Fix: expr: syntax error while running rkhunter

If you’re trying to run rkhunter check on your server and finding expr: syntax error for all binaries, it might be due to outdated file properties database.

Run the following command to fix it:

rkhunter –propupd –update

After updating the file properties database, you must get rkhunter working fine again.

Here is some more information about –propupd option

–propupd [file | directory | Update the entire file properties database,
package]… or just for the specified entries

Zimbra Desktop 7.2.7 not loading on Ubuntu 15.04

Zimbra desktop installation on my system was prompting me to upgrade the installation to the latest 7.2.7 version. I downloaded the installer (zdesktop_7_2_7_ga_b12059_20150629062326_linux_i686.tgz) from Zimbra and found that it was not working. For couple of weeks there was no discussion around this on zimbra forums too.

Looking at the logs displayed the following error:

STARTED Jetty ಸೋ ಆ 3 23:03:55 IST 2015
Error: This Java instance does not support a 32-bit JVM.
Please install the desired version.
STOPPED ಸೋ ಆ 3 23:03:55 IST 2015

This forced me to change the default java version that I’m using on my desktop to and i386 version.

$ sudo update-alternatives –config java
There are 4 choices for the alternative java (providing /usr/bin/java).

Selection Path Priority Status
0 /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/jre/bin/java 1077 auto mode
1 /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/jre/bin/java 1071 manual mode
* 2 /usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-i386/jre/bin/java 1070 manual mode
3 /usr/lib/jvm/java-8-oracle/jre/bin/java 1077 manual mode
4 /usr/lib/jvm/java-9-oracle/bin/java 1076 manual mode

Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number:

This sorted the issue with Zimbra desktop quickly.

Fixing Eclipse: Unrecognized VM option ‘MaxPermSize=256m’

Having trouble getting eclipse loaded on your  linux machines?

Try the following troubleshooting methods to get that sorted.

First to understand the complete issue, run the eclipse command on your terminal as follows:

$ eclipse
Picked up JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS: -javaagent:/usr/share/java/jayatanaag.jar
Unrecognized VM option ‘MaxPermSize=256m’
Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.

Now, you know that the application is not able to identify the parameter related to Java MaxPermSize. These parameters are loaded via eclipse.ini file which is easy to find it under program files in Windows. But to find this on your linux machine, you should know where eclipse has its installation directory and find .ini under that.

I found the installation directory of eclipse by running the command dpkg -L eclipse-pde
to find it under /usr/lib/eclipse. Commented the lines containing MaxPermSize option to get eclipse working.

Let me know if you find it working for yourself.

Fixed: Lua and other errors on Kannada Wikipedia Time templates

Problem statement 1:

“Lua error in Module:TimeAgo at line 60: attempt to perform arithmetic on a string value”

The above error was prominent across many Infobox templates used on Kannada wikipedia where the different of date of birth and the current date was supposed to show when did the person was born, or when the organization was started etc.

For example: Here is how I wanted to see the start date of Wikipedia

ಟೆಂಪ್ಲೇಟು Infobox website   ವಿಕಿಪೀಡಿಯ

Sample testcases for {{Template:Time_ago}} found here never showed a single value in the above format.

Problem statement 2:

I remember working with M.G Harish an another Kannada wikipedian and admin on a similar issue last year where the expressions used in templates were unable to parse the Kannada numerals and used to result in an another error given below:

Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character “�”

Since 2013 I have been working on articles falling under “Category:Pages with script errors” and working on resolving them step by step. Finding missing templates, modules etc used to be a work around for many such issues. With the expression parse issue reported here on Phabricator I was sure that we needed to understand the modules and templates or atleast mediawiki internals to fix some of these errors effectively. While we got a response from the developers on resolving the expression related issue, I could successfully use the same information fixing the problem statement 1 I have reported above.

To get a clue on similar template usage, I linked the template page to interwiki and found that many Indian and other language wikis use the similar template with some variations. Nepali wiki had the exact same copy of the template {{Template:Time ago}} but with minimal errors. I started skimming through various interlinked modules and template pages to find that the module {{Module:Time ago}} had a small variation in the line 54 and line 60.


Line: 54

– local noError, inputTime = pcall( lang.formatDate, lang, ‘U’, args[1], true ) (kn:wiki)

+ local noError, inputTime = pcall( lang.formatDate, lang, ‘xnU’, args[1], true ) (ne:wiki)

Line: 60

– local timeDiff = lang:formatDate( ‘U’, nil, true ) – inputTime (kn:wiki)

+ local timeDiff = lang:formatDate( ‘xnU’, nil, true ) – inputTime (ne:wiki)

The lua error on the first line of this article also clearly says that the error is due to a string that is being passed to perform an arithmetic operation. I applied the small change on the module, previewed the testcases to see the magic of errors disappearing from the screen.

It would be great to get some hands on walk through on the templates, modules, lua and other technologies to ensure language wiki’s look neat and the people working around these technical issues are empowered.

Thanks Ravi for forcing me to post this issue on Wikimedia India Technical Desk. Its a good initiative. It revealed that Punjabi wiki also needed a solution for this and I could apply my findings almost immediately to resolve the problem. Satdeep gill – lets keep exchanging issues and solutions to enhance Indic wiki’s.

Datawrapper: Mails not delivered

I use my own instance of DataWrapper (An open source data visualization platform helping everyone to create simple, correct and embeddable charts in minutes. to quickly build some data visualizations.

For some strange reason, my login’s stopped working and I didn’t see the forgot password working for any of the users. I didn’t find a quick work around and I kept trying many trial and error methods.

Some how I jumped into a conclusions that I should install plugins of datawrapper again as this issue was never found to have been discussed elsewhere.

This is what I did inside the datawrapper installation directory. It went ahead and installed a plugin called email-native.

#php scripts/plugin.php install “*”
Re-installed plugin core-vis-options.
Re-installed plugin d3-bubble-chart.
Installed plugin email-native.
Re-installed plugin export-image.
Re-installed plugin export-static-png.

Strange as it should have been installed while I had installed datawrapper first time as I don’t remember facing any issue verifying my accounts earlier.

Now, I was able to reset the passwords for my account and login to regain access on all charts I have built so far.

Next Steps: Need to figure out if there has been any automated updates as we have few cron’s running with datawrapper and keep track of plugin errors and installation issues.