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Greenstone 2 Administration Pages

An “administrative” facility is included with every Greenstone 2 installation.To access this facility, click the appropriate link on the front page.

The entry page gives information about each of the collections offered by the system. Note that all collections are included—for there may be “private” ones that do not appear on the Greenstone home page. With each is given its short name, full name, whether it is publicly displayed, and whether or not it is running. Clicking a particular collection's abbreviation brings up information about that collection, gathered from its collection configuration file and from other internal structures created for that collection. If the collection is both public and running, clicking the collection's full name (the second link) takes you to the collection itself.

The administrative facility also presents configuration information about the installation and allows it to be modified. It facilitates examination of the error logs that record internal errors, and the user logs that record usage. It enables a specified user (or users) to authorize others to build collections and add new material to existing ones. All these facilities are accessed interactively from the menu items at the left-hand side of the admin pages.

Configuration files

There are two configuration files that control Greenstone's operation, the site configuration file gsdlsite.cfg and the main configuration file main.cfg.

The gsdlsite.cfg file is used to configure the Greenstone software for the site where it is installed. It is designed for keeping configuration options that are particular to a given site. Examples include the name of the directory where the Greenstone software is kept, the http address of the Greenstone system, and whether the fastcgi facility is being used.The entries in this file are described in the Greenstone Digital Library Installation Guide.

The main.cfg file contains information that is common to the interface of all collections served by a Greenstone site. It includes the E-mail address of the system maintainer, whether the status and collector pages are enabled, whether logs of user activity are kept, and whether Internet “cookies” are used to identify users.


Three kinds of logs can be examined: usage logs, error logs and initialization logs. The last two are only really of interest to people maintaining the software.

All user activity—every page that each user visits—can be recorded by the Greenstone software, though no personal names are included in the logs. Logging, disabled by default, is enabled by including the lines

logcgiargs true
usecookies true

in the main system configuration file. Both options are false by default, so that no logging is done unless they are set. It is the logcgiargs line that actually turns logging on and off. By activating usecookies a unique identification code is assigned to each user, which enables individual user's interactions to be traced through the log file.

Each line in the user log records a page visited—even the pages generated to inspect the log files! It contains (a) the IP address of the user's computer, (b) a timestamp in square brackets, © the CGI arguments in parentheses, and (d) the name of the user's browser (Netscape is called “Mozilla”). Here is a sample line, split and annotated for ease of reading:

(b) [ Thu Dec07 23:47:00 NZDT2000]
(c) (a=p, b=0, bcp=, beu=, c=niupepa, cc=, ccp=0, ccs=0, cl=, cm=, cq2=, d=, e=, er=, f=0, fc=1, gc=0, gg=text, gt=0, h=, h2=, hl=1, hp=, il=l, j=, j2=, k=1, ky=, l=en, m=50, n=, n2=, o=20, p=home, pw=, q=, q2=, r=1, s=0, sp=frameset, t=1, ua=, uan=, ug=, uma=listusers, umc=, umnpw1=, umnpw2=, umpw=, umug=, umun=, umus=, un=, us=invalid, v=0, w=w, x=0, z=
(d) “Mozilla/4.08 [en] (Win95; I ;Nav)”

The last CGI argument, “z”, is an identification code or “cookie” generated by the user's browser: it comprises the user's IP number followed by the timestamp when they first accessed the digital library.

The log file usage.txt is placed in the etc directoryin the Greenstone file structure (see the Greenstone Digital Library Developer's Guide).When logging is enabled, every action by every user is logged.

User management

Greenstone incorporates an authentication scheme which can be used to control access to certain facilities. See this page for more information.

Technical information

The links under the Technical information heading show further information on the installation.The general link gives access to technical information, including the directories where things are stored.The protocols menu item gives, for each possible protocol type, information about each of the collections supported by that protocol.

Finally, user interface code (called the “receptionist”) uses actions to communicate the wishes of the user. These actions correspond to the CGI argument labeled a. For example, if a=status the receptionist invokes the status action (which displays the status page). A menu item gives access to lists of all actions supported by the system, and another leads to the arguments that these actions take.

en/user_advanced/gs2_administration_pages.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/13 01:46 by