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Updated: 4 min 34 sec ago

Ben Martin: 10 Foot Pound Boots for Terry

Wed, 2015-09-16 23:40
A sad day when your robot outgrows it's baby motors. On carpet this happened when the robot started to tip the scales at over 10kg. So now I have some lovely new motors that can generate almost 10 foot pounds of torque.

This has caused me to move to a more rigid motor attachment and a subsequent modofication and reprint of the rotary encoder holders (not shown above). The previous motors were spur motors, so I could rotate the motor itself within its mounting bracket to mate the large gear to the encoders. Not so anymore. Apart from looking super cool the larger alloy gear gives me an 8 to 1 reduction to the encoders, nothing like the feeling of picking up 3 bits of extra precision.

This has also meant using some most sizable cables. The yellow and purple cables are 14 AWG silicon wires. For the uplink I have an almost store bought 12AWG and some hand made 10 AWG monsters. Each motor stalls at 20A so there is the potential of a noticable amount of current to flow around the base of Terry now.

Pia Waugh: Returning to data and Gov 2.0 from the DTO

Wed, 2015-09-16 10:27

I have been working at the newly created Digital Transformation Office in the Federal Government since January this year helping to set it up, create a vision, get some good people in and build some stuff. I was working in and then running a small, highly skilled and awesome team focused on how to dramatically improve information (websites) and transaction services across government. This included a bunch of cool ideas around whole of government service analytics, building a discovery layer (read APIs) for all government data, content and services, working with agencies to improve content and SEO, working on reporting mechanisms for the DTO, and looking at ways to usefully reduce the huge number of websites currently run by the Federal public service amongst other things. You can see some of our team blog posts about this work.

It has been an awesome trip and we built some great stuff, but now I need to return to my work on data, gov 2.0 and supporting the Australian Government CTO John Sheridan in looking at whole of government technology, procurement and common platforms. I can also work more closely with Sharyn Clarkson and the Online Services Branch on the range of whole of government platforms and solutions they run today, particularly the highly popular GovCMS. It has been a difficult choice but basically it came down to where my skills and efforts are best placed at this point in time. Plus I miss working on open data!

I wanted to say a final public thank you to everyone I worked with at the DTO, past and present. It has been a genuine privilege to work in the diverse teams and leadership from across over 20 agencies in the one team! It gave me a lot of insight to the different cultures, capabilities and assumptions in different departments, and I think we all challenged each other and created a bigger and better vision for the effort. I have learned much and enjoyed the collaborative nature of the broader DTO team.

I believe the DTO has two major opportunities ahead: as a a force of awesome and a catalyst for change. As a force of awesome, the DTO can show how delivery and service design can be done with modern tools and methods, can provide a safe sandpit for experimentation, can set the baseline for the whole APS through the digital service standard, and can support genuine culture change across the APS through training, guidance and provision of expertise/advisers in agencies. As a catalyst for change, the DTO can support the many, many people across the APS who want transformation, who want to do things better, and who can be further empowered, armed and supported to do just that through the work of the DTO. Building stronger relationships across the public services of Australia will be critical to this broader cultural change and evolution to modern technologies and methodologies.

I continue to support the efforts of the DTO and the broader digital transformation agenda and I wish Paul Shetler and the whole team good luck with an ambitious and inspiring vision for the future. If we could all make an approach that was data/evidence driven, user centric, mashable/modular, collaborative and cross government(s) the norm, we would overcome the natural silos of government, we would establish the truly collaborative public service we all crave and we would be better able to support the community. I have long believed that the path of technical integrity is the most important guiding principle of everything I do, and I will continue to contribute to the broader discussions about “digital transformation” in government.

Stay tuned for updates on the blog, and I look forward to spending the next 4 months kicking a few goals before I go on maternity leave

James Purser: First PETW in over two years!

Tue, 2015-09-15 16:30

So tomorrow night I'm going to be conducting my first interview for Purser Explores The World in over two years, wootness!

And even more awesome it's going to be with New York based photographer Chris Arnade who has been documenting the stories of people battling addiction and poverty in the New York neighbourhood of the South Bronx via the Faces of Addiction project.

I'm excited, both because this is the first PETW episode in aaaages, and also because the stories that Chris tells both through his photography plus his facebook page and other media humanise people that have long been swept under the rug by society.

Blog Catagories: angrybeaniePurser Explores The Word

David Rowe: FreeDV Voice Keyer and Spotting Demo

Tue, 2015-09-15 14:30

I’ve added a Voice Keyer feature to the FreeDV GUI program. It will play a pre-recorded wave file, key your transmitter, then pause to listen. Use the Tools-PTT menu to select the wave file to use, the rx pause duration, and the number of times to repeat. If you hit space bar the keyer exits. It also stops if it detects a valid FreeDV sync for 5 seconds, to avoid congesting the band if others are using it.

