Thursday Sep 03, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.3 Build 36 Available

The Update Center 2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 36 (download) of the Update Center Toolkit. This build resolves 21 defects and contains 13 enhancements beyond the previous build.  The pkg(5) drop for this build is based on build 121 of OpenSolaris with some additional fixes. 

This was the last open bug fix build for the 2.3 release.  The remaining builds are for stoppers for the release. 

Monday Aug 24, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.3 Build 35 Available

The Update Center 2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 35 (download) of the Update Center Toolkit. This build resolves 22 defects and contains 7 enhancements beyond the previous build.  Two of the major modifications for this build are support for the AIX operating system and inclusion of a pkg(5) drop that brings in a new transport layer based on the cURL library.The pkg(5) drop is based on build 118 of OpenSolaris with some additional fixes.  The intent is to resynchronize with the pkg(5) gate several additional times before development on 2.3 is concluded.

Feature development for the 2.3 release is now mostly done, and the remaining builds are intended to fix defects.

Sunday Aug 23, 2009

Screencast of Layered Web Stack Installation with pkg(5)

Check out Brian Overstreet's screencast on using the pkg(5) system and Update Tool to augment an installation of Web Stack 1.5 on Solaris 10. 

Wednesday Aug 19, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.2 Update 2 Release

The Update Center team is pleased to announce the availability of release 2.2 Update 2 of the Update Center Toolkit. This release includes the following changes:

  • A critical fix to the minimized Python for Mac OS X to solve a problem with downloading large packages, specifically the Glassfish jruby package
  • All fixes from previous update releases

Downloads and release notes for the 2.2 Update 2 release are now available.

Wednesday Aug 12, 2009

Road to AIX Support: First Build Milestone for pkg(5)

Yesterday, August 11, 2009, the Image Packaging System, pkg(5), was compiled and run for the first time on IBM's AIX® 6.1 operating system. All of the API unit tests ran successfully, and 69 of the CLI tests passed. Since I don't have root access on the AIX system being used, the other CLI tests were not expected to pass. AIX support for the command line interfaces is one of the features in the Update Center 2.3 toolkit.

The hardest part about porting pkg(5) to AIX has been to assemble the build environment that is needed to compile the software, especially without root access.  Although there are some RPMs available with some of the tools for AIX, these require root access to install.  That's one of the nice things about pkg(5) packaging is that it supports user images that do not require root access. Compilation of pkg(5) requires Python, Mercurial, a C compiler, setuputils, pyXML, simplejson, patch, cURL,  OpenSSL, and tidy. This list and the instructions for performing the build have been recorded on a project wiki page.

Once the build environment was assembled, modifications to only four files (nine lines) were needed to accomplish the initial port. These changes consisted of modifying the build and test scripts and the utility for getting a canonical operating system name to recognize 'aix' as a valid platform. Work still remains to complete more thorough testing and debugging, packaging of pkg(5) into the toolkit for AIX, and making sure other parts of the toolkit such as the Java API are supported on AIX, but this is a big first step.

With the addition of AIX in the 2.3 release, this expands the multi-platform support for the Image Package System to 5 major platforms (Solaris, Linux, Mac/OS, Windows, and AIX).

® AIX is a registered trademark of IBM. 

Monday Aug 10, 2009

Web Stack 1.5: Now Fully Relocatable and Updatable Via pkg(5) and the Update Center Toolkit

The release of Web Stack 1.5 was recently announced.  One of the unique features of the 1.5 release is support for pkg(5) and the Update Center Toolkit.      

As Jeff Trawick demonstrates in his blog installing Web Stack components such as Apache is greatly simplified using the tools provided by the Update Center Toolkit.   The Update Center will also provide desktop notification to users when updates to the installed Web Stack components become available as well as provide a straightforward method to update those components via the Software Update tool.

If you are a new or existing Web Stack user now is a great time to try out the new pkg(5) based version of the product.

Tuesday Aug 04, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.3 Build 34 Available

The Update Center 2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 34 (download) of the Update Center Toolkit. This is the fourth development build for the 2.3 release that is targeted for delivery later this year.  This build resolves 18 issues and contains 2 enhancements beyond the previous build.  

This build does not yet include the new pkg(5) drop nor support for AIX. These have been delayed due to difficulties in development of these features, especially with Windows support for the pycurl library that is needed for the new pkg(5) drop and in creating a working build environment for AIX.

Wednesday Jul 29, 2009

Open MQ 4.4 Adopts pkg(5) and the Update Center Toolkit

The Open MQ team has been busy preparing the initial promoted builds of their upcoming new minor feature release, Open MQ 4.4.  It's impressive that without any real prodding from our Update Center Toolkit team, the MQ team has pretty much of their own accord begun adopting pkg(5) and the Update Center Toolkit as the main delivery format for this next release.  The MQ team has produced a series of installer wrapped download bundles containing pre-installed pkg(5) images for their supported platforms and they are in the process of delivering a companion set of raw zip downloads using virtually the same underlying pre-installed pkg(5) images.  You can obtain their preliminary promoted builds of the installer-wrapped bundles from their MQ 4.4 release site.

