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Latest news

End of MySQL old password support

Posted on Friday 4 October 2019, at 18:08 UTC

MySQL old password support (before MySQL 4.1) backward compatibility is being removed from most MySQL client libraries, at least from the PHP MySQL client library we started using.

MySQL new password support (starting from MySQL 4.1) is quite old, that is, affected databases are those created before 2006 and without a single password change since then, needless to say that only a few of them are affected.

Anyway, we manually renewed a couple of password hash on websites filling a MySQL auth error "The server requested authentication method unknown to the client [mysql_old_password]" in our error log but we can't do much for websites that don't.

Please renew your MySQL database password using the panel if you encounter the issue.

Switch from PHP5 to PHP7 planned

Posted on Tuesday 6 August 2019, at 13:36 UTC

As most of you know, PHP7 is available for a couple of years now, and more and more CMS and such are removing their backward compatibility with PHP5 up to the point that we now really need to upgrade.

We can't easily keep both installed, PHP5 is available up to Debian Jessie (8) and PHP7 support is available from Debian Stretch (9), therefore we have to do a hard change.

This really is going to break things a lot, so, please check locally if your website works with PHP7, and fix it if necessary, we will do the switch in a couple of weeks.

Again, please check, IT WILL BREAK THINGS.

Edit 2019-08-26: It's been 3 weeks, last reminder, change in few days !

Edit 2019-08-29: First step done, it went not as bad as planned since both PHP5 and PHP7 are available, however PHP5 is now without curl due to a conflict with libcurl. PHP5 is still the default but will be switched to PHP7, meanwhile PHP7 can be enabled by adding AddType application/x-httpd-php7 .php to your .htaccess file.

Edit 2019-09-28: Curl support in PHP5 is back, we managed to fully port PHP5 to Debian Buster.

SCM access issues

Posted on Friday 17 May 2019, at 18:36 UTC

We are currently having issues with SCM accesses due to a hard disk failure.

No data is lost, the issue does not affect data storage. We managed to restore ssh access, Git and Subversion anonymous access. Web anonymous access (gitweb, svnweb) will be back later.

Edit 2019-05-22 15:45 UTC: Everything is back!

TuxFamily goes political!

Posted on Monday 1 April 2019

Today we bring you a special announcement, not about yet another downtime or upgrade operation but rather about the future of the TuxFamily association. Indeed, not content enough with dull sysadmin and moderation tasks, the TuxFamily team has decided it was time to step up against the various problems of modern society. To this end, the TuxFamily team is about to become a political party, aspiring to the highest executive power in their country: President of the French Republic.

First, the why: in the latest years, it has become more and more difficult for the TuxFamily team to relate to any existing political platform. It feels like no political group, no leader, no elected representative is willing to recognise and face the real problems of our real world. Thus, it is only natural that TuxFamily, unsatisfied with the available political options, becomes a political party itself, carrying their views and ideas to as many people as they are legally allowed, i.e. about 67 million people — that's almost 0.9% of the world population!

Then comes the how: how does a small association like TuxFamily become a political party? Well, to be fair, a lot remains to be defined, starting with who will volunteer to campaign as TuxFamily's public face. It is very likely that internal primaries will be organised in the coming months (Serge, our intern, is considered favourite due to his incredible charisma). Money is also an important question, which was swiftly solved: after years of donations, TuxFamily has what it takes in bank to start the adventure. This money was of course initially intended to purchase hardware and servers — but who needs servers in the century of cloud-based hosting anyway?

Last, and definitely the most important point this piece of news wish to bring to your eyes: TuxFamily's political platform. Of course, the program below is all but definitive and is liable to evolve and improve until the next presidential campaign starts, but what follows should give you a good idea of the bright future you can get by voting for TuxFamily!

  • Society:
    • Every home will be required to adopt at least one cat as "purr therapy" is seen as the best way to dramatically reduce health expenses.
  • Culture:
    • As a mean to protect the French cultural exception, backups will become legal requirements for everyone: companies, associations, individuals, etc. Failure to comply will be met with data loss and ridicule.
  • Security:
    • As a mean to enforce French excellency, all perpetrators judged guilty of having assigned wrong, insecure Unix permissions to their files will be stripped of their nationality and deported to DevNullia. Remember kids, whenever you chmod 777, you systemctl start hitler!
  • Education:
    • Ensure all citizens are perfectly capable of correctly indenting a damn text file before they get the ability to vote.
  • Immigration:
    • People who wish to join the country will have to pass a test: they will be deemed good citizens if they can use a dial-up Internet connection on typical mainstream websites for two hours straight without losing their nerve.
  • Economy:
    • Automation will delete 90% of jobs. It is therefore urgent to fund research to design sofas comfortable enough for the entire population to slack off whole days on them.
  • Transportation:
    • People who listen to loud music in trains will be "offered" the possibility to touch the catenary feed.
  • Ecology:
    • Make coal the true energy of the 21st century.
    • Use excess water from melting ice caps to watercool computers.
  • Constitutional changes:
    • The French Republic is currently in its 5th version — from now on, French Republics will have to be versioned using semver.
    • Docker images of French Republics should also be created to make revolutions more convenient.
    • Death penalty will be restored specifically for members of parliament who refuse to use Git to amend legal texts.

