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Uptime in Tux Machines and Upcoming Relocation

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Tux Machines is down! Yes, We Know.
A heads-up, folks!

SOME time soon the physical server of Tux Machines will need to be moved from one datacentre to another (the current datacentre is shutting down for good). Nothing will change, except perhaps some IP addresses, and duration of downtime is expected to be a couple of hours. In that period of time the IRC network will also be down (same physical machine), but it will be back online at around the same time as the site.

In terms of uptime, we haven't done too badly. 126 days since the last downtime and the issues we recently mentioned (due to a sort of DDOS) have been mostly resolved for weeks. That started around February and stopped at the start of this month. It might resume. Hopefully not...

So, in summary, if some time this coming month there's a long downtime, then it is likely intentional and scheduled. Given sufficient leeway or advance notice, we might even give a heads-up before the server starts its journey. The downside with such things may be, if you post a message about a site going offline and immediately (or shortly) after that the site does go offline, who's actually going to see that message? So we forewarn readers as early as today.

Why Tuxmachines.org Refuses Connections Sometimes

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Junk request; Tuxmachines.org; /dev/null; Better!
Ongoing issue

EVER since February of this year we've had a hard time pushing back against a torrent of problematic requests, seemingly crafted to cause trouble. We wrote some programs a few months ago to automate mitigations, but occasionally the server still slows down or even hangs up on some legitimate connections/requests.

It would be nice to have an optimal, long-term solution, but we do not have that yet. At the moment it is a compromise.

Improving Our Commitment to Tux Machines Readers

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Tux Machines is now self-hosting IRC

Tux Machines IRC
Tux Machines is probably one of the largest (in terms of # of pages) GNU/Linux sites out there. But the IRC channel is relatively new (compared to the site).

THE 'IRC wars' of May (and to some degree June as well) left us in a precarious situation and over at Techrights we have set up our own IRC network. In June we set up a #tuxmachines channel in this new network. It has a two-way bridge set up with Freenode, so either network would be valid for following our updates.

We've accordingly updated the IRC page and the corresponding archives. We welcome people to join us in IRC. It's a substitute to RSS feeds or social (control) media. It's now hosted by us, so from a privacy perspective the readers are far better off. It's definitely an upgrade, a well overdue one.

30,000 Comments

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Humble beginnings
We turn 17.5 years before Christmas

THE 30,000th comment was recently posted in this site, but that in itself does not say much. More than half a decade ago we had to stop new account sign-ups due to an epidemic of SPAM. It wasn't manageable anymore due to increasing volumes. So leaving comments became harder, too.

Nowadays, as a result, most comments are basically just updates made to submissions of ours, adding related links to existing news updates. We consider that to be a good/better use of the comments feature. It's not prone to abuse. It also helps in keeping the site concise and tidy (less repetition).

It's summer here in England (like the rest of the northern hemisphere), so we try to enjoy the outdoors a bit more often (a certain pandemic notwithstanding). Above is a highland cow. We met one (and her calf) a few weeks ago in the countryside.

We've Just Turned 17

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17Th Year Anniversary Let's celebrate have fun and be merry

Today Tux Machines turns 17. Seventeen years of promoting freedom and privacy in the technical world. Our devotion will carry on along with the community and supporters. Tux Machines is here to stay; today, tomorrow, and in the coming years. Let's celebrate Tux Machines. Cheers!

Video: Editing Work in Tux Machines

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Video download link

THE site is turning 17 very soon. We thought it would be worthwhile belatedly explaining how it works and how editorial policies evolved to better serve readers and lurkers.

Tux Machines Turning 17 Shortly

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Video download link

THIS site will turn 17 in a couple of weeks (screenshot below). The video above explains how we got here, who's responsible for it, and where we move from here. Wink

Tux Machines whoisThe video is very informal (totally unscripted, unedited, improvised), but it's also the first time we publish such a video in this site (or the blog).

We wish to thank all those who have supported or merely read us for many years. Spread the word. We're always eager to reach audiences that don't know much about GNU/Linux and may consider switching to it.

In retrospect, as this is composed after making the above video, it's worth noting that the antiX-19.4 page could not be found because of the dash (or hyphen). We rarely miss important news and we're typically very quick to cover/mention important stories.

Big Traffic in Tux Machines Ahead of 17th Anniversary

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Big Big Traffic
Credit: Penguin rendering by Mogz

THE Tux Machines site turns 17 in a couple of months and traffic has never been better. This past week it was on average 100,000 hits per day and later this month we will have posted the 150,000th node.

Sorting out the news isn't a simple task, but with experience it gets a lot easier and we're glad to be a leading syndicator in that space.

Migrating TuxMachines to a Bigger Server

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We are in the process of moving the TuxMachines Web site to a better server with more capacity and better hardware. There may be temporarily odd behaviour on the site (if data is accessed which is out of date).

Monitoring Tux Machines With Apachetop, Nmon and Htop

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Monitoring Tux Machines

Summary: A little glimpse at how we monitor this site for DDOS attacks and general performance, especially now that DDOS attacks have already become pervasive and routine (Apachetop helps identity attack patterns and visual, colourful alerts are triggered in Nmon and Htop)

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