Installing PECL extensions for Zend Server 6

Recently we have revisited using Zend Server for some of our projects and decided to give the new version 6 a chance to prove itself.

Overall its a big improvement over version 5. There are still some things that are extremely annoying but we have decided that we can overlook them.

However there is one thing that we couldn’t do without. By default you will find that a number of PECL extensions will not install out of the box (at least this is what we experience using the Debian based install).

To fix this you will need to make sure you install the additional packages in ubuntu

  • php-5.4-source-zend-server or php-5.3-source-zend-server depending on the php version you are using
  • autoconf
  • build-essential

Once this is done you should now be able to install extensions from PECL without too much hassle.

Better Output for MySQL Select Command Using \G

If you ever find yourself using MySQL via command line and end up with something like this:

mysql-command-line And thought there must be another way, well here it is: Use \G instead of ; at the end of your select command.

For example:

Below is an image of the output from this select:

mysql-nice-output

Happy Querying!

 

Introducing ZuQ – A Simple ZeroMQ Queuing Daemon

We recently had the need to create a queuing system to replace an implementation of RabbitMQ that was being used on a previous project. The reasoning behind this is that the requirements of the project required a very custom implementation of a queuing system that would drastically alter in architecture as the project grew and RabbitMQ just wasn’t going to fit the bill. However to start with we required something super simple and efficient that could be expanded and developed as required. After a little investigation and a lot of recommendation from others we decided to use ZeroMQ as our transport layer for that very reason, as we could build something which could span across multiple servers and was fast.

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Glorious Gluster – How to setup GlusterFS on Rackspace Cloud and Ubuntu 12.10

A few of our projects recently called for a distributed file-system that provided high availability and redundancy. After a tip off from a fellow techie and a quick browse around the net it appeared that a solution called GlusterFS appeared to tick all the boxes for what we were wanting.

However setting it up turned out not to be as trivial as I had originally anticipated. I’m going to try and put down the process we have evolved for setting it up on Ubuntu in the cloud

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Docblock, Oh Docblock, wherefore art thou Docblock (hint: Zend Optimizer Plus lost them)

tl;dr> I make a terrible assumption about Zend Optimizer+ and am corrected by Dominic in the comments;

Terrible post title I know but its the best I could come up with.

I’ve just come up for air after spending the majority of the day debugging some issues on our current development sandbox.

Now our sandbox tends to be quite bleeding edge in some circumstances and as such we run a fair few bits of unstable code. On the sandbox in question we have been running PHP 5.4.11 and unfortunately we have struggled to get APC working with it just the way we need it to. The lack of APC tends to make this sandbox quite slow.

We recently saw that Zend have open-sourced their OptimizerPlus extension (https://github.com/zend-dev/ZendOptimizerPlus) and that it was compatible with 5.4…. Fantastic, or so we thought.

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Our Redmine install died, We all cried!

We have been using redmine for quite a long time and a few months ago attempted to upgrade from 1.3 to 2.something. Unfortunately I (quite typically) borked the installation and since then its been hobbling along after my attempts to fix it left it crippled.

Yesterday it finally gave up the fight and my attempts to resurrect the installation were futile. After a quick funeral (the eulogy was very touching), and wake in a nearby emporium of alcoholic beverages to commiserate our loss, I set about trying to figure out what to do next.
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Quick and easy setup of and connection to NRPE on Ubuntu

About NRPE

NRPE (Nagios Remote Plugin Executor) is a useful tool that allows you to execute scripts on remote servers and return the output for ingestion by some form of monitoring software.

Setup

We currently have our own instance of Icinga running to monitor our servers and have recently started to offer access to it for our clients.

The majority of our servers (and our clients servers if we set them up) use one variant or another of Ubuntu. This means we can very quickly get our servers connected to a Nagios/Icinga instance.

First things first we need to install the nrpe server and all the associated plugins

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Debug PHP CLI on Remote Server with Xdebug and PHPStorm

This was a head scratcher when I ran into this yesterday and I thought I would share my solution to the following scenario:

I need to debug PHP Command Line script, located on Remote LAMP Virtual WebServer running in Virtual Box with a Shared Folder, using local PHPStorm 5.0.

The solution:

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Compiling Apache 2.4 on Ubuntu 12.04

I’ve decided that I need to up my game when it comes to webservers. However I’m not yet ready to switch to Nginx or one of the other webservers out in the wild as I need something up and running rapidly.

Granted the numbers are definitely against Apache in a lot of benchmarks but historically I’ve always had a good experience and the entry level makes it much more appropriate for me to stick with it.

However Apache 2.2 is rather long in the tooth, thankfully 2.4 has been out for a while now. The problem I have is that I tend to favour Ubuntu as a platform and there is no sign of a 2.4 version appearing on the horizon anytime soon as they are waiting for it to be implemented upsteam in Debian before including it in Ubuntu.

Now there are PPAs available out there but im not overly happy using them (especially on production environments) So the only option is to compile.
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Compiling PHP 5.4 on Ubuntu 12.04

So recently I’ve been working with PHP 5.4 a LOT. Unfortunately Ubuntu (my main dev environment) is behind the times. So I’m resorting to compiling PHP manually.

Not a daunting as it may first appear. The really tricky part is working out your dependencies and configure script.

Hence the reason for this post as a reminder for myself and others that may want to do a quick compile. (I would recommend that if your compiling for a production/live environment that you make sure you understand what it is your compiling though before just using what’s here)

So where to start. Dependencies first I think
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