Dev Week -- Contribute to Ubuntu Server, do Server Papercuts ! -- ThierryCarrez -- Thu, Jul 15th, 2010

(02:00:55 PM) ttx: Hello everyone !
(02:01:16 PM) ttx: My session is a continuation on the "it's easy to help Ubuntu" theme, but more specifically addressing Ubuntu Server.
(02:01:37 PM) ttx: Remember, feel free to ask questions to #ubuntu-classroom-chat, prefixed by [QUESTION]
(02:01:49 PM) ttx: I'll stop a few times to answer them as we go
(02:02:03 PM) ttx: So this session is about how to contribute to Ubuntu Server by helping with the Server Papercuts project.
(02:02:20 PM) ttx: Thanks to vish you now already know everything there is to know about the One hundred Papercuts project.
(02:02:33 PM) ttx: As a reminder, that project is about finding and fixing minor annoyances that affect the usability of the desktop.
(02:02:48 PM) ttx: Those are usually low-hanging fruit, but can be hard to spot for seasoned users.
(02:03:05 PM) ttx: When we discussed how to improve Ubuntu Server polish for 10.04 LTS, the Server team came up with the idea of doing Server papercuts.
(02:03:19 PM) ttx: Finding and fixing minor annoyances that affect the Ubuntu Server sysadmin experience.
(02:03:32 PM) ttx: We did that over the two beta iterations for Lucid Lynx and fixed 19 bugs.
(02:03:48 PM) ttx: At UDS Maverick we decided to continue that effort over the Maverick cycle.
(02:04:05 PM) ttx: One common thing I hear at conferences or when meeting Ubuntu Server users is "how can I help".
(02:04:25 PM) ttx: It is wonderful to have such a helpful community, but sometimes it's difficult to find something for them to start with.
(02:04:47 PM) ttx: In this session I'll present the Server papercuts effort as an easy way for you to participate to Ubuntu Server.
(02:04:56 PM) ttx: Questions so far ?
(02:05:35 PM) ttx: OK then, let's continue
(02:05:49 PM) ttx: Dealing with papercuts is a two-step effort: (1) Collection and (2) Fix
(02:06:02 PM) ttx: If you're an Ubuntu Server user, you can help in the Collection area.
(02:06:16 PM) ttx: If you want to get involved in development or packaging, you can help in the Fix area
(02:06:33 PM) ttx: Just a few words about the structure of the effort. We organize separate iterations.
(02:06:47 PM) ttx: In Lucid we had two: one during beta1 and the other during beta2.
(02:07:03 PM) ttx: In Maverick we have 3 of them: one during alpha2, one during alpha3 and one during beta.
(02:07:22 PM) ttx: The alpha2 one is completed (10 bugs fixed):
(02:07:48 PM) ttx: The alpha3 one is in progress (18 bugs targeted):
(02:08:09 PM) ttx: The beta iteration will soon start and will be tracked at
(02:08:31 PM) ttx: So the first stage of the process is the Collection. If you are an Ubuntu Server user, you can help us with that.
(02:08:51 PM) ttx: If you notice anything that represents a minor annoyance impacting the usability of Ubuntu Server, you can report it as a Server papercut.
(02:09:02 PM) ttx: The process to nominate Server papercuts is the following:
(02:09:18 PM) ttx: 1. If the papercut isn?t already filed as an Ubuntu bug in Launchpad, file a bug against the affected Ubuntu package
(02:09:33 PM) ttx: 2. Look up the bug you want to nominate as a Server papercut, then click on ?Also affects project?
(02:09:45 PM) ttx: 3. Click ?Choose another project? and type in ?server-papercuts?, click ?Continue?
(02:09:54 PM) ttx: 4. Click on ?Add to Bug report?
(02:10:07 PM) ttx: Then a new task will be added to the bug to show it's been reported as a Server papercut.
(02:10:24 PM) ttx: You can start now to nominate bugs for the beta iteration of the Maverick Server Papercuts !
