AOLserver Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

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AOLserver Frequently-Asked Questions and Answers

Getting AOLserver
Building AOLserver
Obtaining the 128-bit SSL Module (nsssl)
Installing AOLserver
Database Access
Getting Help
Contributing Software
Contributing Patches

Getting AOLserver

AOLserver binary builds for many platforms are at http://aolserver.com

AOLserver is open-source. The source code is hosted at Source Forge and can be found at the following locations:

Building AOLserver

AOLserver builds very easily and the online documentation describes the process. We recommend that you use the defaults in include/Makefile.global when building your module. This file contains rules and knows how to build modules properly for all platforms AOLserver has been ported to. To link a shared object, we recommend the default which is:
gcc -shared -nostartfiles

On some Solaris installations the Cygnus compiler is unable to build working shared objects. We're told that if you put the -Wl,-E option in the nsd/Makefile when linking the executable, Cygnus works, but we have not verified this successfully. GCC from just about anywhere else will work. You can get a pre-built copy of GCC from http://www.sunfreeware.com or build your own from ftp://ftp.gnu.org. Just install it and put a link to the new gcc in /usr/local/bin (keep the broken Cygnus in /usr/cygnus/bin in case you need it).

HINT: The magic option to GCC for the compiling step is "-fPIC", so if you're using a third-party library, make sure "-fPIC" appears in the CFLAGS. And, to eliminate the possibility of strange behavior, it's helpful but not necessary to build everything with the same compiler and using the same options. If you're using a third-party library for which no source code is available, you may run into problems if the vendor did not build it with the equivalent of "-fPIC" on their compiler. Shared objects must be position-independent.

Obtaining the 128-bit SSL Module

AOLserver supports two levels of SSL for "https" connections -- the export version, which has a 40-bit secret key and a 512-bit public keypair, and the domestic version, which has a 128-bit secret key and a 1024-bit public key.

The 40-bit/512-bit version can be found at http://aolserver.com as part of the regular AOLserver source and binary distributions. The 128-bit/1024-bit domestic version is not available in binary form. It can be built from the source code if you have the RSA BSAFE library from RSA Data Security. If you do not wish to purchase RSA BSAFE, we highly recommend the nsopenssl module instead of the nsssl module. It can be found on aolserver.com. The nsopenssl module supports several features that nsssl does not including SSL v3, client-side certificates, and client-side SSL. It requires the OpenSSL library which may or may not be legal to use in your situation.

Installing AOLserver

Installing AOLserver is very straightforward and is covered in the online documentation.

Database Access

AOLserver works with a great many databases including all the popular enterprise systems.

Sybase Proxy Daemon (nssybpd)

The nssybpd connects AOLserver to a Sybase database. America Online does not have a license to distribute the binary builds of this code externally (and neither does anyone else). The source code is located in the "nssybpd/" directory of the AOLserver source tree at Source Forge and requires the Sybase Client Libraries to build.

Getting Help

AOLserver has an active developer community as well as a very active user community. Links to these areas are at http://aolserver.com/.

Contributing Software

AOLserver is extremely extensible and we host a great many community-contributed modules at http://aolserver.com/. You can contribute your software by following the guidelines on that page.

Contributing Patches

We accept any form of patches at the Source Forge link on the left of this page. We request that your patch include a test case and, if possible, a context diff against a tagged version of the AOLserver source code. In lieu of a test case we can also accept a narrative describing the problem in detail.