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Revision as of 01:24, 16 September 2020 by imported>Dzahn (→‎Upgrading Etherpad version)
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Note: etherpads are 100% public and open. Anyone can read them. "Obscure names" are never as obscure as you think and are NOT security. Also the etherpad database is not suitable for any long-term storage — don't expect important data to stay there.


Running on etherpad1002, a VM on ganeti01.svc.eqiad.wmnet cluster


We built our own package dependent on our own nodejs packages. Everything is puppetized.

The database that it uses is on ... just look this up in the puppet site manifest. Cluster m1 as of this writing.

The app runs on port 9000 and requests are reverse proxied by envoy which also terminates SSL.

The EtherpadLite extension (not currently used) allows embedding it into wiki pages.

Database layout

Etherpad-lite has decided to implement a key/value store on top of a RDBMS for some reason. Well it is an abstraction layer so they can work with other backends as well but it seems like the recommended option is an RDDBS (MySQL). seems to be the official documentation (version dependent obviously)

Deleting pads via site admin

To request a deletion, file a security task on Phabricator.

A variety of ways exist (some are not available/do not work):

  1. Deletion through admin and a plugin(we do not have admin and users on purpose for now) so this is ruled out
  2. Deletion through the API (suggested method):
  1. Login to the etherpad host, at the moment, etherpad1001.eqiad.wmnet
  2. Search the API key created on etherpad first start, found on /var/lib/etherpad-lite/APIKEY.txt
  3. Call the deletion api:
curl 'localhost:9001/api/1/deletePad?apikey=<api key gotten from the previous step>&padID=<pad name as used on the URI>'
  1. If everthings is ok, it should respond with {"code":0,"message":"ok","data":null}
  1. Deletion through the CLI Supposedly this should work but it doesn't
  2. Deletion through the DB (this seems to be the only alternative viable option to the API)

Suppose DELETEME is the pad id of the pad you want to remove (pad id can be taken from the url)

 delete from store where `key` like '%DELETEME%'; 

Note that I had good luck deleting pad content via the below, which tosses revisions, chats, and I don't know exactly what the pad2readonly bit is. This is a lot faster than the %DELETEME% query above, now that the db is so bloated.

 delete from store where `key` like 'pad:DELETEME%';
 delete from store where `key` like 'pad2readonly:DELETEME%';

How to list all pads

Two different plugins existed at the time of investigation, one was not installing correctly, one was not of any decent quality

Mediawiki extension

Yes, don't we want to use that and embed in a wiki?


Converting etherpad content into wikitext

  • Small Python script to convert Etherpads into wiki pages - please help turn this into a Toolforge tool!

Maintenance work

Building new debs whenever there are new releases/security patches is the main one here. However since this uses MariaDB misc, also have a look at MariaDB/misc

Upgrading Etherpad version

Etherpad is installed as a Debian package called "etherpad-lite". The puppet role for Etherpad simply installs this package from our own APT repository.

First, identify which server is the current Etherpad server by looking at manifests/site.pp in the operations/puppet git repository. (as of 2020-09 this is etherpad1002.eqiad.wmnet).

On that server run sudo apt-cache policy etherpad-lite or dpkg -l | grep etherpad to identify the currently installed version.

Now check which server is the current "build" server which is used to build Debian packages. Check in site.pp for the node with the role(builder) and ssh to it. (as of 2020-09 this is deneb.codfw.wmnet).

On the build host, run apt-get source etherpad-lite to get the current package source and cd into the new directory called etherpad-lite-<version>.

On the build host, run git clone to download the current upstream source. You may have to export https_proxy="http://webproxy:8080" for that to work unless you already set proxies in some dot files in your home dir. cd into the new etherpad-lite dir and run git checkout <VERSION> to check out the release branch for your version. Replace <VERSION> with the actual version, f.e. "1.8.5". You can find the current upstream version at

Copy the contents of the upstream dir over the files in the package source dir: If "1.8.4" is our old version that is rsync -av ./etherpad-lite/ ./etherpad-lite-1.8.4/ where the first dir came from the git clone of upstream and the second dir came from our apt-get source command.

Next, cd into the versioned dir from above and run dch -i to edit the debian/changelog. Your name and email address should have been added automatically. Edit the version string in the first line. For example if this is the first package for version 1.8.5 then set it to "(1.8.5-1)". Replace UNRELEASED with the actual release name, for example 'buster'. Edit the commit message below with something like "Bump to version 1.8.5". Write/quit the spawned editor to save changes.

You will now get a warning that your current directory has been renamed. cd one level up.

Download the upstream source tarball with wget Replace the version with your actual version. (You might have to add https_proxy="http://webproxy.codfw.wmnet:8080" in front of the command to make it work.)

Rename the file like this: mv 1.8.5.tar.gz etherpad-lite_1.8.5.orig.tar.gz and switch back into the versioned directory from before.

Run DIST=buster pdebuild.

Get: "Unmet build dependencies: nodejs (>= 10) npm (>= 5.8) libpq-dev".

FIXME: Resolve the build dependencies (apt-get source nodejs npm libpq-dev ? apt-get build-dep etherpad-lite?)

Now that the package built succesfully, rsync the resulting files over to the current APT repo server. Identify the correct server by looking for aptrepo_server in ./hieradata/common.yaml in the operations/puppet repo. ssh to it and then pull the files from the build host to the APT repo host. example: sudo rsync -va deneb.codfw.wmnet::pbuilder-result/buster-amd64/etherpad* .

On the APT repo host, use reprepro to import the package by pointing at the file ending in .changes. example: reprepro -C main include buster-wikimedia etherpad-lint...changes. See the reprepro page for more details on how to setup a basedir and GNUPG home to make that work.

Run sudo -E reprepro ls etherpad-lite to confirm the new version has been imported.

Switch to the etherpad host itself and run sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get install etherpad-lite (optionally you can first add -n to simulate an install without actually doing it).

Confirm things are still working. Done.

See also