Server Musings

It has been a nice while since I had anything to report about the server. Nothing to report! Brilliant!
It has been running really stable with no issues and now seeing long up-times between the usual software and kernel updates.

It’s time, however that I started to think about the future. Time is slowly but surely ticking for the LTS support end date for Ubuntu 14.04, and now I need to put plans in place for a migration to the new system. I am a bit worried, however.

Ideally, I want wait for Ubuntu 18.04 to be released as it is a nice crossover point to make a jump from an ageing LTS to a brand new LTS. I’m worried because previous experiences will tell me that Ubuntu doesn’t like to be involved in major upgrades.
How my VPS host handles different kernels and OS images is also concerning.

My primary idea was to create a local installation, adapt it to the remote server’s configuration, upgrade databases, reinstall and reconfigure software and finally unpack everything remotely. I think that I would like to test it on a “spare” server some day, just to see if the process works. If so, it would be my #1 choice to upgrading the OS.

My Wiki Obsession

Bad news; the wiki is working. Bad because I want to expand it already.

I like the idea of a NAS but I couldn’t justify paying for a commercial NAS unit as I probably wouldn’t use it that much. It would primarily be for backup, mainly. Now I can see a purpose. Perhaps on my internal wiki, I have a page for ubuntu, with distro related info going on there. I currently have a neat folder tree on my 2tb VAULT drive with ubuntu ISO’s, Debian ISO’s… . You get the picture! If I were to create a download directory on the web server, I could link and subheading all of these files. Not only to preserve the files but also include information about them.

“Now what’s the point in that? You can just download it off the web, surely!” Well this is one specific example but it can be replicated across all files that I have for that ‘just in case’ moment. It will allow me to archive some of these already existing files. It can also allow me to have stuff on demand for other computers; like when I need drivers or game installers. (Getting excited about the prospect of keeping computer drivers archived in this way) Continue reading “My Wiki Obsession”

Home Wiki Server

I woke up on Sunday and thought it would be nice to centralize all of the snippets of information that I find useful and have saved up. Being a casual sysadmin, there’s alot of things I do not use on a regular basis and gets scrambled up with mundane real life.

I currently have these infobytes scattered in my OneDrive, separated into different text files. I suppose this is handy to have on demand everywhere, but to be able to organise and retrieve information in a less painstaking way would be better. Continue reading “Home Wiki Server”


I was awoken today with a rather rude message indeed. An email from Jetpack plugin notifying me that the website was down. I often get this message at the most awkward of times, mainly whilst unable to log in to the server.

Opening up the site shows me an alarming message “Unable to contact database”…. the worst kind of messages. Databases have never been my strong point… I find them terribly complicated and I tend to just leave them alone as much as I can.  Now what? Annoyingly MYSQL seems to quickly zip up any MYSQL error log files, often leaving the latest error log almost completely empty. Another annoyance.

Trawling through the logs, I can see MYSQL has shut down, restarted, shut down, restarted, until it finally gave up. Quickly found the error…

innodb is trying to pass over 130MB of indexed(?) files to the allocated defaulted 128MB buffer size pool. After a bit of tinkering and increasing the size, the site not only has greatly improved response time, but it should cure the site from going down regularly.

It’s not fixed until the fat server sings…

It’s early days but I’m confident the issue is resolved. I will monitor the situation to hopefully find 30 WHOLE DAYS of uptime. Here’s hoping.
( that is not an invitation btw 🙂 )

Fail2ban Unban All / Mass Unban Guide


Update: you can find a fully automated script here. If you’d rather do it manually.. keep reading…

Here’s a quick guide to unban all ip’s from a fail2ban jail in linux.
This is semi-automatic with some user input involved. You also may need to change file paths and script commands to cater for your system’s configuration. Lets get started. Continue reading “Fail2ban Unban All / Mass Unban Guide”