Dev Week -- Running the development release -- Effenberg0x0 & Cariboo907 -- Wed, Feb 1st, 2012

   1 [18:00] <Effenberg0x0> Hi everyone, It's a pleasure to be at UDW. Thank you all for being here! My name is Alvaro Leal (my user name is Effenberg0x0). As you are (probably) aware, we'll be talking about runing the Development Release: Ways to do it, common pitfalls, some tips, how stable it is right now, etc.
   2 [18:01] <Effenberg0x0> So, let me introduce myself first. I have been working in IT for 50% of my life (I'm 32, so that's somewhat relevant for me!). My first job was with Solaris (later SunOS) and I got to try Linux by using Conectiva Linux (later Mandrake/Mandriva) for some years, until I tested Ubuntu in 2005 (Hoary) and never left it. Regarding development, work has requested me to focus on HTML+PHP, C+WinAPI (I've been a Dev-C++ user for a long time) and s
   3 [18:01] <Effenberg0x0> ome (unnecessarily large) shell (mainly Bash) scripting (prototyping).
   4 [18:01] <Effenberg0x0> My current job involves providing market intelligence services to some of the largest global IT companies and, in parallel, coordinating tests and developing for research databases analytic software. I've been active in many Linux and general IT forums in my country (Brazil) but, for the last two cycles, I have focused exclusively in UbuntuForums and its Ubuntu+1 area. So, long story short, that's how I got to testing Ubuntu. It's my firs
   5 [18:01] <Effenberg0x0> t time hosting a session so, please, be nice :)
   6 [18:01] <Effenberg0x0> Also joining us is Cariboo907, a Forum Admin and Forum Council Member at UbuntuForums. He's been active in the forums for a long time and specifically in the U+1 area for most of the last development cycles. He's here to help and will be answering questions too, so don't feel shy and ask everything you want (relevant to using the development release, please!).
   7 [18:01] <cariboo907> Hi everyone, I'm sure most of you know me, or of me
   8 [18:02] <cariboo907> Welcome
   9 [18:02] <Effenberg0x0> So I have mentioned UbuntuForums and U+1. What is the U+1 area of UbuntuForums? It's a place where a growing group of regulars join to post their perceptions, doubts and workarounds regarding every update to the development release of Ubuntu.
  10 [18:02] <Effenberg0x0> From day one of every development cycle,  these guys test the installation of the ISOs (Ubuntu flavors - Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Lubuntu mostly and x86/x86_64) and update their OSs many times a day, reporting back to the forum when something goes wrong. Hopefully, the others can help in reproducing the reported behavior and finding out the origin of the problem (sometimes even a workaround).
  11 [18:03] <cariboo907> !q
  12 [18:03] <Effenberg0x0> One of the contributions of this team is that they can provide the community with higher value-added and more precise Launchpad bug reports, which potentially makes the work of developers easier. We're also open for receiving specific test tasks from developers and the QA team. And we're ready to provide help to any of you if you happen to encounter any specific problem when using the development releases of Ubuntu.
  13 [18:03] <Effenberg0x0> I'd like to talk a little about the importance of testing the development release. It's a huge contribution to the community and something mostly anyone can do, as it requires no specific knowledge. The Testing Team has a wiki at
  14 [18:04] <Effenberg0x0> The activities include ISO Testing, Stable Release Testing, Feature Testing, General Testing, Application Testing, Automated Testing, Laptop Testing and, of course, reporting bugs found during this processes in Launchpad and following up with them. So there are activities for all tastes and skill levels.
  15 [18:04] <Effenberg0x0> Each activity is not hard or time consuming but, as you can see, all these activities together compose a great load of work, so help is welcomed.
  16 [18:04] <Effenberg0x0> So, PLEASE :) Be a part of it.
  17 [18:05] <Effenberg0x0> Among all these activities of the Testing Team, I'd like to mention ISO Testing. As we approach a CD Release (Alpha, Beta, RCs, etc) it is really important to do the ISO testings. There are instruction on ISO Testing procedures at and a Testcases Wiki is hosted at
  18 [18:05] <Effenberg0x0> If all of you could dedicate a couple minutes to go through these links and give some consideration to supporting the Test Team, I would mean a lot to the community.  It's great way to get involved.
  19 [18:06] <ClassBot> metasansana asked: Effenberg0x0 can you slow down a bit please?
  20 [18:07]  * Effenberg0x0 will slow down, as requested by ubuntu-classroom users :)
  21 [18:09] <Effenberg0x0> Enough with the introduction part of it: Let's get down to the business at hand, which is running the development release. I'll be posting a lot of information we prepared and then we'll open for questions. As you know, logs will be available online, so there's no need to take note of URLs, commands or anything right now.
