Server upgrade, April 2019

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Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:29 am

It seems that the board-wide mailing system doesn't work properly, hence I better let you know via announcement about what's going on atm.

Last week my host notified me that they will switch to a higher PHP-version in April. That means our server will get a new operating system. It is similar to switching from Windows XP to Windows 10 on your computer (hopefully with less bugs...)

Now you all know what happens when you change your operating system: some programmes you had on the old system will not work anymore with the new one. It's just the same with the board software.
In the last upgrade I pushed the board to version 3.2.2 and this is the first version that works with the new PHP our server will get in April. So for the moment we are on the safe side.
Still, I don't feel comfortable with this because the last board upgrade didn't go smoothly and I had to do some changes per hand - always risky. Hence, I would like to upgrade the board to the newest software version asap.

Of all boards I run on this server (there are 7 if you count a test board) Renext is the most active one. Therefore I'd like to upgrade it last and first practice on the other 6 boards. I'll give you a warning when I start on ReNext (definitely not today).

While I work on the other boards you may find that the server reacts slower than usual or you might even get error messages. I must upload a few thousand files per board and when the server is very busy it tends to get slow or even shut down other tasks it considers less important (like displaying your posts or remembering that you already logged in).
I appologize for this inconvenience.
It'll be mostly on
Saturday 6-12 am CET / 7am-1 pm GMT / 1 am to 7 am EDT/ Friday 10pm-Saturday 4am PDT and
Sunday about 1 hour later, respectively
(we Europeans switch to DST tonight).
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by Lupine » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:37 pm

^Good luck!

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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:25 am

Thanks :) 5 of 7 boards have been upgraded. Only TerranBBS and Renext are left.
Unexpectedly, there occurred a problem with TerranArchive's template. It runs the same as TerranBBS and after the upgrade that one doesn't work anymore. I'll have to rebuild it from scratch.
A similar problem might possibly occur at ReNext, but it's far less likely and here the template is much easier to edit. I shall try to do that before the upgrade so that the transit goes smoothly.

TerranBBS might lose their template but the board itself will be functional. As they are the more urgent patient, I'll deal with them first unless a major prob arises here.
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:07 pm

Thank you very much and I'm sorry this is so much work for you. Presumably, even if there are bugs, we'll be okay in the long run as long as we have our database, which I back up pretty much every day.
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:20 pm

5 mins ago we switched to the new PHP version. So far it looks rarther good.
TerranBBS had a bug immediately before the switch. As I have not the faintest idea where exactly the problem lies, it is possible that the board will be offline for several weeks. Please spread the word.
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:58 pm

Terran will be offline for weeks? Yikes.

I wonder if the new PHP version will cure the timeouts. In any case, thank you again. :yes:
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:59 pm

Guess not. :(
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:43 am

I'm afraid these errors will continue for a while.
As far as I could see yesterday, the server currently runs two different versions of PHP simultaneousely. Every customer is supposed to switch their own server segment to the new version as soon as they adapted their software (which I did yesterday). Only if they fail to do so, our host will enforce the switch. I had expected them to do that in early April but for some reason they haven't yet. I presume that they are waiting with the enforcement until all of the other 200+ domains on this server have switched (or failed to). Then they'll discontinue the old PHP version.
I strongly suspect that the connection failures and timeouts are caused by the server having to deal with two systems at the same time.
I'm tempted to contact the service technitians but I think that right now they must be extremely busy and getting tons of requests for help. Therefore, it might be best to give them another 2 weeks. If the prob persists after May 1st, I shall contact them.
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:46 am

These timeouts appear to happen always at the same time. Let's note them down - maybe we can trick the server and find a window when the board is guaranteed to work

I had timeouts between high noon and 12:40 pm EST today
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:23 am

Well, at least we know there's an end in sight. I wonder why different people experience them at different times.
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:23 am

I just got two posts to go through in a row, which was better than yesterday. :lol:
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:31 pm

LOL indeed: the performance improved by 100% ;)
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:30 pm

If we can keep that up, we'll be back to normal in four days. :D
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:58 pm

No timeouts today! Could the curse be broken?
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by Orpheus » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:27 am

Whoa. Just checked in after being mostly offline for over a month. Sorry I wasn't around to help.

I've done several PHP upgrades over the years, but I must confess that none have been problematic. Possible because I didn't leave anyone any choice. I switched the board software over in one swoop [i.e. I left both versions installed, but changed the PHP directory in the board's control panel as a single monolithic action]. I can't imagine any other option. You guys are way fancier than me!

There's a potential risk from other server systems (e.g. MySQL, mail, etc) pointing to the old version in some forgetten setting, but I've never had any problems arise from that.

Someday you'll have to remind me to tell you the OBGYN story of "Fancy!".

