Tag Archives: debian

Useful aptitude commands

A simple list of installed packages

max@wonko:~$ aptitude search '~i' -F '%p'

Search for installed packages from the testing repo

max@wonko:~$ aptitude versions '~i ~Atesting' --group-by=none

Finding why a package is installed

I found fonts-font-awesome in my headless server, but there’s a reason

max@wonko:~$ aptitude why fonts-font-awesome
i   owncloud Depends fonts-font-awesome

Select packages that were removed but not purged

max@wonko:~$ aptitude search '~c'

Search in the package description

max@wonko:~$ aptitude search '~d"web browser"'

Upgradable packages

max@wonko:~$ aptitude search '~U'

How to display PHP errors only in public_html directories

How to display PHP errors

I always use servers where PHP errors are not shown by default and I always forget how to enable error messages in development environments.

My situation

On a server I usually prefer Debian OS, but when I develop on the go I use laptops with Ubuntu.
In this case I’m running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS with Apache2 (v2.4.7) and libapache2-mod-php5 (v5.5.9).

I want PHP errorors displayed for projects in my public_html folder.

Solution 1 (only Apache conf files)

Create the file /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/800-public-html.conf with this content:

<Directory /home/*/public_html>
  AllowOverride Options
  php_admin_flag display_errors On

Solution 2 (using .htaccess)

Create the file /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/800-public-html.conf with this content:

<Directory /home/*/public_html>
  AllowOverride Options

Create the file /home/max/public_html/project1/.htaccess with this content:

php_admin_flag display_errors On


It’s easy and easily forgettable. Don’t forget to add

error_reporting(E_ALL | E_NOTICE);

in your .php files.

Restore an etc configuration file from the original maintainer version on Debian

There are events that can not be stopped, for example when you delete a file by mistake under /etc.

Debian provides an elegant way to restore files of the maintainer’s version without touching your existing configuration.

Practical scenario

Let’s say I’ve removed the file /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf, here’s the procedure to recover it:

  • find the deb package containing the file
    # dpkg -S /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf
  • reinstall the package with a specific option
    # apt-get install --reinstall -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confmiss" apache2
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree       
    Reading state information... Done
    0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 reinstalled, 0 to remove and 5 not upgraded.
    Need to get 86,7 kB of archives.
    After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
    Get:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ saucy-updates/main apache2 amd64 2.4.6-2ubuntu2.1 [86,7 kB]
    Fetched 86,7 kB in 0s (264 kB/s)
    (Reading database ... 245864 files and directories currently installed.)
    Preparing to replace apache2 2.4.6-2ubuntu2.1 (using .../apache2_2.4.6-2ubuntu2.1_amd64.deb) ...
    Unpacking replacement apache2 ...
    Processing triggers for man-db ...
    Processing triggers for ufw ...
    Processing triggers for ureadahead ...
    ureadahead will be reprofiled on next reboot
    Setting up apache2 (2.4.6-2ubuntu2.1) ...
    Configuration file `/etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf', does not exist on system.
    Installing new config file as you requested.
     * Restarting web server apache2

That’s all.

Practical scenario #2

There’s another interesting case when this procedure comes handy: if you changed a default etc file and you want to restore it. In that case you can simply delete it and use the same apt-get command:

# apt-get install --reinstall -o Dpkg::Options::="--force-confmiss" <package name>