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LCFG Deployers' Monthly Meetings

The meetings are held at 2.15pm in Informatics Forum 1.15. Notes after the meetings are added in italic to the agenda items.

5th December 2013

This was our Annual Review for 2013.

7th November 2013

  • LCFG client update progress
  • Annual Review meeting
  • MacOSX 10.9 support
  • Bioinformatics/standard linux desktop for areas without Linux COs
  • "Themed" package buckets

3rd October 2013

  • FreeNX - added support for fail2ban and monitoring of successful logins. Also can we share more configuration?
  • LCFG Client - The refactored LCFG client (v3) is now available for testing.
  • Annual review meeting - December meeting will be an extended format with reviews given by Informatics and IS, followed by refreshments and then a round table discussion.
  • Mock chroots for MDP developers
  • MDP Change Management
  • Rsyslog as default in MDP
  • Remove support for SL6.3
  • Site licensed software packaging

5th September 2013

  • SL6.4 - Informatics should be all updated by the end of August, this will mean we are unable to test the security updates for SL6.3
  • New support for managing portreserve/portrelease for LCFG components

1st August 2013

No meeting due to holidays

4th July 2013

  • SL6.4 update - aiming for stable release on Wednesday 17th July - Sl64Changes
  • installbase profiles - switching from major to minor release based names (LCFG_PLATFORM -> LCFG_PLATFORM_FULL), e.g. installbase-sl64 rather than installbase-sl6
  • lcfg-grub and machines without serial consoles bug#652
  • Possible updaterpms patch to continue if rpmlist not found
  • PXE mounting of NFS installroot - switching from UDP to TCP to improve robustness

6th June 2013

  • LCFG Client code cleanup
  • New "generic" profile support
  • SL6.4 update
  • New om Perl API

2nd May 2013

4th April 2013

7th March 2013

  • Header reorganisation - If we do this we would lose information from the server logs regarding the names of files changed, can we alter this to show more of the path? (might be a useful change anyway) - Informatics will look at how easy this change is to make, Do we care about the naming of protection macros? (won't be automatically changed due to difficulty of predicting impact but COs will probably want to make them consistent with filenames), LCFG server caches would have to be deleted after removing the transitional headers to ensure everything recompiles correctly, should the directory be named lcfg/components/ or lcfg/component/ (i.e. without a final 's')
  • End of support for SL6.2 - Informatics no longer have any way of testing weekly updates
  • SL6.4 - won't be rolled out until end of May after teaching has finished.
  • epel and yum - The yum metadata in our epel repository is just a direct mirror of that provided by upstream. This does not match with what is in our repository since they delete packages and we do not. Should we just throw away all their metadata and generate our own? It's also huge since there is a new metadata file everyday, we could save a lot of disk space by doing this.

7th February 2013

  • Header reorganisation - People to read and think about for next month.
  • Autobuilding LCFG source packages - AutoBuild - Well received. IS to think again about hosting a build farm.
  • Cloud image - single profile, multiple clients. - Something to add to the upcoming lcfg-client refactor.
  • SL 5.x - Nobody requires support for it (there is none), but won't be actively removed yet.

6th December 2012

  • LCFG Users Day 2013. Matthew will speak as well, Kenny will announce.
  • Elevated privileges. Discussed om's authorisation model. Barry noted remote hostnames cannot have hyphens. Kenny will email how DST do this. Discussed ksu and Kerberos root instance principals.
  • lcfg-yummy yummybase profiles now compiling, with prioritied yum repositories
  • LCFG slave server homepages - Would be nice for the IS MDP LCFG slave servers to have a homepage like http://lcfg.ucs.ed.ac.uk/ Kenny will investigate.

