[Server-devel] the plan for Puppet

Jerry Vonau jvonau at shaw.ca
Wed May 1 16:33:03 EDT 2013

On Wed, 2013-05-01 at 11:44 -0600, Daniel Drake wrote:
> On Wed, May 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:
> > I was wondering if someone on this list (Daniel, or Martin, someone
> > who knows more about puppet) can speak to the design behind the
> > incorporation of Puppet in 0.7.
> The incorporation is minimal. The client was added to the base install.
> It is just one small step further in the "official blessing" of puppet
> as an XS maintenance tool that happened a few years ago.
> That really is sufficient to get puppet synchronization deployed. It
> is hard to get much more specific without excluding certain deployment
> scenarios. And it also depends what you want to actually use puppet
> for, there are many possible uses. But there is some potential
> guidance here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XS_Puppet
> Note that our blessing of puppet is for synchronization of XS, not for
> synchronization of XOs.
> > Additionally, I'd like to hear more about services like xs-rsync that
> > are available on the server, but documentation is scattered. If/how
> > can activities be pushed to XOs seamlessly?
> That has to be done with xs-activity-server
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XS-activity-server
> And the XO image has to be configured to look at the school server for
> activities (easily done with olpc-os-builder).

Is there not code in sugar-update-control that automatically adds the
schoolserver in the update urls if found? I could of sworn I saw
something in the source about that.[1] Think there is a bug in bitfrost
where multiple urls don't get parsed properly.[2]

> You can use puppet to feed activities into this system from a central
> server. The README is missing some details here. You (or puppet) puts
> the activities in /library/xs-activity-server/activities and then runs
> xs-regenerate-activities.
> The missing step here is automatic activity update; every XO user has
> to go to the control panel and choose to upgrade activities. Hopefully
> something that can be automated in future.

What is missing is a cli tool that can be called by some other means.

> > RPM installations on the XO?
> That would be done by creating a new image in olpc-os-builder (with
> the RPMs added) and then offering it to XOs via xs-rsync.
> http://dev.laptop.org/git/users/martin/xs-rsync/tree/README describes
> the steps that you need to instruct puppet to take.

Can you modify the files being served by <xs-rsync>/root directly? Think
the <xs-rsync>/contents would need to be regenerated then. 

> Then XOs can upgrade manually (by running olpc-update on the command
> line with the school server URL). That can also happen automatically,
> with a bit more work. The XS oats server does not advertise updates to
> the XOs although some patches were posted for that a few years ago.

I'd love to see the automation, maybe advertising the xs-rsync service
with avahi, then have the client scan for the service in place of
supplying the url.


> The oatslite oats server (designed to be run on a central server, not
> on the XS) can be used to advise XOs that there is an OS update
> available on their school server, resulting in this upgrade process
> being fully automated.
> > Pulling logs via ds-backup?
> Not sure what this means.
> Overall these kinds of tasks are possible with these systems, but we
> lack one crucial item (automatic activity update), a bit of
> documentation and some polish. Note the pattern here that puppet is
> used to feed stuff to the XS, then XS/OLPC systems are used to feed
> stuff to the XO.
> Daniel
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