Posts Tagged ‘Fedora’

MondoRescue 3.2.0 stabilisation

2014/06/22

It took me time for sure. I started to work on this precise branch in October 2013. At that point, I was already happy to have a compiling version as I’ve made lots of memory management changes. But of course, it was not that simple ;-)

Then in march 2014, again, I thought I was ready to publish something ASAP. Argh !! I was wrong again.

But now is time for you to test it. I’ve fixed most of the issues I had remaining at that time (isolinux menus, NFS on Mageia 4, change of network NIC name). But the main one which took me hours to fix is linked to systemd. I’ve concentrated all my tests on Fedora 20 (which is very near from RHEL 7 that is an important target of course). But it’s not before a discussion with a systemd developer during LinuxCon Japan that I understood where the problem was.

At restore time, mindi init script was mounting the /dev filesystem as tmpfs instead of devtmpfs. Once I made the change, systemd-udev was able to be launched and work correctly for me at restore time, so the restore of fedora 20 was starting to work.

Of course, after that, I had other points to fix to name a few:

  • fully support systemd and its multiple compagnon binaries
  • fully support grub2 and its installer
  • avoid some memory management issues in corner cases using a lot valgrind
  • Remove from mindi 2 functions replaced by perl code (ReadAllLink by mr-read-all-link and ProcessLDD by mr-process-ldd)
  • cleanup of old useless file in /tmp suposedly used for mondo/mindi commnuication
  • Adds lvmetad daemon to list and launch it at restore time as new LVM version seems to need it
  • Rename the conf file mondo-restore.cfg into mondorestore.cfg for homogeneity
  • NETFS-SERVER-MOUNT remains the only built file by mondo for net configuration, lots of code cleanup and mindi now uses mr-net-get-config to build the network conf
  • Add support for latest Fedora keymap file (/etc/vconsole.conf) and non us keyboard detection

So that explains the delay you’ve seen in the publication of test versions.
But now, It’s time !!!

I’ve been able to make a full backup / restore / restart of the restored fedora 20 distribution in a full automatic mode without issue anymore ! Yep, I deserve some vacation !!!

So it’s your turn now to test this version and tell me what I’ve missed, and if that doesn’t create regressions for your prefered distro.
Available as usual at ftp://ftp.mondorescue.org/test

Now this version requires in addition to the afio or buffer packages also the perl modules developed for MondoRescue (at the same place) and for project-builder.org located at ftp://ftp.mondorescue.org/

Not all distros have been built correctly yet. Let me know what is missing, I’ll try to update during my week in Barcelona. I’m particularly interested by Fedora users for now, and more generaly other systemd users.

If tests are globally positive, I’ll publish it early July. And I’ll look at porting some of these changes back into 3.0.5 and add one or two features that have been asked for some time by some customers, but we’ll have to prioritize stuff. Again give feedback here.

Still working on MondoRescue 3.2 to make it available ASAP

2014/03/14

Even if stuff do not progrees at the speed I’d like them to progress (lots of travels on HP side since early 2014 and 4 concerts to perform on the private side) I’ve tried to improve the 3.2 version I published unofficially as beta. Interestingly enough, even when I do not announce that packages are delivered, there are people who do use them !!! Which gave me some feedback (you can guess it wasn’t that positive), so in fact it’s already my second delivery :-) and it contains some interesting new features:

  • mindi now uses the new mr-kernel-get-modules perl script which allows now in mindi to just mention end modules names andd not dependencies anymore, which are now computed by the script !! This will help a lot to maintain the list of modules, which was always impacted by low-level dependencies changes at kernel level.
  • Support of symlinks for newest distributions based on systemd such as Fedora, Mageia, … is now finally working !! Again this was done exporting the existing wrong code into a separate perl script which now operates correclty. This is part of the global willingness to recode most of mindi and some of mondo in perl. This took quite a long time, as of course, we need to stay compatible (a word systemd team doesn’t care about of course) with other tools, and older distributions. Side note, this is probably one of the reason MondoRescue is still appreciated by its community :-)
  • The introduction of a dependency on a perl function was incorrect and people trying to install from packages gave feedback that they had errors dof course ue to that. This is now fixed, as project-builder.org indeed had an issue because a low level function was depending on a higher level function not part of the perl modules provided for MondoRescue. With 0.12.5 of project-builder.org this is completely solved.
  • Now I still have regressions with the isolinux menus, NFS on Mageia 4 and systemd not working anymore (change of network NIC name is the root cause). However the ldlinux.c32 issue for syslinux > 5.x is now solved.

