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Latest news

Planned network downtime at our main datacentre

Posted on Tuesday 15 December 2020, at 19:52 UTC

Our hoster scheduled a network equipment replacement starting this evening and ending tomorrow morning. Expected downtime is estimated for 2 hours.

Unplanned downtime at our main datacentre

Posted on Friday 4 December 2020, at 23:47 UTC

Our hoster is currently experiencing troubles. Consequently, most of our services are unavailable since 22.50 UTC; secondary services (NS2, MX2, IRC and this very website) remain up and running. Please bear with us.

Edit: services are back online since around 01.25 UTC.

Power outage and air conditioning failure

Posted on Tuesday 22 September 2020, at 08:52 UTC

Everything is down since 05:05 UTC, secondary services (ns2 and mx2) are up, about half of our hosts are currently unreachable, we will keep you in touch.

Edit: Almost everything is back, most visible exceptions are panel and webmail, we are working on it.

Edit 2020-09-24: Here we are, everything should be back online.

Network outage

Posted on Friday 8 November 2019, at 16:05 UTC

Our hoster is currently experiencing a partial network outage impacting all our main services. We will keep you in touch. Secondary services (mx2, ns2, …) are up.

Edit: We are back online since 17:05 UTC.

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?

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