Everything updated, PHP 5.3 musings

September 12, 2011 by · 23 Comments 

Apache's httpd is now 2.2.20 to fix that bit of recent DoS nastyness, PHP is up to 5.2.17, MySQL up to 5.1.58, XCache has been updated to the 1.3.2 release, and a few included deps have been bumped as well.

One thing I've been considering lately is the upgrade to PHP 5.3.  I was saying for a long time that I was not going to force people to upgrade because of the sheer volume of systems with outdated ioncube and zend loaders that would break (more zend than ioncube), but to be honest, you've all had a long time to remedy that issue, and with the EOL on PHP 5.2 (5.2.16 was supposed to be the last release, they made a 5.2.17 to cover an issue, who knows how many more times they'll do that), I think it's time to upgrade the repo.

I've personally been running PHP 5.3 on Amazon's EC2 for about 6 months now and have not had a single issue.  I can't say none of you will, and you should probably all start reading the PHP 5.3 migration guide, particularly the sections on backwards incompatible changes, removed extensions, and deprecated functions, but I'll help where I can when the day comes to push out the version bump.  That's not to say it will be tomorrow, for one, I'm leaving town tomorrow on business, and it won't be next week either, but at some point over the next month or two, I'll be pushing PHP 5.3 updates (with a warning on the site first, check back once in a while or subscribe to the RSS feed).

Oh, and as a reminder to all, updates are available early to those that use my "Testing" repos.  These are packages I consider production-quality enough to try on my live systems and typically once a package is pushed to that point I don't rebuild again.  I just wait a week and copy them to the GA repos.

Recent repo updates: ModSecurity, XCache, httpd

January 23, 2008 by · 55 Comments 

I've been a bit lax over the past week or so, but there's been a few packages I've updated since the last post. On January 8th I updated XCache to 1.2.2. On January 15th I updated mod_security to eliminate that config bug that affected some 32-bit users. Finally, yesterday, January 22nd, I updated Apache's httpd to 2.2.8.

On that last one, there were two versions of httpd posted yesterday: "jason.2" and "jason.3". If you've got "jason.2" then I'd suggest you run another "yum update" as I decided to make a last minute change to stomp out a possible initscript issue that may have affected some users. If you get a couple warning messages during the upgrade you can ignore them; they aren't important and they won't come back once you are on "jason.3".

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XCache Plugin for WordPress

November 7, 2007 by · 26 Comments 

I was sitting here the other day saying to myself, you know, wouldn't it be nice if I could use the Var cache in XCache to eliminate some of the (far too numerous) queries used by WordPress? Well, I set myself on building a plugin to do just that, but it turns out that someone else actually already did it!

Now, before I go any further I should mention that this isn't actually a plugin, it's more of an extension of existing functionality. It doesn't go in your 'wp-content/plugins' folder (that was the first mistake I made, I never read the directions), it doesn't show up in your plugins list (making you check manually for updates, even under WordPress 2.3), and it doesn't have a pretty GUI in 'wp-admin'.

What it does do is eliminate a number of common queries that get run over and over for every single page view. On this site it eliminated a total of 8 queries per page load. While that only dropped the page generation time by about 0.1 seconds, every little bit counts.

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XCache packages updated to 1.2.1

July 3, 2007 by · 27 Comments 

Now that the final version of XCache 1.2.1 has been released I've updated the binaries in my repositories to the newest version. This update fixes several bugs including segfaulting when using the var cache functions when the var cache is disabled and improves compatibility with Apache httpd 1.3.x and the Zend Optimizer.

Repository users will need to run a 'yum update' to pull down this package. Please note that the config file has changed somewhat so I've set this package to rename your old 'xcache.ini' file to 'xcache.ini.rpmsave'.

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Announcing the Utter Ramblings EL4 repository

March 14, 2007 by · 33 Comments 

If you're a regular reader of the site, you may have noticed the "Yum Repository" link at the top of the page. If so, congratulations, you're one of the first to try out a new service I'm offering on this site.

As it appears, most of the posts on this blog thus far have been how-to's on updating your RHEL & CentOS servers to use the newest versions of httpd, PHP, and MySQL. I'm still planning on creating those articles as needed, but only the source packages will be linked to the page. Binary releases for i386 (x86-64 coming soon) will now be available for easy updating through my brand new yum repository (and yes, before you ask, 'up2date' can read a yum repo).

I'm hoping that this will cut down on not only the effort required to update your systems, but also on the possible glitches that can come from updating a complex set of packages like PHP (where, with prior provided methods, you'd need to type out all of the file names that you wanted to install all at once, otherwise you'd have dependency issues with upgrading from an earlier release).

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XCache 1.2.0 src.rpm Updated

February 23, 2007 by · Leave a Comment 

For those of you using it, the src.rpm for XCache 1.2.0 in my PHP Caching and Acceleration with XCache tutorial has been updated to fix a bug that might occur on some servers (see this ticket for more information).

How-To: Compiling XCache from Source

January 30, 2007 by · 27 Comments 

For those of you that are not running RPM-based distros, you're probably feeling a bit left out. Up until now, all of my tutorials have dealt with upgrading RPM-based distros. Well, that ends here. I'm going to walk through the fairly simple process of compiling and installing XCache for httpd from the original source.

The current stable release of XCache is 1.0.3. The "Unstable" release, made for PHP 5.1 & 5.2, is 1.2.0. Despite the label, I have not found anything "unstable" about the 1.2.0 version. That said, there have been a few issues reported on the vBulletin forums for users of PHP 4. If you are running PHP 4, I'd recommend that you use 1.0.3, just to be safe. Now, down to the work.

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PHP Caching and Acceleration with XCache

December 20, 2006 by · 53 Comments 

Anyone who runs a dedicated server for web hosting will tell you that a great way to decrease the load on your server and decrease the page load time is to use a PHP Cache such as APC or eAccelerator. While the largest noticeable improvements are for those site that receive a lot of traffic or are under heavy load, any site, large or small can see benefit from a PHP cache. That said, in addition to the two caches mentioned above, a new player has recently entered the market: XCache.

I first started using APC about 2 years ago when the load on one of my servers was high enough that it was affecting load times and was costing me user traffic. I chose APC over eAccelerator because it was a bit easier to install (at the time) and because APC had a reputation for being a bit faster than eAccelerator. Shortly there after I noticed my httpd processes segfaulting and a bit of research also showed that APC had a bit of a record for instability under heavy load. With that in mind, I took the slight performance hit and installed eAccelerator (which is still way faster than using nothing at all).

Up until today, I was still using eAccelerator on all of my servers. However, a post on the vBulletin.com forums prompted me to give XCache, the new PHP accelerator from the maker of lighttpd, a try. I've got to say, while I've only been using it for about 6 hours at this point, it blows eAccelerator out of the water, especially once you enable multiple caches (which benefits SMP systems).

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