MPU Meeting Monday 4th August 2008

Buildtools Project

Stephen has been writing lots of documentation for the project. The top page is here: The tools are mostly complete. Running the tool now produces useful help information for the tool as a whole and for each command. Disk space is now available for the build server. The next big task will be to get the build server set up and the disk space organised. Stephen will make a list of components still needing conversion to allow people to have a go at converting them.

Power management project

The brainstorm meeting was very helpful. Chris has been looking into how to compare the times of cron jobs against the current time and has found the DateTime suite. See this blog post: Milestones are needed for the development meeting this week.


Inventory master data source change
Ken has been telling Stephen about the next stage of the inventory project. The master copy of inventory data is going to be on the database. Ken will regularly generate a small LCFG header file for each DICE machine. The headers will contain inventory data for that machine and will set the sysinfo inventory information. The headers will be shipped to tobermory via rsync. The LCFG servers will pick up each machine's appropriate header file with a % substitution in the server include path.

A date of 1 November has been set for the death of FC6 DICE.

DICE on HP Pavilion Slimine PC
Alastair will deal with RT ticket 37502.

Room booking
Alastair will take a look at the way in which the School is using MRBS for room bookings.

Server reboots for new kernel
We're going to reboot our servers now rather than wait for the next new kernel. The current kernel in waiting has security patches whereas the next one will just have a Condor patch. Chris will organise the reboots.

Clear LCFG caches
when rebooting the LCFG slaves we should clear their caches. This should help to show up any machines that haven't been connected up since the move.

SL5.2 packages
We'll talk about this at the LCFG Deployers' meeting this week. There are still a couple of problem packages to be sorted out.

FC3 machines
Tim reckons that FC3 shouldn't be needed any more and that the licences being served from it could be served from an SL5 machine. This neatly eliminates our need to get even virtual FC3 working.

We're moving to version 1.6 this week.

VMWare workstation
Chris has got an SL5 DICE client running on a virtual machine, and he'll document how to do it. However he has had trouble getting an sl5_64 client running: attempting to install it gives the error "Your CPU does not support long mode. Use a 32bit distribution." Two ideas: firstly check that when the container was created, a 64 bit OS was specified. Secondly check for virtualisation settings in the host machine's BIOS. (Post-meeting note: the second suggestion did the trick. On the host machine, edit the BIOS settings; choose Processor; choose Virtualization; then "Enable virtualization technology".)

Bugzilla not cosigned
Our bugzilla hasn't yet been cosigned. It still uses x509 and the auth portal. This isn't showing up on the SL5 Desktop project dependency tree. Perhaps in the short term it could be cosigned without radical change being needed?

VMware ESX licences
The "standalone" version is now free. This has similar capabilities to VMware Workstation - it supports multiple guests on the host but doesn't include features such as guest migration from one host to another.

Updaterpms and reboot flags
When the installation of a package results in a reboot flag being set in updaterpms, but then the package is uninstalled again, a reboot should no longer be necessary. However the reboot flag remains - it's not unset. Perhaps it should be. However this is a tricky area as there won't necessarily be a way of tracing the package(s) responsible for the reboot flag. Stephen will report the issue in bugzilla so we can think about it.

Next Meeting
The next MPU meeting will be on Tuesday 12th August at 2pm in room 3.02.

This Week

Alastair will:

  • Look at updaterpms issues
  • Find out about the status of remctl
  • Deal with RT 37502
  • Update and tidy the DIY DICE docs
  • Look at Stephen's buildtools docs
  • Investigate the School's use of MRBS
  • Review personal development topics

Chris will:

  • Look at DICE on VMware
  • Organise server reboots
  • Work on Sleep project
  • Revive the RT rota
  • Review personal development topics

Stephen will:

  • Work on buildtools project
  • Review personal development topics

-- ChrisCooke - 5 Aug 2008

Topic revision: r6 - 12 Aug 2008 - 10:06:00 - ChrisCooke
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