Web server upgrades and MediaWiki

The Web server upgrade project is now complete. The following information is kept for historical value.

Currently, the main CSAIL Web servers — people, projects, groups, and courses — run an obsolete version of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system. In order to maintain the security and usability of these systems, we must upgrade them soon to a newer Debian release.

Since the release of Debian "etch" some three years ago, both the PHP project and the Debian project have discontinued support for PHP 4.x. Many CSAIL users still have scripts which are running under PHP 4. Most PHP 4 scripts will run unmodified under PHP 5, but some will have to change. We are currently setting up test Web servers running the new Debian release so that lab members can try out their PHP code on a server that runs only PHP 5.

Note well: as with the old server configuration, in the new servers, PHP 5 runs only as a FastCGI service, not integrated with the Web server. So if you are depending on the Apache php_value command for configuration in PHP 4, you'll need to do it explicitly in your code instead. (We'd like to recommend that you switch to the .user.ini mechanism for configuration instead, but that is only available in PHP 5.3, not the 5.2.6 that Debian supports.)

Server upgrade dates

Server Date Status
mit-only July 22 done
courses July 26 done
groups July 27 done
projects July 28 done
people July 29 done

MediaWiki impact

One of the most popular pieces of software running on the CSAIL Web servers is MediaWiki. MediaWiki is written in PHP, and the MediaWiki developers have followed the PHP team in desupporting PHP 4. However, there are still many MediaWiki installations which are running very old and vulnerable versions of MediaWiki; MediaWiki versions prior to 1.7 are not compatible with PHP 5. All of these wikis will need to be either removed completely, or upgraded to the current version of MediaWiki. Where feasible, we would also like to transfer them to a new database server at the same time.

The upgrade process usually goes smoothly for MediaWiki 1.6 or greater. However, older versions may not be upgradable at all, but if they are, require upgrading to 1.6 before they can be brought up to the current level. This process takes some time, and the wiki will be inaccessible to users during the upgrade process.

Mail was sent to csail-all on July 9; owners of these wikis need to contact us before July 22 in order to keep them functional. Please provide the name of the wiki, a two-hour window of time when it can be taken down for the upgrade, and any non-default configuration options you may have selected.

List of known-problem MediaWiki installations

Location Version Owner Status
/afs/csail/group/csg/docroot/org.csail.mit.edu/data/mode 1.4 rudolph course from 2006
/afs/csail/u/a/albert/public_html/ladypack/wiki 1.4.7 albert dead since 2006?
/afs/csail/u/j/jiawen/public_html/wiki 1.5.7 jiawen  
/afs/csail/group/rrg/www/data/muriwiki 1.5.8 RRG  
/afs/csail/group/drl/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 DRL group mail sent
/afs/csail/group/hq/www/data/CSAILEvents 1.6.8 headquarters never used
/afs/csail/group/hq/www/data/hrwiki/wiki 1.6.8 rachel broken
/afs/csail/group/hq/www/data/hyperion 1.6.8 headquarters dead since 2008
/afs/csail/group/ideonomy/website/data/wiki 1.6.8 wrichards never used
/afs/csail/group/medg/www/data/old-wiki 1.6.8 MEDG  
/afs/csail/group/pag/docroot/www.pag.csail.mit.edu/wiki 1.6.8 PAG never used
/afs/csail/group/pmg/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 PMG  
/afs/csail/group/rbg/www/data/rbg_proposal 1.6.8 RBG  
/afs/csail/group/rbg/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 RBG  
/afs/csail/group/rvsn/www/data/content/wiki.old 1.6.8 RVSN  
/afs/csail/group/toc/www/data/wiki-old 1.6.8 Theory group  
/afs/csail/group/vision/www/data/app/wiki 1.6.8 Vision group  
/afs/csail/group/vision/www/data/dahuawiki 1.6.8 Vision group  
/afs/csail/group/vision/www/data/internal/app/www/wiki 1.6.8 Vision group  
/afs/csail/proj/CFP/www/data/cfp-privsec.old 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/CSAIL-Grads/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/atemuri/www/data/wiki (active) 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/courses/6.006/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 6.006 staff  
/afs/csail/proj/courses/6.831/www/data/wiki.old 1.6.8 rcm, msbernst active?
/afs/csail/proj/courses/6.a36/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 tjg never used
/afs/csail/proj/courses/wiki101/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 mpearrow, jdorfman  
/afs/csail/proj/dhe-lab/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 dfhuynh not CSAIL, dead since 2008?
/afs/csail/proj/fbn/www/data/fbnwiki 1.6.8 ? dead since 2008
/afs/csail/proj/find/www/data/pwiki 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/find/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/hauv/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 ? dead since 2007?
/afs/csail/proj/its/www/data/traffic 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/protein/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 ?  
/afs/csail/proj/vcdwg/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 ? never used
/afs/csail/u/a/albert/public_html/wiki 1.6.8 albert  
/afs/csail/u/c/chiu/public_html/wiki 1.6.8 chiu (alum)  
/afs/csail/u/f/fisher/public_html/fisherwiki 1.6.8 fisher mail sent
/afs/csail/u/j/jdorfman/public_html/wiki 1.6.8 jdorfman notified
/afs/csail/u/k/kcr/public_html/wiki 1.6.8 kcr never used
/afs/csail/u/l/leejw/public_html/wiki 1.6.8 leejw  
/afs/csail/u/z/zue/public_html/isg 1.6.8 zue never used
/afs/csail/group/uid/www/data/wiki 1.6.10 UID group mail sent
/afs/csail/proj/courses/6.046/www/data/wiki 1.6.10 6.046 staff private, unused since 2008
/afs/csail/proj/directors/www/data/wiki 1.6.10 palay/crussell dead since summer '09
/afs/csail/proj/execomm/www/data/wiki 1.6.10 executive committee private
/afs/csail/proj/upcrc/www/data/wiki 1.6.10 saman, fredo never used, email sent
/afs/csail/proj/wsri/www/data/mediawiki 1.6.10 ? PHP redirect offsite
/afs/csail/u/h/hunkim/public_html/wiki 1.6.10 hunkim (private) alum, email sent

