Packetfence Installation on Ubuntu..?

For the longest time I have been looking at Packetfence and the beautiful configuration possibilities it provides for educational campuses like our Kimbilio campus.

I have looked at their website and tried over and over to follow their instructions to get it installed on a dedicated Ubuntu 16.04 server. I follow the Ubuntu way of installing because after years of maintaining some Ubuntu servers and Desktops I have become pretty handy at managing them in a place where there is little help from others.

It has been something like two years since last I tried and ended with a whole bunch of unresolved dependencies. I wondered why on earth would they provide the Ubuntu instructions on the packetfence site if it wouldn’t be possible to install..?

Okay so just this past weekend I decided on Monday I was going to try again and I did some googling around… I landed on this page where someone actually managed to install the darned thing on ubuntu-10.10. Now that is a long time ago but I guess I could try…?

Well I did… and failed! Each time you try you land on at least 20 (or 100) unresolved dependencies…

Then I landed on another article from the same writer, explaining how we need to be wise in choosing the correct Linux Distribution for the job at hand. He further described the job of installing Packetfence on CentOS like: “The right tool for the right job will save you a lot of work and headache.”.

So I downloaded CentOS and dd-ed it on my usb-stick. Put it in my test computer and started on a new adventure… I downloaded the minimum iso image using rtorrent, no problem. It installed in e few minutes.

Next I followed instructions on the FAQ page of PacketFence. I copied and pasted the line: sudo rpm -Uvh' and:'sudo rpm -Uvh'

Now on my very slow connection here in Uganda, I will not deceive you, it took like 90 minutes to download. But IT DID IT without me even having to do anything! Unbelievable..! Why didn’t I try this 3 years ago..?

Lesson learned: Pick the distro that the project developer designed it on. Now I guess I have to get back to familiarizing myself with *.rpm and YUM administration… Oh well, I guess I can still remember some of that stuff from my early Linux days. But I will tell you that story later.