MPU Meeting Tuesday 17th February 2015


No activity.

SL7 LCFG port

  • Stephen's new baseinstall component (see last week) now seems to be working. This has allowed Stephen to introduce:
    • the kdcregister wrapper. Now when you type your password wrong during an SL7 install, you'll always get another chance, instead of having an irretrievably failed install on your hands.
    • wallet, which now restores the machine's ssh host key during the install process.
  • We had fun with release testing bugs Bugzilla:3222 and Bugzilla:3223. Eventually they both seem to have been fixed by the solution Chris found for 3222.
  • Stephen documented How to query system information and blogged about it too.
  • Stephen sorted the Edinburgh University root certificate for EL7. Thanks to a handy new bit of Red Hat tech this is now a far easier process. Read Stephen's blog article to find out more.
  • Stephen sorted out a problem with ffox component resources by switching SL7 to schema 2 while SL6 stays on schema 1.
  • Here's the LCFG-on-SL7 blog roundup:
  • Graham has added the MATE desktop environment to our SL7 machines, to widespread relief, as GNOME 3 is not popular. There's a problem with the MATE screensaver: it works the first few times then starts to leave artifacts behind on the screen when displaying SL6-sourced windows on an SL7-based X display. Alastair will either find a fix or tweak xscreensaver to work with MATE.
  • George has added xlockmore to SL7. Alastair and Graham will sort out the screensavers together.

Miscellaneous Development


Personal Development

Chris has added features to his URL shortener as requested. It now displays a personalised list of registered URLs and gives the user the chance to delete URLs from the system. Since the meeting he has also blogged about it.


  • Alastair has encountered an X display problem when displaying SL6-based windows on an SL7-based display. The SL6-based windows can't refresh. The solution to this seems to be to turn off scatter-gather on the eth0 interface of the SL6 machine. We'll need to change the network component to achieve this. We're not currently sure how we might reliably change that setting on EL7 machines.
  • mod_security settings had to be tweaked slightly for to correct over-tight permissions on page editing.
  • A minority of machines which use the cosign component have ended up with two rdxprof processes running simultaneously, meaning that those machines missed out on LCFG profile updates for a week or two. Stephen is investigating. In addition he wants to introduce a sensible (half hour?) timeout om om and client hangs.
  • Chris has been doing Virtual DICE installs for SL6 32-bit and 64-bit but they don't seem to be working very well. The virtual machines keep hanging, or the installation process goes awry.
  • Alastair has worked out that Sun/Oracle Java is after all OK to distribute to our students as part of Virtual DICE, so we'll add it to the new images.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • systemd project
      • produce final report
      • Blog dump
    • EL7 project
      • Consider how components will work with systemd
      • Cook book entry
        • component need to start after daemon in certain cases ..... eg ssh where component will start daemon if daemon isn't already started..
      • 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...
        • 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 creating a 'routing' target which components can wait on, but isn't reached until lcfg-routing has finished (in DICE), but has finished (LCFG)Now in service - called (
      • Read Stephen's blog article on functionality replacement - URGENT
      • Final decision on disk partitioning - URGENT
      • Investigate reboot hanging - believe something to do with component stopping sshd at same time as systemd stopping sshd.
      • Try a DIYDICE SL6_64 install
      • Sort out screen locking for Mate
    • Fix network component to support ETHTOOL option for interfacesNew component (and initscripts) shipped. Ship fix at LCFG level? - taking to deployer meeting
    • RT 65774 - try two identical monitors on my machineIainR has two identical monitors on his SL6 box and doesn't encounter the problem
    • Need to remove default bridge from kvmtool create
    • Think about disk partition policy
    • Review last reviewed date for documentation and MPUhelpReview by 1st March
    • Consider more cores as default for KVM guests
    • Read LISA notes
    • Look at KVM server loading
    • Schedule firmware upgrade for DS3254
    • Check scans - loads of high impact/high likely. (devproj and are ok)
    • Spec up new DR server and circulate
    • Chase up CEG re Ghost and rebooting machines

  • Chris
    • EL7
      • investigate Gnome power-management and document
      • finish off packaging up DICE lightdm config
      • temporary cron job for updaterpms at DICE
      • Final decision on disk partitioning
      • Update release docs re SL7
    • url shortener
    • Create Project entries - for KVM refinement project
    • Update Virtual DICE image
    • Think about disk partition policy
    • Review last reviewed date for documentation and MPUhelpReview by 1st March

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 1
      • schedule debrief meeting
    • EL7
      • Final decision on disk partitioning
      • Continue thinking about functionality
      • Grub2 password protection
    • Look at 32 bit libraries mock issue (LCFG deployer)
    • Test northern's SAS disks in metropolitan
    • Junk central
    • Think about PD - Interested in ZeroMQ
    • Add extra memory to waterloo (and if those work, order up more memory for hammersmith)
    • Review last reviewed date for documentation and MPUhelpReview by 1st March

-- AlastairScobie - 17 Feb 2015

Topic revision: r20 - 09 Mar 2015 - 16:00:27 - AlastairScobie
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