Port 25 post
I downloaded this appliance to start the evaluation of a linux mail server. But as there is no graphic environment in the appliance, it is difficult for a beginer to find information on initial settings.
I have tried to check information on the appliance on the rPath site but have not found anything useful yet.
I expect the appliance to need few setting changes for initial use. My purpose is to evaluate as a local e-mail server initially. Then perform another evaluation for imap mail and receive external email.
But this evaluations seems to need an expert on linux. I think this is not the purpose of the appliance concept. It is a most to have some type of wizard, even if on text as early linux distributions used.
Please refer me to a summarized way to perform the configuration for this appliance. I don't want to buy all mail server books to just configure an appliance. Thanks in advance.
Ok, downloaded the LAMP server thinking "great, this will be up and running in no time".
Well, the machine was certainly up and running quickly however doing anything with it is a bit of a challenge:
- No documentation anywhere on the website
- No details of username / password
So it's running but I can't do a damn thing with it. Yeah, really handy. I might as well download Linux, Apache, etc myself and install it all from scratch.
Docs are on php.net, mysql.com, perl.com, apache.com etc, all apps are standard. You could install it from scratch but with an appliance you don't have the extra crap that base OS installs install is very selective only for products you need.
by the way ID is root with no passwod. It was on Vmware's website.
I agree 100%!
I dunno, late night or something. No excuse really. Anyway it bugged me then and bugs me more that you were not given the opportunity to see my comments before downloading which begs the question.....
Why isn't there a link from that appliance's web page to this forum so that others can be warned about it's zero doc?!
I guess we have left the generation of RTFM, now everyone expects everything to be perfect and easily understood by the lowest common denominator out of the box.
If you want microsoft, go get windows. Appliances are a lot of work, they are a gift of time and sweat to you, the people who are too lazy to build the thing yourself. That is why I use appliances, to save time and energy, but I can at least do a little research and look for the answers before I sit down for a good cry.
Post a question if you are unsure of something, but bitching without TRYING seems a bit babyish to me. People are just too lazy.
For what it's worth, to the author, good work man, I'm using it, and while I wouldn't give it a 5 out of 5, I would certainly give it 4.5
I beg to differ here. In the age of providing prebuilt appliances, the very least the author should do is provide a single sheet of basic information:
1. How to Log in (user/password information)
2. Basic concept of what the appliance is designed to do (OK, it's powered on and I've logged in. Now what?)
3. Any advanced features which they want to show off.
From what I've read about various users' experiences with any of the rPath appliances, I will steer a VERY wide berth around them, and NEVER recommend them to anyone. Yes, you can expect to do a little bit of research - in this case, the author should not be required to hold the user's hand learning php or sql, etc. However, they should at least provide the basic answer to my point #2 above!
But did you try the appliance? It was like 10 minutes to set up! How hard is that? If it was something difficult I would understand, but this is no different than a dozen other appliances, a first step, something to help ease the burden of administering networks by giving us more time NOT building servers.
The appliance is good, it's fairly straightforward, yes a short sheet would be helpful, but I get so tired of people who don't even bother looking. Perhaps they could have PM'd or emailed the author?
I'm in the process of dumbing down what to me is a simple appliance that I built. I had to do videos because of some of the recipients, because reading was a bit complicated for them. Most of them wouldn't need anything, even a note, but some are so daft they need hand holding. This isn't the middle or even the end of an age, it's the fresh beginning. Lets give the authors some support while they learn and spread the technology out.
All of the rPath appliances now have Wiki pages with installation, configuration and related notes. These are the "Project Home" pages linked from the rBuilder Online project page - which is itself the entry linked from the VMWare virtual appliance catalog.
For example, the MediaWiki appliance project home page is at http://wiki.rpath.com/wiki/Appliance:MediaWiki_Appliance and provides a fair bit of guidance for getting started.
Please check out those resources and provide constructive feedback for further documentation in the Wiki itself.
>I guess we have left the generation of RTFM, now everyone expects everything to be perfect and easily understood by the lowest common denominator out of the box.
