[Dev] Install media releng / I made some changes

Luke Shumaker lukeshu at lukeshu.com
Tue Nov 7 02:05:42 GMT 2017

Hi all,

(I apologize, there isn't much structure to this email)

I wanted to create a thread to discuss release engineering on our
install media.  What the processes are when creating those releases,
how we test them, and what changes we want to make.

In my view, there are 3 install classes of install images:
 - x86 ISOs
 - iPXE images (we don't currently make these, and it is blocking and
   update of ParabolaWeb)
 - ARM images (we don't currently make these, and we totally should)

Changes I've made
 - I've re-added the 'latest' symlink in the '/iso/' folder on repo.
 - I've merge the '/iso-previous/' folder on repo back in to '/iso/'.
   There's no need to split them off.
Changes I'm doing
 - Adjusting repoindex and parabolaweb so that parabolaweb's
   `syncisos` command works (and add that to the crontab), so that our
   releases show up at https://www.parabola.nu/releng/releases/ and

Things I'm concerned about:
 - Do we put the sourceballs on the install CD?  If not, do we ensure
   that sourceballs for old packages don't get cleaned up if that
   package is on a CD we still publish?
 - `archboot` is a testing replacement for `archiso`.  Do we have any
   plans to ditch `parabolaiso` for a `parabolaboot`?
 - I think it would be really cool if any files not owned by a package
   or modified from the vanilla version on the install media were
   managed by [holo][].
 - Bill Auger tells me that parabolaiso requires root.  I'd like to
   understand why.  Can we use unprivileged user/mount namespaces to
   avoid this on the build server?
 - I think the release process should be more documented, and more
   automated (FOSS automation scripts are the best form of process
   documentation :P)

[holo]: http://holocm.org/

That said, install media creation is the part of Parabola that I am
most removed from and ignorant to.

Happy hacking,
~ Luke Shumaker

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