Ubuntuforums: In a month..

The ubuntuforums have grown to be one of the largest linux forums on the internet today with over 970,000 users. I thought it might be interesting to show some other statistics that were generated between 11/15/2009 and 12/15/2009.

Compare these to the numbers I posted in March 2007.

10,901,893 Visits
24,291,004 Pageviews
46.18% % New Visits
6,138,414 Absolute Unique Visitors
Returning Visitor 53.77%
New Visitor 46.23%

Firefox 69.97%
Internet Explorer 10.61%
Chrome 8.33%
Opera 3.80%
Safari 3.09%

Linux 58.11%
Windows 36.44%
Macintosh 4.70%


Authenticate on Ubuntuforums with your Launchpad credentials!

The title says it all! Thanks to Anthony Lenton, one of Canonicals developers, users on now have the option to authenticate on the forums using their Launchpad/OpenID credentials. The current requirement is you have an active forum account to accomplish this. In the future we’ll look at other options for tighter integration but this is a huge step forward.


CategoriesUncategorized maintenance today

We decided to do a little maintenance today which will result in the forums being offline for a few hours.

The maintenance includes the following items:

  • Upgrade to the latest forum software 3.8.1
  • Remove old archives and closed sections of the forums that are years old. (this will affect some peoples post counts)

Also, we have a Forum Council meeting today at 21:00 UTC for those interested in joining us via IRC on freenode in #ubuntu-meeting


Recent Ubuntuforums Downtime

I just wanted to take a few minutes and comment on some of the recent issues we’ve had over at the UbuntuForums. Last week Thursday around 4pm EST, our main database server went into a “crashed” state. The result of this state was over 2000 queries that were lingering without completion for over 8000 seconds which resulted in resource issues, this caused the mysqld process to go into an unresponsive state and would not shutdown effectively. After the crash it was realized we had some inconsistent data in the database and a check/repair was ran to potentially correct the issues.

On Sunday evening around 11:30pm EST the forums were down again but this time with table corruption on our largest tables which is our post table (it has around 6.5 million rows) and the thread table (over 1 million rows). I’m assuming everything “wasn’t” ok, after the crash on Thursday even though the checks said they were. Monday was spent cleaning up the tables, fixing corruption issues etc. Unfortunately, because of the massive size of our tables a check and repair takes upwards of 4-5 hours per check and repair until the issues were mostly resolved, this had to be completed a few times. We’ll be monitoring the data integrity over the next couple days to ensure everything stays consistent.

When the forums were ready to come online last night around 7pm EST, we ran into issues with the amount of traffic the site was getting (benefits of being popular eh?). To help ease the pressure on our main database server we have utilized the “slave” feature in vbulletin which will send queries to a slave server to help reduce load on the master. So far this has been working pretty well except for a few hiccups which were easily corrected by changing mySQL variables.

James Troup from Canonical was a great help making sure the proxies were stable last night and will be getting us additional hardware to help with our explosive growth as we have outgrown our current servers. James, thank you for your help, it is appreciated.

Until things stable out we have disabled a couple of popular features on the forums namely the “Thank you” and the “Solved Post” features. We hope to re-enable them again soon. I expect we’ll have a some rough patches ahead of us until the new hardware is in place and we look forward to getting things more stable in the near future. We’ll also be implementing a better method of communication to our users when the forums are offline, expect an announcement on the forums in the near future about that. We appreciate everyones patience during this time.


I also posted this on the forums here.

CategoriesUncategorized Upgrade

Over the past weekend I took the site offline and upgraded the software to the latest Vbulletin 3.8 release candidate. Previously we had been running version 3.7.4p1 and felt the 3.8 serious was stable enough to move forward with even though its still a RC. The upgrade took about an hour and gave the forum community improved features to Social Groups, Private Messages, Profile Privacy, Albums and other misc fixes. 

Thanks again to everyone helped test and find bugs after the upgrade.


Thinking about the Ubuntu Forums

It’s been just over 4 years since I started the Ubuntu Forums and tonight I found myself thinking about it’s life-cycle, my frustrations, the forum council, current staff, ex-staff, the community, ownership changes, Canonical and the interesting conversations that took place in its younger years. I’m glad to still be apart of it and look forward to what the future brings.

I also want to say thanks to the dedicated staff and the community who make the Ubuntu Forums what they are.

A little history of the forums from it’s first launch and today