Automattic Has Purchased Gravatar

I was just reading photomatt.net and realized that Automattic has acquired Gravatar. I stopped using the Gravatar service when Bork wrote “MyBlogLog” support into his Sexy Comments plugin because it was unreliable and only served up avatars about half the time.

I immediatly switched back to Gravatar upon realizing that Automattic had acquired it, and found that it not only works reliably not, but all the features that were previously paid are now free. Once again, the folks at Automattic have really come through for us! There is just something wonderful about using software that you can really feel good about, and I honestly feel that way about WordPress, Gravatar, Akismet, and all Automattic products. One gets the feeling that that these people are really trying to make the world a better place through their software.

Horde / IMP on RHEL 4 From RPM HOWTO

Whenever you go to install applications and services on registered RHEL servers, it’s always nice to use the RPMs because up2date will keep everything current for you. Managing upgrades gets a whole lot easier when you can bring your system up to current with one simple command. Because of this, I decided that I would try to use as many RPMs as I could when I set up our latest Horde / IMP installation.

Unfortunately, RedHat does not supply RPMs for the Horde applications, but luckily CentOS does. You should be able to download them from here. Get the latest version, which at the time of this writing was horde-3.1.3-1 and imp-h3-4.1.3-1.

Don’t install them yet though because Horde and IMP have always had a lot of dependancies which must be installed and enabled first. Installing the following RPMs should take care of them.

  • mysql-4.1.20-1.RHEL4.1.i386.rpm
  • mysqlclient10-3.23.58-4.RHEL4.1.i386.rpm
  • mysqlclient10-devel-3.23.58-4.RHEL4.1.i386.rpm
  • mysql-devel-4.1.20-1.RHEL4.1.i386.rpm
  • mysql-server-4.1.20-1.RHEL4.1.i386.rpm
  • perl-DBD-MySQL-2.9004-3.1.i386.rpm
  • php-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm
  • php-devel-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm
  • php-domxml-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm
  • php-imap-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm
  • php-ldap-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm
  • php-mysql-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm
  • php-pear-4.3.9-3.15.i386.rpm

Assuming you will want up2date to handle upgrades of these packages, it is very important that you either use “up2date” to install them, or download them from correct channel at the RedHat website. You could also simply get them from the CD distribution that you used to install the system itself.

Once PEAR is installed, you will have to upgrade it, and install the PEAR::Log module.

[root@server]# pear upgrade -a PEAR-1.3.6
[root@server]# pear upgrade PEAR

Ok, now let’s make sure the web server is configured to start when the system comes up:

[root@server /]# /sbin/chkconfig --list httpd

You should see this:

httpd 0:off 1:off 2:on 3:on 4:on 5:on 6:off

But if you see 5:off, simply run:

[root@server /]# /sbin/chkconfig httpd on

Now we enable and start up our new MySQL database server:

[root@server /]# /sbin/chkconfig mysqld on
[root@server /]# /sbin/service mysqld start

And we’re ready to install Horde and IMP. Install the following RPM’s, which will put everything in /usr/share/horde and creates a file called horde.conf in /etc/httpd/conf.d/

  • horde-3.1.3-1.c4.noarch.rpm
  • imp-h3-4.1.3-1.c4.noarch.rpm

This will install the HORDE and IMP packages in /usr/share, and /usr/share/horde respectively.

Finally, we start or restart apache:

[root@server /]# /sbin/service httpd start

Grab a browser and go to the following URL to proceed with the Horde and IMP configuration.

http://server.example.com/horde/

Setting Up The Automounter Service on RHEL

Mounting filesystems in RHEL is pretty straightforward and easy. Occasionally, however, you will not want the filesystem to remain mounted all the time, but rather to automatically mount for a set period of time only when it is needed. Because of networking overhead, and the general unreliability of networks, NFS mounts are a good example of when this can be especially useful.

In order to manage the automatic mounting and unmounting of filesystems on RHEL, we use the Automounter service. Here is how.

First, The main configuration file is “/etc/auto.master”. It should look something like this:

#
# $Id: auto.master,v 1.3 2003/09/29 08:22:35 raven Exp $
#
# Sample auto.master file
# This is an automounter map and it has the following format
# key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
# For details of the format look at autofs(5).
#/misc  /etc/auto.misc --timeout=60
#/misc  /etc/auto.misc
#/net   /etc/auto.net


Let’s assume that we want to set up an NFS mount on “/misc/backups”. We would first create an entry in this file that looks something like this:

/misc   /etc/auto.misc --timeout=120


This tells the autofs service that we want to use it to manage mounts from within “/misc”, that the configuration file is “/etc/auto.misc”, and that it should disconnect after 2 minuets of inactivity.

Now, let’s edit the “/etc/auto.misc” file. The file has three columns: the mount point from within the /misc directory, the options for mounting the filesystem, and the filesystem to be mounted. It also includes the remote server’s name since we are using NFS. It should look something like this when you are done:

#
# $Id: auto.misc,v 1.2 2003/09/29 08:22:35 raven Exp $
#
# This is an automounter map and it has the following format
# key [ -mount-options-separated-by-comma ] location
# Details may be found in the autofs(5) manpage

cd              -fstype=iso9660,ro,nosuid,nodev :/dev/cdrom
backups         -rw,soft,intr remoteservername:/path/to/nfs/export

# the following entries are samples to pique your imagination
#linux          -ro,soft,intr           ftp.example.org:/pub/linux
#boot           -fstype=ext2            :/dev/hda1
#floppy         -fstype=auto            :/dev/fd0
#floppy         -fstype=ext2            :/dev/fd0
#e2floppy       -fstype=ext2            :/dev/fd0
#jaz            -fstype=ext2            :/dev/sdc1
#removable      -fstype=ext2            :/dev/hdd


Next, we create the directory for the mount point in /misc:

# mkdir /misc/backups

And finally we restart the autofs service:

# service autofs restart

That should pretty much do it. If you don’t have autofs configured to start up, you can use chkconfig to enable it. “/misc/backups” will now be mounted whenever a user or process attempts to access data on it, and it will be automatically disconnected after 120 seconds of inactivity. Last, but not least, you can always confirm that it is running with the “service” command:

# service autofs status

As always, change the details to match your own requirements.