[BlueOnyx:14311] BlueNews January 2014

Greg Kuhnert gkuhnert at compassnetworks.com.au
Sat Jan 25 08:18:22 PET 2014

BlueNews - January 2014

Welcome to the first edition of BlueNews. This newsletter is designed for Compass / Solarspeed clients - to inform customers with what we are up to, to share some tips that might help you run and maintain your server. While this is a newsletter, feedback is always welcome. Tell us what you would like to hear about. Chances are, someone else wants to know too.

This first edition is being posted to the mailing list to inform the community about the newsletter. Future editions will be by subscription only. If you wish to receive future editions, you will need to 
In this edition:

Feedback - Future modules
Tips & Tricks - Package Install Troubleshooting
Tips & Tricks - Disk Performance Monitoring
Quantity Discounts
New Packages / Updates

At different times of the year, there are famous sale dates. In the USA, there is "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday". In Australia, there are Boxing day sales" the day after Christmas. Greg was intending to do something around then, but holidays got in the way. Speaking of holidays, the 26th of January is Australia day, and that seemed to be a good excuse for a sale.

All Blueonyx related software items are now 25% the regular price. This price will last two and a bit days only, so get in fast. The official deadline is midnight on the 27th of January (UTC time).

Future Modules

One of the challenges we have is to know what to build next. Michael is focussed right now on the new BlueOnyx theme... but what else does the community want? To help get your feedback, Greg has created a feedback / voting page at http://compassnetworks.uservoice.com/ ... Go to that page, submit what you would like to see for a new WHAM module... or if the module you like is already listed, add your vote to support the previous listing. This page will be a place where we can prioritize new WHAM modules based on community support.

Package Install Troubleshooting

NewLinQ has been around for a while. Most of the time, it will make your life easier. Point and click, and your package is installed. But what do you do when things go wrong? There are some log files that are under the hood in Blueonyx that will make your life a little easier.

The swupdate install log file: /home/.pkg_install_tmp/.swupdate/package.log

This file contains a history of package installations and their success or failure. If something has gone wrong, this is the first place you should check.

The main system log: /var/log/messages

The system log file contains detailed information about what is happening on your server, including all cced diagnostic information.

So how do you find the problem? First of all, try viewing the swupdate log file during a package install to watch what happens. The best way to do this is using the tail command. Eg: Run the command below BEFORE installing a new package. Once you press the go button in BlueOnyx, you will see new entries appearing in this log file telling you about the progress of the install. Press control-c when you have finished viewing this file to return to the prompt.

tail -f /home/.pkg_install_tmp/.swupdate/package.log

You can use the same type of technique to view the system log during a package install... but be warned. This log contains lots of other information too. Try to focus on the cce log entries - and ignore the rest. The command you will use is:

tail -f /var/log/messages

If you have found anything in either of these log files that helps to identify the problem, get back in touch with Compass / Solarspeed with your findings, and they will assist.

Disk Performance Monitoring

Recently, one of our clients has been battling with some "fairly ordinary" disk hardware. Basically, his hard disks are letting him down, and his overall system performance is suffering as a result. I thought it would be good to document some of the commands that we've been using to help identify the problems on his server.
iostat -t -d -x 1 100

watch smartctl -A /dev/sda

cat /proc/mdstat 

Quantity Discounts

Did you know that we offer discounts if you order more than one copy of an app? The store will automatically calculate a special price for you when purchasing up to 10 copies of any package. Buying more than 10 copies? Contact us to give you a custom quote.

New Packages / Updates

Did you know that we have a news page where all the new packages and updates is available for you to read? We try to get updates for our packages up within a few days of release from the upstream source providers. This news page will always be updated as part of that release process. All customers are strongly advised to check here for detailed information about what has changed in an updated package before updating.



This is our first combined Compass / Solarspeed bulletin. We did not have a good baseline of who to send this to, so we used the existing store client database. Future editions will only be published if you select to subscribe to our newsletter in the store. Please go to the store, and check your profile to see if you are receiving our newsletter. Please ensure you select YES, if you want to hear about future promotions like this one.

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