WordPress Update Went Smoothly Today.

I run a localized version of WordPress, that partially comes from my Linux package manager, but that has been modified by me, to allow me to install the plug-ins and extensions from WordPress.org .

Therefore, whenever an update to the core files is available from Debian Team – from the package manager – I am a little apprehensive, that the way this update is carried out might not be compatible with my customizations.

Most of the time, updates are good, but on occasion, they may break things.

Today an update to the core package came through the package manager, which technically puts my version at ‘4.1+dfsg-1+deb8u12′. I am sure that there are benefits to users like me. But most importantly, it seems that this update did not break anything. Yay!

Also, I am not recording any down-time, because as far as I can tell, I was able to display a Maintenance Mode page, while the update took place, which would have told readers that the site is undergoing maintenance, for a few minutes.


P.S. I also had to restart my ‘memcached’ daemon after that, the purpose of which is to introduce caching on my side – on the server – to speed up retrieval of whatever readers are interested in most often. Because this cache has therefore been flushed, some of the pages and postings may load a little slowly for the next day or two.

(Edit 02/03/2017 : ) I have begun to notice some functional changes in the behavior of WordPress, that I believe stem from this update. In short, the new version seems to use my caching daemon more consistently, than the previous build did.

Continue reading WordPress Update Went Smoothly Today.

NoMachine NX

When people connect to their VPN, this could simply allow them to access shared files. But alternatively, this could also mean that they wish to create a virtual session, on the remote desktop of one of their servers. The latter exists under the terms VNC, RDP, XRDP, and several others.

On my main Linux server named ‘Phoenix’, I have the XRDP service installed, which is the Linux equivalent of RDP. But one main drawback of this method, of remotely accessing a desktop, is the fact that XRDP does not allow file-sharing, specifically in the version of this protocol that runs out-of-the-box from the package manager. I have read that certain custom-compiled versions support this, but do recall that this service is a mess to custom-compile, and to set up in such a way that it runs reliably. So I stick to the packaged version for now, and do not obtain file-sharing.

There exists a closed-source application named NoMachine NX, which we could use to bridge this gap. But while their paid software subscriptions are very expensive (from my perspective), their Free software version has some big disadvantages.

First of all, even their Free version can be run in client or in server mode. I think that this is terrific. But in server mode – which affords access to the local machine desktop from elsewhere – there is no built-in support for SSH protocol. There is only the unencrypted NX protocol, for which their service listens.

Secondly, not every computer is strong enough to run NoMachine NX in server mode. On the computer ‘Phoenix’ I have a fragile X-server, and this service has actually crashed my X-server. Not only that, but allowing this service to run on reboot, consistently prevents my X-server from starting. It gets its hooks into the session so early on boot, that the X-server crashes, before the user is even asked for a graphical log-in.

On the plus side, there are ways of solving both problems.

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Core Update Tonight, Downtime

This evening, a very deep upgrade was pushed through the package repositories, affecting my computer. This update included 108 packages, included the core C libraries, and converted my Debian 8.6 system into a Debian 8.7 system. Such an update requires we do a reboot, even though we are using Linux.

Because I host my Web-site on my private server at home, this meant that my site and blog were offline from about 22h40 until 22h50. Further, even though my ‘WordPress’ blogging engine has a ‘Maintenance Mode’ window that in can display, this window requires that the Web-server be running to display, while maybe maintenance work could be underway on WordPress itself. Therefore, it was not an option for me to display this, because my whole Apache server was briefly offline.

I hope that this 10-minute interruption did not pose an inconvenience to any of my readers.

Having said all that, it looks on the surface as though the upgrade was a success, and was not botched in any way – thus only the very short reboot interval.

Oh yes. Because my caching daemon was also restarted, the Web-server aspect of this blog will be slightly slow for the next day or so.



I use WordPress.org, not WordPress.com, for most of what I subscribe to.

I think it is a bit my own fault, for not explaining in a clear way, what the difference is between WordPress.com and WordPress.org .

WordPress.com is a specialized blog-hosting site, on which members can write their blogs, but which runs on professionally-maintained servers, by WordpRess.com .

But, the people behind this service have also made the PHP Scripts available for free, that run on the server, and that cause the HTML to be generated, which causes proper WordPress blogs to appear on the browser of the reader. People may download those, and may upload them to whatever Web-server they have access to, provided that that Web-hosting service, also supports the running of server-side scripts, by the Web-hosting service members. Some Web-hosting services put a lot of restrictions on what their members may publish, such as static HTML Pages only, or such as no access to any MySQL server, the latter of which WordPress.org uses actually to store the blogs.

And so, because this support-factor is the main part of the expenses incurred by WordPress.com, I will assume that sharing their core scripts poses no perceived threat to them. Their main expense is not, that core set of PHP Scripts. But, because an individual may have problems setting all this up as well, there is an associated Web-site, namely WordPress.org, where independently-hosted WordPress users can go for tech support, and to download plug-ins.

Continue reading I use WordPress.org, not WordPress.com, for most of what I subscribe to.