Archive for February, 2009

February in the archive: a view from the Ubuntu Server Team

Posted in A month in the archive on Friday, 27 February 2009 by Robbie

On February the 19th another important milestone has been reached on the road to the Jaunty Jackalope: Feature Freeze. The Ubuntu Developers are now focusing on fixing bugs to produce a rock solid release by then end of April 2009. Here are some highlights from the Ubuntu Server team:

Ubuntu in the cloud

The long-awaited Eucalyptus package made it to the archive just before Feature Freeze paving the way for easy deployment of a cloud infrastructure built upon Ubuntu Server. In its wake a handful of java related components have also become available from the archive:

  • Apache Axis2 is a Web services engine implemented in C which can be used to provide and consume WebServices. Both SOAP and REST style webservice are supported with binary data being exchanged via MTOM.
  • The WS-Security specification is provided by the rampart package, the Apache web services security engine.

Other virtualization related components have also been updated:

  • kvm: the new upstream release ships with an updated version of qemu as well as loads of bugfixes. Nested svm is also available in Jaunty – now you can run kvm in kvm in kvm…
  • libvirt 0.6.0 brings in improved support for daemon restart as well as copy-on-write storage volume support.
  • virt-manager 0.6.1 supports remote storage management and provisioning, remote VM installation  and VM migration. Avahi is also used to detect existing libvirt systems available on the local network.
  • opennebula has been updated to version 1.2. Cloning and transferring vms is easier thanks to the new Image Management feature. Networking has also been improved.

Samba 3.3.0

The latest version of samba 3 has been uploaded to Jaunty. In the area of file serving it brings extended cluster support as well as new experimental VFS modules to store NTFS ACLs on Samba file servers. On the Winbind front two new idmap backends have been added (adex and hash) as well as support for user and group aliasing. The idmap_ad backend now supports multiple domains.

AppArmor profiles

Jamie Strandbodge has been working on new AppArmor profiles. Both dhcp and tcpdump packages have seen the addition of a profile: dhcp-client is now protected by AppArmor.

Encrypted swap

Dustin Kirkland added a script to the ecryptfs-utils to help configuring systems to use an encrypted swap.

Directory services

Mathias Gug uploaded a new version of openldap. Better support for GnuTLS as well as a transition to libdb 4.7 are available from the jaunty archive.

libdb transition

Scott Kitterman and other developers spent quite some time updating packages to use the newest versions of libdb. 4.2 is almost gone now that openldap has been updated to use 4.7. Other versions are also on their way out with dspam, awffull and ggcov being built with the latest version of libdb.

/etc under revision control

Thierry Carrez has been busy merging new versions from Debian. A daily cron job has been added that will commit any changes to /etc to the local tree, bzr being the default vcs used in Ubuntu.

Boot from multipathed devices

Timo Aaltonen updated grub to support booting from multipathed devices.

Hardware management tools

Ante Karamatić added dell specific commands to the ipmitools package.

krb5 and Microsoft kerberos implementation

Mathias Gug integrated a likewise-open patch to better support Microsoft kerberos implementation in MIT krb5.

Phoronix test suite

Dustin Kirkland worked with Michael Owens to make the phoronix test suite available in Ubuntu. This automated suite is able to test and benchmark different parts of a Linux OS.

New django applications

As the popularity of django is rising so is the number of django applications available from the Ubuntu archive: python-django-tagging, python-django-evolution, python-django-djblets and python-django-debug-toolbar are now available in Jaunty.

AMQP support

AMQP, the emerging standard for high performance enterprise messaging, is now easily available in Ubuntu with the addition of rabbitmq-server to the archive. Written in the erlang language and based on the Open Telecom Platform rabbitmq features a complete, conformant and interoperable implementation of the published AMQP specification.

Server Team 20090224 meeting minutes

Posted in Ubuntu Server meeting minutes on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 by Thierry Carrez

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

Postfix and Dovecot integration

ivoks created a wiki page for ideas about improving the mail server task post-jaunty, available at This will be the base of the discussion for future (Karmic Koala) improvements. He reported all known concerns about this integration as being addressed.