1st November 2012

  • SL 6.3 - Default at LCFG layer. Accepted and welcomed
  • SL5 MDP end of life. No further changes in LCFG layer for SL5 after end of 2012.
  • LCFG Users Day - Friday January 18th 2013. Perhaps widen scope to be a Unix Day. Everyone to think about talks before next month's meeting.
  • Dell T5600 and initramfs size limit for LCFG installer. Hoping there's a BIOS bug in this hardware model that limits initramfs to less than 32Mb. Ongoing workaround is that new LCFG initramfs won't have sound drivers anymore. If seen on more hardware, a better solution inspired by dracut (amongst others) will be developed.
  • bugs.lcfg.org upgrade on Monday 5 November. Will look much nicer, but all our bugs won't be magically fixed for us :-(

6th September 2012

  • SL 6.3 - Kenny will make opt-in available.
  • syslog to rsyslog - Informatics fix at top
  • emergency updates - Kenny will request that info is passed from IRT
  • LibreOffice vs. OpenOffice - Will occur with move to 6.3
  • DNS and non-routed networks - use profile.notify=no

2nd August 2012

  • No meeting due to holidays.

5th July 2012

  • boot component improvements Attempts to fix deadlocks, etc.
  • Removal of SL6.1 support. Noted.
  • Bug 210 - should we do this? Yes, see bug report
  • SSL cipher settings. Do we want a standard setting in the lcfg/options/apacheconf-ssl.h header? Yes please.

7th June 2012

  • Build tools - Mac and non-root trunk.
  • Security best practice discussion for SciCOs, Donald Grigor
  • Ordered changes and their dependencies, Paul Anderson.

3rd May 2012

5th April 2012

  • EPEL & LCFG package dependencies in lcfg_sl6?_options.rpms
  • Scientific Linux 6.2
  • rsyslog configuration at the LCFG layer
  • Scripts to monitor status of systems

1st March 2012

  • rsyslog configuration at the LCFG layer

2nd February 2012

  • Virtual hardware configuration - is our dice header more widely useful?
  • Root password policies (Matthew)
  • specfile and patch revision management (Kenny and Maggi)
  • boot.run and cron

5th January 2012

There will not be a meeting this month.

3rd November 2011

  • LCFG Beginners Course
  • 32bit SL6
  • Options - reverse order of package list and resource, to make override packagelist contents easier
  • CUPS
  • SL5 and PIE EoL
  • Annual LCFG Users Day

6th October 2011

  • MacOS X 10.7 "Lion" port
  • User installable packages, e.g. munki on MacOS X. Use the existing i flag.
  • Laptop support: profile and rpm access, lcfg-sssd, vpn, eduroam.
  • lcfg-cups rewrite
  • SL 5.5 deprecation
  • Server status pages - matching OSes (Bug 481)
  • DHCP or static IPs
  • Installroot enhancements, e.g. lvm component.
  • Annual LCFG Users Day

1st September 2011

  • SelectPC BIOS defaults - what should they be (from Linux perspective)
  • Managing extra UIDs and GIDs
  • SL6.1 upgrade
  • lcfg-resolvconf in SL6 - make optional?
  • Managing point releases in *_*_env.rpms
  • Annual LCFG Users Day - where, when, what topics?
  • Timezone - Europe/London instead of GB (Bug 461).

August 2011

There will be no meeting in August as too many people will be away.

7th July 2011

  • Text mode and the framebuffer for (at least) Dell 755s and 790s
  • Scientific Linux 5.6
  • Build farm
  • MDP summer release schedule

2nd June 2011

  • Help with updating the LCFG book and the VM "tutorial" image
  • SystemInformation changes
  • OptionalPackages changes
  • New support for user/group management with the auth component
  • scsiroot.h in hw headers

5th May 2011

7th April 2011

3rd March 2011

3rd February 2011

  • Wake on LAN
  • lcfg-pm - a new power management component? - not quite the same as the sleep component
  • lcfg-status-scripts - changes to support devolved service
  • lcfg-autofs - component rewrite
  • sysinfo.allocated - space separated list of UUNs?
  • IPv6 - issue of the month
  • Linux rebuild script options

6th January 2011

  • Mince pies shall be served (if you're quick).
  • We plan to followup on interesting topics raised by the annual Users Day last month.

