Bye-bye Forums!

As the headline says: I got rid of the forums on this site. Not because I don’t want to hear about problems with the add-ons anymore but because the forums never really worked. Not for me and not for the users. I didn’t get notified of new or updated posts. Users weren’t able to access the forums. Not good. So I closed the forums for good. And decided that Slack might be a better alternative. The catch: you need to get an invitation to be able to join the RNXtras team on Slack. But fear not, all you need to do is to sign up using this link:

  • Add me to (link removed thanks to spammers)

After entering your email address into the form (no, I won’t sell nor even do anything with it, it’s just needed by Slack) you’ll get an invitation and you will be able to join the RNxtras team on Slack and get a chance to actually talk to me. But please don’t expect to me to be present 24/7. I’m a normal working guy with a family and it’d be really nice if you could keep that in mind.


Week of the overdue updates

After having finished two moves – one with the company, one private – and after rebuilding the development environment in the new location I finally found the time to run upgrades on various add-ons for the different ReadyNAS platforms. The main focus for the coming updates is on Python and the apps depending on this programming language. Some of you are painfully aware of the fact that since Python 2.7.9 the handling of SSL connections has changed. This alone wouldn’t have been a real problem since most apps already dealt with that change properly, SABnzbd being the sole exception I know of.

However, thanks to various vulnerabilities in the SSL protocol stack SSLv3 support was dropped by most web sites and certificate issuers. This posed a real problem since the OpenSSL library shipping with the older ReadyNAS models running RAIDiator 4.x and 5.x doesn’t properly the newer protocols TLS 1.1 and TLS 1.2 that are now in widespread use. The only way to fix this was to backport OpenSSL 1.0.2 to the older ReadyNAS platforms and do a complete rebuild of the Python packages. This took some trial and error and of course some time for compiling and testing. This being done I can now start to update the apps and see what has changed there.

In a nutshell, here’s what will be released over the next few days:

  • Python 2.7.10 with fixed SSL handling for ReadyNAS OS 4 (x86 and Sparc) and ReadyNAS OS 5 (ARM)
  • CouchPotatoServer for all ReadyNAS platforms
  • SickRage for all ReadyNAS platforms
  • Syncthing for all ReadyNAS platforms except ReadyNAS 4 Sparc
  • Deluge for all ReadyNAS platforms except ReadyNAS 4 Sparc
  • NZBGet for all ReadyNAS platforms
  • OwnCloud 8.2.2 for all ReadyNAS platforms

and possibly some other stuff I forgot to mention. In parallel I’m also working on another project I may write more about in an other post. For the time being I’m busy enough with preparing the updates.

Apologies for “spamming

As most of you surely have noticed by now the forum software used on my site went nuts and started to send out notifications for new posts to each and every user of the site. I fully understand that this is totally annoying and thus I also have full understanding for the anger this has caused. Let me assure you that this was totally unintentional and that I’m deeply sorry.

What seems to have happened is that after installing an update for the forum plugin the notification settings were reset in such a way that all users got notified about every new post or reply. Unfortunately there was one sole exception: me. I didn’t receive any of these messages, otherwise I’d have stopped this way earlier. The next unfortunate thing that happened was that while users started to complain in the forums, no one did send me an email to inform me about the problem. Since I wasn’t informed about the forum posts about the matter either, again, I didn’t notice anything. That I’m currently on Christmas vacation didn’t help either, otherwise I might have noticed the increased number of site visits and would have started to investigate the reason. Oh well.

So it wasn’t before yesterday when I finally received an email about the problem that I could go about fixing the problem. Until then a lot of mails had already queued up and were on their way. Again, I’m totally sorry for that.

Now the good news is that I believe that the problem is fixed now. I deleted the forum that I think caused most of the problems and I also cleared out all the messages that were still waiting for delivery on my server. I disabled the sending of notification emails and I’m going to check the flags for every user and disable notifications and subscriptions to forum topics there. I have also set up active monitoring of the mail queue size and delivery rate so that I should now get an automatic notification if the site sends out an unusual amount of mails. So in case this happens again (hopefully not) I’ll get informed earlier and can take immediate action. I’m currently watching the mail queues and as far as I can tell everything is back to normal. If things start to look strange again I will completely disable and probably delete the forums.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t trust plugin updates
  • Monitor more
  • Monitor even more

I wish all of you a Merry X-Mas, hopefully without any further disturbances from my site, a peaceful time and a Happy New Year,



Python on Sparc Bugfix

First of all I’m really sorry for not being very responsive over the last weeks. Life interfered and didn’t give me much time to respond or even work on bug reports I received. However, having some air to breathe again, I today found the time to work on various problems reported with some of the Python-based add-ons on the ReadyNAS Sparc platform (NV, NV+, Duo).

The problem was not with the add-ons themselves but rather with the Python 2.7.10-sparc-2 add-on. I simply didn’t include an updated SQLite library that was needed by Python. Even more unfortunate was the fact that said library was installed on all of my testing boxes so I wasn’t able to find the problem until I had enough spare time to set up a system from scratch.

Be it as it may, there’s now an updated Python add-on available for ReadyNAS OS 4 Sparc. You can grab it from the “My Account” page.

Again, sorry for the troubles and the inconveniences.


Checkout Problems Fixed

As some of you noticed, there’s been a problem with creating accounts on checkout for first time users. This was due to a problem with one of the plugins on the site. This has been fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience.