Kiwi PyCon 2013 Summary

For those who are unaware, Rimuhosting has sponsored a lot of conferences, particularly local ones including open source and tech related. We believe in giving back what you can to the community as much as possible .

NZPUG_logoPeter, our wonderful boss, likes to encourage us to do the same, so often is happy to pay for us to go to conferences if we contribute a talk. Not all of us are chatty like myself, so usually I end up going, and talking as well.

Recently we were lucky enough to be able to sponsor the local New Zealand Python Conference. Our PyCon sponsorship came with 5 free tickets, which were calling my name from early on as I had always wanted to learn some python. Being a sysadmin means i already had a good understanding of programming languages, knew a few fluently, so had a head start on this goal.
The problem was that I had to give a talk on something i knew nothing about! Luckily i had already started playing with my sons OWI/Maplin robotic arm toy. Taking it the next step, i connected it to a Raspberry Pi, and found some broken but fixable code on the internet. With a few problems and bugs i managed to get that code working, then cobble it together with some other code elsewhere, setup a PIR module, and a web server enough with python that i had a full talk fairly quickly (one that got accepted!).

usb-robot-arm

Hooray, i had earned my ticket to Pycon! Now what to do with the other 4 tickets? Give them away of course! I was trying to encourage more females into programming and IT, so tried my best to give out as many as possible to females wanting to learn python or get into IT. As it turned out, 2 went to females, 2 to males, so a good mix! Continue reading

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Auckland Pycon tickets

NZPUG_logoAs a sponsor of the New Zealand Pycon ( http://nz.pycon.org/), we are given a few free tickets for the event as well. We thought since we only have one staff member attending (Liz, who is speaking) that we should really not waste the other tickets we have.

Since there are less females in the IT industry, we are going to give priority to females wanting to go, however men are also welcome to apply. There is no specific criteria for application other than need/want.

Just email liz @ rimuhosting.com if you are interested.

 

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MySQL replication and verification

mysql-logoWe have a number of customer using MySQL replication. For the uninitiated, replication copies changes from a master server to a number of slave servers. This makes scaling your service mush easier and helps improve redundancy and failover. An introduction to setting that up is available in our Mysql Replication guide.

Once you have replication running it is easy to check if the slave servers are keeping up, and not reporting any errors. For example on one of the slave servers you might Continue reading

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How to restore a WordPress site after hacks or exploits in 10 easy steps

wordpress-hackedA lot of people use WordPress, and seemingly a lot forget to click the upgrade button regularly enough and find they are exploited.  In an ideal world, you would click that button whenever you see it needs updates, and have copious amounts of good backups. However, sometimes these things do not happen, and you need to bring the site back from being exploited, and you need it done quickly.

This is a how to, which will explain the quickest and best method for upgrading those sites and getting them back online.

Step 1: Disable the website, either in the apache config, or point it to another DocumentRoot with a 'be back soon' page somewhere.

Continue reading

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How to install Drupal on Plesk – Step by Step instructions

We have had a customer who is not overly technical wanting these instructions. Since i thought he was probably not the only one wanting a simple step by step instruction on how to install drupal on plesk easily, i though i would put them on the blog for anyone else interested

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Old tomcat 5.5 installs being exploited

We have noticed a couple of people running older tomcat 5.5 installs, and these are being exploited . The main thing we noticed were slowdowns on bandwidth as well as CPU along with a few odd other things running as tomcat user

eg
www-data 20654 0.0 0.6 38616 8004 ? S 21:26 0:00 \_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 20655 0.0 0.5 38468 7488 ? S 21:26 0:00 \_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
www-data 20696 0.0 0.5 38468 6952 ? S 21:43 0:00 \_ /usr/sbin/apache2 -k start
tomcat55 18323 66.6 0.1 349368 1432 ? Ssl 10:53 448:28 ./gg

