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Author: William A. Stein
Compute Environment: Ubuntu 18.04 (Deprecated)
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Surge Protection

Especially on an internet wiki sometimes the cpu and disk load gets quite high because the wiki has to process many requests. A high load makes the wiki slow or unusable for its legitimate users.

This is caused by:

  • some bad guys (spammers, vandals, ...) trying to put spam or trash on your pages
  • some less-bad guys (people just mirroring the wiki, without thinking about the load and the lots of useless requests and high traffic they make)

  • some bots, indexing the wiki content for some search engine

1. What can we do?

MoinMoin tracks requests by user name (if logged in) or IP address (if not logged in).

  • (!) Proxy or NAT users: please log in if surge protection tells you to slow down. This is because all people using the same proxy get tracked by that same, single IP. If you just log in, you won't have any problems even if you use the proxy / your NAT gateway.

If the request count goes beyond some configured limit in some configured time interval, it will start to warn you (you will see a surge protection warning message instead of the expected wiki output). If you see this warning, just read it and do what it tells.

You should stop doing those requests for a minute in that case (just read the stuff you already got, drink some water, ...). You will have no problems if you continue a while later (just slow down a bit, so you won't go beyond the limit again).

If you don't pause and ignore the warnings and the requests don't stop hammering the wiki server, the wiki will think you are doing something nasty and will lock you out for some configurable amount of time.

2. Configuration

Configuration is done as usual: in your wikiconfig. These are the built-in default values:

    surge_action_limits = { # allow max. <count> <action> requests per <dt> secs
        # action: (count, dt)
        'show': (20, 60),
        'raw': (20, 40),  # some people use this for css
        'AttachFile': (60, 60),
        'diff': (30, 60),
        'fullsearch': (5, 60),
        'edit': (10, 120),
        'rss_rc': (1, 60),
        'default': (30, 60),
    surge_lockout_time = 3600 # secs you get locked out when you ignore warnings

2013-05-11 18:32