Posts Tagged ‘simple’

Create Haproxy Loadbalancer Access Control Lists and forward incoming frontend traffics based on simple logic

Friday, February 16th, 2024

Create-haproxy-loadbalancer-access-control-list-and-forward-frontend-traffic-based-on-simple-logic-acls-logo

Haproxy Load Balancers could do pretty much to load balance traffic between application servers. The most straight forward way to use is to balance traffic for incoming Frontends towards a Backend configuration with predefined Application machines and ports to send the traffic, where one can be the leading one and others be set as backup or we can alternatively send the traffic towards a number of machines incoming to a Frontend port bind IP listener and number of backend machine.

Besides this the more interesting capabilities of Haproxy comes with using Access Control Lists (ACLs) to forward Incoming Frontend (FT) traffic towards specific backends and ports based on logic, power ACLs gives to Haproxy to do a sophisticated load balancing are enormous. 
In this post I'll give you a very simple example on how you can save some time, if you have already a present Frontend listening to a Range of TCP Ports and it happens you want to redirect some of the traffic towards a spefic predefined Backend.

This is not the best way to it as Access Control Lists will put some extra efforts on the server CPU, but as today machines are quite powerful, it doesn't really matter. By using a simple ACLs as given in below example, one can save much of a time of writting multiple frontends for a complete sequential port range, if lets say only two of the ports in the port range and distinguish and redirect traffic incoming to Haproxy frontend listener in the port range of 61000-61230 towards a certain Ports that are supposed to go to a Common Backends to a separate ones, lets say ports 61115 and 61215.

Here is a short description on the overall screnarios. We have an haproxy with 3 VIP (Virtual Private IPs) with a Single Frontend with 3 binded IPs and 3 Backends, there is a configured ACL rule to redirect traffic for certain ports, the overall Load Balancing config is like so:

Frontend (ft):

ft_PROD:
listen IPs:

192.168.0.77
192.168.0.83
192.168.0.78

On TCP port range: 61000-61299

Backends (bk): 

bk_PROD_ROUNDROBIN
bk_APP1
bk_APP2


Config Access Control Liststo seperate incoming haproxy traffic for CUSTOM_APP1 and CUSTOM_APP2


By default send all incoming FT traffic to: bk_PROD_ROUNDROBIN

With exception for frontend configured ports on:
APP1 port 61115 
APP2 port 61215

If custom APP1 send to bk:
RULE1
If custom APP2 send to bk:
RULE2

Config on frontends traffic send operation: 

bk_PROD_ROUNDROBIN (roundrobin) traffic send to App machines all in parallel
traffic routing mode (roundrobin)
Appl1
Appl2
Appl3
Appl4

bk_APP1 and bk_APP2

traffic routing mode: (balance source)
Appl1 default serving host

If configured check port 61888, 61887 is down, traffic will be resend to configured pre-configured backup hosts: 

Appl2
Appl3
Appl4


/etc/haproxy/haproxy.cfg that does what is described with ACL LB capabilities looks like so:

#———————————————————————
# Global settings
#———————————————————————
global
    log         127.0.0.1 local2

    chroot      /var/lib/haproxy
    pidfile     /var/run/haproxy.pid
    maxconn     4000
    user        haproxy
    group       haproxy
    daemon

    # turn on stats unix socket
    stats socket /var/lib/haproxy/stats

#———————————————————————
# common defaults that all the 'listen' and 'backend' sections will
# use if not designated in their block
#———————————————————————
defaults
    mode                    tcp
    log                     global
    option                  tcplog
    #option                  dontlognull
    #option http-server-close
    #option forwardfor       except 127.0.0.0/8
    option                  redispatch
    retries                 7
    #timeout http-request    10s
    timeout queue           10m
    timeout connect         30s
    timeout client          20m
    timeout server          10m
    #timeout http-keep-alive 10s
    timeout check           30s
    maxconn                 3000


#———————————————————————
# Synchronize server entries in sticky tables
#———————————————————————

peers hapeers
    peer haproxy1-fqdn.com 192.168.0.58:8388
    peer haproxy2-fqdn.com 192.168.0.79:8388


#———————————————————————
# HAProxy Monitoring Config
#———————————————————————
listen stats 192.168.0.77:8080                #Haproxy Monitoring run on port 8080
    mode http
    option httplog
    option http-server-close
    stats enable
    stats show-legends
    stats refresh 5s
    stats uri /stats                            #URL for HAProxy monitoring
    stats realm Haproxy\ Statistics
    stats auth hauser:secretpass4321         #User and Password for login to the monitoring dashboard
    stats admin if TRUE
    #default_backend bk_Prod1         #This is optionally for monitoring backend
#———————————————————————
# HAProxy Monitoring Config
#———————————————————————
#listen stats 192.168.0.83:8080                #Haproxy Monitoring run on port 8080
#    mode http
#    option httplog
#    option http-server-close
#    stats enable
#    stats show-legends
#    stats refresh 5s
#    stats uri /stats                            #URL for HAProxy monitoring
#    stats realm Haproxy\ Statistics
#    stats auth hauser:secretpass321          #User and Password for login to the monitoring dashboard
#    stats admin if TRUE
#    #default_backend bk_Prod1           #This is optionally for monitoring backend

#———————————————————————
# HAProxy Monitoring Config
#———————————————————————
# listen stats 192.168.0.78:8080                #Haproxy Monitoring run on port 8080
#    mode http
#    option httplog
#    option http-server-close
#    stats enable
#    stats show-legends
#    stats refresh 5s
#    stats uri /stats                            #URL for HAProxy monitoring
#    stats realm Haproxy\ Statistics
#    stats auth hauser:secretpass123          #User and Password for login to the monitoring dashboard
#    stats admin if TRUE
#    #default_backend bk_DKV_PROD_WLPFO          #This is optionally for monitoring backend


#———————————————————————
# frontend which proxys to the backends
#———————————————————————
frontend ft_PROD
    mode tcp
    bind 192.168.0.77:61000-61299
        bind 192.168.0.83:51000-51300
        bind 192.168.0.78:51000-62300
    option tcplog
        # (4) Peer Sync: a sticky session is a session maintained by persistence
        stick-table type ip size 1m peers hapeers expire 60m
# Commented for change CHG0292890
#   stick on src
    log-format %ci:%cp\ [%t]\ %ft\ %b/%s\ %Tw/%Tc/%Tt\ %B\ %ts\ %ac/%fc/%bc/%sc/%rc\ %sq/%bq
        acl RULE1 dst_port 61115
        acl RULE2 dst_port 61215
        use_backend APP1 if app1
        use_backend APP2 if app2
    default_backend bk_PROD_ROUNDROBIN


#———————————————————————
# round robin balancing between the various backends
#———————————————————————
backend bk_PROD_ROUNDROBIN
    mode tcp
    # (0) Load Balancing Method.
    balance roundrobin
    # (4) Peer Sync: a sticky session is a session maintained by persistence
    stick-table type ip size 1m peers hapeers expire 60m
    # (5) Server List
    # (5.1) Backend
    server appl1 10.33.0.50 check port 31232
    server appl2 10.33.0.51 check port 31232 
    server appl2 10.45.0.78 check port 31232 
    server appl3 10.45.0.79 check port 31232 

#———————————————————————
# source balancing for the GUI
#———————————————————————
backend bk_APP2
    mode tcp
    # (0) Load Balancing Method.
    balance source
    # (4) Peer Sync: a sticky session is a session maintained by persistence
    stick-table type ip size 1m peers hapeers expire 60m
        stick on src
    # (5) Server List
    # (5.1) Backend
    server appl1 10.33.0.50 check port 55232
    server appl2 10.32.0.51 check port 55232 backup
    server appl3 10.45.0.78 check port 55232 backup
    server appl4 10.45.0.79 check port 55232 backup

#———————————————————————
# source balancing for the OLW
#———————————————————————
backend bk_APP1
    mode tcp
    # (0) Load Balancing Method.
    balance source
    # (4) Peer Sync: a sticky session is a session maintained by persistence
    stick-table type ip size 1m peers hapeers expire 60m
        stick on src
    # (5) Server List
    # (5.1) Backend
    server appl1 10.33.0.50 check port 53119
    server appl2 10.32.0.51 check port 53119 backup
    server appl3 10.45.0.78 check port 53119 backup
    server appl4 10.45.0.79 check port 53119 backup

 

You can also check and download the haproxy.cfg here.
Enjjoy !

How to monitor Postfix Mail server work correct with simple one liner Zabbix user parameter script / Simple way to capture and report SMTP machine issues Zabbix template

Thursday, June 22nd, 2023

setup-zabbix-smtp-mail-monitoring-postfix-qmail-exim-with-easy-userparameter-script-and-template-zabbix-logo

In this article, I'm going to show you how to setup a very simple monitoring if a local running SMTP (Postfix / Qmail / Exim) is responding correctly on basic commands. The check would helpfully keep you in track to know whether your configured Linux server local MTA (Mail Transport Agent) is responding on requests on TCP / IP protocol Port 25, as well as a check for process existence of master (that is the main postfix) proccess, as well as the usual postfix spawned sub-processes qmgr (the postfix queue manager), tsl mgr (TLS session cache and PRNG manager), pickup (Postfix local mail pickup) – or email receiving process.

 

Normally a properly configured postfix installation on a Linux whatever you like distribution would look something like below:

#  ps -ef|grep -Ei 'master|postfix'|grep -v grep
root        1959       1  0 Jun21 ?        00:00:00 /usr/libexec/postfix/master -w
postfix     1961    1959  0 Jun21 ?        00:00:00 qmgr -l -t unix -u
postfix     4542    1959  0 Jun21 ?        00:00:00 tlsmgr -l -t unix -u
postfix  2910288    1959  0 11:28 ?        00:00:00 pickup -l -t unix -u

At times, during mail server restarts the amount of processes that are sub spawned by postfix, may very and if you a do a postfix restart

# systemctl restart postfix

The amout of spawned processes running as postfix username might decrease, and only qmgr might be available for second thus in the consequential shown Template the zabbix processes check to make sure the Postfix is properly operational on the Linux machine is made to check for the absolute minumum of 

1. master (postfix process) that runs with uid root
2. and one (postfix) username binded proccess 

If the amount of processes on the host is less than this minimum number and the netcat is unable to simulate a "half-mail" sent, the configured Postfix alarm Action (media and Email) will take place, and you will get immediately notified, that the monitored Mail server has issue!

The idea is to use a small one liner connection with netcat and half simulate a normal SMTP transaction just like you would normally do:

 

root@pcfrxen:/root # telnet localhost 25
Trying 127.0.0.1…
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 This is Mail2 Pc-Freak.NET ESMTP
HELO localhost
250 This is Mail2 Pc-Freak.NET
MAIL FROM:<hipopo@pc-freak.net>
250 ok
RCPT TO:<hip0d@remote-smtp-server.com>

 

and then disconnect the connection.

1. Create new zabbix userparameter_smtp_check.conf file

The simple userparameter one liner script to do the task looks like this:

# vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agent.d/userparameter_smtp_check.conf

UserParameter=smtp.check,(if [[ $(echo -e “HELO localhost\n MAIL FROM: root@$HOSTNAME\n RCPT TO: report-email@your-desired-mail-server.com\n  QUIT\n” | /usr/bin/nc localhost 25 -w 5 2>&1 | grep -Ei ‘220\s.*\sESMTP\sPostfix|250\s\.*|250\s\.*\sOk|250\s\.*\sOk|221\.*\s\w’|wc -l) == ‘5’ ]]; then echo "SMTP OK 1"; else echo "SMTP NOK 0"; fi)

Set the proper permissions so either file is owned by zabbix:zabbix or it is been able to be read from all system users.
 

# chmod a+r /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agent.d/userparameter_smtp_check.conf

2. Create a new Template for the Mail server monitoring
 


 

Just like any other template name it with what fits you as you see, I've call it PROD SMTP Monitoring, as the template is prepared to specifically monitor In Production Linux machines, and a separate template is used to monitor the Quality Assurance (QAs) as well as PreProd (Pre Productions).

3. Create the followng Items and Depedent Item to process zabbix-agent received data from the Userparam script
 

Above is the list of basic Items and Dependent Item you will need to configure inside the SMTP Check zabbix Template.

The Items should have the following content and configurations:
 

/postfix-main-proc-service-item-zabbix-shot


*Name: postfix_main_proc.service
Type: Zabbix agent(active)
*Key: proc.num[master,root]
Type of Information: Numeric (unassigned)
*Update interval: 30s
Custom Intervals: Flexible
*History storage period: 90d
*Trend storage period: 365d
Show Value: as is
Applications: Postfix Checks
Populated host inventory field: -None-
Description: The item counts master daemon process that runs Postfix daemons on demand

Where the arguments pased to proc.num[] function are:
  master is the process that is being looked up for and root is the username with which the the postfix master daemon is running. If you need to adapt it for qmail or exim that shouldn't be a big deal you only have to in advance check the exact processes that are normally running on the machine
and configure a similar process check for it.

*Name: postfix_sub_procs.service_cnt
Type: Zabbix agent(active)
*Key: proc.num[,postfix]
Type of information: Numeric (unassigned)
Update Interval: 30s
*History Storage period: Storage Period 90d
*Trend storage period: Storage Period 365d
Description: The item counts master daemon processes that runs postfix daemons on demand.

Here the idea with this Item is to check the number of processes that are running with user / groupid that is postfix. Again for other SMPT different from postfix, just set it to whatever user / group 
you would like zabbix to look up for in Linux the process list. As you can see here the check for existing postfix mta process is done every 30 seconds (for more critical environments you can put it to less).

For simple zabbix use this Dependent Item is not necessery required. But as we would like to process more closely the output of the userparameter smtp script, you have to set it up.
If you want to write graphical representation by sending data to Grafana.

*Name: postfix availability check
Key: postfix_boolean_check[boolean]
Master Item: PROD SMTP Monitoring: postfix availability check
Type of Information: Numeric unassigned
*History storage period: Storage period 90d
*Trend storage period: 365d

Applications: Postfix Checks

Description: It returns boolean value of SMTP check
1 – True (SMTP is OK)
0 – False (SMTP does not responds)

Enabled: Tick

*Name: postfix availability check
*Key: smtp.check
Custom intervals: Flexible
*Update interval: 30 m
History sotrage period: Storage Period 90d
Applications: Postfix Checks
Populates host inventory field: -None-
Description: This check is testing if the SMTP relay is reachable, without actual sending an email
Enabled: Tick

4. Configure following Zabbix Triggers

 

Note: The severity levels you should have previosly set in Zabbix up to your desired ones.

Name: postfix master root process is not running
*Problem Expression: {PROD SMTP Monitoring:proc.num[master,root].last()}<1

OK event generation: Recovery expression
*Recovery Expression: {PROD SMTP Monitoring:proc.num[master,root].last()}>=1
Allow manual close: Tick

Description: The item counts master daemon process that runs Postfix daemon on demand.
Enabed: Tick

I would like to have an AUTO RESOLVE for any detected mail issues, if an issue gets resolved. That is useful especially if you don't have the time to put the Zabbix monitoring in Maintainance Mode during Operating system planned updates / system reboots or unexpected system reboots due to electricity power loss to the server colocated – Data Center / Rack . 


*Name: postfix master sub processes are not running
*Problem Expression: {P09 PROD SMTP Monitoring:proc.num[,postfix].last()}<1
PROBLEM event generation mode: Single
OK event closes: All problems

*Recovery Expression: {P09 PROD SMTP Monitoring:proc.num[,postfix].last()}>=1
Problem event generation mode: Single
OK event closes: All problems
Allow manual close: Tick
Enabled: Tick

Name: SMTP connectivity check
Severity: WARNING
*Expression: {PROD SMTP Monitoring:postfix_boolen_check[boolean].last()}=0
OK event generation: Expression
PROBLEM even generation mode: SIngle
OK event closes: All problems

Allow manual close: Tick
Enabled: Tick

5. Configure respective Zabbix Action

 

zabbix-configure-Actions-screenshotpng
 

As the service is tagged with 'pci service' tag we define the respective conditions and according to your preferences, add as many conditions as you need for the Zabbix Action to take place.

NOTE! :
Assuming that communication chain beween Zabbix Server -> Zabbix Proxy (if zabbix proxy is used) -> Zabbix Agent works correctly you should start receiving that from the userparameter script in Zabbix with the configured smtp.check userparam key every 30 minutes.

Note that this simple nc check will keep a trail records inside your /var/log/maillog for each netcat connection, so keep in mind that in /var/log/maillog on each host which has configured the SMTP Check zabbix template, you will have some records  similar to:

# tail -n 50 /var/log/maillog
2023-06-22T09:32:18.164128+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2690485]: improper command pipelining after HELO from localhost[127.0.0.1]:  MAIL FROM: root@your-machine-fqdn-address.com\n RCPT TO: your-supposable-receive-addr@whatever-mail-address.com\n  QUIT\n
2023-06-22T09:32:18.208888+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2690485]: 32EB02005B: client=localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T09:32:18.209142+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2690485]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1] helo=1 mail=1 rcpt=1 quit=1 commands=4
2023-06-22T10:02:18.889440+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2747269]: connect from localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T10:02:18.889553+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2747269]: improper command pipelining after HELO from localhost[127.0.0.1]:  MAIL FROM: root@your-machine-fqdn-address.com\n RCPT TO: your-supposable-receive-addr@whatever-mail-address.com\n  QUIT\n
2023-06-22T10:02:18.933933+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2747269]: E3ED42005B: client=localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T10:02:18.934227+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2747269]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1] helo=1 mail=1 rcpt=1 quit=1 commands=4
2023-06-22T10:32:26.143282+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2804195]: connect from localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T10:32:26.143439+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2804195]: improper command pipelining after HELO from localhost[127.0.0.1]:  MAIL FROM: root@your-machine-fqdn-address.com\n RCPT TO: your-supposable-receive-addr@whatever-mail-address.com\n  QUIT\n
2023-06-22T10:32:26.186681+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2804195]: 2D7F72005B: client=localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T10:32:26.186958+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2804195]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1] helo=1 mail=1 rcpt=1 quit=1 commands=4
2023-06-22T11:02:26.924039+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2860398]: connect from localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T11:02:26.924160+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2860398]: improper command pipelining after HELO from localhost[127.0.0.1]:  MAIL FROM: root@your-machine-fqdn-address.com\n RCPT TO: your-supposable-receive-addr@whatever-mail-address.com\n  QUIT\n
2023-06-22T11:02:26.963014+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2860398]: EB08C2005B: client=localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T11:02:26.963257+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2860398]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1] helo=1 mail=1 rcpt=1 quit=1 commands=4
2023-06-22T11:32:29.145553+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2916905]: connect from localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T11:32:29.145664+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2916905]: improper command pipelining after HELO from localhost[127.0.0.1]:  MAIL FROM: root@your-machine-fqdn-address.com\n RCPT TO: your-supposable-receive-addr@whatever-mail-address.com\n  QUIT\n
2023-06-22T11:32:29.184539+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2916905]: 2CF7D2005B: client=localhost[127.0.0.1]
2023-06-22T11:32:29.184729+02:00 lpgblu01f postfix/smtpd[2916905]: disconnect from localhost[127.0.0.1] helo=1 mail=1 rcpt=1 quit=1 commands=4

 

 

That's all folks use the :
Configuration -> Host (menu)

and assign the new SMTP check template to as many of the Linux hosts where you have setup the Userparameter script and Enjoy the new mail server monitoring at hand.

Saint Markianos and Martyrios a church reader and sub-deacon holy martyrs for Christ – The feast of Sub-deacons

Sunday, October 25th, 2020

saint-Markian-and-Saint-Martirios-cleargymen-church-martyrs-3rd-century
Saint Markianos (Saint Markian) and Martyrios are little known saints in the Western realm and there is too little of information in English about this two early martyrs who lived circa year 340. What is special about them is that besides being a strong confessors of the True Eastern Orthodox faith, they served in the Church as simple 'reader' and 'sub-deacon'. This two designations were very much respected in the early Church as sub-deacons were usually the ones who have served in the Church inseparable as a Church service helpers to the patriarchs or some high clergy as Metropolitans and Bishops. We have many saints in the Church that are from a simple warriors as Saint Georg and Saint Dimitrios the Wonderworker (The MyrhBringer) to monks, bishops, patriarchs and pretty much all kind of people from the society from the begger to the richest and most famous kings and queens. However it is rare to meet in the ( Act of the Martyrs – latin: Acta Martyrum), to find  canonized saints that were in the lowest step in Church hierarchy as a simple 'psalm' and holy writtings reader or a sub-deacon. A Sub-deacon for those who don't know is a pearon that is a like a servant helper to the priest or bishop) that has been responsible for helping with the Church service and resolution of material and administrative needs of the christian community.
Usually in the Eastern Orthodox Church, the church reader or sub-deacons were and asre still called hipodeacon or "ipodiakon" in Greek / Slavonic church language), they didn't have the right at that early ages of christianity to publicly teach on faith matters or do apologetics (defendings of faith), however this 2 saintly man Markianos and Martyrios seem to have been a burning with the power of the spirit of God in their heart and the situation they were put in when the Church was under persecution and the patriarch Paul of Constantinople I (was patriarch from 340 ~ 350 AD). Saint Paul removed from his Church headship sent to Exile in Armenia and some time after drawned. He is commemorated in the Church on 6th of November. Hence considering situation St. Markian and Martyrius had to either defend and die for the faith or be scared and run away far in the caves or distant places of the empire such as villages on the outskits far away from the center city Rome …

The Heresy of Arius has been the most modern and the new modified faith claiming Christianity gathering followers in a viral way, and due to that the Arians have been in position where most of the public authorities in the Roman empire has been on their side against the Orthodox Christians.

Marcian_and_Martyrius_the_notaries_of_Constantinople-circa-355AD. 

Due to that in the church communities in near and distant lands of empire, the Arians were fiercely persecuting the Orthodox, and for a time even Emperor Saint Constantine The Great were deceived by their hypocrisy. It was terrible times for true confessors of faith. But not only Arians were persecuting Christians, as paganism were still deeply rooted in many of the lands and the Edict of Mediolan who gave equal rights to the religion in AD 313 was not strictly followed and senators of Roman regions with Paganist beliefs, were also harshly raising persucutions against their enemies the Christians who according to them are destroying the ancient culture and beautfy of paganism, not venerating the old pagan gods and against the wicked debauchery customs who were followed by pagans in 3rd / 4th century.

beheading-of-saint-Martyrios

Practically everyone who have admitted publicly Jesus Christ as a Creator of the World and a Son of God one hipostasys of the Holy Trinity God The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit, were captured put to prison and quickly executed, if they don't turn out from their christian beliefs.

Arians has taken a lead even more with the set on the throne of Emperor Constantius II the son of Constantine I-st, as he has also fallen in the Arianism* heresy and who has taken in the court as a close advisory Eusebius and Philip who due to their half-pagan half-arian half superstitious understanding of the world have led a fierce war against Christianity and did a lot of evils to Christ Church.

* Arianism – believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who was begotten by God the Father, and is distinct from the Father (therefore subordinate to him), but the Son is also God the Son but not co-eternal with God the Father. Arian theology was first attributed to Arius (c. AD 256–336), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria of Egypt.
saint-Markian-and-Saint-Martirios-cleargymen-church-martyrs-3rd-century.jpg
Until dethronment of Patriarch Paul I, St. Markianos and St. Martyrios have been a notaries of St. Paul (a typist to the patriarch and a kind of personal secretaries of the Patriarch) besides serving as Church reader and sub-deacon. They were famous for their time with their warm preaching of the Words of God – the Gospel of the Christ following the example of the apostles. Due to the raising heresies they also take an active part in writting many documents against the heretical "arians" and so called "macedonians" who teached anti-christian teachings who were newly invented and unknown to the ancient church teachings. They've had a special gift from God to be able to speak in a way to defend the faith so noone with his knowledge or high-education couldn't stand overcome them in disputes on church matters and many times they have disputed with Arian heretics exposing their fallacy (delusions) putting them to shame.

After the exile of Patriarch Paul heresy-archs arians turned their poisonous hatred against the patriarch two pupils Markianos and Martyrios. Craftly acting they acted slyly with a craftul lie and promised them a lot of gold a good place in the emperor's court, to raise them in the church hierarcy (in the part of the church which was already confessing arian heresy) and give them a lot of privileges from the king with the condition to accept, support and confess arianism.

But God's servents despised everything from this world, rejected the offered golden gifts, preferred eternal Heavenly honors than short and vain worldly and even laughed at them.

As Arians saw nothing can't convince them to their malice teaching, heretics condemned them to death, which was desired by the confessors (which remembered well the exile and the manly martyrdom of their teacher St. Patriarch Paul) and with all their being desired to be with Christ in the Eternal prepared palaces, where life will be without end in never ending bliss as promised by Christ in the Holy Scriptures. They preferred Christ more than the temporary life enjoyments.

saint_Markian-and_Martirios-orthodox-icon

When brought to the place of the execution of their false made accusement and sentence for being blasphemers of Christ, two saints asked for a small time
to pray. Brough up their eyes to the heaven and prayed with the words:

" – Oh Lord, who have unseenly created our hearts, who arrange all our deeds – "He formed the hearts of them all; he understands everything they do." (Psalm 33:15), receive with peace the souls of your servents, because we're mortified for your name – "Yet for Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (Psalm 44:22). We're joyful that you give us such a death, we depart from this life because of your name. Let us to participate in the eternal life in You, the source and giver of life."

Praying with this words, they bowed their holy heads and under sword and was killed by beheading by the unfortunate arians because of their confession of the divinity of Christ as true uncreated Son of God who existed before all ages before the creation of the world as we Christians believe to this date.

Some of the Christians took their holy relics and buried them outside the Melandissia Gate of the Constantinople. Later Saint John of Chrysostom built a church in their name over the place of their miracle-working relics. There the sick for many ages received divine healings  of different incurable diseases by the prayers of the holy martyrs of God, Praised in Trinity in all ages.

By the prayers of your Holy Martyrs St. Markianos and Martyrios Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us !

Adobe PDF Reader Mac OS X disable (Automatic) Update annoying prompt popping up every now and then

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Adobe-Reader-icon

Generally recent'y I've been more and more convinced the less you update the better. I've recently installed Adobe Reader on the Mac Book Air of Svetlana, cause I still have some illusions some PDFs are visible more clearly with Adobe. And soon I was unpleasently suprised that once installed Adobe automatically added auto-update service to the Mac and an auto-update policy that is popping up all the time with offers to update.

This could get crazy every normal person that prefer to not update software so often. There are not much people I know of that like to be puzzled on every next release about the new functionality he don't need anyways but I guess adobe's company aggressiveness escalated nowadays.

Thanksfully as I've googled quickly I found the fix on the common site for Mac problems Mac OS X Daily here

FlashUpdateNotification_annoying-prompt-how-to-disable

To get rid of the m'f'in Automatic Adobe Reader update

 

 Launch Terminal (located in /Applications/Utilities/)
* At the command prompt, paste this command exactly

defaults write com.adobe.AdobeUpdater.Admin Disable.Update -bool yes

* Hit return to execute the command 

You will get no output but anyways this nice command will have created for you inside your home directory (/Library/Preferences/) the file Preferences/com.adobe.AdobeUpdater.Admin.plist

You check the file's existence with command:

 

svetlana@localhost:~$ ls -al ~/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.AdobeUpdater.Admin.plist
-rw——-  1 svetlana  staff  62 Jun  6 19:52 /Users/svetlana/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.AdobeUpdater.Admin.plist

 

The conent of the file is simple it sets a boolean valiable of Disable.Update to True 

 

cat ~/Library/Preferences/com.adobe.AdobeUpdater.Admin.plist
bplist00?^Disable.Update

 

This will guarantee you that rebooting your Mac (which I guess was some 6 months ago or just a simple user logging out will not prompt you with the sh*tty annoying Adobe Update Manager

Configuring server running both OpenSSHD and Apache to be accessed via HTTPS

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I wanted to make this machine accessible for both me and others also with a simple browser,
I was thinking about configuring this on pc-freak since some time now.
It took me a while until I found a program that does this for me, anyhow luckily I found it.
It’s called webshell and is working pretty well. Check out the home page of WebShell for download and more info on it. I’ve succesfully installed it on FreeBSD 7.2.
All that is needed for the program to operate is python 2.3 or higher and python openssl (this is optional),
however most people would desire to have the service running over SSL thus this is mandatory.
On my FreeBSD box I had to install:
the port/package py26-openssl and subversion (this is a prerequirement in order to download the source via svn)
It also necessery to modify the webshell.py and change the shebang's location pointing to python
in freebsd that is:

#!/usr/local/bin/python and not #!/usr/bin/python

as in linux.
Then I copied the downloaded source to /usr/local/web-shell/webshell as well as add recordto rc.local

# echo "/usr/local/web-shell/webshell.py -d" >> /etc/rc.local The last thing I did was manually start the daemon with:
# /usr/local/web-shell/webshell.py -d

Tadam, it's up and running accessing it is as simple as pointing the browser
to a domain name or ip on which the python service is running
Currently the running webshell for pc-freak can be accessed via

Check your Server Download / Upload Internet Speed from Console on Linux / BSD / Unix howto

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

tux-check-internet-network-download-upload-speed-on-linux-console-terminal-linux-bsd-unix
If you've been given a new dedicated server from a New Dedicated-Server-Provider or VPS with Linux and you were told that a certain download speed to the Server is guaranteed from the server provider, in order to be sure the server's connection to the Internet told by service provider is correct it is useful to run a simple measurement console test after logging in remotely to the server via SSH.

Testing connection from Terminal is useful because as you probably know most of Linux / UNIX servers doesn't have a GUI interface and thus it is not possible to test Internet Up / Down Bandwidth through speedtest.net.
 

1. Testing Download Internet Speed given by ISP / Dedi-Server Provider from Linux Console

For the download speed (internet) test the historical approach was to just try downloading the Linux kernel source code from www.kernel.org with some text browser such as lynx or links count the seconds for which the download is completed and then multiple the kernel source archive size on the seconds to get an approximate bandwidth per second, however as nowdays internet connection speeds are much higher, thus it is better to try to download some Linux distribution iso file, you can still use kernel tar archive but it completed too fast to give you some good (adequate) statistics on Download bandwidth.

If its a fresh installed Linux server probably you will probably not have links / elinks and lynx text internet browers  installed so install them depending on deb / rpm distro with:

If on Deb Linuz distro:

 

root@pcfreak:/root# apt-get install –yes links elinks lynx

 

On RPM Based Linuz distro:
 

 

[root@fedora ~]# yum install -y lynx elinks links

 

Conduct Internet  Download Speed with links
root@pcfreak:/root# links https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v3.x/linux-3.19.1.tar.xz

check_your_download_speed-from-console-linux-with-links-text-browser

(Note that the kernel link is current latest stable Kernel source code archive in future that might change, so try with latest archive.)

You can also use non-interactive tool such as wget curl or lftp to measure internet download speed

To test Download Internet Speed with wget without saving anything to disk set output to go to /dev/null 

 

root@pcfreak:~# wget -O /dev/null https://www.pc-freak.net//~hipo/hirens-bootcd/HirensBootCD15/Hirens.BootCD.15.0.zip

 

check_bandwidth_download-internet-speed-with-wget-from-console-non-interactively-on-linux

You see the Download speed is 104 Mbit/s this is so because I'm conducting the download from my local 100Mbit network.

For the test you can use my mirrored version of Hirens BootCD

2. Testing Uplink Internet speed provided by ISP / Server Provider from Linux (SSH) Console

To test your uplink speed you will need lftp or iperf command tool.

 

root@pcfreak:~# apt-cache show lftp|grep -i descr -A 12
Description: Sophisticated command-line FTP/HTTP client programs
 Lftp is a file retrieving tool that supports FTP, HTTP, FISH, SFTP, HTTPS
 and FTPS protocols under both IPv4 and IPv6. Lftp has an amazing set of
 features, while preserving its interface as simple and easy as possible.
 .
 The main two advantages over other ftp clients are reliability and ability
 to perform tasks in background. It will reconnect and reget the file being
 transferred if the connection broke. You can start a transfer in background
 and continue browsing on the ftp site. It does this all in one process. When
 you have started background jobs and feel you are done, you can just exit
 lftp and it automatically moves to nohup mode and completes the transfers.
 It has also such nice features as reput and mirror. It can also download a
 file as soon as possible by using several connections at the same time.

 

root@pcfreak:/root# apt-cache show iperf|grep -i desc -A 2
Description: Internet Protocol bandwidth measuring tool
 Iperf is a modern alternative for measuring TCP and UDP bandwidth performance,
 allowing the tuning of various parameters and characteristics.

 

To test Upload Speed to Internet connect remotely and upload any FTP file:

 

root@pcfreak:/root# lftp -u hipo www.pc-freak.net -e 'put Hirens.BootCD.15.0.zip; bye'

 

uploading-file-with-lftp-screenshot-test-upload-internet-speed-linux

On Debian Linux to install iperf:

 

root@pcfreak:/root# apt-get install –yes iperf

 

On latest CentOS 7 and Fedora (and other RPM based) Linux, you will need to add RPMForge repository and install with yum

 

[root@centos ~]# rpm -ivh  rpmforge-release-0.5.3-1.el7.rf.x86_64.rpm

[root@centos ~]# yum -y install iperf

 

Once having iperf on the server the easiest way currently to test it is to use
serverius.net speedtest server –  located at the Serverius datacenters, AS50673 and is running on a 10GE connection with 5GB cap.

 

root@pcfreak:/root# iperf -c speedtest.serverius.net -P 10
————————————————————
Client connecting to speedtest.serverius.net, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 16.0 KByte (default)
————————————————————
[ 12] local 83.228.93.76 port 54258 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  7] local 83.228.93.76 port 54252 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  5] local 83.228.93.76 port 54253 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  9] local 83.228.93.76 port 54251 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  3] local 83.228.93.76 port 54249 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  4] local 83.228.93.76 port 54250 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[ 10] local 83.228.93.76 port 54254 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[ 11] local 83.228.93.76 port 54255 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  6] local 83.228.93.76 port 54256 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[  8] local 83.228.93.76 port 54257 connected with 178.21.16.76 port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  9]  0.0-10.2 sec  4.05 MBytes  3.33 Mbits/sec
[ 10]  0.0-10.2 sec  3.39 MBytes  2.78 Mbits/sec
[ 11]  0.0-10.3 sec  3.75 MBytes  3.06 Mbits/sec
[  4]  0.0-10.3 sec  3.43 MBytes  2.78 Mbits/sec
[ 12]  0.0-10.3 sec  3.92 MBytes  3.18 Mbits/sec
[  3]  0.0-10.4 sec  4.45 MBytes  3.58 Mbits/sec
[  5]  0.0-10.5 sec  4.06 MBytes  3.24 Mbits/sec
[  6]  0.0-10.5 sec  4.30 MBytes  3.42 Mbits/sec
[  8]  0.0-10.8 sec  3.92 MBytes  3.03 Mbits/sec
[  7]  0.0-10.9 sec  4.03 MBytes  3.11 Mbits/sec
[SUM]  0.0-10.9 sec  39.3 MBytes  30.3 Mbits/sec

 

You see currently my home machine has an Uplink of 30.3 Mbit/s per second, that's pretty nice since I've ordered a 100Mbits from my ISP (Unguaranteed Bandwidth Connection Speed) and as you might know it is a standard practice for many Internet Proviers to give Uplink speed of 1/4 from the ISP provided overall bandwidth 1/4 would be 25Mbi/s, meaning my ISP (Bergon.NET) is doing pretty well providing me with even more than promised (ordered) bandwidth.

Iperf is probably the choice of most sysadmins who have to do regular bandwidth in local networks speed between 2 servers or test  Internet Bandwidth speed on heterogenous network with Linux / BSDs / AIX / HP-UX (UNIXes). On HP-UX and AIX and other UNIXes for which iperf doesn't have port you have to compile it yourself.

If you don't have root /admin permissions on server and there is python language enterpreter installed you can use speedtest_cli.py script to test internet throughput connectivity
speedtest_cli uses speedtest.net to test server up / down link just in case if script is lost in future I've made ownload mirror of speedtest_cli.py is here

Quickest way to test net speed with speedtest_cli.py:

 

$ lynx -dump https://raw.github.com/sivel/speedtest-cli/master/speedtest_cli.py > speedtest_cli.py
$ chmod +x speedtest_cli.py
python speedtest_cli.py

speedtest_cli_pyhon_script_screenshot-on-gnu-linux-test-internet-network-speed-on-unix

The Lord’s prayer in Anglo Saxon (Vikings) like English and Welsh – Pater Nostra English language development 7th to 16 century

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

The story of Christianization of the nations is one of the most fascinating stories of all times. Yet people and especially historians forgot that. Modern Anthropology is based on some mambo-jambo and some speculations on the basis of rejection of God. It is my believe that people who wish to know what has really happened in the past and have a better understanding on human history should study closely Christianity.

The Lord's prayer and studying the origin and spread among languages of the Lord's prayer is one great Anthropological standpoint. While researching on The Lord's Prayer in as many languages as I can I've stumbled on rather unique fascinating information, which gives one a glimpse on how Ancient Anglo-Saxon (Viking) English looked like?

This inspired me to come with this little article in which I want to share with other brother and sisters in Christ the blessing of hearing and listening to the Lord's prayer in Ancient languages.

In Arabic world, there are plenty of theories that the Qur'an and the ancient prayers from there contain more spiritual power than the modern translated ones. Of Course we Christians knows well the Qur'an does not possess a spiritual power in truth, so I just it just as example as many Islamic people believe that too.
The topic of which languages are more blessed than others has been in wide discussion in Christian realm, way before Islamic people had their Qu'ran written.

In IX – 7th century there was a wide spread belief that there are in practice two God inspired languages, which should be used for Christian faith (Jewish, Greek and Latin).

There were people in the ancient Church for and against the understanding of the only 3 God blessed languages in which the Holy writtings – the Holy Bible and Church Liturgical texts should be written.

God's will for humanity to use mother languages to read holy scriptures and pray as well as the existence of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches all around the world has shown that this understanding is incorrect.

Even though this, the fact that there was a dispute on the topic had a good reason as the more ancient languages (in my view) had more spiritual deepness compared to newer developed mixed languages; besides that older languages are less mixed up, almost as a rule of thumb the more advanced a language is the more words from other languages it includes.

This is just my personal understanding and not a viewpoint of the one Holy Apostolic Church – The Orthodox Church. The reason why I think so is in the past people were more simple in their thinking and their understanding about the world. In my view simplicity and simple way of thinking allowed our ancestors to be more real and more closer to God, in a way offering them less options for evil, therefore I believe the ancient languages in which the Holy Bible and Church services are done like Church Slavonic, Jewish, Greek, Syriac, Coptic etc.

One of this ancient languages is Anglo-Saxon whose variation nowadays most of the world speaks in the face of modern English. As I felt so joyful to find and listen the Lord's prayer being recited in Anglo-Saxon and other ancient English-Germanic Languages, therein I decided to share the Lord's Prayer in Ancient English from XI-th century (from youtube) .


 

The Lords Prayer in Old English from the 11th century


 

The Lord's Prayer (Fæder ure) in Anglo Saxon (Old English)


 

The Lord's Prayer in Gaelic

 

The Lord's Prayer in Welsh


 

The Lord's Prayer in Old English

 


 

The Lord's Prayer in Old Norse


 

Heliand, Lord's Prayer – Old Saxon

 

The Lord's Prayer / Preier of Oure Lord in Recited Middle English John Wycliffe Bible


 

 

Lords Prayer in Proto-Celtic, Ancient British and Brythonic


 

 

Pater Noster in Old English-Middle English-Early Modern English


 

 

The Lord's Prayer in Old English (with scary voice and face :))

People who might enjoy this post might want to check out my previous attempt to collect Otche Nash – The Lord’s Prayer in 10 languages as sung by Church choires and prayed in the Orhodox Church

Adding RSS Feed to WordPress in conjunction with FeedBurner / WordPress add-to-any-subscribe plugin

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

adding_rss_feed_to_wordpress-in-conjunction-with-Google-Feedburner-add-to-any-subscribe-plugin
I received a comment today from one of my blog readers. That he likes my blog content but he looks for a way to subscribe to my blog.
Though I had a subscription button configured in my wordpress template of choice. The button is located on place in the template that is absolutely unnoticable (at the bottom of the page). This is by the way I believe a default behaviour in case if the default wordpress plugin is used.
Thus I decided to set a clear RSS Subscription button on my blog.
Though at a first glimpse the task looked quite trivial it happened to be a way more complex!
I’ve tried a number of things before I can succeed in adding an RSS button.
The most simple though not really flexible way was through:

WordPress’s Widgets (Using the RSS Widget) .
rss default feed widget

This approach however has one major inconvenience.
Using the default wordpress RSS Widget you cannot configure the Widget to keep displaying 0 items of the feed.
In other words you cannot configure from the the sliding menu reading:
How many items would you like to display? 0 in order to prevent completely showing up of any of the feed on the page.
If you leave it with one. The RSS icon of RSS widget would point directly to your blog instead to the RSS feed configured.
So in practice configuring it especially in my case rendered completely useless.
The appearing link from the default RSS widget for some weird reason doesn’t includes a link to where my feed is located https://www.pc-freak.net/blog/feed/
In the meantime I looked online to look for something that will facilitate me in completing the simple task to add an RSS Subscribe Feed to my Blog.
I asked for help in freenode’s irc network #wordpress channel. And a guy from there suggested that I go with wp-o-matic wordpress plugin
Anyways It took me a few minutes to realize this plugin is suitabile if you want to show other blogs feed to your blog instead of adding a RSS feed link to your own blog, this wasn’t my goal so I skipped next in looking for something to help me on.
In the meantime I found the interesting feedburner google feed service that is able to help in creating, publishing and distributing RSS & Atom feeds.
I recommend you check it if you still haven’t. It takes only a few clicks to register in order to use feedburner as a feed service.
Once you are set-up with Feedburner, you can activate all the cool functions, such as allowing your readers to subscribe via email, and also the Feedburner Flares.
Another nice thing about using feedburner is that it formats your fed content in a really pretty layout. By the way since the 2004 feedburner is owned by Google. So in a certain terms using feedburner instead of the default wordpress blog feed will probably attract more google visitors to your blog and is generally good for your blog placement in search engines.
For more of the advantages check feedburner’s google service website .
However there is one major disadvantage in using the feedburner’s feed service. Using the service rob you out of control of your feed, since all the feeds will be properly generated and formatted from feedburner.
The newly created service for feedburner by me is located on www.feeds.feedburner.com/WalkingInLightWithChrist-FaithComputingDiary
Now to be able to use the newly installed feedburner service with my blog I had to test a couple of plugins before I came to the ones that really worked.
I played with feedburner_feedsmith_plugin , feedburner-widget , feedlist.2.61 , wp-keiths-easy-rss , rss-atom-avatar but I couldn’t make any of them work properly with feedburner. Some of the up mentioned plugins were a real hell to configure so I completely abandondoned them seeing their inflexibility. Others were completely abondonede for more than 2 years from now, etc. etc. Fundamentally none of them worked for me.
I finally was able to bring up the feedburner service on my worpdress using The FD Feedburner plugin

All necessery to enable the plugin after you download into wordpress’s wp-content/plugins directory is to configure the plugin from:
Plugins -> FeedBurner Configuration Here is the screenshot on the FD Feedburner plugin configuration screen:

FD Feedburner plugin

As you can see in the screenshot the plugin is really simple to configure. All you need to provide it with is the url provided to you by feedburner right after you register your blog for the service.

Now as you will have your http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog/feed/ be redirected to the feedburner’s website generated feed for your website by the FD FeedBurner WordPress Plugin all left to be done is to provide a link on your blog to your blog feed.

To accomplish this you will have to download the add-to-any-subscribe wordpress plugin.
Again installation of add-to-any-subscribe is a piece of cake, to install follow The install instructions here

Now hopefully your feedburner feed will be able to be distrubuted to your visitors via the AddtoAny subscription button on your 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 www.pc-freak.net – paste.www.pc-freak.net (p.www.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  ! 🙂