Shape of the pkg(5)-based Open MQ Distribution

The Open MQ 4.4 builds currently consists of at least 9 pkg(5) packages containing content ranging from portable Java components of the core product to platform-specific components such as the optional C language client API. Platforms addressed by these preliminary builds include: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris and OpenSolaris.  Once AIX is supported by the Update Center project's port of the pkg(5) system in v2.3 of the toolkit, the Open MQ AIX bundle will likely migrate to using pkg(5) packages of their AIX install bundles.

Benefits of Sustainable, Modular Binary Packages

In addition to forming the basis of the MQ 4.4 distribution, these same pkg(5) packages are integrated into builds of the GlassFish v3 distribution. Thereby demonstrating the value of reusing the same modular binary packages across multiple product distributions.  Historically, the lack of formal packaging of raw zip and tar.gz bundles has made it difficult for development and sustaining teams to deliver and share the same updated binaries.  With the adoption of the pkg(5) system and the Update Center Toolkit, development and sustaining teams only need to deliver one set of updated packages that can be shared across multiple product distributions. 

Tuesday Jul 28, 2009

GlassFish v2.1 Packages: The Untold Story

GlassFish v3 garners a lot of attention in our Update Center 2 development project because of its relatively long history of adopting the Image Packaging System and the Update Center Toolkit for its layered, multi-platform distributions.  But there's also a story around the GlassFish Enterprise Server v2.1 release, Sun's premier Java Enterprise Edition 5  platform.

Rationale for Retrofitting Only Packages

Since the GlassFish v2 product offering already had a series of download and install bundles in unpackaged zip and self-extracting formats, it didn't make sense to retrofit those existing deliverables in pkg(5) format for multi-platform use and re-release the entire product distribution.  However, the GlassFish team and several product teams dependent on GlassFish saw an opportunity to make the GlassFish v2.1 product and follow-on support updates available as a series of pkg(5) packages that other products could incorporate into their own pkg(5)-based distributions.

For example, the Web Space Server product's dependency on GlassFish v2.1 was satisfied by including the GlassFish v2.1 pkg(5) packages in the Web Space Server package repositories.  Doing so yielded a soup-to-nut pkg(5)-based distribution of the Web Space Server + GlassFish v2.1 stack.  As part of their set of initial download and install bundles, the Web Space Server team produced a bundle containing GlassFish v2.1, its dependencies and Web Space Server pre-installed using the pkg(5) packages of these components.  Evaluators and customers of the Web Space Server product have benefited from this integrated initial install and ongoing update and add-on experience.

Packaging Kickstart

A special thanks to Christophe Ravel of the shared components team in the Sun middleware group for his instrumental work in getting the initial GlassFish v2.1 packages and their dependencies (including Message Queue, JavaDB and Ant) built for a variety of OS platforms and working with the GlassFish Sustaining team to integrate the package creation process into their existing build system.  Over much of this year, the GlassFish Sustaining team has been refreshing the pkg(5) packages as they've developed update releases for the GlassFish v2.1 product.  These updated packages of GlassFish v2.1 have been published to the Web Space Server support package repository for delivery to customers with support subscriptions. 

Based on his experience, Christophe published a presentation, Multi-platform IPS Packaging for Software Engineers, that is part of the Image Packaging System Best Practices the Update Center project offers to projects adopting pkg(5) for layered, multi-platform use.

Web Space Server Continues to Roll Out Updates and Add-ons

Back in Februrary the GlassFish Web Space Server team rolled out their 10.0 release of their new web portal product.  Following the GlassFish application server project, the Web Space Server team was the second major project team to adopt the Image Packaging System and the Update Center Toolkit for layered, multi-platform use. 

Deliveries Thus far

Since their initial release, the Web Space Server team has been busy rolling out:

  • 5 update releases consisting of updated packages published to support repositories that are accessible to customers with support subscriptions
  • GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1 packages containing latest fixes for customers
  • More than 30 new add-on packages including many portlets and other extensions to the base platform

Additionally, the Web Space Server team has been aggressively staying on top of the Update Center Toolkit releases by publishing updated toolkit packages to both their release and support repositories.  Doing so ensures that their users get the latest toolkit fixes and features.  They are on v2.2 of the toolkit and will soon publish v2.2 Update 1.

A Satisfied Adopter

Based on more than 6 months of experience supporting their product in the field, James Falkner, a lead on the Web Space Server project, had this to say about the value of adopting the pkg(5) system and the Update Center Toolkit:

"The integration of the pkg(5) system and the Update Center Toolkit as part of the Web Space Server product offering has empowered our customers with out-of-the-box, easy to use tools for managing cross-platform Web Space Server deployments, which allows our product team to focus on delivering high quality releases and updates through an efficient pipeline. Specific benefits include:

    • Ease of rolling in external dependencies (e.g. GFv2.1+dependencies) simply by including the packages in the appropriate repository
    • Desktop notifier, which keeps our customers developing on desktops up-to-date
    • Cross-platform support for our cross-platform product
    • GUI + CLI for addressing many real world use cases
    • Usage metrics"

Closed Network Support: New Territory

Another area where the Web Space Server team is breaking new ground is by enabling customers with deployments that don't have access to the internet-based package repositories to obtain copies of the Web Space Server package repositories and run them locally to feed clients within the customers' closed networks.  More on this front in a future post.

