Difference between revisions of "Dev/Tracker"

From Archiveteam
< Dev
Jump to: navigation, search
(Use Ruby 2.2.2; it's latest stable)
(Document hiredis' expectation to find node.js as node; simplify npm install)
Line 247: Line 247:
Install the Node.js libraries needed:
Install the Node.js libraries needed:
  npm install socket.io
  npm install
  npm install redis
If you get an error while installing hiredis, you may need to provide Debian's "nodejs" as "node"Symlink "node" to the nodejs executable and try again.
Log out of the tracker account at this point.
Log out of the tracker account at this point.

Revision as of 07:25, 19 April 2015

This article describes how to set up your own tracker just like the official Archive Team tracker. Use this guide only if you want to do a full test of the infrastructure.

Note: A virtual machine appliance is available at ArchiveTeam/archiveteam-dev-env which contains a ready-to-use tracker.

Installation will cover:

  • Environment: Ubuntu/Debian
  • Languages:
    • Python
    • Ruby
    • JavaScript
  • Web:
    • Nginx
    • Phusion Passenger
    • Redis
    • Node.js
  • Tools:
    • Screen
    • Rsync
    • Git
    • Wget
    • regular expressions

The Tracker

The Tracker manages what items are claimed by users that run the Seesaw client. It also shows a pretty leaderboard.

Let's create a dedicated account to run the web server and tracker:

sudo adduser --system --group --shell /bin/bash tracker


Redis is database stored in memory. So, item names should be engineered to be memory efficient. Redis saves its database periodically into a file located at /var/lib/redis/6379/dump.rdb. It is safe to copy the file, e.g., for backups.

To install Redis, you may follow these quickstart instructions, but we'll show you how.

These steps are from the quickstart guide:

wget http://download.redis.io/redis-stable.tar.gz
tar xvzf redis-stable.tar.gz
cd redis-stable

Now install the server:

sudo make install
cd utils
sudo ./install_server.sh

Note, by default, it runs as root. Let's stop it and make it run under www-data:

sudo invoke-rc.d redis_6379 stop
sudo adduser --system --group www-data
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/lib/redis/6379/
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/log/redis_6379.log

Edit the config file /etc/redis/6379.conf with the options like:

pidfile /var/run/shm/redis_6379.pid

Now tell the start up script to run it as www-data:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/redis_6379

Change the EXEC and CLIEXEC variables to use sudo -u www-data -g www-data:

EXEC="sudo -u www-data -g www-data /usr/local/bin/redis-server"
CLIEXEC="sudo -u www-data -g www-data /usr/local/bin/redis-cli"

To avoid catastrophe with background saves failing on fork() (Redis needs lots of memory), run:

sudo sysctl vm.overcommit_memory=1

The above setting will be lost after reboot. Add this line to /etc/sysctl.conf:


The log file will get big so we need a logrotate config. Create one at /etc/logrotate.d/redis with the config:

/var/log/redis_*.log {
      rotate 10
      size 10M

Start up Redis again using:

sudo invoke-rc.d redis_6379 start

Nginx with Passenger

Nginx is a web server. Phusion Passenger is a module within Nginx that runs Rails applications.

There is a guide on how to install Nginx with Passenger, the following instructions are similar.

Log in as tracker:

sudo -u tracker -i

We'll use RVM to install Ruby libraries:

curl -L get.rvm.io | bash -s stable
source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm
rvm requirements

A list of things needed to be installed will be shown. Log out of the tracker account, install them, and log back into the tracker account.

Install Ruby and Bundler:

rvm install 2.2.2
rvm rubygems current
gem install bundler

Install Passenger:

gem install passenger

Install Nginx. This command will download, compile, and install a basic Nginx server.:


Use the following prefix for Nginx installation:


Change the location of the tracker software (to be installed later). Edit nginx/conf/nginx.conf. Use the lines under the "location /" option:

root /home/tracker/universal-tracker/public;
passenger_enabled on;
client_max_body_size 15M;

The logs will get big so we'll use logrotate. Save this into /home/tracker/logrotate.conf:

/home/tracker/nginx/logs/access.log {
     rotate 10
     size 10M

To call logrotate, we'll add an entry using crontab:

crontab -e

Now add the following line:

@daily /usr/sbin/logrotate --state /home/tracker/.logrotate.state /home/tracker/logrotate.conf

Log out of the tracker account at this point.

