Weldr

Rethinking how we make ready-to-use operating system images.

Using Composer on RHEL

Weldr aka. Composer can generate custom images suitable for deploying systems, or as images ready to upload the cloud. It works great on Fedora, but on Red Hat Enterpise Linux there’s an additional wrinkle.

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Pushing composed images to vSphere

Weldr aka. Composer can generate images suitable for uploading to a VMWare ESXi or vSphere system, and running as a virtual machine there. The images have the right format, and include the necessary agents.

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Pushing composed images to OpenStack

Weldr aka. Composer can generate images suitable for uploading to OpenStack cloud deployments, and starting instances there. The images have the right layout, and include cloud-init.

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Pushing composed images to AWS

Weldr aka. Composer can generate images suitable for uploading to Amazon Web Services, and starting an EC2 instance. The images have the right partition layout, and include cloud-init.

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What is a Dependency, Anyway

A RPM package is not just a pile of files. It’s also a pile of metadata to help with the management of those files. RPM allows the user to track files, verify them, and keep everything internally consistent through dependencies. So how do dependencies work?

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Composer on the Cmdline

lorax-composer now has a command line tool, it is called composer-cli, and it can be installed from the lorax-composer repo by running yum install composer-cli. It uses the lorax-composer socket file to communicate with the API server so it must be run on the same system as lorax-composer, and by a user who has permission to access the socket. eg. root or a member of the weldr group.

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Unpacking RPM: an introduction

(tl;dr version: let’s start mapping out the RPM ecosystem as a whole - from high-level abstractions and use cases down to the bits and bytes - so we can make improvements and build the software ecosystem we really want.)

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Experimenting with Lorax Composer

In my previous post about Lorax Composer I said that the docker setup would be useful for keeping track of the progress of the project. It ends up that isn’t true once you start composing images. livemedia-creator and lorax-composer depend on Anaconda for actually installing packages to the images. Because Anaconda depends on system services like device-mapper, among other things, it isn’t possible to use it inside of a container. It needs a full system or a virtual machine.

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File system as a requirement

The file system–a tree-like representation of file data and metadata–is a necessary component of any export from RPM data, even if the export is not to a file system. There are two reasons for this: directory permissions, and symlinks.

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Other content types in BDCS

In an effort to move beyond only storing RPM content in the bdcs, I’ve been trying to extend import and export to handle JavaScript packages from npm. Npm seemed like a good first choice since there’s usually nothing to build, and since the welder-web frontend makes use of npm packages it would be a first step towards a self-hosting welder system.

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Finding Weldr On IRC

The Weldr project uses IRC to communicate with each other around the world. We have team members in multiple countries and timezones and being available on a chat system is helpful. We are on the FreeNode network in the #weldr channel.

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