MPU Meeting Thursday 20th June 2013


Not much to report this week. Alastair's been experimenting with the App::Cmd module. It's helpful, but it doesn't do anything clever when it encounters an error in a command line option. Alastair sought and gained the wisdom of the Perl Monks on this issue.

Alastair has been working on a proof of concept new version of invedit.

Login Logs

Stephen has written some Log Cabin admin notes and has documented the APIs (using pydoc, so the docs are in the same files as the code; to see them login to beaver then do for example pydoc cabin or pydoc cabin.ipaddr). He's currently writing the final report.


SL6.4 and the latest kernel didn't solve the remote wake dead screen problem on a test Dell 780. A number of 780s have been woken each month as far back as the syslog records go (February) with no reports of trouble until recently so this seems to be a genuinely new problem.

To update the BIOS on a 780 Chris created a FreeDOS PXE boot image with the updater. This could be more generally useful - we'll add a small project to consider this further.

Virtual DICE

Neil had a good go at the test VMs on his home Windows machine and reported some issues which Chris will follow up.

LCFG Client Refactoring

Nothing happened.

Misc Devel

The package lists and headers have all been done.
Use of 6.4 for installation
Chris has been constructing and testing a 6.4-based install mechanism.
PAM and kx509
Stephen has removed pam_kx509 from our PAM setup. This exposed a slight bug where there was an incorrect number of jumps in the pam config. Stephen has reworked the addition of the AFS Session module to correct this.
libvirt pinned on 6.4
Alastair has pinned down the version of libvirt for 6.4.
Autoreboot 'at' parsing
Stephen has added parsing to the 'at' command's date/time, converting it to a standard DateTime object. As a result Autoreboot now gives you the exact date and time that a reboot will happen.


HP Z220
Stephen added support for this new model of workstation. It has no serial port, which meant that grub couldn't boot, so Stephen changed the default in the grub schema from ttys0 to no value.
haggis nvidia
haggis stopped working when it got an nvidia driver update. The nvidia website claimed that haggis' card would work with the updated version of the driver but this claim was wrong. The card actually needed the older 304 series driver.
User KVM service
We'll soon add a user KVM service, so Alastair has ordered a new server.
Its front console has started showing an error, PowerEdge R805 E1422 CPU Machine Chk. The machine otherwise seems to be running normally. RT 62432 covers the problem. The next step in tackling the problem would seem to be to update all firmware and check the ESM log. As district is a spare/test machine this doesn't seem urgent.
Stephen has moved it to the junk room. There are now no MPU junk machines left in the server room.
MPU Bugzilla tickets
Stephen has tidied the fields on the MPU bugs in It should now be possible to reliably show all MPU bugs by searching for those with a QA Contact of mp-unit(at)bugzilla.bugs.
Multiple multicasts ticket
George has reported in RT 62357 that machines on VLAN212 with bonded interfaces were seeing multicast packets in triplicate, whereas machines on VLAN212 without only got single copies.

Personal Development

  • Stephen to do block of PDP once 6.4 work and login logs project completed, before starting on next project. Perhaps logs processing stuff with python.

This Week

  • Alastair

    • Start Inventory project diary
    • Inventory project
      • Brain dump
      • Submit bug/enh to App::Cmd author wrt option to die on unspecified options
      • Pester George about location API
    • Order a spare 600GB disk for waterloo.
    • Read Login logs admin doc
    • Determine next project for Stephen.
    • Check how important KVM kernel bug is - can we just wait until 6.4?No, we can't wait.
    • Ask Sheila to contact Chris/Stephen when latest kvm server arrives
    • Server reboots
      • wildcat RPM cache, PXE
      • hare RPM cache, PXE
      • circle spare/dev R710, KVM server - cold-migrate projects.inf to Forum KVM server first
      • metropolitan KVM server and dealing with its guests

  • Chris
    • Virtualised DICE image
      • Work on local LDAP (eg dump into a dbm file)
      • Look at issues reported by Neil
    • Review outstanding LCFG bugs for prioritisation
    • Final report for energy saving project
    • Read Login logs admin doc
    • Some MPU server reboots

  • Stephen
    • Login Logs project - final report
    • Some MPU server reboots
    • Update ParkedKit wrt dunlin
    • Client refactoring project
      • finish docs
      • write more tests

  • Carol
-- AlastairScobie - 20 Jun 2013
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Topic revision: r7 - 05 Jul 2013 - 09:29:09 - ChrisCooke
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