Have you tried...?

If you just installed Sandstorm, and it does not seem to be working, here is a list of things you can try, with the most important things first.

Can you reach your Sandstorm server using a web browser?

If your Sandstorm server should be online at https://example.sandcats.io/ , try visiting that page in your web browser.

If that works, great!

If you see a strange OCSP warning message, you can try using Chrome rather than Firefox. The warning will resolve itself after about 10 minutes. This is due to GlobalSign's APIs sometimes being slow.

Is Sandstorm running?

You can usually find this out by running:

sudo sandstorm status

and/or

sudo service sandstorm status

and/or

sudo systemctl status sandstorm.service

If it is not running, you need to find out why and/or start it. You can find out why Sandstorm isn't starting by reading its log file. If you need to start Sandstorm, you can try the above commands with status replaced with start.

Is there something surprising in the Sandstorm log file?

Take a look at this file on your Sandstorm server:

  • /opt/sandstorm/var/log/sandstorm.log

Feel free to share the contents of the log file in the #sandstorm chat room.. Consider uploading it to a pastebin, rather than pasting the whole file into IRC. A common pastebin to use is gist.github.com. The Sandstorm core team has attempted to ensure that your Sandstorm log does not contain any private information to you, but feel very free to read the log file before sharing it.

Do you need to configure/reconfigure port forwarding?

If your Sandstorm server is located within a e.g. home network, you often need to set up port forwarding. See also portforward.com's guide to port forwarding.

If your Sandstorm server's internal IP address changes, then your port forwarding information might be out of date. Consider setting up a "static IP" on the computer running Sandstorm, if that is the case. See portforward.com's tutorial about static IPs to learn about static IP addresses.

If you're using sandcats HTTPS, make sure you forward both port 443 and port 80. Here's why: Your browser will default to HTTP (port 80) when you type your hostname into Chrome/Firefox/etc. If you enable port 80 (which you should do), then Sandstorm will be able to redirect the request to HTTPS (port 443). Having said that, if you know what you are doing, it can be OK to only forward port 443. If you're concerned about the sslstrip attack (read more: [1]http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/41988/how-does-sslstrip-work] 2 3)

Do you have a "hairpin routing" problem?

If you are using port forwarding, and you can't access your server from inside your network, then:

  • Check if it's reachable from the outside world. It might be reachable from the outside world, even if you can't reach it inside your network. Try using your phone (with wifi disabled), or "Down For Everyone Or Just Me?", to check.

  • If it is, your router might have a problem with "hairpinning", see these two articles.

This sort of problem is typically hard to correct for without changing your wifi router. If your wifi router supports internal DNS entries, you can configure that. To read more about that, see here:

Is another process listening on Sandstorm's ports, preventing it from starting?

Sometimes Sandstorm installs properly, and then a later system configuration change prevents it from starting. One reason for that is if you use YUM or APT to install another web server like Apache2 or nginx, resulting in Sandstorm no longer being able to bind its TCP ports. This will result in Sandstorm failing to start. You'll see an error messages in the Sandstorm log like:

sandstorm/util.c++:845: fatal: *exception = sandstorm/run-bundle.c++:1872: failed: bind(sockFd, reinterpret_cast<sockaddr *>(&sa), sizeof(sockaddr_in)): Address already in use

To fix this, you'll need to find out what other program is listening on the ports your Sandstorm install uses.

First, check what ports those are by running:

grep PORT /opt/sandstorm/sandstorm.conf

You should see some port numbers for HTTP (called PORT=), MongoDB (called MONGO_PORT=), and optionally HTTPS (called HTTPS_PORT=). Typically the HTTP port is 80, and the HTTPS_PORT is 443 (if present), and the MONGO_PORT is 6081.

You can search your system to see what program is listening on e.g. port 80 by running this command. You might have to install lsof with e.g. apt-get install lsof.

lsof -n -P -i :80

For example, if the program is nginx, you can remove it with this command. Note that in Debian and Ubuntu, nginx installs many packages; this command is designed to remove all of them.

sudo apt-get remove 'nginx-*'

Once you have done that, you should restart Sandstorm with a command such as the following.

sudo service sandstorm restart

This should resolve your problems. If not, please get in touch.

Does outbound email truly work?

You can use the admin configuration panel to test outbound email. Make sure you successfully receive the test email! If not, then you should de-configure email within your Sandstorm server so that it doesn't try to use a broken email setup.

If you are having trouble disabling/reconfiguring outbound email, do the following:

  • Create an "admin token" and go back into the setup wizard by running: sudo sandstorm admin-token

  • Click "next" a few times until you find configuration options related to email.

  • Change them, and save them.

For what it is worth, Sandstorm can function OK without email (though some features require email). However, Sandstorm often acts strangely if Sandstorm thinks email works, but in fact it doesn't.