Rudder Community Blog

Recent Weeks in Rudder – 2 (30 Jan. 2017)

This is a (approximately) 2 week summary of the activity in the Rudder community, highlighting events, discussions and development activity. Writing these updates is open, all contributions are welcome in the collaborative writing space!

Announcements and Blog Posts

  • There will be a Rudder room at CfgMgmtCamp (Monday, February 6)!
  • Rudder 4.1 beta 1 was released (changelog). The features planned for the final release are all included, with some rough edges for now. For reference, these features include:
    • A new API on all Rudder relays, allowing remote triggering of the agent and file sharing between nodes.
    • Datasources, to integrate data from external APIs into Rudder policies. This feature will be available as a plugin for Rudder. We are currently improving our development and build processes for plugins, and you will likely see new Rudder plugins in the future. Why use plugins?
      • They help to keep Rudder’s code base lighter and simpler
      • They allow for more flexible release management, by adding or updating features without affecting the main Rudder application
      • They allow installing some advanced features only when they are needed, keeping the default user interface simple
    • Tags on directives and rules, to allow an easy filtering. Here is an overview of Directives filtering:

Events

  • [Upcoming] Rudder community will gather at the Rudder room at CfgMgmtCamp, 6 and 7 Feb., Gent (Belgium)

Development

  • Work on the 4.1 release, see the beta 1 changelog for details.
  • Load testing was made on 3.1 and 4.0 versions, and will lead to performance improvements in the next minor releases (#9835 and #9869).
  • Packaging change in 4.1: rudder-server-relay is now a dependency of rudder-webapp. This package now does all the policy distribution and inventory collection on both root server and relay servers. It is totally transparent for users and require no specific action.
  • We worked on changing the Java required version in 4.1 to Java 8 (#9917). This will lead to some minor changes in our dependencies, but we will provide the necessary package to avoid having to another repository for platforms that do not provide Java 8. This will be documented in installation documentation before the final release.

The following documentation sources were updated:

Rudder room at CfgMgmtCamp Gent 2017

The Rudder community will soon gather at the occasion of the Configuration Management Camp Gent.

The Configuration Management Camp is an event for people interested in Open Source configuration management, that exists since 2014. It is a community-oriented event where different projects meet each other and share knowledge and experiences internally. The Rudder community has been participating since the first edition, and will this year will have a dedicated room for the first time. Presentations will be made by Rudder developers and users, and we will also keep time for open discussions.

The Rudder room will take place the Monday, February 6 (in room B4.042) . The planned schedule is:

And in the main track, the Tuesday, February 7:

We look forward to meeting you! You can subscribe to this blog to get notified when we publish the slides and summaries of the talks.

Recent Weeks in Rudder – 1 (20 Dec. 2016)

This is a (approximately) 2 week summary of the activity in the Rudder community, highlighting events, discussions and development activity. Writing these updates is open, all contributions are welcome in the collaborative writing space!

Announcements and Blog Posts

Events

Development

  • We started working on Rudder 4.1, the two main features will be an API on all Rudder relays allowing file sharing between nodes and remote run across relay, and a way to include data from external APIs in Rudder properties
    • #8353 Implement notifications for different server-side actions and events (hooks), with ongoing discussion about implementation in the issue
    • #9698 Import node properties from external data sources
    • #9707 Relay API for file sharing between nodes and remote run across relays, see the thread on [rudder-dev] for more information
    • #9698 Import node properties from external Web APIs
    • #9733 Add tags in Directive/Rules
    • #9737 Upgrade of CFEngine in Rudder agent to 3.10.0b1 (3.10 will be the next LTS release, and includes major performance improvements for data manipulation)
  • #9706 Discussion about a new method to set sysctl settings
  • Reworked README for the main project, including a functional diagram of Rudder
  • The changelogs have all be moved from the old foswiki to the Rudder project website, and the sources are now in git
  • Updated Reference documentation about Techniques (including new report types in 4.0), that now live in the manual

Rudder 3.1.17, 3.2.10 and 4.0.2 released

The following versions were released on 12th December 2016:

  • 3.1.17 (changelog, upgrade documentation) – Rudder 3.1 is currently the ESR version of Rudder. It will be maintained 6 months after the next ESR release is announced.
  • 3.2.10 (changelog, upgrade documentation) – Rudder 3.2 was the latest release before 4.0, and it will reach end of life the 10th February 2017. We recommend that any installations still using 3.2 be upgraded to Rudder 4.0 as soon as possible.
  • 4.0.1, followed the 20th December by 4.0.2 (changelog, upgrade documentation) – Rudder 4.0 is currently the latest stable release of Rudder. It will be maintained 3 months after the next major release comes out.

These are bug fix releases, and all installations should be upgraded when possible. We are impatient to hear your feedback, be it comments, questions on Twitter (@RudderProject) or on IRC (#rudder on Freenode), bug reports or feature requests on the bug tracker (or of course GitHub pull requests).

Changelog summary

Note: The 4.0.1 release contained an inconvenient warning message in the scripts that regularly checks Rudder agent state (#9799), and a bug in the display of the “Download a file from the shared folder” Directive (#9804), which lead to quickly release the 4.0.2 version.

The 4.0.1 and 4.0.2 releases fix some rough edges of the initial 4.0 release. No major issues have been reported, and 3.2 users should consider upgrading to 4.0 soon (as support will end 10th February 2017).

The following important bugs were fixed:

  • [#9402, 3.1, 3.2 and 4.0] The promises were not updated when the node properties were updated using the API, which lead to out-of-sync node properties on the nodes.
  • [#9761, 3.1, 3.2 and 4.0] It is now possible to upgrade to a specific version (that may not be the latest) in the apt and rpm package techniques, as well as in the package_install* generic methods.
  • [#9751, 3.2 and 4.0] No error output in “rudder agent update” when the agent could not download configuration from its policy server
  • [#9691, 4.0] The “node.env” special variable containing the environment variables on the node was broken

These releases include some new features:

  • [#8127, 3.1, 3.2, and 4.0] The inventories are now checked on agent side, just after their creation, to avoid sending broken inventories. It avoids having to wait for 24 hours when the first inventory after installation is done before all necessary information are available.

The documentation have also been improved:

 

New Rudder blog – a community channel

A blog for the Rudder community

We decided to open a new communication channel for the Rudder community. Its main goal is to provide a place for development and community-oriented content, easier to discover and browse than mailing-list archives.

This blog will include:

  • Major and minor release announcements, with a focus on highlighting important changes and fixes
  • Regular news about Rudder development, called Recent weeks in Rudder (see the explanation below)
  • and more!

This blog is an open place for the community, and we would be glad to publish content from users outside of the development team.

Recent weeks in Rudder

Like other Open Source projects already do (for example This Week in Rust), we want to create a regular newsletter about Rudder community and development activity. It will centralize links to all recent content about Rudder, and will summarize the activity of the development team.

It will be published every few weeks (2 is the initial goal, but it may vary depending on the activity level), the first one will be published very soon. Writing these updates is public and open, and anyone can propose changes in the collaborative writing space.

Get notified and contribute!

To follow the Rudder news, you can subscribe to the RSS feed of this blog using your favorite feed reader. Furthermore, this blog is open to contributions from Rudder developers and users, so if you want to share Rudder usecases, tips, etc., you can send your post proposals to contact@rudder-project.org.