In a last minute dash to switch over the blogs for school to WordPress, I discover that PHP isn’t talking to myMySQL. It’s missing a single file (mysql.so) that should allow this wondrous bridge to happen. All the other bits are fine–perl talks to MySQL talks to Apache, etc. And, though I didn’t do the install, presumably (this is Redhat 8 ) it should have worked “out-of-the-box,” but something’s gone slightly awry.
Only, the needed file isn’t anywhere on the system, and the only way to get at it seems to be to rebuild PHP. Only, the person who installed it left out all the development libraries (including some useful stuff, like a compiler). No problem, want those anyway. Now the dependencies start stacking up. Effectively, I can’t build PHP without reinstalling Apache & MySQL. Many, many hours later, and I have screwed up the server beyond any hope of ever being un-screwed.
And that’s when it hits me. No, not that servers should simply work without having to think about it much. (They should, BTW.) But that if I am willing to pay someone to change my oil, I am willing to buy time on a server somewhere. Already, the time sunk into getting this to work has been, frankly, a terrible waste. It would have taken far less time to do a fresh install. But in the end, I guess what I have learned far better than the current state of linux, is that I have no need or desire to administer this particular machine. Sure, I’ll still poke around with some of the hobby-boxen at home, but when it needs to be something that is consistently maintained, and when I want to consistently be able to do something a bit more fun on a Saturday, I need to bite the bullet and leave it to the pros, even if — like paying someone to change the oil — it grates just the tiniest bit.