I’m going to leave the voice keyer running while I’m working at my bench, to stimulate local FreeDV activity.

Spotting Demo

FreeDV has a low bit rate text message stream that allows you to send information such as your call-sign and location. Last year I added some code to parse the received text messages, and generate a system command if certain patterns are received. In the last few hours I worked up a simple FreeDV “spotting” system using this feature and a shell script.

Take a look at this screen shot of Tool-Options:

I’m sending myself the text message “s=vk5dgr hi there from David” as an example. Every time FreeDV receives a text message it issues a “rx_txtmsg” event. This is then parsed by the regular expressions on the left “rx_txtmsg s=(.*)”. If there is a match, the system command on the right is executed.

In this case any events with “rx_txmsg s=something” will result in the call to the shell script “ something”, passing the text to the shell script. Here is what the script looks like:



echo `date -u` "  " $1 "<br>" >> $SPOTFILE

tail -n 25 $SPOTFILE > /tmp/spot.tmp1

mv /tmp/spot.tmp1 $SPOTFILE

lftp -e "cd www;put $SPOTFILE;quit" $FTPSERVER

So this script adds a time stamp, limits the script to the last 25 lines, then ftps it to my webserver. You can see the web page here. It’s pretty crude, but you get the idea. It needs proper HTML formatting, a title, and a way to prevent the same persons spot being repeated all the time.

You can add other regular expressions and systems commands if you like. For example you could make a bell ring if someone puts your callsign in a text message, or put a pin on a map at their grid coordinates. Or send a message to FreeDV QSO finder to say you are “on line” and listening. If a few of us set up spotters around the world it will be a useful testing tool, like websdr for FreeDV.

To help debug you can mess with the regular expressions and system commands in real time, just click on Apply.

I like to use full duplex (Tools-PTT Half duplex unchecked) and “modprobe snd-aloop” to loopback the modem audio when testing. Talking to myself is much easier than two laptops.

If we get any really useful regexp/system commands we can bake them into FreeDV. I realise not everyone is up to regexp coding!

I’ll leave this running for a bit on 14.236 MHz, FreeDV 700B. See if you can hit it!

David Rowe: FreeDV QSO Party Weekend

Tue, 2015-09-15 13:30

A great weekend with the AREG team working FreeDV around VK; and despite some poor band conditions, the world.

We were located at Younghusband, on the banks of the river Murray, a 90 minute drive due East of Adelaide:

We had two K3 radios, one with a SM1000 on 20M, and one using laptop based FreeDV on 40M:

Here is the enormous 40M beam we had available, with my young son at the base:

It was great to see FreeDV 700B performing well under quite adverse conditions. Over time I became more and more accustomed to the sound of 700B, and could understand it comfortably from a laptop loudspeaker across the room.

When we had good quality FreeDV 1600 signals, it really sounded great, especially the lack of SSB channel noise. As we spoke to people, we noticed a lot of other FreeDV traffic popping up around our frequency.

We did have some problems with S7 power line hash from a nearby HT line. The ambient HF RF noise issue is a problem for HF radio everywhere these days. I have some ideas for DSP based active noise cancellation using 2 or more receivers that I might try in 2016. Mark, VK5QI, had a novel solution. He connected FreeDV on his laptop to Andy’s (VK5AKH) websdr in Adelaide. With the lower noise level we successfully completed a QSO with Gerhard, 0E3GBB, in Austria. Here are Andy (left) and Mark working Gerhard:

I was in the background most of the time, working on FreeDV on my laptop! Thank you very much AREG and especially Chris, VK5CP, for hosting the event!

Francois Marier: Setting up a network scanner using SANE

Mon, 2015-09-14 16:44

Sharing a scanner over the network using SANE is fairly straightforward. Here's how I shared a scanner on a server (running Debian jessie) with a client (running Ubuntu trusty).

Install SANE

The packages you need on both the client and the server are:

You should check whether or your scanner is supported by the latest stable release or by the latest development version.

In my case, I needed to get a Canon LiDE 220 working so I had to grab the libsane 1.0.25+git20150528-1 package from Debian experimental.

Test the scanner locally

Once you have SANE installed, you can test it out locally to confirm that it detects your scanner:

scanimage -L

This should give you output similar to this:

device `genesys:libusb:001:006' is a Canon LiDE 220 flatbed scanner

If that doesn't work, make sure that the scanner is actually detected by the USB stack:

$ lsusb | grep Canon Bus 001 Device 006: ID 04a9:190f Canon, Inc.

and that its USB ID shows up in the SANE backend it needs:

$ grep 190f /etc/sane.d/genesys.conf usb 0x04a9 0x190f

To do a test scan, simply run:

scanimage > test.ppm

and then take a look at the (greyscale) image it produced (test.ppm).

