Wednesday 1st September 2021 06:15

I installed Zenario on my account on a shared account running on centos 7 where I don't have root access. Here's all the warnings I get from the diagnostics page: 

 

  1. MySQL server version 5.7 or later (your server is version 5.5.5-10.3.30-MariaDB-cli-lve). I chatted with tech support and since this is a shared server, they won't upgrade that version to MySQL server 5.7
  2. Deflate module is not enabled in Apache. Can I enable it via .htaccess?
  3. pfdtotext is correctly set up.
  4. ghostscript is not correctly set up
  5. antiword is not correctly set up
  6. jpegtran is not correctly set up
  7. jpetoptim is not correctly set up
  8. Antivirus is not enabled. Please go to Other server programs in configuration->Site Settings to change this.

Should I assume that Zenario is designed to be deployed on a server that either has these services pre-installed or on a machine with root access? 

 

Thanks for your feedback!

 

 

Wednesday 1st September 2021 10:01

Hi Egan,

 

We updated our requirement on MySQL about a year ago. MySQL 5.5 is a bit old now, according to https://downloads.mysql.com/archives/community/ it was last updated in 2018. MySQL 5.7 became our standard as it allowed longer key lengths and JSON-type fields (which are required in certain Zenario applications, admittedly not all). 

 

We've tested very little on MariaDB. It may work but for one thing it didn't support JSON-type fields in the version we last tested, so we stopped using it.

 

I would recommend you find a host who offers MySQL 5.7. Even perhaps MySQL 8 which is the current version. But if you don't mind hacking Zenario then you could find the admin diagnostics code that checks for "5.7" and change it, though I would not do that for a production site as it has a high likelihood of something breaking!

 

On the other programs:

 

2. mod_deflate needs to be enabled in Apache on the server. You could argue that it is not critical for the working of Zenario, but it is a well-used Apache module that compresses files sent from the web server, thus improving speed.

 

We put a lot of effort into making pages be quickly delivered so we regard this as important, but I could agree that perhaps the warning is annoying.

 

3. PDFtotext is fine, that's for scanning uploaded PDF files and compiling a text-only "extract". It's helpful when a visitor does a search on your site. (There's a greatly improved Search coming in 9.2).

 

If you upload a PDF and PDFtotext is absent, the upload should work but you just won't get the extract.

 

Did you try clicking the link (into "Other programs" panel) and see if you can change the file path to one that works, e.g. /usr/bin and then press Test?

 

4. Ghostscript is similar, and its purpose is to make an image of the first page of an uploaded PDF. Again I could agree it's non-critical and the warning is annoying. (I'll make a note to try to remove the annoying warning in a future version if you really don't want the feature.)

 

5. Antiword, same thing as 3 but for Word files. Again not critical.

 

6-7-8. Jpegtran/jpegoptim/antivirus: these are part of a suite of image-compression programs which Zenario uses when putting images in the cache. Zenario lets you upload a very large image as an original but only serves an image at the required size, and so the processing and optimisation takes place on the server.

 

Much as above, not critical, but the warnings may be annoying.

 

The antivirus system (clamav/freshclam/clamad) is designed to scan uploaded files and prevent upload if a virus is detected.

 

 

Over the past couple of years, we have rather been making the design decision to push for better performance and security, at the expense of supporting the running of Zenario on platforms without quite up to date software and libraries. Also our limited resource means we test mostly on Ubuntu, quite little on other OSs like Centos (no disrespect intended, just our lack of time!). Coupled with this, it is now quite inexpensive to get a virtual server (e.g. an AWS EC2, and perhaps even a separate RDS Aurora/MySQL database). There are people offering Amazon AMI's in the AWS marketplace.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Tony

 

Wednesday 1st September 2021 15:23

Hey there, I thought I'd chip in and offer a few more technical details, if you're interested.

 

The reason we say that we don't support MariaDB is that, while they started as a fork of MySQL, they decided that they would break compatibility and no longer mirror all of the new features MySQL added.

 

This is probably a smaller issue than we are making it out to be and everything may still work fine! We just warn you out of honesty, as we don't spend any time testing this.

 

I think you have three options here:

  1. Ignore the warnings and run anyway. Likely nothing will go wrong but we can't guarantee this.
  2. Change host to somewhere that runs MySQL.
  3. Keep your site on your current host, but move your database to another server.

 

 

Regarding compression, if you can get it enabled in the relevant .ini file we recommend using mod_deflate, as this should compress every file that your server sends to the client.

 

If you can't, then Zenario will try to use mod_php7 and zlib.output_compression instead as a backup. However this works on a PHP-level rather than an Apache-level, will only work with PHP-generated files.

 

This isn't as bad as it sounds, as many .css and .js files are actually "wrapped" together by one of our PHP scripts and will thus still get compressed, and while it won't cover images, images don't benefit as much from being compressed.

 

The main reason we nag you on the diagnostics screen is just that we like you to enable it if you can.

 

 

Sorry if that was too much information, but I hope it was useful.

You must confirm your screen name on your profile in order to comment.

Please Login if you wish to add a comment.