- This specifies the port number on which to listen for HTTP requests. The standard port for HTTP requests is 80. Note that to bind to any port with a number less than 1024, Redirex must be run with root (super-user) privilege; for testing use a port accessible to regular users (for example 9080), and specify that port in URLs to exercise Redirex. After you're sure everything is working correctly, change the port number to the standard 80 and run Redirex as super-user. If the -p command line option is specified, this value will not be used.
- This variable specifies which IP address to listen to, in dotted decimal notation, for example '192.168.37.252'. If you wish to listen to all IP addresses, set this to '0.0.0.0'. Note that if you specify a value of '0.0.0.0', Redirex will intercept all requests on the configured port for all IP addresses on which the system running it listens. If the machine running Redirex also acts as a Web server, you'll have to specify the explicit IP address on which Redirex will listen. If you need to run two or more copies of Redirex on a machine which is also a Web server, you'll need to prepare a separate configuration file for each server you're redirecting and start one copy Redirex for each, specifying the configuration file with the -c command line option.
- This variable gives the URL prefix consisting of the protocol, host name, and (optionally) port number of the new server to which requests are being redirected. Redirex assumes the new server has the same content (or a superset thereof) and directory structure as the server it is redirecting; the file name portion of the URL is simply appended to the $newServer string. For example, suppose Redirex is intercepting requests to port 80 at IP address 192.168.133.12, host name gnarly.oldsite.net and $newServer is set to 'spiffy.newsite.net'. Then the URL request "http://gnarly.oldsite.net/info/catalogue.html" will be redirected to "http://spiffy.newsite.net/info/catalogue.html".
- $newHomePage and $newHomePageDescription
- HTTP redirection should be transparent to the user, simply replacing the requested URL with the new destination. Since some browsers may not correctly support redirection, the HTTP standard recommends that redirection messages sent in response to GET and POST requests (but not HEAD) include descriptive text and a hyperlink to the new destination URL. That way, if the browser fails to perform the redirection, the user can simply click on the link to access the new location. When generating this message, Redirex includes a link to the URL specified by $newHomePage with descriptive text $newHomePageDescription. This should point to the home page of the new destination server. If the redirection should fail due to changes in the directory structure from that of the old server, the user can use this link to find the home page of the new server.
- Redirex logs all requests it redirects in the named $logfile, which should be specified as an absolute path name. Log items are appended to the file, written in the "Common logfile format" used by most present-day Web servers. To avoid many time-consuming domain name lookups, numeric IP addresses are used in the log file instead of host names. If you require host names, process the Redirex file with the logresolve program included with the Apache HTTP Server or the Logtail program available at this site. Redirected requests show the redirection status code of 301. The length of the reply is always 512, a reasonable approximation of the length of the redirection document.
- If $DOredirect is set to 1, requests will be hard-redirected with a 301 status code. If zero, the reply will be a normal 200 status document which informs the user of the redirection but doesn't request the browser to automatically divert there. Requests processed with $DOredirect set to 0 appear in the log file with a status of 200.
- If $No_cache is set 1, responses will include header items which suppress proxy server and browser caching of the the returned document. This is handy for testing, since some browsers will otherwise cache a redirect and not display the document returned should $DOredirect be subsequently set to 0. In the interest of efficiency, you should set $No_cache = 0 when you put Redirex into production.
Traditionally, Unix systems associated a unique IP address with each network interface; the only way to cause a host to listen to multiple IP addresses was to equip it with as many hardware interfaces as addresses. Obviously, in cases where a single server hosts a large number of Web sites, this requirement was untenable--a large Internet Service Provider might require thousands of network interfaces to support all of their customers' IP addresses. Most modern Unix systems provide a mechanism which permits receiving packets for multiple IP addresses on a single hardware interface. Unfortunately, each different version of Unix seems to have invented its own mechanism for accomplishing this. To figure out how to configure virtual hosts on your server, a good place to start is the system's manual page for the ifconfig command.
Once you've managed to configure your server to listen on the the old server's IP address, you need to make sure there's no conflict between Redirex and any Web server running on the same machine. Many Web servers, including Apache, listen by default to Port 80 on all IP addresses received by the host. Thus, if you start the Web server first, Redirex will fail because the address it wishes to listen on has already been assigned to the Web server. To get around this problem, you must configure the Web server to respond only to the IP address(es) it is intended to serve (use "Listen" directives with Apache), then configure Redirex with the $IPlisten variable set to the address it is to redirect. If you need to redirect more than one IP address, run a separate copy of Redirex for each, using the -c command line option to specify separate configuration files for each server.
This software is in the public domain. Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, without any conditions or restrictions. This software is provided "as is" without express or implied warranty.
Absolutely no support or assistance of any kind whatsoever is available for Redirex--you are entirely on your own. As should be evident from reading this document, while Redirex is a small, simple program, the many varieties of Unix in use on Web servers makes it impossible to provide a cookbook installation procedure. Getting Redirex to work requires system administration skills comparable to those needed to install a Web server; if you don't understand terms such as "IP address", "DNS", "ifconfig", "netstat", "Perl", etc. you probably won't get very far with Redirex.
Redirex has been tested only under various flavours of the Unix operating system. In order for it to work on other systems (for example, OS/2 or Windows NT), the implementation of Perl used to run it must include Unix-compatible networking, fork, and signal facilities.
Redirex assumes the directory structure and file names on the new server are identical to those on the machine being redirected. If you need more complex file name rewriting, you're going to have to add it yourself. (For complicated redirection, you're probably better off installing the Apache HTTP server, which includes extensive URL transformation and redirection support. Redirex was written to permit simple redirection without the need to install such a relatively large and complicated package.)
If you're running Redirex on a machine with limited disc space or a stripped-down configuration (for example, a firewall host), note that you don't have to fully install Perl on the machine in order to run Redirex. It's sufficient to copy an executable of the Perl interpreter and the few modules it requires into the directory with Redirex and start it with "./perl redirex".
Transfer lengths written in the log file do not represent the actual byte count; they're always 512.
The only way to cause Redirex to transfer its log to a new file is to kill Redirex, rename the log file, and then restart the program.
by John Walker