to Mariano and Claudio for orgnanizing and hosting the event.

Garret Woodworth - Advanced console

Since we got through bake on the last talk, we are going to look at some advanced usage of bake and other consoles. The interactive console was demonstrated. With the interactive console, you can examine the routes, interact with models. Following the console demonstration, Garrett demonstrated creation of a custom shell. Building on a previous example application, garret started building a shell to generate a menu. This covered creating methods in your shell, using in() and out() as well as how to access args and params. A demo of Cakebot was next. Cakebot is the IRC bot used in #cakephp, Cakebot was also written as a CakePHP shell.

We Bake with CakePHP