Solitary brother, is there still a part of you that wants to live?

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Yesterday was a day of hacking and shopping. I made the xen-tools 2.0 release, and made the beta website live.

Once that was done I folded in the changes I’d made for work – so it is now possible to configure Gentoo linux – simply download an image from jailtime.org and you can use that image as the source for a new installation:

 xen-create-image --hostname=gentoo.my.flat \
    --ip=192.168.1.234 \
    --dist=gentoo \
    --copy=/mnt/gentoo 

(More detailed instructions here.)

Here “/mnt/gentoo” is the location of the loopback mounted Gentoo image, and “—dist gentoo” is used to specify that the hooks should be run from the Gentoo directory. (The hooks setup /etc/conf.d/hostname, /etc/conf.d/net, etc.)

From start to finish a pristine installation of Gentoo running under Xen takes about five minutes. Neat.

In between working, releasing, and hacking I did a lot of shopping. I ordered some beautiful stainless-steel jewelry, some new toys, and a few weeks worth of food. All without leaving the house!

I think for the next week or two I’m going to design a distributed xen monitor/control panel. The Argo software has a reasonably good design – but it is fundamently single-server.

For work purposes, and for scalability, we need to be able to control N hosts each running X xen instances. (Rather than 1 host running X instances). I’m not sure what the best design for this is, but I think having an agent on each xen server reporting to a central server is best.

I’ve gotten a bit of mail about Argo recently inquiring about SSL support for the communication link – nice to read – but so far I’ve only considered SSH tunnels. Really handling certificates is going to require .. careful .. consideration.

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