Hunchentoot 1.2.1 Gotcha

November 15, 2011

So you have been running hunchentoot for ages and got your grubby paws on 1.2.1 (most likely from quicklisp.org) but now your sites are throwing stuff like the following at you:

[2011-11-15 22:17:15 [INFO]] No session for session identifier ‘2:9CA87E6B20EE1E45F2637A82CD267198’ (User-Agent: ‘Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1’, IP: ‘127.0.0.1’)
127.0.0.1 – [2011-11-15 22:17:15] “GET /index HTTP/1.1” 404 184 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1”

Well don’t dispair, you need to change the instances of hunchentoot:acceptor you create to start hunchentoot to hunchentoot:easy-acceptor. This is because all those funky create-*-dispatcher[-*] functions (used by define-easy-handler and maybe you directly) now belong to the “easy-handler framework”.

(Thanx H4ns for pointing that out.)

Thanx for SSD’s and 64 bit systems with lots of ram!

June 12, 2011

I was fortunate enough to have to upgrade my development machine. So I decided to throw in a SSD drive (a little 64gig thing) to put my operating system (Ubuntu – Natty) on and a few extra chips of ram (16 gigs to be exact).

Holy crap!!!

To start of with, I loaded Ubuntu in under 3 minutes from a cd! That includes answering questions like what drive do you want to install on, what is your location, what keyboard layout etc. In fact it was so fast that I decided to put my /home directory on a different disk to make loading different Linux systems easier, because at those speeds I am prepared to try some more systems.

I spend 12 to 16 hours a day working on my computer and you can not believe what a difference it makes to have a really decent system. Even my internet experience is far superior!

If you are a developer or/and just spend a lot of time on your system do yourself the favour and spend the extra bucks. And while you are at it throw in a bigger screen like a 20″ with senseye technology, its worth every cent.

I would never have imagined it would make such a big difference. It is really worth it!!

Haunted by your IPv6’s address(es) yet?

June 10, 2011

I have been following some of the hype around the IPV6 day. I must admit that I am exited about it. The possibilities are endless. Just imagine a world where every device could have its own IP address. If the issuing of those IPV6 addresses is carefully controlled it would be like issuing a unique id to every device that could possibly connect to the internet (or each other).

Add a couple of verification servers, maybe in combination with a private key and you would not have to ever remember a password again. Your car, your house, the coffee machine at work even your wife could rely on the IPV6 addresses that you carry around with you in your phone, watch or pace maker to recognise you.

Throw in some gps/proximity technology and you could be notified of a friend that just walked around the corner. You would know when the boss was close by! (No more nasty little surprises). Your girlfriend would never ever have to worry about where you are and what you are up to any more. She would know where you are, whom you are with and what you are doing at the click of a button.

Such bliss, its just … priceless!!

Ubuntu Gnome 3 PPA – Evolution 3 Urg!!

June 2, 2011

I have been using ubuntu with gnome 3 from the unofficial PPA for more than a month now. I liked it from the word go but then again I had used unity long enough to not have a major culture shock. As with any work in progress I would expect glitches but so far there has been no real “train smashes” and usually after a couple of hours there would be a fix to download.

For a time there I was happy.

Then some where along the line evolution 3 got added to the PPA. Ok so they are working towards the future, fair enough.

I am no longer happy.

Evolution 3.0.2 in the PPA as it stands at the point of this writing is a complete @#$%. I have bitched about evolution before in previous Ubuntus but they got it right (eventually), good for them and thanx I had many months of trouble free evolution usage!!!

Evolution 3.0.2 however is an abortion. To give you an idea of what to expect here are just some of the issues I have with it:

– I have to open and close evolution to get new mail (the send/receive button seems to be for show)
– it fetches all (old = already read) mail from the server some of the time so you end up with tons of duplicate mails in your inbox
– and when I reply to some mails (usually from my gmail account) evolution just blinks out of existence.

So things really came to a head this morning when for the briefest of seconds I considered going back to MS and outlook, yes I am ashamed to admit that I even thought it, even if it was for the briefest of seconds!!!. At that time I reigned myself in and said : Hey stop bitching and log some bugs!!

Yeah right, after an hour of scratching and reading on google I decided to try to run evolution with a debug flag….splat she goes!!! (And before you ask no you cant run it with the ubuntu bug reporting thingy because it declares promptly that you are not running an official ubuntu.)

**As an aside do a search in launchpad for evolution bugs with the word “crash” in it…

Yes I KNOW its “experimental”!!! AND yes its my own fault and yes its my own problem, I DID IT KNOWING that stuff in the PPA could be broken.

I have not googled it but I am pretty sure there is a difference between experimental and just plain broken, at least if you look at those words in their true sense.

So be warned, my gnome3 experience has been great (thank you PPA guys), but if you are going to use evolution with it you might want to hang back a week or so before you try it.

UPDATE: 14 June 2011

No evolution fixes yet.

I have gone back to Unity, I got tired of battling with Evolution and I really missed tortoishg which does not work with the nautilus in gnome3.

Hunchentoot Webserver and Application Security

December 22, 2010

I had the opportunity to have the security of the Hunchentoot lisp web server set-up, from the previous post, and a web application using Hunchentoot reviewed by a reputable firm. In short this is what they had to say:

“it would appear that the server administrators should be commended for their network-level hardening of the target system”

Its not a hundred percent clean bill of health because only automated testing was used with some manual interventions to validate the auto testing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lisp Web Server From Scratch using Hunchentoot and Nginx

November 9, 2010

**************************I tried my setup on Ubuntu 13.10 server and had some issues so I decided to update this article, unfortunately I dont have the time to rewrite it so I am just hacking the bits that where issues on Ubuntu 13.10**********************

So you want your own lisp web server to hack away at but where do you start? Well don’t despair, what follows is a recipe for getting such a server running in no time. (Don’t worry you won’t be coding it from scratch you will be building it with a “software lego” set.)