2nd December 2010

There will be no meeting this month since we will have the Annual Users Day on Friday 10th December

4th November 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • Ending of support for SL5.4
  • Dropping all old-style IDE (e.g. hda, hdb) support for F13 and beyond
  • LCFG Users Day plans
  • F13 progress
  • Atom
  • Central Authorisation Service
  • Printing - pcounter, cups

7th October 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • LCFG Users Day 2010
  • F13 x86_64 port

2nd September 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • LCFG Users Day 2010 - dates in December? Thinking of doing a half-day tutorial on advanced component writing, any topics people would like to see covered?
  • F13 status report
  • LCFG Server problems - can we just pin the version of perl on the server in the short term?
  • SL5 minor releases - future plans, do we need to update with every minor release?

August 2010

There will be no meeting in August as many regular attenders will be on holiday.

1st July 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • F12 port - progress report
  • lcfg-autoreboot
  • SL 5.5

3rd June 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • Mac port
  • SL 5.5

1st April 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

4th March 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • SL5.4 - any problems?
  • F12 port - progress report
  • MacOS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" progress. Geoff Lee has been compiling and packaging the LCFG Core from source and has written up his experiences here.

4th February 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • Stephen Quinney will discuss the LCFG Server Refactoring Project
  • Chris Cooke will shortly be embarking on an LCFG port to Fedora 12. There's a project page (iFriend or Informatics account required) and a blog.
  • Package lists (J. Jarvis).
  • SL5 minor release handling
  • Virtualisation packages - xen, kvm, etc.

7th January 2010, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • What do we want to get out of the monthly meetings? Should we pick a theme/topic for each meeting?

  • Package List Management
    • Changes for SL5.4?

3rd December 2009, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • LCFG Day 2009
    • Slides should go online
    • Catering under control for rescheduled tutorial
    • Ensure the right people attend the tutorial

  • New lcfg-ldconf component started
    • Kenny and Faye are working on it
    • See svn.lcfg.org if you're curious

  • mock, yum enabled repositories and the path
    • yum is looking for repomd.xml in release/release_ver/basearch in /rpms
    • we do not have that on erebus.
    • do we edit erebus to add dirs and symlinks or do we edit mdp/options/mock.h
    • or is this all fixed upstream

  • Timing of nightly updaterpms
    • Is there a "good" way to push them fast?

  • New openafs component for managing clients and servers

5th November 2009, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • LCFG Day 2009
    • Agenda now up on UsersDay2009
    • Catering under control
    • Ensure the right people attend the tutorial

  • MacOS X 10.4 "Tiger" no longer supported in MDP

  • Supported Desktops CAB
    • Details
    • Now in operation for application changes

  • SL5.4

  • EL6

  • Central Authorisation Service

  • COSIGN v3

3rd September 2009, Informatics Forum 1.15

  • LCFG Day 2009 - 20th November, rooms booked, lunch funded, now we need topics/speakers.

  • Recent updates
    • lcfg-grub - removed ancient "server mode" support
    • lcfg-cron - new support for random times within ranges - eg AUTO(2..7) and AUTO(0..15,45..59)
    • lcfg-server - taglists generated from spanning maps now sorted
    • lcfg-status-checks - new set of scripts which can be run on the server to generate "health" reports from the status database

  • Start lcfg-gdm earlier Move lcfg_cups (7.5 seconds), lcfg_alias (0.3), lcfg_sudo (0.5), rc_atd (0), rc_gpm (0), lcfg_cron (0.7) and lcfg_openssh (0.8) all to 110, which will be after xfree and gdm. This should bring forward the start of gdm by about ten seconds.

6th August 2009, Informatics Forum 1.16

  • LCFG Day 2009 - maybe in October? The idea is to have a half-day of tutorial(s) on writing components, using the new buildtools and cmake. The rest of the day would be general talks and discussion like last year covering new developments and future possibilities. There would be lunch, etc,. if we can get the money again.

  • SL5.3 Upgrade - How did it go?

