Engineering Software, Linux, and Operations. The website of Jack Neely.    

Lab Hell

  July 1, 2005   Operations

Still getting email from my “publisher.” I find the idea of writing a book rather interesting but I’m not actually sure I could do it. In any case, I think doing something through would be a much better choice.

For the last several days I have been bent over by the Mac cluster fuck at my fine place of employment. Days and days have gone by and the Mac folks can’t get 105 ibooks installed without taking a firewire drive to each one. Being that’s after they got an install to work at all. What happens when we need to make a change to this load? Such as new configurations or applications. We have literally no official support for Macs and none of us have any real knowledge on the situation. But, its what the faculty have demanded and since we, the administrators, are completely incompetent, this is what we are forced to do.

Another interesting tidbit about these things is that per the faculty spec your home directory on only the Macs in this one lab is a temporary directory. It gets deleted when you log out. Your AFS home directory is mounted somewhere but you have to go find that and explicitly move or save stuff there. Wow, this should cause some fun times.

The only “real work” I have been able to do this week is participate in some of the conversation on the fedora-packaging list about standards for packaging kernel modules and how the updater should treat them. I think that Spot, myself, and the folks there have gotten down to a system that’s actually really workable. Looks like kernel modules are going to have to be in completely separate packages from their user-land bits, but if that’s where the evilness lies then we have done a good job.

I’ve also been able to work on some patches to implement the kernel-module goodness in Yum. So at least Yum can decide how to get the modules installed correctly. The hard part is going to be the users wants to install module foobar and I have this list of available foobar modules, which ones do I install?

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