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August 30, 2012

Server Admin Team: Half-year report 2012/1

Category: Server Admin Team

By: Fabien Udriot, Steffen Gebert, Michael Stucki

With this report we want to inform you about the things going on in our team done in the first half of 2012, the changes, and the things achieved.

Personal Changes

After several years of membership, two of our "old guys", Sebastian Kurfürst and Ingmar Schlecht, decided to leave the team. Both have their focus moved to other responsibilities - inside and outside the TYPO3 community.

Also Susanne Moog left the team in order to play another important role as co-Release Manager for the upcoming TYPO3 version 6.0. Thanks to all of you for the work you did in the last years!

The remaining three team members looked out for new mates and luckily found two amazing guys:

Welcome to our team!

Service Announcements

There often come up wishes from inside the community to have a certain service. As we often have a lack of man-power, we try to incorporate the people asking for such services - our job then is to just take care of proper hosting and integration into infrastructure.

So.. let's start with the announcements:

This service makes it easy to download the right version of TYPO3 without the need to look up at This short-hand URLs service is particular handy when it comes about scripting and automatic deployment of TYPO3.

For instance, to download the most recent stable version, use!

On the command line, it would something like:

wget -O typo3_src.tar.gz


curl > typo3_src.tar.gz

There is a Forge project to collect ideas and issues. There is the plan to extend the service to also download FLOW3 releases along with Introduction packages. Any helping hand is welcome.

Credits go to Sebastian Michaelsen and Peter Kraume for their initial work and to our team member Fabien Udriot for finishing it.

Another site which was requested by a lot of people is

This site enables potential TYPO3 users to try out the Introduction Package without installing it. The installation is reset every 2 hours to prevent visitors from destroying it permanentely ;-)

Thanks to Fabien Udriot for setting this service up!

As a counterpart to we had the idea to implement a public status site, reflecting the health of our server infrastructure. Thanks to Bastian Bringenberg, this wish became true and we have showing the status of our monitoring system.

Other topics

As usual, you mostly recognize your admins, when something does not work. So the same holds for us. Pretty much work is going on behind the scenes, often with the aim of further stabilization of our infrastructure. These have been the biggest subjects in the past couple of months:

Supporting the relaunch

This project unfortunately caused a lot of work for our team and also for members, who did not plan to work on this before.

We mostly took care of the server setup, but also spent tremendous amount of time on fixing issues with the TER. This work is still ongoing, but we hope that another team will take care of at least the web site itself.

Git and Gerrit review system

As first step towards an overall Git support, our Gerrit review system (which also runs the Git server) was updated to a more decent version (which included several breaking changes). Until now, most of the changes have been made to enable community members to use Git for TYPO3 extensions. There is one last step to do, which is a separation of project leaders and normal team members, in order to grant further permissions to the leaders group. So stay tuned and expect the general availability announcement soonish.

Updating Redmine installation of

This tough task is ongoing since some months and Peter probably lost a lot of hair while working on it. The current setup is customized at many places, and unfortunately many of the changes are not documented well enough.

In the meantime, most of these changes have been identified and an upgrade to the current Redmine (or ChiliProject?!) version comes closer and closer. The team also plans to have a sprint meeting within the next weeks to push things forward.


The whole team had a three-day workshop lead by Christian Trabold at dkd in Frankfurt to introduce Chef for our server infrastructure. See our report for further details!


While we feel responsible for administration of the server infrastructure, we appreciate it, when community members take care of sites hosted on TYPO3 infrastructure. We happily communicated and coordinated with persons in charge for the following sites:

  • Wiki: Christopher Stelmaszyk
  • Association web site: Daniel Lienert
  • Buzz: Olivier Dobberkau & Ivan Kartolo, who updated the site from a *very* old TYPO3 version to 4.5
  • Phoenix web sites: We have set up a server infrastructure based on Varnish, Nginx, and PHP5-fpm for hosting of FLOW3/Phoenix based web sites. Until now, the websites for T3CON12-asia, T3CON12-de, and Phoenix are running on that server. A migration of the FLOW3 web site is in preparation, to have it finally running on official infrastructure. Visay Keo, Christian Müller, and Rens admiral did a great job here!
  • Documentation rendering: Martin Bless, who's doing a tremendous work on finishing the rendering chain for reStructuredText, our new documentation format.
  • Forum: Unfortunately, this important effort, which was started during last year's relaunch week, did still not succeed. We now again have a team of motivated people, who offered their help and hope to have a launch soon. The goal is to provide a web-based forum using FUDforum, which automatically stays in sync with the news groups.

Meeting protocols

More details can be found in the public meeting protocols of our bi-weekly meetings.

Budget usage

The Server Admin Team was granted a budget of 7.602€ for this year. Until now, only 650€ have been used for travel costs and accomodation for the Chef workshop. We plan to have another workshop to complete the Redmine upgrade soon.

At your service!

That's it from our side for now. Do you have any questions? Suggestions? Want to help? Use the feedback form below or let us know by email: admin(at)


comment #1
Gravatar: ben van 't ende ben van 't ende August 31, 2012 00:36
great to see your report appear so spontaneously. we need an admin team for as well. i will try to get that going. tHNx ben

comment #2
Gravatar: François François August 31, 2012 09:34
Thanks a lot for your wonderful work!

I'm curious about What tool(s) are you using and what services are you monitoring?

comment #3
Gravatar: Steffen Gebertt Steffen Gebertt August 31, 2012 09:38
Thanks for the nice feedback!

Francois, we're using Zabbix as monitoring system. The status page shows the results of checks, which run against the public web sites (and queries them through the API, see

If you have interest in more details, just get in touch with me.


comment #4
Gravatar: François François August 31, 2012 13:21
Thanks for the info Steffen. We'll see. I need to discuss this with colleagues. We already have quite some stuff and are looking into aggregating it all.

comment #5
Gravatar: Steffen Gebert Steffen Gebert August 31, 2012 13:43
Francois, I can really recommend Zabbix. IMHO it's pretty easy to install, configure, and use.

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