  • 64bit builds: 32 and 64 bit RPM package conflicts, installing both.

  • Changes to RPM repository access. Due to an imminent switch to storing our packages in AFS we need to make some changes to the way the repositories are accessed via http and rsync. We would also like to drop http access for external (to inf) users and just leave rsync open. Ideally only IS would sync from us and other sites would use the IS repositories.

HTTP export
        old - http://master.rpms.inf.ed.ac.uk/master/rpms/{platform}/{bucket}/
        new - http://http.pkgs.inf.ed.ac.uk/rpms/layers/{bucket}/{platform}

        eg  http://master.rpms.inf.ed.ac.uk/master/rpms/sl5/lcfg -> http://http.pkgs.inf.ed.ac.uk/rpms/layers/lcfg/sl5

RSYNC export
        old - master.rpms.inf.ed.ac.uk::edrpmexport/rpms|srpms/{platform}/{bucket}
        new - rsync.pkgs.inf.ed.ac.uk::edrpmexport/rpms|srpms/layers/{bucket}/{platform}

        eg master.rpms.inf.ed.ac.uk::edrpmexport/rpms/sl5/lcfg -> rsync.pkgs.inf.ed.ac.uk::edrpmexport/rpms/layers/lcfg/sl5

  • Could we provide a way to remove badly behaved packages that need nodeps or noscripts options? We have had a number of these packages recently and there doesn't seem to be a good approach. We are still stuck with old versions of lam packages for this reason. Recently there have also been issues with the java-plugin. Ideally this would be run just before the normal updaterpms at boot-time and in boot.run, maybe this would be a useful extension to the updaterpms component? What sort of interface would we want though?

2nd July

  • Skipped due to holidays.

4th June, Informatics Forum

  • Missed due to illness.

7th May, Informatics Forum 1.15


  • Informatics will not be deploying SL5.3 until after the end of exams, what timescales do others need?
  • The intel graphics driver has been patched to fix a problem with support for VGA output.
  • The apache mod_ssl module has been patched to fix a memory leak related to the updated version of openssl

Recent Updates

Changes to mREPLACE(), mREMOVE(), mADD() so that they act correctly. This fixes #133
Fixed the server list sorting in the Fetch() method when a notification is received. This fixes #135
New component to manage the openafs client and server
Build Tools
The skeleton tool now supports creating new packages which are not stored in a VCS

2nd April, Informatics Forum 1.15


The SL5.3 updates are now available, it would be good to get this update shipped soon. It is being tested in Informatics and we haven't come up against any big problems so far, we really need it to also be tested outside of Informatics. Progress is being tracked at Sl53Changes.

LCFG subversion repository

There is now a subversion repository for LCFG source code which is accessible via webdav at https://svn.lcfg.org/svn/source/trunk and via websvn at https://svn.lcfg.org/websvn/ Either a DICE or iFriend account are required, see http://svn.lcfg.org/ for full details. Also the new LCFG build tools have been extended to support building packages from a subversion repository. The transition from CVS to SVN of Informatics packages is expected to take quite a while, the focus is currently on the packages which are part of the standard LCFG distribution (i.e. those in lcfg/lcfg_sl5_lcfg.rpms) External users can now host their LCFG code projects within this repository, just get in touch, we can import CVS repositories to keep the change history.

If you want to see all the changes as they fly past you can now also view the RSS feeds without authentication and can sign-up to the lcfg-changes mailing list.

LCFG bugzilla

The new LCFG bug tracker - https://bugs.lcfg.org/ - now supports iFriend users so it is open to everyone to report and read bugs.

Recent Component Changes

Fixed bug which could cause a segfault when a package fails to fully download
Now checks the updaterpms exit code is valid to avoid flagging reboots unnecessarily
Fixed logrotate template so that vhost log files are rotated
Fixes for manual method and generation of the /etc/cron.allow and /etc/cron.deny files
Now supports use of the /etc/modprobe.d/lcfg file with a nicer interface of resources
The necessary PAM file for mock to work via consolehelper is now created
fixed bug in parsing <%if:<%foo%>%>1<%else:%>0<%end:%> which meant it never printed the 'zero'

5th March, Informatics Forum 1.15

LCFG bugzilla

We have a new LCFG bugzilla instance - https://bugs.lcfg.org/ - currently it is only accessible by users with DICE accounts but we are working on adding iFriend support.

