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Advice: Run Urchin separate from CPanel

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by payne, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. payne

    payne Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2003
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    I struggled intensely to get Urchin to work well with CPanel (check out some of my previous posts to see what I mean). After experiencing all kinds of problems and having little luck with finding documentation or support I finally decided to separate urchin out of cpanel. The last straw was all of the hassle of running old logs or cleaning up the urchin database when a glitch would occur (oftentimes caused by a client over disk quota). You'd have to do all this wacky stuff from the command line that one really shouldn't have to do... these are, after all, just reports of traffic, people.

    Oh, also, I could never find a way around the urchin databases counting against users' quota. Those reports/databases are monstrous. Only a few of my clients need the detail that comes with Urchin... so it was a bit difficult to explain to clients that didn't want Urchin why 90% of their web quota was being taken up by reports that they didn't want.

    So, I uninstalled Urchin from my servers and wiped out all those massive databases and reports. Then I installed one copy of Urchin on a single server. In order to keep cpanel from coopting the installation, I installed it in a directory called 'urchin-nocpanel'. That way, cpanel's runwebogs script can't find the urchin installation and mess things up.

    I also had a problem with a client's http access logs being more than 2gb in a month... which is apache's limit and cpanel's rotation period. So, killing two birds with one stone, I set each domain that I wanted urchin logs for up with another customlog directive that uses cronolog to make nightly weblogs in a completely different directory.

    Then I set up a cron job to run lftp daily. lftp can be set up to ftp the contents of that log directory to my urchin server. I also wrote a few scripts to zip things up and rename the logs so they are all stored just as I want them.

    When all this is done, I end up with a completely automated solution: all urchin weblogs (from multiple servers) residing on my single urchin installation (easy to upgrade/maintain) which creates all the reports.

    Major advantages include being able to use urchins slick web interface to manage user access and reporting and being able to easily use urchin's utilites to fix any problems that occur. Running historical logs is extremely simple now. Urchin database space is no longer counted against my clients.

    The only drawback is that my clients have a different login on a different machine to look at their reports. But this is more than overcome for clients who own multiple sites and were tired of logging into multiple control panels to read their reports. Now they can see them all in one place!

    All in all, everything is finally the way I want it and running beautifully. My clients are thrilled and administration is much simpler. I would recommend this setup to everyone who has a cpanel box that wants the power of urchin reporting.

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