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What to do when 'dpkg --configure -a' does not work?

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2013-12-03 11:37

I recently had trouble with a MySQL installation in Ubuntu. For some reason or the other, during an upgrade to a newer version of mysql-server, the upgrade script had issues stopping the server and the script failed. This meant that apt could no longer function as it kept raising a red flag over the broken upgrade with the following instructions:

PDOException: SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 144 Table 'cache_menu' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed: DELETE FROM {cache_menu};

Submitted by Druss on Tue, 2013-04-23 10:38

While trying to edit a menu on a Drupal site, I found that none of my changes were being saved. Looking at the logs led me to the following error message:

PDOException: SQLSTATE[HY000]: General error: 144 Table 'cache_menu' is marked as crashed and last (automatic?) repair failed: DELETE FROM {cache_menu};

Simply restarting MySQL did not fix things and it looked like I had to get my hands a li'l dirty.

Cron: pam_unix (cron:session): session opened/closed for user root by (uid=0)

Submitted by Druss on Thu, 2012-07-12 02:00

This is my week of playing around with mail servers and I have been keeping an eye on the logs on a regular basis. I noticed that the auth.log was riddled with millions of these pointless (from my POV anyhow) log entries:

CRON: pam_unix(cron:session): session opened for user root by (uid=0)
CRON: pam_unix(cron:session): session closed for user root

Cyrus sasld testsaslauthd connect() : No such file or directory 0

Submitted by Druss on Wed, 2012-07-11 01:22

While trying to debug a postfix authentication issue in Debian 6, I had to use testsaslauthd to test things out:
testsaslauthd -s smtp -u foo@example.com -p test

only to get the following error:
connect() : No such file or directory 0

This is apparently because a lot of people (and authors) follow the same guide for configuring postfix and saslauthd. One of the steps missing is to symlink and saslauthd directory to a location within postfix. To fix:

Drupal: PHP Fatal error: Undefined class constant 'MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY'

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2012-07-07 23:38

While setting up Drupal on a friend's Ubuntu server, I ran into the following error message:

PHP Fatal error: Undefined class constant 'MYSQL_ATTR_USE_BUFFERED_QUERY' in /var/www/mysite/includes/database/mysql/database.inc on line 42

This basically simply means that the PHP PDO extension has not been installed. It can be installed via something along the lines of:
sudo aptitude install php5-mysql

While you are at it, make sure that all the other PHP extensions that Drupal requires are also installed.

Postfix/Sendmail: Frequent emails from smmsp to root

Submitted by Druss on Fri, 2012-07-06 03:31

I just finished setting up postfix on a Debian 6 machine. All is peachy. However, when I checked my mail logs to see how things were going I noticed a number of entries for messages being sent from smmsp@example.com to root. Checking root's mail led to messages with the following content:
/usr/share/sendmail/sendmail: line 880: /usr/sbin/sendmail-msp: No such file or directory

Debian/Ubuntu: Loading iptables rules on boot

Submitted by Druss on Wed, 2012-07-04 03:30

If you've ever worked with Debian or Ubuntu servers, you've very likely had to set up a firewall at some point or the other. However, any changes that are made are not saved and loaded if the server is ever rebooted. The following is a quick guide on how to get this happening:

(root or sudo access is required)

Hiding Apache version information in Ubuntu

Submitted by Druss on Sat, 2012-06-02 00:03

If you've ever visited a webserver's error page, it will usually state the error followed by information about the server. This will customarily tend to include the webserver software, its version, possibly information about some of the modules compiled in as well as the server's address and port. While this might look generous and helpful, it also allows bad guys as well as other parties to probe the server to find out what it is running as well as other details such as version information. This information can be used for nefarious purposes.

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