No that's the whole point. There is no single page - forget manual - to RTF for this appliance! I don't expect perfect, I expect usable by an average linux user - meaning some kind of minimal doc! It is not a lot to ask for! Welcome to the 21st century.
If an appliance in a given area is aimed at experts in that area who can cope with no doc then it should clearly say so - then Novices will avoid it.
>If you want microsoft, go get windows. Appliances are a lot of work, they are a gift of time and sweat to you, the people who are too lazy to build the thing yourself. That is why I use appliances, to save time and energy, but I can at least do a little research and look for the answers before I sit down for a good cry.
That's pathetic - and insulting to the Linux world! There are plenty of decent well- or even partially-documented linux apps out there. If an appliance builder can't be bothered to provide minimal docs then he shouldn't bother with the appliance at all. It's not laziness on my part, its trying to avoid wheel reinvention - my time is important to me. That's the whole point of appliances I think!!!! Or is it an ego trip for appliance writers: look at me I wrote an appliance ..... what you're too stupid to use it... why can't you read my brilliant mind and spend days scouring the internet????
>Post a question if you are unsure of something, but bitching without TRYING seems a bit babyish to me. People are just too lazy.
Don't indiscriminately call people lazy! It strikes me that your assumptions are lazy. Try doing what? I'm not psychic!!!!
Post a question where!!!!! If the wiki is alive and well and has some doc its a recent thing and should be directly pointed to from the appliance. This is the only place I can post a comment on it! Have you tried emailing rPath? Tried to find a relevant forum? Have they (the developer) bothered visiting these forums to see concern about the doc?
>For what it's worth, to the author, good work man, I'm using it, and while I wouldn't give it a 5 out of 5, I would certainly give it 4.5
Great you like it - thats cool,- you are in a tiny minority from what I have seen on this particular appliance. Don't slag off those who don't like it now (but might if it had some doc)! It's a big internet.
Now can you please put a pointer on the LAMP appliance page to point to this thread?!
>But did you try the appliance? It was like 10 minutes to set up! How hard is that? If it was something difficult I would understand, but this is no different than a dozen other appliances, a first step, something to help ease the burden of administering networks by giving us more time NOT building servers.
Well I did! 10 minutes IF you have LAMP experience and have done it all before. Proves nothing - there should be doc! If there are a dozen other appliances out there with zero doc then then hopefully there are pointers from them to this forum with comments to that effect.
>The appliance is good, it's fairly straightforward, yes a short sheet would be helpful, but I get so tired of people who don't even bother looking. Perhaps they could have PM'd or emailed the author?
I did!!!!!!!!! At the time I was trying it there was no email address, there was a web page where you could ask a question. It was never answered. I even asked him/them to look in theese vmware forums!!!!!! Still wanna call me lazy?!!
>I'm in the process of dumbing down what to me is a simple appliance that I built. I had to do videos because of some of the recipients, because reading was a bit complicated for them. Most of them wouldn't need anything, even a note, but some are so daft they need hand holding. This isn't the middle or even the end of an age, it's the fresh beginning. Lets give the authors some support while they learn and spread the technology out.
Let's not confuse your appliance with the rPath LAMP one. I'm sure there are some good appliances out there, possibly even yours - you don't bother to mention what it is. I think the attitude to users you display here suggests you should give up building appliances and leave it to people with more respect for the end user - even if they do need a little hand holding.
Maybe applicance builders should not waste other people's time by gifting zero- or badly- documented appliances to a vmware commununity that actually lives in the 21st Century not the dark ages when basic documentation was optional.
I'm not new to Linux or vmware. I am new to LAMP and this appliance isn't worth looking at from my point of view. A simple newbie warning on the LAMP appliance page would help.
If you are from rpath, please force a link from the vmware LAMP rpath page to that wiki as well as to here.
No that's the whole point. There is no single page -
forget manual - to RTF for this appliance! I don't
expect perfect, I expect usable by an average linux
user - meaning some kind of minimal doc! It is not a
lot to ask for! Welcome to the 21st century.
