How to whitelist your IP at CPHulk

My IP got banned by CPHulk few times and it is really not a pleasant thing knowing that you need to access your server but you just can’t because CPHulk blacklisted your IP. Great way around it is to white list your IP address in front so you don’t end up in that situation. It’s quite easy, all you need to do is to login at SSH and execute this lines:

cd /scripts
./cphulkdwhitelist xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

Just don’t forge to replace xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with your IP address ­čÖé


Mysqldump: Got error: 1016: Can’t open file (errno: 24) when using LOCK TABLES

Ok so today I had to dump 700mb mysql database. I have tried using standard syntax:

mysqldump -uUSER -pPASS db_name > dump.sql

But I have got the following error:
Mysqldump: Got error: 1016: Can’t open file: ‘./db_name/xxx.frm’ (errno: 24) when using LOCK TABLES

I’ve searched a bit and I have found that solution was to add parameter –lock-tables=false so the final working mysqldump command was like this

mysqldump -uUSER -pPASS db_name --lock-tables=false > dump.sql

How to change proftp FTP password from SSH shell

Today I have got a request from a client that has a server with no control panel on it to change one ftp password. Server is using proftpd as it’s ftp server. This is really easy task to do if proftp is setup by default and uses /etc/passwd for storing it’s passwords.

If you know username all you need to do is type in

passwd USERNAME

(replace USERNAME with actual username), enter new password two times and you’re done.

If you however don’t know the username (and that can happen too) you can open /etc/passwd file and try and locate it in there.


Chrome just would not launch

Today something weird happened. I started up my computer and clicked on Chrome icon – and nothing. I click again nothing… This is weird… I start up Windows Task Manager and then I click again Chrome icon and I monitor Processes list at Windows Task Manager and chrome.exe doesn’t come up… So I start up Total Commander and go to c:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\ and there is chrome.exe and there is debug.log. I start the chrome.exe and nothing again. In debug.log I’ve noticed lots of lines like this one:

[0214/035118:ERROR:client_util.cc(315)] Failed to load Chrome DLL from 0029F7E0
[0214/035118:ERROR:client_util.cc(356)] Could not find exported function RelaunchChromeBrowserWithNewCommandLineIfNeeded

Also I see two directories above: /16.0.912.77 and /17.0.963.46. So this looks to me like some update gone wrong. I start Opera and start searching a at Google on how to solve this since I don’t want to loose all my logins, bookmarks etc… Few minutes later I have found a simple solution that worked but not fully… To solve this problem I had to copy the chrome.exe from /application folder into /application/17.0.963.43 folder (newer version folder). Then by running chrome.exe from that directory did start a browser but when I click on a Key (settings in Chrome) and go to “About Google Chrome” I can see error message “Update server not available (error: 1)” that means that my Chrome will not update itself in future.

So I went to FileHorse.com and downloaded the latest version of Google Chrome and at the moment it was 19.0.1036.7 and I start the chrome_installer.exe I just downloaded and nothing happens…. No installation stuff, nothing… Well I know Google guys like minimalism but this was nothing… but in my Google Application folder I see two new things: new folder /19.0.1036.7 and new file new_chrome.exe. So after trying few more things I found the solution. I had to delete old chrome.exe and rename new one from new_chrome.exe to chrome.exe and it was finally it!!! Chrome was working, update at about page is again saying “Google Chrome is up to date (19.0.1036.7)”.

Ok but why did this happen?
Well I started searching the web and I found out that this happened because of using Chromium or Chrome portable. And I’ve been using/trying both! So one of those probably started auto-update and than used settings stored in registry from my installed Chrome and messed it all up. So my advice for you today is: DO NOT use Chrome along with Chrome Portable or Chromium Portable or any other browser running on Chromium open-source platform!


Keyboard shortcut for Windows Task Manager in Windows 7 and Vista

In order to get to Windows Task Manager using CTRL + ALT + DEL shows you screen (with following options: Lock this computer, Switch User, Log Off, Change Password, Start Task Manager):

Starting Windows Task Manager using CTRL+ALT+DEL

Some times getting to that screen is not easy and it takes a lot of time especially if some application is stuck or it’s using all CPU power or allocated lots of memory.
But there’s are two quicker ways to do start Windows Task Manager directly, without that blue screen, that is really slow sometimes.

1. Right-click on empty space in your Windows 7 taskbar and select “Task Manager”, like on the picture below:

Starting Windows Task Manager taskbar rightclick

2. Press CTRL + SHIFT+ ESC. The result will be the same: Windows Task Manager will start:

Windows Task Manager

How to install CSF firewall

In order to protect your server the best way possible, beside running iptables you should install some additional software. I can recommend ConfigServer Security & Firewall. I’m using it on couple of servers right now and it’s prove it self to be stable and low on resource usage. It also has WHM/cPanel plugin that helps you managing your firewall even if you’re not very experienced user/admnin.

