[volunteers] Speaker Coordinator Introduction

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Mar 30 15:30:45 PST 2011

I wrote, concerning lists.svlug.org:

> Let's work on automating the mbox backup for the future.
> Now, the automation part.  Add to /etc/crontab on linuxmafia.com:
> 3 15    * * *   root    rsync -e "/usr/bin/ssh -i /root/.ssh/svlugbackup" -ax "lists.svlug.org:/var/local/mailman/archives/private/{carpool.mbox,jobs.mbox,officers.mbox,smaug.mbox,speakers.mbox,svlug-announce.mbox,svlug.mbox,volunteers.mbox,volunteers-old.mbox,web-team.mbox}/" /usr/local/src/rickstuff/svlug/mboxes
> OK, that _should_ suffice to refresh my backup of the mboxes at 3:15 AM
> every night.  I'll have to check, tomorrow or so, to make sure that works.

Just to close out that FIXME item, I've verified that the cronjob _does_
work.  So, we now have nightly backup onto my remote server of all
meaningful mbox files, via a cronjob running on my server.  
Separately, cronjob /etc/cron.weekly/mailman-rosters running on
lists.svlug.org dumps all mailing list memberships every Sunday and
e-mails them to two custodians (Don Marti and me).

The mailing list configuration details are not yet backed up.  That
remains a FIXME.

However, we are now in much better shape for recovery if/when the
lists.svlug.org host fails.

On www.svlug.org (Linode):  

The way I reduced the number of cgi-php daughter processes from the
default eight to two was to add this line in
/etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf's fastcgi.server section:
"max-procs" => 1

I just removed the xinetd package -- and did some removal of a number of
other pointlessly installed, unneeded packages.


I also created site-docs/package-operations, as follows:

PAY ATTENTION, here.  SVLUG does its administration in a particular way
in order to conserve RAM and disk.

1.  Don't install 'aptitude'.  Don't install friggin' X11.  This is a
headless server with the minimum possible software.

2.  Use apt-get, apt-cache, dpkg, dpkg-reconfigure.  Yes, we're
painfully aware that you probably use aptitude or kpackage or synaptic
or something.  Yes, we know that Ubuntu and Debian deprecate apt-get.
We use small, reliable tools because we don't have elbow room for the
bloated ones.

3.  Occasionally check for unnecessary packages (as the root user):

    apt-get autoclean

The last of these is a very sophisticated and useful checker.  _However_
you must pay close attention when using it, or you might remove
something vital to the system.

Also useful along those lines:

    dpkg --purge [packagename]

...will remove vestigial package conffile and similar directories left
over after you've removed the package associated with them.  You can
spot such leftovers by doing 'dpkg -l | more' and spotting any line
beginning with 'rc' in the leftmost column.  That indicates run
control (init) similar files left over from a removed package.

4.  Make damned sure, when you tweak system software packages, that you
haven't accidentally launched a bunch more daemons.  Do 'ps auxw | more'
to check.  Is there something new running.  Are you _sure_ it needs to
run?  In the past, volunteers have accidentally enabled both xinetd and
eight large cgi-php daemons while working on the system.  Don't do that.

5.  You will occasionally want to run 'do-release-upgrade' as the root
user, to check for a newly available Ubuntu Server branch and transition
to it.  If do-release-upgrade informs you of an upgrade option, that
would be an utterly excellent time to cancel and (before re-running
'do-release-upgrade') grab these and copy them offsystem as a
last-resort fallback option in case something goes terribly wrong:

(As root:)

dpkg --get-selections "*" > /root/selections-$(date +%F)
tar cvzf /root/etc-$(date +%F).tar.gz /etc
tar cvzf /root/webroot-$(date +%F).tar.gz /srv/www/svlug-main/

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