Analysing MySQL load spikes


One of our customers was seeing big problems with their MySQL based website, The load on the database server would shoot up, associated by a rise in the number of slow queries being logged and their website would come to a grinding halt. Initially, I suspected that the queries coming up in the slow query log were causing the database server load and slowing down the rest of the site. However, these queries which were taking 3-7s to run during the problem, would normally take 0.20s to run and would check about 50k rows.

Yet more getting rails to run under OpenSolaris


Trying to add some data to my new project using the default sqlite3 database. And so the first issue:

$ /usr/ruby/1.8/bin/rake db:migrate
(in /export/home/jeffw/network)
rake aborted!
no such file to load -- sqlite3

No worries I say, just install the sqlite3 gem, but alas:

$ pfexec gem install sqlite3-ruby
/usr/ucb/install -c -m 0755 /usr/ruby/1.8/lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/sqlite3-ruby-1.2.4/lib
sh: line 1: /usr/ucb/install: not found

Installing rails on OpenSolaris


Well, who would have thought it would be so difficult to get rails running on OpenSolaris. I wanted to quickly work up a new project in rails and have ended up spending a half hour getting rails running. Hopefully I can save someone else some time...

First, make sure ruby is installed:

$ pfexec pkg install SUNWruby18

This will install rubygems as well, BUT, on my first time round, I got to running rails and found out that:

Rails requires RubyGems >= 1.3.1 (you have 0.9.4). Please `gem update --system` and try again.

Managing resources in VMware


This presentation should be viewed by anyone who is setting up a VMware server where the virtual servers require guaranteed access to resources:
This is useful to implement VPS's for customers, for example...

GDM beep for OpenSolaris login


I finally got sick of OpenSolaris beeping at me when GDM started. The fix ended up being easy. Just run pfexec /usr/sbin/gdmsetup to lauch the GDM configurator, go the Accessibility tab and remove the tick from "Login screen ready" under Sounds.

Generating site maps for Google

To make sure my sites were going to get indexed by Google I wanted to add a site map. I found the drupal XML Sitemap module installed and generated a site map. Easy. However, afterwards I installed Pathauto and regenerated all of my content paths. So now my site map didn't match. No worries, I'll just head over to the XML Sitemap modeule and regenerate - but no! No such option.

OpenSolaris upgrade to snv_97


I just upgraded to snv_97 everything went fine in the upgrade until the final step where the new boot environment didn't want to activate:

beadm: Unable to activate opensolaris-5

Having a look here suggested that I might want to get rid of some older boot environments. So here they are:

jeffw@suburbia:~$ beadm list
BE Active Mountpoint Space Policy Created
-- ------ ---------- ----- ------ -------

Wireless under OpenSolaris


I'm still having issues with my wireless under opensolaris. I've started a thread on the opensolaris forums, so hopefully someone with more ideas than me will be able to help.

As per the thread, it appears that the wpa client thinks something is disabled.

Images in Drupal


Just updating one of my drupal sites, ScanClub WA. I needed to update the favicon and let the users add some images to the pages. So here are some useful links:

To convert images to icons, try Bradicon.

For using images in Drupal, have a look at

Benchmarking the http server up and coming

Being a little frustrated by the unwieldy beast that is apache, I am wanting to try out some of the sexy new http servers about town, namely cherokee, lighttpd and nginx. So to work out which I like better I'm going to set up and then benchmark the following:
- a drupal site
- a ruby on rails site
- both running under fastcgi as a designated user for that site
- test with and without a database backend
- test primarily on OpenSolaris. Maybe compare to Linux.

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