Right! To William --> Even my new Toaster Oven (appliance) comes with a small user's manual, to tell me how to set the clock, how to adjust toast "doneness" settings, etc. The whole reason VMware changed the names of these from "PreBuilt Virtual Machines" to "Virtual Appliances" was that they are trying to present these things to END USERS the same concept as real "appliances".
Now can you please put a pointer on the LAMP
appliance page to point to this thread?!
I would if I could. I'm not an employee, just a user like yourself. Well, I am a user forum moderator now, but we still have limited rights. And definitely nothing on the main web pages...
If you are from rpath, please force a link from the
vmware LAMP rpath page to that wiki as well as to
Same for this guy - he's just a VMware user like us. He could email the VMware guys and request this, however, if it's his appliance.
Hang in there, Hal!
Wow, I really kicked the hornets nest eh?
Indeed, I apologize...I was rude, and I freely admit to it. I just get annoyed sometimes, and mainly because I understand it from the creation side, how there are million things to not forget, and how hard it is to remember that just because I built a thing, does not mean that the person who uses it next is going to know what to do with it. I do empathize with all the authors..possibly too much.
I am sorry, I really didn't mean to go on a rant, I'm just cranky. It seems this whole week I've been finding all the missing pieces of my appliance and getting them together for distribution. In my environment, I just put my appliance on a box, make it headless and sit it in the corner. Hell, I took and mounted the switch to the computer so the entire thing is one lump of junk, people just plug in their system to be imaged and turn it on. But, and that's a big BUT, I forget that when it sits in a new environment, someone will have to create the image it distributes, even if we included the framework and scripts, someone still has to build the initial image. And that's what's delayed us, building how-to's and videos for those users.
Try to look past my general bitchiness these last few weeks, and try to look past these other builders if they forget something out of the appliance, give them time to amend it, and try the product again. There is nothing but the knowledge that you're saving other people the time and energy of reinventing the wheel each time. That's the only reason we're doing it.
My main beef is that people going to the vmware appliance site are not directed to an appropiate thread in this forum.
If there were an appropriate forum \*in use* on the appliance owner's web site then that would be useful \*as well*.
Neither of them have what Fedora Core 4[/url] has which is a Comment on this appliance[/url] in the 'Community Feedback' area just under the star rating. In this instance the thread is a oneliner but at least if someone downloaded the FC4 appliance and had something to say, they could recommend or warn others about it.
(Now going slightly off topic as this relates to rPath's site...)
To follow Brett's advice and leave some constructive feedback in the rPath wiki, let's have a look...
Now hang on a minute, I've never posted to a wiki before so I should learn all about them first shouldn't I? Erm, hope not....
So how good is the rPath wiki stuff... Let's look at the LAMP Project Home Page it is one page... OK. That's what I wanted I suppose so now I can't whinge that it's only one page! How about having a quick look at forums/dicussions there to see if there might be a little extra - call me greedy...
So where do you leave constructive criticism? Now I'm talking about a wiki that was set up by people dishing out free wiki appliances so call me a user, but I expect an easy to use wiki! Either that or I most definitely have the problem.
Nope, OK lets look at the Support section a little way down:
Brett, as I say, I've never added anything to a wiki so if you can add a link in the wiki to this thread to tell them that Mad Hal has lost it again then feel free!
Regular readers will be dissapointed to learn that this post is 80% shorter than it should really be mainly due the fact that I'm retiring as an rPath critic. Aaaahhh you all say.
ahem, check sense of humour...
Yes indeed... and I'm going into training - watching videos and things - to get fit enough to berate William for his lack of doc on his as yet unnanounced appliance. I want to see this. I really do!!!!
Rumour has it that it's a 4K Gentoo appliance written in (undocumented) microcode. If you type in help or man, the keyboard gives out sparks and of course the default prompt is
oh well, it made me laugh.
Oh happy days.... :smileygrin: It's the weekend yippee!
