MPU Meeting Tuesday 15th July 2014

Virtual DICE

Chris is now writing the final report.

LCFG Client Refactoring

This project is stalled.


Alastair has applied the patch from Stephen to fix the problem with a missing directory. The systemd component also needs an install method adding.


A minor issue was fixed in ngeneric with the Lock and Unlock functions not returning zero on success.

Lots of work has been done on the LCFG package lists. The headers have had a great deal of reworking to remove SL6-only conditionals or add EL7-only conditionals where necessary. The work on the DICE level headers is still ongoing, as the changes are so large Stephen is spreading it out over a few weeks so that it is possible for other COs to review the weekly diffs.

The partition layout for EL7 was discussed at the Operational Meeting on Wednesday 9th July. Stephen will write a cron job to send an email from each machine which summarises the current disk usage.

Chris has created the installbase package list, Stephen suggested adding all perl-* packages which are in the base list since we will need all of them for the LCFG core.

Chris has tested the new xfs support in the fstab component on SL6, he now needs to do the same on EL7.

Alastair has begun work on the installer. He noted that the dependencies of the filesystem package are not a problem when building the initramfs since we ignore dependencies when running updaterpms. However, this causes a different problem with file directory ownership, the dependencies ensure that packages are installed in the correct sequence so that required directories exist before files are installed. Without the dependencies, if a directory owned by a package already exists (because a file from another package caused the directory to be created) then the install will fail. This is a change in behaviour in rpmlib since SL6. For example, if the kernel-modules package is installed before the filesystem package the install fails because the /lib directory already exists. The simple solution is to drop the filesystem package and get the lcfg-mkbootpkg script to create the necessary directory structure.

Another issue is that busybox is not available in either RHEL7 or EPEL7 so Alastair has taken the version from Fedora 20. There is a problem/bug with the dhcp support that causes installs to fail to get a dhcp lease. This is because busybox no longer supports the userclass option. This feature has been disabled by the busybox developers because they believe it is incorrectly implemented. A straightforward patch to uncomment that code restores the support we require and it appears to work just fine.

Currently Alastair is working on converting the LCFG installer to using systemd. The default configuration is thankfully quite minimal. There are some problems with handling interactive input on stdin, it is unreliable and it isn't being echoed to stdout. Hopefully this is just a question of finding the correct option to enable/disable.

Finally, the installroot package lists have been created.

Miscellaneous Development

Nothing this week.


staff NX server
The new staff NX server has been announced.

SL5 build hosts
Chris has deleted the old SL5 build host images from the KVM servers.

Dual monitors with HP800
Chris has confirmed that the new standard desktop machine - the HP800 - can handle dual 24" monitors.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • Order a spare 600GB disk for waterloo (hot spare)
    • Double check latest web security reports
    • Apply Chris's lcfg-fstab patch
    • systemd project
      • start writing in blog
        • document the debugging including stuff about disabling graphical boot
      • Modify lcfg components/rc scripts list as a result of COs talk.
      • Complete lcfg-systemd component - install method
      • Consider how components will work with systemd
      • Consider journald
      • Look at how component triggered reboots will work
      • Start designing a systemd target structure for LCFG components
    • EL7 project
      • continue process of managing components using systemd component
      • Continue looking at installer
      • Think about
        • attempt to group common cron and jobs together via cron/anacron
        • ? dostuff component that will do stuff daily.weekly,monthly etc ?
        • does anyone rely on existing ability to order things in
    • Add more memory to Forum KVM servers? - 700 per server to upgrade 64GB -> 128GB
    • Move dice orders -> new server
    • Review activities list
    • Look at iplimit for
    • RT tidy

  • Chris
    • Virtual DICE - final report
    • EL7
      • Continue looking at systemd
      • Resubmit failed auto build packages
      • lcfg-mail component - test
      • test lcfg-fstab component under el7
      • verify that lcfg-fstab (hackparts?) auto swap algorithm matches EL7 suggested algorithm
      • test installbase package list (adding all perl-* packages from base)
    • url shortener

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 1
      • schedule debrief meeting
    • EL7
      • finish package lists (using yummy)
      • Continue thinking about functionality
      • Survey what disks sizes we have and what is partition current usage (eg /var, /tmp)
    • Ask Alison when she needs SL6.5 by (for teaching labs)
    • Reboot hare to test firmware update
    • Write up daily security checks
    • Think about PD
    • RT tidy

-- AlastairScobie - 15 Jul 2014

Topic revision: r3 - 22 Jul 2014 - 12:20:31 - StephenQuinney
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