Posts Tagged ‘Spacewalk’

Some impressive figures about Spacewalk and my two cents

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Today, I saw a interessing post on the spacewalk-devel mailing list.

Lines of code
Spacewalk has 2,908,841 lines of code, created in estimated 843 person years. This means 843 developers are needed to rewrite Spacewalk from scratch in one year! That’s amazing.

Number of bugs fixed
As stated in the post, the Spacewalk-team fixed 1012 bugs in the year 2010. Some 1061 bugs are still due to be solved, the Spacewalk-team will not running out of work in 2011. See RHN Satellite bugs and Spacewalk bugs.

Contributions from outside Red Hat
96% of the contributions are from Red Hat people. Looks like my small contribution to the German translation is just about 0.0000001% ;-). Seriously: This should be improved. More people outside of Red Hat should contribute. How? A good way can be a better support for Debian based distributions as well as for SLES/OpenSUSE and other distributions. I think this would attracting more Red Hat outsiders.

Another important thing: Instead of mailing list posts, Fedora should release its advisories similar to Red Hat. This would enable people to have the errata in its Spacewalk servers. This would lead into more people interested in Spacewalk in the Fedora community.

The IRC communication stats can somehow be a bit problematic. Is it really needed to log all IRC traffic? Its was stated that 24.1% have been questions, the mail list post also disclosed which are the most aggressive persons and so on. Privacy? For myself: I’m probably going to change my real name nick to something else…

Missing numbers
It would be interesting how many people are subscribed to the spacewalk and spacewalk-devel mailing lists and the number of posts to these lists.

Major achievements in 2010
This is just my point of view…

– PostgreSQL support reached a point where it is ready for broad testing.
– spacewalk-repo-sync allows to directly sync with yum repos.
– Staging of content
– Support for eliminating duplicate system profiles
– Performance improvements (felt, not measured)

Did I had fun this year?
I had a lot of fun with Spacewalk, for sure. I did not challenged Spacewalk with all the stuff that I need @work with the RHN Satellite.

Will I have fun in 2011?
With Spacewalk of course, it is a cool project. If the Fedora project decides to publish Spacewalk-like erratas I’m pretty sure that France will have a problem to produce the amount of Champagne needed. If it comes down to the RHN Satellite: Due to severe bugs, I only can manage RHEL6 systems with some workarounds but I am confident that this will change soon.

In short: Yes I’ll having fun 🙂

Important RHN Satellite 5.4 bugs has been fixed

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Red Hat recently released some bugfixes for the RHN-Satellite version 5.4. They needed approx. one month to develop a fix for those serious bugs.

If you upgraded to sat540 before those bugsfixes have been released you will have a crippled database. The errata provides a way how to fix it. It needs some time, but it works perfectly. For “my” satellites it was taking about 48h for both satellites, about 12h for the master and 36h for the slave satellite.

This time, Red Hat’s QA also made a good job, it is now working like expected. The developers had a hard time too, according to the git log they worked on weekends too.

If you are new to sat540 or upgrading to it, please ensure that you do NOT take any action before applying the errara!

Have fun! (This time REALLY for sure)

Pulp, what is it about it?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Thanks to Máirín’s posting I got aware of the Pulp project.

What is it? I had a brief look at it, it is a Red Hat sponsored project with a similar functionality like Spacewalk and RHN Satellite.

This brings me to the question: Is Pulp is intended to be a replacement of Spacewalk? It can make sense, it is written in Python as Cobbler is. Cobbler and Spacewalk are not really playing nice together. Spacewalk used Java, Perl and Python.

Anyway, Pulp seems to be in its early childhood, but it seems to be a really interesting project. What are the plans for the future? And what are the plans for Spacewalk and thus RHN Satellite?

Having fun? As soon as I get the time to install it and give Pulp a closer look….

Spacewalk 1.2 released -> PostgreSQL Support quite ready -> First analysis

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

Today, Spacewalk – the upstream project of the RHN satellite – released version 1.2. One of the promises the developers made was better support of PostgreSQL. It seems that lot of stuff is now working. As I promised, I’m going to examine whats working and whats not. I’ll file every single bug I’ll find, please do the same in a polite manner.