As you can realise, TuxFamily combines a good list of priorities to address with a set of unique yet realistic solutions which surely most citizens will acclaim as the one right way to go! So, without further ado, vote for TuxFamily! And donate too! Together, let's compile a beautiful future for the country!

Edit: Of course it was our yearly April fool joke ;-)

VHFFS Database down

Posted on Monday 25 June 2018, at 08:38 UTC

The server which is currently hosting the VHFFS database crashed.

All related services are down, which are mx1, pop, imap, ns1, ftp, panel, jabber, webmails.

Edit 2018-06-25 15:05 UTC: We set up a temporary db from backups to restore mx1, pop, imap, ns1, ftp, SquirrelMail webmail services. Panel, roundcube webmail and jabber are down.

Edit 2018-06-26 12:51 UTC: Everything is back!

Spectre & Spell

Posted on Sunday 1 April 2018

If you read our news, it is very likely that you have some form of interest for information technologies and as such, it is equally likely you heard about the infamous Intel vulnerabilities known as Spectre and Meltdown along with the tremendous cohort of processors they impact.

Needless to say, TuxFamily had a look at these issues in particular. And, like many other companies and associations, we wondered "what's next?". After all, despite their well-deserved media coverage, Spectre and Meltdown are but successors to row hammer and INTEL-SA-00086 and surely, things cannot end here, right? It felt natural to conclude that we have recently entered some form of dark period, the extent of which ought to be counted in years, characterised by a strong focus of all security-related I.T. professionals on hardware vulnerabilities. Basically, everything we discovered (vulnerabilities), learnt, improved and strove to prevent (good design and coding practices, security audits, peer reviews, etc.) in the latest 20 years is to be done again in the realm of hardware. Another way to put it is: one way or another, we are probably going to be betrayed by every existing piece of I.T. hardware in the coming years. It would be tempting to detail what would (and hopefully will) put an end to this era of misery, but this is not the point of this piece of news.

The main point is: TuxFamily is moving out of x86 processors. For various reasons, we cannot afford to wait until every piece of hardware was deemed a threat to our mutualised infrastructure. Instead, we have to move on, even if that implies to design our own machines. And guess what? This is exactly what we intend to do, thanks to our main sysadmin also being a professional electronics engineer. After further investigations about what sounded like a crazy idea at first, we eventually found the perfect brick to start building the perfect architecture TuxFamily had never dared to dream about. And this brick happens to be... the glorious TMS5100!

Surely, we do not expect all of our beloved hostees to react to that technical name. But we surely expect our plan to suddenly make a lot more sense after we rephrase it this way: we intend to rebuild TuxFamily's infrastructures based on Speak & Spell devices!

A good old Speak & Spell
A good old Speak & Spell (picture by FozzTexx under CC BY-SA 4.0).

Think about it: thanks to their simple design (no notion of rings, no fancy MMU, etc.), not a single hardware vulnerability has ever been registered for these chips. That's right, not a single human ever had to utter "ah, crap, we have to handle the TMS5100 F00F bug ASAP". THAT is what we call "reliable foundations".

And this is where we need you! As of today, all of this remains a theoretical project; we are light-years, if not parsecs, away from our goal. To bootstrap this engineering endeavour, we do not need money (we still have plenty since the association officially moved to the Cayman islands) but we need a total of 3,261 Speak & Spell devices. Alas, we only have 1 for the moment (well, technically, we have two, but a member of the staff refused to let go of his device, claiming it was sacred and he was still using it on a daily basis and we had no right to take it by force and we would have to write our damn news ourselves if we did so). We have no doubt that some of you still have such devices in their basement and are willing to help us achieve hardware independence. Therefore, please quickly mail us your Speak & Spell devices to the following address:

TuxFamily - Spectre & Spell project
1, Rue du Ciel Étoilé
F-75000 Paris

Serge, our favourite intern, will be in charge of receiving, checking, registering, labelling, storing and/or dispatching the precious devices. All languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese) and variants (e.g. Speak & Read and Speak & Math) are accepted, and all donators will receive weekly updates reflecting our march towards a better future. Do not hesitate, donate now!

With your help, we should be able to replace our infrastructures in a matter of just a few years. Of course, hostees should expect a transition period marked by very slight losses of performance compared to the current infrastructure. But surely, this almost painless transition should be long buried and forgotten by the time the I.T. hardware industry put their products back on track with regards to security.

Edit: as many of you had guessed, it was of course our traditional April Fools' prank. As severe as hardware vulnerabilities can be, we are too lazy to design and build our own hardware and therefore do not actually need your Speak & Spell devices. If by chance you insist on sending us your Speak & Spell, please contact us to get our actual postal address; indeed, the one mentioned above is based on Santa Claus' postal address (the French variant transposed in Paris to be specific) and none of you wants to mess with Santa's after-sales service, right?

