Cacti: Graphics Galore

One of my objectives for this year is to build a central monitoring and statistical system for our unit. For the statistical part I’ve chosen Cacti.

Last year I’ve already implemented a pilot project using Cacti, which gave me a chance of testing several templates to fit our needs. Unfortunately the machine where I implemented it was rather old (one of the disks died), and was running Debian Sid, so it was kind of broken…

With a new machine available, I now have the service up and running. For now I’m posting a few pretty pictures of the potential of Cacti. In the future I’ll blog about installing and configuring specific templates.

Firstly we have a graphic which analyses the Postfix Log:

Some Apache statistics:

Some MySQL statistics:

Some FlexLM License Statistics:

And, even… Meteorological Statistics:

Review: An Unearthly Child

The Five DoctorsAn Unearthly Child
My rating: 3 of 5 starts

This is the first ever Doctor Who Serial, which premiered on BBC in 1963. So I was already anticipating extremely old-fashioned special effects.

After watching this first serial I can with conviction say that I don’t like the First Doctor. He is extremely arrogant and treats the companions as idiots…

The story is somewhat good, but the filming and special effects don’t really hold up almost 50 years later.

I’m thinking of skipping the First Doctor altogether… I’ll maybe watch the first Daleks Serial and that’s it. Maybe skipping to the Fourth Doctor will be a good idea…

Upgrade from Debian Lenny to Squeezy

Now that Debian Squeezy has officially been released, here’s how to upgrade from Lenny to Squeeze (at least how I’m doing it):

  1. Edit you /etc/apt/sources.list and replace the lenny entries with squeeze
  2. Run aptitude update
  3. Run aptitude install apt dpkg aptitude
  4. Run aptitude safe-upgrade
  5. Run aptitude full-upgrade
  6. After rebooting and checking the grub chainload into grub2 was successfull, run upgrade-from-grub-legacy

The only problem I’ve encountered was with the MySQL Server upgrade from 5.0 to 5.1, it just simply fails. But I’ve upgraded a machine two weeks ago, so I don’t know if the problem has been resolved.

Review: The Five Doctors

The Five DoctorsThe Five Doctors
My rating: 4 of 5 starts

I’m a huge Doctor Who fan. Being watching the restarted series since 2005, on the last few months I’ve gained an interest in watching some old Doctor Who serials/episodes.

The first one I choose was The Five Doctors, a special episode celebrating the 20th anniversary of the show. As the title suggests, it features 5 incarnations of The Doctor, well, the only 5 at the time.

Seeing this old sci-fi shows can somewhat be a fun experience and this was one of them. I really liked it. The special effects are, of course, outdated, but let’s face it, it’s a 27 year old episode. But the story is really good. I really enjoyed it..

The next review will be of the first Doctor Who serial, An Unearthly Child, from 1963…

Centralized Apache Logs with Syslogd

One of the projects I have for this year is the centralization of all Apache logs we have scattered across all our machines.

I know this kind of guide has been done before, but here’s my implementation for our systems.

  1. Install rsyslogd: apt-get install rsyslog. Some older machines we had were still using the older sysklogd, but form what I’ve gathered, it doesn’t support UDP transmission of the logs, so I didn’t fit me.
  2. Add the following rules to /etc/rsyslogd.conf:
    local1.crit @destination-host @destination-host
  3. Restart rsyslogd: /etc/init.d/rsyslog restart
  4. Edit your apache settings to add the new log rules (normally /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default):
    ErrorLog syslog:local1
    CustomLog “|/usr/bin/logger -p” combined
  5. Restart apache: /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
  6. On the central machine add the following rules to syslog (this part is actually recycled from a Nuno Dantas implementation of the central logs for postfix):
    source s_remote { udp(); };
    destination d_clients { file(“/destination-path/$HOST”); };
    log { source(s_remote); destination(d_clients); };
  7. Restart syslog. You should now have the apache logs coming…

After this, I implemented a AWStats central instance which parses all those nifty logs.

My new Book Blog

With the new year, came the usual New Year Resolutions. One of them I’ve already put into motion, which is blog at least once a week.

Another one is to read more. I’ve signed up for he GoodReads 2011 Reading Challenge and set myself to read 30 books this year. I though of setting the bar a little higher but then I though, small steps…

For this purpose, I’ve created a new blog, specifically for Book Reviews, called Reliant Bookwork. I took this idea from my sister, which also has a Book Reviews Blog called Sleepless Bookworm, with already a batch of interesting content. My GoodReads account is connected to the blog, so every time I write a review on GoodReads, it gets posted to that blog.

So let the reading year begin, and happy reading to myself!!

2010: a personal review

So, a full week has passed since the end of 2010. So it’s time for a personal review of the last year…

Personally, it was a somewhat good year. I changed my position at CICA, becoming a Systems Administrator at UAS, responsible for everything from Email to LDAP. I also became a permanent worker at FEUP, with a contract of indefinite duration. In the current times, that not that bad. I also (finally) got my driver’s licence is May, so you should be careful when you’re on the road!

Got to visit a new country in October, Ireland, and revisit an already visited one in December, The Netherlands. Amsterdam in the Winter is somewhat magical, as the photos and videos I took can show you…

Gadget-wise, it was also a good year. I bought my current phone, the Google Nexus One, and got offered a Kindle 3 for my birthday. Let’s just say that because of this last one, I’ve been reading like crazy

So, overall, 2010 was a good year. Let’s see what 2011 will bring…