Oscar Installation Troubleshooting


Oscar is installed, but isn't running.  Here are some ideas to help troubleshooting.
Before Installation
If you have already installed Ubuntu and Oscar, and having problems, see below.  This paragraph is not going to help ;-(
If you decide to start again from scratch, then the following tips may make your life a bit easier.
Indivica (David Daley) has published an excellent installation guide.  You can find it at http://indivica.com/?page_id=123  Use it.
I am assuming you will be using his guide ;-)
1) Do NOT install any extra services when installing Ubuntu.  This includes the services that are part of Oscar (Apache, MySQL, etc,)  The required service installation will be in the excellent installation guide.  You can always add extra services after.
2) I usually do the first few steps (ubuntu, user, etc) on the server.
After I install openssh on the server (sudo apt-get install openssh-server), I usually immediately switch to another PC on the network and use putty to connect to the server.  That way I can have multiple GUI windows open to check/correct the stuff I am entering.  If you have another Linux/Mac PC, then you can use Terminal and SSH to login to the server.  Terminal allows cut/paste!  Putty does not.
Make sure the server is running on the correct IP.
You can check the server IP by typing ifconfig.
Normally, the Oscar URL is something like
You can ensure that the server is alive by using a Command prompt (aka DOS) and entering 'PING' from another PC.
If you don't get a reply, check /etc/network/interfaces
If you write something to /var/www/index.html it will be displayed if you browse to
Ex: <html><body>You have connected to the Ubuntu Server</body></html>
Is Tomcat happy?
If you restart Tomcat (sudo /etc/init.d/tomcat5.5 restart) you should see two lines.  * Stopping Tomcat servlet engine tomcat5.5 followed by * Starting Tomcat servlet engine tomcat5.5.  If you only see the Starting Tomcat, then Tomcat was NOT running and will probably not run now.
The tomcat log is in /var/log/tomcat5.5 (aka /usr/share/tomcat5.5/logs)
The system log is in /var/log/syslog  (this can also be very useful)
One Oscar user had problems with JAVA_HOME.  Make sure that JAVA_HOME points to the correct Java version in /usr/lib/jvm/
He suggests creating /usr/local/tomcat/bin/setenv.sh and adding the following line:
Checking your commands
LN: Each 'ln' line is creating a symbolic link (aka shortcut) to a specific folder. (Eg. sudo ln -s /usr/share/tomcat5.5 /usr/local/tomcat)
After you type the line, you can try cd /usr/local/tomcat
It should actually point to the same folder as cd /usr/share/tomcat5.5
Editing files:  When you edit files (sudo vi /etc/profile), you can check the file after the change. Personally, I prefer nano instead of vi.
Once you have made the change, you can list smaller files using cat (eg. cat /etc/profile ) or just use the editor again to check your changes.
Checking variables:  There are a number of variables which must be set.  They include CATALINA_HOME, JAVA_HOME, ANT_HOME
You can check them by typing: echo $CATALINA_HOME

Another big advantage of using another PC to make the changes (see above), is that you can open David's guide in another window and cut/paste the commands or use the cursor to verify the punctuation.  The printed guide may not always show the spaces and is especially difficult on the longer lines that wrap-around to the next line.