Using Cobbler on Ubuntu

As I mentioned in a previous post, the server team has been working on getting cobbler into shape and usuable in the Ubuntu archive. Well that day has finally happened and cobbler has been accepted into the Ubuntu Archive. if you want to use cobbler in your data center its pretty easy to do:

Install cobbler

sudo apt-get install cobbler cobbler-common python-cobbler cobbler-web

Grab an Ubuntu server Iso

sudo mount -o loop natty-server-amd64.iso /mnt

Configure cobbler

sudo cobbler check

And follow the instructions it gives you. This makes sure that cobbler is configured properly on your server.

Import the ISO

sudo cobbler import --name=profile_name --path=/mnt --breed=ubuntu

And essentially you are ready to deploy Ubuntu Server via netboot. Since it is brand new we users to use this software and would to hear about bugs that you may have encounter. You can file them here.

January 19, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A rally in Dallas..

Last week the server team along with members of the Canonical OEM server team, members of the Landscape team, and the rest of the Ubuntu platform team sprinted/rallyed in Dallas. Some of you might know the hotel that we were staying at because it was the same hotel as the UDS in Dallas, the lovely Renaissance Hotel.

The rally is one of the few chances that the server team get to work in the same room and work together in the flesh. Usually we work from 9 in the morning to 6 in the night. After that we have dinner together and hang out as well, in our case a couple of us went to see a Dallas Stars hockey game and even had a Karaoke night. We usually have a team dinner, lucky for us it was at the Medieval Times. We were by far the loudest ones there.

Like a lot of the previous rallies/sprints we got a lot of stuff done, closed some of the items in the work tracker, and discussed future ideas. Some of the highlights were the following:

  • Clusters and power saving Andres Rodriguez was focusing on the cluster stack in the community and recently started working at Canonical working on the cluster stack. He continued his great work beating Natty’s clustering story into a good shape. A lot of time and work has been put into making it rock and it will continue. I dont have any doubt about that.
  • Hudson^WJenkins With the fiasco with the Hudson project and Oracle recently in the news, the server team has been using Jenkins in automating the ISO testing and eventually our UEC images. In order for our users to easily use Jenkins it needs to be packaged and be in the Ubuntu Archive. James Page has been doing an admirable job packaging the tonnes and tonnes of Java dependency it needs to be in the archive at all. Also he has taken care of other Java applications such as tomcat and Ant as well.
  • LXC For a while now KVM has been the defacto virtualization choice for Ubuntu Server sinn ce before Hardy. We have been focusing on LXC a bit more because its a lightweight virtualization technology that low end servers can use. Serge Hallyn has been beating it into shape. We plan on introducing LXC into Openstack in the near future, and the ground work has been done to contribute the feature back to the Openstack upstream team.
  • UEC/EC2 Images I read somewhere that Ubuntu Server is one of the most used Linux distros on Amazon EC2, which is really really cool. Now that  amazon adopting is cloud-init for their own images it makes even more cooler. A lot of nice new features are coming down the  pipe for Natty as well. I don’t want to steal any of Scott Moser’s thunder, since you can read all about it at his own blog.
  • The futre… What the server team is really excited about (I think) is to provide an infrastructure to deploy Ubuntu easily for large scale deployments. We are keeping in mind both cloud deployments and bare-metal regular server deployments. In order to do this we have been looking at technologies like Puppet, cobbler, and collectd, a best of breed if you will. We are starting small and building our way up to the next LTS release of Ubuntu. With that in mind, we have been working on Cobbler. We have been re-adding support for both Ubuntu and Debian and have pushing patches back upstream to cobbler proper so others can benefit from our work. In the last week at the rally we were able to deploy a tftp PXE server using cobbler and a regular Ubuntu Server ISO. Cobbler should be available in the archive in the next couple of days and I will blog on how to do a basic import of the Ubuntu Server ISO. Going forward we would like to make things like Puppet really easy to use and convenient to the  Ubuntu Server system administrator, but like I said before we are starting small and still finding our way.

January 18, 2011. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.