List of formerly-problematic MediaWiki installations

Location Version Owner Status Fixed by
/afs/csail/group/csg/docroot/csg.csail.mit.edu/data/qo2 1.3.9 CSG [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/csg/docroot/csg.csail.mit.edu/data/qo2.old 1.4 CSG [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/u/g/gregs/public_html/wiki-2007oct26 1.6.10 gregs deleted wollman
/afs/csail/u/t/tomyeh/public_html/wiki 1.6.10 tomyeh disabled ?
/afs/csail/u/j/jackc/public_html/rr 1.6.8 jackc deleted wollman
/afs/csail/proj/student-committee/www/data/wiki 1.5.7 student-committee upgraded wollman
/afs/csail/group/csg/docroot/org.csail.mit.edu/data/oldwiki 1.4 CSG [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/csg/docroot/org.csail.mit.edu/data/phony 1.4 rudolph [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/proj/student-committee/www/data/old-mediawiki 1.4.7 student-committee deleted wollman
/afs/csail/group/haystack/docroot/wiki 1.2.6 karger not accessible, deleted wollman
/afs/csail/proj/eecsrefs/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 schmid upgraded wollman
/afs/csail/proj/clp/www/data/mediawiki-1.3.1 1.3.1 hes deleted wollman
/afs/csail/group/genesis/www/data/old-wiki 1.2.6 Genesis group [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/tklab/docroot/data/wiki 1.3.1 tk [broken] deleted wollman
/afs/csail/u/j/jrb/public_html/cc/wiki 1.3.1 jrb [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/u/j/jrb/public_html/goo/wiki 1.3.1 jrb [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/u/j/jrb/public_html/wiki 1.3.1 jrb [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/mers/www/data/private/wiki.old 1.4.4 MERS group deleted wollman
/afs/csail/proj/rss/www/data/fall2005_wiki 1.4.8 ? [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/csg/docroot/hockey.csail.mit.edu/data/wiki 1.5.0 albert disabled ?
/afs/csail/group/csg/www/data/security/tcwiki 1.5.2 jrhodes (old urop) [never used] deleted wollman
/afs/csail/proj/tiara/www/data/wiki 1.6.8 tk, hes [never used] deleted wollman
/afs/csail/group/graphics/www/data/wiki.DISABLE 1.5.6 CGG disabled ?
/afs/csail/group/rrg/www/data/Wiki.old 1.5.6 RRG upgraded in 2009 wollman
/afs/csail/u/e/enjrolas/public_html/artiswrong/espanol 1.5.6 enjrolas [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/u/e/enjrolas/public_html/artiswrong/ice/wiki 1.5.6 enjrolas [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/genesis/www/data/wiki.old 1.5.7 Genesis group upgraded in 2007 wollman
/afs/csail/group/genesis/www/data/users/bonawitz/wiki 1.5.7 bonawitz [broken] disabled wollman
/afs/csail/group/tidor/www/data/wiki 1.6.7 Tidor group [never used] deleted wollman
/afs/csail/proj/dddas/www/data/wiki 1.5.7 ? [barely used deleted wollman
/afs/csail/proj/eecsadmin/www/data/wiki 1.6.3 welg deleted wollman
/afs/csail/group/csg/www/data/resspa/wiki 1.6.8 devadas, cwo, mieszko backed up & deleted wollman
/afs/csail/u/s/seth/public_html/wiki 1.6.7 seth reinstalled wollman
/afs/csail/u/g/green/public_html/wiki 1.5.6 green upgraded wollman
/afs/csail/u/a/albert/public_html/asdf/rlwiki 1.6.10 albert deleted albert
/afs/csail/proj/rss/www/data/wiki 1.5.5 bryt upgraded wollman

-- GarrettWollman - 05 May 2010
Topic revision: 29 Jul 2010, GarrettWollman

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