My FLOSS activities in July 2015

July 2015 has been mainly dedicated to these five fields of endeavour:

  • Debian Edu rollout at a grammar school (Gymnasium) in Lübeck, Germany
  • GOsa² and Debian Edu testing and fixing
  • Upgrading a Debian Edu squeeze main server to jessie
  • Packaging started to get ILIAS into Debian
  • Work on Debian and Debian LTS

Debian Edu rollout at a grammar school (Gymnasium) in Lübeck, Germany

In spring 2015, we got contacted by the IT coordinator of a grammar school (Gymnasium) in Lübeck, Germany. He asked for some consultancy on the existing school network based on Debian and Linux Mint. The school has been running on Linux all-over for the past 5 years (at least, IIRC).

After several phone calls and a personal meeting, the decision was reached to switch over the educational segment of their school IT completely to Debian Edu / Skolelinux.

GOsa² and Debian Edu testing and fixing

This new customer gave us the opportunity of intensively testing Debian Edu jessie. Diverting from previous rollouts, we dropped LibVirt as virtualization technology and switched over to Ganeti. The Debian Edu machines all run in KVM virtual machines.

Our Diskless Workstations and diskfull workstations have been running on Debian Edu jessie plus MATE desktop environment for a while already. But the main servers at other customers' are still on Debian Edu squeeze.

Most of the problems in Debian Edu jessie appear around NFSv4, Kerberos and GOsa². Various bug reports have been filed during the past 2-3 weeks. More documentation and communication on observed issues is required after my family vacation. I plan to get most of them fixed (and into jessie) after the customer's rollout has been finished.

Upgrading a Debian Edu squeeze main server to jessie

In the process of setting up the school in Lübeck, we also opened up to a request from a school in Kiel to upgrade all their servers from Debian (Edu) squeeze/wheezy to Debian (Edu) jessie. Whereas uprgading Debian Edu client machines is very similar to upgrading any Debian machine, doing dist-upgrades on a Debian Edu main server is very tricky (and nasty).

The upgrade process of the school's Debian Edu squeeze main server to Debian Edu jessie has been documented in English [1] and will be verified in the course of another main server upgrade in Octobre 2015. Once the documentation has proven helpful in a second dist-upgrade, those docs will be moved to the Debian (Edu) wiki.

Packaging started to get ILIAS into Debian

Our new school customer in Lübeck also plans to use the e-learning software ILIAS as their communication platform. During the discussions and exchanges with the school's IT coordinator, I got the deep impression, that ILIAS is the missing jigsaw piece in Debian Edu.

In our local school project "IT-Zukunft Schule" [2] we will add ILIAS to our portfolio and offer ILIAS installations to our customers.

In the long run, I would love to see ILIAS being possible to install as another Debian Edu installation profile "Content Server". To make this idea become real, I have started working on packaging ILIAS for Debian [3].

Work on Debian and Debian LTS

Many aspects of the aforementioned fields of work already directly relate to working on Debian. Only a few other areas of endeavour around Debian need mentioning here.

For Debian, I did several uploads in July, amongst them various MATE uploads to experimental, some X2Go related uploads to unstable, bug fix uploads for GOsa² to jessie and unstable, new release and bug fix uploads for FusionDirectory and Argonaut to jessie and unstable.

For the Debian LTS team I have been doing 8h of contracted work in July 2015 (with work being really executed at the beginning of August 2015). The work focused on:

  • security upload of openssh [4]
  • security upload of remind [5]
  • work started on fixing various security issues in virtualbox-ose

Received Sponsorship

Last month's contributions of mine (8h) to the Debian LTS project had been contracted by Freexian [6] again. Thanks to Raphael Hertzog for having me on the team. Thanks to all the people and companies sponsoring the Debian LTS Team's work.

Mike Gabriel (aka sunweaver)

PS: I wish all of you attending DebConf 2015 a great time in Heidelberg. I hope to be virtually around in some of the talks while being on family vacation in Sweden.