Next week is the TES, so won’t have much time to work on it. Expect news the week after.

It starts as a happy new year indeed

2014/01/04

Well, would you really be surprised if i say that the begining of 2014 looks as promising (and as busy of course) as the end of 2013 was ?

While travelling to Linux.conf.au in Perth (28 hours door to door but could it be a better start for 2014 !) I had some time to look at Project-Builder.org, subject of my conference on Monday and also to MondoRescue.

For Project-Builder.org, I’ll publish a new version for LCA (0.12.3) which will fix rpmbootstrap for lastest Fedora (18-20), Mageia 3 and also other recent distros. Also as SVK is now broken on Mageia 3, I’m using git-svn to work on my laptop when remote, and thus pb supports it now. Some various fixes since last year release will also be done (better printing with VM/VE name for logs, improved ntp support, pbdistrogetparam command to easy shell interface…), but globally the software is pretty stable for my usage, so now it’s your turn to tell me what would be useful for you in it. I also need to make a newer presentation for Monday with a short demo.

For MondoRescue I’m not ready yet to publish a final version, so I have made for now a first beta for the 3.2.0 version. First this will be a new 3;x version as there are lots of changes in the code that may make it less reliable due to the adoption of dynamic memory allocation instead of static in a lot of functions. If I compare 3.0 and 3.2:

  • 3.0
    • total mr_asprintf usage : 646
    • total sprintf usage : 674
    • total strcpy usage : 560
    • total fgets usage : 79
    • total malloc_string usage : 367
    • total MAX_STR_LEN usage : 370
  • 3.2
    • total mr_asprintf usage : 1223
    • total sprintf usage : 166
    • total strcpy usage : 388
    • total fgets usage : 28
    • total malloc_string usage : 129
    • total MAX_STR_LEN usage : 221

Which means that a lot has been done in code changes between 3.0 and 3.2. But also a lot remains to do if we want to have no malloc_string nor MAX_STR_LEN at all. And also if I made mistakes in the mr_malloc/mr_asprintf/mr_free usage, the commands will crash. THat’s why I need your tests here ! I’ve made a full bakup restore cycle (which has revealed some issues that I fixed), but I’m far from being confident in the result.

Another consequence is that this version will probably have less fixes than previous ones as most of the time has been passed on code modernization.

And it will require new mindi and mindi-busybox versions. And these versions should finally work for systemd crazyness of removing /bin and /sbin (which broke MondoRescue for a too long time now). And you’ll need new perl modules in order to have it work correctly as I finally rewrote some bash mindi functions into perl to have what I consider better code.
Which means Fedora 18-20, Mageia 3 should work out of the box (at least my Mageia 3 now works correctly).

And expect again more pacthes to MondoRescue durnig the 28+ hours back home at the end of next week ;-)

So I wish to all readers a happy new year 2014 and hope it will start for you as it has for me !

First UEFI PlugFest for Linuxers

2013/10/31

After the 3 days dedicated to LinuxCon US 2013 in New Orleans, it was time to contribute to the UEFI Plugfest organized for the first time as a co-located event.

So what is a UEFI plugfest ? Well it’s a place where hardware manufacturers and software producers meet to check the compatibility of their implementations with regards to UEFI. So Every hardware manufacturer brings some systems, sometimes early units or prototypes, and try them with the latest operating systems available to find out potential issues, some other bring cards to see whether their UEFI driver works fine on computer manufacturer and operating system producers want to try their latest version on these often brand new systems.

