Posts Tagged ‘unreachable’

Install Zabbix Proxy configure and connect to Zabbix server on CentOS Linux

Thursday, May 4th, 2023

Install Zabbix Proxy configure and connect to Zabbix server on CentOS Linux

1. Why use Zabbix-Proxy hidden advantages of using Zabbix-Proxy ?

Proxy can be used for many purposes and can provide many hidden benefits, just to name few of them:

  • Offload Zabbix Server when monitoring thousands of devices
  • Monitor remote locations
  • Monitor locations having unreliable communications
  • Simplify maintenance of distributed monitoring
  • Improved Security (Zabbix server can be restricted to be connectable only by the set of connected Zabbix Proxy / Proxies



A Zabbix proxy is the ideal solution if you have numerous hosts with multiple slow items that are affecting the performance of the server simply because processes are spending most of the time simply waiting for a response. A proxy can collect information from all hosts using its internal processes and then send raw historical data to the server. The time needed to connect and receive the host response will be on the proxy site, and the server performance will not be affected at all. A proxy just sends raw values to the server, and the server itself does not have to connect to the host to get the data.

2. Install zabbix-proxy-sqlite3 rpm package from Zabbix Official Repositories download page

Zabbix repository provides choice of 3 packages named as follows:


where the last value of the name (after zabbix-proxy) represents database type of the package — MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite respectively.

To not bother installing MySQL / PostgreSQL separate database servers, a lightweight choice is to use the sqlite3 db version. 
As I prefer zabbix-proxy data to be stored inside a flat database, thus I choose to use zabbix-proxy-sqlite3.

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# yum info zabbix-proxy-sqlite3-5.0.31-1.el7.x86_64
Заредени плъгини: fastestmirror
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base:
 * epel:
 * extras:
 * remi:
 * remi-php74:
 * remi-safe:
 * updates:
Инсталирани пакети
Име         : zabbix-proxy-sqlite3
Архитект.   : x86_64
Версия      : 5.0.31
Издание     : 1.el7
Обем        : 4.4 M
Хранилище   : installed
Обобщение   : Zabbix proxy for SQLite3 database
URL         :
Лиценз      : GPLv2+
Описание    : Zabbix proxy with SQLite3 database support.

My experience to try to install thethe default CentOS RPM package for zabbix-proxy-sqlite3 provided by default
RPM package that came with CentOS did not work as expected and trying to install / configure and use it via

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# yum install zabbix-proxy-sqlite3.x86_64 -y

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.conf

Led me to a nasty errors seen in /var/log/zabbixsrv/zabbix_proxy.log like:

May 1st 2023, 08:42:45.020 zabbix_server cannot set list of PSK ciphersuites: file ssl_lib.c line 1314: error:1410D0B9:SSL routines:SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list:no cipher match
May 1st 2023, 08:42:45.018 zabbix_server cannot set list of PSK ciphersuites: file ssl_lib.c line 1314: error:1410D0B9:SSL routines:SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list:no cipher match
May 1st 2023, 08:42:45.013 zabbix_server cannot set list of PSK ciphersuites: file ssl_lib.c line 1314: error:1410D0B9:SSL routines:SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list:no cipher match
May 1st 2023, 08:42:45.013 zabbix_server cannot set list of PSK ciphersuites: file ssl_lib.c line 1314: error:1410D0B9:SSL routines:SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list:no cipher match
May 1st 2023, 08:42:45.011 zabbix_server cannot set list of PSK ciphersuites: file ssl_lib.c line 1314: error:1410D0B9:SSL routines:SSL_CTX_set_cipher_list:no cipher match

After some googling and reading some threads came upon this one, there is exmplaed errors preventing the configured zabbix-proxy
to start are caused by the zabbix-proxy-sqlite3 package provided by Redhat (due to openssl incompitability bug or something ).

As one of people in the discussion pointed out the quickest workaround suggested is simply to use the official Zabbix Repository packages for zabbix-proxy-sqlite3, in order to not waste anymore time on this
trivial stuff to install it, simply run:

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# rpm -Uvh \

Alternative way if you seem to not have the machine connected to the internet is simply download the package with wget / lynx / curl / w3m from another machine 
that can reach the Internet upload the package via the local LAN or VPN and install it:

# wget

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# rpm -ivh zabbix-proxy-sqlite3-5.0.31-1.el7.x86_64.rpm

NOTE ! Before you install proxy, keep in mind that your proxy version must match the Zabbix server version !

3. Generate a PSK random secret key and set proper permissions for zabbix-proxy directories

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# cd /etc/zabbix/
[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# openssl rand -hex 32 >> /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.psk     
[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# chown root:zabbix zabbix_proxy.psk [root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.conf [root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# mkdir -p /var/lib/zabbix-proxy/sqlite3db
[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# chown -R zabbix:zabbix /var/lib/zabbix-proxy
[root@sysadminshelp:/var/lib/zabbixsrv/sqlite3db]# sqlite3 zabbix_proxy
SQLite version 3.7.17 2013-05-20 00:56:22
Enter ".help" for instructions
Enter SQL statements terminated with a ";"
sqlite> .databases
seq  name             file
—  —————  ———————————————————-
0    main             /var/lib/zabbixsrv/sqlite3db/zabbix_proxy
[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]# vi /etc/zabbix_proxy.conf

4. Configure zabbix proxy to be able to connect to Zabbix Server

[root@sysadminshelp:/root ]#  vi /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.conf     ############ GENERAL PARAMETERS #################
    ######### PROXY SPECIFIC PARAMETERS #############
    ############ ADVANCED PARAMETERS ################
    ####### TLS-RELATED PARAMETERS #######
    TLSPSKIdentity=PSK zabbix-proxy-fqdn-hostname

5. Check and make sure the installed zabbix proxy as well as the zabbix_proxy server zabbix_agentd client and zabbix_server are at the same major version release

a) Check zabbix proxy version

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# zabbix_proxy -V
zabbix_proxy (Zabbix) 5.0.31
Revision f64a07aefca 30 January 2023, compilation time: Jan 30 2023 09:55:10

Copyright (C) 2023 Zabbix SIA
License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it according to
the license. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit (

Compiled with OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013
Running with OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013


b) check zabbix_agentd version

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# zabbix_agentd -V
zabbix_agentd (daemon) (Zabbix) 5.0.30
Revision 2c96c38fb4b 28 November 2022, compilation time: Nov 28 2022 11:27:43

Copyright (C) 2022 Zabbix SIA
License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it according to
the license. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit (

Compiled with OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013
Running with OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013

c) Check zabbix server version

[root@zabbix:~]# zabbix_server -V
zabbix_server (Zabbix) 5.0.30
Revision 2c96c38fb4b 28 November 2022, compilation time: Nov 28 2022 09:19:03

Copyright (C) 2022 Zabbix SIA
License GPLv2+: GNU GPL version 2 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it according to
the license. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project
for use in the OpenSSL Toolkit (

Compiled with OpenSSL 1.1.1d  10 Sep 2019
Running with OpenSSL 1.1.1n  15 Mar 2022

6. Starting the zabbix-proxy for a first time

Before beginning with installation make sure selinux is disabled, as it might cause some issues with Zabbix

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# sestatus
SELinux status:                 disabled

If you need to have the selinux enabled you will have to allow the zabbix-proxy into selinux as well:

cd /tmp
# grep zabbix_proxy /var/log/audit/audit.log | grep denied | audit2allow -m zabbix_proxy > zabbix_proxy.te
grep zabbix_proxy /var/log/audit/audit.log | grep denied | audit2allow -M zabbix_proxy
semodule -i zabbix_proxy.pp

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# systemctl start zabbix-proxy

Also lets enable zabbix-proxy to automatically start it on next server reboot / boot.

root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# systemctl enable zabbix-proxy

Normally running zabbix-proxy should provide a status messages like:

