Clam Antivirus and Clam Sentinel

Posted at 4:47:55 PM in Installations (47)

I'm a recent convert to Clam AV. Mostly because it has a small resource usage foot print and the design focuses on virus checking. I used AVG before, but in 2011's version, the software hogged up so much memory and resources that programs were really running slow. Then on the upgrade to 2012, I ran into a lot of problems with programs and network devices hanging up. Outlook wouldn't retrieve email. The PC that had the AVG network admin software installed on it started losing it's network connection after the AVG client was installed. But the main reason I removed it was because it was taking up to 250Meg of RAM which would tax some old systems to the point that they no longer functioned well.

When I downloaded Clam AV, I saw an internet ad for Clam Sentinel which uses the Clam AV database. In fact, they say you have to have Clam AV installed for it work. Clam AV in it's default config, only scans email and office documents through a plug-in option and checks for and downloads virus definition updates. You have to manually configure Clam AV to scan your hard drives or it will never scan. I didn't feel comfortable with that and thought Clam Sentinel would be a nice add on, however; it's configurable options are extremely lacking. There are a lot of options to select  what not to scan, but none on when to scan. I found the Clam Sentinel scanning quite frequently, I'm assuming on access. But it also scan's at least once a day... that is according to the log files it creates. I get the impression that it's scanning the entire hard drive several times a day, but I can't be sure because I can't tell when or what it's scanning. I assumed the entire harddrive. It bothers me that I can't schedule that. It's also redundant because I can schedule Clam AV to scan the hard drives. With Sentinel doing it automatically, creates a problem if I schedule a scan in Clam AV.

Clam Sentinel apparently is very aggressive locking files for testing. Clam Sentinel locked up the tmp files that Outlook makes when it's synchronizing the a public Exchange server causing Outlook to hang which is almost the same problem I had with AVG. It also interfered with online game play eating up so much resource that graphics would be "glitchy" or sluggish. Sentinel had to go.

I currently have Clam AV scanning once a week and only reporting the findings, not actually removing them. I set up the email alerts so I don't need to go to each PC and check the reports.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, October 27, 2011 | Comments (6)

gotomypc file sync issues

Posted at 4:32:54 PM in Software (15)

I have a user that uses the file synchronization in Gotomypc all the time. Recently, the program started transferring files that they didn't change. A repeated synchronize command transferred exactly the same amount of files. I thought there might be some file caching database that was corrupt and tried to reinstall Gotomypc for that user, but it didn't help. I finally called support and found that there is a bug that they are working on. The problem shows itself when the user tries to synchronize folders with large numbers of files. He said over 100 files, but I wasn't able to verify if that number was hard and fast.  

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, October 27, 2011 | Comments (0)

Acronis server image on Dell T310

Posted at 12:48:29 PM in Installations (47)

I just recently bought 2 T310 servers from Dell. Nice servers with fast SATA drives. I wanted to make a backup image of the server in case I screwed something up during the install, however; Acronis couldn't see the SATA drive. I checked for updates and applied them, but still not luck. This I found this post on Techguy.org from back in 2008 that still works today! Check out the post at http://forums.techguy.org/all-other-software/697371-solved-acronis-true-image-sata.html

Use safe mode and you can see the SATA drive. I kept using the Full version because the software claimed that the safe mode doesn't support USB or SATA, but in fact it does. It supports both.  I'm not sure what the difference is, but it worked. 

Written by Leonard Rogers on Monday, October 24, 2011 | Comments (0)

Wordpress with PostreSQL

Posted at 11:36:14 AM in Installations (47)

I noticed a few things after my installation of Wordpress with PostgreSQL as the data backend. I used pg4wp, found on this site. I downloaded the latest version 1.2.2 but got errors during the installation, but Wordpress indicated it had installed successfully, so I didn't worry about it too much. Then as I was trying to add categories, the new categories wouldn't show up. I had enabled PG4WP_DEBUG and reviewed the log files. 

The first problem was a duplicate key which violated the unique constraint on the table ??_terms. (?? is modified to whatever you set your name prefix to in the wp-config.php file.) The first thing I noticed is that the table is used to terms from different areas of Wordpress. It holds the category of posts and well as the category of links. This table is initially populated with uncategorized and Blogroll. Apparently during installation, the sequence tracker stopped at 2 and the number being assigned is the number currently held by the tracker. So a new record wanted to be id number 2 but 2 was already in the table. To fix this, I just went into the sequence tracker (??_terms_seq) and set the next number to assign to 3 and the problem was solved.

I only recently started working with users. I thought it was odd that the user counts would work, but I could see the actual user records. The page always had the message "No matching users were found!". Even after I added users, it gave me the same message. Oddly enough, there are two meta tables associated with the users table and apparently, the counts come from ??_users, but the actual display comes from one of the meta tables. Again, I looked in the error log. This message was the cause:

SELECT DISTINCT(wp_users."ID" ) FROM wp_users WHERE 1=1 ORDER BY user_login LI$
----
ERROR: for SELECT DISTINCT, ORDER BY expressions must appear in select list

This is apparently a common problem in the pg4wp, but isn't addressed on their web site. I found a solution here. I just installed it and I can now see the users. I haven't fully tested it yet. I tried to add the line he said would fix the problem, but it broke the home page. I downloaded his driver_pgsql.php and installed it in place of the one provided by pg4wp and was able to get to the users. The install of course changed the ownership and file rights which I had to manually change after uploading the file.

Two changes:

chown www-data:root driver-pgsql.php 

chmod 777 driver-pgsql.php

This is my second site on the same server. I found that sub domains and/or sub-folders is not what I needed. Networks or WordpressMU (multi site) wasn't the answer.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Monday, October 24, 2011 | Comments (0)

Setting up Wordpress on Ubuntu

Posted at 3:01:02 PM in Installations (47)

Extremely frustrating.

Wordpress boasts an easy install. However, I find that after a week of work, I still don't have a fully functioning Wordpress site.

My installation started from scratch. I'm mostly an IIS asp classic type designer and... I'm mostly backend. My artistic flair leaves a lot to be desired. The desire to get Wordpress installed came from a client who was trying to compete with Godaddy's offering. He designs web sites, but they are still bland in comparison to todays "flash"y colorful and functional web sites. I could see right away that the site hosted by Godaddy was a Wordpress site with most of it's emphasis on content and not blogging. The visual appeal of the new site was like going from black and white TV to HD TV. The new site was beautiful. So, how to compete.

I could see it was finally time for me to start thinking PHP. I already use Linux systems, but only for firewall, backups and name services. I never checked out the Apache server because they couldn't support asp classic and certainly not ASP.NET. And I really dislike (actually, that's too kind, I hate) MySQL. The interface for admin for MySQL doesn't exist. I understand there is a phpAdmin which administers MySQL, but that requires... uhmmm... PHP. Since I was looking into setting up a LAMPS (Linux, MySQL and PHP) server, I looked at my current server which is CentOS being hosted at my server farm. It's old. It wouldn't support any of the required versions of PHP, Apache or MySQL. Looking into upgrading was a scary option and replacing the server would drive the price up. The only viable option was to look at Ubuntu which is a virtual server offering from my server farm provider.

Just a word about searching out options. I checked out a lot of cloud offerings. It seems that current trend is to provide server space by the hour, including an estimated about of bandwidth. If you need more memory or hard drive space, then the price per hour goes up. I found the base amount which would provide you a server that wouldn't work was very expensive. Usually the entry rate was about $50 to $60 per month. I know that's not a lot, but remember, that config would not provide a usable server. I have a server already set up on a cloud which costs me about $95.00 per month running on Microsoft Server 2008 Enterprise with 1 CPU, 60Gig hard Drive space and 3Gig of Ram and 50,000 Gig of data transfer per month. That's a good price. I found on the Microsoft servers setup as a virtual server, there is no such thing as cache memory. When your programs run out of RAM, it doesn't swap the the hard drive. It crashes the server.

All of the providers that I checked doubled that price on their hourly rate and did not provide even a tenth of the bandwidth. I currently pay 49.95 a month for a dedicated Linux server, the upgrade to a new server from the same provider is now 89.95 a month. Since Ubuntu is offered on their virtual server platform, I could configure a Linux Ubuntu for 39.95 and probably get most of what I need. Thus the need to experiment with Ubuntu.

I set up my own server since I didn't want to pay for someone else to host Ubuntu and then find other things taking me away from that work and being left to pay for a server that I'm not using. The installation of Ubuntu went rather well. They recommend a 64bit install, but I only have 32bit machines to test on. I selected the LAMPS and tomcat service items during the installation. That meant that my PHP, MySQL and Apache would all get installed. No problem there except I don't want to use MySQL. Luckily, there is a Wordpress drop-in that allows you to use Postgresql, which I installed... the drop-in. Postgresql is already installed on a separate server.

When I first tried to install Wordpress, I went to the Wordpress site and downloaded their copy. I did their 5 minute install, which has very simple steps, but found I could not get the install to work. That may have been because the root account is locked and everything in Ubuntu has to be done from sudo commands. I finally broke that lock, but the installation simply would not go. Then I found that Wordpress can be installed with apt-get. That, however; installs a debian styled version of Wordpress which has the theory that uploads from the web site are bad and therefore put everything in locked out directories.

In order to get Wordpress to be somewhat functional, I had to chmod -R 777 wp-content. Everyone says that's bad and I suppose it can be, but I don't think a dynamic web site should installed in locked directory. It may go against the debian mind set, but really... how can you have a dynamic web site and not allow uploads. It's an oxymoron.

Ubuntu or debian seems to have created another problem which took me several days to figure out. There are a lot of posts on the internet about errors when inserting a picture into a post in Wordpress. Most of the solutions was simply getting rid of all the capitalization in the url name. Another was that some plug-in was causing the problem. And, after a lot of research, it is even possible that the theme could be a cause of the problem. Wordpress uses a lot of jquery and specifically, they use thickbox which is part of jquery, so potentially, if someone created a theme or a plug-in that also included with it a version of thickbox, that could cause a problem. However, my issue didn't have any plug-ins and I was using the default theme. All of my URLs were consistent and lower case letters, so none of those could be the problem.

I did fix the problem and I have a running Wordpress site on Ubuntu. I will address the insert picture problem in a separate post. My next goal for Wordpress is to install a second site on the same box.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Saturday, October 22, 2011 | Comments (0)