Apache 2.4.20

     Apache 2.4.20 broke the scoreboard.  It’s no longer showing the pages being served.  Gotta love it.  What happened to actually testing something before it’s release?  This is really basic functionality we’re talking about.  It’s like a bunch of Windows engineers quit their job and went to work for the Apache project.

phpMyAdmin Temporarily Unavailable

     phpMyAdmin is temporarily unavailable because mod_authnz_external was broken by upgrade to Apache 2.4.20.  There is an unresolved symbol and so the module can not load.

     Apache 2.4.20 made changes to the API that require modules to use ap_get_useragent_host instead of ap_get_remote_host function.  Just changing the function name didn’t suffice, apparently arguments are different but I haven’t figured out where this is documented yet.

    Further complicating matters is the fact that Jon Wolter, the maintainer of this package, died of influenza complications in July of 2015 and as near as I can tell there is no current maintainer.  I have written to the maintainers of the version for 2.0 Apache hoping they can either point me to the new, if there is one, maintainer or help me to make the necessary modifications.

     In the meantime, if you have to manually manipulate your MySQL database, you can do so using the mysql client on our shell servers.

WordPress Tips

Plugins

     If you’re like me, you don’t want Google tracking everything you do and every place you go.  But, many WordPress themes include Google Fonts by default.

     When you make a call to Google’s font servers, it gets the IP address you are coming from and the referral URL of the website that sent you allowing them to then enter into their database the site you are currently on, the IP you are originating from, and the time that you accessed that site.

     The fix for this problems comes in the form of a plugin entitled, “Remove Google Font References“.  It does exactly that.


     Caching is important for good WordPress performance and there are many options out there with W3 Super Cache and W3 Total Cache being the two most popular.  But both of these cache plugins are a pain in the butt to configure and sometimes cause problems with simply trying to login to your site.

     Comet Cache is the newest incarnation of what used to be Zen Cache but it is a massive improvement.  First, I’ve seen page load times almost drop in half for many pages.  But more than that, Comet Cache does an excellent job of detecting dynamic content and not caching it so it is not necessary to manually enter exclusions in most cases.


     Our web server has fail2ban installed.  Fail2ban watches logs for various bad behaviors and bans offending IP addresses.

     Please install the WP fail2ban plugin onto your WordPress installation.  What this does is log various attempts to abuse WordPress so that fail2ban on our server can then ban the offending IP address.


     XMLRPC is enabled by default in WordPress versions 3.5.  It has a few legitimate uses such as tracebacks and pingbacks, but if you don’t need or are not using this, it is best to disable it because it is frequently abused by hackers.

     After version 3.5 there is no longer an option to disable it but you can do so by installing the plugin Disable XML-RPC.

Eskimo North User Meeting

Eskimo North User Meeting

Saturday April 23rd

Spiros Pizza 185th and Aurora North

     This meeting will be from 3PM-6PM.  I’ve moved it an hour later because the last two people mostly didn’t show up until 3PM and many wanted to hang around until after 5PM.

     This will be in the banquette room at Spiros Pizza which is located in the Fred Meyer parking lot on 185th and Aurora.

     This meeting will be unstructured.  Largely a chance to put names to faces which usually takes me a dozen or so meetings.  I will be happy to answer questions and take suggestions.

Beware – WordPress Clean It Up Plugin

     If you have a WordPress site here, beware of the “Clean It Up” plugin, a plugin designed primarily to clean up the MySQL database.

     One of it’s functions is to delete unattached files.  Unfortunately, it decided all of my header files were “unattached files” and deleted them.  This may be a problem specific to the twentyeleven theme, or my modified version thereof, I don’t know as that’s the only theme I am using here.

Web Maintenance Tonight 22:00

     I am planning on taking the web server down for about 20 minutes to image the machine tonight around 10PM.  The reason for this is because I’ve made substantial changes including the addition of HTML2 since the last image was made and do not want to lose those in the event of file system corruption or disk failure.