Posts Tagged ‘Database’

What is inode and how to find out which directory is eating up all your filesystem inodes on Linux, Increase inode count on a ext3 ext4 and ufs filesystems

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

what-is-inode-find-out-which-filesystem-or-directory-eating-up-all-your-system-inodes-linux_inode_diagram

If you're a system administrator of multiple Linux servers used for Web serving delivery / Mail server sysadmin, Database admin or any High amount of Drives Data Storage used for backup servers infra, Data Repository administrator such as Linux hosted Samba / CIFS shares, etc. or using some Linux Hosting Provider to host your website or any other UNIX like Infrastructure servers that demands a storage of high number of files under a Directory  you might end up with the common filesystem inode depletion issues ( Maximum Inode number for a filesystem is predefined, limited and depending on the filesystem configured size).

In case a directory stored files end up exceding the amount of possible addressable inodes could prevent any data to be further assiged and stored on the Filesystem.

When a device runs out of inodes, new files cannot be created on the device, even though there may be plenty free space available and the first time it happened to me very long time ago I was completely puzzled how this is possible as I was not aware of Inodes existence  …

Reaching maximum inodes number (e.g. inode depletion), often happens on Busy Mail servers (receivng tons of SPAM email messages) or Content Delivery Network (CDN – Website Image caching servers) which contain many small files on EXT3 or EXT4 Journalled filesystems. File systems (such as Btrfs, JFS or XFS) escape this limitation with extents or dynamic inode allocation, which can 'grow' the file system or increase the number of inodes.

 

Hence ending being out of inodes could cause various oddities on how stored data behaves or communicated to other connected microservices and could lead to random application disruptions and odd results costing you many hours of various debugging to find the root cause of inodes (index nodes) being out of order.

In below article, I will try to give an overall explanation on what is an I-Node on a filesystem, how inodes of FS unit could be seen, how to diagnose a possible inode poblem – e.g.  see the maximum amount of inodes available per filesystem and how to prepare (format) a new filesystem with incrsed set of maximum inodes.

 

What are filesystem i-nodes?

 

This is a data structure in a Unix-style file system that describes a file-system object such as a file or a directory.
The data structure described in the inodes might vary slightly depending on the filesystem but usually on EXT3 / EXT4 Linux filesystems each inode stores the index to block that contains attributes and disk block location(s) of the object's data.
– Yes for those who are not aware on how a filesystem is structured on *nix it does allocate all stored data in logical separeted structures called data blocks. Each file stored on a local filesystem has a file descriptor, there are virtual unit structures file tables and each of the inodes that are a reference number has a own data structure (inode table).

Inodes / "Index" are slightly unusual on file system structure that stored the access information of files as a flat array on the disk, with all the hierarchical directory information living aside from this as explained by Unix creator and pioneer- Dennis Ritchie (passed away few years ago).

what-is-inode-very-simplified-explanation-diagram-data

Simplified explanation on file descriptors, file table and inode, table on a common Linux filesystem

Here is another description on what is I-node, given by Ken Thompson (another Unix pioneer and father of Unix) and Denis Ritchie, described in their paper published in 1978:

"    As mentioned in Section 3.2 above, a directory entry contains only a name for the associated file and a pointer to the file itself. This pointer is an integer called the i-number (for index number) of the file. When the file is accessed, its i-number is used as an index into a system table (the i-list) stored in a known part of the device on which the directory resides. The entry found thereby (the file's i-node) contains the description of the file:…
    — The UNIX Time-Sharing System, The Bell System Technical Journal, 1978  "


 

What is typical content of inode and how I-nodes play with rest of Filesystem units?


The inode is just a reference index to a data block (unit) that contains File-system object attributes. It may include metadata information such as (times of last change, access, modification), as well as owner and permission data.

 

On a Linux / Unix filesystem, directories are lists of names assigned to inodes. A directory contains an entry for itself, its parent, and each of its children.

Structure-of-inode-table-on-Linux-Filesystem-diagram

 

Structure of inode table-on Linux Filesystem diagram (picture source GeeksForGeeks.org)

  • Information about files(data) are sometimes called metadata. So you can even say it in another way, "An inode is metadata of the data."
  •  Inode : Its a complex data-structure that contains all the necessary information to specify a file. It includes the memory layout of the file on disk, file permissions, access time, number of different links to the file etc.
  •  Global File table : It contains information that is global to the kernel e.g. the byte offset in the file where the user's next read/write will start and the access rights allowed to the opening process.
  • Process file descriptor table : maintained by the kernel, that in turn indexes into a system-wide table of files opened by all processes, called the file table .

The inode number indexes a table of inodes in a known location on the device. From the inode number, the kernel's file system driver can access the inode contents, including the location of the file – thus allowing access to the file.

  •     Inodes do not contain its hardlink names, only other file metadata.
  •     Unix directories are lists of association structures, each of which contains one filename and one inode number.
  •     The file system driver must search a directory looking for a particular filename and then convert the filename to the correct corresponding inode number.

The operating system kernel's in-memory representation of this data is called struct inode in Linux. Systems derived from BSD use the term vnode, with the v of vnode referring to the kernel's virtual file system layer.


But enough technical specifics, lets get into some practical experience on managing Filesystem inodes.
 