  22 [18:10] <Effenberg0x0> Ok, lets proceed. We know there's a focus on getting more people into developing software for Ubuntu (see and And considering the growing popularity of this platform, many developers are coding for it now. One of the concerns we see among this group is how they can run the development release without facing serious bugs and breakages.
  23 [18:11] <Effenberg0x0> Let me start by saying that there is a consensus about the overall stability in the Precise Pangolin cycle.  From its start (with the upload of the toolchain in Oct 13th) to now, only a few users have faced serious breakages that lead to a lockout / reinstall. This is no coincidence. On Nov. 2011, a list of priorities and specs for the Development Releases was created and it included one important rule: Keep releases usable from day to da
  24 [18:11] <Effenberg0x0> y (see and
  25 [18:12] <Effenberg0x0> So, as you can see, these specs try to make sure you'll have a installable system and buildable packages at any given moment.  So, as developers, you'll also want to take those guidelines under consideration.
  26 [18:13] <Effenberg0x0> Of course, it is not bulletproof and we do face some updates that eventually break this or that . But, most of the time,  PP has been succeeding into keeping the system viable enough for its use and test. While this is ***absolutely not recommended at all***, many users are working with PP in their production machines.
  27 [18:14]  * Effenberg0x0 is running it right now: xchat, vmware-player x 4 VMs, Eclipse Juno, about 20 firefix tabs, rhythmbox, Nixnote, Thunderbird and everything is fine (uptime is more than 5 days)
  28 [18:14] <Effenberg0x0> firefix=firefox :)
  29 [18:14] <Effenberg0x0> Then what are the options to use PP safely? We'll discuss a few as every user/developer will generally choose what fits its preferences best. They are numbered from 1 (less risky) to 5 (more risky).
  30 [18:15] <Effenberg0x0> Some are obvious to most people, some are not. But it's important to mention them.
  31 [18:16] <ClassBot> kanliot asked: I'm used to lubuntu.  is the PP testing, and reporting the same for Lubuntu?  Or is the schedule a little differnt?]
  32 [18:17] <cariboo907> Seeing as Lubuntu is now an official part of the Ubuntu family reporting and scheduling is the same
  33 [18:17] <cariboo907> for all versions, except for kubuntu which has it's own bug tracker
  34 [18:18] <Effenberg0x0> kanliot, they host a page with specific info for testing Lubuntu:
  35 [18:19] <Effenberg0x0> So, proceeding with the common ways to test Ubuntu and its flavors:
  36 [18:19] <Effenberg0x0> 1) Separate PC: Considering you have an extra PC that fits the specs to run the development release (see and this is the safest choice. You can run your favorite IDE in your main PC, remotely access the test machine via Samba, SSH, FTP, NFS, Git, SVN, or any other protocol and even run remote GDB
  37 [18:19] <Effenberg0x0>  sessions. There's extensive documentation in doing all of those in the Ubuntu Online documentation. In the case of PP Server, you can also consider using a Cloud Service Provider.
  38 [18:20] <Effenberg0x0> This is the "ideal" way, of course. But not everyone has extra machines at their disposal.
  39 [18:20] <ClassBot> There are 10 minutes remaining in the current session.
  40 [18:20] <Effenberg0x0> 2) Virtual Machines: During the last two cycles many people have adopted VirtualBox and VMWare-Player as platforms for testing the development release. There's some discussion as to how valid these tests are, since the Operating System is actually accessing virtualized (and not real) hardware. But, if you, as a developer, does not need to access hardware in a low level (and that's generally the case), you can test using a VM just fine.
  41 [18:20] <Effenberg0x0> ABout VMs:
  42 [18:20] <Effenberg0x0> A Virtual Machine with  1 or 2 GB of RAM and about 30GB of dynamic disk space is more than enough to test both Unity and unity-2D desktops, as well as the other flavors such as Lubuntu and Kubuntu. Installing VirtualBox is easy, as all you have to do is sudo apt-get install virtualbox. In the case of VMWare-Player, you need to download the VMWare-Player bundle (a binary file) from VMWare website, chmod it +x and run its install procedure.
  43 [18:20] <Effenberg0x0>  VMWare does have some problems compiling its Kernel modules in the 3.2.x kernel series. But I have made patches available to it, as well as instructions on how to use these patches, and they are posted at UbuntuForums U+1 area. Just search for +Effenberg0x0 +VMWare +Patch and apply the patches if you need to. I can help anyone that falls into trouble installing VMWare-Player on Kernel 3.2.0, just post something at that thread @ UbuntuFor
  44 [18:20] <Effenberg0x0> ums..
  45 [18:21] <ClassBot> obounaim asked: do you i always need to download the last ISO to test or doing updates will be fine ?
  46 [18:21] <Effenberg0x0> And also its important to mention test drive
  47 [18:21] <Effenberg0x0> obiwlan, DOing the updates is fine for testing instalation, applications.
