Online Radio – Howto


Here’s a howto for setting up your own online internet radio station. This was done on a CentOS 6.2 platform but it’s pretty much the same for others as well. Most of the installs are source compiles, yum has been used for some libraries you could use your favourite package manager on your server.

Config files and installation service are available on request. We will be refining this project over time adding much much more funtionality and software to the web player. for now enjoy this player here:

Prepare the server for greatness

  •  yum -y install bzip2-devel ncurses-devel aspell pspell expat-devel gmp-devel freetype-devel flex-devel ruby-libs ruby gd-devel subversion libjpeg-devel libpng-devel gcc-c++ gcc-cpp curl-devel libxml2-devel libtool-ltdl-devel httpd-devel pcre-devel libc-client-devel unixODBC-devel postresql-devel net-snmp-devel libxslt-devel sqlite-devel readline-devel atop htop pspell-devel
  • cd /home/imtiaz/src/; wget
  • tar -zxf lame-3.98.4.tar.gz
  • cd lame-3.98.4
  • ./configure
  • make
  • make install
  • yum install libshout-devel, flac-devel, perl-devel, python-devel, libmp4v2-devel

add a user which will be used to run everything

  • useradd ice
  • passwd ice

start working on the streaming server setup as the user from above

  • su – ice
  • mkdir src
  • cd src
  • wget
  • wget
  • tar -zxf icecast-2.3.2.tar.gz
  • tar -zxf ices-cc-0.4.1.tar.gz

setup icecast

  • cd icecast-2.3.2
  • ./configure –prefix=/home/ice/srv
  • make
  • make install

build a local copy of flac 1.1.2(or lower) as ices wont work with latest versions of flac

  • cd ..
  • wget
  • tar -zxf flac-1.1.2.tar.gz
  • cd flac-1.1.2
  • ./configure –prefix=$HOME/srv
  • make
  • make install

build ices

  • cd ../ices-cc-0.4.1
  • make distclean
  • ./configure –prefix=/home/ice/srv –with-flac=/home/ice/srv
  • make
  • make install

work on the housekeeping

  • export PATH=/home/ice/srv/bin/:$PATH
  • cd srv
  • cd etc/
  • vi icecast.xml
  • cd
  • mkdir -p /home/ice/srv/var/log/icecast
  • chmod -R 755 /home/ice/srv/var

Launch icecast

  • /home/ice/srv/bin/icecast -c /home/ice/srv/etc/icecast.xml -b

(-b sends it to the background, icecast.xml will need to be editted for passwords etc.)

playlist setup and directory structure for music files and playlists

  • cd
  • mkdir media
  • cd media
  • mkdir pls
  • cd ~/srv/bin
  • vi mp3list
  • cd ~/media
  • cd music

##(remove spaces from name of songs)

  • find . -name ‘* *’ | while read file; do target=`echo “$file” | sed ‘s/ /_/g’`; echo “Renaming ‘$file’ to ‘$target'”; mv “$file” “$target”; done;
  • cd ~srv
  • cd bin
  • chmod 755 mp3list

##(generate the playlist)

  • ./mp3list ~/media/music/1 1

(write the config file for the stream)

  • cd ~/srv/etc/
  • mkdir stubs
  • cd stubs
  • vi 1.conf

Launch ices

  • cd
  • srv/bin/ices -c srv/etc/stubs/1.conf

Create the webpage for the demo embedded player

  • su –
  • cd /var/www/vhosts/default/htdocs/
  • mkdir radio
  • cd radio
  • vi 1.htm
  • chmod 755 radio -R

That is it, your radio is online and you can tune in by going to the mountpoint you setup in the ices configuration you used. If you need assistance with this setup please mail us on R at NetBrix dot net. Lots of improvements on the way in the meanwhile enjoy this online radio channel

speed up with varnish

Varnish makes your websites fly

….so goes the byline and frankly they’re not lying. I use varnish on atleast 8 websites that do over 200,000 impressions a day. The way it works is actually pretty simple and can be implemented using a plethora of other tools, only varnish does it much more efficiently. Varnish is primarily a website accelerator but it can be configured to work as a high availability load balancer (hell yeah it can beat the pants of any hardware HA load balancer if configured right on the right hardware it can probably do better than an H5). Some of the advertised features

A modern design
VCL – a very flexible configuration language
Load balancing with health checking of backends
Partial support for ESI
URL rewriting
Graceful handling of “dead” backends

The important thing to know is that varnish can be easily dropped in into your cPanel or Plesk managed server and not cause havoc (unlike a lot of opcode caching solutions and other website speedup options). It can probably extend your servers capacity by atleast 50% and much more depending on what percentage of your content is static (images, videos for instance). I’ve used it on practically dead in the water servers, running 150+ sites with 140+ databases, the corresponding zones on named and email with spam/virus scanning for those 150+ sites all off of 2Gb RAM. Moved from 1.83seconds per kb to 0.01kbps, enuf said!!

So in case you’re looking to improve the user experience on your site without investing in improved hardware you should look at varnish as a solution. Also for much less than the cost of owning a hardware load balancer, or a slice of a shared load balancer for that matter, you can setup a software load balancer. Varnish works off one of your webservers alongside the webserver instance and takes the load off of your webserver(s) leaving it free to do the processing for more clients thus expanding your capacity without draining you at the bank.

