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Re: MapServer 6.2 / 6.4 installation on Debian 7

Hi Tobias,

On 11/06/2013 12:11 AM, Tobias Conradi wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 4:34 PM, Andreas Tille <andreas@an3as.eu> wrote:
>> a version of 6.4.0 is in testing ...
>> You might like to try this package on top of stable which
>> might or might not work.
> I was warned that using apt-get for mixing packages from testing with
> stable might lead to break things.

That's why you rebuild the package from testing on stable, so it's much
less likely to break things.

>> The alternative is to backport the package
>> which is maintained in Git.
> If someone creates a backport, how apart from hosting it at a private
> server for others to download could that help DebianGIS?

You can host the package in your private APT repo for your use, and
contribute any improvements you made to the package to the team it can
be included in git.

The packages DebianGIS prepares use the code in git, as does the
UbuntuGIS team.

> On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 4:10 PM, Sebastiaan Couwenberg
> <sebastic@xs4all.nl> wrote:
>> Backporting MapServer 6.4.0 and MapCache 1.2.0 to wheezy is an option,
>> but the MapServer support for MapCache is currently not optimal. The
>> mapserver package is patched to export a CMake module which is included
>> in the MapCache build. But this relies on the module named being case
>> sentitive, since the unpatched MapCache already contains support for
>> linking to MapServer 6.2.1, the CMake module is only required for
>> MapServer 6.4.0.
>> If you don't need MapCache, or don't need its MapServer support and just
>> use WMS, you can simple rebuild the packages from testing on wheezy.
>> You'll need to change a few package names in the build dependencies and
>> disable the mapserver support, but that's about all that's required.
> I think I need MapCache, there are several movable maps with markers
> on the website.

As long as the maps are relatively static caching the tiles is good for
performance, if the data changes often having the rerender the tiles may
not be of much benefit.

> So there are two inofficial options
> - 6.2.x, which has been released as part of the suite (MapServer +
> TinyOWS + MapCache)
> - 6.4 which is in testing, but was not released as a suite and needs
> CMake which has some issues

The use of CMake by MapServer is not an issue. The inclusion of the
MapServer CMake module in MapCache is, this breaks on wheezy but works
fine on jessie. That's why my personal backports still use MapServer
6.2.1 with MapCache 1.0.0.

Don't think too much of the MapServer Suite, it's just a bundling of the
three projects. You can use them separately just fine, or mix and match
different versions. It's actually easier to link MapCache 1.2.0 to
MapServer 6.2.1 than to MapServer 6.4.0, which were released together
and both switched to CMake.

> http://mapserver.org/development/announce/6-4.html
> "The MapServer Team is pleased to announce the release of MapServer
> 6.4.0 and MapCache 1.2.0" - so no update on TinyOWS.

There has also been no activity in the upstream git for TinyOWS, so
you're not missing out on anything. There had been considerable activity
on MapCache so I inquired about a new release to coincide with MapServer
6.4.0, and upstream gave us MapCache 1.2.0 too.

> MapCache and TinyOWS are not found via the package search:
> http://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=sourcenames&keywords=mapcache
> http://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=sourcenames&keywords=tinyows

MapCache 1.2.0 is in NEW since September, I suspect the FTPmasters are
weary of the suboptimal MapServer support too.


I filed the ITP for TinyOWS too, because I intent to package the
MapServer Suite. I haven't requested upload of it yet, because I don't
have an immediate need for it nor a real use case to test it properly.
The MapServer support in TinyOWS is also less than that of MapCache, it
uses a different parser for the MapServer mapfiles which doesn't support
multiline DATA parameters for instance, which is something I require.

TinyOWS should link to libmapserver to use its mapfile parser similar to
the MapServer support in MapCache. But since there is no stable API for
MapServer yet, I have not bothered to develop this yet.

A stable API planned for MapServer 7.0, which seems like a good time to
improve the MapServer support in TinyOWS. I also expect a new MapServer
Suite release at that time, but that's pure speculation from me at the

> Someone will help me to install MapServer and probably the other
> software this weekend 2013-11-09--10. Server is Debian 7.2 and has
> Apache 2.2.22, PostgreSQL 9.3.1.
> Any additional hint is welcome.

For the backport of MapServer to wheezy you'll need to change the gd
build dependency back to 'libgd2-xpm-dev (>= 2.0.1-10)', and add
'X-Python-Version: 2.7'.

The backport of MapCache will require more changes, the packaging for
jessie has been updated to use dh-apache2 which is not available in
wheezy. Drop the build dependency on apache2-dev and dh-apache2, and
replace them with apache2-prefork-dev. And the libgd change for
MapServer is also required for MapCache. You'll also need to add
'apache2-mpm-prefork | apache2-mpm-itk, apache2.2-common' to the
dependencies of libapache2-mod-mapcache. In the debian/rules for
MapCache disable the MapServer support with -DWITH_MAPSERVER=0 and drop
apache2 from the dh call. That should about do it.

> Is there anything that might come out of the installation that is of
> help for DebianGIS? There are probably more people that want MapServer
> 6.4 and MapCache 1.2 on Debian 7.

You could document your procedure so others can follow that for their
own backport. Or if you've changed your mind about maintaining the
backport that would of course be awesome.

> Bas, would you upgrade from your current backport to a 6.4 backport?
> Or is 6.4 not worth the effort yet for you?

I could upgrade to MapServer 6.4.0 and MapCache 1.2.0. The MapServer
upgrade is not the problem, although I don't have an immediate need for
its features. I'd also have to disable the MapServer support in
MapCache, which is also not really a problem as I'm using WMS as the
source instead of the mapserver shortcut. But I don't want to maintain
this divergence in my personal packages either. The current setup with
MapServer 6.2.1 and MapCache 1.0.0 suits my needs, when I require
features from MapServer 6.4.0 and/or MapCache 1.2.0 I may change my mind
upgrade them after all.

> Kind regards
> Tobias

Kind Regards,


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