[CentOS] httpd RPM newer than 2.0.63 avail for CentOS 4.x?

Philip Amadeo Saeli psaeli at zorodyne.com
Tue Nov 9 18:57:58 EST 2010

Thank you all for the helpful and informative replies.  However, I have
some additional questions (interspersed below).

For some background, the organization I'm doing this for is a
significantly resource constrained, very small company, so I have been
having to take carefully measured steps in upgrading their systems and
bringing them into conformance.  In all cases, the systems were set up
by others prior to my time with them.

In particular, it would better, given their constraints, if I could get
their CentOS 4 system up to standards prior to migrating to a CentOS 5
system (which I'd already proposed to them).  Even migrating to CentOS 5
doesn't, by itself, solve my problem (see comments below).

* Bob McConnell <rmcconne at lightlink.com> [2010-11-07 07:50:42 -0500]:
> 4. Once you finish tweaking the configuration, test all of your 
> software, web pages, etc.

> 6. Do a complete acceptance test on the production server. (We actually 
> use a second Internet facing server for acceptance tests before 
> committing changes to the production server.)

How does one set up a test [web] server which has a number of sites, all
secured via SSL certs which are bound to the domain, and hence the IP
address, of the sites on the server?  They do have a developmental
server which uses one, company-issued SSL cert to secure all of the test
sites.  However, the Apache config for this is substantially different
than that for the production server.

It appears that I'd have to set up an additional, special testing DNS
space with new IP addressess, or to enter them into the hosts file(s) of
the web client test systems.  Also, I would not be able to simply copy
the httpd config file(s) from the production system to the test system
due to having to have different IP addresses for each site.  Or is there
some other way to do this?  I'm really stumped over this one.

> 7. Use YUM to update your test server at least once a week.
> 8. As soon as you finish testing all of the updates each week, use YUM 
> to install them on the production server. (But don't ever do this on 
> Friday. If you missed something, you don't want to have to work on the 
> weekend.)
> 9. Subscribe to announcements and several security mailing lists to get 
> advanced warning of any known issues that need to be patched immediately.
> 10. Start tracking RedHat/CentOS 6 release candidates ASAP.
> Officially, by PCI rules we have 30 days after release of an OS update 
> to get it installed on Internet facing systems. So the auditors will 
> give us one pass on their monthly validation cycle before they start to 
> complain. This does give us some time to test for problems and correct 
> them before updating the production servers. But this requires a test 
> server that is configured exactly like the production server so we can 
> make sure the updates won't break any of our applications before we will 
> install them in production.
> We have one developer from each product team, one QA manager, one 
> Support tech and an IT tech that track these issues and make sure our 
> servers are up to date. As one of the developers in that group, I 
> monitor CentOS announcements and two security lists, forwarding relevant 
> messages to the entire group. There is a similar but larger group 
> tracking Microsoft updates.
> In addition to CentOS and Apache, we also track updates to PHP, 
> PostgreSQL and a couple dozen supporting packages and maintenance tools.
> Bob McConnell

Bob, your thoughtful, insightful, informative, and detailed reply is
very helpful.  Thanks!  My biggest hangup WRT the above is exactly how
to set up a test server that very closely mirrors the production server
without needing to have to maintain significant configuration changes,
esp WRT an SSL-secured web server.

On a related tack:

* Robert Heller <heller at deepsoft.com> [2010-11-07 07:13:27 -0500]:
> Red Hat backports security updates (from newer versions).  So long as
> you have been applying the standard O/S updates (eg 'yum update')
> regularly, your http is up-to-date WRT security updates.

Even with CentOS 5, the available versions of, especially PHP and MySQL,
are not up-to-date enough feature-wise for the web site code on the
system, so later versions have to be used.  The httpd version is not so
critical in this case.  How can one cope with this situation, i.e., the
general situation of needing features not supported under a current
version of an OS so the vendor supplied updates are no longer

In some cases I've been able to find 3rd party repos which have had the
RPMs I've needed (e.g., rpmforge, dag, epel, remi) but the ones needed
are not always available (as is the case now).  I have set up repos and
built my own RPMs in the past, but there is no budget for that in this
case.  Also, it is a lot of work, especially for a very few systems.

  [former N2IWR]

Philip Amadeo Saeli
openSUSE, RHEL, CentOS
psaeli at zorodyne.com

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