Its a bit curious that in the Description
Section,[url=http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/directory/473]MediaWiki[/url] points to
This is a technical problem due to the fact that some of the rPath appliances (lamp) were converted over from the previous VMware virtual appliance listing and some (mediawiki) were created in the current VMware virtual appliance listing. So for the one's that were converted, rPath doesn't have edit capability on the appliance's home page. The ones that were newly created, rPath can edit them and has tried to respond to your feedback. Sometimes the technology holds back progress.
Neither of them have what
'Community Feedback' area just under the star rating.
Again, another technical problem that hopefully will be fixed.
How about using the
And the sentence goes on to say "...there are a number of reasons why this may be so, the most likely being that you must login[/url] in order to edit pages." If you click on "login" link it takes you to page where you can login and if you don't have a login it says "Don't have a login? Create an account." Which will walk you through creating an account.
So even not knowing about wikis, reading a sentence or two should guide you through the process. Is the process completely smooth? No, but if you will just bear with it for a bit, you can post your feedback on both the appliance documentation and the process to give that feedback.
Nope, OK lets look at the Support section a little
gLists] 'Questions about the LAMP Appliance should be
raised on the LAMP Appliance discussion list'[/url]
Call me a pessimist but I simply don't post to an
Some of those empty lists have been cleaned up now.
>And the sentence goes on to say "...there are a number of reasons why this may be so, the most likely being that you must login in order to edit pages." If you click on "login" link it takes you to page where you can login and if you don't have a login it says "Don't have a login? Create an account." Which will walk you through creating an account.
Fair comment, I could have done that but it is currently empty, like the archive pages and the fact that there is more comment in this thread than in the wiki says it all.
Perhaps you can put a pointer in there to here since I don't want to waste any more time and lets face it, a visitor to that wiki will learn more from this thread than from a blank wiki page.
I think this appliance scores 1 out of 5. And that is just because they spent time doing it. "Enterprise" appliance as they describe it ? Thats a joke. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone - except perhaps a competitor
Yes it has the various email protocols/modules installed (in fact the modules installed are just those that come with standard linux off the shelf) - however, as mentioned by some others, the concept of an appliance is simplicity at all levels. This project has no user interface and requires manual editing of files. It does not qualify, in my view, as an appliance at all.
A second criticism is that this appliance does not have the full tool kit. What I mean is that they have provided spam assassin but they did not put some of the other really strong email security tools in like pyzor and dcc.
This is really a job half done. in fact the modules installed are just those that come with standard linux off the shelf. How does one check for updates to these "forever updating" modules ? no yum interface ? nothing.
This is my most scathing citical review of these appliances and I think justifiably so when you look at how much effort others have made to create a useful appliance.
So two closing comments:
A lot of people don't know about webmin ( http://www.webmin.com ) It is a great browser based admin program for linux systems, is easy to install, is very customisable, and is just... great !!
To those who are building appliances with linux and dont have time/resource to build a nice interface - at least you could install and customise webmin.
To those who currently have a linux server or appliance in any form - go check out webmin. It is VERY impressive.
Great point. I realize that just entering something into the competition takes some effort, but that is no excuse for putting out things that are so shoddy and woefully short of any useful docs, that it is very painful to try out an appliance. I wasted all my time with the so called LAMP appliance and finally threw in the towel. I should have checked the forums first, and then I would have seen the problems others were having.
There are plenty of appliances in this forum which are well thought and executed beautifully. The rpath stuff is certainly not one of them.
I've tried a few of these rPath appliances and I'll agree with most of the negative views on them. But it's not rPath's fault.
The idea is that rPath provides a basic platform/web framework to design an appliance, and you add extensions to it to enable a better turn-key system customized to what you're trying to provide.
The problem is that people keep just downloading the base rPath image, installing something like postfix, and pawning it off as an e-mail appliance VM without doing any of the stuff you're supposed to be doing to make it useful.
Oh well. Maybe we'll see some better rPath appliances eventually, but it's been 2 years since your posts on this subject and it hasn't been so yet. I guess we'll stick with base installs of Ubuntu or something and add in a little Webmin.