[EP-tech] Sysadmin Best Practices

Newman D.R. drn at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mon Apr 1 17:53:27 BST 2019

Hi Adam,

Here are some things I do:

* I use Ansible to manage OS (YUM) package upgrades to systems on a
fortnightly cycle. (I have a number of systems to update and don't want
more regular or internally automated updates, where if there was
problematic upgrade, I would either have a lot of broken systems all at
once or systems randomly breaking at unexpected times).

* I make sure I reboot systems after any kernel upgrade to ensure a
vulnerable kernel is not left in place indefinitely.

* I monitor (using Icinga) packages available for upgrade, so I can
make sure security updates are applied more urgently.

* I have written a systemd service file to ensure the indexer starts
after a reboot.

* I have a root @reboot cron job for making sure OpenOffice starts for
coversheeting after a reboot.  I tried to write a systemd service file
for this but is was unreliable.

* I have an @reboot tidy_pids cron job to ensure there are no stale pid
 (or tick) files in /opt/eprints3/var/ after a reboot that may stop the
indexer or OpenOffice from restarting automatically.

* I have a script that regenerates the sitemap on a daily basis.  the
default sitemap seems to not be compatible when I tried to register
this on Google Webmaster portal, so I wrote a modified version that
just lists all the abstract pages and sets the changefreq to weekly.

* I have lots of monitoring of the server itself.  This is the standard
stuff like ping, load, disk space, number of processes, packages to
upgrade, reboot required, etc. as well as some more EPrints specific
stuff like the size like response on http, checking MySQL tables are
not corrupted, checking if there are config files not committed to
version control, any mail generated for the eprints user (e.g. by cron
jobs), is the indexer/OpenOffice running, what is the size of the
indexer queue.

I am sure there are other things I do that do not spring to mind on
first thought.


David Newman

On Mon, 2019-04-01 at 16:46 +0100, Adam Field via Eprints-tech wrote:
> Hi
>                 Can anyone share what they do on the systems side
> (e.g. cron jobs, regular restarts, monitoring) that they have set up
> on EPrints?  I’m interested in finding out what the best-practice is
> for making an EPrints installation as reliable as possible.
> Regards
> --
> Adam
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