Upgrades Completed

     Things didn’t go especially smooth but I now have all the NFS and virtual host servers upgraded.  I’ve been testing on one machine prior to upgrading the rest and this appears to fix the NFS synchronization bugs that have plagued us since 16.04 LTS (the last two years).

     One machine, the upgrade process removed a bunch of necessary packages like the RAID software and the EFI firmware for virtual hosts.  I’m still testing everything but as far as I know it’s all back together now.

Reboots April 11th Evening

     This is an update to an earlier message.  This evening around 8pm I will need to reboot all of the physical hosts.  This is more extensive than my earlier message but only reboots will be done at this time and updates to 18.04 LTS will be done on a later date.

     I discovered that Ubuntu will no allow us to upgrade the release until all existing updates are in place and this includes recent kernel updates.

     I apologize that this is being done outside of our normal early morning maintenance window, unfortunately scheduling conflicts make this necessary.  I will endeavor to make the downtime as brief as possible.

     I am anxious to get these in place because 18.04 LTS provides both improved stability and reboot reliability and ultimately once we get all the necessary tools in place, live kernel patching so that we no longer will need to reboot for kernel upgrades eliminating most future reboots.  In addition, I have not yet had a machine that I’ve already upgraded experience NFS issues which have plagued Ubuntu since 16.04 LTS.



     SquirrelMail has been puking out errors when mail with MIME attachments is read since we updated our web server to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and PHP 7.2.

     The update to PHP7.2 required an upgrade of squirrelmail, the upgrade of squirrelmail brought those messages.  I was able to chase this down to a DEBUG flag the developers left enabled and turn it off.

     If you are being overwhelmed with spam there are some things you can do to adjust spam filter sensitivities or whitelist or blacklist particular addresses:

Spam Control Facilities

Mail Lists Targeted

     Our mail lists have been targeted in a major way by fraudulent spammers in the past few days.  I do not know how they determined what lists exist here.  The e-mail typically has “listman” in the headers but we don’t have such a user ID or software by that name.


Google Chrome

     Installation of Google Chrome was requested.

     I was unable to install on Centos6 and Scientific because the version of glibc is too old on those machines (and installing a newer version would break the operating system).

     I have installed it on centos7, debian, fedora, mint, mxlinux, opensuse, scientific7, ubuntu, and zorin.  Of these machines mxlinux, ubuntu, and zorin will provide the best performance because they have more memory.


     Locate is now available on Mint, MxLinux, Ubuntu, and Zorin.

     It is not installed on Debian because the version on Debian is slower and very resource intensive.

     It is not installed on all the RedHat based machines because the older kernels are not so efficient when it comes to directory lookup causing it to be resource intensive there.

Veracrypt, Cherry Tree

     VeraCrypt and CherryTree were requested by a customer.

     Veracrypt is installed on: Mint, MxLinux, Ubuntu, and Zorin.  It would not install on Debian owing to library version conflicts and attempting to build from source failed in the link phase.  Not available for RedHat derived platforms.

     CherryTree is installed on ALL shell servers EXCEPT the old SunOS eskimo.com.


Php 7.2 and Owncloud

     I recently upgraded our web server to PHP 7.2.  We had been using a third party repository for PHP 7.1 but with Bionic Beaver (the latest Ubuntu) there were too many conflicts that broke it.  As a result I removed the third party repository and upgraded to PHP 7.2.

     Two things were badly broken by 7.2, OwnCloud and Squirrelmail.  I upgraded Squirrelmail to the most recent and it is mostly fixed, still bitches sometimes when mail with certain HTML is present.

     OwnCloud does not plan on being PHP 7.2 compatible until version 11.  There is a real dearth of applications for it, where NextCloud has just exploded with new applications and does work properly with PHP 7.2.  This being the case I am going to discontinue support for OwnCloud at least until they get 7.2 clean.