June 15th & 16th posts?

All the posts from those dates seem to have dissapeared from the site.

What happened?

Hey Gus,

Thanks for the passwords.

At the top of my oriented page I read:Warning: chmod failed: Operation not permitted in /usr/local/www/net-oriented/htdocs/ubb/ultimatebb.php on line 348

What’s this all about? Should I be worried? I don’t like the sound of me chmod failing? Does it hurt?

Do we have to repost the missing posts???

Hi folks,

Mwalimu: What happened?

There was a meltdown on a server at our web host last Sunday evening EST. The latest backup our web host had was from 4pm (TW time) Friday, 14 June.

The good news is that the chmod problem seems to have solved itself – although I haven’t figured out why. I still have limited Internet access where I am (eg. can’t FTP or telnet conveniently) – so I’m glad someone or something fixed it. There are more serious problems that I’m still trying to figure out how to solve (have you seen our Events calendar lately?)

The bad news is that the posts and changes from the weekend are permanently gone. My last forum backup was from the beginning of June, so our web host’s version is quite the blessing. Even though I’d already planned to do a weekly backup of my own, it would not have been more recent than our host’s. Besides, they backup more frequently than I do.

Fox: What’s this all about? Should I be worried? I don’t like the sound of me chmod failing? Does it hurt?

I don’t think you should be worried, although I also do not like the sound of it. “chmod” is a UNIX command that people or programs use to be able to manipulate files. Here’s how I would translate the line of code we’ve all been seeing:

“JFYI, the program called ‘ultimatebb.php’ wants to use the ‘change mode’ command on some forum datafile – but is being prevented from doing so. Have a nice day”

OK, maybe Have a nice day isn’t actually written in there, but I would add it in if I were the lead programmer (is anyone surprised why I don’t do any real programming for a living anymore?). Well, at least you wouldn’t think it’s going to hurt so much, right?

The great mystery for me now is why it no longer appears. If you still see it, or see other anomalies around the website, please post them below or e-mail us at info@oriented.org

rian: Do we have to repost the missing posts???

Unfortunately, yes. Sorry, no glib comments about this – we lost a lot in just two days

Hi Gus,

I get this message “Warning: chmod failed: Operation not permitted in /usr/local/www/net-oriented/htdocs/ubb/ultimatebb.php on line 348” at the forum posts. As you know chmod changes the permissions on a file. It sounds like UBB is trying to change the permission for a file but the directory where the file is located does not give ubb permission. The lack of permission can be because of the user used to run/start UBB after the failure of the server. Check the file permission of the file and the permission of the user used to run the UBB.


Thanks, Mark. I’ll look into it.

Why isn’t this consistent? Sometimes, I can “clear” the Ubb’s memory cache and it seems to work for a short while. At this point, the error seems to appear at random – any thoughts?


I can't really tell you anything unless I know what the code is doing. My guess is that if it's related to some type of cache, it might be attempting to move the a page of the cache to a secondary area or adding to the page but the file permission are not set correctly. Chmod is probably being used by the program to make sure the file in question is accessable before being modified by the script. It's a safety mesaure to make sure that data will be able to be modified instead of assuming the data is acessable and then losing the data because it can not be modified. Are you using the same unix user id as before to run the UBB? What level of access is the user id? administrator? account owner? Is the user id part of the group permission for that file? Just some things to look at. Also, you should be able to automate your backups so you don't need to run it yourself.


I can still see the error message …

The “chmod failed” warning only seems to appear in the open form and its threads. Far more important i think is that color scheme has become corrupted. The links to the threads appear on my computer as blue and puple depending on if they have been been visited before or not.

It appears in other threads also. I saw it on the teaching in Taiwan also.



Thank you for the feedback. While I work on trying to figure out the who, what, and how concerning the “permissions change” that is affecting the forums caching, I’m doing an experiment: I have turned OFF the PHP component of the forums.

Two things immediately result:

  1. the chmod error message goes away
  2. the forums should slow down

I need your help with this: please let me know how slow things get by posting here. For those of you who do NOT notice any change in performance (speed), please post here too.

Hopefully, we’ll get things running back to the way they were before soon enough.


btw, performance is fine so far for me – but then, I’m connecting from within the US on broadband.

No discernible slowdown here, Gus.

Just in case you get fed up with the software, I posted a query
Subject: any Free Software replacement for Ultimate Bulletin BoardTM?
Newsgroups: news.software.readers,comp.os.linux.advocacy
And they so far have mentioned a few. You can find it on groups.google.com

PHPBB is a good software that is open source.