(02:10:36 PM) ttx: It sounds like a minor task, but it's really useful for us.
(02:10:49 PM) ttx: We are so used to how Ubuntu Server behaves that we overlook things.
(02:11:09 PM) ttx: Your input is therefore very valuable, and a very simple way to contribute to Ubuntu Server success !
(02:11:26 PM) ttx: Any question on the Papercuts nomination process ?
(02:12:14 PM) ttx: Our only listener said "nope", so I guess I'll continue :)
(02:12:36 PM) ttx: The nomination period for the Maverick Beta iteration will end on August 1st. Our goal for this one is to have 12 targets.
(02:12:56 PM) ttx: During the August 3rd Ubuntu Server meeting (at 1800 UTC on #ubuntu-meeting), we'll review the nominations and select the targets based on the following criteria:
(02:13:08 PM) ttx: 1. Must affect server packages (in main, universe or multiverse)
(02:13:18 PM) ttx: 2. Should meet current freezes requirements
(02:13:39 PM) ttx: Since the beta iteration starts after FeatureFreeze, we will reject for this one papercuts that imply to add new features (or change behavior)...
(02:13:49 PM) ttx: We'll keep them for the next papercuts cycle !
(02:13:59 PM) ttx: 3. Must affect "Server experience", like:
(02:14:31 PM) ttx: * Out-of-the-box readiness (bad default configs, package requiring manual steps to go from installed to running)
(02:14:43 PM) ttx: * Teamplay (packages not working well together, while making sense to be used together)
(02:15:04 PM) ttx: * Smooth operation (anything requiring tedious or repetitive manual work)
(02:15:17 PM) ttx: * Missing documentation (missing man pages, missing inline comments in default configs)
(02:15:30 PM) ttx: * Upgrade issues (init scripts failures blowing up maintainer scripts)
(02:15:39 PM) ttx: * Cruft (broken symlinks, residue of purge)
(02:15:49 PM) ttx: * Server feeling (abusive recommends)
(02:16:04 PM) ttx: 4. Must be easy to fix (less than 2 hours to fix, with an obvious and non-controversial solution)
(02:16:19 PM) ttx: That's about it for the Collection stage. Questions ?
(02:16:30 PM) ttx: <saji89> QUESTION: Does server papercut involve only small bugs from the ubuntu server edition, or can it include bugs reported by users using LAMP server, etc on their Ubuntu desktop edition?
(02:17:05 PM) ttx: There is no strict separation between desktop and server... it's the same platform, only different packages installed
(02:17:34 PM) ttx: so if the bug they experience is on a server package deployed on a desktop setup, that's ok
(02:18:00 PM) ttx: (as the "pure" server users would probably be affected too)
(02:18:24 PM) ttx: Any other question ? Questions on the criteria ?
(02:19:14 PM) ttx: ok, let's move to the second stage then
(02:19:22 PM) ttx: The second stage is actual bugfixing.
(02:19:39 PM) ttx: If you are interested in participating to Ubuntu Server development and packaging, Server Papercuts are the best bugs to start with.
(02:19:53 PM) ttx: Criteria (4) above says that the bug should take less than 2 hours to fix and have an obvious solution.
(02:20:10 PM) ttx: Furthermore, the Ubuntu Server team will be available to help you in #ubuntu-server in getting your fix together, and to sponsor it when done.
(02:20:25 PM) ttx: So it's really a neat way to start with Ubuntu Server development and bugfixing, if you're interested in that.
(02:20:52 PM) ttx: If you're interested to participate in the maverick beta iteration, starting Aug 3rd you'll be able to pick bugs from
(02:21:14 PM) ttx: If you want to participate *now*, feel free to have a look at
(02:21:33 PM) ttx: If you see an yet-unfixed bug there that you'd like to fix, contact its current assignee (or comment on the bug)
(02:21:45 PM) ttx: He should be very happy to help you fixing it, rather than fix it himself !
