Savannah Frontend Setup

This page describes the configuration needed for savannah's new frontend web server and PHP code.

In 2016, the FSF allocated new hardware for savannah's servers, kicking off the server migration efforts. The existing server (which hosts is called frontend ( The new server is currently called frontend0 (

Further reading about savannah's server:

Further reading about savannah's frontend:

General information

Savannah's web frontend (i.e. is written in PHP. It uses a MySQL database running on internal0 (for the new servers) or internal (for the existing servers).

The code repository is called 'savane', available at and <git://> (for developers with write-access: git clone <USER>

At the time of this writing (September 2016), 'savane' and Savannah not 'installed' in a standard way (e.g. 'make install'). Instead, files and settings are copied from old servers (e.g. the old VM of '' to the new VM 'frontend0'). The MySQL database is not created from scratch, but is copied from existing servers (e.g. DB on internal to internal0). The configuration files (e.g /etc/savane or the local copy in /home/foobar/projects/savane-etc) are copied from existing servers, and tweaked until they 'just work'.

The PHP code runs directly from the cloned repository (i.e. if cloned into $HOME/projects/savane, Apache's php configuration should point to $HOME/projects/savane/frontend/php/). The 'installation' above does not touch the PHP part.

The current production website is and is hosted on the 'old' VM (

The new production website is, and is hosted on the 'new' VM ( The PHP code is in frontend0:/usr/srv/savane. The configuration is in frontend0:/etc/savane.

Apache/PHP Configuration File Location

The environment variable SAVANE_CONF determines the location of the main PHP configuration file for savane. It could be set in Apache's configurations file (frontend0:/etc/apache2/sites-available/ or in an .htaccess file (/usr/src/savane/frontend/php/.htaccess) with SetEnv SAVANE_CONF /etc/savane

The SAVANE_CONF variable is used in <savane>/frontend/php/include/init.php to read a hard-coded file named .savane.conf.php from the specified directory.

init.php also accepts a fall-back variable SV_LOCAL_INC_PREFIX, which is referenced here: sites-available/ SV_LOCAL_INC_PREFIX /etc/savane/nongnu-conf.

On current production savannah, none of these are defined for the gnu side

The code in init.php falls back to:

 # go back to default location
 if (file_exists('/etc/savane/.savane.conf.php'))

Content files

Several sections of the displayed HTML content on the savannah website are set by external content files.

See here for further details:

Savannah's licenses list are also stored in a content file, See this thread for more details:

Mail messages

Savannah's PHP code runs under apache as www-data user. Mail messages sent to www-data (cron and email errors) are now aliased to root (