LCFG subversion repository

The LCFG subversion repository is now accessible via webdav at https://svn.lcfg.org/svn/lcfg/core and via websvn at https://svn.lcfg.org/websvn/. Either a DICE or iFriend account are required, see http://svn.lcfg.org/ for full details. Work has started on a subversion repository for component, and other tools, source code.

Recent Component Changes

Rewritten in Perl and with better support for authz files (useful for webdav)
New component to configure websvn
buildtools ports
Lots of major components ported to new buildtools (e.g. updaterpms and installer tools)
Completely rewritten in Perl
Split into lcfg-utils/lcfg-utils-devel, LCFG-Utils-Perl and LCFG-PkgUtils

Syslog Component

Current implementation is opaque using old-style LCFG template to generate file passed through m4. In addition the files logged to are hard-coded in thus one cannot prepend with a - (hypen) to indicate no sync.

Power Management

  • Inability to wake from hibernate/suspend (require power to remain on NIC)
  • Disk activity reduction techniques (noatime etc).

SL 5.3

Xen and KVM

ISG LCFG Infrastructure Update

29th January, Informatics Forum 1.15


We now have a PIE LCFG component which simply stores some variables in the profile which PIE can extract using XSLT rather than a port of the LCFG client code. This component will be added to the profiles of all MDP Linux and MacOS X clients, but in cases where Schools wish to use LCFG to store PIE configuration for Windows clients (single boot, no existing LCFG profile), then they need to create a minimal profile.

We've put together mdp/os/pie.h and mdp/hidden/pievars.h. You'll notice that we have to mutate (reset) the profile.components resource to list only pie, profile and sysinfo.

The lcfg/defaults.h header assumes all OSes will have the file and client components also installed. This is not the case for PIE, so I suggested that the lines including lcfg/defaults/file.h and lcfg/defaults/client.h could be moved inside the sections which are protected by cpp OS macros, e.g. OS_LINUX.

We should discuss how to handle such "pseudo-clients".

File Component Enhancements

Non-Persistent Files

(Kenny) I patched the lcfg-file component to add a nopersist option to the file.type resource which causes the file to be deleted if it drops out of the LCFG profile. See bug 2963 for details.

SELinux Support

(Kenny) I looked briefly at adding support for setting a file's SELinux context. As always the design of the schema is the sticking point. There's also no Perl module to directly change these contexts, and so the component code would need to call the chcon utility.

Linux File ACLs

Stephen mentions this on his blog.

RHEL 5.3

(Kenny) RHEL 5.3 is finally out and the race between SL and CentOS is on. I started a Wiki page to collate thoughts/concerns/etc.


4th December, Informatics Forum 1.15

ITPF Event Review


6th November, Informatics Forum


Informatics have patched the FUSE RPMs and uploaded them to their world repository. Geosciences have use wildcards for the fuse packages in their profile and have had these patched versions installed. Should we deploy them everywhere?

The lcfg/options/fuse.h header conflicts with lcfg_sl5_kernel.rpms.

i386 Libraries on sl5_64

Should we change policy so that downstream sites have a separate packagelist, e.g. mdp_sl5_64_i386libs.rpms, which is added to profile.packages in between lcfg_sl5_64_base.rpms and lcfg_sl5_64_updates,rpms? These packagelists will contain the i386 versions of libraries which the site requires to support 3rd party applications, etc. The benefit of doing it this way is to avoid having to maintain version numbers in option headers (as they are processed after the updates packagelist). We don't wish to deploy libraries that aren't required by the RPMs that are deployed by the LCFG layer.

