nginx and the too many open files limit

So, nginx is fast, nginx is light, nginx is great but… nginx can be nasty too, with undocumented unexpected behaviors. What happened today? We were putting in production a new reverse proxy based on nginx 1.4.1 and one of the obvious thing you do when putting it in production is to raise the nofile limit from the standard 1024 (at least on Debian). So, you expect that nginx will inherit those pam_limit little numbers but… no!! If you check out /proc/$nginx_worker_PID/limits you will see that nofile is still 1024. So, obviously someone is cheating. Looking at the nginx documentation about nofile you will see that the interesting option worker_rlimit_nofile has no default value, so one would think that this value would be inherited from the system conf but, as you have already figured out, it’s not that way. You have to explicitly set, for example:

worker_rlimit_nofile = 100000;

in your main part of nginx.conf to have it as you wish. BTW this overrides limits.conf even if you put a lower value in limits.conf, so if you’re using nginx >= 1.4 just tune this configuration option to solve the “too many open files” problem.

How to remove a port from a port-channel in a Dell PowerConnect switch

This is a “note to self” type post, and basically because Google seems unable to find a direct answer to this simple question.
So it’s simple as this

# configure
(config)# interface ethernet NN
(config-if)# no channel-group

et voil√†, the ethernet port doesn’t belong anymore to the port channel. It should work with PowerConnect 5324, PowerConnect 5424, PowerConnect 5448, PowerConnect 5548 etc.

Customize the console prompt in VMWare ESXi 4.0

The default console prompt of VMWare ESXi 4.0 really sucks, it’s black&white, it gives no info about the host you are connected to and if you have more than one host this is becomes quickly an headache.
So, how do you change it? Pretty easy:

echo 'export PS1="\[33[01;32m\]\u@\h\[33[00m\]:\[33[01;34m\]\w\[33[00m\]\$ "' > $HOME/.profile

then exit from the shell (ssh or local) and enter again and you will have a pretty nice colored console prompt :)

EDIT: ok, it seems that I cannot post “backslash zero” with WordPress. so please put before any “33” in this string “backslash zero” (the symbol and the number, not the two words). Thanks to Daniel for pointing this out. If you know a way to solve this, please share it :)

Convert pwdLastSet to a human readable date

Here it is a simple (and a bit hacky, I know) one-liner for bash shell (even under Windows if you are using Cygwin) to convert the cryptic pwdLastSet timestamp of Active Directory (which represent when a user has changed the last time his/her AD password)

D=128457325992343750; date -d "01/01/1601 UTC $(let D=D/10000000; echo $D) seconds"

where the very large number after the first D= it’s your pwdLastSet value. This strange timestamp it’s a 1/100 of a nanosecond (so, it’s 1/10^7 seconds) and the ticks are counted from January 1st, 1601. Don’t ask me why, probably they didn’t like the Epoch time :)

Disable directory listing in Apache with Debian

If you find one of your servers with the ugly directory listing enabled, there’s a quick way to disable it in Debian

# echo autoindex | a2dismod
# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

For other Apache installations in other distro, you can simple find the Autoindex option in your config file and delete it manually, then restart Apache

EDIT: a cleaner and more elegant way to achieve the same is, as the comments section says

# a2dismod autoindex

thanks :)