DirectAdmin: Unable to determine Usertype user.conf needs to be repaired

I jut have installed DirectAdmin, but could not log in to DirectAdmin, I got the following error message:

Unable to determine Usertype
user.conf needs to be repaired

I quickly solved this by running:

# cd /usr/local/directadmin
# ./directadmin i

If this doesn’t solve the problem, let me know and I will assist you.

Plesk: 500 – Internal Server Error

Probably you just have tried to login to Plesk and got the following message:

500 – Internal Server Error

The easiest way is to check the log file of Plesk:

# cat /var/log/sw-cp-server/error_log

If you couldn’t find any strange messages (except the SSL warnings, those are known) then you can try the following, it will probably show you the cause of the problem:

# /usr/bin/sw-engine-cgi -c /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/php.ini -d auto_prepend_file=auth.php3 -u psaadm

In my case the file system was in read-only mode and therefor Plesk was not working:

# /usr/bin/sw-engine-cgi -c /usr/local/psa/admin/conf/php.ini -d auto_prepend_file=auth.php3 -u psaadm
Could not open Repository at “/etc/sw/keys”: /etc/sw/keys/lock/repository: cannot create: Read-only file system
PHP Notice:  Undefined index:  REQUEST_URI in /opt/psa/admin/auto_prepend/auth.php3 on line 55
Status: 500 SWKeyExFatalError
Content-type: text/plain; charset=utf-8

Good luck with debugging Plesk!

Plesk FTP not working: 421 Service not available, remote server has closed connection

When you have Plesk running on your server and FTP is not working because of the following error message:

421 Service not available, remote server has closed connection

Then probably the hostname is not set up correctly.
Please run the following command, you should get ‘unknown host’:

# ping `hostname`

If this is case, please open /etc/hosts and add your hostname (in this example your server’s IP is and restart the networking services, for example:


# /etc/init.d/network restart

Try to connect to FTP, it should work, enjoy!

Dell server: limited to 256MB memory

Today I replaced a server with a Dell Poweredge 860, after installing Debian Squeeze and booting the server I noticed the server has only 256MB system memory. After some Googling I found out that ‘OS Install Mode‘ was set to On. Setting this mode to ‘Off’ in the BIOS solved the problem.

DirectAdmin and Exim problems: retry time not reached for any host

It took some time, but finally I found a workaround for this problem. Exim was keeping the mails in his queue for an unknown reason for me. In the log file (/var/log/exim/mainlog) I saw the following error message:

retry time not reached for any host

I don’t know what it means or why the message is there, but with my workaround I got it all working again.

Step 1:

cd /var/spool/exim/db

Step 2:

rm -r *

Step 3:

/etc/init.d/exim restart

You’ll see that all mail is now getting delivered and your queue will get lower.

fix error while loading shared libraries libstdc

Sorry, this article is not available anymore, it got deleted after a server crash.

Please feel free to contact me at if you need assistance.

MySQL is not starting/working on Debian 6 + DirectAdmin

I just delivered a brand new server with Debian Squeeze + DirectAdmin, I have got no errors while installing DirectAdmin, but after the installation I noticed that mysql was not running.

After some debugging I found the following error:

110530 22:59:40 mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /usr/local/mysql/data
/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
110530 22:59:40 mysqld_safe mysqld from pid file /usr/local/mysql/data/ ended

The mysql error log is hold in /home/mysql/:

# cat /home/mysql/*.local.err

The solution is simple, some packages needs to be installed:

# apt-get install libaio1 libaio-dev

Try to start mysql again, it should work, enjoy!

Dell R200: PCIe Training Error: Embedded I/O Bridge device 1

I work with a lot of Dell and HP servers, since a while I see the following error message on Dell R200 servers:

PCIe Training Error: Embedded I/O Bridge device 1

It is an known Dell hardware problem, the PCI slot where the risercard is plugged into is malfunctioning, removing the riser card or any other card in the PCI slot will solve the problem.

Cannot create database with DirectAdmin

I see a lot of DirectAdmin users who cannot create a mysql database. When you see the following error, I am sure I can help you out:

Error connecting to MySQL: Access denied for user ‘da_admin’@’localhost’ (using password: YES)

First make sure your mysql root password is working, you can test it out using the following command:

# mysql -uroot -p

If it’s failing we have to reset the mysql root password, it is easy!

Restart mysql using the skip grand tables option:

# service mysqld stop
# mysqld_safe –skip-grant-tables &

Please notice: ‘skip’ has two dashes (-), but I cannot make the two dashes because of wordpress.

MySQL is not started with the skip grant tables option, so we can now log in with root without a password:

# mysql -u root

When sucessfully logged in perform the following commands:

use mysql
UPDATE user SET password=PASSWORD(‘newpass’) WHERE user=’root’;

Ok, mysql root password has been reset. We continue with changing the mysql password for user da_admin. First start mysql:

# /sbin/service mysqld start

Now we log in with mysql root:

# mysql -uroot -p

Once logged in, type the following:


We almost finished. Open file /usr/local/directadmin/conf/mysql.conf and set the correct password.


Monitoring LSI RAID adapter with mpt-status

I have a few HP and Dell servers I manage that use LSI RAID controllers. To ensure remotely that a hard drive is not failed I was in need of a tool. I found the mpt-status utility, which is a tool for monitoring LSI RAID controllers.

However, the installation took some time as I got some kernel errors. In this guide I will show you how I installed the tool.

I have done the installation on a CentOS server, for Debian or other distributions it could be different.

Download and install the mpt-status utility:

# wget
# rpm -ivh mpt-status-1.2.0_RC7-3.i386.rpm

So far, so good. But running the mpt-status led into some error messages:

# mpt-status
open /dev/mptctl: No such file or directory
Try: mknod /dev/mptctl c 10 220
Make sure mptctl is loaded into the kernel

Ok, there are two errors, first I solved the first error:

# mknod /dev/mptctl c 10 220

Let’s try again to run the mpt-status utility:

# mpt-status
open /dev/mptctl: No such device
Are you sure your controller is supported by mptlinux?
Make sure mptctl is loaded into the kernel

One of the error messages disappeared, but still, it is not working. Now you have to load the mptctl module:

# modprobe mptctl

Try again to run the mpt-status utility, you will see it will work. Enjoy!