Ubuntu Open Week - An Intrepid journey in Ubuntu Server land - MathiasGug - Tue, Nov 4th, 2008

(01:01:10 PM) mathiaz: Now that you all you know how we closely work with Debian, I'll give you an overview of the Ubuntu Server Team and how we design the Ubuntu Server product.
(01:01:40 PM) mathiaz: So who are we?
(01:01:51 PM) cyphermox [n=mtrudel@pdpc/supporter/active/cyphermox] entered the room.
(01:01:55 PM) mathiaz: We are a group of people that have an interest in server related software.
(01:02:19 PM) mathiaz: As an extension we tend also to deal with setups found in corporate environments, such as directory services (ldap, AD) web services, or network authentication.
(01:02:55 PM) mathiaz: Some of us are working for Canonical in the Server team, lead by Rick Clark (dendrobates on IRC).
(01:03:09 PM) mathiaz: Others have services running on Ubuntu and are interested in fixing bugs.
(01:03:12 PM) cyphermox left the room (quit: Client Quit).
(01:03:27 PM) mathiaz: Regular contributors takes on important tasks and lead them to completion.
(01:03:29 PM) gladk left the room (quit: " ajax IRC Client").
(01:03:42 PM) mathiaz: Here is a short list of some of the features that have been developed during the last release cycle:
(01:03:44 PM) cyphermox [n=mtrudel@pdpc/supporter/active/cyphermox] entered the room.
(01:03:46 PM) gladk [i=d46fc159@gateway/web/ajax/] entered the room.
(01:03:59 PM) mathiaz: Dustin Kirkland (kirland) added the possibility to create an encrypted private directory in the Home folder. The implementation is based on the ecryptfs project.
(01:04:27 PM) mathiaz: Dustin closely worked with the upstream project. As a result he got commit access to the upstream git tree. He is now looking after the user space part of the project.
(01:04:42 PM) mathiaz: For Jaunty he is looking into adding a GUI to manage the ~/Private/ directory as well as making it more i18n-friendly.
(01:05:00 PM) mathiaz: Help in designing, coding and testing this feature is welcome.
(01:05:51 PM) mathiaz: Soren Hansen (soren) rewrote the popular ubuntu-vm-builder application in python. It now comes with a plugin architecture so that new releases, custom fstab templates and multiple hypervisors are supported.
(01:06:18 PM) mathiaz: Dustin Kirkland (kirkland) worked on improving the RAID experience. He added an option at boot time so that sysadmins can choose to automatically boot the system even if the RAID array is degraded.
(01:06:50 PM) mathiaz: This was a long-standing issue in Ubuntu and has finally been fixed.
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(01:07:33 PM) mathiaz: Scott Kitterman (ScottK) lead an effort to improve the mail server stack in Ubuntu. Both spamassassin and clamav have been moved to main and can easily been enabled in a postfix environment via amavisd-new.
(01:08:02 PM) mathiaz: For Jaunty he is pursuing better and easier integration. The goal would be to be able to script installation of postfix, amavisd-new, spamasassin, and clamav in an integrated, working configuration with no hand editing of config files needed.
(01:08:12 PM) mathiaz: If you're interested in helping out implementing this feature get in touch with Scott!
(01:08:58 PM) mathiaz: Mathias Gug (mathiaz) worked on adding support for the cn=config backend to the slapd package. Migration from the old slapd.conf file is done automatically when updating to Intrepid.
(01:09:27 PM) mathiaz: Using the new configuration backend will make it easier to load new schemas or define ldap databases by other programs.
(01:09:37 PM) mathiaz: This work will serve as a foundation for better package integration in an LDAP environment.
(01:10:18 PM) mathiaz: Adam Sommer (sommer) is our documentation guru. He reviewed and updated the Server Guide.
(01:10:35 PM) mathiaz: The virtualization section has been revamped to closely follow what has been done in the virtulization stack.
(01:11:37 PM) mathiaz: So you can see that we are a diverse group that have different interests. We're also involved in other teams from the Ubuntu project.
(01:11:50 PM) mathiaz: This is one of the characteristics of the Server Team: we all share a common interest in server technologies, but have different skills.
(01:12:12 PM) mathiaz: Being part of the team often means representing the Server Team in other areas of the Ubuntu project and the Free Sofware ecosystem in general.
(01:13:05 PM) mathiaz: Being a contributor to the server team can be taken under different roles:
(01:13:22 PM) mathiaz: The helpers answers questions on the ubuntu-server mailing list and the #ubuntu-server irc channel.