Before installing you must be sure that you do not have any other firewalls installed (such as APF)
Installation is really simple. You just need to run those couple of commands in SSH:

cd /usr/local/src
wget http://www.configserver.com/free/csf.tgz
tar -xzf csf.tgz
cd csf
sh install.sh

Don’t forget to disable testing flag by setting TESTING = 0.
You can do that easily in WHM/cPanel: after logging in at WHM and in Plugins section of sidebar you’ll find “ConfigServer Security&Firewall”. Then click on Firewall Configuration and change testing value. Save it and restart firewall and there you go! Your CSF firewall is up and running!

csf firewall cpanel plugin

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Web host is adding ?PHPSESSID to the end of all URLs

Today I a customer of mine came to me with a problem with web site that he have just moved from one host to another. And on that new host all his links on his site suddenly had ?PHPSESSID=k234j2knk… in the end. Since that is totally unusable since that site doesn’t even uses sessions and could affect his search engine rankings, he wanted it out of the way. The new host he moved that site to was shared and it doesn’t allow editing of php.ini any way so I had to make some other solution.

After failing with adding one of those on top of php files, as suggested on most pages that I found on Google:

// stop PHP from automatically embedding PHPSESSID on local URLs
ini_set('session.use_trans_sid', false);

// only use cookies (no url based sessions)
ini_set('session.use_only_cookies', true);

I suggested him to just switch hosts again, but he said he already paid up front for the whole year… and that it’s not an option… and that he wants that off his site… So, I’ve Googled some more and finally found a simple solution (that doesn’t require editing of 100’s of files in his case because of poorly programmed site). All I had to do is just put one line of code in .htaccess file and BOOM! All those nasty ?PHPSESSID were gone!

php_flag session.use_trans_sid off

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag?

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-1Everyone of us probably has hundreds if not thousands of images┬átaken with his digital camera or cell phone. When viewing these pictures on computer (or TV) you will find that lots of pictures needs to be rotated to be displayed correctly. Doing this by hand can really take some time.┬áLuckily, I have found an easier way of solving this problem. It’s also very fast and easy to use!

Most of modern digital cameras (and cellphones) save many extra data to JPEG.┬áThat’s called EXIF data. Many useful information about how the picture was taken is stored in there. In sample I provided on the right you can see part of the EXIF data saying that the picture was made using my Nikon D50, that I didn’t use the flash and that exposure time is 1/250 sec and that focal length was 80mm. Beside that, there are many other details that are not displayed in this sample, and among those is Orientation tag that says how the camera was positioned in time of shooting.

Our mission is to automatically rotate multiple images in batch using data saved under that field. For that purpose I will use FastStone Image Viewer that you can download from my favorite software download site┬áFileHorse.com.┬áThis software is free for personal use (professionals should buy a license). It’s really amazing piece of software for image manipulation (viewing, converting, cropping, re-sizing, watermarking – you name it!)

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-2

Ok, once you’ve downloaded, installed and started FastStone Image Viewer, you need to find images that you need to rotate. Once in folder with images select them by pressing CTRL+A and then go to Tools – > JPEG Lossless Rotate -> Auto-Rotate based on EXIF Orientation Tag just like on picture above. A popup will ask you are you sure you want to do it, press yes and wait until your photos are auto rotated (if you have lots of photos or slower computer it can take some time to process them all). It’s easy as 1-2-3! Take a look at the samples below:

Before Rotation
How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-before

After Rotation
How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-after

Feel free to leave your comments in the comment box below!


WordPress stuck with “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance…”

Today I went to update some plugins on one WordPress installation but then I accidentally closed the tab while update was in process. When I went back to WP admin or (to blog homepage) I was getting this error: “Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance. Check back in a minute“. Since I couldn’t access WP Admin my hands were tied and I could do anything. So I logged in at the FTP to see how the plugins folder looks like and is something damaged. And in www (pubic_html) folder I noticed file “.maintenance“. I made backup of it and then deleted it and reloaded the blog and – IT WAS WORKING AGAIN! And WP admin was working again! WordPress never stops amazing me!


Uncaught SyntaxError: Unexpected end of input error in Chrome

Today, while I was working with jQuery I ran on this error “Uncaught SyntaxError: Unexpected end of input” while troubleshooting my code in Chrome. And since Chrome it didn’t report error on any specific line I had to Google for it ­čÖé

And after opening few pages I found out that this error codes happens when you forget closing “}”. That can happen often when writing JavaScript and especially jQuery code. Locating that is not easy, especially if you’r code is sloppy and you have a lot of it. Luckily my code is always very nicely written so I got it solved quickly. But in case you’r code is really messy or is compressed (with some JavaScript compressing tool like┬ájscompress.com) you can copy/paste your javascript code into jsbeautifier.org, click on “Beautify JavaScript” (select the options you want on the right side of the screen first) and see if all of the indentations are correct. Beautiful and Geeky.