Le Blog d'Akram Ben Aissi

Le B.A BA autour de Java, JEE et d'autres choses

My blog has moved

I was surprised to learn that a customer visited this blog last week, since I didn’t post anything on it since 2014. The reason why: My blog has moved to https://akrambenaissi.com

Feel free to follow 🙂

Enjoy more recent readings



Enable IPv6 in Pidora

I was disappointed to see that so poor documentation exists on how to enable IPv6 on a RaspberryPi running Pidora (the Fedora version for the RPi).

After hanging here and out, I finally simply managed to run it using NetworkManager configuration.
Since my RPi is a headless (no display machine), I simply installed XQuartz on my Mac laptop and enabled X11 Forwarding on my SSH session.

By default, the sshd server on RPi does not enable it, so you have to add the following lines to /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

X11Forwarding yes
X11UseLocalhost no

Then restart the service:

# service sshd restart

And on your laptop connect by ssh with the following options:

ssh -Y root@pidora.local

Then launch nm-connection-editor and edit eth0 network connection and go to IPv6 tab. Simply select the configuration to Automatic instead of Ignore which is default.

# nm-connection-editor

nm1 nm2


Citrix Viewer on Mac OSX Mavericks does not work

Today I installed Citrix Receiver (aka Citrix Viewer) on my laptop and I was surprised to see that once logged in the remote host the keyboard is completely unresponsive.

Fortunately, someone on citrix blog faced the same issue.
The workaround is to press CMD-TAB keys and revert to citrix receiver.
It strangely bypass the issue.


Have multiple configuration files for HAProxy

This post is an extract from an answer to a question from a mailing list or on stack overflow, I was so hurry to not loose it, that I copied-pasted it here, in case I lost the link.

It seems to be Michael Bibl from the Debian team:



To recreate the same structure and functionality as the Apache2-style as we also wanted the easier management.

Below shows the directory structure and files we modified to make this happen.

Modified /etc/init.d/haproxy:

EXTRAOPTS=`for FILE in \`find /etc/haproxy/sites-enabled -type l | sort -n\`; do CONFIGS="$CONFIGS -f $FILE"; done; echo $CONFIGS`

Directory structure:

├── errors
│   ├── 400.http
│   ├── 403.http
│   ├── 408.http
│   ├── 500.http
│   ├── 502.http
│   ├── 503.http
│   └── 504.http
├── haproxy.cfg
├── haproxy.cfg.bak
├── haproxy.cfg.bak-2014-03-21
├── sites-available
│   ├── site01.example.com
│   ├── site02.example.com
│   └── site03.exmaple.com
└── sites-enabled
    ├── site01.example.com -> ../sites-available/site01.example.com
    ├── site02.example.com -> ../sites-available/site02.example.com
    └── site03.example.com -> ../sites-available/site03.example.com

Created haensite:


if [[ $EUID -ne 0 ]]; then
  echo "You must be a root user" 2>&1
  exit 1

if [ $# -lt 1 ]; then
  echo "Invalid number of arguments"
  exit 1

echo "Enabling $1..."

cd /etc/haproxy/sites-enabled
ln -s ../sites-available/$1 ./

echo "To activate the new configuration, you need to run:"
echo "  /etc/init.d/haproxy restart"

Created hadissite:


if [[ $EUID -ne 0 ]]; then
  echo "You must be a root user" 2>&1
  exit 1

if [ $# -lt 1 ]; then
  echo "Invalid number of arguments"
  exit 1

echo "Disabling $1..."

rm -f /etc/haproxy/sites-enabled/$1

echo "To activate the new configuration, you need to run:"
echo "  /etc/init.d/haproxy restart"

Simple Application Server’s Concepts People Forgot

As a consultant, I often face the same issues and questions from customers, and with the emergence of DevOps practices, I often see people arguing on some old and proofed principles, probably only because we, as human, forget and are trying to re-invent the wheel.

Java EE and the Application Servers world is no exception, so here is the top three problems I always have to re-explain when dealing with Operations and Developers issues.