Configure the server

With the scanner working locally, it's time to expose it to network clients by adding the client IP addresses to /etc/sane.d/saned.conf:

## Access list

and then opening the appropriate port on your firewall (typically /etc/network/iptables in Debian):

-A INPUT -s -p tcp --dport 6566 -j ACCEPT

Then you need to ensure that the SANE server is running by setting the following in /etc/default/saned:


if you're using the sysv init system, or by running this command:

systemctl enable saned.socket

if using systemd.

I actually had to reboot to make saned visible to systemd, so if you still run into these errors:

$ service saned start Failed to start saned.service: Unit saned.service is masked.

you're probably just one reboot away from getting it to work.

Configure the client

On the client, all you need to do is add the following to /etc/sane.d/net.conf:

connect_timeout = 60 myserver

where myserver is the hostname or IP address of the server running saned.

Test the scanner remotely

With everything in place, you should be able to see the scanner from the client computer:

$ scanimage -L device `net:myserver:genesys:libusb:001:006' is a Canon LiDE 220 flatbed scanner

and successfully perform a test scan using this command:

scanimage > test.ppm

Michael Still: On running

Mon, 2015-09-14 08:28
I've been running for a little while now, but I don't mention it here much. I think I mostly don't mention it because I normally just post photos here, and I don't tend to stop and take happy snaps on my runs. The runs started off pretty modest -- initially I struggled with shin splints after more than a couple of minutes. I've worked through that and a couple of injuries along the way and am consistently doing 5km runs now.

That said, my longest runs have been in the last week when I did a 7.5km and an 8.1km. I'm building up to 10km, mostly because its a nice round number. I think ultimately trail running might be the thing for me, I get quite bored running around suburbs over and over again.

Its interesting that I come from an aggressively unsporting family, but yet all of my middle aged siblings and I have started running in the last year or two. Its a mid-life crisis thing perhaps?

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog running fitness sport

Related posts: First jog, and a walk to Los Altos; Martin retires from his work netball league


Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: Software Freedom Day Meeting 2015

Sun, 2015-09-13 00:29
Start: Sep 19 2015 11:00 End: Sep 19 2015 16:00 Start: Sep 19 2015 11:00 End: Sep 19 2015 16:00 Location: 

Electron Workshop 31 Arden Street, North Melbourne.


There will not be a regular LUV Beginners workshop for the month of September. Instead, you're going to be in for a much bigger treat!

This month, Free Software Melbourne[1], Linux Users of Victoria[2] and Electron Workshop[3] are joining forces to bring you the local Software Freedom Day event for Melbourne.

The event will take place on Saturday 19th September between 11am and 4pm at:

Electron Workshop

31 Arden Street, North Melbourne.


Electron Workshop is on the south side of Arden Street, about half way between Errol Street and Leveson Street. Public transport: 57 tram, nearest stop at corner of Errol and Queensberry Streets; 55 and 59 trams run a few blocks away along Flemington Road; 402 bus runs along Arden Street, but nearest stop is on Errol Street. On a Saturday afternoon, some car parking should be available on nearby streets.

LUV would like to acknowledge Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Trinity College venue and VPAC for hosting.

Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

September 19, 2015 - 11:00

read more

Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: Adjourned 2015 LUV Annual General Meeting

Sun, 2015-09-13 00:29
Start: Sep 19 2015 15:30 End: Sep 19 2015 16:15 Start: Sep 19 2015 15:30 End: Sep 19 2015 16:15 Location: 

Boardroom, Electron Workshop, 31 Arden Street, North Melbourne


Confirmation of adjourned LUV 2015 AGM

This notice is to confirm that Linux Users of Victoria Inc. will be holding the adjournment of its Annual General Meeting, on Saturday 19th September 2015. The meeting will be held in the Boardroom of Electron Workshop at 3.30pm.

Electron Workshop is on the south side of Arden Street, about half way between Errol Street and Leveson Street. Public transport: 57 tram, nearest stop at corner of Errol and Queensberry Streets; 55 and 59 trams run a few blocks away along Flemington Road; 402 bus runs along Arden Street, but nearest stop is on Errol Street. On a Saturday afternoon, some car parking should be available on nearby streets.

LUV would like to thank Electron Workshop for making their boardroom available for this meeting, also Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Trinity College venue and VPAC for hosting.

Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

September 19, 2015 - 15:30

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Michael Still: CBC Navigation Course

Sat, 2015-09-12 19:28
So today was the day long map and compass class with the Canberra Bushwalking Club. I liked this walk a lot. It was a good length at about 15km, and included a few things I'd wanted to do for a while like wander around McQuoids Hill and the northern crest of Urambi hills. Some nice terrain, and red rocks gorge clearly requires further exploration.


See more thumbnails

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150912 photo canberra bushwalk


Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sat, 2015-09-12 15:28
  • Keynote, Brenda Wallace, State of Copyright. Lots of interesting information, NZ centric though (naturally) video
  • Keynote, Allison Kaptur, Ways we can be more effective learners. Focusing on the idea of a mindset, the context of our learning and different approaches, a hilight of the conference for me video
  • Keynote, Katie Bell, Python as a Teaching Language video
  • Brian Thorne, Blind Analytics, algorithms on encrypted data. I’ll probably have to watch this fifty times to actually understand.Video
  • Katie McLaughlin, Build a Better Hat Rack. Being nice in open source, not assuming that people know your work is appreciated. not all work is
  • Chris Neugebauer, Python’s type hints, in comparison to Javascripts. A very promising talk about the future of type hinting in python. video
  • Martin Henschke, Eloise “Ducky” Macdonald-Meyer, Coding workshops for school kids in Tasmania. Similar outcomes to the keynote. video
  • Tim Mitchell, Database Migrations using alembic, programmatically upgrading database scemas, hilights for me were the use cases. The example used was a good one as it’s multi staged (it’s a bad example for other reasons :) video
  • Jeremy Stott, Practical Web Security, takes a hobby project and secures it. Lots of little tips. video
  • Thomi Richards, Connascence in Python, a language for talking about the different types of coupling video
  • Cory Benfield, You Don’t care About Efficiency. All about sync code wasting cpu cycles while IO is happening, don’t do that. Doesn’t cover threading though. video
  • Lee Symes, Why Python is awesome, always good to see how languages are learning off each other video
  • Various (including myself), Lightning talks video
  • Ben Shaw, Micro-Services: Is HTTP the only way? video
  • Chris LeBlanc, Cython, I’ve done a lot of Cython, but there’s a a lot of features and it’s a fast moving target video
  • Steve Baker, The Pythonista’s 3D printing toolchain video
  • Tom Eastmen, security. Tom gives lightning talk about serial protocols everywhere, based on that, this should be good video
  • Fraser Tweedale, Integrating Python apps with Centralised Identity systems. I believe that this talk is mostly focused on configuring your web server to do authnz, rather than coding it incorrectly. video
  • Rand Huso, MPI and IoC video
  • Gagan Sharma, Simon Salinas, Custom Python Applications in Neuroscience video
  • Fei Long Wang, Zaqar, struggled to find a reason this exists, it might just need to exist to be an open replacement for SQS. video
  • WxPython Tuning app for FreeEMS, a Python app taking serial data from a car control system. They jumped to using threads and mutexes and things and didn’t seem to try to use an async read from the serial port, when they were already using a GUI mainloop. I asked why not, but they didn’t seem to understand my question. There doesn’t appear to be a video, may be because of a poorly named command line tool that sounds like a swear word.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Russell Coker: Running a Shell in a Daemon Domain

Fri, 2015-09-11 19:26

allow unconfined_t logrotate_t:process transition;

allow logrotate_t { shell_exec_t bin_t }:file entrypoint;

allow logrotate_t unconfined_t:fd use;

allow logrotate_t unconfined_t:process sigchld;

I recently had a problem with SE Linux policy related to logrotate. To test it out I decided to run a shell in the domain logrotate_t to interactively perform some of the operations that logrotate performs when run from cron. I used the above policy to allow unconfined_t (the default domain for a sysadmin shell) to enter the daemon domain.

Then I used the command “runcon -r system_r -t logrotate_t bash” to run a shell in the domain logrotate_t. The utility runcon will attempt to run a program in any SE Linux context you specify, but to succeed the system has to be in permissive mode or you need policy to permit it. I could have written policy to allow the logrotate_t domain to be in the role unconfined_r but it was easier to just use runcon to change roles.

Then I had a shell in the logrotate_t command to test out the post-rotate scripts. It turned out that I didn’t really need to do this (I had misread the output of an earlier sesearch command). But this technique can be used for debugging other SE Linux related problems so it seemed worth blogging about.

Related posts:

  1. Xen CPU use per Domain The command “xm list” displays the number of seconds of...
  2. SE Linux Lenny Status Update I previously described four levels of SE Linux support on...
  3. UBAC and SE Linux in Debian A recent development in SE Linux policy is the concept...

OpenSTEM: 2015 Science in Society Journalism Awards winners announced

Fri, 2015-09-11 12:30

Brendan Scott: brendanscott

Fri, 2015-09-11 12:30

You may or may not know that I’ve been moonlighting with Python for a number of years now.  This year I have written a new book Python for Kids for Dummies and, as of this week, it’s available from Amazon:

When I was engaged to do the book it was only going to be released in the US. I’ve recently learnt that it will be available in Australia (and elsewhere I guess) as well.

It is set to be available in Australia in a week or two (as at 11 Sept) from places like:



Angus and Robertson

Robinsons (Melbourne)

QBD (Hello Banana Benders!)

and Dymocks (or so I’m told, but it’s not on their website. I’ve always found Dymocks’ website difficult) – update saw a copy in Dymocks today (20 Sept 2015)

Michael Davies: Ironic on a NUC - part 2 - Running services, building and deploying images, and testing

Fri, 2015-09-11 08:31
This is a continuation of the previous post on Ironic on a NUC - setting things up.  If you're following along at home, read that first.

Creating disk images for deploymentNow let's build some images for use with Ironic.  First off, we'll need a deploy ramdisk image for the initial load, and we'll also need the image that we want to deploy to the hardware.  We can build these using diskimage builder, part of the triple-o effort.

So let's do that in a virtual environment:

mrda@irony:~/src$ mkvirtualenv dib

(dib)mrda@irony:~/src$ pip install diskimage-builder six

And because we want to use some of the triple-o elements, we'll refer to these as we do the build. Once the images are built we'll put them in a place where tftpd-hpa can serve them.

(dib)mrda@irony:~/src$ export ELEMENTS_PATH=~/src/tripleo-image-elements/elements(dib)mrda@irony:~/src$ mkdir images(dib)mrda@irony:~/src$ cd images(dib)mrda@irony:~/src/images$ disk-image-create ubuntu baremetal localboot dhcp-all-interfaces local-config -o my-image

(dib)mrda@irony:~/src/images$ ramdisk-image-create ubuntu deploy-ironic -o deploy-ramdisk

(dib)mrda@irony:~/src/images$ cp -rp * /tftpboot

Starting Ironic servicesI like to do my development in virtualenvs, so we'll run our services there. Let's start with ironic-api.

(dib)mrda@irony:~/src/images$ deactivate

mrda@irony:~/src/images$ cd ~/src/ironic/

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ tox -evenv --notest

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ ironic-api -v -d --config-file etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

Now in a new terminal window for our VM, let's run ironic-conductor:

mrda@irony:~/src/images$ cd ~/src/ironic/

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate(venv)mrda@krypton:~/src/ironic (master)$ python develop

(venv)mrda@krypton:~/src/ironic (master)$ ironic-conductor -v -d --config-file etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

(If you get an error about unable to load the pywsman library, follow the workaround over here in a previous blog post)

Running Ironic ClientLet's open a new window on the VM for running an ironic command-line client to exercise what we've built:

mrda@irony:~$ cd src/python-ironicclient/

mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ tox -evenv --notest

mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ source .tox/venv/bin/activate

Now we need to fudge authentication, and point at our running ironic-api:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ export OS_AUTH_TOKEN=fake-token

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ export IRONIC_URL=http://localhost:6385/

Let's try it out and see what happens, eh?