GlassFish v3 Preview Adopts pkg(5) and the Update Center Toolkit

Sort of old news, but we needed to bring our Adoption Stories up to date with the most recent releases of products adopting the Update Center Toolkit.

Back in early June, the GlassFish team released GlassFish v3 Preview, the latest early access release of the Java Enterprise Edition 6 technologies and the new Java EE 6 Web Profile.  Because GlassFish v3 uses a microkernel architecture based on OSGi, developers can begin with the Java EE 6 Web Profile and use the Update Center to dynamically upgrade to the full Java EE 6 platform.

As an early adopter of the Image Packaging System and the cross-platform Update Center Toolkit, this is the GlassFish team's 3rd release of GlassFish that is wholly based on the Image Packaging System and incorporates the Update Center Toolkit.  The GlassFish v3 Preview release includes version 2.1 of the toolkit.

As with previous GFv3 releases, the Preview release offers both installer-wrapped and raw zip download bundles - both of which are based on pre-installed pkg(5) images.  As functionality is added to the GFv3 releases, we've witnessed more and more packages being added to the GFv3  release and contrib package repositories.  The current combined count is over 50 packages!

The GlassFish team has already integrated v2.2 of the toolkit into their promoted development builds of GFv3.  Looking forward, the team plans to leverage v2.3 of the toolkit with their next GFv3 release.

Friday Jul 24, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.3 Build 33 Available

The Update Center 2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 33 (download) of the Update Center Toolkit. This is the third development build for the 2.3 release that is targeted for delivery later this year.  This build resolves 27 issues and contains 8 enhancements beyond the previous build.  

Included in this build are better support for non-default users in makepkgs, a new source column in list of components displayed by the Software Update GUI, fixes to various display problems with the Update Tool GUI, improved support for Windows 7, and the ability to view only recent versions (instead of all versions) of a package in the Update Tool GUI.  There are many other fixes and enhancements that can be seen at the link above.

Thursday Jul 23, 2009

OpenDS: pkg(5) Ant Integration Updated

Ludovic Poitou has graciously integrated some of my recent build enhancements into the OpenDS source tree.  These changes were mainly oriented toward enabling developers to build the pkg(5)-enabled OpenDS download bundles while disconnected from the network.  Use of the custom Ant tasks for pkg(5) developed by the Update Center 2 project is a key aspect of the overall OpenDS and pkg(5) integration.  

The OpenDS build enhancements include:

  • modifications to enable building of OpenDS pkg(5)-based image when your disconnected from the network
  • updates to the package metadata to include OpenDS project links and up-to-date package descriptions
  • streamlined developer set up steps

The updated developer experience is documented in Building OpenDS in pkg(5) Format Using the Update Center 2 Toolkit on the OpenDS project site.

This integration paves the way to build and publish both pkg(5)-enabled OpenDS download bundles and the associated packages such that OpenDS developers and users can start getting their feet wet with the benefits of this combination.

Thursday Jul 09, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.3 Build 32 Available

The UC2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 32 of the Update Center Toolkit. This is the second development build for the 2.3 release that is targeted for delivery later this year.  This build resolves 21 issues beyond the previous build.  

With this build, the software update interface is now embedded into the notifier process so that when one clicks on the update notification balloon, the software update UI comes up immediately with the information about what images have updates already available. When run this way, the software update UI suppressed the available add-ons section of the UI if there are not add-ons available.

This build also includes some features and bug fixes for the package publishing tools.  For example, the makepkgs tool now supports the ability to set the default user, group and mode for files and directories.  See the issue list for more details.

This is the first development build that includes all of the changes from the 2.2 Update 1 release.

Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

"Great tool, worked perfectly and was obvious to use"

Don't you love it when your project team receives this sort of feedback? 

We recently received this quote from a person that was evaluating the soon-to-be-released layered or unbundled pkg(5) form of the Sun GlassFish Web Stack, a commercially supported form of Apache HTTP Server, Tomcat, MySQL and PHP for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Solaris. 

Although the Web Stack product has been available in native pkg(5) format as part of the OpenSolaris distribution since OpenSolaris 2008.05 and in native package format on Red Hat Entperise Linux and Solaris since Web Stack 1.4, this new form of the product distribution introduces non-root, relocatable and multiple instance installation support combined with the benefits of pkg(5)-based installation and update management for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Solaris platforms.

After sweating over hundreds of details in what may be perceived as a relatively basic tool, all of the people that contributed to the Update Tool GUI should feel proud of what they've delivered.

Congrats to the Update Center development team for making this experience happen!


News for projects adopting the multi-platform port of the Image Packaging System - aka pkg(5)


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