[Plesk] upgrade / autoinstaller

I was upgrading a plesk install today (linux based), using the plesk CP (Server / Updater) and I don’t like looking at an interface that says “You will receive an e-mail once the install is complete”.

A very simple solution for people that “need” to know what’s happening and don’t like waiting for an e-mail, is to log in the server using ssh (you can use PuTTY for that) go to /tmp:

cd /tmp

and do a:

ls -asl *log

You should see all the files ending in *log (beware, there might be quite a few files to match that pattern), and among them something like:

712 -rw——-  1 root root 724202 Aug  6 03:00 autoinstaller3.log

As soon as you locate that file, you can “tail” it. In my case:

tail -f autoinstaller3.log

Et voila, you will be able to see what’s happening with the upgrade process. To stop following the upgrade process, just pres Ctrl+C and you will get back to the bash prompt.

Why I love gmail…

I remember when gmail first showed up and I got an invite, I was a bit overwhelmed by the *new* factor. The simple look, the speed compared to my old free webmail service, the idea of labels instead of folders, stars instead of flags, keyboard navigation between messages, similar to my first console mail client (pine), overall, I have always been a gmail fan, waiting for new things to show up, like they accustomed us. So, they had the increasing quota for every inbox [currently going up to 7GB!!!], gTalk was a great added feature, POP3 accounts, filters, spam protection, sending mail with a verified different address and so on. I’m guessing many of you are using it, but if you are not, it’s time to do so!

A few days ago, I noticed in the footer of gmail some new stuff:

Check your gmail account, and click on that link. A pop-up will show up, looking like the image below, where you can see the usage of your mail account by IP address. I’m a paranoid sysadmin, that’s what I am, and I like knowing my things are safe! This tool right here, helps me find out if someone else knows my password, and is using my account. I want my stuff private, and that’s the end of the story! You can also log out any other sessions besides the one you are using, and change your password if you see something suspicious. I use a laptop, and I’m not really using private sites on different computers besides the laptop, but sometimes you need to check your mail, and you never know where a Trojan Horse could be.

Drop a comment if you don’t understand how to use this new feature, and I’ll make sureI explain it to you in a way that you will not misunderstand. Remember: Privacy is important!

O fapta buna si un bug de wordpress

Am facut o fapta buna azi.

M-am trezit dimineata, am pus de-o cafeluta, si printre inghitituri citeam blogu’ lu Gropariu. La postul ala secsy cu udatu’ colegei, de servici, am dat pe afara, si cafeaua evident a urmat gravitatia direct pe tricoul meu. Buna treaba. N-am reusit sa pun comment, si l-am luat la suturi pe acest nemernic Gropar care ma face sa imi vars eu cafeluta si apoi nu ma lasa sa comentez, drept urmare am aflat ca saitu Groparului e stricat. Mi-a zis una alta, am dat de un vechi prieten, care se ocupa de hostingu Groparului, Alin sau sysalin, si impreuna am reparat problema.

Sa va fie invatatura de minte sa va tineti blogul la zi, nu numai cu posturi ci si cu versiunea de wordpress din spate, altfel patiti si voi o treaba de asta, si incepand de azi, taxa de reparatii la astfel de probleme este de juma’ de bere. Am zas!

Trecand peste asta, ma gandeam sa imi fac si eu update de la WordPress 2.5 la 2.6 dar am remarcat un mic bug pe care l-au uitat baietii acolo, cu categoriile posturilor, si am o jena sa nu o patesc si eu, asa ca mai astept cateva zile pana cand pe langa timpul de upgrade o sa am timp sa il si repar daca se strica. Nu e mult de munca, dar e migaloasa treaba, si nah… lenea e mare si la mine.

Daca ati facut update la wordpress si aveti probleme cu categoriile, David Cumps are o rezolvare aici.

PS: Note to self: A nu se citi blogul groparului in timpul cafelei de dimineata!!!

Free DNS checks

A while ago, dnsstuff.org, the site I used to check everything related to DNS got off the freeware market and they started a paid service, which, no doubt is good, please pay for it if you still want to use them, but I want to give you a few alternatives.

