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Thread: Backburner Web Monitor Setup Guide for Vista

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    Design Visualization Moderator stusic's Avatar
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    Post Backburner Web Monitor Setup Guide for Vista

    Although Autodesk provides fairly good instructions on installing Backburner, I would like to add a few tips and some advice (garnered through experience) that I would like to share. This is not complete installation instructions (they can be found through the link provided below), but a reference for issues they may arise and tips I've found to make using and managing Backburner easier and more efficient.

    First of all, the installation instructions provided by Autodesk can be found here. The user guide provided can also be found here.

    One of the major issues I faced when installing Backburner was setting up the Backburner Web Monitor using Internet Information Systems (IIS) on Windows. I cannot provide feedback for Apache, as I do not use it. Although the setup guide provides instructions, they are aimed at Windows XP and IIS 6.0, and have not been updated to include Windows Vista or IIS 7.0. The instructions are not too much different, but can be confusing when trying to translate them to work with Vista (which uses IIS 7.0). This has no bearing if you are just using the Backburner Monitor, only the Backburner Web Monitor.

    The installation guide remains mostly the same in all versions of Windows until Step 6 of "Installing the Backburner Web Server for Microsoft IIS". If you look, there is no "Web Service Extensions" folder listed in your Local Computer (in the Computer Management Console). This will be configured in a moment.

    The point where you configure security in IIS so the Backburner Web Server can run as a Web application ("Setting Up IIS Security for the Backburner Web Server") is nearly eliminated. Read through it, but keep these points in mind:

    On step 7, it says, "From the dialog that appears, select Execute (including scripts) and then click OK." This option is not available (here); this is enabled by default in Vista.

    Steps 10 through 13 are unnecessary, as Vista automatically adds "index.html" to the documents for the default web site (not just "index.htm", but "index.html" also).

    Steps 15-23 are unnecessary, as Vista automatically sets the correct permissions for anonymous access control. If you would like to verify this, click "backburner" under the default web site (in the left pane), then double-click "Authentication" in the right pane.

    Continue to "Configuring the Backburner Web Server" and follow the steps through Step 7.

    Once you've done this, we need to allow the .cgi extension to appear as a web service extension (Step 6 of "Installing the Backburner Web Server for Microsoft IIS"). To do this, navigate to "Control Panel"->"Programs and Features"->"Turn Windows features on or off"->"Internet Information Services->"World Wide Web Services"->"Application Development Features" and check the box labeled "CGI".

    Once you have CGI role enabled, you can start up the "Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager" ("Control Panel"->"Administrative Tools"->"Internet Information Systems"). Navigate to "<machine name>" -> "Sites" ->" Default Web Site" -> "cgi-bin". Right click on the folder and select "Convert to Application". Click "OK" and accept the default settings.

    Now select the "Handler Mappings" icon for this folder on the right hand side of the Manager window. You will see a list like below. Click on the "Add Module Mapping" option on the right hand side and enter the following:

    Request path: *.cgi
    Module: CgiModule
    Leave the "Executable" field blank
    Name: CGI

    Click "OK" to finish adding the module mapping.

    Now, the last step is to allow the CGI extension to run on the server. You do this on the "ISAPI and CGI Restrictions" page. This can be found by clicking on the machine name in the tree view to the left-hand side of the window.

    On the "ISAPI and CGI Restrictions" page , click on "Add..." on the right hand side of the window. Now specify the full path to the "monitorcgi.cgi" file hosted in the folder we have configured before (most likely "C:\inetpub\wwwroot\cgi-bin\monitorcgi.cgi"). Make sure to check the option to "Allow extension path to execute".

    Your Backburner Web Monitor should now be set up. To check this, navigate your web browser to "http://<machinename>/backburner".

    As I am the only user of my render farm, this only sets up the Web Monitor in unauthenticated mode.

    I hope this helps and saves a few people from the gray hairs I got while figuring this out
    Phillip Bradshaw
    Lead Pixel Pusher, Lucid Design Studio
    CAD Detailer, Proctor Productions

    A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines. - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Default Re: Backburner Web Monitor Setup Guide for Vista

    Thanks a bunch for this post. I am on windows 7 enterprise 64bit and your instructions appeared to work. Backburner website comes up, but everything appears to be blank. The Monitor does show jobs in progress, but the website has the default look with no jobs or info. The computer info is correct in the .cfg file.

    Any suggestions?
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    Design Visualization Moderator stusic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backburner Web Monitor Setup Guide for Vista

    Hrm, I'm going to have to look into this - once I finally got it set up, I haven't touched it. I vaguely remember running into this issue when I set everything up, but I can't quite remember what I did to correct it. It seems that I had missed a small step somewhere along the way. While I try to figure it out, I'd suggest you go back through and double check all the settings, as if you are setting it up again from scratch.

    Shouldn't there be an easier way?
    Phillip Bradshaw
    Lead Pixel Pusher, Lucid Design Studio
    CAD Detailer, Proctor Productions

    A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines. - Frank Lloyd Wright

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    Default Re: Backburner Web Monitor Setup Guide for Vista

    Easier way, yes if we documented every step we took in troubleshooting every problem we ever had we could look up our own answers when we, or someone else, runs into the same problem again, however the books of records would be several feet thick for each year

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    Design Visualization Moderator stusic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Backburner Web Monitor Setup Guide for Vista

    Also, a good point to check while troubleshooting is to temporarily disable your firewall. Just an afterthought.
    Phillip Bradshaw
    Lead Pixel Pusher, Lucid Design Studio
    CAD Detailer, Proctor Productions

    A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines. - Frank Lloyd Wright

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