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No custom kernel via ssh

August 21, 2011 Posted in FreeBSD General

Tried to build a custom kernel on a canceled server, I couldn’t connect to it once the build started, I also couldn’t connect to it after the build finished and server rebooted. I don’t think I will build custom kernels ever again on remote servers.

DoS Attacks

August 21, 2011 Posted in FreeBSD General

If your server was down due to insufficient swap space, usually needed by large amount of MySQL connections, it’s a sign of DoS attacks. My servers started to get attacks earlier this year, and they were getting increasingly frequent. Here are some simple practices I have employed, they have been proved to be effective for my server in the last few months.
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PHP 5.3 Isn’t That Bad

July 29, 2011 Posted in FreeBSD General

I complained about php5.3 generating huge log files, also, E_DEPRECATED doesn’t suppress those deprecated errors, as a result, I had to turn off php logs. Actually it doesn’t have to be that bad.

The reason why E_DEPRECATED doesn’t work is that, some scripts set error_reporting value and supersede the setting in php.ini, so, no matter how we configure php, we just couldn’t suppress those errors. Obviously, the best solution is modifying the scripts, but I didn’t want to risk breaking the code and had never given it a try. I was very wrong, the best solution is actually also the easiest solution, there is no risk at all. I fixed a dozen scripts within a couple of hours – just very simple replace. Read More

vBulletin Forum Hack

December 27, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

My vBulletin forum was hacked, the gate was vBseo according to this thread,

I always upgrade as soon as I receive their update email, later I realized vBSEO has two different versions for version 3.2.2?! Have you ever seen anything like this:

vBSEO 3.3.2
Release date: October 27, 2009
Last Updated: November 17, 2009

I upgraded to the first 3.3.2 but missed the second.
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How to Stop a Cron Job or Email Notification

March 30, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

From the log stats, I found many people were wondering how to stop a cron job or its email notification. To stop a cron job, just remove the command by editing the cron job: Read More

Another FreeBSD Blog

March 13, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

Here is another FreeBSD blog: Real FreeBSD Tips, it looks quite professional. Still too few FreeBSd blogs out there, FreeBSD deserves much more attention. I have no idea how many servers are running FreeBSD, but it should be a very small number compared to Linux.

Official FreeBSD Forum

March 9, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

I just found the official FreeBSD forums, it’s also using my favorite forum software, nice. I prefer web-based forums to milling-lists, newsgroups or IRC rooms, I can never get used to them. Finally, I got a place to hang out.

Move a Server

March 8, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

In the last 6 months, I have rebuilt my server four times due to ISP change or hard disk problems. Minimal down time and data consistency are two most factors when move to a new server. Here’s how I usually move a server: Read More


January 21, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

I found I couldn’t access my server, at first I thought it was a network or power outage of my ISP. Opened a support ticket and a reboot brought it back, it turned out to be my server’s problem, checked the system logs, there is absolutely nothing between the reboot and my last login. It seems that the server simply stopped to accept any connections for whatever reasons. Read More

Signal 11 revisited

January 19, 2009 Posted in FreeBSD General

Just after I moved to a new server, I saw the familiar signal 11 messages again: Read More

Locked File

October 28, 2008 Posted in FreeBSD General

Putty lost connection when I was viewing a file with vi. Later I tried to edit the same file, vi always told me it was read-only. Really confused until I checked with ps command and killed the vi process.

Start Program at Boot Time

October 27, 2008 Posted in FreeBSD General

Rebooted my server, I found Apache, Postfix and pure-ftpd didn’t start automatically. This is very basic, but I don’t remember that I had to configure this previously. Reading the scripts under /usr/local/etc/rc.d/, the instructions are very clear, added these lines in /etc/rc.conf: Read More

Hardware Problem

October 21, 2008 Posted in FreeBSD General

When I started working on my new FreeBSD server, I got a few weird errors, such as: server rebooted by itself; strange errors when installing ports, but worked the second time, it happened to all three packages I installed. Read More

Beastie Blog

January 12, 2006 Posted in FreeBSD General

Glad to know Dale’s Beastie Blog via his comment. He posts very frequently – 38 within three days? Unbelievable! I love to read other’s blog, not only can I know how to setup something, but also I can know what I missed, what I can improve and what I should avoid from his errors. Read More

A One-year Look Back

January 5, 2006 Posted in FreeBSD General

It’s been one year since I started using FreeBSD. I still remembered the first day when I got the server, I was wondered why nothing worked on the server, no command completion, no wget :-) . It was a fresh FreeBSD installation with only ssh enabled. Then I asked some very silly questions in the IRC room, and knew what port is. Read More

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