MPU Meeting Wednesday 1st November 2017


Alastair has been polishing Tartarus ready for launch:

  • use of a tartarus account instead of root
  • Rationalising the database accounts (along the way developing his understanding of psql and PostgreSQL user name maps)
  • Writing wiki pages:
Tartarus will go live during the holidays.

LCFG Client Refactoring

Stephen found and resolved a small memory leak.

He also discovered and fixed an occasional problem with data corruption when reading from Berkeley DB files. The problem shows up at the end of strings and is caused by disagreement between software modules about whether strings should or should not be null-terminated.

The new LCFG client will go live:

  • on develop machines at the start of December
  • on selected stable machines at the start of January
  • on all stable machines by June.

Miscellaneous Development

SL 7.4
  • We hope to deploy it at the beginning of January. To achieve this it'll be made the default version on develop machines on Monday afternoon next week (6 November).
  • This week's installroot uses 7.4. Once that's in stable, Stephen will update the PXE installroot to match.
  • rsyslog has a major update for 7.4, from version 7 to version 8, featuring "a major rewrite of the core". We'll need to make sure that this behaves acceptably on develop machines. We don't do anything particularly ambitious with rsyslog so it ought to be fine. Thanks to Kenny MacDonald for spotting this.
    • Bug:1015: the mock component didn't allow the setting of chroot options with boolean values. It now does. Thanks to Kenny MacDonald for reporting this.
Virtual DICE
Alastair discovered that, although logins work predictably when Virtual DICE is hosted on a Mac, they don't work at all (not even with the guest account) when hosted on Windows 10. The problem seems to be that all logins involve an LDAP lookup, and this is blocked by the Windows 10 firewall. Chris has produced a prototype Virtual DICE which doesn't do LDAP lookups (and thus doesn't accept DICE logins at all - just the guest login); Alastair will test it. Chris has also beefed up the recommended testing procedure for Virtual DICE.
It now reports on the speed of ethernet connections.
Software collections
Stephen has added new collections for Python 3.6, devtoolset (gcc etc.) 7, PHP 7.1. The software collections page on has been updated to list what's now available.
autoreboot component
  • Bug:1011 - the AUTO random time facility sometimes generated a time which wasn't accepted as valid. Thanks to Graham Dutton for reporting this.
  • Bug:673 - the shutdown_delay resource was incorrectly documented. Thanks to Neil Brown for reporting this.
  • RT:85429 - User notification messages, used for instance in the message of the day on multi-user servers, have been expanded to mention the time, date, day of week and month of impending reboots.
Package site mirroring
  • Fedora has restructured the EPEL 6 and EPEL 7 repositories to add an extra layer to the hierarchy. Our EPEL 7 mirror has been suitably adjusted, and we have stopped mirroring EPEL 6.
  • Our package mirroring script was running very slowly. This was traced to its check for invalid RPM names. The check has now been fixed to only examine new and unlinked RPMs instead of all RPMs. Thanks to Kenny MacDonald for reporting this issue.


  • The 32 bit SL6 build host has now been removed. The alias buildsl6 now points to the 64 bit SL6 build host, more usually known as buildsl6_64.
  • The text console on the Dell 790 was very faint with SL7. This was caused by the use of a VESA framebuffer. The offending configuration has now been eliminated. It should have been limited to SL6 only.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • Inventory project
      • continue working through TartarusWorkFlow
      • Document clientreport (eg how to add modules)
      • Document order sync code
      • Document hpreport processing script
      • Continue work on RESTful API - TartarusRESTAPI
      • Document REST API
      • Write more of the ii commands and document as writing.
      • Start work on final report!
      • How represent VMs
      • Continue with REST API testing framework
      • Consider what else needs done other than docs and tidying and backups
      • Blog something....take dev meeting talks
      • Consider how non Tartarus code will have access to Tartarus tables (eg COs should have read only access to all tables)
        • and give details to Ian D for inclusion in his privileged access discussion paper
      • Convert apache config to use GSS not KRB5
    • Deploy encrypted /tmp and swap conversion script
      • Need to warn users that Gnome3 may pop up a window about /tmp being full (when script is run)
      • Now down to 3 user desktops
    • Schedule MPU meeting to discuss systemd ordering
    • Check sysmans (et al) have 'nograce'.
    • Take a look at RT #78875
    • Look at /etc/hosts - dns issue (IPV6?)
      • work out what we need to fix current problem
    • Circulate info on RH7.3 systemd changes we may wish to consider
    • RT actions (as agreed)
    • Deploy disable-module header on all servers
      • Added to computing-help-server header, but after 20/9 will need to check config of help servers
    • Implement change to kvmtool to allow KVMs to be marked as disabled
    • Look at Stephen's 'Thoughts on shell components'
    • Look at MPUActivitiesList
    • Start looking at https and (remove assumption that https means want cosign login)
      • wait on Neil's efforts with EdWeb
    • remove xfree component from stock vbox guest config
    • Chase Alison about LCFG check monitoring ( start doing again )
    • Look at RT
    • Investigate systemd reboot bug on gaivota and add some more debugging (store tree diff somewhere)
    • Try 7.4 on desktop
    • Try removing 'localfuns' rpm from VirtualDICE and see if that works everywhere on Mac and Windows
    • Try LDAPless VirtualDICE at home

  • Chris
    • Inventory project
      • Continue work on clientreport modules for replacing firmwarereport
    • Look at MPUActivitiesList
    • RT actions (as agreed)
    • Look at RT
    • Start work on SL7 coordinational final project report

  • Stephen
    • LCFG client refactor stage 2
      • testing and documentation
    • RT actions (as agreed)
    • LCFG server symlink to exam branches - produce reporting script and discuss with Graham
    • submit polkit bug to redhat - with Alastair (still exists under 7.3)
    • Produce some text for systemd mount bug (to submit to RH)
    • Take issue of disable per user journald logs on certain servers to OPS
    • Schedule jubilee downtime to move to SOL
    • Consider PD work for after LCFG client ...
    • Look at MPUActivitiesList
    • On metropolitan, find fast baud rate we can drive the real physical consoles. (This so we can decide whether to use physical consoles for KVM servers).
    • Look at RT
    • Add mouse and keyboard presence checks to tartarus clientreport
    • Start work on LCFG client refactor final report
    • Pull framebuffer hack from desktop headers (where appropriate)
    • Look at where we're using ALL in access.conf
    • Add a REST API to get entire JSON blob of client report data for a specific host
    • Deploy 7.4 to develop

-- AlastairScobie - 01 Nov 2017

Topic revision: r8 - 24 Sep 2019 - 13:50:24 - AlastairScobie
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platformCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback
This Wiki uses Cookies