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# systemctl status zabbix-proxy
● zabbix-proxy.service – Zabbix Proxy
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/zabbix-proxy.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since чт 2023-05-04 14:58:36 CEST; 2h 59min ago
  Process: 8500 ExecStop=/bin/kill -SIGTERM $MAINPID (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
  Process: 8504 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy -c $CONFFILE (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 8506 (zabbix_proxy)
   CGroup: /system.slice/zabbix-proxy.service
           ├─8506 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy -c /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.conf
           ├─8507 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: configuration syncer [synced config 40521 bytes in 0.0…
           ├─8508 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: trapper #1 [processed data in 0.000808 sec, waiting fo…
           ├─8509 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: trapper #2 [processed data in 0.005028 sec, waiting fo…
           ├─8510 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: trapper #3 [processed data in 0.001240 sec, waiting fo…
           ├─8511 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: trapper #4 [processed data in 0.004378 sec, waiting fo…
           ├─8512 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: trapper #5 [processed data in 0.004991 sec, waiting fo…
           ├─8513 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: preprocessing manager #1 [queued 0, processed 3 values…
           ├─8514 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: preprocessing worker #1 started
           ├─8515 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: preprocessing worker #2 started
           ├─8516 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: preprocessing worker #3 started
           ├─8517 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: heartbeat sender [sending heartbeat message success in…
           ├─8518 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: data sender [sent 0 values in 0.005241 sec, idle 1 sec…
           ├─8519 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: housekeeper [deleted 4501 records in 0.011462 sec, idl…
           ├─8520 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: http poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000248 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8521 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: http poller #2 [got 0 values in 0.000239 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8522 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: http poller #3 [got 0 values in 0.000328 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8523 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: discoverer #1 [processed 0 rules in 0.000261 sec, idle…
           ├─8524 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: history syncer #1 [processed 0 values in 0.000009 sec,…
           ├─8525 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: history syncer #2 [processed 0 values in 0.000007 sec,…
           ├─8526 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: history syncer #3 [processed 0 values in 0.000014 sec,…
           ├─8527 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: history syncer #4 [processed 0 values in 0.000021 sec,…
           ├─8528 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: java poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000017 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8529 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: java poller #2 [got 0 values in 0.000019 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8530 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: java poller #3 [got 0 values in 0.000019 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8531 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: java poller #4 [got 0 values in 0.000018 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8532 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: java poller #5 [got 0 values in 0.000013 sec, idle 5 s…
           ├─8533 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: snmp trapper [processed data in 0.000026 sec, idle 1 s…
           ├─8534 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: self-monitoring [processed data in 0.000034 sec, idle …
           ├─8535 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: task manager [processed 0 task(s) in 0.000169 sec, idl…
           ├─8536 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000012 sec, idle 5 sec]
           ├─8537 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: poller #2 [got 0 values in 0.000021 sec, idle 5 sec]
           ├─8538 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: poller #3 [got 0 values in 0.000039 sec, idle 5 sec]
           ├─8539 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: poller #4 [got 0 values in 0.000024 sec, idle 5 sec]
           ├─8540 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: poller #5 [got 0 values in 0.000019 sec, idle 5 sec]
           ├─8541 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: unreachable poller #1 [got 0 values in 0.000011 sec, i…
           ├─8542 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: unreachable poller #2 [got 0 values in 0.000018 sec, i…
           ├─8543 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: unreachable poller #3 [got 0 values in 0.000041 sec, i…
           └─8544 /usr/sbin/zabbix_proxy: icmp pinger #1 [got 0 values in 0.000022 sec, idle 5 s…

май 04 14:58:36 sysadminshelp systemd[1]: Stopped Zabbix Proxy.
май 04 14:58:36 sysadminshelp systemd[1]: Starting Zabbix Proxy…
май 04 14:58:36 sysadminshelp systemd[1]: Started Zabbix Proxy.


