MPU Meeting Wednesday 29th January 2014


Chris and Stephen will read TartarusWorkFlow for next time.

Virtual DICE

No activity.

LCFG Client Refactoring

Stephen has simplified some of the APIs. The private internal APIs now just offer facilities which are actually needed. The public APIs are more comprehensive.

As part of the V4 client Stephen has been working on a replacement for LCFG::Client::Build. There's now a change handler - feed it the diff between old and new profiles and it works out what's changed and which components need to be notified. This is another example of the clean API making it possible to produce nice readable code.

The memory requirements are still being tackled. It's not currently clear why so much memory is needed.

The current client works in terms of resources. The new client will be able to recognise the appearance of entirely new components (or the disappearance of components) and react accordingly. We may move to having the client start new components itself, although that's not clear yet.


Alastair has initially been looking at the multi-user target, going through its targets and dependencies, trying to see its structure.

Not much seems to be using the socket activation mechanism as yet. Stephen pointed out that X acquired socket activation only this week, so that might change rapidly. At the moment though socket activation is used mainly by those services which used to use inetd.

It's not yet clear how to remove parts of a /usr/lib/systemd configuration when dependencies are involved. One hacky idea may be to use the alternatives system, but the problem may not hit us.

At the moment we probably don't know enough about our startup ordering and dependencies so we may get some surprises in the process of working out a clearer set of dependencies.

Potentially each component will have three scripts to be run before, during and after starting. We may also have to change the ngeneric component.

We'll look at deprioritising other areas to make more time for systemd work. For example since servers won't need to run SL7 for a while we can first focus on desktop needs. This would allow us to for instance use NetworkManager/nmcli to handle the networking if it was easier to do that than to remove NetworkManager and use the old networking scripts.

Another way to help prioritise systemd work might be to split the components into those which manage services and those which don't.

Another question to answer is whether LCFG should use systemd commands to make our /etc/systemd files or make the files itself.

SL7 LCFG port

Chris will use chroot and yum's --installroot option to work out some initial package lists for F19.

Misc Development

Alastair has found how the lcfg server determines the date and time of the last client update.
XSS problem fixed
Stephen has found and fixed the XSS problem. Some input wasn't being verified properly; it is now.


jubilee reboot
Chris will now not be here on the day of the reboot. Alastair will be able to do it but on 8am on Friday 7th. Chris will announce the new date and time.
Server firmware updates
Carol has learned how to identify and download the firmware updates we need for our servers.
New kernel and AFS
The new 431 kernel fixes two sleep problems that we know of (the Dell 780 "blank screen after being woken remotely" problem and the HP 8300 "can't suspend" problem). In addition OpenAFS 1.6.6 is now out. Stephen will bundle up the latest SL kernel with the latest OpenAFS and apply them to the stable release at the same time to minimise reboots.
Package bucket moves
Chris will arrange these with Neil.
Virtual DICE images
Chris has produced new images for Virtual DICE and announced them to the students. He'll blog about them too.
If a KVM server breaks
... then we will want to remove it from the KVM servers netgroup. That can be done by adding this to the top of its lcfg file: #define MPU_NOT_A_KVMSERVER

The next meeting

... will be on Monday 17th February at 2pm.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • 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)
      • New version of dice-orders-clientreport about to ship to stable.
      • Now need a report to show which machines haven't updated
    • systemd project
      • continue learning about systemd with view to giving talk to COs
      • start writing in blog
      • list lcfg components and rc scripts used on standard DICE desktop and identify which just manage config and which control services
    • Discuss hammersmith reboot with Stephen (one does hammersmith, one does wildcat R210 firmware update)-Nope - A did jubilee !
    • Look at Chris's RHEL7 distillation - misnamed topic - BurningIssues is for recording problems with the platform as we develop. (Now fixed - the summary is now here instead. Chris.)
    • Systems blog article about RHEL7

  • Chris
    • SL7
      • create installbase package list (on iguana)
      • try building lcfg-client and friends and updaterpms
    • Look at Inventory workflow
    • Reschedule jubilee kernel reboot for Friday 7th Feb
    • Looking at systemd and F19
    • Chris discuss AFS package volume moves with Neil (think it only involves us disable refreshpkgs for duration of move)
    • Announce new release of Virtual DICE to blog (and make clearer now more supported)
    • Document how to pull a server out the MPU KVM server list (Here)

  • 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)
    • Look at Inventory workflow
    • Look at systemd

  • Carol

-- AlastairScobie - 29 Jan 2014

Topic revision: r10 - 23 Sep 2019 - 13:33:37 - AlastairScobie
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