Get rid of old libdb versions

ScottK and vorian reported good progress on that project. There is still an issue with ldiskfsprogs dependency on libdb4.4 that needs to be worked out.


soren announced that Eucalyptus recently entered the archive, which gives us a free implementation of EC2 and S3 that you can deploy on your own infrastructure. This is convenient for testing things before pushing them to the real EC2, or if you want to offer computing resources internal in your organization, but policies forbids putting data or code on something as public as EC2. He welcomes alpha testers, however at that point there is no “getting started” pointers yet, as some things need fixing before it’s ready for mass testing.

ClamAV update

ScottK reported imminent release of clamav 0.95. There are still a few issues with libclamav rdepends to iron out.

Open discussion

Two subjects were raised during the open discussion. ivoks mentioned users complaining on our effort on supporting LTS. Bugs get fixed in development releases but are only rarely the object of an LTS SRU. Part of the problem is that bugs in Fix Released state tend to disappear from default launchpad bug views, and that the nomination system doesn’t really result in clear tracking of bugs affecting a given release. This interesting discussion would benefit from being a future meeting agenda point by itself, so that we can also invite some QA members to the discussion.

ACTION: ivoks to add to next week agenda an item about better SRU bugtracking

The second subject was raised by ScottK and is about Landscape integration into MOTD. Is it a good idea for Ubuntu to allow packages to output links to proprietary add-ons ? dendrobates answered that the decision on that matter was outside this meeting realm of control, but that this opinion would be reported up and could make a good UDS discussion. ScottK replied that this, affecting the server product, was in our realm of control and would have preferred this matter to be resolved before Jaunty release.

Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, March 3rd at 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.

Server Team 20090217 meeting minutes

Posted in Ubuntu Server meeting minutes on Thursday, 19 February 2009 by Robbie

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

Update ServerGuide for Jaunty

sommer listed all the sections that needed to be reviewed on the wiki page. Help in testing and giving feedback is welcome.

Postfix and Dovecot integration

mathiaz announced that ivoks’ work on integrating dovecot and postfix had been uploaded. Everything planned for Jaunty has now been implemented.

ScottK mentioned that clamav 0.95 was due out soon and there was a chance it would make it into jaunty post-FF. 0.94.2 is also available from the hardy-backports repository and should be available from dapper-backports soon too.

ACTION: ivoks to create a wiki page for ideas about improving the mail server task post-jaunty.

Power management

kirkland gave a brief overview of the power management state for server hardware: powernowd is installed by default on -server systems to enable cpu freq scaling. Relevant packages for suspend/hibernate and resume by WoL have also been added to the -server iso. He is mainly interested in feedback on hardware where suspend/hibernate can be verified as (not) working.

He also mentioned that he created a ssh wrapper, which pings first to see if a host is alive. If not a wakeonlan request is sent and after 3 seconds the wrapper tries to login into the machine again. His machines wake from suspend when he needs them and it only takes about 3 seconds for them to wake up which is lot faster than ~60seconds to boot.

He plans to do more tests about power consumption.

ACTION: kirkland to blog about using suspend/resume for servers.

Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 24th at 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.

An improved mail server stack in Jaunty: Dovecot and Postfix integration

Posted in Call for testing, Ubuntu Server on Friday, 13 February 2009 by Robbie

A session during last UDS was dedicated to improving the mail server stack available in Ubuntu Server. One of the item that came out of the discussion was a better integration between postfix and dovecot. Ante Karamatic worked on implementing it for Jaunty and his results have been uploaded.

To test it all you need is a jaunty system and install the dovecot-postfix package. Once the installation has completed the following configuration will be available:

SASL authentication for smtp services

Postfix is automatically configured to use Dovecot’s SASL authentifcation daemon. Remote SMTP clients can be authenticated to the Postfix SMTP server using the Dovecot user database. The same credentials (username/password, kerberos) can be used for accessing imap, pop3 and smtp services.

