MPU Meeting Wednesday 27th February 2019


Nothing happened.

LCFG Profile Security

Some problems were found with signalling to rdxprof that a server acknowledgement should be sent. This seems to be related to using systemctl. To workaround this problem rdxprof now stores the PID into a file which can be used by the lcfgack command to find out the process to which the signal should be sent.

Alternative DICE Desktop

Nothing happened.

SL7.6 Update

Stephen has created the lcfg-level package lists and updated the headers to support SL7.6. New tests have been added for the KVM RHEV and devtoolset package lists. The installer needs to be tested once all the changes reach the stable release.

Miscellaneous Development

ngeneric locking
Stephen has been working on improving the locking and unlocking for lcfg components.


kvm kernel module
Whilst looking at load issues on hammersmith we discovered that the kvm kernel modules are loaded which allows users to run virtualisation software. Stephen has created dice/options/kvm-enable.h and dice/options/kvm-disable.h headers. The intention is that it will be disabled by default and then enabled for lab, office and selected servers.

New RDP servers
We now have two new RDP servers. We will install one in AT and one in the Forum - need to talk to Ian D about where they should go. Currently the service only has one node, with two nodes we will have to return to load balancing using haproxy - talk to SEE about how that is working for them.

We have decided to configure virtual dice to only support a guest user mode. This means it doesn't need access to LDAP or any other group information. This is simpler than getting users to always use the Informatics VPN. We need a legitimate interest declaration and a privacy notice for some services - lcfg master and tartarus inventory services come to mind. Seek guidance from George and from the University's GDPR resources pages.

lcfg website
Stephen fixed the validation of URLs for download handler, this was preventing access to package lists with a '-' in the category name.

This Week

  • Alastair
    • Inventory project
      • continue working through TartarusWorkFlow
      • Document clientreport (eg how to add modules)
      • Document order sync code
      • Document hpreport processing script
      • Start work on final report!
      • and give details on how Tartarus tables are accessed to Ian D for inclusion in his privileged access discussion paper
      • Look at postgresql replication (do after shipping)
      • Add tartarus info to SwitchToSelfManaged
      • Need tests for API /orders and need new tests to check for correct authorisation
      • Make lcfg header generation live (need to check what will be deleted when we do this - big discrepancy between old inventory and new)
      • Look at user support form - how does that lookup hostname?
      • Look at whether there is an easy library way for Chris to grab the macaddr of a machine given the hostname
    • Schedule MPU meeting to discuss systemd ordering
    • Take a look at RT #78875
    • Look at /etc/hosts - dns issue (IPV6?)
      • work out what we need to fix current problem
    • Implement change to kvmtool to allow KVMs to be marked as disabled
      • looked at this - looks like the metadata tag isn't passed through libvirt (prior to 4.0.0), so can't be read/written by kvmtool
      • put on activities list to do once upgrade to libvirt-4.0.0
    • Look at Stephen's 'Thoughts on shell components'
    • Start looking at https and (remove assumption that https means want cosign login)
      • wait on Neil's efforts with EdWeb
    • Investigate systemd reboot bug on gaivota and add some more debugging (store tree diff somewhere)
    • drupal username collection re GDPR
      • configure live server to run the user expiry script
      • Fixup email domains for existing accounts and check fix for domain setting to is in place on live service
      • need to ship fixed cosign module on live service
    • Inventory stuff re GDPR
    • Check with Tim / George about capability for login to student machines - where are we
      • Tim says that we should create a capability that is given to the base cohort and set that capability to no-grace
    • Useful? - a script which checks how fast a machine's console log is growing (eg huge number of dbus problems on hammersmith)
      • suggest to Ian D
    • Blog on projects
    • KVM pcid
      • Investigate spectre / meltdown wrt VMs
      • Which CPU is needed for each group..
Following config worked on 'brent' (hosted on vermelha). We might need to consider whether we want "match='exact'" wrt migrations.
<cpu mode='host-model' match='exact'>
<model fallback='allow'>IvyBridge</model>
<feature policy='require' name='pcid' />
      • Update: looked at this. We should be safe to set CPU model to host-model on clusters where the CPU is identical across the cluster (KB and AT). However we can't where the CPU's aren't identical (IF) - here we should be able to set a base minimum machine (SandyBridge ?). We'd need to check that migration works. Recent versions of virsh allow you to specify the hosts in the cluster and ask for a CPU model description which will work across all the cluster. Setting the base minimum to SandyBridge on 'oyster' fixed one of the Spectre flaws, but not all. It looks like we need a more up-to-date qemu-kvm to fix all the remaining flaws. * Wait until 7.6ish is settled re KVM software versions and try above again
    • Move IBM disk array to B.03 and mark as junk
    • Produce some notes from OSS
    • Read George's mail of 8th November wrt DPIA
    • Try latest VDICE on Windows 10 machine at home (research guest login delays)
    • Review the three encryption pages
    • Produce an Legitimate Interest Declaration and Privacy Statement for tartarus
      • consider what can be removed once a user has left the University

  • Chris
    • Inventory project
      • Continue work on clientreport modules for replacing firmwarereport
    • Look at MPUActivitiesList
    • Look at RT
    • Continue work on SL7 coordination final project report (currently pending other units completing)
    • User training materials project #403
    • Continue with RT ticket clearout as discussed in October
    • Chris initial install of XRDP servers (one at AT, one at Forum)
    • Produce a 'guest only' version of Virtual DICE

  • Stephen
    • 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
    • Consider PD work for after LCFG client ...
      • looking at Ceph
    • Look at where we're using ALL in access.conf
    • Finish off NX replacement project (#389)
    • Continue with RT ticket clearout as discussed in October
    • Read George's mail of 8th November wrt DPIA
    • Firmware update - deneb and steen
    • Reboot staff.ssh (hare)
    • Complete tartarus clientreport module errors report
    • Update Pandemic pages - Security, LCFG
    • Add a 'df' module to clientreport
    • Move afsbuild server (juice) from Forum to AT
    • Produce report based on clientreport 'old locks'
    • Report on data access problem (need a nickname)
    • Discuss how deploy two general purpose XRDP servers (with LCFG community)
    • Produce an Legitimate Interest Declaration and Privacy Statement for svn history and LCFG profile history

-- AlastairScobie - 27 Feb 2019

Topic revision: r4 - 23 Sep 2019 - 13:33:42 - AlastairScobie
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