UEFI PlugFest

I think it was a brilliant idea to mix the 2 populations for multiple reasons:

  • UEFI members were for sure impressed by the technical knowledge floating around, and employed in such an open fashion, which is not the standard way of working of this standard body.
  • Linux kernel members could exchange with manufacturer representatives of UEFI systems which definitely helped reducing all the FUD around this technology, in particular Secure Boot. They also had the opportunity to test some not yet available hardware platform to ensure their distributions/drivers/tools were working fine or fix them if that wasn’t the case

UEFI PlugFest - Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud, HP

So in the HP area, under the lead of Dong Wei who is UEFI Forum Vice President and HP Fellow, we tried with 2 colleagues various Linux distributions (and even Windows, but not me !) on the 4 systems that were around. And some findings were interesting !

UEFI PlugFest - Dong Wei, HP

  • Debian 7.1 had grub issue at boot and we were not able to install it
  • Mageia 3 has no UEFI support yet and we were not able to install it easily. However, support is planned for Mageia 4, and some info have been published recently to detail how to perform UEFI based installation.
  • Ubuntu 13.10 provides all what is needed to install in a UEFI compliant environment, thanks to their documentation. We were also able to test SecureBoot with success with their version of Matthew Garrett‘s shim bootloader, signed by Microsoft. They are also working on an interesting tool: FWTS aka Firmware Test Suite, which should be adopted by all distributions IMHO in order to have (for once !) a single tool able to perform firmware compliance tests for a Linux environment. Easy to use, pretty comprehensive, reports lots of useful info. Too bad that they are not providing their certification tools online anymore :-(
  • OpenSUSE 12.3+ again has what is needed for UEFI support. Same mechanism with a shim bootloader, but this time signed multiple times by Microsoft and SUSE. However, this requires a more recent implementation of the UEFI specification, which wasn’t the case on all our system during this event. SUSE provides in particular an excellent documentation on UEFI support, including the possibility to sign its own kernel with pesign in order to use it with SecureBoot.
  • Fedora 19 provides mostly all what is needed. Install worked in UEFI mode without problem. We used the updated version of the shim and shim-unsigned packages from Fedora 20 in order to avoid some issues. However, the multisign issue met with OpenSUSE was also encountered here. More over, Fedora doesn’t provide a good documentation yet for signing your own kernel, which was reported upstream and could benefit from this article. Also the usage of mokutil is broken and should be fixed for Fedora 20.
  • UEFI PlugFest - Samer El-Haj-Mahmoud, HP

    We also got visited by two Kernel Maintainers Greg Kroah-Hartman and James Bottomley who even tried some of his tools on our systems.
    UEFI PlugFest - James Bottomley, Parallels - Neill Kapron, HP

    Note that Some USB keys even correctly formated didn’t boot correctly on some platforms so if you encounter this issue, try using another USB key.

    Finally I made some tries with MondoRescue on the Last Fedora distribution installed. I thought the work done to support EFI on Itanium would be sufficient, but there are some detection problems for the boot loader in mindi need to be solved and are now tracked upstream as well.

    And on top of all what I was able to learn working with my 3 colleagues, I was pointed to a very instructive article from Ken Thomson on Trusting Trust, I hadn’t read before (and I encourage you to read it), following discussions on Secure Boot. And we had a very nice dinner downtown, a walk through Bourbon Street
    Bourbon Street

    followed by a real air of New Orleans Jazz.
    DSC_8789

    That was the end of a very rich US week. More to come on other more recent travels later.

Distro Recipes 2013: Nice first !

2013/04/09

Distro Recipes 2013
As indicated, I had the opportunity to talk during the first Distro Recipes event organized in Paris last week, at the invitation of Hupstream. As Yoann Sculo posted, this was a very interesting day for me, and I really regret I was busy to also attend the first day and the opening.

After a nice welcome breakfast, Aurélien Bompard started by presenting the Fedora distribution.
Aurélien Bompard presenting the Fedora distribution
He did a great job especially expalining how easy it was to become a Fedora maintainer, even if a comparison to Debian revealed that it’s much less different that what people may think (it also takes time to become a packager able to modify most distro packages) and I know by experience that the Fedora packagers are really picky (sometimes for not so good reasons) with new contributions.

