Fixing Weird Things Cobalts Do

April 21st, 2001 | Posted by administratrix in Reference

The old Cobalt RAQ and RAQ4 servers had their own special quirks. Below are instructions for fixing a couple of the more common ones.

Steps to Fix User Damaged in Password File

Symptoms: User can’t get mail, can’t upload files, and/or can’t FTP. Is getting password errors from the server. The password file on the Cobalt is corrupted and has zeros or garbage in it. The web interface for that user shows zero web space or the user is simply missing. User has mail but can’t be fingered.

Solution: Move the user’s mail (if any) to a backup file. Delete the user from the interface and off the server. Recreate the user through the web interface. Move the mail back into their file.

1. Check the web interface to see if the user exists:
a. if the user’s Maximum allowed disk space field is 0, they are probably missing from the password file
2. finger -m username
a. usr is probably not found
3. check to see if the user has any mail
a. if yes, back it up:
i. mv usr usrbackup
4. Delete usr from the web interface
a. Copy full name and any aliases into a text file first!
5. ! Any time you go into the password file, make a backup of it:
a. cd /etc/
b. cp passwd passwd.10-31-00
c. cp group group.10-31-00
d. cp aliases aliases.10-31-00
6. vipw
a. /usr
b. dd usr
c. /usr as needed
7. vi /etc/aliases
a. /usr
b. del usr
c. /usr as needed
8. If the user is aliased:
a. Copy the alias line into a text document
9. vi /etc/group
a. /username
b. del usr
10. cd /home/sites
a. ls
b. copy group name
c. cd grpname
d. cd users
e. rm -r usr
11. Recreate user in web interface
12. Replace user’s mail
a. cd /var/spool/mail
b. mv usrbackup usr
c. chown usr usr

Steps to fix user already exists

Symptoms: While trying to remove and replace a user from the web interface, the error says ‘user already exists’.

1. vi /etc/aliases
search for username, delete line if you find one
2. vi /etc/-
search for username, delete name if you find one
3. cd /home/sites/(sitename)/users
ls -l username
if there is a username then do rm -r (username)
4. vipw
search for username, delete line if you find one

View password file

1. vipw
2. Any time you go into the password file, make a backup of it:
d. cd /etc/
e. cp passwd passwd.10-31-00
f. cp group group.10-31-00
a. cp aliases aliases.10-31-00

Change Ownership of Users Directory

1. cd /home/sites/domainname/users
2. [root@cobalt2 icetechnolog]# chown newowner users


Call anyone with more than 10 MB and tell then that we are doing routine server maintenance and we need to clear some of their website stats because they?re old.

1. Cd /var/log/httpd or cd /home/.cobalt/report/
2. ls -l |more


1. copy the name of the file you want to clear
1. both error and access files
2. rm file name (Shift-Ins)
3. touch filename
4. ls -l name*
5. Recycle the Web Usage Report toggle
1. open the Cobalt interface for that virtual domain
2. click on Site Settings
3. change Generate Useage Report to Never
4. change back to Weekly


When you can?t see users in the http interface:

1. cd /home/sites
1. note proper name of site
2. cd /usr/admserv/cgi-bin/.cobalt/siteUserList
3. ./siteUserList.cgi
1. (offline mode: enter name=value pairs on standard input)
4. group=sitename
5. Ctrl D

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