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When VestaCP NAMED refuses to start & you’re pulling your hair out…

When the VestaCP NAMED service, refuses to restart & you're pulling your hair out, for 2 hours, wondering why…

So I like the VestaCP control panel a lot. It's pretty easy to use and they seem to have done a good job. Plus it's basically free and when your business runs multiple host VPS servers, CPANEL's $20pm per server, can soon add up.

But of course, you're basically on your own, as a virtual server admin.

My SSH skills have improved a lot over the last 2 decades, but some things are still pretty frustrating, when they go wrong – like DNS ZONE FILES.


But today's 2 hour rabbit hole journey was a little different. My NAMED service had stopped and it would not restart.

As far as I could remember, nothing had changed since the last time it worked. but NOTHING would make it work again.

I scoured the forums, with the usual hundreds of out of date, rabbit holes, trying to find one that HAD A SOLUTION and that MADE SENSE, because stray people have all sorts of weird ideas. The problem with unpaid software is always, there is no one to answer.

When your NAMED service has stopped working in VestaCP?

Finally one lead caught me eye. It intimated it was a DNS error in the zone file and there was a REBUILD function. YAY!

Eagerly I ran it 🙂

BHAM! It failed. Named would still not run 🙁

For no good reason, other than I could undo it, I disabled the DNS for the 1 domain zone on this server. Named freaking worked. SO for sure it was a Zone File error, but what and how? As far as I remembered nothing had changed.

During the testing I kept getting this strange error report about the BERKLEY something lookup failing. I had no idea I was even using it.

Anyway, disabling the zone, made named work, so this Berkley thing had to be connected with that.

Finally, I twigged!

I had run gsuite on this domain, to use it for cold email, and the gsuite package had lapsed (AKA I stopped paying).

Even though all you have to do to make gsuite work is basically add some MX (email) records, it was when I removed these, that everything started working again as it should.

The Moral & the takeaway:

The moral is, something really HAS changed – LOL

The takeaway is you get a NAMED start/restart error you can't clear, if you temporarily disable a zone and NAMED works, you can be sure it is that. Then the question is why?

So if you happened to have stopped using Google gSuite on that domain, like I had, then that could well be your issue. Clean up your DNS entries 😉

This isn't what I normally talk about, but it took 2 hours of my life, so this is for as much as if I forget in the future, as it is about helping any VestaCP user, work out why their NAMED service has stopped working.

Here are some VestaCP control panel notes about this:

To control the NAMED service on VestaCP control Panel;

service named stop
service named start
service named restart

Other useful SSH commands for VestaCP control panel:

sudo systemctl status named.service
named-checkconf /etc/named.conf
v-rebuild-dns-domain USERACCOUNT DOMAIN.COM

You can rebuild the DNS of your users.

VestaCP (admin) -> USERS -> Toggle All -> rebuild DNS.

Then start service again. If not work check config from SSH with;

named-checkconf /etc/named.conf

If there is no output, the configuration is considered correct and you can safely restart or reload bind configuration file.

Rebuilding your DNS in VestaCP server control panel

Hope your day was less stressful than mine 🙂


Big Data in the music industry (hit trending)

Today I’m conflicted…

Do I like this band or not?

When does explicit cross the line of vulgar and hateful?

As an artist should I “engineer” a hot, or not?

As a business man I’m sparked by the concept of “big data” in the music industry being able to predict a “hit” with 70% accuracy (Pandora).

I’m also in awe of a systems that so “song detection” help people find the music they want just by humming a few notes (the hook) in to the platform.
But the “awe bit” comes from then taking that consumer data and making it a “valuable” chart of the music people are MOST searching for and can remember, in to a “Chart”.

As a record label, this information is highly valuable.
But as an “artist” do I really want to “engineer” a hit? When does my art sell out for money?

As an artist I do Read the rest of this entry »


The 1 thing I love about Google, is that no matter how obscure you think your “unique” problem is, there’s a BUCKET of people who have had it before 😉

I use a local test server to code called WAMP.

I had some code working perfectly using PHP file_get_contents to suck in a web page and do stuff to it.

ONE DAY, it just suddenly stopped working – no reason I knew of – with a cryptic error (as always in coding)

something like; “can’t get contents, did you enable S when you compiled PHP”.

Warning: file_get_contents() [function.file-get-contents]: Unable to find the wrapper “https” – did you forget to enable it when you configured PHP?

So naturally I go down several rabbit holes until I finally uncover this answer; Read the rest of this entry »

A dirty little API – Metro to Xero

I could tell by the clients tone, this just wan’t want a technical issue. The kind where all logical reason flys out the window, because reality isn’t doing what it says on the tin.

The sort of issue that could bring a business to its knees.

“We can’t do our reconciliation, we can’t automate our banking, so we can’t do our accounts, so we can’t operate, so we can’t sell”

As far fetched as that might sound (or not) that’s what was in the clients head. Read the rest of this entry »

Surviving the web?

Surviving the web seems to get harder every day.

Faster hosting with CDN

Demands for higher security as hackers grow like the festering puss filled parasite they are.
Demands for mobile users, demands for video viewers, demands for greater speed.

Well at least on the last one, there is an answer. Read the rest of this entry »

What is Full Stack Marketing?

full stack marketing how i tfeelsToday I realised I was old 😉 I’m not a millennial (born 1980~2000)

Millennials are supposed to form 49% of the work force soon, from about 25% now. So I found out that one of the fads of this group is something called “FULL STACK MARKETING”

Honestly I’d never heard of it, so I had to do some digging 😉

Apparently a Full Stack Developer is someone who can do BOTH front end and back end. In other words a programmer who can do UIx.
I’ve always done that, but never knew I had a title. So YAY I am a full stack developer.

So what about Full Stack Marketing? Read the rest of this entry »