After that I talked about HP and Linux distributions. I used in fact the standard HP marketing presentation of the company as a starter (modified of course to suit my needs and include more penguins !) in order to explain the span of our activities, our relationship with communities including distributions, announced that HP will even soon provide firmware for ProLiant servers under a package format (rpm and deb), the fact that HP doesn’t see Linux demand for desktop/laptop on the consumer market (no, it’s not just a price issue that would make Linux more appealing in that case as I justified) but that we do support Linux on some enterprise desktops/laptops. Hopefully this was useful and/or new to some of the audience.

Then Dodji Seketeli made the type of talk making you believe that you could contribute to gcc ! Of course, when he details how much time it took him to add some of the features of the next stable version, you know you can’t ! Well I at least ;-) Anyway lots of good news and features that make that future version 4.8 expected soon.
Dodji Seketeli on gcc

That conclude our morning sessions, and it was then time to eat !! Especially as we had a great buffet waiting for us as you can see:
Repas midi

In order to avoid a sleepy afternoon, we started right after by a round table with 7 people (!), that I had the pleasure to chair. With a representative of each distribution (Mageia, openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, Arch, Embedded) and a Microsoft representative, you could expect blood and swords fight ! Not at all, I was surprisingly happy that the elements were clearly exposed, each representative defending their own work rather than criticizing, and finding ways to propose more future joint work. Of course, some subjects such as LSB/FHS lead to more debate, but very constructive and I really enjoyed this time slot as a way to show that differences are an added value ! It was also the opportunity for me to meet with Colin Guthrie and Frédérc Crozat, which I had never met before. These distros should be happy to have such representatives defending them (and the others too of course ;-)) Finally if you have ideas to share to improve cross-distribution work , consider joining the mailing listdedicated to his topic and start sharing your ideas.

Then it was time again for the remaining presentations. The first was Lucas Nussbaum. Long time Debian Developer, (he is even running for the Debian Project Leader now, vote for him !) he made a convincing picture of the Debian ecosystem, the numerous Web sites that contributors can create to enhance the distribution with stats, infos, Ubuntu correlations, … As usual, Debian appears as a very mature distribution, with a strong Governance, being perl friendly… If I had to change I may well become a debianers. But isn’t it because of the pres, as the morning I was a fedorian ;-)
Lucas Nussbaum pour Debian

The next speaker was a long time Linux enthousiast Pierre Ficheux. In fact back when it was Minitel time (not 2.0) I used his xtel program !! Pierre made a presentation (in english but with the accent ;-)) around embedded Linux distributions, presenting various way to tailor one for your device (he was using a Raspberry Pi) depending whether you use an Ubuntu, a Yocto generated one or a pure OpenEmbedded linux one. Definitely a good idea to explore for my Pi !
Pierre Ficheux sur Yocto (Open Wide)

And then we had the lightnings talks. Aurélien Bompard was there again for HyperKitty. Too bad it’s devoted to mailan, as I think Sympa would also benefit from such a work, as their archive management (at least on the latest versions I used) could be improved.
Aurélien Bompard pour HyperKitty

I came then again on stage for a project-builder.org presentation (building cross-distro packages for upstream projects) and made a short demo which I think is explaining much more than my slides, so I plan on using it more in the future !

After me, Eric Leblond explained how his upstream project (ulogd2) wasn’t picked up correclty by most distributions and asked for help to improce that.

And final speaker was Nicolas Vérité who made a panel on all mobile Linux distributions, recommending to follow closely Tizen for the future as the main force in this area.
Nicolas Vérité sur Distros Mobile

Too bad it was already over. Anne closed the session and I’d like to thank her for the invitation and the perfect organization of this first cross-distributions vent as a real success. Well done and see you next year hopefully !
Anne Nicolas (Hupstream)

Finally time to publish pb 0.12.2

2013/03/01

As you can see with the few messages I had time to post on this blog, the end of 2012 start of 2013 has been pretty busy, and I’m late in delivering the 2 projects I’m leading. So this week, I decided it was time to make a 0.12.2 version of pb, and make it available. Was asked by my colleagues of FOSSology, specially to add Fedora 18 support, so I also build my VMs to make packages on this distro.