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic driver-list


| Supported driver(s) | Active host(s) |


| pxe_amt             | test-host      |


Looking good! Let's try registering the NUC as an Ironic node, specifying the deployment ramdisk:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-create -d pxe_amt -i amt_password='<the-nuc-amin-password>' -i amt_username='admin' -i amt_address='' -i deploy_ramdisk='file:///tftpboot/deploy-ramdisk.initramfs' -i deploy_kernel='file:///tftpboot/deploy-ramdisk.kernel' -n thenuc+--------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+| Property     | Value                                                                    |+--------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+| uuid         | 924a5447-930e-4d27-837e-6dd5d5f10e16                                     || driver_info  | {u'amt_username': u'admin', u'deploy_kernel': u'file:///tftpboot/deploy- ||              | ramdisk.kernel', u'amt_address': u'', u'deploy_ramdisk':       ||              | u'file:///tftpboot/deploy-ramdisk.initramfs', u'amt_password':           ||              | u'******'}                                                               || extra        | {}                                                                       || driver       | pxe_amt                                                                  || chassis_uuid |                                                                          || properties   | {}                                                                       || name         | thenuc                                                                   |+--------------+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Again more success!  Since we're not using Nova to manage or kick-off the deploy, we need to tell ironic where the instance we want deployed is, along with some of the instance information:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-update thenuc add instance_info/image_source='file:///tftpboot/my-image.qcow2' instance_info/kernel='file:///tftpboot/my-image.vmlinuz' instance_info/ramdisk='file:///tftpboot/my-image.initrd' instance_info/root_gb=10+------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+| Property               | Value                                                                   |+------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+| target_power_state     | None                                                                    || extra                  | {}                                                                      || last_error             | None                                                                    || updated_at             | None                                                                    || maintenance_reason     | None                                                                    || provision_state        | available                                                               || clean_step             | {}                                                                      || uuid                   | 924a5447-930e-4d27-837e-6dd5d5f10e16                                    || console_enabled        | False                                                                   || target_provision_state | None                                                                    || provision_updated_at   | None                                                                    || maintenance            | False                                                                   || inspection_started_at  | None                                                                    || inspection_finished_at | None                                                                    || power_state            | None                                                                    || driver                 | pxe_amt                                                                 || reservation            | None                                                                    || properties             | {}                                                                      || instance_uuid          | None                                                                    || name                   | thenuc                                                                  || driver_info            | {u'amt_username': u'admin', u'amt_password': u'******', u'amt_address': ||                        | u'', u'deploy_ramdisk': u'file:///tftpboot/deploy-            ||                        | ramdisk.initramfs', u'deploy_kernel': u'file:///tftpboot/deploy-        ||                        | ramdisk.kernel'}                                                        || created_at             | 2015-09-10T00:55:27+00:00                                               || driver_internal_info   | {}                                                                      || chassis_uuid           |                                                                         || instance_info          | {u'ramdisk': u'file:///tftpboot/my-image.initrd', u'kernel':            ||                        | u'file:///tftpboot/my-image.vmlinuz', u'root_gb': 10, u'image_source':  ||                        | u'file:///tftpboot/my-image.qcow2'}                                     |+------------------------+-------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Let's see what we've got:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-list


| UUID                                 | Name   | Instance UUID | Power State | Provisioning State | Maintenance |


| f8af4d4e-e3da-4a04-9596-8e4fef15e4eb | thenuc | None          | None        | available          | False       |


We now need to create a network port in ironic, and associate it with the mac address of the NUC.  But I'm lazy, so let's extract the node UUID first:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ NODEUUID=$(ironic node-list | tail -n +4 | head -n -1 | awk -F "| " '{print $2}')(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic port-create -n $NODEUUID -a <nuc-mac-address>+-----------+--------------------------------------+| Property  | Value                                |+-----------+--------------------------------------+| node_uuid | 924a5447-930e-4d27-837e-6dd5d5f10e16 || extra     | {}                                   || uuid      | c6dddc3d-b9b4-4fbc-99e3-18b8017c7b01 || address   | <nuc-mac-address>                    |+-----------+--------------------------------------+

So let's validate everything we've done, before we try this out in anger:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-validate thenuc


| Interface  | Result | Reason        |


| boot       | True   |               |

| console    | None   | not supported |

| deploy     | True   |               |

| inspect    | None   | not supported |

| management | True   |               |

| power      | True   |               |

| raid       | None   | not supported |


And one more thing to do before we really start things rolling - ensure the NUC is listening to us:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ telnet 16992Trying to character is '^]'.^]close

telnet> closeConnection closed.

You might have to try that a couple of times to wake up the AMT interface, but it's important that you do to ensure you don't get a failed deploy.

And then we take the node active, which will DHCP the deploy ramdisk, which will in turn write the user image to the disk - if everything goes well.  This will also take quite a long time, so time to go make that cup of tea :-)

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-set-provision-state thenuc active

Your NUC should have just booted into your user image and should be ready for you to use!

Postscript #1:Actually, that's not what really happened.  It's what I would have liked to happen.

But there were some issues. Firstly, ironic-conductor complained about not being able to find 'ironic-rootwrap'.  And then once I symlinked that into place, it couldn't find the config for rootwrap, so I symlinked that into place.  Then it complained that iscsiadm didn't have the correct permissions in rootwrap to do it's thing...

So I gave up, and did the thing I didn't want to.  Back on the VM I ended up doing a "sudo python install" in the ironic directory so everything got installed into the correct system place and then I could restart ironic-conductor.

It should all work in develop mode, but clearly it doesn't, so in the interests of getting something up and going (and finish this blog post :) I did the quick solution and installed system-wide. Perhaps I'll circle back and work out why someday :)

Postscript #2:When doing this, the deployment can fail for a number of reasons.  To recover, you need to delete the enrolled node and start again once you've worked out what the problem is, and worked out how to fix it.  To do that you need to do:

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-set-maintenance thenuc on

(venv)mrda@irony:~/src/python-ironicclient (master)$ ironic node-delete thenuc

Isn't it great that we can use names for nodes instead of UUIDs for most operations :)

Michael Davies: Ironic on a NUC - part 1 - Setting things up

Thu, 2015-09-10 18:35
Just because a few people have asked, here is what I did to get a standalone Ironic installation going and running in an Intel NUC.

