MPU Meeting Tuesday 23rd September

Virtual DICE

RAT are now mostly done with the software updates for Semester 1 so he will make the new images after the stable release tomorrow.


It is now possible to request that a new unit is started by the systemd component when it is added. It would be nice to also have support for stopping a unit when it is removed, Alastair will also look at adding that feature.

Alastair has been working through the list of LCFG components and documenting their behaviour in relation to systemd.

SL7 LCFG port

Stephen noted that we need to make a start on an FAQ to help those who are porting components to EL7. This will pull together links to all the new documentation we have added.

Alastair has reworked the systemd dependencies for lots of LCFG components.

Stephen has finished deploying the changes to the rpm cache service. The change to the squid configuration caused some problems which could only be resolved by stopping squid and deleting the entire cache on both servers.

Stephen has been analysing the data from his disk usage survey. He is doing this using the IPython along with pandas and matplotlib. Alastair suggested that it would be good to find out how many machines, given the current scratch usage, would have insufficient disk space for a particular fixed requirement.

Chris is still having problems getting a working PAM configuration for gdm. Alastair suggested trying to use startX directly. This led to some discussions about setting the default systemd target to graphical in the lcfg/options/desktop.h header. In SL6 the default runlevel was 5 with the server header changing that to 3, in EL7 we will take the opposite approach.

Stephen closed various bugs related to replacing calls to scripts in /etc/init.d with the new Service function.

The mass change to the %post section of LCFG component specfiles has now been done. They now all use the isstarted method to check if a component is running before calling configure or restart. All components will need a new release to be tagged and built before we declare the new platform to be "finished", that can wait until we have SL7 as we normally tag them all anyway to indicate that the platform is supported.

Miscellaneous Development

New UIDs and GIDs
Stephen added UIDs and GIDs for wireshark and clamav, see bug#764 and bug#757.

Cabin timezone bug
Surprisingly we had not previously noticed that the SSH login failure report had a problem with the times being shown in UTC rather than the local timezone. This has now been fixed and it will be in the next stable release.


central memory limit
Alastair noted that the standard memory limit on the NX service is often too small. It was only put in place to prevent runaway haskell processes bringing down the machine when undergrads are doing project work. We agreed this could be raised for all staff, Chris suggested using the same netgroup as is used to control access to staff.nx, Alastair will make the change. We also need to update the documentation.

KVM service docs
Alastair verified that it was safe to recommend adding a block of XML as a method for mounting an ISO as a bootable device. Chris will now document this on the wiki.

SSH service docs
Stephen altered the information for the SSH service so that the information on SSH server name, IP address and RSA key fingerprint is easily accessible. We need to remember to update this documentation whenever a server is changed.

HP DL180 bonding issue
Stephen has modified the dice/hw/hp_dl180_g6.h header so that all machines of that type have MSI disabled. Some machines still need rebooting to actually apply the change.

piccadilly and northern
The old KVM servers from KB will be moving to AT and the Forum on Thursday. This is being done using Neil's car.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • systemd project
      • document the debugging including stuff about disabling graphical boot
      • Modify lcfg components/rc scripts list as a result of COs talk.
      • Consider how components will work with systemd
      • Add support to stop service units at Configure (not Start) time.
      • Start producing some documentation - guidance for other COs on how to use
    • EL7 project
      • continue considering dependencies between components and ordering
        • draw a graph as currently setup - afs/
      • blog about dependency issues
        • client time before updaterpms
        • starting stuff before network
      • what sort of level of space is required by systemd journald logging (for desktop /var sizing)
        • (By default journald logs to /run/log. Have to mkdir /var/log/journal to keep data). Have enabled on one machine
      • check installroot stuff same version across SL6 and EL7
        • and pull out old SL5 stuff
    • Upgrade jubilee to 6.5
    • RT 65774
    • Change to using login/staffssh/remote for nx users with 2GB allowance (and fix documentation appropriately)
      • Can't use netgroups in limits file - must be a group
    • Need to remove default bridge from kvmtool create

  • Chris
    • Virtual DICE (not this week)
      • publish poster
      • school announcement
    • EL7
      • continue looking at gdm, including pam config
      • produce a report on EL7 progress to main systems blog
    • url shortener (once gdm solved)
    • Projects EL7 blog - start populating
    • Upgrade amarela, vermelha to 6.5
    • Create Project entries - for KVM refinement project
    • Experiment with adding an extra bridge to circle with same number as br0
    • Add section in KVM docs to describe how to add a boot from ISO section using XML

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 1
      • schedule debrief meeting
    • EL7
      • Analysis of disk usage data
        • Look at /disk/scratch usage and work out how much space we can use for system use, without overflowing.
      • Continue thinking about functionality
      • Start EL7 component writing FAQ
    • Reboot hammersmith,
    • Think about PD - Interested in ZeroMQ
    • Take RT 68269
    • Arrange for northern and piccadilly to move back to Forum/AT - on Thursday 25th
    • Have the SL5 RPMs archived (release space on sauce)

-- AlastairScobie - 23 Sep 2014

Topic revision: r8 - 30 Sep 2014 - 13:01:11 - AlastairScobie
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