Rely on resources provided by application server

Java EE is an extension of Java. And as such, some of the people who created Java participated in elaborating Java EE specification, with the goal in mind to provide mechanisms to solve the current issues in the Enterprise world. This lead to put in application some of the principles behind OO programming and Java programming as well:
– Separate concerns: Segregate responsibilities, do one thing but do it well, try to work as service, hide the complexity but provide powerful services.
– Increase Reusability: Some skilled people will do job for you, and they were selected to do it well, so use what they do, use the APIs, and focus on doing your stuff better.

As you can see, this sounds like DevOps concepts, if you have a double reading you can see that these principles both apply to code, and to human organizations in IT where people wants to build, deploy and operate a piece of software in the most efficient, collaborative and secure manner.

This is how I have been taught Java Programming since Java 1.1, and I still think that Java, and as a consequence Java EE is built this way. Of course it has defect, after all, perfection is not human, and this is another debate.

The datasources

To return to our subject, I remember that of the toughest issue I always facing is often related to datasources configuration. To go back to the basics, you should remember that in a Java EE Application Server a lot of resources can be registered in a directory called JNDI. It allows use of resources in a distributed manner, but, and this is the most important thing, it allows to decorelate a physical resource from its name. Just like the DNS. And I think that, today, nobody will prefer using static IP addresses instead of name servers?

The guys behind the concept of JNDI, by first applying it to datasources, knows that one of the most important interaction between an application server and the rest of the Information System is often related to connect to a source of data. Java EE rapidly came with a solution to that, including a way to easily pass from an environment to another: Simply use a name indirection and let the Application Server administrator (the Operations guy, or the Ops) configure it in a transparent manner for application that needs data from this source.

So, I often get very confused when I hear people saying that they don’t want to rely on such a feature because they don’t want to wait after the Ops guy to do the job, just like if the application will run on production from the developer’s laptop.

Moreover, not only providing an indirection name to the « welcome to run » application, the application server also manages the resource life cycle, using pools or other functionalities (failover, hiding passwords, providing drivers, etc…), so many features that the developer would have to handle if they were not provided.

The modules

In the first generations of Java EE applications servers, things where quite monolithic. This was only related to choices of implementations and internal architecture of application servers, and not related (not entirely true) to EE specifications. A few generations later, JBoss AS 7 and some others (Geronimo, Glassfish, etc…) introduced modularity in their architecture to allow better class loading isolation (on of the most important issues in the first application servers, probably because this part was underspecified in Java EE) as well as improving performance and allowing better reusability.

To apply the « eat your own dog food » principle, JBoss AS 7 relies on its own modular class loader (called JBoss modules) to load its core components or its dependent librairies and provides at the same time a convenient way for applications that may require it, a framework for sharing their libraries or to rely on application servers library to result in a lower footprint and a higher reuse. Quite academic.

And again, the configuration of datasources is not an exception.

One more thing to understand, in AS7/WildFly8+ a module is not a deployment, but a deployment, once deployed, is visible as a module. So people are often mistaken and makes confusion between these two concepts.

So Why Should I Use Modules For My Datasource Driver ?

If we compile all these previous arguments together, we can clearly understand that a datasource is a resource provided by the application server in a named manner abstracting its physical location. At the end, its goal is to facilitate the deployment of an application in all the environments with no modifications of the delivery. When doing DevOps, I should put my Ops cap, remember that principle, and start configuring it as such.

So then, I have two options: install the datasource driver as a deployment by copying it in the $JBOSS_HOME/deployments directory. As stated before, once a deployment is deployed, it is seen as a module. The JBoss guys provided this feature for compatibility reasons and because this quite easy for a Dev to put the driver there, add a few lines of XML in the AS server and have its datasource ready, testing it.

But, in real life, when we go production, the developer does not have to bother to manage this, someone is doing it, in a transparent manner. Hence, the resource is part of the configuration of the application server and does not follow the deployment lifecycle, it follows the AS configuration lifceycle. As such, it is preferable that it relies on resources (classes, librairies, etc…) available in the application server and not deployed on top of the application server. Said with other words, if the Ops have to wait that the Dev deploys the JDBC driver, we will end-up in a dead lock.

An extra simple argument, this also simply allows to manage credentials for datasources from a limited number of people, and not putting them in files inside the Source Code Management system or worse on github.