7. Configure zabbix-agentd to use your just new brand new zabbix-proxy

Here is my sample configuration file:

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# grep -v \# /etc/zabbix/zabbix_agentd.conf | sed '/^$/d'

Note that the ServerActive given "zabbix-proxy" should be resolvable from the host, or even better you might want to put the IP of the Proxy if
you don't have at least a pseudo Hostname already configured inside /etc/hosts or actual DNS 'A' Active record configured inside a properly resolving
DNS server configured on the host via /etc/resolv.conf.

8. Create and Configure new proxy into the Zabbix-server host

Go to the zabbix server web interface URL into menus:


Administration -> Proxies (Proxy) 

Click on ;

Create Proxy button (uppper right corner)

*Proxy name: usually-your-host-pingable-fqdn
Proxy mode: Active
Proxy address:
Description: pcfreak zabbix proxy

Administration -> Proxies -> Encryption

From "Connection to proxy"

Untick "No encryption"


Tick "PSK"


*PSK Identity: PSK proxy
*PSK: Put the key here (copy from /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.psk generated steps earlier with openssl)

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# cat zabbix_proxy.psk

Press the "Update" Button


and go again to Proxies and check the zabbix-proxy is connected to the server and hosts configured to use the zabbix proxy reporting frequently.

To make sure that the configured new hosts to use the Zabbix Proxy instead of direct connection to Zabbix Server, go to Latest Data and check whether the configured Hostnames to connect to the Zabbix-Proxy continues to sent Data still.

9. Debugging problems with zabix-proxy and zabbix-agentd connectivity to proxy

In case of troubles check out what is going on inside the Zabbix Proxy / Agent and Server log files

[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# tail -n 50 /var/log/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.log

 6832:20230504:134032.281 Starting Zabbix Proxy (active) [zabbix-proxy]. Zabbix 5.0.31 (revision f
  6832:20230504:134032.281 **** Enabled features ****
  6832:20230504:134032.281 SNMP monitoring:       YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 IPMI monitoring:       YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 Web monitoring:        YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 VMware monitoring:     YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 ODBC:                  YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 SSH support:           YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 IPv6 support:          YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 TLS support:           YES
  6832:20230504:134032.281 **************************
  6832:20230504:134032.281 using configuration file: /etc/zabbix/zabbix_proxy.conf
  6832:20230504:134032.291 current database version (mandatory/optional): 05000000/05000005
  6832:20230504:134032.291 required mandatory version: 05000000
  6832:20230504:134032.292 proxy #0 started [main process]
  6833:20230504:134032.292 proxy #1 started [configuration syncer #1]
  6833:20230504:134032.329 received configuration data from server at "", datalen 40521
  6834:20230504:134032.392 proxy #2 started [trapper #1]
  6835:20230504:134032.401 proxy #3 started [trapper #2]
  6836:20230504:134032.402 proxy #4 started [trapper #3]
  6838:20230504:134032.405 proxy #6 started [trapper #5]
  6837:20230504:134032.409 proxy #5 started [trapper #4]
  6843:20230504:134032.409 proxy #11 started [heartbeat sender #1]
  6845:20230504:134032.412 proxy #13 started [housekeeper #1]
  6847:20230504:134032.412 proxy #15 started [discoverer #1]
  8526:20230504:145836.512 proxy #20 started [history syncer #3]
  8517:20230504:145836.512 proxy #11 started [heartbeat sender #1]
  8530:20230504:145836.515 proxy #24 started [java poller #3]
  8531:20230504:145836.517 proxy #25 started [java poller #4]
  8532:20230504:145836.520 proxy #26 started [java poller #5]
  8536:20230504:145836.522 proxy #30 started [poller #1]
  8527:20230504:145836.525 proxy #21 started [history syncer #4]
  8535:20230504:145836.525 proxy #29 started [task manager #1]
  8533:20230504:145836.528 proxy #27 started [snmp trapper #1]
  8539:20230504:145836.528 proxy #33 started [poller #4]
  8538:20230504:145836.529 proxy #32 started [poller #3]
  8534:20230504:145836.532 proxy #28 started [self-monitoring #1]
  8544:20230504:145836.532 proxy #38 started [icmp pinger #1]
  8543:20230504:145836.532 proxy #37 started [unreachable poller #3]
  8542:20230504:145836.535 proxy #36 started [unreachable poller #2]
  8541:20230504:145836.537 proxy #35 started [unreachable poller #1]
  8540:20230504:145836.540 proxy #34 started [poller #5]
  8507:20230504:150036.453 received configuration data from server at "", datalen 40521
  8507:20230504:150236.503 received configuration data from server at "", datalen 40521
  8507:20230504:150436.556 received configuration data from server at "", datalen 40521
  8507:20230504:150636.608 received configuration data from server at "", datalen 40521
  8507:20230504:150836.662 received configuration data from server at "", datalen 40521


