MPU Meeting Wednesday 22nd January 2014


More work has been done on the inventory workflow document, this has changed considerably so needs reading again.

Virtual DICE

Now stalled.

LCFG Client Refactoring

The API has now been completed. Last week saw lots of work being done on adding support for handling local override profiles, this is rarely used so needs documenting before it gets forgotten again.

The next step is to document all the modules. Stephen has started doing this and is finding it a very useful review process. A number of unnecessary methods have been identified and removed to reduce the maintenance load. Also where the various modules have similar APIs an effort has been made to make them behave consistently.

Beyond this there is a need for a more comprehensive test suite. A logging framework will also have to be added, this will be particularly necessary for debugging the running client, hopefully this should be fairly straightforward as it will be similar to what is in BuzzSaw and PkgForge.

Once that is done the client can be modified to use the LCFG::Profile system. This should be done in a V4 svn branch rather than in trunk to make it easier to do normal maintenance work on the V3 client.


Alastair has begun investigating systemd, he has been looking into how the Fedora 19 configuration works. During the meeting we noticed that the RHEL7 beta has a more recent version of systemd (207) than Fedora 19 (204), the latest version is 208, this means that using Fedora 19 is probably not a good idea. It should be possible to look at a Fedora 20 machine but that will probably differ from RHEL7 in other ways...

SL7 LCFG port

Chris has created the various package buckets. He has also created the essential LCFG headers and skeleton package lists. There is no i686 support, x86_64 will be the default architecture.

Stephen will add a Fedora 19 builder to PkgForge so we can test building packages. This will not be in the default set of builders so will have to be explicitly requested. This will be done using a remote package mirror unless that proves to be really slow.

Stephen noted that in the process of doing some of the V3 client work he has inadvertently introduced some circular build dependencies which will make the initial bootstrapping more difficult than it should be. He will take a look at eradicating these so the packages can be built automatically.

Chris is going to look at creating the installbase and installroot package lists. This can normally be done using yum and installing into a directory using the --installroot option. We're not sure if this will work on RHEL7, it's worth a try, Stephen will take a look and pass on the information to Chris. We also noted that there is no definitive list of which packages we actually require in the installroot and installbase profiles and which are just there to satisfy dependencies. Having that information would make porting to new platforms easier.

Chris noted that busybox is not available, we ned to find out what replacement is available instead. Alternatively we can build our own busybox package.

Chris will look at distilling the RHEL7 release notes to produce a summary of the most important points for COs.

Miscellaneous Development

V3 client
Stephen plans to deploy the V3 client to stable DICE machines next week.


New virtual dice image
All semester 2 RAT packages have now been done. This means we can now build new virtual dice images.

blocking shutdown
Chris has added the new header for blocking user shutdown requests to the podium machine configuration.

Chris has documented the process of checking for firmware updates and has explained it all to Carol. The plan is that each week she will check for updates for one hardware model, that way each model gets checked twice a year. They can't all be tested since we don't have spare hardware for everything. We can check some of them on our servers where we have redundancy.

KVM server reboots
Need to check if the BIOS update for the R720 is critical. The proposal is that Chris will reboot jubilee on Tuesday 4th February and that hammersmith will be done by either Alastair or Stephen.

Stephen will find out about what SEE had to do to improve their NX service. If the change is easy to make we will do it on staff.nx. We should announce the service soon.

R210 firmware
We can use wildcat (which is a package cache server) to test the firmware update for the R210.

stable release
Chris will not be around to do the stable release for the next two weeks so it will have to be done by either Alastair or Stephen.

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
    • Discuss scan result with Neilb
    • Extend clientreport script to log updaterpms success (to replace updaterpms status check)
      • clientreport script needs to report back on the mtime of /etc/LCFG-RELEASE
    • Consider where to put in diceservices - sleep (buzzsaw -> loghost)
    • systemd project
      • continue learning about systemd with view to giving talk to COs
    • Add "No lessons to learn" to Gas report
    • Discuss hammersmith reboot with Stephen (one does hammersmith, one does wildcat R210 firmware update)

  • Chris
    • Make new virtual DICE images
    • SL7
      • create an SL7 profile
      • start distilling RHEL7 release notes for COs
      • create installbase package list (on iguana)
    • Deploy lcfg-client (v3) to DICE stable
    • Look at how critical R720 update is (for jubilee/hammersmith) and circulate
    • Schedule jubilee kernel reboot for Tuesday 4th Feb (Done, but...)

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 1
      • report
      • schedule debrief meeting for new year
    • LCFG client refactor stage 2
      • continue development and docs
    • Consider dhcpd component changes
    • Consider activities list
    • Check with SEE what they did to improve NX performance
      • make any easy changes
      • open up staff.nx and announce
    • Start writing up discussion document wrt Centos and SL
    • Look at PkgForge for F19 (in lieu of SL7)
    • Fix circular build dependencies for lcfg-utils, lcfg-client, lcfg-om
    • Look through scan result

  • Carol

-- AlastairScobie - 22 Jan 2014

Topic revision: r11 - 23 Sep 2019 - 13:33:37 - AlastairScobie
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