FrontPage White Paper | Key FrontPage Insights For Site Creation

Main Topics

» Common FrontPage problems and fixes
» Suggestions for alternatives for clients now that FP is nearing EOL
» Server-side issues

General FrontPageLayout with cPanel

» FrontPage is built in by default whenever using /scripts/easyapache or from within WHM
» mod_auth_passthrough handles authentication

Install manually with
cd /usr/local/cpanel/apache; make; make install
Restart apache

Frontpage Layout

Backend installed from rpm on Linux, ports on FreeBSD:
» Linux: /scripts/updatefrontpage
» FreeBSD: cd /usr/ports/www/frontpage && make install clean
»» Installs files to /usr/local/frontpage/

Installing FP Extensions Manually
» /scripts/setupfp5 domain.tld
»» will  install  the  FrontPage  web  files  (_vti_pvt,  etc)  in  the  user's  webspace (/home/user/public_html/)
» Uninstall
»» /scripts/unsetupfp4 domain.tld

Typical FP Request

When FP client software connects to the server:
» Client authenticates to the webserver
» Handled by apache via mod_auth_passthrough
» Passed to /usr/local/frontpage/version5.0/apache-fp/_vti_bin/fpexe
» Passed to /usr/local/frontpage/currentversion/apache-fp/fp-auth
» checks info against ${docroot}/${web}/_vti_pvt/service.pwd
» sends back auth ok headers or auth failed headers, logs action.
» When successfully authenticated, FrontPage takes over and carries out actions such as file creation, editing.

Be Aware of These Files:

» /var/cpanel/fileprotect and /usr/local/cpanel/etc/fpwebprotect
»» Shows file protection is enabled, causes fp-auth to call /usr/local/cpanel/bin/fpwrap
»» Sets permissions/ownership on _vti* dirs accordingly

» /bin/ps laxww | /usr/bin/sum ; /bin/ps laxww | /usr/bin/sum
»» Command run by the FrontPage module for entropy on Linux

» /bin/ps laxww | /usr/bin/cksum -o 1 ; /bin/ps laxww | /usr/bin/cksum -o 1
»» Command run by the frontpage module for entropy on FreeBSD
»» Can be source of hard to track down problems

Where to Spot Errors?

» /usr/local/apache/logs/suexec_log
»» Errors here can sometimes be fixed with /scripts/initfpsuexec

» /usr/local/apache/logs/error_log
»» Most errors will be logged here

» /var/log/messages
»» The FrontPage client software

Errors While Installing FP Extensions

» Error: Unable to create a Web for the URL "/" because its root directory, "/home/user/public_html/", falls below the root of another web in the directory "/home/user".
»» Fix: Check for and remove any FP files that happen to be in / , /home/, or most commonly, /home/user

» Error: The server administration programs and the server extensions on the Web server are not compatible. The administration program is too old to use with this server.
»» Fix: Reinstall frontpage using the upgrade script for linux or from updated ports with FreeBSD

Errors while Trying to Publish

» Error: The folder “http://www.domain.tld” isn't accessible. The folder may be located in an unavailable location, protected with a password, or the filename contains a / or \.
»» Fix: Reinstall mod_auth_passthrough

Things to Check when All Else Fails

» Make sure that there is no /usr/local/apache2 directory if using Apache
»» 1.x. Reinstall extensions on the account if that is the case.

» Be sure mod_auth_passthrough is loaded into apache via httpd.conf. Trying reinstalling it regardless.»» Reinstall the backend files
»» If suexec is enabled, try /scripts/initfpsuexec
»» Use  this  if  recently  disabled  suexec  to  update  the  frontpage  wrapper accordingly

» Check the “personalized” vhost file for the domain in /
»» usr/local/apache/conf/sites/
»» if not using suexec, ensure re-enable permissions by user “nobody”
»» (su -s /bin/sh nobody cat /usr/local/apache/conf/sites/domain.tld)


» MS has issued an EOL for Frontpage for 2006.
» Will not release any future Frontpage/Frontpage client compatible releases

Microsoft's Alternatives

» Expression
»» Graphic Designer
»» Internet Designer
»» Web Designer

» Part of the .NET codebase
»» No indication of server side support for Unix platforms

» Does not use Frontpage extensions

» No indication of server side support for Unix platforms

Commercial Alternatives

» Dreamweaver -
» Coffee Cup -
» CuteHTML -
» GoLive –

Free Alternatives

» Alleycode -
» WebDwarf -
» NVU –
» WYSIWYG Pro in cPanel Filemanager

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