So, I solved at least one of my nagging headaches. I ran into a brick wall trying to get phpmyadmin up and running on ubuntu.
Ubuntu 7.04, Apache2.2, MySQL, PHP5, running on a VPS from slicehost.com. All installed from apt-get, all working fine. Gave MySQL root user a password, the login to MySQL from the command line works just fine.
Installed phpmyadmin from apt-get, everything’s cool, it sets up the appropriate symbolic links so that www.MYURL.com/phpmyadmin points the browser to the phpmyadmin login page.
I go to www.MYURL.com/phpmyadmin, and I get the login page. I enter the MySQL user root + password. Sometimes it logs in. Sometimes it bounces me back to the login with no warning. Sometimes it redirects me to the login page and says “root”@”localhost” not permitted [password=YES]. Sometimes it’s the same warning, but with [password=NO], even though I have entered a password.
Sometimes, if I click login 3 or 4 times after it keeps redirecting me, I actually get let in to phpmyadmin. As soon as I do anything requiring privileges (create new user, create new database), I get bounced back to the login page again.
Here’s what I tried to fix it
1) Tried all browsers at my disposal (OSX: Firefox, Opera, Safari, Camino; Windows: IE6, IE7). Same problem with all.
2) Assumed it was a cookie issue. Dumped all cache and cookies on my browser, reset safari, relaunched apache2, tried again. Same problem.
3) Same as step 2, but also did a shutdown -r of the entire server, just in case. Old habits die hard.
3) Sacrificed male goat by the light of a full moon. Sticky fingers, but still no persistent login.
Turns out, in order to run phpmyadmin with php5 on a 64bit ubuntu machine, you need to have a little package installed called php5-mcrypt. It’s not listed in the dependencies, so if you just use apt-get, it gets left behind.
sudo apt-get install php5-mcrypt
Let the record show that it was at this precise moment in time that I switched from Ubuntu to Debian for my server needs. If I wanted to shed this much stomach bile on figuring out required dependencies, I would strap on a pocket-protector and go join the gentoo geeks. At least then I know it’s up to me.