Of course you have the shell command line tools like nslookup, dig and whois but those are not for the faint of heart, so below you have some online alternatives:

The first, is IntoDNS.com (which I wrote about here in January) does a full DNS checkup of a domain.

The ones who want more than this, can use dnsutils.org, which allows users to do the following:

  • Reverse DNS
  • Ping Host/IP
  • FQDN based DNS Lookup (A, AAA, SOA, CNAME, NS, MX)
  • CIDR Calculator
  • IPV6 Compression
  • IPV6 Expansion
  • RBL Lookup
  • transform IPv4 into binary and back
  • transform IPv6 into bin and back

Quite a good service offered by Jonas Genannt <jonas (AT) dnsutils (DOT) org>.



[PLESK] removing/modifying open_basedir in plesk

Let’s think about a situation where you have a subdomain and you want it to be able to access files from the domain httpdocs directory. You cannot do that by default in Plesk, because of open_basedir. You can edit the httpd.include file in:


but that will only work until the next plesk restart or major modification.

But, the httpd.include file that manages a domain and subdomain explicitly says:

# /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/conf/vhost.conf
# /var/www/vhosts/domain.com/subdomains/subdomain-name/conf/vhost.conf

So, disabling open_basedir is *usually* as simple as editing the vhost.conf file (or create it if it does not exist), and adding:

Entire HOWTO here.


aDrive dot com

Well, Today I’m going to make a small review of a BETA project I’ve stumbled upon a while ago. It was in my  to-do list for a while now, so considering my lack of inspiration in other fields, I decided to give it a go.

ADrive is one of those companies that offer free online storage, for your files. I created an account, I played around a bit, and I must say I’m quite satisfied with what I saw there.

  • 50GB storage (my laptop has an 80GB hdd)
  • Share your files (If you want to)
  • Directory upload (No need to archive stuff anymore before upload)
  • Online document editing – I need to test this, but looks like a cool feature.

Their extensive FAQ also covers some basic questions, but also they leave some doors open, like:

Q: Is it possible to stream the media (music, video, etc…) I have uploaded from ADrive?

A: Not at this time, no.drive

Which sounds to me like a “plan”, together with the “computer backup” option, and the desktop ADrive client, said to come soon.

But talking about coming soon, this is what they have in store for their users in the near future:

Personalized Snapshots
Retrieve older versions of your files using snapshot technology. Schedule your own snapshots to backup and protect your stored data.
Disaster Recovery
Soon to roll out is our complete disaster recovery solution for your stored data. We have an off-site DR facility in a secure, rural location in the case of natural disaster at any of our main data center locations.
Data Encryption
Utilizing enterprise encryption, we will be providing different methods to encrypt and protect your data.
(Secure Sockets Layer)

The only thing I don’t exactly “like” about it, is the java uploader, but that is at the moment necessary for folder uploads I suppose.Well, at least I learned how to clear my Java cache.

So, as far as I’m concerned, I’m going to further test them, and try to find a good use for those 50 GB of space, and if you used them and have something to share with the rest of us, don’t be shy write below.

*) This post was in no way remunerated by anyone affiliated or not with ADrive, nor am I affiliated in anyway with ADrive more than a simple user of their service.

Tribalwars.net / Die-Stamme.de / Triburile.ro

I used to play for a few months TribalWars then it got boring, no action no nothing I left my account in sitting with a bunch o villages maxed out, and while I was gone, a long expected war happened, I lost my villages, and I started fresh, on a new continent, with new neighbors (or farms, however you wish to call them) and a tribe in need of leadership. Considering this is the “fun” growing part, not so much time lost at this moment, I guess I’ll start playing again for a while, until I grow a bit, and until it will take more time than I can afford to spend on it, or maybe I’ll just go to the end of that world. All this happened in tribalwars.net on world7. Now I play on two worlds world7 and world13 – which is just beginning slowly, so you might be interested to join us, if so, use this link.

One of my tribe mates in world7, found a great defensive guide, which makes perfect sense, and I invite you to read it if you are a TW player. If you are not, just skip 🙂

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