Listing inodes on a Fileystem


Lets say we wan to to list an inode number reference ID for the Linux kernel (files):

 

root@linux: # ls -i /boot/vmlinuz-*
 3055760 /boot/vmlinuz-3.2.0-4-amd64   26091901 /boot/vmlinuz-4.9.0-7-amd64
 3055719 /boot/vmlinuz-4.19.0-5-amd64  26095807 /boot/vmlinuz-4.9.0-8-amd64


To list an inode of all files in the kernel specific boot directory /boot:

 

root@linux: # ls -id /boot/
26091521 /boot/


Listing inodes for all files stored in a directory is also done by adding the -i ls command flag:

Note the the '-1' flag was added to to show files in 1 column without info for ownership permissions

 

root@linux:/# ls -1i /boot/
26091782 config-3.2.0-4-amd64
 3055716 config-4.19.0-5-amd64
26091900 config-4.9.0-7-amd64
26095806 config-4.9.0-8-amd64
26091525 grub/
 3055848 initrd.img-3.2.0-4-amd64
 3055644 initrd.img-4.19.0-5-amd64
26091902 initrd.img-4.9.0-7-amd64
 3055657 initrd.img-4.9.0-8-amd64
26091756 System.map-3.2.0-4-amd64
 3055703 System.map-4.19.0-5-amd64
26091899 System.map-4.9.0-7-amd64
26095805 System.map-4.9.0-8-amd64
 3055760 vmlinuz-3.2.0-4-amd64
 3055719 vmlinuz-4.19.0-5-amd64
26091901 vmlinuz-4.9.0-7-amd64
26095807 vmlinuz-4.9.0-8-amd64

 

To get more information about Linux directory, file, such as blocks used by file-unit, Last Access, Modify and Change times, current External Symbolic or Static links for filesystem object:
 

root@linux:/ # stat /etc/
  File: /etc/
  Size: 16384         Blocks: 32         IO Block: 4096   catalog
Device: 801h/2049d    Inode: 6365185     Links: 231
Access: (0755/drwxr-xr-x)  Uid: (    0/    root)   Gid: (    0/    root)
Access: 2019-08-20 06:29:39.946498435 +0300
Modify: 2019-08-14 13:53:51.382564330 +0300
Change: 2019-08-14 13:53:51.382564330 +0300
 Birth: –

 

Within a POSIX system (Linux-es) and *BSD are more or less such, a file has the following attributes[9] which may be retrieved by the stat system call:

   – Device ID (this identifies the device containing the file; that is, the scope of uniqueness of the serial number).
    File serial numbers.
    – The file mode which determines the file type and how the file's owner, its group, and others can access the file.
    – A link count telling how many hard links point to the inode.
    – The User ID of the file's owner.
    – The Group ID of the file.
    – The device ID of the file if it is a device file.
    – The size of the file in bytes.
    – Timestamps telling when the inode itself was last modified (ctime, inode change time), the file content last modified (mtime, modification time), and last accessed (atime, access time).
    – The preferred I/O block size.
    – The number of blocks allocated to this file.

 

Getting more extensive information on a mounted filesystem


Most Linuxes have the tune2fs installed by default (in debian Linux this is through e2fsprogs) package, with it one can get a very good indepth information on a mounted filesystem, lets say about the ( / ) root FS.
 

root@linux:~# tune2fs -l /dev/sda1
tune2fs 1.44.5 (15-Dec-2018)
Filesystem volume name:   <none>
Last mounted on:          /
Filesystem UUID:          abe6f5b9-42cb-48b6-ae0a-5dda350bc322
Filesystem magic number:  0xEF53
Filesystem revision #:    1 (dynamic)
Filesystem features:      has_journal ext_attr resize_inode dir_index filetype needs_recovery sparse_super large_file
Filesystem flags:         signed_directory_hash
Default mount options:    (none)
Filesystem state:         clean
Errors behavior:          Continue
Filesystem OS type:       Linux
Inode count:              30162944
Block count:              120648960
Reserved block count:     6032448
Free blocks:              13830683
Free inodes:              26575654
First block:              0
Block size:               4096
Fragment size:            4096
Reserved GDT blocks:      995
Blocks per group:         32768
Fragments per group:      32768
Inodes per group:         8192
Inode blocks per group:   512
Filesystem created:       Thu Sep  6 21:44:22 2012
Last mount time:          Sat Jul 20 11:33:38 2019
Last write time:          Sat Jul 20 11:33:28 2019
Mount count:              6
Maximum mount count:      22
Last checked:             Fri May 10 18:32:27 2019
Check interval:           15552000 (6 months)
Next check after:         Wed Nov  6 17:32:27 2019
Lifetime writes:          338 GB
Reserved blocks uid:      0 (user root)
Reserved blocks gid:      0 (group root)
First inode:              11
Inode size:              256
Required extra isize:     28
Desired extra isize:      28
Journal inode:            8
First orphan inode:       21554129
Default directory hash:   half_md4
Directory Hash Seed:      d54c5a90-bc2d-4e22-8889-568d3fd8d54f
Journal backup:           inode blocks


Important note to make here is file's inode number stays the same when it is moved to another directory on the same device, or when the disk is defragmented which may change its physical location. This also implies that completely conforming inode behavior is impossible to implement with many non-Unix file systems, such as FAT and its descendants, which don't have a way of storing this invariance when both a file's directory entry and its data are moved around. Also one inode could point to a file and a copy of the file or even a file and a symlink could point to the same inode, below is example:

$ ls -l -i /usr/bin/perl*
266327 -rwxr-xr-x 2 root root 10376 Mar 18  2013 /usr/bin/perl
266327 -rwxr-xr-x 2 root root 10376 Mar 18  2013 /usr/bin/perl5.14.2

A good to know is inodes are always unique values, so you can't have the same inode number duplicated. If a directory is damaged, only the names of the things are lost and the inodes become the so called “orphan”, e.g.  inodes without names but luckily this is recoverable. As the theory behind inodes is quite complicated and is complicated to explain here, I warmly recommend you read Ian Dallen's Unix / Linux / Filesystems – directories inodes hardlinks tutorial – which is among the best academic Tutorials explaining various specifics about inodes online.

 

How to Get inodes per mounted filesystem

 

root@linux:/home/hipo# df -i
Filesystem       Inodes  IUsed   IFree IUse% Mounted on

 

dev             2041439     481   2040958   1% /dev
tmpfs            2046359     976   2045383   1% /run
tmpfs            2046359       4   2046355   1% /dev/shm
tmpfs            2046359       6   2046353   1% /run/lock
tmpfs            2046359      17   2046342   1% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sdb5        1221600    2562   1219038   1% /usr/var/lib/mysql
/dev/sdb6        6111232  747460   5363772  13% /var/www/htdocs
/dev/sdc1      122093568 3083005 119010563   3% /mnt/backups
tmpfs            2046359      13   2046346   1% /run/user/1000


As you see in above output Inodes reported for each of mounted filesystems has a specific number. In above output IFree on every mounted FS locally on Physical installed OS Linux is good.


Here is an example on how to recognize a depleted Inodes on a OpenXen Virtual Machine with attached Virtual Hard disks.

linux:~# df -i
Filesystem         Inodes     IUsed      IFree     IUse%   Mounted on
/dev/xvda         2080768    2080768     0      100%    /
tmpfs             92187      3          92184   1%     /lib/init/rw
varrun            92187      38          92149   1%    /var/run
varlock            92187      4          92183   1%    /var/lock
udev              92187     4404        87783   5%    /dev
tmpfs             92187       1         92186   1%    /dev/shm

 

Finding files with a certain inode


At some cases if you want to check all the copy files of a certain file that have the same i-node pointer it is useful to find them all by their shared inode this is possible with simple find (below example is for /usr/bin/perl binary sharing same inode as perl5.28.1:

 

ls -i /usr/bin/perl
23798851 /usr/bin/perl*

 

 find /usr/bin -inum 435308 -print
/usr/bin/perl5.28.1
/usr/bin/perl

 

Find directory that has a large number of files in it?

To get an overall number of inodes allocated by a certain directory, lets say /usr /var

 

root@linux:/var# du -s –inodes /usr /var
566931    /usr
56020    /var/

To get a list of directories use by inode for a directory with its main contained sub-directories sorted from 1 till highest number use:
 

du -s –inodes * 2>/dev/null |sort -g

 

Usually running out of inodes means there is a directory / fs mounts that has too many (small files) that are depleting the max count of possible inodes.

The most simple way to list directories and number of files in them on the server root directory is with a small bash shell loop like so:
 

for i in /*; do echo $i; find $i |wc -l; done


Another way to identify the exact directory that is most likely the bottleneck for the inode depletion in a sorted by file count, human readable form:
 

find / -xdev -printf '%h\n' | sort | uniq -c | sort -k 1 -n


This will dump a list of every directory on the root (/) filesystem prefixed with the number of files (and subdirectories) in that directory. Thus the directory with the largest number of files will be at the bottom.

 

The -xdev switch is used to instruct find to narrow it's search to only the device where you're initiating the search (any other sub-mounted NAS / NFS filesystems from a different device will be omited).

 

Print top 10 subdirectories with Highest Inode Usage

 

Once identifed the largest number of files directories that is perhaps the issue, to further get a list of Top subdirectories in it with highest amount of inodes used, use below cmd:

 

for i in `ls -1A`; do echo "`find $i | sort -u | wc -l` $i"; done | sort -rn | head -10

 

To list more than 10 of the top inodes used dirs change the head -10 to whatever num needed.

N.B. ! Be very cautious when running above 2 find commands on a very large filesystems as it will be I/O Excessive and in filesystems that has some failing blocks this could create further problems.

To omit putting a high I/O load on a production filesystem, it is possible to also use du + very complex regular expression:
 

cd /backup
du –inodes -S | sort -rh | sed -n         '1,50{/^.\{71\}/s/^\(.\{30\}\).*\(.\{37\}\)$/\1…\2/;p}'


Results returned are from top to bottom.

 

How to Increase the amount of Inodes count on a new created volume EXT4 filesystem

Some FS-es XFS, JFS do have an auto-increase inode feature in case if their is physical space, whether otheres such as reiserfs does not have inodes at all but still have a field reported when queried for errors. But the classical Linux ext3 / ext4 does not have a way to increase the inode number on a live filesystem. Instead the way to do it there is to prepare a brand new filesystem on a Disk / NAS / attached storage.

The number of inodes at format-time of the block storage can be as high as 4 billion inodes. Before you create the new FS, you have to partition the new the block storage as ext4 with lets say parted command (or nullify the content of an with dd to clean up any previous existing data on a volume if there was already existing data:
 

parted /dev/sda


dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/path/to/volume


  then format it with this additional parameter:

 

mkfs.ext4 -N 3000000000 /dev/path/to/volume

 

Here in above example the newly created filesystem of EXT4 type will be created with 3 Billion inodes !, for setting a higher number on older ext3 filesystem max inode count mkfs.ext3 could be used instead.

Bear in mind that 3 Billion number is a too high number and if you plan to have some large number of files / directories / links structures just raise it up to your pre-planning requirements for FS. In most cases it will be rarely anyone that want to have this number higher than 1 or 2 billion of inodes.

On FreeBSD / NetBSD / OpenBSD setting inode maximum number for a UFS / UFS2 (which is current default FreeBSD FS), this could be done via newfs filesystem creation command after the disk has been labeled with disklabel:

 

freebsd# newfs -i 1024 /dev/ada0s1d

 

Increase the Max Count of Inodes for a /tmp filesystem

 

Sometimes on some machines it is necessery to have ability to store very high number of small files (e.g. have a very large number of inodes) on a temporary filesystem kept in memory. For example some web applications served by Web Server Apache + PHP, Nginx + Perl-FastCGI are written in a bad manner so they kept tons of temporary files in /tmp, leading to issues with exceeded amount of inodes.
If that's the case to temporary work around you can increase the count of Inodes for /tmp to a very high number like 2 billions using:

 

mount -o remount,nr_inodes=<bignum> /tmp

To make the change permanent on next boot if needed don't forget to put the nr_inodes=whatever_bignum as a mount option for the temporary fs to /etc/fstab

Eventually, if you face this issues it is best to immediately track which application produced the mess and ask the developer to fix his messed up programs architecture.

 

Conclusion

 

It was explained on the very common issue of having maximum amount of inodes on a filesystem depleted and the unpleasent consequences of inability to create new files on living FS.
Then a general overview was given on what is inode on a Linux / Unix filesystem, what is typical content of inode, how inode addressing is handled on a FS. Further was explained how to get basic information about available inodes on a filesystem, how to get a filename/s based on inode number (with find), the well known way to determine inode number of a directory or file (with ls) and get more extensive information on a FS on inodes with tune2fs.
Also was explained how to identify directories containing multitudes of files in order to determine a sub-directories that is consuming most of the inodes on a filesystem. Finally it was explained very raughly how to prepare an ext4 filesystem from scratch with predefined number to inodes to much higher than the usual defaults by mkfs.ext3 / mkfs.ext4 and *bsds newfs as well as how to raise the number of inodes of /tmp tmpfs temporary RAM filesystem.

Helpful Hints For Starting A Small WordPress Website or Ecomerce Business

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

hints-for-starting-wordpress-site

Wordpress is the web application collection of PHP program behind thirty four percent (43%) of the internet’s websites, and fifteen percent (50%) of the top one hundred websites in the world, so if you’re considering it for your website then you’re perhaps thinking in the right direction. Small start-up projects a community website or even a small personal owned blog or mid to even large business presentation site  can benefit greatly from setting up their Web Platrform or Ecommerce shops on a WordPress website platform (that of itself depends just on a small number of technologies such as a Linux server with a Web Server installed on it to serve PHP as well as some kind of Linux host installed Database  backend engine such as MYSQL / PostgreSQL etc. …

But if you really want to create a successful ecommerce website on WordPress, that can seem a little intimidating at first as the general complexity to start up with WordPress looks very scary in the beginning. However in this article I’ll point to fewhelpful hints should get you off on the right foot, and make your entry into the world of Wodpress / WP Ecommerce a little easier and less scary.

This article is to be less technical than expected and in that will contrast slightly with many of the articles on this blog, the target audience is more of Web Marketing Manager or a Start-up Search Engine Optimization person at a small personal project or employed in the big bad corporate world.This is no something new that is going to be outlined in this article but a general rules that are known for the professional SEO Gurus but is most likely to be helpful for the starting persons.

If you happen to be one of these you should know you have to follow a set of well known rules on the website structure text, descriptions, text, orientation, ordering of menus and data etc. in order to have the WordPress based website running at full speed attracting more visitors to your site.
 

Photos
 

 

Importance of Photos on a Webiste
Although the text for your website is very important – more on that later – when a user first opens up your website in their browser, their eyes are going to be caught by the images that you have laid out on your website. Not using images is a big mistake, since it bores users’ eyes and makes your website seem amateur and basic, but using low quality images or irrelevant images can also harm your chances of appearing authentic to a user (yes here on this blog there are some of this low quality pictures but this is due to fact this website is more of information blog and not ecommerce. Thus at best case always make sure that you find the best, high-quality images for your website – make sure that you have the correct rights to use the images as well (as copyright infrignmenets) could cause you even a law suits ending in hundred or thousand dollar fines or even if this doesn't happen any publicity of such would reduce your website indexing rating. The images placed should always be relevant to your website. If you find a breath-taking sunset or tech-gadget picture, that’s great, but maybe not for your healthy food ecommerce store, but for your personal ranting or describing a personal experience.

 

Product Photos


Assuming that sooner or later even if you have a community website you will want to monerize it to bring back to yourself in material form at least part of the many years effort to bring the site to the web rank gained.
Leading on from that point, you’re going to be selling or advertise items – that’s the whole point of ecommerce. But users often find ads / online shopping frustrating due to not being able to properly see and understand what they’re buying before they make their purchase. This can lead to ‘buyer’s remorse’, and, consequently, refunds galore, which is not what you want. Make sure that images of your products are always available and of a high quality – investing in a fairly high quality camera might be a good idea – and consider many pictures for different angles or even rotating images so that the user can decide for themself which angle they want to look at.

 

Engaging Descriptions


“I can guarantee that you can’t remember the last five product descriptions you read – not even word-for-word, but the general ideas and vocabulary used will have been tossed into your short-term memory and forgotten in an instant. This is where your website can shine, and become better than ninety percent of those lingering on the internet,” Matthew Kelly, a project manager at WriteMyX and NextCoursework, suggests, “since putting effort into writing your product descriptions and making them lively and engaging will make your website memorable, and your subscribers will turn helpfully soon loyal customers will be more likely to come back time and time again and become repeat business, as well as mention you to their friends (social mounth to mouth marketing) and that way working as free advertising for you and making your website incredibly effective.”

 

Mobile-Friendly

 

Which device is most used to check email Laptop / PC or Mobile statistics as of year 2019

These days with the bloom of Mobile Devices that are currently overrunning the user of normal Desktop PCs, Laptops and Tablets and this trend is likely to stay and even increase, “If your website isn’t mobile-friendly in this day and age, then you won’t get anywhere with it.” Anne Baker, a marketer at BritStudent and Australia2Write, states. “Most people use their phones when they access websites, especially when they go shopping on the internet.

Statistics on user stay (secs / mins) stay on a website from Desktop PC and Mobile devices

On WordPress, this means finding a more recent theme – an older theme, maybe four-five years old, will probably not support mobile, and you just can’t afford to lose out on the mobile market.” In short, find yourself a mobile-friendly theme or install the right WordPress Pluguin that will enable you to have a Mobile Friendly theme in case if blog is accessed from a Mobile Dev or many of your customers will become frustrated with the badly formatted ‘mobile’ version of your website that they end up using, which might be for instance meant for a much larger screen. It can also ruin the atmosphere (experience) created at the accessed user site and have negative impact on your audience opion of your site or business. This is even more the case  if your website or webapp is targetting to be modern and keeping with the times – or especially if it deals with IT and electronics (where the competition is huge)!

 

Registration

 

Registration Ecommerce website

Registration form (Sign Up) on a website and the overall business cycle idea behind web product or business is of critical importance as this is the point that will guarantee intimidation with the customer, failing to have the person be engaged will quickly make your website rank lower and your producs less wanted. The general rule here is to make your registration be an easy (to orientate for the user) and be present on a very visible place on the site.

Registration steps should be as less as possible as this might piss off the user and repel him out of the site before the registration is completed. Showing oportunity to register with a Pop-Up window (while the user clicks on a place showing interest for the produce might be useful in some cases but generally might also push the user back so if you decide to implement it do it with a lot of care (beware of too much aggressive marketing on our site).

An example


The registration process should be as intimidating as possible to leave joy in the user that might later return and log in to your site or ecommerce platform, e.g. be interested to stay for a longer time. The marketing tactic aiming to make the user stay for a longer time on the website (dragging his attention / interest to stuff)  is nothing new by the way as it is well known marketing rule integrated in every supermarket you buy groceries, where all is made to keep you in the shop for as longer as possible. Research has shown that spending longer time within the supermarket makes the user buy more.

 

Returning customers can be intimidated with membership or a free gift (be it even virtual picture gift – free email whatever) or information store place could be given or if products are sold, registration will be obligatory to make them use their payment method or delivery address on next login to easify the buy out process. But if registration is convoluted and forced (e.g. user is somehow forced to become meber) then many customers will turn away and find another website for their shopping needs. Using a method like Quora’s ‘login to see more’ in that case might be a good idea even though for me this is also a very irritating and irritating – this method however should never be used if you run a ecommerce selling platform, on ecommerce site gatekeeping will only frustrate customers. Login is good to be implmeneted as a popup option (and not taking too much of the screen). Sign up and Login should be simplistic and self-explanatory – always not required but optioned and user should get the understanding of the advantage to be a member of the website if possible before the sign up procedure. Then, customers are more likely to sign up and won’t feel like they’ve been pushed into the decision – or pushed away, as the case may be.

Katrina Hatchett works as a lifestyle blogger at both Academic Brits and Assignment Help, due to a love of literature and writing, which she has had since youth. Throughout her career, she has become involved with many projects, such as writing for the PhD Kingdom blog.

WordPress Plugins to monitor and debug WP enabled plugins – Find Errors / Warnings and Remove WP problematic plugins slowing down your Website (blog) database

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

plugins-to-monitor-debug-wordpress-enabled-plugins-how-to-track-find-errors-and-warnings-and-remove-problematic-wp-extensions-that-slow-down-your-website

Recent days, I'm spending a lot of time again trying to optimize my wordpress blog. Optimizing WP for better efficiency is becoming harder and harder task day by day as the website file content data is growing along with SQL databases. Moreover situation gets even worse because the number of plugins enabled on my blog is incrementally growing with time because, there is more and more goodies I'd like to add.
Optimizing WordPress to run for Speed on a server is a whole a lot of art and its a small universe in itself, because as of time of writting this post the count (number) of WordPress available PLUGINS is 36,197 ! 

1. Manually Tracking WordPress  Plugins causing Slow SQL Queries (MySQL bottleneck) issues directly using console / SSH

Because of its open source development and its nice modular design wordpress has turned into a standard for building small, middle sized and large websites (some WordPress based blogs and sites have from 50 000 to 100 000 unique pages!). My blog is still a small WordPress site with only 1676 posts, so I still haven't reached the high volume traffic optimization requirements but still even though I have a relatively good server hardware  8GB RAM / (2×2.70 Ghz Intel CPU) / 500 GB (7400 RPM HDD) at times I see Apache Webservers is unable to properly serve coming requests because of MySQL database (LEFT JOIN) requests being slow to serve (taking up to few seconds to complete) and creating a MySQL table lock, putting all the rest SQL queries to stay in a long unserved queues line, I've realized about this performance issue by using a a mysql cli (command) client and few commands and console command (tool) called mytop (also known as mtop). MyTop refreshes every 3 seconds, so the slow query will immediately stay on screen to view moer info about it press "f" and type the  in query ID.

mysql-top-running-on-gnu-linux-server-tracking-sql-queries-in-console-screenshot.png

mysql-top-running-on-gnu-linux-server-tracking-sql-queries-in-console-screenshot2

Finally it is very useful to run  for a while MySQL server logging to /var/log/mysql/slow-query.log:
Slow query is enabled (on my Debian 7 Wheezy host) by adding to /etc/mysql/my.cnf
after conf section

 

vim /etc/mysql/my.cnf
#
# * Logging and Replication
#
# Both location gets rotated by the cronjob.
# Be aware that this log type is a performance killer.
# As of 5.1 you can enable the log at runtime!
#general_log_file        = /var/log/mysql/mysql.log
#general_log             = 1
#
# Error logging goes to syslog due to /etc/mysql/conf.d/mysqld_safe_syslog.cnf.
#
# Here you can see queries with especially long duration

 

Paste:

 

slow_query_log = 1
slow_query_log_file = /var/log/mysql/slow-query.log
long_query_time = 2
log-queries-not-using-indexes

 

And then to make new mysql configuration load restarted mysql server:

 

debian-server:~# /etc/init.d/mysql restart
Stopping MySQL database server: mysqld.
Starting MySQL database server: mysqld ..
Checking for tables which need an upgrade, are corrupt or were
not closed cleanly..

 

Leaving mysql-slow.log to be enabled for 30 minutes to an 1 hrs is a good time to track most problematic slow queries and based on this queries, I took parts of  SQL UPDATE / SELECT / INSERT etc. Db queries which was problematic and grepped throughout /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugin files in order to determine which WordPress Plugin is triggering the slow query, causing blog to hang when too many clients try to see it in browser.