[root@sysadminshelp:/etc/zabbix]# tail -n 10  /var/log/zabbix-agent/zabbix_agentd.log
3096166:20230504:182840.461 agent #1 started [collector]
3096167:20230504:182840.462 agent #2 started [listener #1]
3096168:20230504:182840.463 agent #3 started [listener #2]
3096169:20230504:182840.464 agent #4 started [listener #3]
3096170:20230504:182840.464 agent #5 started [active checks #1]

If necessery to Debug further and track some strange errors, you might want to increase the DebugLevel to lets say DebugLevel=5

5 – extended debugging (produces even more information)

If checking both zabbix_agentd.log and zabbix_proxy.log cannot give you enough of a hint on what might be the issues you face with your userparameter scripts or missing Monitored data etc. and hopefully you have access to the zabbix-server machine, check out the zabbix server log as well

[root@zabbix:~]# tail -n 100 /var/log/zabbix/zabbix_server.log

3145027:20230504:182641.556 sending configuration data to proxy "zabbix-proxy" at "", datalen 40521, bytes 6120 with compression ratio 6.6
3145029:20230504:182716.529 cannot send list of active checks to "": host [pcfrxenweb] not found
3145028:20230504:182731.959 cannot send list of active checks to "": host [pcfrxenweb] not found
3145029:20230504:182756.634 cannot send list of active checks to "": host [pcfrxenweb] not found

Wrapping it up

In this article, we have learned how to install and configure a zabbix-proxy server and prepare a PSK encryption secret key for it.
We learned also  how to connect this server to the central zabbix monitoring host machine in Active mode, so both Zabbix proxy and server can communicate in a secure crypted form,
as well as how to set zabbix_agentd clients to connect to the zabbix proxy
which will from itself send its data to the Central Zabbix server host as well as how to Debug and hopefully solve issues with communication between Zabbix client -> Zabbix Proxy -> Zabbix server.

I know this article, does not say anything revolutionary and there is plenty of posts online talking about how to run yourself a zabbix proxy and make in your home or corporate network,
but I thought to write it down as by writting it and reading a bit more on the topic of Zabbix Server / Proxy / Agent, that give myself a better overview on how this technologies work and such an article will give myself an easier step by step guide to follow,
in future when I have to configure Zabbix Environments for personal hobby or professionally for customers.
Hope you enjoyed. Cheers ! 🙂

How to install and configure torbutton on Debian / Anonymizing Iceweasel, Firefox on Debian GNU/Linux

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Tor Onion Logo

There is a quite a buzz online recently about the implications breach of personal privacy by simple browing online.
A week ago I've blogged On How to improve your web browser security for better personal identity
Though there is probably a plenty of more things to be done on guaranteeing your anonymous identity online, the article lacked to mention one very one vital project related with anonymity – the tor Anonymity online project
The project offer the user the right to be anonymous online through a complex constantly expanding network of volunteers which voluntary install and grant access to the installed tor server to be used as a proxy from their computers.
A very thorough explanation on what is tor can be red here
Enabling tor on your personal computer would at least guarantee you that every now and then your traffic browser network traffic (request) would flow through a random tor servers located on a different worldly geographic locations.
Usually the traffic to a destination host would pass through 5 tor network nodes. Where the traffic is unecrypted between last node and the 4th node, while in the other four ones it's completely crypted.
This makes your tracking almost impossible if it's based on technologies like for instance Maxmind's Geoip or Geonames's geographical data base because every now and then you'll appear to be coming to the end point referrar web server originating from a different tor node ip address

The tor server is a free software licensed under the GPL and this is also a good assurance because everybody is able to have a look on the code and this is a further guarantee that the software doesn't include a malicious ways for a middle users to sniff on your traffic.

