Sunday Mar 15, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.2 Build 23 Available

The UC2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 23 of the pkg(5) toolkit.  New features in this build include:

  • a new drop of the pkg(5) software (see below)
  • a script for manifest file creation
  • a new threading model in the updatetool GUI to make it more responsive at startup and during network operations
  • refresh list is now in the right click menu

As with the previous build, there was quite a bit of bug fixing. This build resolves 36 issues beyond what was available in the previous build.

The new threading model in updatetool causes networks operations such as updating the catalog and retrieving manifests to be performed in a background thread.  This keeps the user interface active even though the program is waiting for data from the server. This change also changed the startup behavior of updatetool.  In the past, updatetool would check for updates on the selected image and display the available updates panel if any were available, and if not, it would display the available add-ons panel. This required quite a few network operations and results in updatetool starting slowly.  With the change, updatetool now display the summary panel for the image, and the user is able to select what detailed panel to display.

pkg(5) logoThe new drop of pkg(5) is based on revision 897 (Feb 20, 2009) of the pkg(5) repository gate. This is the first time that the pkg(5) software has been resynced with the gate in the 2.2 development cycle. This drop includes the following significant features and bug fixes over what was in 2.1:

  • Support for variants. A variant allows the creation of so-called "fat" packages that include binaries for both OpenSolaris x86 and SPARC.  When the package is installed, only the files for the desired architecture are downloaded and installed on the target. The variants feature can also be used for other features such as debug vs. non-debug.  The Update Center project intends to use this feature for operating system variants as well.
  • The pkg.depotd process can serve SSL/HTTPS directly (without an Apache front-end) if desired
  • The intent information that is sent to the server when manifests are requested now propertly includes information about the currently installed version of a package for an update.
  • The pkgsend command now supports publishing to a local disk repository without having to run pkg.depotd. To do this, use a file URL rather than an HTTP URL. One still cannot create a new repository without running pkg.depotd (that is coming later). 
  • Checking of pkgsend arguments has been improved.
  • The output from the Windows pkg(1) command now includes progress information.
  • When running on Windows, pkg(5) now correctly detects if a file is in use when deleting a package.

Tuesday Mar 10, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.2 Build 22 Available

The UC2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 22 of the pkg(5) toolkit.  New features in this build include:

  • the application images are now sorted in the left panel of updatetool
  • copypkgs now checks to make sure that the source repository was created using a sufficiently recent version of the pkg(5) software

Most of the work in this build was bug fixing. This build resolves 29 issues beyond what was available in the previous build.

Tuesday Feb 24, 2009

Removing a package from a pkg(5) repository

Since several people recently asked about how to remove a package from a pkg(5) repository, we describe the manual steps in this blog entry.
[Read More]

Updated IzPack Installer for GlassFish v3 Prelude

Eduardo highlighted over on The Aquarium Julien Ponge's delivery of an updated GlassFish v3 Prelude install bundle based on the very latest version of the IzPack install framework. You may recall that Julien's v3 Prelude installer has a nice integration of the pkg(5) bootstrap. Several other interesting tidbits in Julien's post: \* Julien mentions the students' activity to further integrate IzPack and pkg(5). My understanding is that he would like to provide an immediate sense of updated components and a selection list of components during initial installation. That would be very nice! \* Sathyan's comment about the bootstrap hanging requires some follow-up. I've pinged Sathyan and cc'd our UC2 QA team. Since we have not experienced load issues on our external repositories, it's not clear to me what was causing the issue in Sathyan's case. I tried Julien's installer on the Mac and it worked for me too. Go figure.

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Web Space Server 10 Adopts Update Center

A major new product in the Sun GlassFish Portfolio is the Sun GlassFish Web Space Server 10. Web Space Server is Sun's next generation portal platform and we're excited because the Web Space Server team adopted Update Center 2.1 to package their software and deliver updates and add-ons to their customers. We'd like to thank the team for their hard work, and congratulate them on the Web Space Server 10 release.

Want to learn more about Update Center 2? Then check out our introductory screencast.

Update Center Toolkit 2.2 Build 21 Available

The UC2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 21 of the pkg(5) toolkit.  New features in this build include:

  • Improvements to the packaging tools to no longer require recompilation of .py files after installation and to allow the archivepkgs command to only archive selected package versions
  • Support in the Java API for setting the name of the client that is using the API

This build resolves 18 issues beyond what was available in the build 20.

