Ubuntu Server update for Lucid Alpha3

Posted in Uncategorized on January 26th, 2010 by Dave Walker

Last week the Lucid Alpha3 development phase started. So in following our Alpha2 announcement below is what’s on the horizon for Alpha3. Some of these are new blueprints for Alpha3 some are continued work from Alpha2.

Alpha3 Projects

Since the upcoming release is an LTS, a lot of this cycles work is centered around stability. Currently, we’re broadly targeting the following 3 areas:

Software integration
Improving our UEC & EC2 experience
QA & testing

There are also a few community driven specs which are targeted for the Lucid release:

The full list of blueprints related to these targets and our progress can be found on the server team wiki or on our work item tracker.

Feedback & Involvement

If you have any suggestions for AWS libraries in PHP/Perl/Python or are interested in packaging/contributing a library in another language, please let us know in the RFC thread

To make the most of our Server Papercuts project, please participate in the email discussion and nominate papercuts and/or volunteer to fix them!

To help us track down bugs and crashes better, we’re adding apport hooks to several key pieces of software. If you’d like to implement any of those hooks or contribute your own, please let us know in
the blueprint.

The Ubuntu Cluster Stack spec has issued a call for testing and would love to hear about your experiences.

Server Team 20100120 meeting minutes

Posted in Ubuntu Server meeting minutes, Uncategorized on January 20th, 2010 by Dave Walker

Here are the minutes of the meeting. They can also be found online
with the irc logs here.

Review ACTION points from previous meeting

  • smoser to look at getting Karmic images refreshed: bug verifiedfixed, image refresh coming up before end of week

Action: smoser to publish karmic cloud image refresh

  • mathiaz to send out AWS Client lib RFC: done
  • ttx to coordinate alpha ISO testing: done
  • ttx for papercuts: discuss acceptance criteria, project publicity plan: mail sent, more in this meeting
  • mathiaz to publish papercuts & apport efforts in our blog/community channels: done

  • mathiaz to publish request for iso testing in our regular blog/community channels: done

Spec quickreview

All alpha-3 targeted specs are on track.

To avoid useless noise, blueprint assignees are asked to refresh the status of their specs by using the “Status:” section of the blueprint whiteboard. It will then automagically show up in the report (http://people.canonical.com/~pitti/workitems/canonical-server-lucid-alpha-3.html).

Action: Everyone: update status for your specs before the meeting starts

Alpha3 subcycle planning

The final planning is still being discussed, and should be officialized this week. No change is expected in the Prio 1 specs (“High” priority), some priority changes might affect Prio2/3 specs, and some late specs might be introduced as Prio2/3 specs.


We discussed the papercuts acceptance criteria, as described in a recent ubuntu-server ML post. This looks fine and was approved. Final criteria should make clear that any server-related package (in main, universe or multiverse) is relevant, and that the fix should not introduce a new feature (and therefore be OK to fix after FeatureFreeze). The criteria might be further refined when we start hitting difficult nominations.

About the project publicity plan, mathiaz already posted a blog entry about the project on the ubuntuserver blog. This should be complemented by an ubuntu-devel ML post, personal blog posts (ttx, zul) and brought to the attention of the Ubuntu Weekly News team. alexm will talk about it in his loco. The message is about nominating your favorite server papercuts, so that we gather as many candidates as possible now.

Action: ttx, zul to blog about papercuts, make sure UWN gets the word

Action: ttx to send email about criteria and nomination to ubuntu-devel, ubuntu-server


Building on the UDS Dallas discussion about how having apport hooks in server packages can help the quality of the bug reports we receive, the server apport hooks effort aims at adding as many as we can before FeatureFreeze. zul created a page at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ServerTeam/ApportHooks with likely candidates. Anyone interested, please sign up for your favorite package, or add your own !

Weekly Updates & Questions for the QA Team

soren has been extending the ISO testing features, and can now at the click of a button run ISO tests of the cartesian product of i386/amd64,lvm/non-lvm,basic/mail/bind9/lamp/postgresql installs. Documentation on the setup is under way, and the process should be ultimately integrated with Marc Tardif’s checkbox work. soren will lead an UbuntuDeveloperWeek session about this next Tuesday at 2000 UTC.