The tor project has even built a pre-bundled browser ready to be worn by yourself on a usb stick, so you can quickly start using the tor anonymous network on any random computer anywhere.
The tor browser page is available here also Tor Browser Bundle for Windows is available here
Tor server is available for both Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Linux/BSD Unix
Of course tor is not perfect it opens some other possible doors for attackers which are much less likely to occur if you don't use it, however in general it's better off with tor than without it.

One serious reason for not reason for not using Tor might be that it's usually many times slower than normal browser since, it routes traffic through a different tor network nodes.
So if you decide to go on and use it you better be patient and calm 🙂

Since I'm a Debian user and I really do value my privacy I decided to start using Tor.
In order to start using Tor it's usually necessary to configure your browser to use The TorButoon Firefox browserextension

Nevertheless on Debian GNU/Linux if you try to go the straigh way as explained on Tor's website install the TorButton and configure it to work in cooperation with the polipo caching proxy
You will be not able to browse after enabling straight the tor plugin.
If you try the up-mentioned approach you're probably about to come to errors like:
"the proxy server is refusing connections"
Proxy error: 502 Disconnected operation and object not in cache
504 Connect to failed: SOCKS error: host unreachableThe following error occurred while trying to access Connect to failed: SOCKS error: host unreachable

In order to properly install configure and enable the TorButton on my Debian GNU/Linux I had to get through the following steps:

1. Install the polipo caching proxy

debian:~# apt-get install polipo

2. Download and overwrite default polipo configuration with the one from

This is necessary to configure in order to have polipo adapted to work with tor, so issue the following commands:

debian:~# cd /etc/polipo
debian:~# wget
debian:~# mv config config.bak
debian:~# mv polipo.conf config

3. Restart polipo for the new config settings to take affect

debian:~# /etc/init.d/polipo restart

4. Install the iceweasel-torbutton browser extension

debian:~# apt-get install iceweasel-torbutton

The iceweasel-torbutton will also install you the tor package which is evidently required for the torbutton to operate.
Now you should be ready to go, you can enable the tor use from the tor button which should appear in your browser in the bottom right corner of your browser.
It should look something similar to:

Tor Button screenshot in Iceweasel

Tor Enable/Disable Iceweasel browser Button

To test your Tor Configuration you can use the Test Settings button which is straight available from TorButton's preferences

From here after it might be a good idea to play with the TorButton security settings and configure it according to your liking, bear in mind that you should have a solid knowledge on how browsers work and some basic Internet protocols before you start tampering this options.
If tou don't know what you do you better stop and don't tamper with the torbutton security options.
The only one that you will most probably want to untick is The Disable plugins during Tor usage , stopping this option will allow you to have a flash video streaming display properly, otherwise you won't be able to use , Vbox etc.
Below you see a screenshot of the TorButton Security Settings dialog.

TorButton properties Dialog

To open up this dialog you need to navigate to the TorButto and choose preferences with the right mouse buttons 🙂
Hope this article is informative to somebody out there.
User feedback is mostly welcome! Cheers 🙂

Auto restart Apache on High server load (bash shell script) – Fixing Apache server temporal overload issues

Saturday, March 24th, 2012


I've written a tiny script to check and restart, Apache if the server encounters, extremely high load avarage like for instance more than (>25). Below is an example of a server reaching a very high load avarage:;

server~:# uptime
13:46:59 up 2 days, 18:54, 1 user, load average: 58.09, 59.08, 60.05
load average: 0.09, 0.08, 0.08

Sometimes high load avarage is not a problem, as the server might have a very powerful hardware. A high load numbers is not always an indicator for a serious problems. Some 16 CPU dual core (2.18 Ghz) machine with 16GB of ram could probably work normally with a high load avarage like in the example. Anyhow as most servers are not so powerful having such a high load avarage, makes the machine hardly do its job routine.