doing an lsof -p pid shows

root@prod-web1:~# lsof -p 18323
COMMAND PID USER FD TYPE DEVICE SIZE NODE NAME
gg 18323 tomcat55 cwd DIR 202,1 4096 492548 /var/lib/tomcat5.5/webapps
gg 18323 tomcat55 rtd DIR 202,1 4096 2 /
gg 18323 tomcat55 txt REG 202,1 1415201 498584 /var/lib/tomcat5.5/webapps/gg
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 109152 311967 /lib/ld-2.7.so
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 1274092 312131 /lib/libc-2.7.so
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 38412 312185 /lib/libnss_files-2.7.so
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 286 247821 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_MONETARY
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 52 247733 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_MESSAGES/SYS_LC_MESSAGES
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 34 247754 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_PAPER
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 77 247771 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_NAME
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 155 247823 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_ADDRESS
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 59 247824 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_TELEPHONE
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 23 247825 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_MEASUREMENT
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 25700 219280 /usr/lib/gconv/gconv-modules.cache
gg 18323 tomcat55 mem REG 202,1 373 247826 /usr/lib/locale/en_US.utf8/LC_IDENTIFICATION
gg 18323 tomcat55 0u CHR 1,3 309 /dev/null
gg 18323 tomcat55 1u CHR 1,3 309 /dev/null
gg 18323 tomcat55 2u CHR 1,3 309 /dev/null
gg 18323 tomcat55 3u IPv4 178006 TCP yourhost.com:46579->208.64.123.253:10993 (ESTABLISHED)

New files we found included
/var/lib/tomcat5.5# find ./ -mtime 0
./webapps
./webapps/fake.cfg
./webapps/gg
./webapps/1AS.war
./webapps/1AS
./webapps/1AS/WEB-INF
./webapps/1AS/META-INF
root@garvin:/var/lib/tomcat5.5#

Its safe to say, if you see this on your own server, you need to stop the processes and tomcat, and upgrade immediately. Check all applications carefully before re-deploying for extra files or backdoors.

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Migrating email between IMAP accounts

Often when people switch servers, or move to new providers, transferring email can be problematic. If you are using POP3, the email is already on your personal computer, however if you are using IMAP then you are stuck trying to add a second account and drag and drop for each user, or similar.

Never fear,there are tools around that help migrate things for you. Here i will explain the basics of imapsync which appears to be one of the better ones.
Continue reading

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10th Anniversay $100-off Sale

cakeHappy birthday to us!  RimuHosting has now been providing VPS hosting for 10 years.

Let's do some fun things to celebrate.  First up a sale!  We will add a $100 credit to your account when you order a new server with us.

This offer applies to new VPS, VPS-on-dedicated and regular dedicated servers.  Pricing starts at around $16/m.

Our VPS plans are very flexible.  You select the memory, disk space and data transfer allowance you need.  You do not pay for resources you are not going to use.

The VPSs are powerful, fast Xen virtual machines.  You have root SSH access.  You can add in a control panel (like Virtualmin or Plesk or cPanel) to help you manage the server.  Plus our sysadmins are available 24x7 to help install, troubleshoot and help out with your server.

So take take the hassle out of your hosting and sign up for a new server with us today.  Grab us on Live Chat if you had any quick questions.  Or email us an enquiry.

The fine print:

  • You will need to sign up between now and the end of June (or whenever we cut off the offer before then).  If you happened to have already ordered with us in the previous month or so then good news!  You'll still get a (partial) credit.
  • After you order you'll need to pay the invoices created in the first 30 days (hosting fees and any setup fees).  You'll also need to have any other balance owing on your account paid.
  • After the server has been up and running for a 30 days, go add the credit to your account at http://rimuhosting.com/cp/coupons.jsp
  • The offer excludes additional VPSs on multi-VPS-on-ded servers.
  • The coupon must be applied before the end of August.

Image credit: aih

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Debian 7.0 and Ubuntu 13.04 Install Images

We’re happy to announce the availability of Debian 7.0 (release notes) and Ubuntu 13.04 (release notes) images for new VPS installations.

Both releases are pretty stable and there is not much to report.

It seems that the biggest news (for Ubuntu) is the shorter life cycle for non-lts versions, and longer cycle (5 years!) for LTS. So the 13.04 release of Ubuntu (Raring Ringtail) will be supported until January of 2014, while 12.04 LTS support extends until April 2017.

Given the relatively minor changes in this release, we would recommend users select Ubuntu 12.04 LTS over Ubuntu 13.04.

Most of the Debian packages get a minor version update from the previous version Debian 6/Squeeze.  None are too notable.  Examples: MySQL 5.1=>5.5 and PHP 5.3=>5.4.

If you already have a running server and need to upgrade (without reinstalling), see our notes on distribution upgrades please see the following pages for Ubuntu and Debian. Or put in a ticket and let us help you with that.

 

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How to restore your root password after forgetting or being exploited via Single user mode

I have been seeing a few people unsure what to do when they lose or forget their root password. Some are resorting to reinstalling their server thinking this is the only option, however there is another option with Rimuhosting. Continue reading

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