What's cooking in the XS pot this week (2008-08-26)

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Wed Aug 27 01:27:14 UTC 2008

More OLPC spam :-) -- If you see a raft of "how do I make $something
work in F9" questions from me on fedora-devel... the email below
outlines what I am working on (in a nutshell, upgrading the School
Server spin to F9).

Help is deeply appreciated. While most stuff "just works", we have
some significant challenges:

 - Networking infrastructure. Jerry has been helping lots, and any
pointers into how to tweak the udev-triggered in ways that don't
backfire... welcome! Not many people seem to be playing with it, and
our setup has some "special needs".

 - Upgrade nicely.

 - Pungi/revisor configuration and scripts for a truly minimal install.

 - Kickstart / anaconda / firstboot tweaking.

cheers, m

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Martin Langhoff <martin.langhoff at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 11:57 AM
Subject: What's cooking in the XS pot this week (2008-08-26)
To: XS Devel <server-devel at lists.laptop.org>

xs-0.4 is out - so now we're on to xs-0.5. The plan for this week is to

 - Keep track of any issues on 0.4 -- please report them via Trac or
post them here

 - Add an activity installation server -- which may be available for
0.4. Douglas is working on this.

 - Make an attempt to rebase on F9. This attempt is time-boxed - if by
EoB Friday we have a  reasonably well cooked F9-based XS installer,
it's all go and xs-0.5 will be based on F9. If instead we have a pile
of issues, we'll document the issues and ask for help, but we'll drop
the F9 port from the xs-0.5 plans.

This is a hard-nosed risk mgmt strategy. F9 gives us security support
and a hopefully better build toolchain (anaconda, pungi and revisor
seem to be in much better shape, bugs in the F7 versions have been a
problem for us). On the other hand, it gives us no user-visible
features, and issues with the rebase can be very time consuming to

Reaching end-of-Sept with only a F9-based version with no new features
for end users would be a bad scenario. Same date but with a buggy
F9-based version and no new features is our worst case. My plan does
not allow for either to happen :-)

The other non-ideal scenario is a F7-based release with features, but
with no security support. This is not the best, but on the risks map
this is not as serious because most XS installs we are planning to
support in deployments are _not_ on the internet -- they either have
no WAN/Internet connection or they are behind NAT. Their value as
targets and their exposure is very low.

I know some readers care a lot about security, and I am deeply
grateful that they do. If you are one of them, do your bit: help us
make the F9 port a success.


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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