The Pedagogical Web Site

Process of installing the PWS software
on a computer running MacOS X

This file describes the process of installing the PWS software on a computer running MacOS X using the provided installer PwsInstaller-MacOSX.jar.



Under MacOSX, all the requires external components are already installed, so you only need to proceed with the PWS installation itself.

Installing the PWS

Here, you should already have downloaded the installer archive called PwsInstaller-MacOSX.jar. If not, please do so.

The installer is launched by double clicking on its icon, and you will need to follow the steps described below :

1. Choosing your language, about the PWS and the license

The first thing to do is to choose the language you want the installer speak into. This does not affect the language of the final installation (where all the proposed languages are installed), but only the one of the installer.
After that, a brief explanation of what the PWS is, is displayed, and there comes the license panel. Please, read carefully ,this license (the LGPL) and tell whether or not you agree with the terms. You will then be able to go on the installation process unless you do not accept the terms of the license.

2. Choosing where to install the files

The next panel asks you where, on your filesystem, to install the files of the PWS. At this point, you have two main choices : whether you install this software in the install directory of your Apache web server, whether you install it in a its own directory. There is no preferred way ; you choose.

To install it in the default Apache directory, you need to enter the following path (which should already be given) :


If you do so, the Pws directory will be created and everything will be put there. Nothing will appear elsewhere.

The resulting file hierarchy will be as follow :

                     +- html
                     |      +- pws (All the required xml and xsl files)
                     |      +- classes (the Drew Client applets)
                     +- cgi
                     |      +- pws (The xml engine)
                     +- auth
                     +- classes (The Drew server)
                     +- libs (The Perl modules and some mandatory xml/xsl libs)

If you choose to install it elsewhere, only the root directory will be altered, not the file hierarchy.

3. Giving the path to the Perl interpreter and choosing how to access your installation through a web browser

The next panel asks you the last two questions of this install process.

In the first part, you need to give the path where the Perl interpreter is located (/usr/bin is the correct path for MacOS X).

The second part, asks you to choose the URI, relative to your web-server root, under which the PWS will be available. This is something you choose depending on your local web-server layout. Usually, the default '/pws' is OK, but you may want to change it. Assuming the web-server of your machine is reachable by the following URI :

the PWS will show under this one

So, when the installation is completed, you can access the software by pointing a web browser to this URI.

4. Some clicks later...

The following panels are only informative and allow you to check if what you have entered is correct, and to launch the install itself.
The last panel creates an automatic installed, which is useful if you want to duplicate the same installation on other computers without having to retype everything.

5. What we get at the end

Once you have closed the installer, the biggest part of the installation process is done. You end up with the complete file hierarchy of the PWS copied to you computer, a file named 'pws.conf' and an automatic uninstaller located in the Uninstall directory, both at the root of your installation (/Library/WebServer/Pws if you chose the default).

But unfortunately, there are some few steps you have to do by hand.

5.1. Modifying the Apache configuration

You need first to tell Apache that some new documents have been added to its hierarchy. The easiest way to do it is to copy (or move) the file named 'pws.conf' located in the root directory of your installation (/Library/WebServer/Pws if you chose the default), to the /etc/httpd/conf/users/ directory.

Then you need to enable the use of some more modules. To do so, uncomment the lines related to theses modules in the apache configuration file. The modules we use are mod_env, mod_action, mod_mime and mod_auth.
Following are the lines to uncomment in the file :

LoadModule env_module libexec/httpd/
LoadModule action_module libexec/httpd/
LoadModule mime_module libexec/httpd/
LoadModule auth_module libexec/httpd/
AddModule mod_env.c
AddModule mod_actions.c
AddModule mod_mime.c
AddModule mod_auth.c

5.2. Restarting Apache

The last step is then to restart Apache. To do so, please do not use the graphical interface, but the 'sudo apachectl' command in a terminal window.

You may want to first check the syntax of the file by issuing a 'sudo apachectl -t' command in a terminal window.

Using this command actually restarts the server and do some more checking in the syntax of the config file.

Please note that restarting Apache is mandatory !

6. About passwords

The PWS site has several sub sites which can only be accessed via password authentication (administration and teacher parts).
The default login/passwords are :

  • teacher/teacher for the teacher part
  • admin/admin for the admin part

We strongly encourage you to change these defaults by something less easy to guess. At this time, you need to use the terminal to do it. The command to use is 'htpasswd', and following is an example of how to use it (default installation path is used for this example, adapt it to your installation) :

sudo htpasswd -m /Library/WebServer/Pws/auth/pws.auth admin new_admin_password
sudo htpasswd -m /Library/WebServer/Pws/auth/pws.auth teacher new_teacher_password

Passwords created for students groups are stored in this same file, but are created and modified via a web interface inside the PWS.


Enjoy the PWS software !