If you see it now this way, you should understand that the driver has its seat in the modules directories, but of course you have the choice, even when wearing your Ops cap, to put the driver’s in deployments. But we do not recommend it.

I hope that these few arguments convinced the most skeptical of you.


Know What To Log Not How To Log


This is about the subsystem logging in JBoss

Use The Tools Provided By The Platform


This is about the domain mode in JBoss



Ukelele ou comment avoir les chiffres en direct sur un clavier AZERTY sur un mac

Ukelele ou comment avoir les chiffres en direct sur un clavier AZERTY sur un mac

Cette astuce va certainement ravir la plupart d’entre vous qui trouvent que le layout par défaut des claviers AZERTY est une abomination. Le mot est un peu fort, mais soyons honnêtes, l’utilisation du clavier standard français est une sorte de perversion dactylographique.
La bonne nouvelle c’est que si vous avez MacOSX tout n’est pas perdu car une solution simple existe pour réparer cela avec en sus un peu de gymnastique intellectuelle quotidienne qui vous rendra à terme la vie plus heureuse 🙂
L’astuce est simple: MacOSX propose depuis Leopard la possibilité de modifier les Input Layouts en positionnant différents type de clavier possibles à travers le menu “Language & Region”, sur OSX en Français ce doit être ????
Vous avez alors la possibilité de choisir entre plusieurs dispositions de claviers. Et l’ultime astuce réside dans le fait qu’il est même possible d’importer ses propres layout de clavier, et qu’il existe un outils graphique pour générer les fichiers de layout: Ukulele : http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=ukelele
La doc de Ukulele est très complète et explique comment générer de tels fichiers. Pour ma part, je me suis intéressé à la création d’un layout permettant de faire comme si les chiffres étaient en accès direct. Le fichier est dispo sur mon compte github https://github.com/akram/french-direct-numbers-keylayout, pour l’installer, il suffit de le copier dans /System/Library/Keyboard Layouts/ et de redémarrer Finder, puis de se rendre dans le menu Keyboard et voilà, le fichier de disposition French Direct Numbers vous permet d’avoir accès aux chiffres du clavier Mac sans utiliser la touche majuscule.

Binding an URL in AS7 JNDI tree

AS7 provides the JNDI functionnaly through the naming subsystem. If you take a look at the corresponding schema ($AS7_HOME/docs/schema/jboss-as-naming_1_1.xsd, you will see that its configuration has only a few options.

What does this XML schema description says ? It says that the configuraiton of the naming subsystem is composed of « binding » elements. Each of this element can be:

  • A simple type: Basically, these are the common number types (int, long, BigDecimal, etc…) or String.
  • a lookup type: This only a kind of JNDI name alias. Which you can use to have two different names for the same resource
  • An object-factory type: A class which implements javax.naming.spi.ObjectFactory, instantiated once per declared resource and responsible of the instantiation of a custom object.

As you can see, the simple type is quite limited, but I hope that this may evolve depending on needs. So, our last chance to register custom types is to use the object-factory.

Create an URLResourceFactory

To avoid creating one factory class every time you need to bind one URL, the factory will get the value attached to a system property having the same name as the JNDI resource to create URL.Here is what the ResourceURLFactory may look like (some additional checks may help) :

package org.akram.factory;
public class ResourceURLFactory implements ObjectFactory {
  public Object getObjectInstance(Object object, Name name, Context nameCtx,
                                  Hashtable<?,?> environment) throws Exception {
    String urlAsString = System.getProperty(object.toString());
    URL url = new URI(urlAsString).toURL();
    return url;

Add it as a module in JBoss

Then, you need to package this class in a jar and add it as a module in AS7:

mvn install
mkdir -p $AS7_HOME/modules/org/akram/factory/main
cp target/url-resource-factory.jar $AS7_HOME/modules/org/akram/factory/main
vi modules/org/akram/factory/main/module.xml

The content of the module.xml file must be the following lines. The dependency to javax.api is required cause the classes of the jar uses this API, so it has to be loaded otherwise, you gill get ClassNotFoundExceptions.

