Munin Graphs for Phusion Passenger (a.k.a. mod_rails)

words by Brian Racer

The goal of this article is to get fairly nice looking graphs of Phusion Passenger’s performance and memory metrics:

This specific setup focuses on CentOS (on cPanel none the less) – but instructions should apply for most linux distros. It assumes you already have Passenger and Munin successfully setup. See my previous article on getting Phusion Passenger setup if you have not already.

First we need to allow the munin user sudo privileges for a few passenger related commands:

$ sudo /usr/sbin/visudo
# Add the following line to the file
munin ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/passenger-status, /usr/bin/passenger-memory-stats
# Depending on your setup, you may also have to comment out the following line:
Defaults requiretty

If you see the error sorry, you must have a tty to run sudo in /var/log/munin/munin-node.log, comment out the final line shown above.

The following two files will glean some performance and memory statistics.

Passenger Status:

sudo vi /usr/share/munin/plugins/passenger_status
#!/usr/bin/env ruby
def output_config
  puts <<-END
graph_category App
graph_title passenger status
graph_vlabel count
sessions.label sessions
max.label max processes
running.label running processes
active.label active processes
  exit 0
def output_values
  status = `sudo /usr/bin/passenger-status`
  unless $?.success?
    $stderr.puts "failed executing passenger-status"
    exit 1
  status =~ /max\s+=\s+(\d+)/
  puts "max.value #{$1}"
  status =~ /count\s+=\s+(\d+)/
  puts "running.value #{$1}"
  status =~ /active\s+=\s+(\d+)/
  puts "active.value #{$1}"
  total_sessions = 0
  status.scan(/Sessions: (\d+)/).flatten.each { |count| total_sessions += count.to_i }
  puts "sessions.value #{total_sessions}"
if ARGV[0] == "config"

Memory Stats:

sudo vi /usr/share/munin/plugins/passenger_memory_status
#!/usr/bin/env ruby
# put in /etc/munin/plugins and restart munin-node
# by Dan Manges,
# NOTE: you might need to add munin to allow passwordless sudo for passenger-memory-stats
def output_config
  puts <<-END
graph_category App
graph_title Passenger memory stats
graph_vlabel count
memory.label memory
  exit 0
def output_values
  status = `sudo /usr/bin/passenger-memory-stats | tail -1`
  unless $?.success?
    $stderr.puts "failed executing passenger-memory-stats"
    exit 1
  status =~ /(\d+\.\d+)/
  puts "memory.value #{$1}"
if ARGV[0] == "config"

Now we will link these to the active plugins, and make them executable:

sudo chmod +x /usr/share/munin/plugins/passenger_status
sudo chmod +x /usr/share/munin/plugins/passenger_memory_status
sudo ln -s /usr/share/munin/plugins/passenger_status /etc/munin/plugins/passenger_status
sudo ln -s /usr/share/munin/plugins/passenger_memory_status /etc/munin/plugins/passenger_memory_status

Last thing we need to do is make sure those scripts run as the munin user:

sudo vi /etc/munin/plugin-conf.d/munin-node
user munin
command ruby %c

Restart the munin node, and wait and you should see the graphs start to propagate.

sudo /etc/init.d/munin-node restart

For even more detailed performance analytics, checkout NewRelic monitoring. And thanks to Dan Mange for the munin scripts.

Clean Webalizer Referrer Stats in cPanel

words by Brian Racer

I find it useful to override some of cPanel’s default webalizer configurations. There can be a lot of misleading or unnecessary data when you don’t ignore traffic that is being referred to from your own site.

Create the following file:

vi /home/username/tmp/webalizer/webalizer.conf
HideSite *
HideSite localhost
MangleAgents 4
TopSites        10
TopKSites       10
TopURLs         10
TopKURLs        50
TopReferrers    250
TopAgents       15
TopCountries    10
TopEntry        10
TopExit         10
TopSearch       20
TopUsers        20
# Usually you want to hide these
HideURL         *.gif
HideURL         *.GIF
HideURL         *.jpg
HideURL         *.JPG
HideURL         *.png
HideURL         *.PNG
HideURL         *.bmp
HideURL         *.BMP

Replace with the domain you are working on. The next time webalizer runs it will not be clogged with useless referrers generated by your site. To force webalizer to run(in a cPanel environment), execute:

/scripts/runweblogs username

Office 2007 docx, pptx, and xslx saving as zip files

words by Brian Racer

Recently I had an issue where various browsers on Windows desktops were saving docx, xslx, and pptx as zip files when downloaded from our linux web servers(apache in this case). The solution was to add extra mime-types to /etc/mime/types:

echo 'application/vnd.openxmlformats       docx pptx xlsx' >> /etc/mime.types

And then restart apache:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

This would also require mod_mime to be loaded, and is by default in Debian based systems. To verify the location of the mime.types file your server is using, the following commands may be helpful(replace the httpd.conf or mods conf directory with your distributions location).

grep -n mime.types /etc/apache2/mods-available/*
grep -n mime.types /etc/apache2/httpd.conf

Linux desktops with Open Office had no such problems 🙂