BTW, a bit of ranting for Fedora once more: no perl by default :-(, and no ifconfig nor route command either which is breaking MondoRescue of course, and I guess tons of other software around. These guys don’t care about past, but don’t provide compatibility tools either !! So I’ll have to make new patches, just to do the same as what was done, but with another command again. Not to speak of systemd which I still have issues to deal with :-( That doesn’t make stuff go faster !

Anyway, the version is now out, no official bugs fixed, but a lot of small stuff here and there which were desrving a release. No time to test Fedora 17/18 VE yet, so you’ll have to do that yourself if you want. I also had a look at virsh usage in combination with pb, and it’s again not as easy as it could seem to be. Especially port redirection I’m easily using by launching qemu-kvm manually with the -redir or hostfwd option doesn’t seem to be possible with the user mode network through virsh (neither manager nor CLI). Will have to post on their ML to see how they do that, if they can !

And MondoRescue has been very late. I really need to publish a verion, but I still have some blocking bugs I really would like to get rid of: CTRL+ALT+DEL not working anymore during restore, some LVM issues on RHEL, some grub issues on SLES… Hopefully at the end of next week I’ll have made progresses.

Of course patches are much easy to integrate, but I receive more bug reports than them ;-)

And also back to preparing the HP internal TES event, Solutions Linux confs, submitting to LinuxCon, working on an FLOSS ITIL stack, learning more OpenStack, looking at Intel’s TXT…. so many things I’d like to do or learn and will never have time to ! Maybe at least I’ll talk about that another time.

Proposition of Cross-Distro Mini-Conf for Linux.conf.au 2012

2011/07/02

Time has come again to think to our friends down under ! Since I was there in 2007 for a MondoRescue conference I think this is really a place to be in the FLOSS ecosystem when possible; Too bad it’s so far away from France :-( Travel costs are not light either.

But I thought I should propose the follwoing mini-conf, as the one I attended in Fosdem 2010 on the same topic worked very interesting, and allowed to start some joint collaboration that I think is fruitful and avoid/reduce fragmentation.

I hope it will be accepted to give me an opportunity to fly there and meet with the great community which gathers there each year.

So here it is (Thanks to the great example provided by Martin Michlmayr last year)

The “Cross-Distribution” mini-conf at LCA 2012 (Ballarat, Australia; January 16-20 2012) is for people interested in cooperation between Open Source distributions. Topics include contributors agreements, licensing policies, packaging best practices and tools, sharing patches to upstream projects, communications, working with upstream Open Source developers, translations, governance, workflow in place, version control systems, bug reporting management and sharing, vcs-pkg.org, funding, marketing, lessons from your experience, and whatever related topics people would like to bring up. Whether you are a single contributor working on a single package, or leading a full distribution, managing a full distribution infrastructure, or representing it in the press, whether it’s famous as Debian or less as AbulEdu this mini-conf hopes to bring different people together to exchange thoughts and facilitate discussion about these topics.

Presentation submitters should feel free to suggest their own topics. Here is a list of potentially interesting subjects (in no particular order):

* Building software packages on a large scale
* Choosing valid licenses and copyright policies
* Patch management
* Working with upstream
* Forking a distribution
* Experiences in distributed development
* Managing bug report and enhancement request
* Tools to support making a distribution
* Translation of a distribution
* Reuse between distributions
* Collaborationbetween distributions
* Distribution structures
* FHS
* Distribution Development Management and Governance
* Distribution Corporate Governance
* Lessons learned in building up your distribution
* Marketing
* Communication
* Copyrights
* Applying your copyright and license choices

We hope to receive proposals for:

* 50 minute expert panel discussions
* 50 minute full presentations
* 25 minute half presentations
* 5-10 minute lightning talks (e.g. success stories, …)

To submit a proposal, please contact Bruno Cornec at bruno.cornec@hp.com and include the following information:

* Your name
* Brief bio noting any previous speaking experience
* Talk title
* Brief outline of your proposed talk
* Notes of any special equipment / facilities you may require


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