My main problematic SQL query having long execution time  (about 2 to 3 seconds!!!) most commonly occuring in slow-query.log was:

 

SELECT DISTINCT post_title, ID, post_type, post_name FROM wp_posts wposts LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta wpostmeta ON wposts.ID = wpostmeta.post_id LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wposts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) LEFT JOIN wp_term_taxonomy ON (wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id = wp_term_taxonomy.term_taxonomy_id) WHERE (post_type='page' OR (wp_term_taxonomy.taxonomy = 'category' AND wp_term_taxonomy.term_id IN(11))) AND post_status = 'publish' AND LENGTH(post_title)>=5 ORDER BY LENGTH(post_title) ASC LIMIT 500

Because above query uses SQL Column names and Tables which are not hard coded in PHP code, to find out which plugins is most probably to launch this complex LEFT JOIN query, I used a quick bash one-liner:

 

# cd /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins

 

# for i in $(grep -rli 'SELECT DISTINCT' *); do grep -rli 'LEFT JOIN' $i; done 
./seo-automatic-links/seo-links.php
./wp-postviews/wp-postviews.php
./yet-another-related-posts-plugin/classes/YARPP_Cache_Tables.php

 

I wanted to put less load on CPU during grep so looked for string only in .PHP extensioned files with:

 

 # for i in $(find . -iname '*.php' -exec grep -rli 'SELECT DISTINCT' '{}' \;); do grep -rli 'LEFT JOIN' $i; done
./seo-automatic-links/seo-links.php
./wp-postviews/wp-postviews.php
./yet-another-related-posts-plugin/classes/YARPP_Cache_Tables.php


As you can see the complex query is being called from PHP file belonging to one of 3 plugins

  • SEO Automatic Links – this is SEO Smart Links WP plugin (Does internal bliog interlinking in order to boast SEA)
  • WP PostViews – WordPress Post Views plugin (Which allows me to show how many times an article was read in WP Widget menu)
  • Yet Another Related Posts – Which is WP plugin I installed / enabled to show Related posts down on each blog post


2. Basic way to optimize MySQL slow queries (EXPLAIN / SHOW CREATE TABLE)

Now as I have a basic clue on plugins locking my Database, I disabled them one by one while keeping enabled mysql slow query log and viewing queries in mytop and I figure out that actually all of the plugins were causing a short time overheat (lock) on server Database because of LEFT JOINs. Though I really like what this plugins are doing, as they boast SEO and attract prefer to disable them for now and have my blog all the time responsible light fast instead of having a little bit better Search Engine Optimization (Ranking) and loosing many of my visitors because they're annoyed to wait until my articles open

Before disabling I tried to optimize the queries using MySQL EXPLAIN command + SHOW CREATE TABLE (2 commands often used to debug slow SQL queries and find out whether a Column needs to have added INDEX-ing to boast MySQL query).

Just in case if you decide to give them a try here is example on how they're used to debug problematic SQL query:
 

  1. mysql> explain SELECT DISTINCT post_title, ID, post_type, post_name
  2.     -> FROM wp_posts wposts LEFT JOIN wp_postmeta wpostmeta
  3.     -> ON wposts.ID = wpostmeta.post_id LEFT JOIN wp_term_relationships
  4.     -> ON (wposts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id) LEFT JOIN wp_term_taxonomy
  5.     -> ON (wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id = wp_term_taxonomy.term_taxonomy_id)
  6.     -> WHERE (post_type='page'
  7.     -> OR (wp_term_taxonomy.taxonomy = 'category'
  8.     -> AND wp_term_taxonomy.term_id IN(11,15,17)))
  9.     -> AND post_status = 'publish'
  10.     -> AND LENGTH(post_title)>=5
  11.     -> ORDER BY LENGTH(post_title) ASC
  12.     -> LIMIT 500;
  13. +—-+————-+———————–+——–+——————+———+———+———————————————+——+———————————————-+
  14. | id | select_type | table                 | type   | possible_keys    | key     | key_len | ref                                         | rows | Extra                                        |
  15. +—-+————-+———————–+——–+——————+———+———+———————————————+——+———————————————-+
  16. |  1 | SIMPLE      | wposts                | ALL    | type_status_date | NULL    | NULL    | NULL                                        | 1715 | Using where; Using temporary; Using filesort |
  17. |  1 | SIMPLE      | wpostmeta             | ref    | post_id          | post_id | 8       | blog.wposts.ID                              |   11 | Using index; Distinct                        |
  18. |  1 | SIMPLE      | wp_term_relationships | ref    | PRIMARY          | PRIMARY | 8       | blog.wposts.ID                              |   19 | Using index; Distinct                        |
  19. |  1 | SIMPLE      | wp_term_taxonomy      | eq_ref | PRIMARY          | PRIMARY | 8       | blog.wp_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id |    1 | Using where; Distinct                        |
  20. +—-+————-+———————–+——–+——————+———+———+———————————————+——+———————————————-+
  21. 4 rows in set (0.02 sec)
  22.  
  23. mysql>
  24.  

     

     

  1. mysql> show create table wp_posts;
  2. +———-+————————–+
  3. | Table    | Create Table                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 |
  4. +———-+————————–+
  5. | wp_posts | CREATE TABLE `wp_posts` (
  6.   `ID` bigint(20) unsigned NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  7.   `post_author` bigint(20) unsigned NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
  8.   `post_date` datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT '0000-00-00 00:00:00',
  9.   `post_date_gmt` datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT '0000-00-00 00:00:00',
  10.   `post_content` longtext NOT NULL,
  11.   `post_title` text NOT NULL,
  12.   `post_excerpt` text NOT NULL,
  13.   `post_status` varchar(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT 'publish',
  14.   `comment_status` varchar(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT 'open',
  15.   `ping_status` varchar(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT 'open',
  16.   `post_password` varchar(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT '',
  17.   `post_name` varchar(200) NOT NULL DEFAULT '',
  18.   `to_ping` text NOT NULL,
  19.   `pinged` text NOT NULL,
  20.   `post_modified` datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT '0000-00-00 00:00:00',
  21.   `post_modified_gmt` datetime NOT NULL DEFAULT '0000-00-00 00:00:00',
  22.   `post_content_filtered` longtext NOT NULL,
  23.   `post_parent` bigint(20) unsigned NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
  24.   `guid` varchar(255) NOT NULL DEFAULT '',
  25.   `menu_order` int(11) NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
  26.   `post_type` varchar(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT 'post',
  27.   `post_mime_type` varchar(100) NOT NULL DEFAULT '',
  28.   `comment_count` bigint(20) NOT NULL DEFAULT '0',
  29.   PRIMARY KEY (`ID`),
  30.   KEY `post_name` (`post_name`),
  31.   KEY `type_status_date` (`post_type`,`post_status`,`post_date`,`ID`),
  32.   KEY `post_parent` (`post_parent`),
  33.   KEY `post_author` (`post_author`),
  34.   FULLTEXT KEY `post_related` (`post_title`,`post_content`)
  35. ) ENGINE=MyISAM AUTO_INCREMENT=12033 DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8 |
  36. +———-+———————-+
  37. 1 row in set (0.00 sec)
  38.  
  39. mysql>
  40.  


