Category Archives: howto

Fix Munin MySQL Graphs on cPanel

If you have setup munin-node on a cPanel server it’s possible that your MySQL graphs stop updating at sometime, or don’t even generate from the beginning.

To fix, edit the following file:

/etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/cpanel.conf

And make sure that the mysql section contains the following:

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[mysql*]
user root
group wheel
env.mysqladmin /usr/bin/mysqladmin
env.mysqlopts --defaults-extra-file=/root/.my.cnf

Setup WordPress CDN with Dediserve

My blog is running on a blazing fast Litespeed-powered server which is located in London, but because most of my visitors are from the US (check out this cool infographic!), I always wanted to setup CDN to speed things up for them too. A CDN can offer tremendous WordPress performance improvements and by utilizing the W3 Total Cache plugin you optimize WordPress from it’s core.
Since there wasn’t any related documentation available, Dediserve was very kind to offer me a free first month on their CDN service to test things out.

What is a CDN

A CDN is a global network of caching servers and smart DNS routing that delivers your content and media to your users from the closest possible location. The result is the fastest possible load times, better Google rankings and less load on your servers!
When US visitors view my blog, images are served from the UK, making it a long way from the visitor to the server. By implementing a CDN, edge servers located all around the world serve those images from the nearest location to the visitor. Dediserve is running on the OnApp CDN engine, and has over 60 locations all around the world at the time of writing.
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Centova Cast: Upgrade from Trial to Monthly/Owned License

After trialing Centova Cast v2.2.6 for a few days, I decided to move on and purchase a paid monthly license. Since a new license key needed to be purchased, I started searching about a way to replace my license key on my current installation, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any clear instructions.

By combining information from a few forum posts and knowledge base articles from their website, I finally found a way to do it.

  1. Download their license key update utility
  2. Unzip the contents of the file to the root directory of your Centova Cast web files (eg. /var/www/ or /home/[username]/public_html/)
  3. Launch the script in your broswer: If Centova Cast is installed at http://radio.domain.com then you should launch http://radio.domain.com/licenseupdate.php
  4. Copy the license key of your newly purchased license from your Centova Cast Client Area and click theĀ Update Key button.
  5. SSH to your server and run the command below:
    /home/centovacast/system/runascc/runascc exec ccmanage reissuelicense radio.domain.com

    (replace radio.domain.com with your FQDN you used when purchasing your license)

You should receive output similar to the following:

INF License reissuance forced; renewing license information (this may take a few moments) ...
OK Key updated; new renewal date: 2012-03-07 10:13:39

Your license key is now updated and you’re ready to roll. Happy streaming!

Monitoring bind/named with Munin on cPanel DNS Only

Last night I attempted to get named monitoring working with Munin on my two cPanel DNS Only boxes. Named is actually the most important service to monitor on a DNS Only box so in my opinion it should be enabled by default when you install Munin via WHM.
The whole process was actually really straightforward and the only thing I had to do was to apply a set of Debian instructions I found here, on CentOS. Here’s how you can install Munin and setup named monitoring Continue reading

How To: Restore Default Settings on Safari (Mac OS X Lion)

I just installed the Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 GM update and noticed that Safari was behaving a bit weird after the update so I thought I reset it’s settings to default.

Here’s how it’s done:

1. Open Safari and click on Safari in the upper left hand corner.
2. Click Reset Safari.

3. Restart Safari. This will resolve most problems. If this does not solve the problem, proceed on to Step 4.
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How to: Install and Configure PPTP VPN on a cPanel server

This tutorial will show you how to easily install and configure a PPTP VPN server on a cPanel (RHEL/CentOS) server. A VPN server can be used to access geographically restricted websites if your cPanel server is located in a non-restricted country. Also you can use it to encrypt your data connection between your computer and cPanel server if for example you’re connected to a public WiFi hotspot and want to visit your web-banking account. Continue reading

Using netselect-apt to find the fastest Debian mirror

Setting up a VPS.NET server in Tokyo today was the first time I worked on a box in Asia and because USA and EU Debian mirrors where ~300ms away (and I was getting like 30-40KB/sec), I had to search for a local Japan Debian mirror.
First I thought I’d just got to the Debian mirrors list, find the URL for the Japan mirror and apply it to my sources.list file.
But again I was getting max 0,8-1MB/sec which still was very slow for my expectations (Japan is amongst the Top 3 of countries with the highest Internet connections speeds).

The solution was: netselect-apt

I just did a

root@dev:~# apt-get install netselect-apt
root@dev:~# netselect-apt squeeze

and a few seconds later I got

The fastest server seems to be:

http://ftp.dti.ad.jp/pub/Linux/debian/

Writing sources.list.
Done.

Then I just copied the sources.list netselect-apt created to my /etc/apt/ folder and ran apt-get update again.

Presto!

So what does netselect-apt do actually? First it downloads a list of all the worldwide mirrors from the official Debian website using wget. Then it pings each and every server to see which one is nearer to the physical location of your server. Finally it writes a sources.list file in the current directory. Do note however that it doesn’t speed-test every server, but only measures the latency between the mirror and your box. So to be precise you’re getting the nearest server, not the fastest. In todays networks though, with 100Mbps and 1Gbps uplinks, it’s almost certain that the nearest server will also be the fastest too.

TinyMCE non-latin character support on CS-Cart

Just managed to fix TinyMCE Greek character support on CS-Cart 2.2.1 :-)
@georgetasioulis
George Tasioulis

Wasn’t really that big of a deal after all :-)

First I downloaded the updated TinyMCE package (v.3.4.4) The Tool posted on the CS-Cart forums here for my CS-Cart installation (v.2.2.1).
Then using a text editor I opened up lib/js/tinymce/tiny_mce.js for editing, searched for entity_encoding and changed it from named to raw.
You may find quite a few instances of the string entity_encoding in the file, but the correct one to change is this:
[js]validate:true,entity_encoding:"named",url_converter:p.convertURL[/js]

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How To: Add Social Buttons to Squarespace

A few days ago I helped @tpsaras install social widgets to his Squarespace based foodblog Foodzine. Although Squarespace allows for a seamless implementation of social widgets, the catch here was to display them only under each post and not on the homepage.

First we had to create the necessary code for our Facebook and Twitter widgets, then add the code into HTML Snipsets via the Squarespace Website Management and finally hide the buttons from the homepage via CSS.

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