Final project report for project 314 - Services Unit SL7 desktop


The purpose of this project was to port to SL7 those services required for the production of a SL7 based desktop machine and identified as falling within the area of responsibility of the Services Unit.


The initial list of Services Unit related services was identified as:

  • AFS client
  • Mail Component
  • CUPS client
  • Rsync component

This did not appear to be too arduous a task, especially as the first two items on the list had been accomplished by the Managed Platform unit. However, somewhat late in the day, it was realised that that the am-utils suite of tools was not available on SL7 and that we would therefore need to use the Autofs auto-mounter on SL7 desktop machines. This switch of auto-mounters became the main focus of the project.


As expected, the porting of the CUPS client and the rsync component were accomplished without much difficulty, the only major difference between SL6 and SL7 being that is is necessary to run the cups-browsed daemon on SL7 machines to ensure that the list of printers is kept up to date. At first, the switch to Autofs went smoothly as well with the opportunity to clear out many old, unrequired and non-existant auto mounts being taken as part of the process of planning and implementing the new setup. It was not until one of the last tasks to be carried out, the installation of the new Autofs maps onto the main LDAP server, that a real obstacle emerged. This is dealt with in more detail in the technical documentation linked to below but in essence the autofs maps form a two layer hierarchy. This is potentially a problem with our home-brewed replication technology and could potentially result replication failing without manual intervention, annoying with 2 or 3 slave servers as is the case with SL7 but potentially disastrous for SL6 machines where every host is a slave server. After attempts to work around this problem which made a significant addition to the effort spent on this project, the decision was taken to store Autofs maps on a separate LDAP server until such time as there are no hosts left running SL6.

Documentation produced



Over the course of the project, a total of 219.5 hours of effort, mostly shared between Neil Brown and myself was expended. A significant proporttion of this time was spent refreshing knowledge of the workings of Autofs and LDAP.

-- CraigStrachan - 10 Sep 2015

Topic revision: r3 - 10 Sep 2015 - 08:53:17 - CraigStrachan
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