Saturday, January 8, 2011


ANSWERED: How Does My Computer Find a Website?

How Registrars, DNS Servers, and Web Servers Work Together One of the most common questions that arise when migrating customers from one hosting company to another is a variation on this subject. Most people are unaware of the multistage process that occurs between them typing in (for example) http://www.ateamsystems.com/ and the web page being displayed… Read more »

Thursday, September 16, 2010


SOLVED: FireFTP / ProFTPd Error ‘Unable to build data connection: Operation not permitted’

After updating ProFTPd on a server running FreeBSD, certain clients (FireFTP specifically) were able to log in, but not transfer files or retrieve a directory listing. The following error was shown to the client user: 425 Unable to build data connection: Operation not permitted It appears that a recent change in ProFTPd’s default TLS handling… Read more »

Thursday, August 26, 2010


HOW TO: Using dig(1) to Find DNS Time to Live (TTL) Values

The dig(1) command is a handy DNS information and troubleshooting tool. It can be used to grab a host or domain’s TTL (time to live) values. This information can be critical to planning a DNS cut over, and how long to leave the old server on. In most circumstances I’d recommend running a low (5… Read more »

Saturday, August 21, 2010


HOW TO: FreeBSD rc.d Script for Atlassian Confluence

Below is a simple but effective script to bring Atlassian Confluence under control of FreeBSD’s rc.d script system. This is designed for Confluence in standalone configuration, ie; with its own dedicated Tomcat instance. This script allows you to enable Confluence, and when enabled it will start up with your server (after Apache HTTP and MySQL… Read more »

Sunday, August 15, 2010


HOW TO: CPU, Disk, Network and Memory Usage Reporting via FreeBSD’s bsnmpd(1) and bsnmp-ucd(8)

Out of the box, FreeBSD’s default SNMP daemon bsnmpd(1) does not support the UCD-SNMP-MIBs which is where all the “good stuff” like CPU, disk, network and memory that us sysadmins like to monitor. Adding this module is as easy as installing the bsnmp-ucd port and doing a quick update to bsnmp’s config file: $ cd… Read more »

Monday, August 9, 2010


SOLVED: Apache HTTPd Crashes or Goes Offline Exactly At Midnight

After updating Apache httpd on a server running FreeBSD, it went offline at exactly midnight the following night, producing a log entry like this in httpd-errors: [Tue Aug 10 00:00:01 2010] [notice] SIGHUP received. Attempting to restart [Tue Aug 10 00:00:01 2010] [notice] seg fault or similar nasty error detected in the parent process The… Read more »

Thursday, August 5, 2010


SOLVED: FreeBSD vmware-guestd6 Port Fails To Start

I also to run across this error when working with certain FreeBSD VMs (FreeBSD 7 and 8.0, 8.1). I think the vmware-guestd6 port is missing a dependency. Here is the problem: $ /usr/local/etc/rc.d/vmware-guestd start /usr/local/etc/rc.d/vmware-guestd: WARNING: failed to start vmware_guestd Not too helpful and the logs don’t show anything either. If we try to manually… Read more »

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


SOLVED: FreeBSD vmware-guestd6 Port Install Error

I seem to run across this error when working with certain ESX based FreeBSD VMs (FreeBSD 7 and 8.0, 8.1). My suspicion is that the VMWare tools image that gets mounted when installing the guest tools is mismatching what the port expects, depending on the server’s copy of VMWare Tools. $ cd /usr/ports/emulators/vmware-guestd6 $ make… Read more »

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