Weblogs for Steve
There may be lingering issues, but I'll attend as and when they become apparent, or are reported.
I've spent an hour or two this evening updating the code behind this site, one more time.
Fingers crossed all will be invisible; but certainly the deployment of the Planet Debian Administration will be much improved - running under its own UID and shortly available under IPv6 again.
This evening I flipped the switch such that we're now a production user of redis - the fast in-memory key-value store.
The current split looks like this:
- MySQL for:
- All articles, user-data, and account information.
- Redis for:
- All login sessions.
This is a test of using redis "for real". If it works out then we'll probably migrate away from MySQL and store comments, users, and article text in Redis itself.
However even without that mixing "persistent" data alongside "transient" data always felt wrong. So I'm glad that is separated.
Though asking for contributed articles feels sufficiently futile that I will not bother.
*goes back to sleep*
So recently the site has had a few spam problems, which have sucked away my enthusiasm.
Happily I've now updated the site's codebase such that it is easier to retrospectively nuke all comments from an abusive user/IP.
This combined with the filtering applied to incoming comments via the blogspam protection API should mean that things are more likely to stay under control these days.
Please do remember you can click "Report SPAM" next to abusive/spam-ful comments if you're logged into the site. It helps. It does..
Submissions will start to be processed over the next few days and I've even started writing new content myself. Fingers crossed people still visit!
For a ten minute period yesterday afternoon debian-administration.org was the 16th most looked up domain on the Bytemark nameservers. That's pretty impressive considering how infrequently new things are posted to the site.
In some ways things have stagnated because I've been busy but there is also a minor feeling that "everything is done".
For example I lookup the simple introduction to working with LVM at least once a fortnight for my own reference. There are a few other pieces I consistently point people at too, kinda my own personal "top ten" list of articles.
There are times when I think "I should write about Apache2", but then recall I already did that a couple of years ago. Granted things have changed, but they've not changed terribly much.
In conclusion I do feel that a lot of the things I'd like to document or writeup for myself have already been done here, and re-posting things would be both tempting and a little bit of a waste of time.
New topics are always interesting, and I guess a few small pieces on t-prot, etc, wouldn't go amiss. Not earth-shattering tools, but still moderately useful and helpful.
There have been sporadic comments here which have shown up twice - I think I've tracked down the source of this now and corrected the bug.
I'll keep an eye upon it for the future just in case it repeats.
Over the past few months this site has become a lot less reliable than I would wish. This unreliability has been caused by two things:
- Kernel issues.
- Site issues.
The kernel the host has been running, until recently, was the stock Lenny AMD64 kernel. This would frequently hang with messages of the form:
task master:26085 blocked for more than 120 seconds. echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/hung_task_timeout_secs" disables this message.
I appear to have solved these issues by upgrading to a locally compiled kernel of a more recent revision.
The second class of problems seem to be self-inflicted. The machine hosting this site is an Athlon64 X2 3800 with 2GB of RAM and 2x 200GB drives. Unfortunately it has recently started suffering from the dreaded OOM-killer.
I intend to spend a few hours over the next few days to reduce the memory used by the server - via a combination of reverse proxying, local caching, and apache/mod_perl tweaks.
Additionally I've begged the provider, my employer, to up the memory. So in the next week that will be increased to 4Gb.
A combination of code tweaks and increased memory should hopefully restore normal service.
Previously this site was accessible via IPv6 via the 6to4 tunnel - now it is using native IPv6 as provided by the hosting company (Bytemark).
Hopefully this should improve the IPv6 response times, by eliminating a couple of hops and round-trips.
I'd previously lowered the TTL on the appropriate DNS entries, so I hope this becomes live for everybody soon. If you're at the mercy of a bad DNS cache then I apologize for the temporary outage.
I've just been informed that the SSL certificate on this site had expired - so I've regenerated another one.
The certificate is still self-signed because nobody is throwing money at me, and I in turn don't want to throw money at verisign ;)
You can verify the fingerprint by following these instructions: