WWW posts

web development, my site, server, and the world wide web in general

Looking at Apache logs with command line tools

In my web development career, I have countless times needed to look at Apache logs to figure out or find out about problems with sites, monitor activity, or for various other purposes. I’ve used command line tools to help with this, often looking for strings and counting occurrences. Since I recently needed to create a command string to count unique IP’s connected to a given string in the logs, I thought I’d post about it and a few related useful commands.

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Custom logic for unattended upgrades reboot

The Ubuntu / Debian unattended-upgrades package has an option to automatically reboot as needed when it upgrades packages. It will do this without user input, at a chosen time. However, it doesn’t allow for any conditions beyond need and time. I found a need for more nuance recently, so I had to disable the built-in functionality and set up my own script on a cron job.

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Automatically deal with conf changes using unattended-upgrades

For Ubuntu servers, I use the unattended-upgrades package to automate keeping the system and packages up to date. I recently noticed some of Cogneato’s servers showing packages needing to be updated for multiple days. When I looked in unattended-upgrades.log (in folder /var/log/unattended-upgrades/), I found the message “WARNING Package something has conffile prompt and needs to be upgraded manually”. Basically, there was a change to a configuration file and it didn’t know how to handle it.

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I’ve got home internet again

After three and a half years tethering for my home internet, I’ve given in and switched to “real” home internet: T-mobile Home Internet. Yes, it is cellular just like tethering, but it should allow for a lot more monthly transfer and may have bigger and better antennas and different handling at the tower. I finally gave in because the cost made sense and I feel it will give me more freedom and ease of doing things that require data.

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