Measure Linux web server memory usage correctly

Important update: This article was originally posted back in 2014. However, as I later posted in 2017 in the blog post Does your Linux server need a RAM upgrade? Lets check with free, top, vmstat and sar …there was a Linux kernel change to address this in 2016. Hopefully, this change will motivate New Relic and others to follow […]

MySQL Query Cache for Performance, Avoid This When Tuning

Update: MySQL query cache is deprecated as of MySQL 5.7.20, and is removed in MySQL 8.0. – mysql.com One of the most misconfigured MySQL performance features, is MySQL query_cache_size. This post references a web server with 32 gigabytes of RAM where the existing config had MySQL’s query cache size set incorrectly to 4 gigabytes. The thought behind it seemed […]

Replacing Cloudflare with CSF Firewall

November 5th 2018 update: I’ve updated this article (the install URL and other minor fixes/improvements). I replaced Cloudflare and thus also Cloudflare Argo with KeyCDN + local firewall and server hardening for this blog as of June 2018. However, do support clients who use Cloudflare and still highly recommend it.  2017 update: With the recent Cloudflare “Cloudbleed” data leak. […]

htop: Here’s how to customize it

htop is an interactive system-monitor, but also a process-viewer, process-manager, strace tool and more. Sysadmins may opt to use htop in cases where Unix top does not provide enough information about system processes. htop uses a cursor-controlled interface for sending signals to processes. Just one example where this comes in handy: you don’t have to type […]

100 Server and Application Performance Monitoring Tools

Last Updated: Oct 11th 2018, 100+ – Fixed 11 broken links. (including defunct, mergers, acquisitions, or changed links) December 1st 2017 update: 70 100 Top Server Monitoring & Application Performance Monitoring Tools. August 6th 2017 update: 50 70 Top Server Monitoring & Application Performance Monitoring Tools. Back in 2014, I compiled a list of the top 20 server performance monitoring solutions. Largely because I […]

How to Kill Inactive SSH Sessions

So, you’ve been disconnected from your server a couple of times which resulted in inactive ssh sessions. You know this because when you use the “w” command, you see something like the following… 22:47:28 up 315 days, 21:09, 2 users, load average: 9.04, 8.17, 7.30 USER TTY FROM LOGIN@ IDLE JCPU PCPU WHAT root pts/0 ipxxx-xxx-xxx-xxx 23:54 […]

Linux: ncdu and mc to manage large directories

Creating, modifying and deleting files are common tasks performed in any operating system. Even more so by Sysadmins, Developers and Programmers. For the most part, these tasks are fast enough when managing a handful of files. However, on Linux and especially with servers, you may at sometime have to manage millions or even billions of […]

Choosing the Best Linux Server Distro

Are you trying to decide on a Linux server distro (distribution)? This article will help guide you based on the strengths of the Linux server distributions available. If you are looking for desktop advice, have a look at Choosing the Best Linux Distro for Desktop.   Best Linux Server distro The first rule to remember when […]

Linux top: Here’s how to customize it

The top command – referred to below as Linux top – provides a dynamic real-time view of a running system. It can display system summary information as well as a list of processes or threads currently being managed by the Linux kernel. The types of system summary information shown by Linux top command and the order […]

Nginx tuning tips: TLS/SSL HTTPS – Improved TTFB/latency

As of 30th June 2018, the PCI Security Standards Council requires that support for SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0 be disabled. TLS 1.1 or higher must be used and TLS 1.2 is strongly recommended. In addition, starting this July, Google Chrome will begin to mark HTTP web sites as “not secure”. Over the past few years, […]