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Saturday, January 07, 2012

Using Apache HTTPD (Web Server) mod_proxy with GlassFish and Mercurial

I wrote an article on how to use Secure Mercurial in GlassFish using SSL a few weeks ago. After the article was published, I was asked about URL rewriting. I had not really messed with it in the past except with PrettyFaces (which works like a champ for reference).

I tried a framework called Url Rewrite Filter which did a decent job of rewriting URLs. It is a simple library added to your project which uses a servlet filter to handle the URL re-writing. Add the filter to the web.xml, and a urlrewrite.xml which handles the rewrites. It works much in the same manner as PrettyFaces, but is targeted at JSP/Servlets.

In my case, I have an Apple G5 PPC which is the main server for my source repository for Mercurial. This presents some challenges since the Java version is limited to 1.5, and therefore GlassFish can't be upgraded to v3 from v2.1.1. I did manage to get GlassFish v3 to run with OpenJDK 1.7 (BSD Port), but the Zero VM is too slow to handle the load. Kurt Miller has a couple of the builds for Mac PPC There are a number of reasons for my interest, the primary one for URL rewriting is that GlassFish v3 supports AJP out of the box.

Enabling JK Listener (mod_jk)

Using GlassFish v3 would provide a more optimal solution as you can see from the administration console. I decided to try using the mod_jk articles I found for GlassFish v2 from Amy Roh: GlassFish supports configurable AJP Connector and Jean-Francois Arcand's Running GlassFish with Apache httpd.  I tried to combine these with mod_proxy and mod_proxy_ajp. The articles are focused on a specific build, and I was unsuccessful in using them. I am sure it has to framework versions, but I did not want spend too much time troubleshooting.

Finally, I tried using a simple mod_proxy arrangement along with mod_rewrite. This arrangement was surprisingly easy to configure, and worked the first time I tried it.

Here is the configuration I used:

httpd.conf



httpd-vhosts.conf


Those simple changes allowed me to rewrite the URL, and open only two ports on my firewall 80 and 443 which are a very good arrangement. As noted in Secure Mercurial in GlassFish using SSL, I am using GlassFish SSL and security to handle my authentication so this is truly a very good solution.
Mercurial Repositories

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