Category Archives: Script magic

Running multiple PHP versions and compiling from source

We had a peculiar situation where both PHP5 and PHP7 were needed at the same time on a FreeBSD server. It was also prohibitive to get root or sudo access on the managing account. The solution was to compile PHP from source with fpm, run fpm on a UNIX socket and wire the specific domain which needed PHP7 through Nginx.

Compiling from source

Compiling PHP is pretty straightforward but you can easily forget crucial configure flags. First get the source archive. After trial and error, this appears to be “good enough” for Laravel 5.6 requirements.

Followed by

copy php.ini-development file from source to the –with-config-file-path directory and call it php.ini.¬† In PREFIX/bin confirm that php binary is loading your ini file by running

If you made a mistake in your configure run, you have to make clean first or the changed options won’t be picked up.

Configuring fpm

In your PREFIX/etc folder, check php-fpm.conf. The only lines I bothered to verify and edit were pid, error_log and include, the rest can be left as is.

Inside folder php-fpm.d create a config file like my.subdomain.conf and add something like

You can study fpm config in great details but this is enough to get you going.

Now you can run your PHP7 fpm process in PREFIX/sbin with

Since we don’t have any init scripts in this case, we must be able to kill it also. Find it with

and kill with

Make sure it says php-fpm: master process in the ps output, killing children doesn’t do anything, just respawns them.

Now you just need to wire up your Nginx to use this fpm instead of the PHP5 system one by specifying

We now have PHP dualstack with some web apps running on system provided PHP5 and some on our own built PHP7. We did not need root for this process, except possibly for configuring Nginx.

One obvious downside is that you now have to take care of updating your PHP version on your own but that is one view we had to sacrifice. Updates should be relatively easy and fast since make install won’t remove your config files in existing installation and compiling PHP takes just a few minutes.



Centos Docker unable to unmount on stop/start

Error looks something like

Error response from daemon: driver “overlay” failed to remove root filesystem for 805c245dad451542b44bb1b58c60887fa98a64a61f2f0b8de32fa5b13ccc8ce4: remove /var/lib/docker/overlay/8f666b802f418f4a3dc4a6cafbefa79afc81491a5cb23da8084dd14e33afbea0/merged: device or resource busy

It usually appears when stopping and starting a container. It results in Docker container not being able to start or starts in a weird dead/removed state. Issue is presumably fixed in Centos 7.4 as per this github issue, but a workaround exists:

1. Grep by part of ID:

it shows which process is holding up the mount in busy state


2. Kill the process



Lib packaging for your own repo

This is a note to self about the release procedure and distro packaging of a development library.

This instructions expect aptly and createrepo to be preinstalled on your repo server together with a valid GPG key.

Packaging a .deb

1. Checkout the release tag and build the deb according to README. Each build should be done on the same machine as the target distribution. If I am packaging for Centos 6 I am also building on Centos 6. If CMake and CPack are set up correctly it usually boils down to:

If the project is missing CMake, refuse to package it.

2. Check that deb info is correct:

3. Rename it to distro you are building on, then scp to your repo server

4. If aptly repo does not exist yet, create it

Ideally you only create the repo the first time, for future updates you create a snapshot of it, add a package, then switch the repo to new snapshot. See aptly docs for more.

Alternatively, you can just add more packages and update the repo with


5. Add package to repo

6. Publish repo

7. On target machine, add repo to /etc/apt/sources.list and fetch public key

8. Update and then check if package info is correct

9. If big mistakes were made

..and start over. Repeat for Debian 8 etc.

Packaging an .rpm

1. See the previous #1. The only difference is

2. Check that rpm info is correct

3. Rename it to distro you are building on, then scp to your repo server

4. Make sure you have .rpmmacros file in home dir with uid of gpg signing key (check out your keys with gpg –list-keys). If you don’t have one, generate it. Entry in the file should look like:

5. Sign rpm

4. Move to appropriate repo that was created by createrepo earlier (see createrepo docs)

5. Update repo metadata

6. Add your repo on the target machine

Since createrepo is pretty much just an http server you can simply delete an rpm and update the metadata in case things go south.

Repeat for Centos 6 etc.


Bashmagic collection vol1

Keep only last X lines of a file (shrink).

Deploy maven artefact to a specific repo without specifying it in pom.xml (format repoId:default:repoUrl). Repo should be specified in your .m2 settings.xml with any necessary credentials.

One liner to set password for default PostgreSQL user after initial install.

Run command inside a screen and save all output to a file

Scroll around inside a screen.

Add 4GB swap on Centos 7 with a stroke of a copy-paste.

Standard tcpdump.

Show listening ports with corresponding executables.

Show systemd logs for a specific service.

Freshly installed nginx configured as reverse proxy on Centos 7 getting “Permission denied” when connecting to backend service

Convert a certificate stored in a Java keystore to a PEM cert and key (for example, Tomcat to Nginx transition).

Disable git SSL verification per-repo.

Disable git SSL verification at clone time.

Clear git username and password cache for a repo (in case of password change or similar).

Give user sudo privileges.

Git submodule is added to an existing repo and is not resolving for you locally.

Print all TCP connections of a Docker container.

Nmap portscan.

Force JVM to use /dev/urandom instead of /dev/random (sometimes needed in low entropy environments like Docker).

Debug print all network activities on JVM level.

Create .htpasswd file for Nginx



Periodically pause and resume Transmission torrents on FreeNAS

Unless you have great internet bandwidth you probably don’t want to leech and seed your 100 torrents during the day. You usually want them to seed during the night and then pause in the morning. Let’s do this on our FreeNAS box.

  1.  Open up your jails, select transmission and fire up the shell from the icon below.
  2. If you dislike vi as default editor, set it to ee by running the following command:

    To make this choice persistent, open up .cshrc and add the command on the bottom.
  3. Run

    and write the following lines:

    Change the username and password with the ones you use to access Transmission WebUI. The example will start all torrents at 1AM and stop them at 7AM.