Why bootdev — CDN configuration

CDN illustration

Why bootdev CDN config

One of BootDev’s website backend feature is CDN auto-deploy. The idea is we deploy the right way of using Amazon Cloudfront (CDN) automatically. You don’t need to investigate and do lots of work in Drupal to make things done.

From our hard earned experience, Drupal CDN configuration summarize as 2

  1. File storage + CDN (Drupal AmazonS3 module + CNAME with Cloudfront)
  2. Directly CDN (Drupal CDN Module)

1. Drupal AmazonS3 module

This module is great. It helps to move Drupal file system on Cloud. The advantage is you don’t need big local storage. But, you will be headache of using this. Some examples are

  • Generating XMLsitemap, the cron job will hang as it is not using local storage
  • new image style, you will need to turn off AmazonS3 module to add new style
  • Features module operations take longer, especially with image field operations
  • Multi-upload / insert image to editor, as the style generation link will be shown at the first time (/system/styles/files/….) will be different when the same style shown second time (CDN url). If you are not notice about it, your image will keep generate and waste lots lots of CPU.
  • Nginx Support, you will need to add AmazonS3 Nginx support (try url /system/stles/files)

For the multi-upload problem, you will need to insert images when u “edit” it rather than create. But, it will complain by your content editor. Another solution is running a quick fix database script to change the url in text body after image generated.

For the others, share some code snap as below, you can put this in your Drupal settings.php or config in admin page. Of coz, you will need to set your AWS right way like setting right S3 bucket as the Cloudfront origin, map to Route53 CNAME of your domain and put it on Cloudfront CNAME. That’s why you need bootdev if you are not understand what I’m talking about.

$conf[‘aws_key’] = ‘your key’;
$conf[‘aws_secret’] = ‘your secret’;
$conf[‘amazons3_bucket’] = ‘your bucket for AmazonS3 module’;
$conf[‘amazons3_cache’] = ‘1’;
$conf[‘amazons3_cloudfront’] = ‘1’;
$conf[‘amazons3_cname’] = ‘1’;
$conf[‘amazons3_domains’] = ‘cdn1.xxx.com
your mutiple CNAME, to increase frontend performance.
You will need this patch https://www.drupal.org/node/2044307#comment-9384777 ‘;

For support nginx, so that image styles can be generated, you will need this

  # Catch image styles for D7.
location ~ ^/sites/.*/files/ {
try_files $uri @rewrite;

# Catch image styles for AmazonS3 D7.
location ~ ^/system/files/styles/ {
try_files $uri @rewrite;

2. Drupal CDN module

OK, now images are served. But what about the css/js/other static resources ? You will need CDN module.

You will need to config AWS to pull your data which we are not going to explain here howto. After that, you can have your CDN module to alter your site url, so that for examples: .css .js .xx will alter to CDN url.

Here is some basic config which u can put into your Drupal settings.php

$conf[‘cdn_basic_mapping’] = ‘http://d2fqrtkrfnbzdb.cloudfront.net| .css .js
http://yourlocalsite.com|.ttf .woff .svg .eot’;
$conf[‘cdn_mode’] = ‘basic’;

//CDN conf (Improve frontend performance)
$conf[‘cdn_farfuture_status’] = ‘1’;

d2fqrtkrfnbzdb.cloudfront.net is your CDN url, you can have other CNAME. You will see i put yourlocalsite.com as a CDN, which is not a good way. Why we are doing this is, we want to keep the webfront files serve as local. So that it won’t have CORS problem. Otherwise your font won’t work. Another approach is uploading your font to S3 manually and then manually set S3 CORS header and then set it as ClountFront origin. But, it make things complex and the font will leave the git repo management, which harder to deploy. So, we suggest to serve it locally, if you do not a very very large site.

You can also add .png next to .css / .js to serve your logo/icons or other resources. And Far future conf help to expire your resource at browser later and suggested to turn on.