Weekly Updates & Questions for the Kernel Team

Discussion concentrated on bug 494565, since a decision must be reached on the best option to follow. The -virtual kernel currently being a subflavour of -server and -generic-pae, building support for the block devices needed for EC2 and UEC would also affect those kernels. The options are CONFIG_SCSI_SYM53C8XX_2, CONFIG_VIRTIO_NET and CONFIG_VIRTIO_BLK. CONFIG_SCSI_SYM53C8XX_2=y, in particular, could have unexpected consequences on some rare hardware. Note that building in that SCSI support would not prevent it from being manually bypassed. Alternatives would be to make -virtual a flavour of its own (but this adds a lot of maintenance work for the kernel team), patch UEC so that it works without that SCSI support (potential performance issues, deviation from upstream), or abandon the idea of using no ramdisks for UEC. This should be further discussed on ubuntu-devel.

Action: smoser to raise thread about the no-ramdisk / -virtual config tradeoff

Assigned and to-be-assigned bugs

List at http://qa.ubuntu.com/reports/team-assigned/canonical-server-assigned-bug-tasks.html still needs to be cleaned up to be more useful.

Action: zul, kirkland to unassign themselves from “maybe working on one day” bugs

Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Wednesday, January 27th at 14:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.

Ubuntu Server papercuts project

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20th, 2010 by Dave Walker

At UDS Lucid in Dallas the Ubuntu Server team had a session on how to take the opportunity of the LTS release to concentrate on fixing highly-annoying, low-hanging fruit bugs. This effort lead by Thierry Carrez was named Server papercuts as a tribute to the famous One hundred papercuts project from the Desktop experience team.

The idea is to spend time during this less-featureful development cycle to fix server usability issues to make Ubuntu Server even more sysadmin-friendly. The first part of this work involves identifying such issues, and for that we need the help of the Ubuntu Server user community, which experiences those issues every day. The second part is about fixing these Server papercuts. This is a great way to start being involved in bug fixing and Ubuntu development since these low hanging fruit should all be relatively easy-to-fix bugs.

How can I help?

If you come a across a bug in a server related package that looks like a good candidate, open a task against the server papercut project. The Ubuntu Server team will then review the different nomination and accept bugs that can be considered as low-hanging fruits.

If you have a patch to fix a bug, grab it and attach it to the bug. Or better, prepare a bzr branch and submit a merge proposal: the Ubuntu Server team will review it and guide you in the process of making your fix available in the archive.

The Ubuntu Server team looks at improving bug report quality with more apport hooks

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18th, 2010 by Dave Walker

The big number of Ubuntu bugs can sometimes be overwhelming. Providing high quality bugs can help in getting the bugs triaged and fixed faster. This is where Apport comes into the game – a tool used to automatically generate crash reports for debugging. Apport can be extended via hooks to provide specific information on a per package basis. For example the Ubuntu Server team added hooks for MySQL during the Karmic release cycle. Relevant logs as well as configuration information are automatically added to every bug reported against the mysql package.

If you have ideas about adding apport hooks for other server related packages let the Ubuntu Server team know. Add it to the wiki page, look up how to write apport hooks and prepare a patch – or better a bzr branch. The Ubuntu Server team will review it and help you integrate your work into the archive.

RFC: Amazon Web Services client libraries

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14th, 2010 by Dave Walker

The Ubuntu Server team is looking for feedback on which AWS client libraries should be made available as part of Ubuntu. Making it easy to develop applications that use AWS and  UEC services is one of the goal of the Ubuntu Server team. The AWS client libraries blueprint focuses on listing existing projects and then choose which ones should be packaged for Lucid.

If you know of great projects in PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, Java (or any other platform)  that help using AWS and UEC services such as EC2 or S3 make a note of them in the wiki page (preferred choice) or by leaving a comment below.

Lucid Alpha2: Call for testing Ubuntu Server isos and EC2/UEC images

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13th, 2010 by Dave Walker

While preparing for the second milestone on the road the Lucid Lynx release, the Ubuntu Server team is looking for help in testing the Ubuntu Server isos and EC2/UEC images. If you have some spare server hardware and have some time to dive into a RAID or LVM installation, head to the ISO QA tracker and pick one of the remaining ISO test cases.

If you’re more interested in the Cloud, either on EC2 or UEC, Lucid alpha2 candidates are available for testing as well. Bundle, run, test one of the image – and don’t forget to report your results to the ISO QA Tracker.