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August 24, 2014

Zend Loader Not Available For PHP 5.5

Ubuntu Cola and a roll

Yesterday I finally got round to upgrading one of my servers to the latest Ubuntu LTS - 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

There are a few "gotchas" with the upgrade that I might cover in a separate post, but the biggest one isn't Ubuntu's fault or PHP's fault.

Zend, for some odd reason, haven't released a compatible version of their loader for any PHP version of the 5.5* series. Unfortunately this means that if you are using any software that was Zend encoded you can't run it on PHP 5.5 as there's no way to decode and let it run.

The most recent version of PHP that Zend loader supports is 5.4*

PHP 5.3 is EOL (end of life).

And PHP 5.6 is due to be released fairly soon..

So why on earth aren't Zend supporting PHP 5.5?

According to one of the software vendors who has been trying to get a clear answer from Zend they won't be offering support until Q4 2014, which could mean any time up until the end of December!


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January 6, 2014

Ubuntu Grub Error

Ubuntu Cola and a roll

More for myself than anyone else ..

While cleaning up the kernels and doing some updates on an Ubuntu machine you might get this error:

 you may need to re-run your boot loader[grub]

Not 100% clear to me, but the solution is pretty easy.

As root or using sudo run:


Problem solved!

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January 8, 2012

Working With SuPHP Permissions and Ownership

debian-openI switched one of my web servers over to use SuPHP a few weeks ago, as it's a lot more secure.

However moving from mod_php to suPHP does require a small bit of tweaking of files and directories.

Under mod_php you can easily end up with a lot of files and directories being owned by the Apache user, which on Debian / Ubuntu is "www-data". You'll need to change the ownership of all those files to the website user.

The other thing to watch out for is permissions - setting them to 644 should fix any errors you're getting.

Another issue I ran into was this error in the logs:

SoftException in Application.cpp:564: Directory "/home/www/www.xxxx.xx/web" is writeable by group

Solution is to chmod 755 the web directory.

After doing a default install and configuration of SuPHP you might run into difficulties running PhpMyAdmin, as the standard SuPHP configuration will forbid it.

The fix is to tweak the settings add the following to your main suphp.conf :

<Directory /usr/share/phpmyadmin>
        suPHP_Engine on


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November 20, 2011

Ubuntu PHP Bug

Official Ubuntu circle with wordmark. Replace ...

Image via Wikipedia

I upgraded a couple of servers to the latest version of Ubuntu a couple of days ago and noticed something really odd when checking the running processes post-upgrade.

For some bizarre reason there were literally thousands of "fuser" processes running.

Odd, but I didn't think too much of it, as they disappeared after a reboot .. or so I thought ..

This morning I discovered that they'd come back with a vengeance and were eating CPU and RAM - rendering a relatively powerful machine pretty much useless.

A bit of searching led to this thread on the Ubuntu user forums.

There's also a bug open with Ubuntu - though they still haven't fixed it :(

In the meantime it can be "fixed" by reverting the php5 cronjob to the one that was in previous versions of Ubuntu.


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March 4, 2011

Checking Which Ports Are Doing What On Linux

From time to time it's handy to be able to see exactly which process is using a particular port on a Linux system - especially if you're debugging issues.

This command will let you see exactly what's going on - you simply change the port number:

lsof -i:80

If you need the standard port numbers you can check this list

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July 11, 2010

Tweaking Spam Filters

I've been running my own mail server for this domain and several others for a few years. I could have used our main mail servers, but I like messing around with the server settings and trying out new things.

One thing that I hadn't been checking too stringently on my inbound email was SPF.
Sure, I had it set up on several of my domains so that anyone else getting mail from me would be "happy".
Switching it to more stringent settings and checking SPF inbound, however, has proven to be worth the few minutes it took to set it up - over 100 mails blocked in less than 24 hours!

I opted to install postfix-policyd-spf-perl as I'm using Postfix. Configuration was pretty easy - just adding a couple of lines to the and (the man page gives you the most up to date configuration settings)

Enhanced by Zemanta

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March 4, 2010

Ubuntu Gets A Visual MakeOver

Ubuntu, which is one of the more popular Linux distributions these days, has unveiled a completely new look.

It's got a new logo:
blackeubuntulogoAnd a whole new range of styles for just about every other visual asset associated with the brand, both online and on the users' desktops.

The new look is very slick compared to the "old" image of Linux distributions as being ugly, yet functional

Full details here

Thanks to Laura for mentioning it earlier this evening

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March 1, 2010

Cleaning Up Old Configs On Ubuntu / Debian

Debian OpenLogo

Image via Wikipedia

This is more for my own use than anyone else...

If you remove a package in Debian / Ubuntu you often end up with legacy configuration files lying around.

Running the following command removes all the crud left lying around your system and may fix silly issues that you run into. As it's Linux, there's probably about 10 other ways to do this!

Here's the command:

sudo aptitude purge `dpkg --get-selections | grep deinstall | awk '{print $1}'`


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April 27, 2009

Logging Email From PHP Scripts

This is more a note for myself than anything else ...

By default a lot of php scripts will send emails that appear as coming from the Apache user, which makes tracking down a rogue script really annoying and time-consuming.

You end up with entries in the mail logs similar to this one:

Apr 27 18:22:29 servername postfix/qmgr[23581]: 0F53421C1FA: from=<>, size=929, nrcpt=1 (queue active)

Which isn't particularly helpful if you have more than one site (vhost) on a particular server.

Making it a bit saner can be done via a simple addition to the Apache vhost config:

php_admin_value sendmail_path '/usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i -f address@domain.tld'

So now any emails sent from that vhost will reference the email specified instead of the Apache user:

Apr 27 19:40:34 servername postfix/qmgr[2469]: 16A8F21C1FA: from=<address@domain.tld>, size=358, nrcpt=1 (queue active)

There are other additions to Php that can log the path to the script itself, though until such time as someone makes it available for Debian / Ubuntu I don't really fancy having to compile it in manually

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April 25, 2009

Ubuntu Jaunty Upgrade Not A Pleasant Experience

So I decided last night I'd upgrade my Ubuntu desktop to the latest release...

The upgrade process itself was quite painless, but the post-upgrade "cleanup" is driving me mad.

After rebooting into the new version of Ubuntu the audio had stopped working. Loading up alsamixer from the command line and playing around with it for a while eventually resolved that.. though it was pretty much a case of "hit and miss" working out which option would resolved it.

So now I have sound again...

Tracker shipped without a full set of binaries and was eating CPU (see bug report here)

What I didn't have, either, was the ability to click on links in Thunderbird. Sure, I could click on them, but nothing happened.  The resolution to that issue was to do a fresh install of Thunderbird, as I may have had an "odd" version installed (no idea how, but since it's now working I'm not going to complain too loudly!)

Evolution, which would have been an option to consider instead of Thunderbird, does not support Microsoft Exchange 2007, so that's no use to me either.

I watch video files using VLC, but that's also changed quite annoyingly, so instead of having the player controls in the same window as the video you're watching, you now end up with two windows. I spent about half an hour trying to work out if there was some sane way of changing that behaviour, but I still haven't found it.

Other annoyances ...

Every time anyone logs onto MSN or ICQ you get a disproportionately large notification on your screen.

There are probably loads of really nice features in the latest release, but I wouldn't rush to do an upgrade

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