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PostgreSQL Invalid Page and Checksum Verification Failed

At the Seattle PostgreSQL User Group meetup this past Tuesday, we got onto the topic of invalid pages in PostgreSQL. It was a fun discussion and it made me realize that it’d be worth writing down a bunch of the stuff we talked about – it might be interesting to a few more people too!

Invalid Page In Block

You see an error message that looks like this:

PASS Summit 2019 is NEXT WEEK!

I’m getting ready for SQL Saturday Oregon this weekend, (taking the train up from Eugene to Portland…) but its about time I talked about the exhilarating and exhausting event we call PASS Summit.

This year I was lucky enough to be chosen as a speaker and a blogger.  Bloggers at the conference get the opportunity to sit in special zones during keynotes and we write about the event.  We also get special access to Microsoft PMs, (although I may be the only one who works for Microsoft attending vs. running them… :)) I look forward to all of the blogger perks and recommend it to anyone who has a passion for writing about our community and tech.

What’s new with Oracle database 18.8 versus 18.7

The amount of changes between version 18.7 and 18.8 is truly minimal. There’s one spare parameter renamed to an underscore parameter, which seems to be a back port of functionality created version 19:

Changing Your Bash Shell Prompt and Colors

I enjoyed the opportunity to test out my PASS Summit shell scripting session at SQL Saturday Denver.  It was the first run on it and Glenn Berry sat in my session.  Afterwards, this wise and long-standing member of the community had a very valuable piece of constructive criticism-  change the background on my bash terminal for Azure Cloud Shell, as the black background and colors could be troublesome for some attendees.

What’s new with Oracle database 19.5 versus 19.4

It seems that the most eye-catching difference between Oracle database versions 19.5 and 19.4 is three underscore parameters spare parameters being changed to specifically named underscore parameters, two of them have a bug number in them which is not publicly visible.

In v$sysstat/v$sesstat, a group of statistics are renamed from ‘OS %’ to ‘Server %’. All these statistics are about networking. One changed parameter directly points to networking (tcpinfo). These statistics are added in version 19.

One DBA view was added: DBA_DV_COMMON_OPERATION_STATUS. This view is specific and owned by to DVSYS.

Solving accountability for ssh/linux servers without creating personal accounts

One of the continuing issues that I see is accountability (who did what on what server) on Linux or other operating systems that are using ssh.

The traditional solution for this problem is personal accounts, which provides logon and logoff registration.
Personal accounts often do have the least amount of rights which means typical administration tasks can not be done with them, in order to actually do something you need to sudo to an application account or root, which is logged by sudo, on enterprise linuxes to /var/log/secure. So some important facts are logged (logon/logoff/switching users), but a lot of important things are not logged at all, or maybe can be indirectly derived by combining data of operating system audit together with application specific logging.

Hashicorp vault and ansible: using certificate based authentication for playbooks

In first steps with with hashicorp vault and ansible I explained how to setup Hashicorp vault for use with Ansible.

The authentication of the playbook with Hashicorp vault in the playbooks was done in two ways:
– using a username and password in the playbook itself (which I discourage; then the authentication is readable).
– using a “authentication token” in the playbook.

The “authentication token” is obtained from vault using a username and password, and expires, so specifying that in a playbook does only spill the token. Please mind an authentication token and expires after a specified time, so it needs to created and provided just before execution, and should expire thus not being usable anymore.

First steps with Hashicorp Vault and Ansible

This post is about using using hashicorp vault and ansible.

Everyone that has used ansible knows you sometimes can’t get around storing secrets (passwords mostly) in an ansible playbook because for example an installer requires them. Or even simpler, because authentication must be done via a username and password.

The ansible embedded solution is to use ansible vault. To me, ansible vault is a solution to the problem of storing plain secrets in an ansible playbook by obfuscating them. However, these secrets are static, and still require the actual decryption key on runtime. In a lot of cases, it is delivered by putting the password in a file.

What’s new with Oracle database 19.4 versus 19.3

The most notable thing here is an “official” (non-underscore) parameter has been introduced with 19.4, “ignore_session_set_param_errors”. The description is: ‘Ignore errors during alter session param set’. I did a quick check to see if I could set it to true or false, which I couldn’t (resulted in an error).

With the Oracle database version 19.3 patched to 19.4 on linux, the following things have changed:

orachk can now warn about unwanted cleanup of files in /var/tmp/.oracle

Some time ago @martinberx mentioned on twitter that one of his Linux systems suffered from Clusterware issues for which there wasn’t a readily available explanation. It turned out that the problem he faced were unwanted (from an Oracle perspective at least) automatic cleanup operations in /var/tmp/.oracle. You can read more at the original blog post.

The short version is this: systemd (1) – successor to SysV init and Upstart – tries to be helpful removing unused files in a number of “temp” directories. However some of the files it can remove are essential for Clusterware, and without them all sorts of trouble ensue.