Beta Information

2020-06-29 (6.02-5)

Totally rubbish expiry times were showing in reminder emails sent about drop-offs that have not been picked up, but are nearing their expiry times. Bug fixed.

The "Export as CSV" button now only exports the visible columns of the table.

On the Inbox, Outbox and "Global List of all Drop-offs" page, there are now switches to toggle visibility of each column (not all are shown by default), and there is a "Export as CSV" button on each page.

Users creating a new drop-off can now customise the Subject: line used in the email to the recipients. The 'EmailSubjectTag' is still added to the start of it afterwards.

"adduser" now looks for newbies actually typing in the "<" or ">" characters, not recognising that they are just syntax indicators. It explains and gives an example of what they should type.

For each drop-off, "autolist" now also outputs data about every recorded pick-up of each drop-off. To process the output from "autolist", use "jq".

If uploading files in chunks (which is now the default behaviour), ZendTo will retry each chunk up to 5 times before abandoning the upload. I have not attempted to implement any dynamic chunk size reduction, as this is a lot harder than it sounds.

The latest betas I believe to be stable are:

However, I strongly advise you to use the beta installer on a fresh system.

The file at will tell you the latest beta version number.

About the Installer

Instead of the old VM images, I have written an installer which will automate (almost!) the entire process is installing ZendTo on to a blank server installation.

It talks to you along the way, asks if you want to do each of the 8 steps, and asks you to confirm the odd question or two. It pauses quite a bit so you can see what it's doing, giving you the chance to stop it temporarily (Ctrl-S) to read what it's done before you continue (Ctrl-Q).

It is also modular, so you can run each of the 8 parts alone; you may want to do this when, for example, there is an update to PHP5 and you want to just rebuild PHP with "big uploads" support.

The parts are:

  1. Install web server and development tools.
  2. Rebuild PHP from source, including support for uploads >4GB.
  3. Install and configure virus scanner, including SELinux support for it.
  4. Configure firewall holes for ssh, http and https.
  5. Configure web server and PHP.
  6. Install ZendTo itself and configure email sending & usage stats graphing.
  7. Configure SELinux on CentOS and RedHat 5, 6 & 7.

I have tested the installer on:

  • CentOS 6, 7, 8
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux 6, 7, 8
  • Ubuntu Server 14, 16, 18, 19, 20
  • Debian 8, 9, 10
  • SUSE Enterprise Linux Server 16
  • openSUSE Leap 15
  • FreeBSD 11, 12

There are 2 things the installer does not currently do:

  • Generate a production-ready SSL certificate for the website. It does create the SSL website, but only with a self-signed certificate. You might want to look at as a very good (fully automatic) way of getting free SSL certificates.
  • Configure MySQL, as new installations will not need it anyway.

How To Get It

You can download the new installer now. Then just unpack it and run it as root with

tar xzf install-beta.ZendTo.tgz
cd install.ZendTo

If you look inside its Ubuntu-Debian or CentOS-RedHat directories, you will see the 8 stages. The main will ask you whether you want to run each stage and will walk you through what it is doing. Feel free to pause (Ctrl-S) or stop it (Ctrl-C) at any time; if you stop it you can just re-run it. Each of the 8 stages can be run independently at any time by just running that particular stage number's script.

There is 1 command-line option that can be used on either or any its stages: "--defaults" tells the installer to just use the default values it suggests, and not to pause long at any point. It will run entirely unattended.

After you have installed the package (or just updated to the new rpm/deb/tgz package), you will find the new upgrader for preferences.php and zendto.conf in /opt/zendto/bin/upgrade. Just run it. It will automatically copy all your old preferences.php and zendto.conf settings into the new files, while keeping your comments, extra "define"s you may have added, and such like. It keeps copies of all your previous ones in an "old" sub-directory.

Tell Me What You Think

Please do tell me what you think of this upgrade, and in particular the new installer. Please report all bugs, issues, suggestions and so on.

The mailing list would be the best place, so we can all discuss them, but otherwise you can of course email me too.