WordPress Images

     For some time WordPress image upload was failing here. I do not know when this started today yesterday was the first time I received a complaint about this problem.

     The graphicsmagick image manipulation library which is a fork of the imagemagick image manipulation library is just completely broken under Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS and core dumps.  This broke PHP code that was manipulating images such as generating the resized image and thumbnails after you uploaded an image.

     I removed the graphicsmagick libraries and replaced them with the older and functional imagemagick libraries and now I am able to upload images properly.

Authentication Fixed

     This was an operator error.  In an attempt to tighten security and stop the potential for someone to obtain encrypted passwords via the NIS database, I firewalled the NIS servers off from everything.  Unfortunately, this included the local NIS clients so no server was able to talk to the NIS servers to obtain authentication information.  This has been fixed.


Server Failed

     After updates, our server hosting the /home directories failed to boot.  It was a combination of updates gone bad and operator error.  The operator error involved a typo in the /etc/fstab file and then when it would not remount the root partition / read-write, even though it was clean on an fsck and I could mount it manually, I assumed it was an issue with systemd (and there have been many).  So in desperation I switched to upstart, but it deleted a large number of necessary software packages in the process and I ended up with a machine I could not even boot into single user mode.

     So I brought the machine back home, made myself a server rescue disk, booted from that, got things cleaned up enough to boot, spent another eight hours or so installing missing software and finally got it working again.

     Total downtime was from about 12:30AM – 4:15PM on November 20th.

Maintenance 11/20/2017 12:30-1:30PM

     We are going to be rebooting our physical host machines tonight to install a new kernel that addresses a copy-on-write exploit in the existing kernels.  The exploit can not be taken advantage of currently because nobody has access to the physical machines and we do not use KSM which consolidates memory pages because we have enough memory that it is not necessary.  At some point in the future however it may be so I want to address this issue and get it taken care of.

     Various services will be out of service for approximately 1/2 hour, not all at the same time.  If all goes well (sometimes it does not) we should be finished around 1:30AM.

Komodo Edit 10

     I have installed Komodo Edit 10, a really nice editor for HTML, CSS, PHP, and a variety of computer language source files on Ubuntu, Debian, and Mint.

     This is a really nice way to edit your website online here.  It is a graphical application so you should use x2go to access the machines in question.

     Under the Mate Desktop, Komodo Edit 10 can be found under Applications → Programming → Komodo Edit.

Ubuntu Upgrade in Progress

     The existing Ubuntu configuration has been imaged.

     I have started the upgrade process to upgrade from 16.04.1 LTS to 16.10.  I really don’t like non LTS releases BUT there are so many systemd script related bugs in 16.04.1 that they do not appear interested in fixing that release that I feel if 16.10 can work it’s worth a try.  If anything goes terribly wrong I have the image of the existing 16.04.1 LTS so we can always revert if necessary.

Ubuntu Maintenance

     I am taking ubuntu.eskimo.com to image the machine prior to initiating an upgrade from Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS to Ubuntu 16.10.  I’ve had 16.10 running on a workstation long enough to feel comfortable upgrading.  The only issue I have had with the workstation was an antique nvidia card.

Maintenance Completed

     I ended up not getting to doing the web server backup until much later than I had intended.  I ran into some problems with the installation of PHP 7.0 that didn’t cause operational problems but did slow down the server somewhat as it attempted to load library extensions that were already compiled in.  This was the result of the machine having been upgraded from a previous version that did not have them compiled in but the upgrade did not automatically remove them from the configuration file.

     So server is now at the most recent version of everything in the long term support release (I am not upgrading to 16.10 at this time both because it does not seem to offer any significant operational enhancements, and because I have experimented with it on a non-critical machine and found it to be buggy still).