(02:21:54 PM) ttx: Teach a man how to fish... or something like that
(02:22:14 PM) ttx: The papercuts bugs are mostly small packaging bugs
(02:22:39 PM) ttx: If you need pointers about Debian packaging or Ubuntu development in general, please see:
(02:22:54 PM) ttx: The Server papercuts project is at :
(02:23:09 PM) ttx: The Server papercutters team (with a cool badge) lives at:
(02:23:31 PM) ttx: Feel free to join the team if you want to get notified on new papercuts !
(02:23:50 PM) ttx: The Spec describing the Maverick Papercuts iterations is at:
(02:24:02 PM) ttx: That's about it for the Server papercuts ! Questions ?
(02:25:53 PM) ttx: No question -- so it's all crystal clear and everybody will soon help us finding and fixing Server Papercuts ! Cool !
(02:26:08 PM) ttx: Since we have quite some time left, I'll mention other great ways of contributing to Ubuntu Server :)
(02:26:39 PM) ttx: To improve our bug reports, we use apport hooks to automatically provide the relevant information
(02:26:54 PM) ttx: Writing an apport hook is quite easy and documented at:
(02:27:13 PM) ttx: We have a list of packages that could use an apport hook, see:
(02:27:57 PM) ttx: If you want to help in that area, zul is your man
(02:28:33 PM) ttx: Another possibility is to help us continue migrating services to upstart
(02:29:10 PM) ttx: It's slightly more complex than writing an apport hook, and more FAIL when you get it wrong
(02:29:48 PM) ttx: tracks that effort
(02:30:21 PM) ttx: Questions on apport hooks or upstart scripts ?
(02:31:32 PM) ttx: OK then, moving on to more exciting ways to contribute to Ubuntu Server then :)
(02:32:11 PM) ttx: There are several tasks for contributors...
(02:32:22 PM) ttx: You can triage bugs and become a Triager.
(02:32:32 PM) ttx: The goal is to move bug that are in a NEW status to a CONFIRMED or INVALID status.
(02:33:15 PM) ttx: Since it is difficult to know each and every server package in Ubuntu, we plan on setting up communities of practice over sets of server packages
(02:33:37 PM) ttx: like "mail services", "directory services"...
(02:34:01 PM) ttx: Thos would be ubuntu-server subteams, grouping experts in each field
(02:34:22 PM) rosset is now known as rosset|away
(02:34:27 PM) ttx: We are still thinking how we can pull that off, but that's the direction we are heading to
(02:34:37 PM) ttx: You can improve packages and become a Packager
(02:34:54 PM) ttx: that's basically taking bugs and fix them, forwarding patches to Debian in the process
(02:35:09 PM) ttx: You can participate in testing plans and become a Tester...
(02:35:33 PM) ttx: There are two types of testing efforts: milestone testing (ISO testing) and calls for testing
(02:36:11 PM) ttx: At every milestone we produce Ubuntu Server deliverables (ISOs, UEC cloud images, EC2 AMIs...)
(02:36:30 PM) ttx: those need to be tested, and that's done through
(02:37:07 PM) ttx: In some cases we also call for testing on a specific feature or upgrade
(02:37:23 PM) ttx: Testing is just invaluable.
(02:37:32 PM) ttx: <Omahn87> QUESTION: Is there anyone in particular in the server team that I should contain for mentorship on creating upstart scripts?
(02:38:00 PM) ttx: That would be the incredible zul again
(02:38:27 PM) ttx: Though the foundations team is the ultimate arbiter for upstart script viability :)
(02:38:53 PM) ttx: OK, finally you can maintain documentation and become a Documentor
(02:39:14 PM) ttx: there is an Ubuntu Server guide, and also community-maintained wiki pages
(02:39:47 PM) ttx: sommer is the one to contact if you'e interested in writing a new section, or help with doc in general
(02:40:09 PM) ttx: Becoming a member of the Ubuntu Server Team is really easy:
(02:40:37 PM) ttx: Process is "Subscribe to the ubuntu-server mailing list" then "Apply for membership for the ubuntu-server team on launchpad" :)
(02:40:52 PM) ttx: We meet every Tuesday on IRC at 1800 UTC on #ubuntu-meeting
(02:41:00 PM) ttx: Come and see us :)
(02:41:25 PM) ttx: Questions ?
