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A webistrano port for FreeBSD

I'm a big fan of capistrano for my deployment and generally also prefer the command line (vs. nifty web interfaces).

Recently, I realized that it would be better to give up some responsibility to others on a project and it seems the easiest in terms of capistrano is webistrano — by the Berlin-based Peritor.

Gimme a port!

Because FreeBSD is and always will be my favorite operating system, I created a small port for webistrano on FreeBSD. The idea of a port is to have a command to install and remove software, generally, to keep your software installations manageable.

The 1.0 of my webistrano port is already on Github.


All required steps are listed in the README on Github, but in case you don't have ports on your FreeBSD, please follow these steps (assuming a more or less recent install, FreeBSD 6+):

  • Get a port tree and install it to /usr/ports: portsnap fetch extract
  • Install GIT: cd /usr/ports/devel/git && make install distclean
  • Get the webistrano port:
    • cd (change to your home directory)
    • git clone git://
    • cd webistrano-freebsd
    • ...

In case you want to skip on git, just download the webistrano-freebsd tar-ball from github:

What's next?

I've got a small TODO (see README) and want to get that done ASAP, and send in a PR. I'd appreciate some feedback, if you got any.

UPDATE: #136108

Magento: moving a store to another server

Frequently, you do client work and if you are fortunate enough, you can setup a development environment on your own server or your laptop (or whatever), tinker with the files, and templates, and so on — until it's all done.

And whenever you are done, it's time to move files.

Sounds easy? It sort of is!


Here's a small check list of things to keep in mind when you move an installation.

  1. You may need to fix up the configuration file in order to adjust all database related settings. It's located in app/etc/local.xml.

  2. Certain directories will need to be made writable. Writable in this case means that the webserver has to be able to write into it. Since most of the standard PHP setups are with mod_php, this will be the user www, apache or www-run (in most cases). If you (or your provider) runs php-cgi, chances are that this is not necessary.

    You may have to ask an administrator to set this up. If the administrator is not available, you can always chmod 777 these, but for obvious reasons this may be risky in a shared environment.

    The following is a list of directories (and contents) which need to be made writable:

    • app/etc/
    • var/
    • media/

    And in case you want to use MagentoConnect, there are additional directories to make writable. Please see this blog post for more info.

  3. URLs, URLs, URLs. You were working on localhost all this time and now you think you can move it over just like that? Wrong!!! ;-) But all you need to do is edit the following keys in the core_config_data table:

    • web/unsecure/base_url
    • web/secure/base_url

That's all folks!

If you have any additions, please leave a comment!

So you want some work for free?

So last night, we had one of those Berlin PHP usergroup meetings without a speaker/talk and some of us decided to meet anyway for a drink and chat. So at first, there were three of us and then we met two people from a new startup who asked if they could join in. And so it began.

Enter spiel

These two people (from the startup) told us right away (I think before taking a seat), that they are looking for people who are interested in working for a startup. Probably nothing new for most people, especially since two of us work for startups already.

But since all of us seemed rather reserved and — well — booked, we kindly asked what kind of startup but they replied they would share this information if anyone was really interested.

One of them (a marketing person) continued to bug us if we were so well paid and it basically sounded like, What's your problem? Why don't you work for a startup?. We kindly asked him again to provide more information and from what I can tell now (after a few hours), they work on the next big thing some grass roots music platform, but they did not want to go into details.

They did disclose that they are about to launch and a suitable candidate (for them), would need to start to work right away (long hours are of course expected) and this candidate would also not earn a single cent for the first one, two or three months. He described their ideal person to be a developer with a sense for business. Someone to fulfill their a dream.

I can't say I was not puzzled already, but this marketing guy continued to pester us if we could not recommend people. We suggested multiple times that they write an email to our mailing list to advertise their offering, but they didn't seem to like that one either.

What really outraged me is that he tried to convince one of the younger user group attendees that breaking up their college studies in favor of a job at a startup (!), would make his resume look better in later life. I am not a fan of university and college either, but fuck you for even trying to do that to someone, especially at no pay.

Flashback, 1999, reality check, 2009.

This episode tonight really got me thinking as of what people think. And if they think before they talk.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with being proud of your product, or even being convinced of it. If you are looking to release whatever, there's nothing worse than if you have doubts in your own product and/or abilities. People catch that more sooner than later and if one is not convinced themself, how do you expect anyone else to like it.

But the bottom line is: this did remind of the very early days of what people sum up as new economy today. A lot of promises, maybe even equity, long hours of work and in 99% of all cases it all went up in smoke.


People are crooks. Just look at (oooh) the so-called financial crisis we are in. Point taken, we Internet people don't feel it as much as others. But the general theme is more than obvious. People will do everything to advance. There's no instance in terms of morals and ethics which steps in to regulate. And in the end, no consequences either. Banks have a safety net, so does GM, Opel, etc..

People who are asked to work for free obviously have none — "It just didn't work out. The market is just not ready for the project.". Yeah, heard it all before.

On a personal level these things are rather disappointing. I do like to believe that people are essentially good. And even though I found it disappointing, I tried hard to not call out names, but maybe someone sees this as room for improvement for next time you attend a user group meeting and try to hire people for your project.