Tech/Server Notes

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Revision as of 04:31, 27 August 2015 by Kirsten (Talk | contribs) (added note about being no longer maintained)

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Stumptown Syndicate runs servers to host our own websites and provides hosting to a few Portland user groups and community projects. New servers are named using a scheme based on fictional scientists and engineers. This Wikipedia list may be of use.

This is a Rackspace Cloud server that hosts and sites for many of our projects. Its configuration is managed using chef:

Chef Configuration

When setting up this server, our Chef code does the following:

  • Installs system-level dependencies (apache, php, mysql, etc)
  • Installs WordPress
    • Exports the WordPress source from svn to /var/www/wordpress
    • Creates a MySQL database and user for WordPress, and writes these credentials to wp-config.php
    • Creates Apache config files for each domain hosted in the WordPress multisite install, as listed in the node config
    • Installs wp-cli
    • Installs WordPress plugins and themes specified in the node config
  • Installs CiviCRM as a WordPress plugin and creates a database for it (but does not configure its database connection)
  • Writes simple apache config files for dokuwiki and static sites, as listed in the node config
  • Creates a database for MediaWiki
  • Creates a database and apache config for Fusion Invoice

It notably does not:

  • Import any existing WordPress database
  • Add any custom contents of /var/www/wordpress/wp-content
  • Configure WordPress caching
  • Install any of the various dokuwiki instances
  • Move any static files, such as the WhereCamp sponsor logos
  • Install or configure MediaWiki
  • Install of configure Fusion Invoice

This is a Rackspace Cloud server that used to host and sites for many of our projects. It has since been replaced by, but remains online for a final backup check.

This is a Rackspace Cloud server, set up to run Rails apps. Its configuration is managed via Chef:

When rebuilding this machine, the Chef run will only set up the basic framework needed to run the listed apps. You will still need to deploy each of the apps using Capistrano and set up their data.

This is a Rackspace Cloud server that runs various tools we use to communicate and do our work. This server's configuration is managed using chef:

Rackspace Cloud server for

This is the primary Open Source Bridge server, on Rackspace Cloud.

The public Open Source Bridge site is made up of a few interwoven services:

Transferring data to a new VM

When setting up a new server to fulfill this role, several pieces of data need to be transferred over manually.

  1. Spin up a new VM and run the Chef script for arroway
  2. Deploy OCW
    1. Transfer the osbridge_ocw MySQL database
    2. Copy OCW configuration files into /var/www/osbridge-ocw/shared/config
    3. Copy uploaded OCW user photos into /var/www/osbridge-ocw/shared/public/system
    4. (optional) Copy OCW logs into /var/www/osbridge-ocw/shared/log
    5. In a local checkout of OCW, add a stage for the new server in config/deploy
    6. Deploy OCW with capistrano: cap [stage name] deploy
  3. Install MediaWiki
    1. Transfer the mediawiki MySQL database
    2. Copy the OSB MediaWiki installation into /var/www/mediawiki
    3. Ensure /var/www/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php is properly configured to connect to the database
  4. Install WordPress
    1. Transfer the osbridge_wordpress MySQL database
    2. Copy the OSB WordPress installation into /var/www/wordpress; maintaining the newly-created wp-config.php (WordPress is already installed in a basic state, but files may have changed since the initial install so copying the existing instance is highly recommended)
  5. Copy OSB web badge assets to /var/www/badges/


We're using Heroku to run an instance of Errbit, which provides unified error logging for our Rails apps:

Old Servers

We inherited this server from Igal, it has since been shut down. It hosted several local user group sites and community projects, as well as his personal sites that we're keeping online in memoriam (on our personal, non-Syndicate servers). The server was hosted on Igal's Rackspace account.

This was the old OS Bridge server. It was hosted on a donated account from Network Redux. It was originally configured using AutomateIt, though changes may have been made outside of the automated setup system since then.

Behind the scenes, this server also hosted:

Several other things, still hosted on this machine, are outdated and should be shut down

This was originally the failover server for