By the way above output is a paste from the the new PasteBin Open Source (Stikked powered) service I started on pc-freak.net – paste.pc-freak.net (p.pc-freak.net) 🙂

Before I took final decision to disable slow WP plugins, I've experimented a bit trying to add INDEX to Table Column (wposts) in hope that this would speed up SQL queries with:

 

mysql> ALTER TABLE TABLE_NAME ADD INDEX (wposts);

 

But this didn't improve query speed even on the contrary it make execution time worse.

3. Tracking WordPress Plugin PHP Code Execution time and Plugins causing Slow SQL Queries (MySQL bottleneck) issues through WP itself

Well fine, I'm running my own hosted Blog and WordPress sites, but for people who have wordpress sites on shared hosting, there is usually no SSH (Terminal) Access to server, those people will be happy to hear there are 2 Free easy installable WordPress plugins which can be used to Debug Slow WordPress Plugins SQL Queries as well as plugin to Track which plugin takes most time to execute, this are:
 

 

a) P3 Plugin Performance Profiler  

runs a scan over your site to determine what resources your plugins are using, and when, during a standard page request. P3 PPP Can even create reports in a beatiful Excel like Pie chart sheet.

p3-plugin-performance-profiler-godaddy-screenshot-debian-gnu-linux-wordpress-website

Another useful thing to see with P3 PPP is Detailed Timeline it shows when the plugins are being loaded during new page request so you can see if there is a certain sequence in time when a plugin slows down the website.

detailed_timeline-wordpress-p3-performance-plugin-on-website-screenshot

The pictures says it all as P3 PPP is Godaddy's work, congrats to GoDaddy, they've done great job.

 

b) WordPress memory Viewer WP plugins

Is useful to check how much memory each of WordPress plugin is taking on user (visitor) request.
Memory Viewer is allows you to view WordPress’ memory utilization at several hooks during WordPress’ execution. It also shows a summary of MySQL Queries that have ran as well as CPU time.
To use it download it to plugins/ folder as usual enable it from:

Installed Plugins -> (Inactive) -> Memory Viewer (Enable)

To see statistics from Memory Viewer open any post from your blog website and scroll down to the bottom you will notice the statistics, showing up there, like on below screenshot.

wordpress-memory-viewer-plugin-debian-gnu-linux-hosted-website-show-which-plugin-component-eats-most-memory-in-wordprses-blog
 

Though WP Memory Viewer is said to work only up to WP version 3.2.1, I've tested it and it works fine on my latest stable WordPress 4.1 based blog.

c) WordPress Query Monitor

wordpress-query-monitor-plugin-to-monitor-track-and-optimize-problems-with-sql-caused-by-wp-plugins.png
 

Query Monitor is a debugging plugin for anyone developing with WordPress but also very helpful for anyone who want to track issues with plugins who use the database unefficient.
It has some advanced features not available in other debugging plugins, including automatic AJAX debugging and the ability to narrow down things by plugin or theme.
You can view plenty of precious statistics on how enabled plugins query the database server, here is a short overview on its Database Queries capabilities:

  • Shows all database queries performed on the current page
  • Shows affected rows and time for all queries
  • Show notifications for slow queries and queries with errors
  • Filter queries by query type (SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, etc)
  • Filter queries by component (WordPress core, Plugin X, Plugin Y, theme)
  • Filter queries by calling function
  • View aggregate query information grouped by component, calling function, and type
  • Super advanced: Supports multiple instances of wpdb on one page
  • Once enabled from Plugins you will see it appear as a new menu on bottom Admin raw.

An important note to make here is latest Query Monitor extension fails when loaded on current latest Wordpress 4.1, to use it you will have to download and useolder Query Monitor plugin version 2.6.8 you can download it from here

d) Debug Bar

If you want you want a Memory Viewer like plugin for more complex used components memory debugging, reporting if (WP_DEBUG is set in wp-config.php) also check out Debug Bar .
For me Debug Bar was very useful because it show me depreciated functions some plugins used, so I substituted the obsoleted function with new one.

 

debug-bar-debug-wordpress-plugins-memory-use-screenshot-website


4. Server Hardware hungry (slow) WordPress plugins that you better not use

While spending time to Google for some fixes to WP slow query plugins – I've stumbled upon this post giving a good list with WordPress Plugins better off not to use because they will slow down your site
This is a publicly well known list of WP plugins every WordPress based site adminstrator should avoid, but until today I didn't know so my assumption is you don't know either ..

Below plugins are extremely database intensive mentioned in article that we should better (in all cases!) avoid:

  • Dynamic Related Posts
  • SEO Auto Links & Related Posts
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
  • Similar Posts
  • Contextual Related Posts
  • Broken Link Checker — Overwhelms even our robust caching layer with an inordinate amount of HTTP requests.
  • MyReviewPlugin — Slams the database with a fairly significant amount of writes.
  • LinkMan — Much like the MyReviewPlugin above, LinkMan utilizes an unscalable amount of database writes.
  • Fuzzy SEO Booster — Causes MySQL issues as a site becomes more popular.
  • WP PostViews — Inefficiently writes to the database on every page load. To track traffic in a more scalable manner, both the stats module in Automattic’s Jetpack plugin and Google Analytics work wonderfully.
  • Tweet Blender — Does not play nicely with our caching layer and can cause increased server load.


