• 200910.14

    Really good article on OS scalability

    Compared are Linux 2.4, 2.6, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. Really well-performed benchmarks, with graphs.


    Linux 2.6 was hands down the winner, which makes me feel good about Slackware (2.6 linux but actually stable) as a server. I'm sure Windows would have won if only it was benchmarked. One thing to keep in mind - from what I gathered, the machine tested was a single-processor, single-core machine...this means that SMP scalability was not tested, a HUGE consideration for more modern servers (what server now doesn't have multiple cores?) and may skew the modern-day results, especially between the two leads, FreeBSD and Linux 2.6.

  • 200909.26

    Fix: Slow flash in Ubuntu

    So my girlfriend got fed up with Windows. The constant exploits, viruses, slow degeneration of the registry into an slimy ooze of nebulous information. In fact, her windows machine decided to blue screen on every boot, even in safe mode.

    I'm not writing to bitch about windows though. I'm writing because she decided to go with Linux, and the first thing that came to mind for a beginner is Ubuntu. Keep in mind, I'm a slackware guy and generally turn my nose up at such things, but this isn't for me. Plus I wanted to see what Ubuntu is all about. The install was easy, the configuration was easy, I now have good old XP running in a VirtualBox, etc. Things are going great.

    Two problems. First, it's a bit laggy. Some of the screen savers make it seem like the computer was decrypting an NSA information stream...it's like watching a slideshow. That's fine, it's a fucking screen saver. I just went with a simple one.

    Second, flash player in Firefox on Ubuntu 9.04 is fucking slow in full-screen. After beating the forums and google to death, I finally found something that works:

    sudo mkdir /etc/adobe
    sudo echo "OverrideGPUValidation = 1" >> /etc/adobe/mms.cfg

    Why does it work? How the f should I know? Ask Adobe. It worked for me and if you're have problems with flash in fullscreen on Ubuntu, give it a shot. I've also noticed that many people suggest disabling hardware acceleration for a performance gain. In order for the above trick to work, you must RE-enable hardware acceleration in flash: right click on any flash video, go to "Settings" and check "Enable Hardware Acceleration."


    PS. Try slackware...never had flash problems =D

  • 200901.16

    Apache, PHP, FastCGI - The two day crucible

    Wow. You'd think it would be easy. In fact, it should have been. Compile a module, load it from apache. Recompile PHP with --enable-fastcgi...oh wait, I already had it in there (always thinking ahead!!). Change some apache settings.

    Right? Yeah, right. It took two days. I can't even really remember why. The biggest problem was that running make && make install in the mod_fastcgi source was NOT yielding a 'mod_fastcgi.so' as the documentation PROMISED! In fact, it installed mod_fastcgi.la instead, a highly useless file.

    So how did the master get out of this bind? Beats me, try asking him. As for me, I had to run 'ld -Bshareable *.o -o mod_fastcgi.so' which is mentioned in some document from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

    Let me interject and say that the information on the FastCGI website is "not very well documented."

    Day 2. I figured, what's the point of FastCGI if it's not set up to connect to a remote App server? Maybe I don't HAVE an external server set up, but we can pretend. Well that's another nightmare. There's a good external FastCGI guide written about it, and guess what it worked. Not really a nightmare at all, come to think of it. Quite pleasant.

    All in all, shouldn't have taken 2 days =P (I'm a tinkerer)...but fuck it, I have FastCGI now, ready to connect to all those App servers I have churning away in the background (one day).

    In all the excitement, I also compiled and installed the apache worker-MPM. A few tests with ab didn't really show any noticeable difference. But threads are cool, right?

    Next up: figure out how to configure Apache to pass all requests ending in .php (whether the file exists on the web server or not) to our "app" server. Is this possible?