MPU Meeting Wednesday 28th October 2020

Ubuntu Focal Port of LCFG Platform

We'll count Ubuntu work towards this project until the final report has been done, so:

is now on Ubuntu. We'd now like people to give it a really good test.

Masking in systemd
Stephen has added support for masking services to the systemd component. Just use the LCFG_SYSTEMD_UNIT_MASK macro.

New network component
Stephen has been adding support for network configuration on Ubuntu. His aim was to keep the network component schema the same, though the underlying code (a new perl incarnation of the network component) will be very different to the old shell component that we've been using on SL. Some points to note:
  • On Ubuntu, the network component generates Netplan configuration, which in turn generates the network configuration we want.
  • The component doesn't yet support VLANs or bridging, though Netplan does, so support should be added in time.
  • The component also doesn't (yet) check the validity of the resulting network configuration.
  • A few features of the old network component cannot be supported by Netplan - for instance config changes making interfaces go up or down automatically.
  • Netplan allows us to set some options which we used to have to set using modprobe, so a few new resources have been added to support those.
  • All of this new behaviour is for the time being optional, and will only be turned on when LCFG_NETWORK_USE_NETPLAN is defined.

apteryx deadlock on boot
was found to be possible, and was fixed.

Network interface names are changing again
Ubuntu brings new network interface names. These can take the form eno1 or eno2 except not always - they're different on virtual machines and different again on servers with add-in network cards. We'll use clientreport to learn all the new network interface names, so that we can add support for them all.

Wake On LAN
clientreport will look for the machine's Wake On LAN status, so that we can spot machines which aren't configured for Wake On LAN. When we switch the desktops to the Netplan config, it'll include a Wake On LAN setting.

Lenovo P310 boot disk
Ubuntu on the Lenovo P310 - used by CDT students - insists on labelling its DVD player sda and its hard disk sdb, so Stephen has added support for having sdb as the primary disk.

Move websites from HTTP to HTTPS

Chris has toured the HTTP and HTTPS interfaces of the various aliases of MPU servers. While we have a number of things served over HTTP, these are mostly not intended for web browsers, so the problem services boil down to these two:

The LCFG web site
This serves content over HTTP and over HTTPS. Stephen will tweak it so that the HTTP site redirects to HTTPS.
This uses HTTPS to trigger authentication. Neil has services with this problem too, so we may end up using the same solution. Neil and Toby's report has already suggested a couple of approaches which we might take.

Misc Development

GPU usage monitoring
Alastair's been polishing up his software which monitors the usage of the GPUs. Each server now submits data for each GPU every five minutes to a central database. The data is then summarised every night into hourly usage to save space. The only thing that's recorded is the primary role of the user running a GPU job, so it's totally anonymous.

XRDP usage monitoring
Alastair is putting something together using sysstat. By default it keeps 365 days worth of info but Alastair will change that to 90 days.


KVM servers upgraded
All our KVM servers are now running SL7.8 and have the latest firmware and BIOS. The last bit of this work will be to have azul take over from oyster as the test KVM server; that'll happen very soon. oyster will be scrapped.

XRDP server changes
vermelha is now for people who really need SL7. This allows us to move from waterloo to archlute running Ubuntu. waterloo will be scrapped.

SSH server change
We'll also upgrade steen aka to Ubuntu.

RT tickets
are mounting up, please take a look

for October by 6 November please

Certificate renewal
we need to sort, replace or Let's Encrypt the certificates for and wake.inf.

Ubuntu blog article
Stephen and Graham will publish a blog article announcing the Ubuntu upgrade for DICE desktops. Upgrade of staff and PGR desktops is expected to start soon and take several months.

Virtual DICE
Alastair will document it for the computing staff.

Hungry software
Chris will look into student practical software dominating the XRDP servers - maybe it can be replaced with a Crichton message which points at lab.inf.

LCFG sources into Subversion
Stephen has been experimenting with importing our RCS-based LCFG sources into Subversion, but it looks as if importing them all would take ages, during which we wouldn't be able to edit them. Could he ignore those which haven't changed in, say, three years?
Topic revision: r1 - 03 Nov 2020 - 19:44:44 - ChrisCooke
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