Dovecot deliver as the default Local Delivery Agent

postfix will use Dovecot’s deliver command to distribute incoming email to the end user’s mailbox using the Maildir format. Combining Dovecot deliver support for sieve scripts and the managesieve service enabled by default a complete server-side mail filtering solution is available out of the box.

Tls for smtp  services

Tls is made available for smtp and smtpd services provided by postfix while imap and pop3 are available via ssl. Security hasn’t been left out of the picture.

So if you’re interested in a integrated mail stack providing a combination of smtp, imap, pop3 and managesieve services the Jaunty Jackalope will suit you. Have a look at it, test it and with one simple command:

apt-get install dovecot-postfix

Let know the Ubuntu Server teamabout your suggestions and comments.

Server Team 20090210 meeting minutes

Posted in Ubuntu Server meeting minutes on Tuesday, 10 February 2009 by Robbie

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

SRU for ebox

mathiaz reported that the relevant ebox packages for the intrepid SRU had been uploaded to the intrepid-proposed pocket. They’re waiting to be accepted by the archive team.

Screen profiles

kirkland announced that a new version of the screen-profile package had been uploaded to the archive. Some new features have been added (ec2-cost estimator for the status bar) as well as the usual round of bug fixes. He considers screen-profiles to be feature complete for Jaunty. A PPA has been created to provide screen and screen-profiles packages for intrepid and hardy. Testing is welcome.

Update ServerGuide for Jaunty

sommer mentioned that a few sections of the server guide had been updated. The list is kept in a wiki page and updated sections are marked as needing a review. Help in doing so would be appreciated.

ACTION: sommer to ping mdke about keeping up-to-date

ACTION: sommer to mark all relevant section as Needs review rather then Done

Postfix and Dovecot integration

ivoks gave a status of the dovecot/postfix integration planned for jaunty. The goal is to have postfix use the dovecot lda, provide SASL authentication via dovecot and use maildir as the default mail store. After some discussion it was suggested to provide a different dovecot configuration file (dovecot-postfix.conf) and modify dovecot’s init script to use it if available instead of the default configuration file.

ACTION: ivoks to prepare a debdiff implementing the proposed solution.

Power management

kirkland noted that cpu frequently scaling was not enabled in a default server install. He asked whether powernowd should be installed by default by a server install. soren pointed to a thread on ubuntu-server discussing this topic.

kirkland also reported on his suspend and hibernate tests with server hardware: all of them worked beautifully. In the process he wrote up a MIR for the wakeonlan package. He is looking for volunteers to test suspend and hibernate on server hardware.

Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 17th at 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.

Server Team 20090203 meeting minutes

Posted in Ubuntu Server meeting minutes on Thursday, 5 February 2009 by Robbie

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

SRU for ebox

ACTION: sommer to prepare new ebox debdiffs

ACL by default

ivoks found an old wiki page dealing with enabling ACL by default. He will use this page to track acl support in relevant packages.

Screen profiles

nealmcb suggested the following text to be used for the screen factoid:

Screen is a window manager for terminal sessions, also good for use over ssh etc.  See for status bars, clocks, notifiers (reboot-required, updates-Havailable) etc.

kirland explained that the first time screen is launched the user will be able to select a profile. The default is the one shipped in the screen package. Once the profile has been selected the helper won’t be launched anymore. Other bugs have been fixed and testing is welcomed. Feedback should be sent to the ubuntu-server mailing list or file bugs against the screen-profile package in LP.

ACTION: nealmcb to update the screen factoids

EtcUnderRevisionControl status

Koon reported that bugs had been filed against the etckeeper package. Some of them are already fixed while others require more work. Help is welcomed.

Encrypted private/home with filename encryption available

ACTION: kirkland to make a call for testing filename encryption via a blog post

Update ServerGuide for Jaunty

sommer has updated several sections of the Ubuntu Server guide. They’ve been marked as Done in the wiki page. Help in reviewing them is welcomed.

Agree on next meeting date and time

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 10th at 16:00 UTC in #ubuntu-meeting.