  48 [18:21] <Effenberg0x0> BUt if you want to test the ISO itsef, you have to download it
  49 [18:21] <Effenberg0x0> Something that not everybody knows: Ubuntu has its own testing application, named TestDrive. It is available via Software Center. You can install it using sudo apt-get install testdrive. It downloads/syncs the requested Ubuntu release ISO and starts a Qemu / VirtualBox VM so you can test the latest Ubuntu in an easy and safe way. I recommend using VirtualBox for a single reason: It is capable of OpenGL acceleration. So, it allows you test
  50 [18:21] <Effenberg0x0>  Unity. Running Qemu and VMWare Player will only allow you to run Unity-2D in the VMs. Ubuntu has great documentation for all these options. Check, and
  51 [18:22] <Effenberg0x0> Test drive can actually download the images, sync them to the latest, and create the testing VM for you.
  52 [18:22] <Effenberg0x0> just sudo apt-get install testdrive to try it
  53 [18:23] <Effenberg0x0> 3)  Separate HDD: Also one of the safest options. We all know it's easy to install Ubuntu to a secondary drive, which can be an internal / external HDD and even an USB/eSATA unit. Ubuntu setup is very easy and clear in how to do this, but information is also available in the documentation. See for example.
  54 [18:23] <Effenberg0x0> 4) Separate HDD Partition: This means you'll have your standard OS installed to /dev/sda1 and PP installed to /dev/sda3 (for example). Same as when using a separate HDD, it should be dealt properly by Ubuntu install. There's no mystery to it.
  55 [18:23] <ClassBot> metasansana asked: what about kvm for virtulisation?
  56 [18:23] <Effenberg0x0> These two ways above have absolutely no mystery: Ubuntu default install handles it normally. But of course, they are ore risky than runing it in a separate PC or VM.
  57 [18:24] <cariboo907> kvm or any of ther vms work well
  58 [18:24] <Effenberg0x0> metasansana: You can use KVM too, but if you'd like to see Unity effects, AFAIK, you have to use VirtualBox, as it provides some hardware acceleration.
  59 [18:25] <ClassBot> There are 5 minutes remaining in the current session.
  60 [18:25] <Effenberg0x0> 4) Separate HDD Partition: This means you'll have your standard OS installed to /dev/sda1 and PP installed to /dev/sda3 (for example). Same as when using a separate HDD, it should be dealt properly by Ubuntu install. There's no mystery to it.
  61 [18:25] <Effenberg0x0> oops
  62 [18:25] <Effenberg0x0> Another important tip: Few people are familiar with ZSync. It allows you to sync your current image file to the new daily ISO at every time. Only the changed parts of the image will be downloaded, saving time and bandwidth. All the info on how to use ZSync is at . After installing ZSync, all you have to do is run something like zsync
  63 [18:25] <Effenberg0x0> p-i386.iso.zsync to have your ISO updated. It really helps a lot. RSync can also be used, and the URL above has the (easy) instructions on how to do it in a single command.
  64 [18:26] <Effenberg0x0> This is actually what most people do, as you can save a lot of time and bandwidth for downloading the daily ISOs
  65 [18:26] <Effenberg0x0> (and it's how testdrive works too - syncyng the ISO)
  66 [18:27] <Effenberg0x0> Ok, I'll post now some of the main tips we have for running the development release. We're almost out of time, so excuse for pasting it relly quick. It will be available in logs for you on those who cuoldn't be here today.
  67 [18:27] <Effenberg0x0> We'll answer questions in the ubuntu-classroom-chat channel after this session.
  68 [18:27] <Effenberg0x0> 1. The most important thing: Backup. Always. And do it to a safe and external media. Backing up data to the same partition in use in the installation is too risky. Use an external HDD, a USB drive, a separate partition, a network drive, anything. But NEVER forget to backup. It doesn't really matter if you use dejadup, backintime, or tar and rsync, as long as you manage to keep your important data safe. I have created my own bash script to
  69 [18:28] <Effenberg0x0>  backup stuff I find relevant and rsync it to a network storage, and added it to a cron schedule. But the tools I mentioned have GUI options that allow anyone to easily create a proper backup config and schedule.
  70 [18:28] <ClassBot> kanliot asked: so i could install lubuntu from the image every day, and use it?
  71 [18:28] <cariboo907> oops
  72 [18:29] <cariboo907> kanilot you could if you wanted to
  73 [18:29] <cariboo907> but there really is no need just do daily updates using the software center synaptic of the command line
  74 [18:30] <cariboo907> or the command line
  75 [18:30] <ClassBot> Logs for this session will be available at following the conclusion of the session.
  76 [18:30] <cariboo907> thanks everyone

MeetingLogs/devweek1201/RunningTheDevRelease (last edited 2012-02-02 09:27:54 by dholbach)