In my specific, case one of our Debian Linux servers is periodically reaching to a very high load level numbers. When this happens the Apache webserver is often incapable to serve its incoming requests and starts lagging for clients. The only work-around is to stop the Apache server for a couple of seconds (10 or 20 seconds) and then start it again once the load avarage has dropped to less than "3".

If this temporary fix is not applied on time, the server load gets increased exponentially until all the server services (ssh, ftp … whatever) stop responding normally to requests and the server completely hangs …

Often this server overloads, are occuring at night time so I'm not logged in on the server and one such unexpected overload makes the server unreachable for hours.
To get around the sudden high periodic load avarage server increase, I've written a tiny bash script to monitor, the server load avarage and initiate an Apache server stop and start with a few seconds delay in between.

# script to check server for extremely high load and restart Apache if the condition is matched
check=`cat /proc/loadavg | sed 's/\./ /' | awk '{print $1}'`
# define max load avarage when script is triggered
# log file
# location of inidex.php to overwrite with temporary message
# location to Apache init script
site_maintenance_msg="Site Maintenance in progress - We will be back online in a minute";
if [ $check -gt "$max_load" ]; then>
#25 is load average on 5 minutes
cp -rpf $index_php_loc $index_php_loc.bak_ap
echo "$site_maintenance_msg" > $index_php_loc
sleep 15;
if [ $check -gt "$max_load" ]; then
$apache_init stop
sleep 5;
$apache_init restart
echo "$(date) : Apache Restart due to excessive load | $check |" >> $high_load_log;
cp -rpf $index_php_loc.bak_ap $index_php_loc

The idea of the script is partially based on a forum thread – Auto Restart Apache on High Load is a link to my script

The script is written in a way that it makes two "if" condition check ups, to assure 100% there is a constant high load avarage and not just a temporal 5 seconds load avarage jump. Once the first if is matched, the script first tries to reduce the server load by overwritting a the index.php, index.html script of the website with a one stating the server is ongoing a maintenance operations.
Temporary stopping the index page, often reduces the load in 10 seconds of time, so the second if case is not necessery at all. Sometimes, however this first "if" condition cannot decrease enough the load and the server load continues to stay too high, then the script second if comes to play and makes apache to be completely stopped via Apache init script do 2 secs delay and launch the apache server again.

The script also logs about, the load avarage encountered, while the server was overloaded and Apache webserver was restarted, so later I can check what time the server overload occured.
To make the script periodically run, I've scheduled the script to launch every 5 minutes as a cron job with the following cron:

# restart Apache if load is higher than 25
*/5 * * * * /usr/sbin/ >/dev/null 2>&1

I have also another system which is running FreeBSD 7_2, which is having the same overload server problems as with the Linux host.
Copying the auto restart apache on high load script on FreeBSD didn't work out of the box. So I rewrote a little chunk of the script to make it running on the FreeBSD host. Hence, if you would like to auto restart Apache or any other service on FreeBSD server get /usr/sbin/ my script and set it on cron on your BSD.

This script is just a temporary work around, however as its obvious that the frequency of the high overload will be rising with time and we will need to buy new server hardware to solve permanently the issues, anyways, until this happens the script does a great job 🙂

I'm aware there is also alternative way to auto restart Apache webserver on high server loads through using monit utility for monitoring services on a Unix system. However as I didn't wanted to bother to run extra services in the background I decided to rather use the up presented script.

Interesting info to know is Apache module mod_overload exists – which can be used for checking load average. Using this module once load avarage is over a certain number apache can stop in its preforked processes current serving request, I've never tested it myself so I don't know how usable it is. As of time of writting it is in early stage version 0.2.2
If someone, have tried it and is happy with it on a busy hosting servers, please share with me if it is stable enough?