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3.7.2 User tools for remote users

When client machines reside on the general Internet, both security and practical considerations may make it impossible to provide a shared installation of the GNATS tools. In this case, you may choose to only provide access through a web interface such as Gnatsweb. For clients that need the GNATS tools, the following needs to be carried out on the remote machines:

  1. Configure and build GNATS on the client machine

  2. Configure send-pr on the client machine

You should unpack the distribution and run configure on the client machine in the same way as described in Configuring and compiling the software. Note, however, that you do not need to create a gnats user on the client and you should not use the make all info command to build. Instead, issue the following commands from the top level directory of the source distribution:

cd gnats
make install-tools
cd ../send-pr
make all install

This builds and installs the send-pr, query-pr and edit-pr tools on the client machine. You should now configure send-pr by editing the `send-pr.conf' file (see section The send-pr.conf configuration file.)

Users on the client machine can now either use the send-pr syntax or the GNATSDBenvironment variable described in the previous section.

For sites that need to submit Problem Reports by having send-pr send e-mail instead of speaking directly over the network to the GNATS server, you need to create a problem report template on the GNATS server and have that template copied to a suitable location on the client machine (any filename and any location will do, as long as send-pr on the client machine can read the file). On the GNATS server, use the command

send-pr -p > `filename'

The file `filename' now contains a PR template for your database. Copy this file to the client. Then edit the `send-pr.conf' file that you created on the client, set the TEMPLATE variable to point to the template file (see section The send-pr.conf configuration file) and make sure that the MAILPROG and MAILADDR varables in `send-pr.conf' are correctly set. You should now have a working remote tool installation.

For clients that have no direct network access to your GNATS server, such as those that are located behind strict firewalls, you either need to set up a web interface such as Gnatsweb (provided that the firewall lets web traffic through) or use the procedure above which sets up send-pr to submit Problem Reports by e-mail. In order to query PRs, users on the remote machines will then have to use the the e-mail functionality of query-pr (see section 2.4.1 Invoking query-pr. Editing PRs by e-mail is not possible, so clients in this group who need edit access have to get access through a web interface if possible.

Note that when send-pr is set up to work over e-mail, the GNATSDB environment variable and the -d command line option have no effect since send-pr is tied to a specific database by way of the value of MAILADDR in the `send-pr.conf' file.

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