The  development plan for the 2.2 release continues to take shape. There is now a dedicated wiki page for 2.2 planning. As can be seen with this build announcement, one of the changes for the 2.2 release is that the development team has returned to producing a build every 2 weeks rather than 3 as was done with the 2.1 release.

Sunday Feb 01, 2009

Update Center 2 Overview Screencast

This 15 minute screencast gives an overview of Update Center and shows the pkg(1) CLI and Update Tool from the Update Center 2.1 release.

Tuesday Jan 27, 2009

Update Center Toolkit 2.1 Release Available

The Update Center 2 development team has completed the development of the production ready version 2.1 of the multi-platform pkg(5) toolkit.  Previous posts have talked about the builds leading up to this and what features are in this release.  Full details about the release including release notes are on the project web site. The download page has links to the toolkit itself.

The significant new features in this release include:

  • Entitlement Stage 1 - This provides the ability to deploy repositories that have restricted access with client capabilities for accessing such repositories using SSL client certificates.
  • Updated pkg(5) - The updated pkg(5) software provides better support for data collection, image operational history, repository RSS feeds and HTML interface customization
  • Packaging and Image Assembly Tools - The pkg-extra-tools package includes custom ant tasks that can be used for package publishing and image assembly.
  • More Package Info Available in updatetool GUI - When a package is selected in updatetool, there are tabs for the list of files within the package, the package dependences, and the license information for the package.
  • updatetool GUI Refinements - This feature includes enhancements such as right button menus for images, better keyboard navigation, menu shortcuts and better error handling.
  • Identify Security Updates - Whan an updated package includes security fixes, the updates panel now highlights this.

The first product to ship with the 2.1 toolkit will be the commercial product being created by Project WebSynergy.

What's next for the Update Center 2 development team?  It's on to the development of the 2.2 minor release along with 2.1 update releases as necessary. Stay tuned for posts about details of what will be in these releases.


Update Center Toolkit 2.2 Build 20 Available

The UC2 development team is pleased to announce the availability of build 20 of the pkg(5) toolkit. This is the first publicly available build for the 2.2 release that is currently under development. New features in this build include:

  • Right click menu for the components in the component list panels of updatetool
  • "image-create" and progress tracking functionality in the Java API
  • Ability for copypkgs to copy into an empty repository directory
  • Zip file support in the package publishing tools (makepkgs, etc.)
This build resolves 11 issues beyond what was available in the 2.1 release.

Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

Update Center Toolkit 2.1 Build 18-RC1 Available

The Update Center 2 development team just promoted build 18-RC1 of the multi-platform pkg(5) toolkit. This build resolves 70 issues including the following features:

  • Update of pkg(5) that includes a new HTML front page for the repository server.  See the image below to see what it looks like.
  • Support for disabling authorities.  With this feature an authority can be disabled without having to delete it from the image.  Product images can include information about extra, disabled authorities that a user can simply enable when use of the authority is desired.
  • Better usage reporting. The intent header and the client name is now provided in repository request headers so that the information can be captured by the server.
  • Security related updates are now identified by the notifier.
  • The copypkgs command copies catalog and updatelog information so that a rebuild (--rebuild option on pkg.depotd) of the catalog is no longer necessary. This enables support for the RSS feed feature of the pkg(5) server.
Most of the effort for this build was in fixing bugs as we move towards getting ready to deliver the 2.1 release. The next build, B18-RC2 is for stopper fixes only and the result of that build is expected to be the 2.1 release.

Repository Configuration

With the new HTML front page for the repository server, a modification to the configuration of an existing repository is required. Within the repository data area, there is a cfg_cache file.  The icon and logo paths for the repository feed have changed from this:

[repository]
logo = pkg-block-logo.png
icon = pkg-block-icon.png

to this:

[repository]
logo = web/_themes/pkg-block-logo.png
icon = web/_themes/pkg-block-icon.png

Also, the description value is shown in the about page, so this should be filled in. This is in python configparser format, so values should be formatted in the style of RFC822. For example, if you have a multi-line description for your repository, you could format it this way in cfg_cache:

[repository]
description = This is an OpenSolaris package repository.  Note that
  usage of this repository is subject to the policies found <a
  href="http://www.opensolaris.org/os/tou/">here</a>.

Note the leading whitespace above, for continuation lines, is important as that is what tells configparser that it is part of the previous line.