Much of what you will see here was taken from different websites especially these two great articles http://blog.ponto-dot.com/2010/08/15/setting-up-common-lisp-on-a-web-server and http://blog.ponto-dot.com/2009/08/18/hunchentoot-behind-proxy-server. These articles do a better job of explaining what is afoot than my posting here. Please do go to these articles and show your appreciation for the hard work that went into them by leaving a comment.

All that I am doing is giving you an A to Z recipe in one place to get you going.

There are a lot of good articles in the slicehost articles collection as well that are worth a read on their own if you want to understand more about the iptables and stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Slicehost – Ubuntu 10.10 Mail Server from Scratch

November 9, 2010

Its been a while since I posted, work keeps on interfering, but since I last posted I was forced to move to a new virtual hosting company. VPSLink just did not cut it any more so I moved to Slicehost and am very happy with them thus far. So since I was moving I decided that it was time to update my Mail Server from Scratch recipe.

You know the song by now, I am not an expert, but I found that the following steps worked for me… etc … etc

This post is a simple recipe for getting the job done, it is most likely not the best way of doing it but it works. The problem with this type of recipe approach is that the “why for’s” and the “where for’s” are minimal or non existent. Any comments and/or corrections are more than welcome.

What this exercise leaves us with in the end of the day is a mail server that can handle multiple domains and email addresses. The domain and user data is stored in an postgresql database while the actual mails end up in special directory.

We will not only be able to administer the mail server from a web interface but the email account holders will be able to access their mail via a web interface. To do this we use Ubuntu 10.10, postfix, postfix-admin, dovecot, roundcube, postgresql and nginx.

This is a copy/paste job that I put together some of it from tutorials and some of it I hacked together as I set up a test server to actually try it. In this process I some times went back to fix or change stuff in this post and ended up fluffing some of it. So I will keep on cleaning it up as I find errors or errors are pointed out to me.

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Evolution Stable on Ubuntu At Last – (How about tackling MS Office doc compatibility next)

June 8, 2010

Fistly I have to state that I have only ever used Evolution on Ubuntu. For months I had to kill Evolution a couple of times a day because it just froze up. Finally in Lucid Lynx this is no longer the case! I dont know who fixed it (and dont care), all that matters is that it is working properly now as far as I am concerned.

This is a majour step in getting Ubuntu ready for the real world in my opinion. There is however one majour stumbling block left before Ubuntu can take the place of MS Windows for the average office jock. MS doc/docx compatibility in Open Office needs majour work. I put this before the door of the Ubuntu team and not the Open Office team because I think the Ubuntu team has the resources and hopefully the will power to get it right.

Come on guys tackle this one for us! Please!?!?

VPSLink – Ubuntu 9.4 Mail Server from Scratch

March 2, 2010

Like in so many of my other posts I have to state that I am not an expert on this subject. Then why am I posting about it at all you might be asking! Its simple, the experts usually give us just enough info to hang ourselves. Yeah thats right, they make it look simple enough that we consider trying it and then leave out just enough “obvious” info to get us into trouble. To be fair I don’t think they do it on purpose they just forget that the obvious is all but obvious to the poor newbie.

Well after that little poke I have to add that there are some prerequisites to being able to use this little recipe of mine. You need to be able to read…hehehe …sorry bad joke. You need to be able to use vi or nano at least.

This post is a simple recipe for getting the job done, it is most likely not the best way of doing it but it works. The problem with this type of recipe approach is that the “why for’s” and the “where for’s” are minimal or non existent. Any comments and/or corrections are more than welcome.

What this exercise leaves us with in the end of the day is a mail server that can handle multiple domains and email addresses. The domain and user data is stored in an postgresql database while the actual mails end up in special directory.

We will not only be able to administer the mail server from a web interface but the email account holders will be able to access their mail via a web interface. To do this we use Ubuntu 9.4, postfix, postfix-admin, dovecot, roundcube, postgresql and nginx.

Read the rest of this entry »

Centos Virtualbox Guest in Ubuntu Host Issues

February 16, 2010

This is not a how to but a quick set of notes regarding the installation of Centos 5.4 (dvd iso) as a guest os in VirtualBox 3.1 on a Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) host. There are more detailed tutorials about this subject but I wanted to do this quick post because of the issues I had with the install.

First issue, was that if I set up the virtual disk as an ide device (default behavior of vbox) then the virtual instance would not boot from the dvd. Booting from the dvd stopped after giving one line of output as follows: “ISOLINUX 3.11 ….”. Change the disk to a sata disk in the Settings menu after creating the virtual machine to get past this.

Second issue, the install hangs at/after reporting the following “Registered protocol family 2”. This was fixed by enabling IO APIC in Settings menu.

What the reasons where for the issues I had and what the exact implications are of what I did to get past these issues are beyond my knowledge.

Out standing issues:

Centos boots terribly slow initially complaining about crash kernal memory not being in the allowed range. Its the first time I have installed Centos so I dont know if it just boots slowly or whether there are more issues to be sorted out. In all fairness I must add that I did a server + gui install and only gave it 512 meg ram to work with.

Otherwise it seems to run just fine.