Network outage

Posted on Friday 12 January 2018, at 15:44 UTC

We are currently experiencing a network outage on all of our main services. We don't know what happened yet, we will keep you in touch. Secondary services (mx2, ns2, …) are up.

Edit: We are back online since 16:25 UTC.

Air conditioning failure

Posted on Monday 26 June 2017, at 22:55 UTC

We are currently experiencing an outage of some services due to an air conditioning failure, we'll keep you in touch.

Edit 2017-06-27 08:40 UTC: Oh dear, there is still an ambient temperature of about 50 °C, everything is down since all our storages tripped on critical overheat condition.

Edit 2017-06-27 12:41 UTC: Good, they managed to stabilize the temperature around 45 °C, which is below critical point, we restarted everything.

The Tux Hunter

Posted on Saturday 1 April 2017

Hey, it's April Fools' Day! As you are reading this, most websites on the Internet are publishing some kind of joke, hoping nobody within their audience notices today's date. Which actually gets kind of complicated in those harsh times where almost every human gets access to the Internet through an NTP-regulated smartphone. Ah, what a wonderful time to be alive!
This year, at TuxFamily's, we decided not to do any prank; historically, we have used April Fools' Day to threaten our estimated hostees with various calamities, downtimes and heretic decisions; what kind of hoster would do that each and every year to their hostees? That sounds inhuman. Are we inhumane? No we're not. That's why this year, instead of a silly joke, we provide you with the closest you can get to a guided tour within the TuxFamily universe, namely the infrastructures and the staff behind your favourite hoster.

Let's start with the infrastructures: our main datacenter is located in Poo, a charming town in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh:

Our main machine room, during dry season:

These guys are former interns who, alas, left us too early during the latest monsoon.

For redundancy purposes, we have three other datacenters in Nowhere, Oklahoma. All three can be seen on this picture, with engineers about to lay an additional optical link to the first one:

This is our network backbone; as you know, TuxFamily lives on your donations and thus always strives to save money by NOT purchasing useless stuff such as fancy racks or needlessly long cables.

It would be boring to present you with pictures of all of our servers, so instead let's focus on our most powerful machine, which is also the one we check, inspect and clean most often.

Similarly, you probably do not really care what we use to work: still, here is a picture of Xavier's workstation:

and another one of Sylvain's workstation:

But enough hardware! Surely, we are proud of our infrastructures, but we never forget how useless they would be without the true magic brought by our dream teams:

First, let's introduce our PR (Public Relations) team, i.e. the guys we send to various events such as RMLL, Solutions Linux, etc. to represent TuxFamily and explain how great it can be for you:

(yes, that was "bring your child at work"-day).

By the way, they happen to be the people whom you could have rented for a night if our last year's idea of a "service that will enable you to bid for your favorite TuxFamily staff member" had become a reality. Too bad nobody liked the idea.

As you probably know already, people convinced they ought to be hosted by TuxFamily have to submit a description of their project, which is reviewed by our moderation team:

Yes, these are the guys who either accept or reject your demands. Similarly to the PR team, they all have extensive knowledge of communication and human "sensibilities" and are so dedicated to their task they sometimes travel and "knock" to the rejected candidates' doors to better explain why the project was rejected and why it is, alas, "strictly unnecessary to further insist". And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why it is so important to fill your exact residential address in TuxFamily's panel!

Of course, it would be unforgivable to forget our sysadmins! Always deeply concerned with privacy matters, be it for your data or for themselves, they expressed the wish to remain anonymous while still providing a nice group photography:

Let me guess: you want a calendar filled with photos of our sysadmins, now, don't you?

These guys are the ones who, thanks to our state-of-the-art monitoring systems, wake up at 4:37 in the morning to extinguish the fire that started at 22:12.

Last and clearly the least is Serge, our latest intern, whom we appreciate less for his programming skills (although he is quite good at "spit programming", a peculiar variant of "speed programming") than for his astonishing survival abilities:

Ladies: he's single!

Way to go, Serge!

That's it for your guided tour within the premises of TuxFamily. Sadly, since Serge's drool is drowning our last functioning keyboard, we are currently unable to publish the exact licenses of this article and its pictures until tomorrow.

Edit: it was of course our usual April Fools' prank; our main datacenter is in France, those famous actors do not work for TuxFamily at all and we do not send gangsters to break your wrists when your project gets refused (that does not constitute a reason not to read the FAQ before applying, though). On the other hand, who can prove we do not have a llama in the team?

Network outage

Posted on Friday 17 February 2017, at 08:57 UTC

We are currently experiencing a network outage on all of our main services. We don't know what happened yet, we will keep you in touch.

Edit 2017-02-17 10:05 UTC: We are back!, it was due to fiber cut on two fibers which were supposed to be on two distinct paths but in the end obviously were not.

Edit 2017-02-17 22:55 UTC: And it's down again.

Edit 2017-02-18 03:12 UTC: Up!, it should be the last time, that was probably for the definitive fiber repair.

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