Changing options after a lab deployment

Problems with the Windows version of XAMPP, questions, comments, and anything related.

Changing options after a lab deployment

Postby RicG » 05. February 2009 18:55

I run a community college computer lab with 112 Windows XP workstations. XAMPP is installed on all of them and it was inadvertently deployed in a way that the Apache service automatically launches at each boot. Is there a safe way that a setting can be changed via a batch file, file replacement or reg hack to set XAMPP so no services are started automatically? We use Symantec Ghost for imaging and management and that can push out batch files, (some) reg mods and add, modify or delete files lab-wide.

These workstations currently have two Apache processes running when they're logged in. (I'm still trying to chase down the source of the second, but I suspect it's the new Oracle dev platform we had to add.) The problem is that this is a general purpose lab that runs virtually every site licensed application for a rather large campus (everything from Adobe Creative Suite to two versions of Visual Studio) and the latest batch of programs requested by the Computer Science department has started to bog things down. I don't have a lot of control over what gets installed, but I'd like to reclaim as much of the CPU and NIC as I can. I'm not very familiar with XAMPP itself, but I've gotten pretty good at putting together patches to push out with Ghost.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Ric
RicG
 
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Joined: 05. February 2009 18:22
Location: Portland, Oregon USA

Re: Changing options after a lab deployment

Postby Izzy » 05. February 2009 23:29

RicG wrote:Is there a safe way that a setting can be changed via a batch file, file replacement or reg hack to set XAMPP so no services are started automatically?
.\xampp\readme_en.txt
There are batch files already available in XAMPP for installing/uninstalling services.
.\xampp\apache\apache_uninstallservice.bat
.\xampp\mysql\mysql_uninstallservice.bat

This install/uninstalling of services is also possible to do by each PC in the lab if those bat files remain in the ghost - also the XAMPP Control Panel (XCP) .\xampp\xampp-control.exe can install and uninstall services including a service for itself.

The DOS command line command sc delete [service name] may also be used.

sc is an acceptable abbreviation for sc.exe Windows Service Controller and will delete any stray services that won't shut down by any normal means, among many other service control commands.

Microsoft explains the Service Controller Commands here.

Tip - use the EXE (7zip) self extracting archive version after uninstalling your current XAMPP installer version and uninstalling all it's services on the PC you use to create a ghost and then delete the install services batch files and the XCP exe file so they can't be accessed by a workstation account plus of course anything else you want to restrict access to.

Then, for example, create shortcuts in an XAMPP Server folder to start and stop XAMPP components, but remember if you include the FileZilla FTP server then it will only run as a service...
(...but would you ever need an FTP server or even an e-mail server on a lab workstation?).



RicG wrote:These workstations currently have two Apache processes running when they're logged in.
This is perfectly normal behavior.

There are always two apache.exe processes running, one of them being just a thin wrapper around the other.

Apache uses two processes as a failsafe and optimization mechanism, a parent process with a child process that handles the client requests.
Izzy
 
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Re: Changing options after a lab deployment

Postby RicG » 07. February 2009 00:41

Thanks guys!
This is great information. I also appreciated the tip about the "two" Apache services I'm seeing and it makes a lot of sense.

Ric
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Joined: 05. February 2009 18:22
Location: Portland, Oregon USA


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