Recent outage and snow flake servers!

This is a Wombat not a snow flake!

My server hasn’t been working too well over the last 24 hours due to it becoming a bit of a snow flake, that and the fact the the plumber always has leaky pipes! Not to mention that I was running a rather old version of Debian.

What’s a snow flake server you may ask? It’s what all system admins should avoid! It’s a server that does all sorts of things (often rather well) and as such is a precious little snow flake! The problem with this is that the server will not, or is not, easy to manage or update or improve due to lack of documentation, configuration issues, and / or as was my issue- software and hardware conflicts.

There are a number of ways to manage machine production and developer working environments. These include approaches such as blue green servers, machine imaging with products like puppet and Ansible. As well as a VM approach with products like Vagrant or a software container product like  Docker.

Whats also interesting is that with good old fashioned tools like password less key managed ssh access, and shell scripting you can control a lot of the process that the above products like to take claim for.

I’m going to think quite a bit about this snowflake problem some more in the coming weeks. I shall probably write more about how I, as someone with a “production server” and a number of other needs keeps all the ducks on the wall.  The end result is that I hope I can create a machine from scratch in a very short space of time. Or at least learn a few things.

Stay tuned!





Notes on nginx config



This is just a collection of nginx config notes I’ll up date it on occasion… So with out further ado!

Getting upload problems
When using the old uploader you may get
“413 Error: Request Entity Too Large”

Mod the nginx.conf file

add/increase client_max_body_size in the nginx configuration file http area/section:
http {
client_max_body_size 32m;
(other lines will also be here)

Also look at the php.ini file
/etc/php5/fpm directory if your using php-fpm


Check and/or increase the following:
upload_max_filesize = 32M
post_max_size = 32M

Optionally increase:
max_execution_time =300
memory_limit =128M


If the server is not generating php pages

add the follwoing line to fastcgi_params within the /etc/nginx directory

fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME    $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

restart both nginx and php5-fpm


The “server_names_hash_bucket_size error”

To fix this issue add this line

server_names_hash_bucket_size  64;


server_names_hash_bucket_size  128;

into the

/etc/nginx/nginx.conf file 

after the http Declaration

http {


# Basic Settings


server_names_hash_bucket_size  64;


That should fix things!


Feb 10 2017

Added this to


fix file size up load issue that became apparent in new WordPress install

        # set client body size to 10M #

        client_max_body_size 10M;