A good Complete list of known WordPress slow plugins that will hammer down your wordpress performance is here

There are few alternatives to this plugins and when I have some free time I will download and test their alternatives but for now I plan the plugins to stay disabled.
 

For the absolute WP Performance Optimization Freaks, its good to check out the native way to Debug a wordpress installation through using few embedded
variables

 

define('WP_DEBUG', true);
define('WP_DEBUG', false);
define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
define('SAVEQUERIES', true);

 

An article describing how you can use native WP debug variables is here


Happy Optimizing  ! 🙂

Oracle: Get database, tables and instances access permissions

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Oracle user get permissions of table database and instances access
If you are logged in to Oracle SQL server with sqlplus and you're not sure to which Database, Tables, Object instances you have permissions to below 2 queries will be of use:

SQL> SELECT DISTINCT OWNER, OBJECT_NAME  FROM ALL_OBJECTS  WHERE OBJECT_TYPE = 'TABLE';

Query lists all queries in a Oracle table schema. Alternavite shorter way to do the query is via:

SQL> SELECT table_name FROM user_tables;

SQL> SELECT * FROM TAB;

Shows your own schema's all tables and views.

Other oracle useful query is the Oracle equivalent of MySQL SHOW TABLES;

SQL> SELECT table_name FROM user_tables;

It will also output info only for logged in user credentials, if you're logged in as oracle database administrator (DBA role) account and you would like to check what Instances are owned by any user lets say user GEORGI query should be;

SQL> SELECT DISTINCT OWNER, OBJECT_NAME  FROM ALL_OBJECTS  WHERE OBJECT_TYPE = 'TABLE' AND OWNER = 'GEORGI;

Other way to do it is via:

SQL> SELECT Table_Name from All_Tables WHERE OWNER = 'YOURSCHEMA';


How to completely disable Replication in MySQL server 5.1.61 on Debian GNU / Linux

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Replication_mysql_disable

Some time ago on one of the Database MySQL servers, I've configured replication as it was required to test somethings. Eventually it turned out replication will be not used (for some reason) it was too slow and not fitting our company needs hence we needed to disable it.

It seemed logical to me that, simply removing any replication related directives from my.cnf and a restart of the SQL server will be enough to turn replication off on the Debian Linux host. Therefore I proceeded removed all replication configs from /etc/my/my.cnf and issued MySQL restart i. e.:

sql-server:~# /etc/init.d/mysql restart
....

This however didn't turned off replication,as I thought and in phpmyadminweb frontend interface, replication was still appearing to be active in the replication tab.

Something was still making the SQL server still act as an Replication Slave Host, so after a bit of pondering and trying to remember, the exact steps I took to make the replication work on the host I remembered that actually I issued:

mysql> START SLAVE;

Onwards I run:

mysql> SHOW SLAVE STATUS;
....

and found in the database the server was still running in Slave Replication mode

Hence to turn off the db host run as a Slave, I had to issue in mysql cli:

mysql> STOP SLAVE;
Query OK, 0 rows affected, 1 warning (0.01 sec)
mysql> RESET SLAVE;
Query OK, 0 rows affected, 1 warning (0.01 sec)

Then after a reload of SQL server in memory, the host finally stopped working as a Slave Replication host, e.g.

sql-server:~# /etc/init.d/mysql restart
....

After the restart, to re-assure myself the SQL server is no more set to run as MySQL replication Slave host:

mysql> SHOW SLAVE STATUS;
Empty set (0.00 sec)

Cheers 😉

How to add a new MySQL user to have INSERT,UPDATE,DELETE permissions to a Database

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I needed to add a newly created MySQL user with no access to any database with no special permissions (user is created from phpmyadmin) with some permissions to a specific database which is used for the operation of a website, here are the MySQL CLI client commands I issued to make it work:

# mysql -u root -p
mysql> GRANT ALL ON Sql_User_DB.* TO Sql_User@localhost;
mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Where in the Example Sql_User_DB is my example database to which the user is granted access and my sample user is Sql_User .
Note that without FLUSH PRIVILEGES; new privileges might not be active. 

To test further if all is fine login with Sql_User and try to list database tables.

$ mysql -u Sql_User -p
password:
mysql> USE Sql_User_DB;
mysql> SHOW TABLES;
...

How to fix clamd “ERROR: LOCAL: Socket file /tmp/clamd.socket is in use by another process.”

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

One of the Qmail server installations I’m taking care of’s clamd antivirus process started loading the system heavily.
After a bit of log reading and investigation I’ve found the following error in my /var/log/clamd/current

@400000004dda1e1815cf03f4 ERROR: LOCAL: Socket file /tmp/clamd.socket is in use by another process.

I’ve noticed in my process list that actually I do have two processes clamd :

11608 ? Sl 0:05 /usr/local/sbin/clamd
11632 ? S 0:00 /usr/bin/multilog t /var/log/clamd
16013 ? Sl 0:06 /usr/local/sbin/clamd

It appeared that for some weird reason one of the clamd process was failing to connect constantly to the clam server socket /tmp/clamd.socket and each time it tried to connect and failed to connect to the socket the system gets about 5% of extra load …

Resolving the issues was a piece of cake, all I had to do is stop the clamd server delete the /tmp/clamd.socket and relaunch the clamd server.

Here is exactly the commands I issued:

debian:~# cd /service/
debian:/service# svc -a clamd
debian:/service# svc -h clamd
debian:/service# svc -d clamd
debian:/service# rm -f /tmp/clamd.socket
debian:/service# svc -u clamd

Afterwards the clamd extra load went out and in /var/log/clamd/current I can see clamd loads fine without errors, e.g.:

Listening daemon: PID: 16013
MaxQueue set to: 150
No stats for Database check - forcing reload
Reading databases from /usr/local/share/clamav
Database correctly reloaded (966822 signatures)
SelfCheck: Database status OK.
...