<module xmlns="urn:jboss:module:1.1" name="org.akram.factory">
  <resource-root path="resource-url-factory.jar"/>
  <module name="javax.api" />

Bind a new resource using this object-factory

The server can be started now. And, you can try adding the new JNDI binding and a system property with the CLI:

/subsystem=naming/binding=java\:\/jboss\/exported\/myurl:add(binding-type=object-factory, module=org.akram,factory, class=.org.akram.factory.ResourceURLFactory)

From now, every lookup to java:/jboss/exported/myurl will return a java.net.URL object pointing to http://www.myurl.org.

Disabling session replication in JBoss AS5/EAP5

Today is the official annoucement of JBoss EAP6 (based on AS7.1), so I was thinkig that it was a good day to write a blog on AS5/EAP5.
Probably, not the most read article, but it will probably help someone…

Why would you disable session replication ?

Believe it or not, but everything has a cost. My grand-mother used to say: « Only the scorpion gives for free ». And this is of course the case for session replication. It has a cost that could be adjusted using several techniques: Buddy replication, change granularity replication or synchronous/asynchronous replication mode.
In some rare cases, because your organisation is not ready yet, because your applications does not supports it, or because you simply don’t want it, you may want to disable session replication, while still having other clustering features available on JBoss like automatic cluster configuration, farm deployment, HA JNDI, HA Singleton, etc…

The easy way: Do not set your application distributable

The easies way to disable (HTTP and statefull session beans) sessions replication is simply to NOT set the tag in your web.xml file.

<!-- <distributable /> -->

The good point of this solution is that your JBoss configuration will remain untouched and fully standard. However, you are not protected against an application having a distributable tag. This of course will trigger session replication and that may have an unexpected impact on your overall cluster performance

The efficient way: Disable session replication on JBoss AS 5

To prevent JBoss from replicating sessions whatever the deployed application, you have to modify the way that JBossCache replicates HTTP sessions and SFSB Sessions. To do so, just edit the file $JBOSS_HOME/server//deploy/cluster/jboss-cache-manager.sar/META-INF/jboss-cache-manager-jboss-beans.xml and set the cacheMode parameter to LOCAL for the caches named StandardSessionCacheConfig, FieldSessionCacheConfig and StandardSFSBCacheConfig.

<bean name="StandardSessionCacheConfig" class="org.jboss.cache.config.Configuration">
  <!-- .... Some other parameters .... -->
  <property name="cacheMode">LOCAL</property>
  <!-- .... Some other parameters .... -->

The default value for these parameters are: REPL_ASYNC which mean that the cache replication is triggered and does not wait synchronously for the cache write confirmation.
The LOCAL value prevents the replication message to be sent and this blocks session replication when set on the relevant caches configuration.


Playing with puppet: The installation

The subject of this post may be misinterprated….or not.
To help search engines to find it more easily, the subject here is to give some tricks while using the puppet tool from www.puppetlabs.org which used to automatically administer large systems by allowing automated installations and configurations drifts detection.

These functionnalities are also available on some other tools, among them JBoss Operation Network (the drift feature is available since version 3.0), however puppet seems to gather of a larger adoption among the community.

While working at a customer, I met a sponsor so we decided to give it a large try.

Corporate customers often rely on a enterprise Linux distribution, and RHEL 5 is often a common guest in the party. Unfortunately, puppet is not a part of the distribution and you have to rely on the EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) repository to make it available for installation.
To do so, simply add /etc/yum.repos.d/epel.repo with the following content:

name=Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux 5 - $basearch

And then, perform the agent installation with:

sudo yum install puppet
sudo /etc/init.d/puppet start

Fine, your puppet agent must be up and running. You can now have fun trying to write your own classes and manifest.

Load testing Seam-Booking with JMeter

There are some interesting  blog posts on how to do load tests of seam applications with JMeter. Since a few days, I had to train a customer in doing load tests. We had a pilot project, that already had a testable application with its own JMeter tests scripts, however, because of lack of time, the application was not ready, and I had to fallback on another solution.

My favorite demo application is Seam Booking application which is a « bogus » Hotel Reservation Web Application developed with Seam (using JSF, Seam and Hibernate). The application is pretty and nice to use. It uses Ajax and just like all JSF applications it rely on javax.faces.viewState’s that are exchanged along pages. Because it uses Seam, there is also a « Conversation ID » that is hold from pages to others.

Lire la suite