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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. I currently have DNewsWeb what changes do I have to make?

Q2. What software do I need to run WebNews?

Q3. What is the difference between WebMail and CWMail/DMailWeb?

Q1. I currently have DNewsWeb what changes do I have to make?

WebNews uses a completely different and more powerfull type of template files from DNewsWeb. Even the dynamics of moving between templates has been changed. Because of this it is quicker and safer to start with the default WebNews templates and re-customise them. We realize this may be time consuming but there is no easy way to convert and perhaps this is a good time to update the style of pages you provide for access to News. WebNews offers a large number of new features you will also be able to take advantage of by useing this approach.

Q2. What software do I need to run WebNews?

Version 1.0a of WebNews requires a web server, and a News server. The News server has be have implemented the following extra commands:


Of course we reccomend use of our DNews server but WebNews will work with any standard NNTP news server. There are no special Web Server requirements when using WebNews.

Q3. Installing WebNews on Mac OS x?

  1. I followed the normal install instructions of downloading to a temporary directory, uncompressing, and then untaring.

    NB: I did not use /tmp as the temporary directory to download to as from previous experience of DMail that directory seems to be a funny link and upsets the installation wizard, dmsetup. So I created, /unpack
  2. Changed directory to,
    and entered,
  3. Answered the questions giving,
    i. a CGI path of,
    NB: the capital letters.
    This matches the default apache installation setting in,
    ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ "/Local/Library/WebServer/CGI-Executables/"

    ii.accepted the default templates and manuals directories of,

    iii.gave my images directory as,
    because I had already created the nwimg directory for CWMail and added an alias for it to my apache server configuration, i.e. in the file,
    I added the line, Alias /nwimg/ "/Local/Library/WebServer/Documents/nwimg/"
    after adding this alias to apache I had to stop and restart it for it to take affect. On my machine there is a file in, /etc/startup called 2000_WebServer, so from that I borrowed the following script commands which appear to be somewhere in the root user's path,
        apachectl stop
    and then
        apachectl start

    iv. accepted the default relative url for images of /nwimg/mail as that uses the Alias set up in iii.

    v.accepted the correct domain for my machine

    vi. removed 'mail.' from the start of my suggested mail server domain name.

    vii.accepted the same server name as for the mail server for my smtp server as all servers are on the one machine, i.e. the same as the web server.

    viii.let it create an originals copy of the templates

    ix. did not let it delete the temporary unpack files for now
  4. At this point I pointed my web browser at the WebMail CGI, with
    a URL like,
    and I got a message about it being a forbidden page.

    After changing the cgi to world execute access, i.e.
        chown 755 webimap.cgi
    in the CGI-Executables directory, I realized that the cgi was owned by the user 'nobody'.

    This what cgis are generally run as by apache on other platforms. However next to the ScriptAlias setting in apache.conf it states that on some platforms there are problems with that and that a userID of www can be used - and that seems to be what the default installation has set up for my cgis to run as.
         I.e. in apache.conf
    there are settings,
         User www
         Group www

    So I changed back the permissions on the webmail.cgi file to,
    and did a,
        chown www webmail.cgi
  5. Tried the URL again. The CGI then ran but it complained about not being able to write a log file and it could not find the template,
    So I changed to the directory,
    and entered the following to set the directory/file ownership to the www user and group,
        chown www:www WebMail
        chown www:www webmail/*
  6. Tried the URL again and the login screen now comes up as expected but without images.

    So after a bit of checking I found that the images in the directory /nwimg/mail did not have world read access, so I went to,
    and entered,
        chown +r *
    ( I suppose I could have just chown'd them to the user www)
  7. Tried logging in again and bingo - it worked nicely.    Hooray :-)