buildscc | 06 Oct 2010 | | projects
Currently, the only way to achieve automatic, reliable configuration of Linux machines for BU networks and services is BU Linux. While BU Linux is effective in this sense, it has shortcomings, mainly that it is CentOS-based (which some people don’t like), and that it requires installing a completely new operating system, instead of just being able to install the config on top of an existing setup. To address these concerns, I propose an alternate system, tentatively entitled “debDog”, which is a collection of debian packages that install and/or configure essential software for use on the Boston University network. It is modular, allows for deeper customization, and is installable on top of an existing debian-based distro.
Let’s get this out of the way right here: the inspiration for this project is MIT’s Project Debathena (http://debathena.mit.edu). While using debathena on the MIT campus, I was amazed at how easy it was to install, configure, and use. If you poke around their site, you’ll notice that their system was so solid that MIT IS&T started using it on all the public clusters.
But I digress. The packages are currently using CDBS (Common Debian Build System) along with Config-Package-Dev (MIT-developed system for using divert commands to install configs on a machine).
Current packages live in http://www.github.com/broglek. Using git is easy…github has directions if you’re not familiar (you’re also welcome to email Kyle).
When we have a set of packages that we have tested individually, it will be time to test them as a group. For this, I can use my PPA on Launchpad.
Also, the BU Linux Users Group expressed interest in hosting a PPA for us to use for this when we go into more of an open beta/release mode. (They’re pretty awesome).
This project is gaining momentum. Since p = mv, we should add more packages and keep accelerating -_- Add your name below if this interests you.