Why a NUC?  Well, the Intel NUC is a cute little piece of hardware that is well suited as a test lab machine that can sit on my desk.  I'm using a DC53427HYE, which is an i5 with vPro.  vPro is a summary term for a bunch of Intel technologies, including AMT (Active Management Technology). This allows us to remotely manage this desktop for things like power management - think of this as an analogy to IPMI for servers.

Getting the VM readyI like to do my development in VMs, after all, isn't that what the cloud is for? :-) So first off using your virtualisation technology of choice, build a VM with Ubuntu 14.04.2 server on it.  I've allocated 2Gb RAM and 30Gb disk.  The reason for the larger than average disk is so that I have room for building ramdisk and deployment disk images. I've called this box 'irony'.

On the VM you'll need a few extra things installed once you've got the base OS installed:

mrda@irony:~$ sudo apt-get install python-openwsman ack-grep python-dev python-pip libmysqlclient-dev libxml2-dev git rabbitmq-server mysql-server isc-dhcp-server tftpd-hpa syslinux syslinux-common libxslt1-dev qemu-utils libpq-dev python-yaml open-iscsi

mrda@irony:~$ sudo pip install virtualenvwrapper six tox mysql-python

Thinking about the networkFor this set up, I'm going to run separate networks for the control plane and data plane.  I've added a USB NIC to the NUC so I can separate the networks. My public net connection to the internet will be on the 192.168.1.X network, whereas the service net control plane will be on 10.x.x.x.  To do this I've added a new network interface to the VM, changed the networking to bridging for both NICs, and assigned eth0 and eth1 appropriately, and updated /etc/network/interfaces in the VM, so the right adapter is on the right network.  It ended up looking like this in /etc/network/interfaces:

# The loopback network interfaceauto loiface lo inet loopback

# The primary (public) network interfaceauto eth0iface eth0 inet dhcp        gateway

# Control planeauto eth1iface eth1 inet static        address        netmask

Setting up DHCP We need to make sure we're listening for DHCP requests on the right interface

mrda@irony:~$ sudo sed -i 's/INTERFACES=""/INTERFACES="eth1"/' /etc/default/isc-dhcp-server

Now configure your DHCP server to hand out an address to the NUC, accounting for some of the uniqueness of the device :) The tail of my /etc/dhcp/dhcpd.conf looks a bit like this:

allow duplicates;

ignore-client-uids true;


subnet netmask {

    group {

        host nuc {

            hardware ethernet <your-nucs-mac-address>;

            fixed-address; # NUC's IP address

            allow booting;

            allow bootp;

            next-server <this-servers-ip-address>;

            filename "pxelinux.0";




There some more background on this in a previous blog post.

Setting up TFTPmrda@irony:~$ sudo mkdir /tftpboot

mrda@irony:~$ sudo chmod a+rwx /tftpboot/

We'll need to configure tftpd-hpa rather specifically, so /etc/default/tftpd-hpa looks like this:




TFTP_OPTIONS="-vvvv --map-file /tftpboot/map-file"

We'll also need to create /tftpboot/map-file which will need to look like this:

re ^(/tftpboot/) /tftpboot/\2re ^/tftpboot/ /tftpboot/re ^(^/) /tftpboot/\1re ^([^/]) /tftpboot/\1

This is because of a weird combination of the feature sets of tftpd-hpa, isc-dhcp-server, ironic and diskimage-builder. Basically the combination of relative and dynamic paths are incompatible, and we need to work around the limitations by setting up a map-file. This would be a nice little patch one-day to send upstream to one or more of these projects. Of course, if you're deploying ironic in a production Openstacky way where you use neutron and dnsmasq, you don't need the map file - it's only when you configure all these things handrolicly that you face this problem.

And we'll want to make sure the PXE boot stuff is all in place ready to be served over TFTP.

mrda@irony:~$ sudo cp /usr/lib/syslinux/pxelinux.0 /tftpboot/

mrda@irony:~$ sudo cp /usr/lib/syslinux/chain.c32 /tftpboot/

And now let's start these services

mrda@irony:~$ service tftpd-hpa restart

mrda@irony:~$ service isc-dhcp-server restart

Installing IronicJust install straight from github (HEAD is always installable, right?)

mrda@irony:~$ mkdir ~/src; cd ~/src

mrda@irony:~/src$ git clone 

mrda@irony:~/src$ git clone 

mrda@irony:~/src$ git clone

Configuring IronicNow we'll need to configure ironic to work standalone. There's a few config options that'll need to be changed from the default including changing the authentication policy, setting the right driver for AMT, setting a hostname and turning off that pesky power state syncing task.

