Quattor Community Catchup (10th February 2023)

10 February 2023
James Adams

Location of minutes

It was agreed that posting minutes at https://www.quattor.org/meeting/ is fine.

EL8 support

  • Bruno reported that needed to build ncm-spma himself for 21.12.0 when using the yum-dnf provider.
  • MS are using yum-ng on EL7 and dnf on EL8+, did patch some things for dnf but upstream yum-dnf is believed to work correctly and is used by most sites running EL8+, only MS is known to be using the dnf provider.

It is believed that all EL8 support has been merged upstream for at least 21.12.0.

Discussion on plans for EL9 support

Can we at least deploy EL9 systems?

MS has tried, but it has not gone very smoothly.

NetworkManager will deprecate/abolish support for the legacy network scripts at some point in the near future.

MS looking at overhauling network builds, various options were briefly discussed and it seems to make sense to write a new component to replace ncm-network.

The AtomicFile package installs modules in /usr/local/share which is not in the default Perl path and SPMA fails.

There was a discussion about documentation for installing a new instance/broker etc. RedHat consultants (incl. Petros) have prepared an Ansible playbook for bootstrapping aquilon brokers which they are looking to share.

Bruno reported that he had recently deployed a broker following the documentation and described it as “quite easy”, he has also rebuilt packages for ARM (aarch64).

He Would like to introduce aquilon at Sanger as struggling with performance of existing tools at the moment.

Bruno will share his documentation, configuration and packages.

Latest release (21.12.1)

  • Does it work out of the box? Bruno reported that he had to patch the following on 21.12.0:

    After a brief discussion it wasn’t clear what changes were necessary, Bruno will follow up offline.

Noted however that this point release was primarily built for MS.

Python 3 readiness for aquilon

  • Has been mentioned to the broker team, work done internally, possibly not in prod yet. Think that it is pretty much done.
  • It is believed that aqd daemon is fully py3 ready, but there is a showstopper problem with the client. Essentially the way knc was integrated with twisted no longer works, and no one has yet worked out why.
  • It was also noted that MS are currently migrating their broker from Oracle DB to PostgreSQL.

aarch64 readiness

  • Reported that it mostly “just works” - template library support and a few dependent RPMs that need rebuilding, Bruno will contribute the work he has done on this.

Thoughts in deprecating /hardware/bios in favour of /hardware/firmware

…which would have:

type structure_firmware = {
    'type' : choice('bios', 'uefi', 'soc') # system on a chip
    'version' : string
    'releasedate' ? string


I would like this for when I install modern UEFI machines or legacy BIOS machines, e.g. as I use a different partition scheme depending on the firmware type.

Right now I use a look-up table of model names, but it would be nice to put the firmware type in the template under '${archetype}/hardware/machine'

This was briefly discussed, MS and RAL have both adopted a partitioning layout and package deployment that works on both legacy BIOS and UEFI systems without change and feel this should be the recommendation unless there are strong reasons not to do so.


It was noted that the Cephalocon in Amsterdam in April 2023 presents an opportunity for at least a Q4B, either in AMS or a town/city within easy train ride.