Web Server on my network - other PCs can't see it.

Posted on 2006-05-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I built a linux workstation and am running Apache http server on it.

When I'm on the linux box and visit http://localhost or http://mozart   (mozart is the name of my linux computer)
I can see the apache page.  So - apache is working fine and it is hosting up the sample site

When I try to access http://mozart from another PC on my network I do not get the web site.  Just an error

When I ping mozart I get an error too:

Ping request could not find host mozart. Please check the name and try again.

For some reason my PCs can't see the linux server.

My network consists of a single router and all computers are plugged into it and all can access the internet fine.

Thanks in advance.
Question by:aflat362
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    You probably have public dns servers assigned to your workstations.  They will not resolve local ip address.  This will be confirmed if you can ping the ip address but not the name.  

    You need either edit your host file on each workstation or setup an internal dns server to resolve local request and then forward any public requests.

    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your post.  I think I'm going to need a little bit more direction on this.

    Perhaps you can tell me which of your above solutions is more practical and easier to set up.

    I have the typical home network, multiple computers all plugged into a router which is plugged into my cable modem.

    The router is a D-Link Dl-524 - 4 port plus wireless.

    Most of my computers are XP professional - the server I want to host a website on is running Linux.

    I'm assuming that editing the host file is easier than setting up an internal DNS server - but could you tell me what file I have to edit and what kind of changes I need to make?

    I'm guessing that I have to edit a file on my XP machine that defines where to find the linux one, correct?

    And I probably need to add the IP of the linux server to it.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Can you tell us what distrobution of Linux you chose and what version of that distro (i.e. Suse 10.1)?

    There are way to many variables in this problem for me to give you a direct answer.  Have you had any experience with Linux before and how is your network handling DHCP (this service is usually handled by a router on small networks to hand out IP's to all the computers based on the order they connect)?

    Based on the version of Linux and how you have your network setup thtis shouldn't take very long to get online.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    My linux distro is Fedora Core 5.  I have lots of unix experience but not from an admin's perspective.  I do application programming on the platform.

    I have dabbled in Linux but am not a pro.

    I checked the logs in my router and figured out the IP of my linux server

    I can now access  from my windows XP computer and get the web server response.

    My router acts as the DHCP server.  It does Dynamic DHCP by default.  I am able to define a list of Static IPs based on Host Name.

    I defined the Linux server in the static IP list so the IP won't go changing on me after the lease expires.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    I am not even close to an expert I have only set up maybe half a dozen Linux based web servers on small networks and I am currently tackling the configuration of a dedicated server at a NOC for a friend.  The experience I have though is directly relevant to the problem you are experiencing.

    A common problem on a linux box that isn't set up with a hostname correctly is you can't access it via that hostname i.e. http://mozart so its good that you can see it via the IP.

    Follow this and you should be able to access your web server via its hostname.
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Well - I got the problem taken care of.

    After assigining a static IP on my linux server, I edited my windows computer's host file to include the IP / server name mapping.

    Now when I visit http://mozart I can see my web server.  horray.

    Now on to getting PHP and MySql set up and making my Linux server a DMZ so it can be reached over the internets.

    Thanks for your help.  I wouldn't have thought of the host file thing myself.

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