Articles about linux

Linux is a great OS, don't you think? I know I do - and here is a list of stuff about linux such as tips on use and useful software.

Drush Logo

It's usually considered best practice to run Drush under the same user account that the webserver runs on. Some modules, such as XML Sitemap, Advanced Aggregator and cTools, often try to alter or generate files. If you run Drush under your own account then these files may get generated as you (and therefore become unwritable by the webserver) or, if the files were generated by the webserver, are usually unwritable by your user which can mean you get errors and being unable to delete/unlink files.

The solution is to run Drush as your webuser, usually Apache. For example:

Baby Tux

This handy script will allow you to get the current Load Average (loadavg) for a remote server over SSH. It will stream the result set back to you, which you can then pipe into a file if you need to.

This would be handy for monitoring the load of a server while stress testing, for example.

Linux Tux

Sometimes, when you're running coder on a module, you'll get a lot of errors complaining about Windows line endings. This is because you should set your editor to use Unix Line endings to be consistent with all developers. See the Drupal Coding Standards for more details.

Below is a handy bash script which will help you batch convert many files from DOS to Unix line endings.

GnuPG Logo

Has anyone every tried to generate a GPG (or GnuPG) key? I have… and I received this error…

Not enough random bytes available.  Please do some other work to give
the OS a chance to collect more entropy! (Need 284 more bytes)

I just updated this server to PHP 5.3. As all my sites are Drupal 6 it seems I have a few issues ahead which mean I need to patch Drupal to stop PHP complaining about deprecated stuff…

So I headed over to the post on which is discussing 5.3 compatibility in Drupal 6 (which I personally think SHOULD go in) to grab a patch. I applied the patch with no problems. I refreshed a page and got a white screen so I checked the logs only to see…

Ever had that situation where you've enabled :set paste and pasted in hundred of lines of code into vim only to see it all fully left aligned? I just did… And bugger going over each line and manually indenting it! Want know how to indent a visual block of text?

After Worldpay recently changed to use the RBS system, I was tasked with finding every instance of in our forms and replacing it with There appeared to be thousands of files and I wasn't going to do it manually…

Back in November last year, I wrote a script which handled backing up a drupal database. There were quite a few comments and I've taken some on board and developed the script on a little further to be more "generic".

One of the main complaints/suggestions about my previous snippet was the hard coded nature of it. The follow script offers far more configuration through the command line itself.

This morning I updated a site to the latest release of Drupal 5.16. Nothing special there at all. I've done that many times as has (hopefully) mabye other drupal devs… However, I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to SVN. Didn't I mention this drupal site was in an SVN repository? ;-)

So, I've svn copy'd the trunk to an "update_to_5.16" branch, checked out this branch and done a cvs up -dP -r DRUPAL-5-16. Everything is going according to plan so far. Next I run svn status to get a list of files which I need to mark as added or deleted (or to list anything else which has gone wrong). What happens next is I get a list of hundreds of CVS Template files which have been added to the CVS folders. For example…

I am a bit of a "neat geek" when it comes to coding. Things should be indented neatly and should have well laid out comments! Why? Well… It's easy to do and in 6 months time when you look at your code you will appreciate it! It will also me even more appreciated by another developer in less than 6 months time ;-)

I just needed to find the largest files in a folder (in an attempt to find out why it was so bloody huge!) and have ended up with the following handy combination of commands…

find /path/to/folder -size +1M -print0 | xargs -0 du -h | sort -nr

After about 4 days of using OpenSUSE 11.0, I'm not overly impressed with it in comparison to RedHat Enterprise 3/4/5, CentOS 5, Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.x (other distro's I've used). OpenSUSE has some annoying habits and default/unusual configurations…

I was just dumping a database using mysqldump and I noticed that tables such as cache (and its cousins cache_page, cache_menu, etc), sessions and watchdog can be pretty big and are also not often essential for backing up. I mean, when you restore your web site do you really care about restoring people's logged in sessions from when the backup took place? I can understand maybe keeping watchdog; but then again should you lose your site you would probably lose it several hours after the backup so would miss out on any relevant watchdog notices.

Anywho… I did a mysqdump for a large database for a website I maintain and the dump came out at 400Mb. I then spent a few minutes cobling together a small script which would do a mysqldump but had some pre-programmed Regular Expressions to match specific groups of tables which it would only dump the structure for (ie, no data). After running this script, the SQL dump was only 220Mb. Much better! It also runs considerable quicker too and will cause less table locking.

So - the script?

Last night I was trying to configure SVN on a server. The setup was that the SVN Repo was on "srv2" and the frontend and code I wanted to import was on "srv1".

I created an NFS share on srv2 and mounted it on srv1 in /mnt/svnroot. The mount worked perfectly and I could touch and remove files from srv1.

So I tried to create a "sites" folder where I wanted to import a site I wanted to version control. This is where I started to have problems… The sollution was to add "nolock,bg" to the mount options on the client. Read on for more details!

Today I needed to list all of the services which were enabled on boot-up for one of the servers I maintain. Obviously, my first port of call was to use the nifty tool ChkConfig like so…

I just finished upgrading a server to Ubuntu 8.04 which came with Vim 7.1 rather than 6.3 on the older server. It seems 7.1 does things slightly differently to 6.3.

In 6.3 I could create ~/.vim/filetype.vim and in there define a line as follows:

au BufRead,BufNewFile *.module,*.install,*.theme setf php

However in 7.1, it looks like a line similar to this has to go into ~/.vimrc instead…

Baby Tux

After recently reading about how great VIM is for the three hundredth and fifty second time (I kept count), I decided to take a look.

It really is quite cool! I've also decided to try to log any cool tips I learn about it. Here is the first which I found after running the coder module on one of my modules (Page Title 2) and it threw hundreds of errors about too many trailing spaces on empty lines.

Lighttpd Logo

Following my previous post about configuring Lighttpd on this VPS Webserver to replace Apache I bring you a guide to configuring AWStats under Lighttpd. This process is differs to Apache as control of directories and aliasing is handled differently. There can also be complications if you have previously enabled the Drupal LUA Magnet script on your site for clean URL handling!

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