VMware Workstation

The package spec in lcfg/options/vmware-workstation.h should probably have a :b flag on it. Or possibly :r or even both. Mark Cairney uploaded the listed version of the RPM to the (IS) UoE bucket and my installation wouldn't work until I rebooted, to get the kernel modules compiled, I presume.


RH have released a beta of RHEL 5.3. Steve Law supplied me with an ISO image of the i386 Server edition. Notes of interest include new Intel WiFi drivers and kerberised CUPS. I'd like to try the "SelectPC" laptops with this.

End of the inventory component

The deprecated LCFG inventory component will be removed from the standard configuration as part of the stable release on Thursday 13th November. We will maintain the headers and packages for a while yet though as they are still being used in Informatics.

LCFG Users Day

How is the planning for the LCFG Users Day coming along?

2nd October, Informatics Forum 1.15

Various News

  • Default release is now modifiable in the site policy header
  • mEXTRA() and mAPPEND() now fixed
  • Bug fixed in LCFG::Component which meant perl components did not honour the ng_debug resource
  • qxpack now more clear when a match is not found
  • Lots of new component versions related to switching to the new LCFG build tools
  • Upcoming project to develop a new testing framework for LCFG components - https://devproj.inf.ed.ac.uk/project/show/105

Replacement of inventory with sysinfo

  • Phased removal of the inv component now started
  • inv.* resources are now sysinfo.* instead
  • The LCFG server will be updated so that the status pages still work

Future handling of platform minor releases

  • We need to think about how to handle the rhel/sl minor releases
  • Current method is unlikely to change for lifetime of sl5
  • How to do this for sl6 (or whatever)?
  • Separate base/updates/postship package lists for each minor version?

4th September, Informatics Forum 4.02

mdp vs. ed layers

  • The mdp layer could really do with a release schedule
  • The ed layer is at risk of being overlooked
  • More people with commit access to lcfg layer, e.g. Xen, hardware

lcfg-kerberos component

  • Kenny sent patches to Toby to allow no enc type restrictions in /etc/krb5.conf

lcfg-auth component

  • "Auth component doesn't preserve the order of entries in auth.extrapasswd,so restricting logins to a particular netgroup doesn't work. Temporarily commented out until the auth component is fixed."


  • DST's components ported (in progress)

Release Notes

  • DST write up release notes for the difference between the current mdpstable and the proposed mdpstable releases on the wiki

7th August, Informatics Forum 4.02


IS package upload service issues

  • policies and guidelines - review
  • packaging - mock update???

WOL - Wake On LAN web service


  • Kenny supplied patches for the lcfg-kerberos component to Toby which allow you to add auth_to_local lines for realms in /etc/krb5.conf. We need them to support people ssh'ing in with uun@ED.AC.UK UPNs.
  • DST plan to change the default realm from ED.AC.UK to EASE.ED.AC.UK for SL5 clients. IS Facility Managed clients (OALABS, etc) will stay with ED.AC.UK for now.


  • Xen kernel on LCFG SL5x. Adding the Xen kernel manually in grub.conf and rebooting the machine into the new kernel causes Kernel panic. A vanilla SL5x installation with Xen support boots the Xen kernel without any problems.
  • Xen support in lcfg-grub


  • Mobile clients (MacBooks; mbsmlcfg & mbpklcfg) - disconnected logins using cached AD credentials work - but not consistently.
  • MacBook (mbpklcfg): unable to write to AD home directory
  • MacBook (macpklcfg): account environment, etc overwritten on every login
  • MacBook (mbsmlcfg): wireless initial config requried uoesupport credentials - subsequent connections didn't require.
  • MacBook (mbsmlcfg): issues packaging vendor binaries (VMWare Fusion) from .dmg -> .pkg
  • MacPro (macprosm): rebuilt several times - then stopped rebuilding - appears unable to find Netboot server
  • MacPro (macprosm): initial build didn't bind to AD - no AD logins available, only uoesupport.