First impression
Installation and first sync of yum channels works like PostgreSQL support was there from the first second. Nevertheless, there is still a lot to test.

How to install Spacewalk with PostgreSQL?
It is straight forward:

  • Set up a PostgreSQL database as described here
  • Follow and exclude things that mentions Oracle
  • Go for the the instructions about PostgreSQL.

And enjoy your newly installed Spacewalk server w/o Oracle!

What I proofed working so far:

  • Installing with PostgreSQL went smooth and much faster than the stuff with an Oracle setup
  • Creating a CentOS5 Channel
  • Add a yum repository (
  • Linking the yum repo to a channel

Conclusion so far

  • Spacewalk feels (not measured) MUCH (very much) faster with PostgreSQL. (Feels like more than the tripple speed)
  • PostgreSQL support seems to be almost ready for production (the tested stuff)
  • As RHN Satellite 5.4 is out now and the ISS bug is fixed (in spacewalk-nightly, not yet with an erratum) Red Hat should and can now focus on the complete replacement of the Oracle embedded DB.
  • RHN Satellite 6.0 can and should be released w/o being bound to Oracle

More things to test

Since syncing repos is a time consuming task (seems to be much less time consuming with PostgreSQL), some tests are still pending. There is no single System yet subscribed, no deployment tests etc. I’ll test them later and let you know.

Some more words to say

The RHN Satellite and Spacewalk developer crew (once again) made an outstanding good job (I wish I could say the same on QA). At FUDCon 2010 in Zurich, Miroslav stated that nobody is willing to test the PostgreSQL support. No wonder it was not yet ready to test it at that time. Now, PostgreSQL enabled Spacewalk is ready for being tested by broad public , do it as I do it!

Having fun? Yes sure, I’m going to do some more intensive tests on the PostgreSQL support.



RHN Satellite 5.4, first analysis

Monday, November 1st, 2010

First of all: Where is the Red Hat Press release? Nada, nothing, nichts (yet)….

As I wrote in my previous post, I’ll keep you posted with my latest findings.

In another post, I was speculating about the upstream version. Now, Sat540 seems to be based on Spacewalk 1.2 which is not yet released. I was quite puzzled about that fact. Usually upstream (Fedora) projects are ahead of its commercial counterparts, this time it seems to be the other way round.

Major Features
I was quite guessing right on the expected new features:

  • RHEL6 Support (SHA-256 Checksums on RPMs)
  • Support for importing and syncing of external yum repositories
  • Find duplicate entitlements of systems
  • Oracle 11g support
  • Recording of the install-date of packages

Additionally the following features have been added:

  • Symlink Support in the configuration management
  • SELinux in configuration management
  • Flex Guests enhancements

In contrary to my expectations:

  • For the moment, Sat540 runs only on RHEL5, thus meaning Tomcat5

The included version of Cobbler is 2.0.7. In EPEL5 it is 2.0.3, in EPEL5-test as well as in Fedora 14 beta it is 2.0.5. At least in sat540 it is the same version as in EPEL6-Beta, 2.0.7. The cobbler git repository mentions cobbler 2.1.0. At FUDCon in Zurich I was talking to some Red Hat guys. They told me: The cobbler guy left Red Hat. Hmmm… What is going on?

Real tests and improvements
I was not yet able to install sat540 yet, I’m waiting for the certificate… Nevertheless I made some tests with Spacewalk 1.1 which have been very promising.

At work
Today @work, I just prepared the staging/test satellite for being upgraded from 5.3 to 5.4. I’m still waiting for the new certificate from the Red Hat support. This brings me to another question: Why the heck is a new certificate needed? That’s boring…

As soon as I get the certificate from Red Hat, I’m going to upgrade the Staging/Test Satellite @work, so you can expect more detailed reports soon.

Have fun? I guess yes 😉