Repository HTML Interface

Sunday Nov 23, 2008

pkg(5) Introduction Presentation

A new presentation that provides an introduction to the Image Package System is now available.  This presentation looks at pkg(5) from the perspective of using it for the distribution and management of middleware. 

Topics include:pkg(5)

  • Overview of Image Package System
  • Key Concepts
  • Image Content
  • Command Line Interface
  • Repository Lifecycle, Setup and Update
  • Troubleshooting
  • Entitlement
  • Project Status

Thursday Nov 20, 2008

Desktop Notifier Start Up

We recently added some new mechanisms to manage the start up of the notifier.  The changes will be available in version 2.1 starting with build 18.   For more details visit Chris Kasso's blog.

Thursday Nov 13, 2008

Update Tool UI Features: New Toolbar and Files Tab

Manpreet Singh, the lead developer on the Update Tool GUI component of the multi-platform Image Packaging System toolkit, has just delivered a couple of cool and useful features.  These features are part of Build 18 of the toolkit that will be published to the developer quality repositories in a couple of weeks and they will be part of the 2.1 release scheduled to release in product quality form in January.

Files Details Tab:

Now you can easily list the files and directories that each package delivers by simply clicking on this tab.  It was a bit of a challenge to load the file list for package such as JRuby that contain over 13,000 files (!), but Manpreet quickly figured out how to do it efficiently and reliably.

The first thing I thought of when using this feature was: For an installed package, let me click on the file of interest and view it.  That would be cool.  

The second thought that occurred to me was that it would be great to have a Search component on the toolbar that would enable me to search all of the available and/or installed packages for a specific file of interest.

I'm sure we'll get around to both of these fancy features, but now that Manpreet has charted course for adding tabs to the GUI, in the near future we're planning to add several more tabs to address listing of dependencies and license agreements.

New Toolbar:

On the eye candy front, we've moved the Refresh, Install and Remove buttons from the bottom of the component lists up to the toolbar.  Doing so brings the GUI more in line with its cousin the OpenSolaris Package Manager and adds more visual pizazz and weight to the toolbar.   One could also argue that it's more conventional to place these actions up in the toolbar. 

Next up for the toolbar will be the search component mentioned above that will not only search for files, but also packages of interest.  Since the latest development version of the OpenSolaris Package Manager already exposes this capability of pkg(5), we might be able to crib some code from it.

Update Tool UI Features: New Toolbar and Files Tab

Manpreet Singh, the lead developer on the Update Tool GUI component of the multi-platform Image Packaging System toolkit, has just delivered a couple of cool and useful features.  These features are part of Build 18 of the toolkit that will be published to the developer quality repositories in a couple of weeks and they will be part of the 2.1 release scheduled to release in product quality form in January.

Files Details Tab:

Now you can easily list the files and directories that each package delivers by simply clicking on this tab.  It was a bit of a challenge to load the file list for package such as JRuby that contain over 13,000 files (!), but Manpreet quickly figured out how to do it efficiently and reliably.

The first thing I thought of when using this feature was: For an installed package, let me click on the file of interest and view it.  That would be cool.  

The second thought that occurred to me was that it would be great to have a Search component on the toolbar that would enable me to search all of the available and/or installed packages for a specific file of interest.

I'm sure we'll get around to both of these fancy features, but now that Manpreet has charted course for adding tabs to the GUI, in the near future we're planning to add several more tabs to address listing of dependencies and license agreements.

New Toolbar:

On the eye candy front, we've moved the Refresh, Install and Remove buttons from the bottom of the component lists up to the toolbar.  Doing so brings the GUI more in line with its cousin the OpenSolaris Package Manager and adds more visual pizazz and weight to the toolbar.   One could also argue that it's more conventional to place these actions up in the toolbar. 

Next up for the toolbar will be the search component mentioned above that will not only search for files, but also packages of interest.  Since the latest development version of the OpenSolaris Package Manager already exposes this capability of pkg(5), we might be able to crib some code from it.



Thursday Nov 06, 2008

Update Center Toolkit 2.1 Build 17 Available

The Update Center 2 development team just promoted build 17 of the multi-platform pkg(5) toolkit. This build resolves 38 issues including:

  • a new drop of pkg(5)
  • documentation for custom Ant tasks for creating pkg(5) packages
  • copypkgs can now copy individual package versions
  • improvements to the way that the notifier starts updatetool
  • changes to the way the size of an update is calculated in updatetool

 This build has been released from engineering to QA and has not yet been validated.

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