Archive for the 'System Administration' Category

Server Updates

I’ve tried to keep this server up to date but it seems like sometimes you just have to start over.

Here are todays adventures.

  1. Try to find out why my contact form is blank
  2. Delete the old contact plugin that won’t work.
  3. Delete all the other old plugins that won’t work for I don’t know what reason.
  4. Search google/wordpress for plugins that have good reviews.
  5. Update pages with new plugins.
  6. Install even more plugins and fixes so things can start working.

Yeah.. better now. I hope.

Slow site lately

Over the last few weeks I noticed this site becoming steadily slower. Turns out I had an unusual amount of requests for /xmlrpc.php.. which in turn caused the server to use up all it’s http processes answering bogus rpc queries for ping backs and whatnot that the nice script kiddies all over the world are trying to exploit I guess.

So… took care of that. Hopefully things are back to normal. I’ll have to go back and re-evaluate if I actually want any of that functionality I guess.

Changing server ip addresses

OK, so I changed my virtual server ip address in response to my host being allocated a new block of IPs. Anyhow, things seem to have gone ok. I changed DNS timeouts to short, waited, updated everything etc etc… Of course, it seems that there are always some DNS servers here and there that don’t quite play by the rules. That and I don’t directly control my secondary name server. Hopefully nobody experiences too much down time.

Why and How to use OpenDNS.com

I’ve been recommending to friends and family that they use OpenDNS.com to help safeguard their homes from adult content. A few things have changed since I originally started using their service and I thought I’d write up a little article to help everyone understand.

Lets start with the “why”. I’m not going to focus on the reason to have some filtering technology. Instead, I want to help educate on the different types of filters and why I prefer OpenDNS. Basically, there are two types of technology being used to filter content. One methodology is to install software on a computer that monitors the computers network activity and redirects filtered content to a blocked page. The second approach is to not intrude upon the computer’s installed programs, but to handle the filtering at a network level. OpenDNS.com falls into the second category. I prefer it because I don’t have to manage every computer in our home and I don’t have to have software that potentially slows my computer down.

Continue reading ‘Why and How to use OpenDNS.com’

Upgrading Gentoo 2007.0 to 10.0

So I left all these servers running gentoo a couple years ago. Now, after all this time (and uptime!), I want to install something.

Error:

emerge -av portage

These are the packages that would be merged, in order:

Calculating dependencies |
!!! All ebuilds that could satisfy ">=dev-lang/python-2.5" have been masked.
!!! One of the following masked packages is required to complete your request:
- dev-lang/python-2.5.4-r3 (masked by: required EAPI -1, supported EAPI 0)
- dev-lang/python-2.6.2-r1 (masked by: required EAPI -2, supported EAPI 0)
- dev-lang/python-2.6.2-r2 (masked by: required EAPI -2, supported EAPI 0)
- dev-lang/python-2.6.4 (masked by: required EAPI -2, supported EAPI 0)
- dev-lang/python-3.1.1-r1 (masked by: required EAPI -2, supported EAPI 0)
- dev-lang/python-2.6.3 (masked by: required EAPI -2, supported EAPI 0)

For more information, see MASKED PACKAGES section in the emerge man page or 
refer to the Gentoo Handbook.
(dependency required by "sys-apps/portage-2.1.6.13" [ebuild])

Hm. Yeah, I’m way out of date.

Solution: I found other sites that talked about forcing a python/portage install but I that sounded a little harsh. Instead, I found a snapshot of portage-2008.0 and replaced my /usr/portage with the contents of that.

 cd /usr
 rm -rf portage # or mv portage xxx
 wget http://gentoo.mirrors.tds.net/gentoo/releases/snapshots/2008.0/portage-2008.0.tar.bz2
 tar -xjpf portage-2008.0.tar.bz2
 cd /etc/
 rm make.profile
 ln -s /usr/portage/profiles/default/linux/x86/2008.0 make.profile
 emerge -av portage

That took me to portage-2.1.4.4.

From there, I can now go back to current 10.0 portage and emerge -av portage to get up to the current portage state.

Yeah, I really didn’t want to do a re-install.

Cleaning up extracted package contents

I hate it when I download a source archive, uncompress it, and find that instead of creating a package directory, with the contents of the archive, the archive was created with a bunch of files at the root directory. Suppose I have a downloads directory with lots of archives. After I uncompress this new archive, I now have a bunch of archive files and a bunch of project specific files all in the same directory. Yuck.

 > cd downloads
 > tar -xzf latestdownload.tar.gz
 > # yuck, stupid package contents in my downloads directory.

Yeah, Yeah, I know I could have listed the package contents (tar -tzf ..) and found that I needed to create a directory first but I’m lazy. So the mess is there. Now to clean it up:

 > tar -tzf latestdownload.tar.gz | xargs rm -rf

There. Files gone. You can do the same thing with unzip -t for zip archives.



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