MPU Meeting Tuesday 25th November

Virtual DICE

User Support has signed off on it. A place on the web has been created for the project homepage snapshot.


No activity.


Display manager
The lightDM stability problem is being looked at. A suggestion: it may simply be something to do with expiry of credentials if it's being started manually. Also the X log(s) in /var/log may provide a clue. Meanwhile Graham has come up with a render script which translates HTML/CSS into a PNG (using PhantomJS), giving us an easily configurable way to produce new images for login screens on the fly.
IS testing
Kenny MacDonald has an LCFG SL7 machine running.
inifile component
Stephen's coming up with general headers for Shane Voss's lcfg-inifile component, which generates .INI configuration files.
Boot ordering
Alastair has fixed it so that the display manager (whichever one is in use) now starts appropriately late in the boot sequence. (The quirks of systemd dependency handling continue to surprise us.)
Alastair's dconf component now has a forcerestart resource. Alastair is documenting lcfg-dconf.
Software repositories
Stephen's work on the repository management scripts is ongoing. We're now getting SL7 updates automatically.
Prompted by his work on the above scripts Stephen has found and fixed some bugs in AFS::Command. See CPAN RT tickets 100493 and 100495 for details.
openafs component ported to AFS::Command
An experimental version of lcfg-openafs now uses AFS::Command. It'll be tested extensively before deployment.

Misc Development

Stephen has merged lcfg-authorize and dice-authorize into new LCFG::Authorize and LCFG::Authorize::NetGroups modules (SVN). Machines on our develop release will use them for now. We'll then switch SL7 then SL6 over to the new modules.


  • Stephen will order new 300GB disks for northern following its disk failure.
  • The NX service was somewhat broken for a few days because of incompatibility between the NX server software's own copy of the X11 library and the real X libraries shipped with the OS, particularly libXfixes. The hacky solution was to put a copy of the previous libXfixes libraries in the NX software's library directory alongside its own X11 library. See also Red Hat bug 1157866.
  • SEE is now using the autoreboot and sleep components so we've moved autoreboot-and-sleep.h to the lcfg level.
  • There's a new series 504 kernel (from SL6.6) and a new 1.6.10 version of OpenAFS too. We'll probably update to both before Christmas.
  • We realised that our Drupal site didn't need to log accesses to its database, since they're all logged to syslog anyway, so we made this change. We recommend it to other Drupal site admins too.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • systemd project
      • Consider how components will work with systemd
      • Continue work on documentation - guidance for other COs on how to use
    • EL7 project
      • Upgrade all my machines to SL7
      • Look at whether I did manage to grab console input for a component whilst being started from systemdYip, now documented in cookbook
      • continue considering dependencies between components and ordering
      • 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
        • identify default retention policyDefault retention is to use up to 10% of partition. Can use either space or time as a constraint on space. Logs are per user + system, so users can read their own data. Each log file starts at 8MB, so a popular machine will have lots of log data.
        • Blog about journald retention policy - and document how to set...
        • are we duplicating stuff in journald and /var/lcfg/log/syslog (if so, do we want to kill off /var/lcfg/log/syslog?)Yes we are.
        • Blog about decision to keep journald and /var/lcfg/log/syslog duplication - and resulting configuration change.
      • check installroot stuff same version across SL6 and EL7
        • and pull out old SL5 stuff
      • Look at pam_systemd module - what does it do?registers user sessions with the systemd-logind. A new systemd scope unit is created for the session.
      • Complete dconf component and ship
        • kdm component has option to forcerestart even if someone is logged in (used for exam mode)
      • Look at what else we used kdm component for
        • setting and clearing ownership of /dev devices on login/logout (for devices in labs) - might be a better solution using udev rules?Can do with lightdm using session-setup-script and session-cleanup-script.
        • enable/disable Xdmcp (never used?)
        • Set kdm theme (for background image etc)
        • enable/disable shutdown at login window (for podium machines)Done for lightdm (via policykit)
      • Look at whether we need anything better than existing network component for desktops
      • Look at lightdm (and configuration) - and systemd configuration and stability issues - Systemd config is fine. Stability issues turned out to be a lack of pam configuration
    • Upgrade jubilee to 6.5 and install disks and additional memory - waiting for additional memory
    • RT 65774 - try two identical monitors on my machine
    • Need to remove default bridge from kvmtool create
    • Think about disk partition policy
    • Review last reviewed date for documentation
    • Look at problem with adding .png files to
    • Consider more cores as default for KVM guests
    • devproj -> upgrade drupal and change logging from db -> syslog
    • Is there a way of disabling debugging information being displayed by drupal when there are problems?Can't see how to do safely (needs disable backtrace in /etc/php.ini?)
    • Look at mysql db vacuuming
    • Read LISA notes
    • update systemd talk for LCFG day

  • Chris
    • Virtual DICE
      • Put snapshot in a new shared area made for the purpose
    • EL7
      • Display manager
      • Sleep component
    • url shortener (once gdm solved)
    • Create Project entries - for KVM refinement project
    • Experiment rename br0 as br33 on metropolitan
    • Think about disk partition policy
    • Review last reviewed date for documentation
    • decommission bakerloo

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 1
      • schedule debrief meeting
    • EL7
      • Continue thinking about functionality
      • complete repository management scripts
      • Complete porting MPU managed resources to the DICE level
      • Continue porting updatepkgsvolumes to afs command (from perl-afs)
    • Think about PD - Interested in ZeroMQ
    • Deploy northern as staff.nx (first open up holes and test from home)
    • Think about disk partition policy
    • Review last reviewed date for documentation
    • Order 2 of disks for northern
    • Minutes of 6th November
    • openafs-1.6.10 -> develop

-- AlastairScobie - 25 Nov 2014

Topic revision: r15 - 02 Dec 2014 - 10:40:33 - AlastairScobie
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