MPU Meeting Tuesday 14th January 2014


Alastair added more to the work flow and went through it at a user meeting. Most of it met with approval and delight but there are a few things still to work on. Alastair hopes to finalise the work flow this week then stall the project.

Virtual DICE

No activity.

LCFG Client Refactoring

Stephen redid the client code using the more lightweight "Moo" instead of Moose. This only took a couple of days thanks to the earlier introduction of an API. Memory usage has about halved. It's still not quick enough but Stephen hopes to speed it up by removing some unnecessary type checking here and there to reduce the amount of regexp processing. The slowness is in the diff that's done between existing and new profiles. While reworking that area Stephen plans to improve the handling and presentation of the differences between old and new profiles. This would open up new possibilities such as the client being able to (get systemd to) start brand new components (if the code was already installed) rather than depending on the boot component (which is going to disappear in the systemd world).

New Projects

The MPU has two new projects for this period - LCFG support for systemd (Alastair) and LCFG port to SL7 (Stephen and Chris).

Obviously we need to think carefully about which platform to use as our next base. We're keeping an eye on SL and on CentOS and RHEL given the recent announcement of their tie-up. Stephen will write a discussion document setting out the various pros and cons of each.

In the meantime we're going to continue laying the groundwork for what we're currently still calling the SL7 LCFG port. We'll use Fedora 19 for the time being rather than pollute our RHEL7 beta host with porting work.

Alastair reports that RHEL7 beta testers have started rebelling against NetworkManager. It doesn't seem to be able to cope with enterprise situations, or possibly it's the documentation that's at fault - it's not clear which. Whichever, some people have successfully removed NetworkManager from their RHEL7 beta machines and managed their network configuration using the old scripts instead, as those are still there and apparently still working.

Oddly, the RHEL7 beta talk can be found on the RHEL6 beta mailing list as there isn't one for RHEL7 beta.

Current indications are that there will be no 32 bit version, but that there will be an ARM variant.

Miscellaneous Development

  • Chris added the rfe -xD lcfg script to both delete and archive an lcfg file.
  • Chris added simple full disk partition warnings for DICE.


  • Alastair has found out how to authorise and deauthorise Shutdown in Gnome. Chris will use this to redo the 'no user shutdown' option for DICE machines.
  • Stephen has been looking at the updaterpms status reports and reckons that it would make far more sense for clients to report their updaterpms status in their daily client report rather than in their LCFG client acknowledgement, which suffers from unpredictable and difficult to solve sleep-related problems. Alastair will look at redoing the client report to handle updaterpms status.
  • We still need to reboot hammersmith and jubilee as their kernels are pretty old.
  • Stephen advises that Phil Wadler's monitors need to be (a) connected exactly the way they currently are because no other configuration of cabling works at all and (b) awake when the machine reboots. The machine should detect the monitors while they're in power save mode but doesn't, and the monitors seem very keen to go into power save mode, so somebody needs to stand over the monitors to keep them awake when the machine reboots.

Personal Development

Stephen expects to spend time preparing his talk for the FLOSS UK Spring Conference in March.

Chris has a git training course in February but otherwise will be looking at RHEL7 and Fedora 19 in the short term rather than pursuing other PD goals.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • Start Inventory project diary
    • Inventory project
      • Submit bug/enh to App::Cmd author wrt option to die on unspecified options
      • Pester George about location API
      • Publish revised schema (and document)
      • Continue fleshing out processes (by end of 2013)
    • Order a spare 600GB disk for waterloo (hot spare)
    • Ask George - what does the TXretransmit value mean for switch connections? (Can't see this using rfe -xl )
    • Consider how to make metropolitan usable by users
      • Decide whether we do this now or not
      • ISOs
      • minimal docs (mostly manual)
      • they'll use virt-manager, but not create machines or change config
    • circulate table of LCFG bugs
    • Consider activities list
    • Look at gnome issue with NX - try inftest account
    • Send scan result for to Stephen - convert into readable by libreoffice
    • Discuss scan result with Neilb
    • Start off the SL7 project and announce the start in the blog!
    • Email CCPAG and Kenny about other schools/IS involvement in SL7
    • Start off the systemd project (start with an overview presentation)
    • Look at Centos 7 blog
    • Extend clientreport script to log updaterpms success (to replace updaterpms status check)
    • Consider where to put in diceservices - firmware hardware checks, autoreboot, dban?, sleep, wakeup (not just DICE), logcabin, buzzsaw

  • Chris
    • Make new virtual DICE images
    • Organise server firmware checks more (document and show Carol what to do)
    • Start looking at SL7 project - eg package lists, package infrastructure
    • Discuss podium shutdown blocker with user support and suitably deploy.
    • Ask Carol if she can do the stable release

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 1
      • report
      • schedule debrief meeting for new year
    • LCFG client refactor stage 2
      • continue working on mock up
    • Consider dhcpd component changes
    • Consider activities list
    • Produce wiki page listing what needs changing when archiving an OS platform
    • Check with SEE what they did to improve NX performance
    • close off RT #64886
    • consider new services for diceservices
    • Start writing up discussion document wrt Centos and SL
    • Look at PkgForge for SL7

  • Carol

-- AlastairScobie - 14 Jan 2014

Topic revision: r9 - 23 Sep 2019 - 13:33:37 - AlastairScobie
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