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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:48 pm

Not a bad idea, but unfortunately no option for me. As I don't own the complete server but only a segment, I can't keep the older PHP but am forced to follow my host's policy.

Good news: The last 6 hours I had a look at TerranBBS' template files and rebuilding their template will be far easier than I thought. Next weekend I'll have a look at Renext's and then prepare the templates for the boards in advance. Then we can upgrade the board to the newest version and 5 mins later have our usual template back :)


Orphy, I have a problem I can't solve. Maybe you have an idea how to deal with it? Ages ago I set up a redirect that rerouted everyone from the domain's root address to a board's index file. I have deleted the board now as it's no longer used but the reroute still works. I can't find the reroute settings anymore - I could have sworn it was an extra file but apparently that one is gone. Nevertheless, the reroute is still active and thus floods the error log with "file not found" messages. I've had a look at the MyAdmin CP from where one can install and manage rerouts but there is no reroute programmed. Do you have any idea where else I could find the reroute settings or file? (For the moment I'll simply build an empty file and put it on the path to where the reroute points)
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:16 pm

now, this is the sort of bug I like to have :D
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by Jim Gamma » Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:04 pm

Awww, they look cute at that zoom! :D

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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:01 pm

Orpheus wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:27 am
Someday you'll have to remind me to tell you the OBGYN story of "Fancy!".
Please do. I'll understand that better than anything else in your post. :lol:
huggle wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:16 pm
now, this is the sort of bug I like to have :D
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Ooh, I want those bugs in my house. :lol:
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by Orpheus » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:42 pm

Long story short:
Prim immigrant grandmother decides to use her granddaughter's "feminine hygiene spray" before a GYN exam.

Except it turned out to be a vivid-colored sparkly spray-on hair dye instead.

70 yo OBGYN has seen it all, doesn't miss a beat. He simply says "Fancy!" and proceeds with the exam.

I guess you had to be there.

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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by Orpheus » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:53 pm

huggle wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:48 pm
Orphy, I have a problem I can't solve. Maybe you have an idea how to deal with it? Ages ago I set up a redirect that rerouted everyone from the domain's root address to a board's index file. I have deleted the board now as it's no longer used but the reroute still works. I can't find the reroute settings anymore - I could have sworn it was an extra file but apparently that one is gone. Nevertheless, the reroute is still active and thus floods the error log with "file not found" messages. I've had a look at the MyAdmin CP from where one can install and manage rerouts but there is no reroute programmed. Do you have any idea where else I could find the reroute settings or file? (For the moment I'll simply build an empty file and put it on the path to where the reroute points)
What webserver are you using? (e.g. Apache, 2.0, lighttpd, nginx, etc.) Often the redirect is in the webserver domain config or systemd

I'm not familiar with myAdmin, do you mean phpMyAdmin? Or is it a server config GUI like cPanel or WebMIn/VirtualMin?

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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:17 pm

Orpheus wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:42 pm
Long story short:
Prim immigrant grandmother decides to use her granddaughter's "feminine hygiene spray" before a GYN exam.

Except it turned out to be a vivid-colored sparkly spray-on hair dye instead.

70 yo OBGYN has seen it all, doesn't miss a beat. He simply says "Fancy!" and proceeds with the exam.

I guess you had to be there.
Hah. :D I think I saw that in a collection of anecdotes that my Midwives had in the call room. Do you know the one about "Big breaths?" :lol:
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by Orpheus » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:29 am

If it was the call room at BCH/BMC in the mid-late 90s, I bet it was exactly the same incident

Tell me "Big Breaths". I need more stories for my anecdotage.

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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:25 pm

Hah. I'll bet it was the same list. :lol:

So it goes something like this: A doctor is examining an elderly woman. He puts his stethoscope on her chest and says, "Big breaths." She sighs and says, "They used to be."
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Re: Server upgrade, April 2019

Post by huggle » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:46 pm

Orpheus wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:42 pm
Long story short:
Prim immigrant grandmother decides to use her granddaughter's "feminine hygiene spray" before a GYN exam.

Except it turned out to be a vivid-colored sparkly spray-on hair dye instead.

70 yo OBGYN has seen it all, doesn't miss a beat. He simply says "Fancy!" and proceeds with the exam.

I guess you had to be there.
ROTFLMAO! :veryhappy: :thumbsup:
The reroute prob solved itself. Apparently it was merely a server hiccup. I had deleted the reroute correctly but the server still had it cached. After the daily backup it was gone :)
And yes, it's an apache server (version 2.4.39). It's called Andromeda (Lunarpages always name their servers after some spatial object) and is physically located near LA which is why the board may at times of earthquakes be offline for a moment.
I meant indeed cPanel. Got the name confused with phpMyAdmin. My only excuse is that I had spent the 6 hours before making that post by checking and editing 270 printed pages of code, line by line, which left me pretty gaga.. Image
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