Before upgrading hardware you’d probably do well to talk to us about setting up your server with Varnish. Please feel free to use the contact form or mail us on

Squeaky clean virus free websites — on shared hosts

Hackers or script kiddies often end up defacing and hijacking your website. They can do this because you are not looking! Or not loking hard enough.

An antimalware/antivirus scan for linux would be a good thing as it would allow you to scan files on your server on a periodic basis(using cronjobs). Mostly backdoors are uploaded using upload forms that are made available for genuine users to upload stuff like pictures, attachments and other content. These forms, if badly written, or if there is no check for execution of code in the webroot can pretty much wipe out the server. So you need to be proactive and check your files as often as possible and clean them before things get out of hand.

Clamav is a good antivirus/malware scanner. Set it up to do your file watch job. Here’s the process to get it going on dreamhost.

  • svn co
  • ./configure --prefix=$HOME --user=yourusername --group=yourgroupname
  • make & make install
  • edit /home/yourusername/etc/freshclam.conf and comment out the 4the line as instructed
  • edit /home/yourusername/etc/clamd.conf same edits as earlier for clamd
  • run freshclam and then clamdscan $HOME to find any backdoor or virus payload on your website.

Contact us if you need asistance with reclaiming your hacked website/server as well as other linux server admin requirements

always backup

a client pinged… he has lost his database for a site which he had spent close to 6 months on… he interpreted a mail from a script provider differently and ended up deleting the db…. the backup is from when he had first set it all up. I had setup his server and used to help him off and on with any tuneups or security issues.

What can I say backups are never a waste… ever…. if nothing atleast you’ll get some of it all back…. he seems to have lost 500 odd client details…. I’ve referred him to the host to try and see if they have something tucked away somewhere but then thats a bleak one…

We offer backup planning and automation. When people are starting off they feel it’d be a waste of time but when something like this happens thats when you realise how important a simple automated backup system is…. and it doesnt cost the earth either…. ask for the backup service

Pray for Al I hope it works out for him…

opcode caching with eaccelerator — on shared hosts

Opcode caching helps!

From the eaccelerator home
eAccelerator is a free open-source PHP accelerator, optimizer, and dynamic content cache. It increases the performance of PHP scripts by caching them in their compiled state, so that the overhead of compiling is almost completely eliminated. It also optimizes scripts to speed up their execution. eAccelerator typically reduces server load and increases the speed of your PHP code by 1-10 times.

This one’s for Dreamhost accounts. It will work for some other shared hosts as well. In case you need it setup on your server let us know through the Contact Form

  • Make sure you have your own custom php-fcgi (notice the ‘f’ it cost me two hours to figure that out) compiled and running the site where you want to enable eaccelerator. Detailed instructions rolling your own custom php are available elsewhere on this site.
  • get eaccelerator latest version and compile it
  • add the settings to the relevant php.ini
  • all set roll

For eaccelerator
The exports are for making sure you work with the right php. Again you will need autoconf, automake and php-devel(phpize) for the compile to work.

export TMPDIR=$HOME/executable/tmp
export PATH=$HOME/executable/bin:$PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/executable/lib:/usr/local/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
export CPATH=$HOME/executable/include:/usr/local/include:$CPATH
export LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/executable/lib:/usr/local/lib:$LIBRARY_PATH
tar -jxf eaccelerator-
cd eaccelerator-
./configure --prefix=$HOME/executable/
make install

For the php.ini
These lines are for loading and configuring ea in the custom php you use. So add them to the php.ini that pops up on your phpinfo page.

eaccelerator.shm_size = "20"
eaccelerator.cache_dir = "/home/user/tmp/eaccelerator"
eaccelerator.enable = "1"
eaccelerator.optimizer = "1"
eaccelerator.debug = 1
eaccelerator.log_file = "/home/user/log/httpd/eaccelerator_log"
eaccelerator.name_space = ""
eaccelerator.check_mtime = "1"
eaccelerator.filter = ""
eaccelerator.shm_max = "0"
eaccelerator.shm_ttl = "0"
eaccelerator.shm_prune_period = "0"
eaccelerator.shm_only = "0"
eaccelerator.compress = "1"
eaccelerator.compress_level = "9"
eaccelerator.allowed_admin_path = ""

This is what your .htaccess should look like (assuming you got the precompiled php bit right)

well if you got your custom php working right then this is not going to change any

[koolaid]$ cat .htaccess
AddHandler phpFive .php
Action phpFive /cgi-bin/php.cgi

And here’s your php with eaccelerator in there

[koolaid]$ php -v
PHP 5.2.3 (cli) (built: May  8 2009 09:08:36)
Copyright (c) 1997-2007 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v2.2.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2007 Zend Technologies
    with eAccelerator v0.9.5.3, Copyright (c) 2004-2006 eAccelerator, by eAccelerator
    with the ionCube PHP Loader v3.1.32, Copyright (c) 2002-2007, by ionCube Ltd., and
    with Zend Extension Manager v1.2.2, Copyright (c) 2003-2007, by Zend Technologies
    with Zend Optimizer v3.3.0, Copyright (c) 1998-2007, by Zend Technologies

Make sure that eaccelerator is also enabled in php by checking a phpinfo page like so:
phpinfo snip

Log should show hits also phpinfo page will show you the number of cached scripts.

Might want to benchmark it using something like phpspeed before and after the eaccelerator is plugged in….

Well this should ideally speed things up by around 60% so you’ll know when that happens 😀