(01:13:53 PM) mathiaz: Triagers dig into bugs the ubuntu-server LP team is subscribed to.
(01:14:04 PM) mathiaz: Our LP team is a bug contact for a list packages, such as samba, openldap, mysql or apache2.
(01:14:26 PM) mathiaz: The current list of packages can be found in Launchpad ( and is growing every release.
(01:14:44 PM) mathiaz: A mailing list gathers all the bugs related to the ubuntu-server team: To get started in triaging signup here:
(01:15:15 PM) mathiaz: This is a great way to start with the LP bug tracker and doesn't require any knowledge of programming languages.
(01:15:31 PM) mathiaz: We're working closely with the BugSquad team - triagers participate on the bugsquad mailing list
(01:15:39 PM) mathiaz: And once in a while with have the honor of having our own HugDay where the whole bug triaging community helps us.
(01:16:28 PM) mathiaz: Once bugs have been triaged, it's time to fix them. This is when the packagers come into the game.
(01:17:37 PM) mathiaz: This role requires an interest in packaging.
(01:17:50 PM) mathiaz: We maintain a list of bugs that are easy to fix:
(01:18:19 PM) mathiaz: Fixes can easily make their way into the ubuntu repositories via the sponsorship process as described in the wiki page
(01:18:34 PM) mathiaz: Doing work on the packaging front leads to a close a collaboration with the MOTU team and is a great way to gain experience to become a MOTU -
(01:19:23 PM) mathiaz: Testing is another way to take part of the Server Team activity. This role doesn't require a lot of deep technical knowledge.
(01:19:32 PM) mathiaz: e work with the Ubuntu QA team -
(01:19:44 PM) mathiaz: We work with the Ubuntu QA team -
(01:20:03 PM) mathiaz: Testers are taking a more and more important role the more we advance in the release cycle:
(01:20:24 PM) mathiaz: We're responsible for ensuring that the ubuntu-server isos are working correctly, which involves performing a dozen of tests for two isos.
(01:20:46 PM) mathiaz: The list of tests can be found in the wiki:
(01:21:17 PM) mathiaz: Results are tracked via the Iso testing tracker located at
(01:21:26 PM) mathiaz: Server hardware support is another area where testing is welcome.
(01:22:19 PM) mathiaz: We're trying to make sure that ubuntu can be used on the main server hardware, so if you have access to such hardware, popping a cd into the machine, installing a standard ubuntu server and reporting whether it has successfully installed or failed is an easy way to contribute to the server team.
(01:22:39 PM) mathiaz: This work is coordinated in the ServerTesting Team wiki pages:
(01:23:30 PM) mathiaz: Browsing the ubuntu-server mailing list archive, lurking in the #ubuntu-server irc channel or going through the forum posts shows patterns in user's questions.
(01:24:23 PM) mathiaz: Recurring themes are identified and turned into documentation. A wiki page in the community section of is first created. Once the quality has improved, a new section is added to the server guide.
(01:24:38 PM) mathiaz: All this work is undertaken by the Documentors of the Server Team.
(01:25:22 PM) mathiaz: Collaboration with the Documentation team is done on a daily basis to achieve consistency with other help resources.
(01:26:07 PM) mathiaz: More information about the Documentation team can be found on their website located at
(01:26:59 PM) mathiaz: Adam Sommer (sommer) leads the update and review of the Ubuntu Server guide. The source document is maintained in a bzr tree. Helping Adam will introduce you to docbook and distributed versioning with bazaar.
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(01:27:29 PM) mathiaz: Getting started involves following 3 steps outlined in the Server Team Knowledge base:
(01:28:35 PM) mathiaz: There is also the option to go over server related wiki pages on the community help pages. A good starting point is the Server page that has links to lots of other howtos.
(01:29:15 PM) mathiaz: Another hat you can wear in the Server Team is the Developer one.
(01:30:02 PM) mathiaz: They develop new features usually specified during the Ubuntu Developer Summit that takes place at the beginning of each release cycle. Tracked by a blueprint we have around 3 months to get a new feature into Ubuntu.
(01:31:42 PM) mathiaz: As we are at the beginning of a release cycle most members of the Server Team are thinking about new features that could be implemented for Jaunty. These ideas should be added to the Server Team IdeaPool page:
(01:32:22 PM) mathiaz: Anyone is welcome to give input on existing ideas and help out refining them.