To support far future, you will need below in nginx config, so that your CDN can curl the far future path. Reference: https://www.drupal.org/node/2380397

### CDN Far Future expiration support.
location ^~ /cdn/farfuture/ {
tcp_nodelay   off;
access_log    off;
log_not_found off;
etag          off;
gzip_http_version 1.0;
if_modified_since exact;
location ~* ^/cdn/farfuture/.+\.(?:css|js|jpe?g|gif|png|ico|bmp|svg|swf|pdf|docx?|xlsx?|pptx?|tiff?|txt|rtf|class|otf|ttf|woff|eot|less)$ {
expires max;
add_header X-Header “CDN Far Future Generator 1.0”;
add_header Cache-Control “no-transform, public”;
add_header Last-Modified “Wed, 20 Jan 1988 04:20:42 GMT”;
rewrite ^/cdn/farfuture/[^/]+/[^/]+/(.+)$ /$1 break;
try_files $uri @nobots;
location ~* ^/cdn/farfuture/ {
expires epoch;
add_header X-Header “CDN Far Future Generator 1.1”;
add_header Cache-Control “private, must-revalidate, proxy-revalidate”;
rewrite ^/cdn/farfuture/[^/]+/[^/]+/(.+)$ /$1 break;
try_files $uri @nobots;
try_files $uri @nobots;

After you do all above, you can have CDN run smoothly and also cloud storage + CDN for Drupal 🙂 Or use bootdev, one click, all set.


Why cloudfront / CDN ?

  1. Faster your content to audience
  2. Lower your AWS network traffic cost
  3. Available world wide
  4. Lower your Server CPU/Memory as requests share to CDN

Why BootDev — For website builders’ Backend as a service (wBaaS)

Recently, we launched a project, bootdev which deploys a configured Drupal site (Drucloud) into a pre given architecture into users’ personal AWS account. We call it website backend as a service (wBaaS). With this approach, we can deliver our hard earned experience to other business owner or developers without REWORK of what we did.

What we deliver is just configuration and knowledge. After the deployment, we dont host it, users’ host their site in their own AWS. We also provide a technical foundation / playground for people to add features /  experience best practice(s).

Currently available with Drupal 7.

With just 1 click, you can have pre configured like:

  • Caching
    • Nginx micro-cache
    • Cache pre-warmer
    • PHP APC
    • Memcache (AWS ElastiCache)
    • MySQL Query Cache
  • Database
    • AWS RDS configuration for Drupal
    • Multi-AZ
    • Secure by under AWS VPC
  • Web server
    • Nginx Drupal configuration
      • advagg css / js compression support
      • Image style catching
      • Micro cache
      • AWS Cloudfront CDN support (far future expire)
      • Cache control headers
    • PHP-FPM
      • APC
      • Max client configurations under EC2 m3.large
  • SOLR Search
    • SOLR index cron job
    • Drupal SOLR integration
  • DevOps
    • Cloudformation
    • Chef
    • Auto-scaling
    • Git deploy with bitbucket private repo + deploy key
  • Maintenance
    • System maintenance cron job
    • xmlsitemap
    • social network stat
  • Email
    • SPAM email control
    • Mass mail support (AWS SES support)
  • MAP
    • Google Map integration
  • Social
    • Social network meta-tag
  • File handling
    • Drupal S3 integration
    • Push to CDN
    • Separate file handling with other Drupal services
  • CDN
    • Drupal CDN configuration
    • Suport CORs
  • Server architecture
    • 2* EC2 m3.large web server
    • 1* EC2 m1.small chef server
    • 1* Mutli-AZ m3.large RDS
    • 1* EC2 m3.large SOLR server
    • 2* ElastiCache node m1.medium
    • Cloudfront CDN
    • Amazon S3
    • Auto-scaling with ELB
    • 2* EC2 m1.small GlusterFS
    • Inside VPC

In coming topics, I will explain why you need each of those configurations to make your site awesome.


fastcgi with apache, virtualhost per user setup

Im showing a working conf for fastcgi per user virtualhost & php.ini on apache2

Googled some reference with lots of apache like putting FcgidInitialEnv into virtualhost does not work. Tested out a working conf for fastcgi with apache, virtualhost per user by suExec setup.

About installing dependencies on CentOS 6, reference below ***Remember to add the epel repo


Beware suexec not allow to set uid < 500 ===> you cannot use apache (CentOS) www-data(Ubuntu) in SuexecUserGroup

Just add below apache conf in /etc/httpd/conf.d/anyfilename.conf, this conf run a php wrapper by FCGIWrapper

Then the wrapper can specify which php.ini to run

<IfModule fcgid_module>
  FcgidInitialEnv PHPRC "/php"

# using mod_fcgid and user specific php.ini
# You can copy this part, add user and create more virtualhost on demand
<VirtualHost *:80>
  ServerName fcgi1.keithyau.com
  DocumentRoot "/var/www/keithyau"
  SuexecUserGroup keithyau keithyau

  <Directory /var/www/keithyau>
    Options FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
    AllowOverride All
    AddHandler fcgid-script .php
    FCGIWrapper /var/www/change-this/fcgi1/fcgi1-wrapper .php
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

The fcgi1-wrapper is something like this, PHPRC is the folder to contain custom php.ini you can add more settings.

  export PHPRC
  exec /var/www/html/fastcgi-bin/php-cgi

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 6.20.10 PM


We can config like disable_function in this php.ini. Finally, check the loaded phpinfo

Complete solution to bypass GFW (SQUID + SSH Tunnel + AWS)

I used single solution to bypass GFW for a long time. Running VPN, SSH Tunnel, SQUID … Each of them got pros and cons. And sometimes not smooth. Especially I want to watch Videos that only free licensing in China, but also facebook(ing). VPN cant help.

While the power of GFW increasing, SSH Tunnel & SQUID sometimes will be de-functionated. Recently, I use the combination of SSH Tunnel + SQUID as my solution and works well.

For junior technical people, the idea is a bit complex. What I am doing is SSH encrypt SQUID requests. (Mapping the remote SQUID port to a new created local port underlining SSH)

There is free one AWS EC2 available for 2012 subscription, so I use AWS for my remote server.

SSH Tunnel
localhost:22+————————————-+ 22:remote
  +  +
  + +
   8080+  + 3128 (Remote SQUID on AWS)


With this setup, I can use FoxyProxy (Google Chrome) or AutoProxy (Firefox) help to forward all request from browser to local binded SQUID port (8080). So, I can enjoy http/https requests but not SOCK5 and those requests are encrypted, GFW wont drop the request by filtering keywords.

To establish the tunnel above, the easiest way in Windows system is using bitvise. With the attached file setting. (Of coz, with your AWS key and able to login)




Email pipe

Hi all,

If you have a email server on Linux server, you can pipe email to a backend script easily.

This allows you to parse email or control server in email.

Take an example for PHP

echo 'test: "php -q |/your/script.php"' >> /etc/aliases

This command will need php cli support, in Ubuntu, enter

sudo apt-get install php5-cli

And then create a file called script.php start with #!

  1. #!/usr/bin/php
  2. <?php
  3. // read in email from stdin
  4. $fd = fopen("php://stdin", "r");
  5. $email = "";
  6. while (!feof($fd)) {
  7. $email .= fread($fd, 1024);
  8. }
  9. fclose($fd);

The email content will be in $email, you can do whatever you like

If you are thinking of email command, add a line like

  1. exec ($email);

If you are thinking of calling Drush without managing drupal init externally, you can 

  1. exec ("drush your-custom-command " .$email);

Of coz, it needs certain privilege.

Enjoy ~


Drupal Adding apache solr index for field-collection

If images / content are bounded by field collection module, you can try approach below to index to solr



//Index product images

$field_collection_items = field_get_items(‘node’, $node, ‘field_image_set’);

$field_collection_item_ids = array();

$i = 0;

foreach ($field_collection_items as $field_collection_item){

$field_collection_item_ids[$i] = $field_collection_item[‘value’];



$field_collection_item_fields = entity_load(‘field_collection_item’, $field_collection_item_ids);

$image_fields = array();

$i = 0;

foreach ($field_collection_item_fields as $field_collection_item_field){

$image_fields[$i] = field_get_items(‘field_collection_item’, $field_collection_item_field, ‘field_image’);




$i = 0;

foreach ($image_fields as $image_field){

foreach ($image_field as $image)

$path = file_create_url($image[‘uri’]);

$document->setMultiValue(‘sm_field_image_’.$i++, $path); //Set multiple field_image values



Adding index to apache solr by Drupal hook

1. Add index by setMultiValue

function scp_solr_search_apachesolr_update_index(&$document, $node){

2. Add modify query

function scp_solr_search_apachesolr_modify_query(&$query, $caller){
$query->params[‘fl’] .= ‘,sm_field_xxxx’;

3. update solr and done ~!

* scp_solr_search is my module name Enjoy