Let's create an Upstart configuration file to start up Nginx. Save this into /etc/init/nginx-tracker.conf:

description "nginx http daemon"

start on runlevel [2]
stop on runlevel [016]

setuid tracker
setgid tracker

console output

exec /home/tracker/nginx/sbin/nginx -c /home/tracker/nginx/conf/nginx.conf -g "daemon off;"


Log in into the tracker account.

Download the Tracker software:

git clone https://github.com/ArchiveTeam/universal-tracker.git

We'll need to configure the location of Redis. Copy the config file:

cp universal-tracker/config/redis.json.example universal-tracker/config/redis.json

Add a "production" object into the JSON file. Here is an example:

  "development": {
    "host": "",
    "port": 6379,
    "db":   13
  "test": {
    "host": "",
    "port": 6379,
    "db":   14
  "production": {
    "db": 1

Now install the necessary gems:

cd universal-tracker
bundle install

Log out of the tracker account at this point.


Node.js is required to run the fancy leaderboard using WebSockets. We'll use NPM to manage the Node.js libraries:

sudo apt-get install npm

Log into the tracker account.

Now, we manually edit the Node.js program because it has problems:

cp -R universal-tracker/broadcaster .
nano broadcaster/server.js

Modify env and trackerConfig variables to something like this:

var env = {
    tracker_config: {
        redis_pubsub_channel: "tracker-log"
    redis_db: 1
var trackerConfig = env['tracker_config'];

You also need to modify the "transports" configuration by adding websocket. The new line should look like this:

  io.set("transports", ["websocket", "xhr-polling"]);

Install the Node.js libraries needed:

npm install

If you get an error while installing hiredis, you may need to provide Debian's "nodejs" as "node". Symlink "node" to the nodejs executable and try again.

Log out of the tracker account at this point.

Create an Upstart file at /etc/init/nodejs-tracker.conf:

description "tracker nodejs daemon"

start on runlevel [2]
stop on runlevel [016]

setuid tracker
setgid tracker

exec node /home/tracker/broadcaster/server.js

Tracker Setup

Start up the Tracker and Broadcaster:

sudo start nginx-tracker
sudo start nodejs-tracker

You now need to configure the tracker. Open up your web browser and visit http://localhost/global-admin/.

  • In Global-Admin→Configuration→Live logging host, specify the public location of the Node.js app. By default, it uses port 8080.

You are now free to manage the tracker.


  • If you followed this guide, the rsync location is defined as rsync://HOSTNAME/PROJECT_NAME/:downloader/
  • The trailing slash within the rsync URL is very important. Without it, files will not be uploaded within the directory.


You probably want to have Cron clearing out old claims. The Tracker includes a Ruby script that will do that for you. By default, it removes claims older than 6 hours. You may want to change that for big items by creating a copy of the script for each project.

To set up Cron, login as the tracker account, and run:

which ruby

Take note of which Ruby executable is used.

Now edit the Cron table:

crontab -e

Add the following line which runs release-stale.rb every 6 hours:

0 */6 * * * cd /home/tracker/universal-tracker && WHICH_RUBY scripts/release-stale.rb PROJECT_NAME


Since the Tracker stores logs into Redis, it will use up memory quickly. log-drainer.rb continuously writes the logs into a text file:

mkdir -p /home/tracker/universal-tracker/logs/
cd /home/tracker/universal-tracker && ruby scripts/log-drainer.rb

Pressing CTRL+C will stop it. Run this within a Screen session.

This crontab entry will compress the log files that haven't been modified in two days:

@daily find /home/tracker/universal-tracker/logs/ -iname "*.log" -mtime +2 -exec xz {} \;

Reducing memory usage

The Passenger Ruby module may use up too much memory. You can add the following lines to your nginx config. Add these inside the http block:

passenger_max_pool_size 2;
passenger_max_requests 10000;

The first line allows spawning maximum of 2 processes. The second line restarts Passenger after 10,000 requests to free memory caused by memory leaks.

Developer Documentation