Linux Working Group meeting notes - 2010/01/29

Meeting Date

  • Friday January 29th, 2pm in DC 2314



Linux in teaching environment

  • current state of the environment: cpu-linux, fe-linux, ubuntu
  • goals for start of spring 2010
    • Linux servers, workstations, labs running consistent OS
      • same software, configuration
    • workstations in production: Graphics, SE, MC3007, MC3022?
    • consultant to provide secure mounting of $HOME
  • what's present, what's desired, how to get from A to B ?
  • version of Ubuntu for spring 2010: 8.04 vs 9.10 vs 10.04
  • physical security for public labs (MC3007, MC3022)
  • competing software versions needed by different individuals/courses
  • meeting basic teaching requirements
    • assignment submission/marking
    • course software PoCs are aware of should be tested
    • ISG environment functions



  • current state of the environment: cpu-linux, fe-linux, ubuntu
    • one cpu server running 8.04 - cpu06.student.cs
    • two servers would like to bring online running 8.04 - cpu02.student.cs and cpu04.student.cs
    • linux002 (running 9.04, upgrade to 9.10) linux004 (running 9.10)
      • gvcormac students may be using Ubuntu 9 systems this term for valgrind
    • in Spring will run at least one 8.04 system, most running 9.10, may have one running 10.04
    • invite instructors to test-try latest Linux on a Virtual Machine for test cases

  • version of Ubuntu for spring 2010: 8.04 vs 9.10 vs 10.04
    • probably 9.10, although 10.04 Alpha is available for download

  • Fraser will be looking at what packages are available and what should be available on our student systems

  • aim to reduce xhier footprint on Linux systems to configuration management
    • some software likely to continue being locally built due to lack of third party packages

  • how to keep track of what vendor packages have been installed by whom and make them consistent?
    • could keep a text file, RCS-controlled or simply comments
    • Dave would like to have a an automatable text file that could be de-commented
      • then run a regular cron job that updates the system (similar in concept to xhier maintenance)
    • Dawn wants to know how to control updates to the version of a package. Mid-term software updates might cause issues for courses
    • different versions of application software will be tied to different versions of Ubuntu

  • Linux in the core environment
    • setup roughly the same way as in the teaching environment
    • some software differences
      • Matlab/maple - can be installed but use UW non-teaching license server
    • xhier packages being used more for configuration management, rather than software management

  • Authentication
    • as of Ubuntu 9 they will all authenticate against the Active Directory
    • there will be no accounts master client, setpw, and related software
      • legacy (Solaris 8, Ubuntu 8) systems are currently using a local password
    • usernames under Active Directory have only a single entry - and that is 8-characters
    • home directories should be determinable by /u/$USER (which currently won't work)
    • long discussion about the pros/cons of maintaining 8+long userids

  • Vendor IDs
    • how to handle system/vendor names/uids
      • using idregistry
      • on the arch-master of the current version put it in the local_hostname exports package
    • if updating the package onto a new version of the OS, need to add it to /etc/passwd on the new arch master

  • Next meeting * two weeks today - Feb 12, 2010

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Topic revision: r4 - 2012-09-06 - BillInce
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