SL5 local accounts (disconnected)

  • default uses EPCC NIS accounts - consistently ok
  • local accounts allow GDM login only when active network connection
  • tried various PAM combinations, no resolution

17th April, JCMB 2509

RPM repositories and yum

  • Informatics is about to start using mock to build packages in chroots. mock uses yum to get the packages it needs so it requires a repository with the necessary metadata and it is easier to use if it is organised in a reasonable hierarchy. Using the apache rewrite module I've introduced a different view, e.g.:


redirects to:


This allows a yum config like this:

name=SL5 LCFG distribution

which is transferable between ScientificLinux machines with different versions and architectures.

The apache rewrite config to do this is:

   RewriteEngine on

   RewriteRule ^/rpms/fedora/(\d+)/i386/(.*) /master/rpms/fc$1/$2 [L]
   RewriteRule ^/rpms/fedora/(\d+)/x86_64/(.*) /master/rpms/fc$1\_64/$2 [L]
   RewriteRule ^/rpms/scientific/(\d)\.?\d*/i386/(.*) /master/rpms/sl$1/$2 [L]
   RewriteRule ^/rpms/scientific/(\d)\.?\d*/x86_64/(.*) /master/rpms/sl$1\_64/$2  [L]

SL5 "distro" packages now in "epel"

  • It looks like a number of packages which ScientificLinux built and added to the main repository (what we call "distro") are now in epel. How do we handle future updates to those packages?


Of these only perl-Parse-RecDescent and perl-TermReadKey were provided in the base distribution for FC6 or FC5.

Repository Mirrors

The SL5 "distro" bucket is a hand crafted snapshot in time of an old release of SL5 and not suitable for replacing with a mirror unless we change the role of the buckets.

New etcprofilevars Component & Status/Logs of Subclassed Components

Shane Voss in Geosciences suggested a component to manage environment variables in /etc/profile.d/ and created an initial one by subclassing the file component in the same way as etcservices does. Many thanks to Stephen and Simon for the hints and tips.

The component resources weren't available in the status web page until the ng_statusdisplay resource was set to nocomp instead of false. I (Kenny) like all the resources to be available via the status web page. Perhaps the log file URL could be redirected to the file component's log file (could create a symlink in /var/log/lcfg I suppose).

3rd Party Kernel Drivers

The kernel component uses the srcmodules, triggers and script resources to get kernel modules recompiled whenever required. Has anyone looked at DKMS integration? The new ATI vendo driver can create RPMs, but they obviously don't integrate with LCFG.

20th March, JCMB 2509

Linux Supported Desktop RPM Repositories

lcfg-sudo component

28th February, JCMB 2509

Linux Supported Desktop RPM Repositories Proposal

VMware Workstation and Player

  • (Kenny) updaterpms removes one after it installs the other when going from one to the other in your profile, which ends up with lots of common files missing causing it to break.
  • (Kenny) Distributing the RPMs - ed layer?
  • (Kenny) Mark the vmwarews component RPM to only install/uninstall at boot time and delete /etc/vmware/locations during stop method.

Reboot notifications

  • (Kenny) Use everywhere?


  • Report from meeting on 21st February.
  • Tiger & Leopard split proposal.

foo.d/* handling?

  • (Kenny) On the Mac, we use login/logout hooks to run scripts and on SL5 we use pam_sessionshell to run a monlithic script at login and logout. We'd like to split this into a directory of scriptlets and use a component to run the chosen ones. If we simply run them all, then we risk getting some of them tattooed if we use the file component to drop them in.

Package buckets

  • Informatics is switching from using the 'ed' name to using 'uoe' and 'world' which more clearly show the distribution license for the software. Any locally-packaged software which can be distributed beyond the School will in the future go into one of those two directories. We will retain the old directories for existing platforms, there is no intention of moving all the existing packages into the new directories.

Optional Software on 64bit and RPM updates/package spec conflicts

  • (Kenny) We now have at least two optional items of software (VMware* and Oracle Calendar) which install on the x86_64 OS but require extra i386 libraries to be installed. How do we ensure that updates to these extra RPMs are applied, and how do we manage spec conflicts between the option headers? For example, see the mdp/options/apps/oracle-calendar-client.h option.

Creating RPMs from CPAN modules

  • (Kenny) We (for some definition of we) require RPM(s) of BioPerl, and there's a CPAN module of it.

24th January, JCMB 2509

Scientific Linux 5.1 released

  • https://www.scientificlinux.org/news/sl51
  • (Stephen) I've generated a list of changes - Sl51Changes
  • (Kenny) New naming convention replaces el5 with el5_1 which results in updaterpms reporting it's downgrading packages with SL numbers added on (e.g. el5.3 -> el5_1.3) since _ comes before . (period).
  • (Stephen) New lcfg/options/test_sl5_updates.h header for for SL5.1 RPMs.

New CUPS component

Xen option

  • option
  • sl5 i386 packagelist
  • sl5 x86_64 packagelist
  • The existing lcfgf_sl5_kernel.rpms, lcfg_sl5_64_kernel.rpms had the Xen kernels and modules removed.
  • The existing base, updates, installbase and installroot also had all Xen stuff removed.
  • (Kenny) Shouldn't the Xen and virtualisation updates be put back in? They're prefixed with ? so they only get added to the profile if they've already been added. Or is it too late, since the originals are added by an option header? Maybe add the lcfg_sl5_xen.rpms packagelist using mSUBST(@lcfg_sl5_updates.rpms,@lcfg_sl5_xen.rpms @lcfg_updates.rpms) would allow the xen updates to be in lcfg_sl5_updates.rpms file and reduce maintenance over time?
  • Work in progress, under construction Stephen agrees that the lcfg_sl5_updates.rpms packagelist should come after the xen one.

auth and file component dependency

  • (Kenny) The file component starts up before (70) the auth component (99) on our SL5 boxes. Because we use the auth component to create local accounts the file component can't create the home directory with the correct owner (the user doesn't exist in /etc/passwd at the time). How to resolve this? Ordering dependecies between components too? Actually saw this during a client update, not at boot time.
  • Work in progress, under construction Kenny will reorder this to start the auth component before the file and updaterpms components.

Dual Boot timely updates

  • (Kenny) I'm working on the Windows XP side of scheduled reboots into Linux in the Open Access Labs. Once it's working, it'll be made available to IS supported school labs.
  • Work in progress, under construction James is continuing work on this.

libnss_ldap lookups failing at build time

  • (Kenny) I saw these in Geosciences when building a machine. Twelve minutes timeout each time updaterpms tried to create a user or group.
  • Work in progress, under construction Kenny will check the ordering of the nsswitch and openldap components.
  • Work in progress, under construction Kenny will check which users and groups need to be added to the auth component for SL5.

BackEx backup client

  • (Kenny) DST are working with the Unix Team to create an RPM and LCFG header file for the BackEx backup client.
  • Work in progress, under construction James will look into this.


  • (Alastair) What's happening with MacLCFG?
  • (Kenny) The interesting and immediate challenge is to support laptops. Problems with macpkg component and slow/remote networks.
  • (Alastair) Use contexts to control whether it downloads packages or not.
  • (Kenny) Large installations were discussed, including radmind. Geoff Lee uses it and LCFG to manage his Mac labs.
  • Work in progress, under construction Kenny will arrange a technical briefing meeting with Panos and Toby.

IS LCFG Infrastructure

  • (Kenny) DST and Unix Team have agreed on preferred hardware for IS LCFG server infrastructure. Will not only compile profiles, but be subversion server, upstream mirror and devolved RPM and Mac repositories, and over time will host the PIE build service and Mac NetBoot and image services.
  • (Alastair) Don't buy Xeons for compiling profiles - much slower than Core2 Duos.
  • Work in progress, under construction Alastair might benchmark an Opteron box - IS's suggested hardware is Opteron based.

-- KennyMacDonald - 18 Jan 2008

Topic revision: r154 - 2015-01-05 - squinney
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