mrda@irony:~$ cd src/ironic/

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ cp etc/ironic/ironic.conf.sample etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s/#auth_strategy=keystone/auth_strategy=noauth/" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s/#enabled_drivers=pxe_ipmitool/enabled_drivers=pxe_amt/" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s/#host=.*/host=test-host/" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s/#sync_power_state_interval=60/sync_power_state_interval=-1/" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s%#api_url=<None>%api_url=" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s/#dhcp_provider=neutron/dhcp_provider=none/" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

There's also the little matter of making sure the image directories are ready:

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/ironic/images

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/ironic/master_images

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sudo chmod a+rwx /var/lib/ironic/images

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sudo chmod a+rwx /var/lib/ironic/master_images

Initialising the databaseSince we've decided to use MySQL instead of SQLite, we'll need to setup the schema and update the database connection string.

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ mysql -u root -p -e "create schema ironic"mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ sed -i "s/#connection=.*/connection=mysql:\/\/root:<database-password>@localhost\/ironic/" etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local

mrda@irony:~/src/ironic (master)$ ironic-dbsync --config-file etc/ironic/ironic.conf.local create_schema

And that's everything that needs to be done to prepare the VM for running ironic. The next post will cover starting the ironic services, building images for deployment, and poking ironic from the command line.

Donna Benjamin: Sympathy - Empathy - Compassion

Thu, 2015-09-10 14:27
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 13:10Communication can be surprisingly hard.   Human beings talk a lot.  Well many humans do.  Some less so, Some more so, but I reckon, in general, there's a lot of daily jibber jabber.   Some of that talking is light hearted "Small Talk". Some of it is world changing speeches.  Some of it is the daily to and fro we need to get stuff done; at work, at play, at home.   Some talking leads to conflict.  Whilst thinking and talking about how to resolve conflict in more constructive ways, me and Gina Likins puzzled over how we could talk about compassion, and the important part it plays in conflict resolution.  We talked about Empathy and Sympathy, and examined various definitions of all these words.   In the end, this is what we came up with. We were thinking about Free and Open Source Software communities. But it seems to have resonated with others, so, I thought I'd post it here, and expand a little on each point.   Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion are "Big feels".  So, this is just my take on how we might more easily distinguish them from each other.   Sympathy This is when we feel sorry for someone.  We acknowledge that something has happened which isn't good for them, and is causing them some level of distress.  In the software world, it might be like noticing that someone has reported a bug.   Empathy This goes a step further. This is when we really acknowledge something is wrong. Perhaps we've experienced it too, we understand the issue is real. In software terms, perhaps we can replicate the bug, and acknowledge it's an issue that needs addressing.   Compassion The next step comes when we are motivated to help. We've not just acknowledged there's a problem, but are willing to do something to help fix it. In software terms, it means stepping up to help fix the bug that's been reported.   Bug trackers and issue queues can be sources of minor conflict.  We lack the non-verbal queues provided by tone of voice and body language that help when raising issues.  It's natural to feel defensive.  But perhaps, taking a moment to reflect on how we communicate, and what we hear, what we mean, and how we respond, could really help us get more done, together.

OpenSTEM: CONFIRMED: The Last Great Prediction Of The Big Bang! | Medium

Thu, 2015-09-10 12:30

Seventy years ago, we had taken fascinating steps forward in our conception of the Universe. Rather than living in a Universe governed by absolute space and absolute time, we lived in one where space and time were relative, depending on the observer. We no longer lived in a Newtonian Universe, but rather one governed by general relativity, where matter and energy cause the fabric of spacetime itself to curve.


[Now] A leftover glow unlike any other — of neutrinos — has finally been seen.

Read the full article.

“Two degrees above absolute zero was never so hot.”

Arjen Lentz: UW scientists are pioneering research on ‘body maps’ in babies’ brains | UW Today

Thu, 2015-09-10 12:25

The pattern of infants’ brain activity corresponded to the body parts being used, providing the first evidence that watching someone else use a specific body part prompts a corresponding pattern of activity in the infant neural body map.

And much more… interesting research!

OpenSTEM: NASA releases 3D-printable models to the public |

Thu, 2015-09-10 10:30

As part of its continuing program of education and outreach, NASA has released 22 printable models of NASA and European space probes, asteroids, and planetary landscapes for the hobbyist and space enthusiast.

The 3D models are available from the NASA website for free and are printable on any desktop 3D printer using plastic filaments. It’s the latest in a long tradition of NASA science, technology artwork made available to the public going back to its founding in 1958.