MPU Meeting Wednesday 29th July 2020

Ubuntu Focal Port of LCFG Platform

All working nicely now. Still need to move to deneb and set up the DR service on salamanca. The signing key has been updated and as we're now using a gpg keyring (provided in the lcfg-release-ubuntu package) future updates will be much smoother. Still need to test the installer for the gpg key change.

apt preferences
It's now possible to set preferences via the apt component. We're not yet using this in anger but it should solve the dbus-user-session problem.

Stephen fixed the PAM config so that the access controls work correctly. Alastair has been finishing off the rest of the desktop support. Stephen and Alastair are both now using XRDP for their main desktops. Our startup cript needed some LANG environment settings (as found in the standard Ubuntu script). Stephen will get the old Distance Learning server reinstalled with Ubuntu for COs to use.

auth component
This is getting a major overhaul, which is almost complete. The new API is documented at

Stephen has added support for virtualbox. We probably still need to move more of the config from the dice to the lcfg level.

Alastair has workarounds for the main issues.

This is still messing up the PATH for Stephen. We need someone who understands the config to fix it.

kernel packages
Alastair fixed up the lack of kernel package list at the lcfg level.

Lab upgrades
Aiming to start the upgrade process on 10th August. Stephen will need to test the desktop models we have in the labs, Alastair will get a list of models. Need to contact Alison to get a plan in place.

Weekly testing
Chris will begin weekly testing of the Ubuntu platform from 3rd August. We will just do an office profile for now. Will do both upgrade and install tests but won't worry about any downgrade tests.

User Security Training Materials

Temporarily on hold to make way for Ubuntu work.


This is now on all develop machines. It would be good to begin upgrading MPU servers soon.

Misc Development

Alastair has finished off some work on the access controls to split read and write permissions. He also added a new field so that we can record the institute which owns each piece of kit in the server rooms.


How do we feel about removing nsu from more MPU servers? In particular the XRDP and LCFG servers? We agreed this would be good, Stephen will announce to COs, won't do LCFG master since some release scripts rely on nsu and we don't have time to modify them right now.

Alastair has got a VM on the IS infrastructure to test if it could be used for XRDP. He will start with a stock Ubuntu install using the standard XRDP to test performance.

New XRDP servers
We now have a quote for the new servers, there is a considerable price difference between that and the configurator, Alastair will ask Anila to chase it up.

New compute servers
These will be installed with Ubuntu. Alastair might get them done next week if he can handle them on his own, need to check the size of the machines are they 1U?

Firmware updates
Chris summarised the firmware updates which are needed. We can probably do most of them remotely.

-- StephenQuinney - 31 Jul 2020

Topic revision: r1 - 31 Jul 2020 - 13:52:36 - StephenQuinney
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