How to start the new year on the wrong foot…

…just try to do a quick update of your server management software (Plesk) and watch how shit hits the fan…then try to fix it and make things even worse…curse…then try to get it back up and finally succeed (partially)…

So sick…so…if you’re seeing this, it means that part of the server is back up on it’s feet…happy new year…and please stand by while I try to fix the rest…

Postchristmas update

So much to report, so little time. It’s been a while since my last decent post, but don’t worry…everything is fine, although I tend to not find the time to post in recent days. So, what else is new?

The new server

This blog along with some other sites is still hosted by dreamhost, but sites are being moved to my new dedicated server piece by piece. As mentioned in my Nov 25th roundup I just had to get myself a new dedicated server as the low-end AMD Sempron just didn’t cut it, especially due to the “low bandwidth deal” I had on that server (“only” 200GB). So I ordered an Opteron beast, but they couldn’t deliver it right away so I was stuck. After a lot of haggling with the technical support I got an interim server (AMD Athlon 64) free of charge until my real server would be ready. Happy news: the server was finally shipped and installed in the ISP’s datacenter on December 24th…! It took me a while to set it up with all the domains, DNS, mail accounts, etc etc but I got the job done.

Tech Specs:

  • AMD Opteron 146, 64bit server cpu
  • 1GB Ram
  • 2x160GB
  • unlimited traffic! (as this is with one of germany’s leading hosters this is a real deal, although unlimited should really be called unmetered as there’s no such thing as unlimited, it’s 100MBit NIC max data rate * days in a given month)
  • 160GB backup space in another data center

I’m running the box on Suse Linux 9.3 with Plesk 7.5 Reloaded, which is really comfortable especially due to the preinstalled Plesk modules (Courier IMAP, both Antivirus + Antispam solution, etc). I tweaked the linux install a little – now I’ve got stuff like apt-get known from debian for easy updating and installing of packages.

As I plan to migrate all the stuff over from all the different hosters one of the first things I thought about was data security – or in other words: BACKUP! So I thought a while of how to accomplish what I really wanted: daily backups of all the home shares, mail accounts, databases and configuration files. I came up with a shell script which will run once every night and which will backup all the stuff, zip it and move it to both the second hdd and the remote backup location (in another data center) automatically via cronjob. This way I’ve got daily backups which will be valid for one week, then they will be overwritten…

Here’s the code:






mkdir -p /backup/mysql

WOTAG=`date +%a`

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /home /backup

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /etc /backup

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /var/qmail/mailnames /backup

rsync -az –delete –delete-after /var/www/vhosts /backup

cd /backup/mysql

mysqldump -AaCceQ -u$MYUSER -p$MYPASS -r mysql.dbs

cd /backup

tar cjf etc_dirs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 etc

tar cjf homedirs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 home

tar cjf maildirs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 mailnames

tar cjf vhosts.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 vhosts

tar cjf mysqldbs.$WOTAG.tar.bz2 mysql

cp *.bz2 /mnt/zweite/backup

ftp -u ftp://$FUSER:$FPASS@remoteDataCenterLocation *$WOTAG*


As you may have noticed there’s this whole network bar thing at the top of this blog and at the top of all the other sites which I own…I had the idea to put them all together under “one roof” by creating this network, the network bar and the corresponding website. Today I finally finished the Ingoalnetwork Webpage(s) –, – as you may have guessed the .de site is the german version and the .com site is the english version. Both are coded in valid xhtml transitional. I’m especially proud of the lovely AJAX enhanced contact form.
WordPress 2.0
I backed up everything here at Ingoal’s Insight this afternoon, so I’ll continue and upgrade as soon as I’ve finished this post. On another note: I’ve already done two upgrades today and both went really smoothly, so I don’t expect any complications…Update: done, no problems

Third pc up and running…

…not as I expected though. As mentioned here I wanted to do a nice new and clean install of Gentoo linux. So I got myself the livecd (2004.2) and started to install away. I gotta say the installation “manual” is really good and if you take the time to follow it through it will make it easy for you, even if you don’t have much (or any) experience with linux installation [nontheless it might not be the ideal distribution for complete newbies, but that’s another story].

So I got the system installed and all (basic system without X etc), but when I tried to install X and a desktop manager (KDE) the system kept freezing during the build process. I tried it over and over with all sorts of settings. It would build and build and build (as it’s an Athlon 1100MHz it’s quite clear that extreme compilation like this will take some time) and just freeze somewhere in the middle or near the end of completion. So now I was reall fed up and thought: There are two possibilities now, either try and try and try again or give up altogether. I chose to go with the later as I had already spend some good two days in total and had nothing on my hands [I was slowly starting to think that the pc might have a hardware problem, but memory tests and all came up with nothing].

So I downloaded Suse 9.1 personal yesterday (go ahead and call me cheap ;-) ) and ran the installation – one things for sure: the setup process is at least as good as the windows setup, it let’s you configure everything using their “YAST” install-tool. And after a little under one hour the system was up and running. Now I’m just downloading system updates and new nvidia drivers and I’m set – finally.