(01:33:33 PM) mathiaz: As you can see, contributing to the Server Team can be undertaken in more than one way. It usually involves a lot of interaction with other teams from the Ubuntu project.
(01:34:09 PM) mathiaz: It's also a good way to show your contribution to Ubuntu and helps getting Ubuntu membership.
(01:35:06 PM) mathiaz: The GettingInvolved page gives an overview of the roles I've talked about above:
(01:35:51 PM) mathiaz: So how do we work ?
(01:36:05 PM) mathiaz: We track our progress on the Roadmap and meet once a week to discuss outstanding issues.
(01:36:51 PM) mathiaz: Our current work can be tracked on the Roadmap wiki page:
(01:37:09 PM) mathiaz: We use the ubuntu-server mailing to coordinate our activities, discuss policy change in the team as well as helping out users.
(01:37:52 PM) mathiaz: You can subscribe to the mailing list here: Join our mailing list at
(01:39:29 PM) mathiaz: There is also an Ubuntu Server blog maintained by some members of the Server Tea
(01:39:31 PM) mathiaz: m. Minutes of the meeting as well as other topics related to the Ubuntu Server T
(01:39:34 PM) mathiaz: eam activities are regularly posted there:
(01:39:54 PM) mathiaz: How to join the Server Team and start contributing ?
(01:40:27 PM) mathiaz: Joining the ubuntu-server team on LP is as simple as subscribing to the ubuntu-server mailing list and applying for membership on LP
(01:41:03 PM) mathiaz: If you already know which role you'd like to contribute as, you can find a list of tasks in the Roadmap. Don't hesitate to ask one of the team members involved in your area of interest.
(01:41:46 PM) mathiaz: Most of the information related to the ServerTeam can be found in the ServerTeam wiki pages:
(01:42:39 PM) mathiaz: If you're overwhelmed by all the available information and you're lost, come talk to me. You can find me in #ubuntu-server amongst other channels. I'll help get out of the mist and we'll find a way you can get involved in the Server Team.
(01:43:29 PM) mathiaz: That was a short overview of the Ubuntu Server Team
(01:43:47 PM) mathiaz: What kind of tasks we do and how we work together.
(01:44:06 PM) mathiaz: I'll answer now questions posted in #ubuntu-classroom-chat.
(01:44:31 PM) mathiaz: < bhk_f> QUESTION: Hows the level of support for RAID under ubuntu server, please compare with Redhat.
(01:45:34 PM) mathiaz: As of intrepid we're at the same level as redhat. The ubuntu server installer supports raid installation and we've integrated support for dmraid and other ataraid devices.
(01:46:23 PM) mathiaz: kirkland is currently working on backporting the boot from degraded raid support for hardy.
(01:47:05 PM) mathiaz: < rgreening> QUESTION: I notice tacacs+ isn't one of the packages available in the repos. who would I contact to work on adding this package? It's an authentication server used in networking (like Cisco routers).
(01:47:46 PM) mathiaz: As it has already been suggested, going through REVU is the best option.
(01:48:21 PM) mathiaz:
(01:48:38 PM) mathiaz: ^^ this wiki page outlines the process to the get a new package in ubuntu.
(01:49:30 PM) mathiaz: As mentionned above when I presented the packager role Ubuntu Server team members are participating in REVU days hold by the MOTU team.
(01:49:49 PM) mathiaz: If such a package is uploaded to REVU one of us will probably have a look at it.
(01:50:56 PM) mathiaz: < bhk_f> QUESTION: is there any possibility of collaboration on documentation between ubuntu-server & debian documentation ?
(01:51:28 PM) mathiaz: I would hope so although I'm not too familiar with the documentation processes in Debian.
(01:52:22 PM) mathiaz: The Server Guide is released under a Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.5 License (CC-BY-SA)
(01:53:54 PM) mathiaz: If there are any other question fell free to post them in #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(01:54:22 PM) mathiaz: I'll answer them while we wait for pedro_ and his session on Bug squashing!
(01:57:40 PM) nealmcb: Thanks, Mathiaz!
(01:58:00 PM) ***nxvl waves on mathiaz 
(01:59:48 PM) mathiaz: allright - then - time to wrap up
(02:00:01 PM) mathiaz: thanks all for attending this session
(02:00:30 PM) mathiaz: I'll leave the floor to pedro_  for a bug squashing how-to!
(02:00:41 PM) pedro_: thanks mathiaz you rock!

MeetingLogs/openweekintrepid/IntrepidServer (last edited 2008-11-04 21:50:22 by pool-70-16-60-167)