(02:42:01 PM) ttx: OK, that's about it for the 99 best ways to contribute to Ubuntu Server...
(02:42:44 PM) ttx: For the next 15 minutes, we can turn that into a general Q/A session for the Ubuntu Server technical lead
(02:43:06 PM) ttx: So you can fire any question :)
(02:43:45 PM) ttx: ...
(02:44:00 PM) ttx: <saji89> QUESTION: I see a list of 48 people still pending approval for the Ubuntu Server team.
(02:44:09 PM) ttx: uh... :)
(02:44:45 PM) ttx: That's because we've done a lousy job processing them. I'll make sure I use a big stick to beat the responsible to death.
(02:45:06 PM) ttx: <abhijit> QUESTION: this is in general question. I read somewhere that I can setup my own mail server. so does it mean that i wll have email id? now if it is possible is it compusory to run my server 24 hours?
(02:45:52 PM) ttx: abhijit: well, you first need a domain name, set it up so that the MX record points to your server...
(02:46:30 PM) ttx: then set up a server. It's better if it runs 24hours a day, though you can use a relaying server somewhere else and pull from that one
(02:46:43 PM) ttx: <penguin42> QUESTION: In general does server-papercuts include virtualisation issues?
(02:47:40 PM) ttx: penguin42: yes, in general. Virtualization is in the server realm.
(02:48:41 PM) ttx: Other questions ? Like "what is cloud computing ?"
(02:48:53 PM) ***ttx can make up hard questions himself.
(02:49:24 PM) ttx: <abhijit> now answer yourself!!! :D
(02:49:30 PM) ttx: I may miss some time :)
(02:49:47 PM) ttx: So, cloud computing is not a specific product or a specific technology
(02:50:10 PM) ttx: It's a technological transition towards the usage of computing as a service...
(02:50:18 PM) ttx: which comes in several forms...
(02:50:25 PM) ttx: <Omahn87> QUESTION: Is it possible to ensure old style init.d scripts don't come up before the network and other upstart enabled services? (I'm thinking NIS here!)
(02:51:21 PM) ttx: Omahn87: the unfortunate answer to that is to upstartify the things that need to depend on already-upstartified services
(02:53:27 PM) ***ttx continues on cloud computing, unless another question is asked :P
(02:53:41 PM) ttx: one of those forms is IaaS, infrastructure as a service
(02:54:06 PM) ttx: Ubuntu Server provides two solutions for IaaS
(02:54:14 PM) ttx: <saji89> QUESTION: SRU means?
(02:54:18 PM) ttx: Stable Release Update
(02:54:27 PM) ttx: an update to an already-released Ubuntu version.
(02:54:44 PM) ttx: One is a complete IaaS solution to build your own private cloud, it's called UEC
(02:54:48 PM) ttx: and based on Eucalyptus
(02:55:29 PM) ttx: the other is guest images to run on a IaaS solution (like Amazon's EC2 or UEC): that's out Ubuntu Server cloud images
(02:56:03 PM) ttx: ok, that was the "cloud computing primer" :)
(02:57:03 PM) ttx: <Omahn87> QUESTION: Is UEC still the future of internal clouds in Ubuntu? You expressed some doubt at the last UKUUG conference.
(02:57:30 PM) ttx: We are technology enablers. If something else comes up, we should support it as well
(02:58:27 PM) ttx: There are a few issues with high availability in Eucalyptus, it's a feature of their Enterprise Edition
(02:58:53 PM) ttx: hopefully by friendly and popular pressure they will recondider that and push it to the open source edition :)
(02:59:49 PM) ttx: ok, I'm done, thanks for listening
(03:00:05 PM) ttx: without questions it went quite fast :)

MeetingLogs/devweek1007/ServerPapercuts (last edited 2010-07-15 20:45:38 by pool-71-123-28-183)