LCFG core packages

We’ve been successfully using the LCFG “core” packages on SL6 for a while now so they have been updated to indicate that they have full support for SL6. This will cause a bit of churn for the other platforms but in most cases the changes are nothing other than a meta-data change.

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Desktop Packages

The SL6 desktop package lists are now functional on both i386 and x86_64. We will probably need to add some more software as we go along but the basics are all there and it is possible to login to a gnome or KDE session.

As part of this we have ripped out all the PackageKit packages. These are not necessary since we are managing our machines with LCFG and updaterpms. When Packagekit is installed it regularly bugs users about available updates (which we might not want to be applied) and in some cases it has given them the ability to actually run the updates (which can cause conflicts with updaterpms).

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LCFG SL6 installer now working

We’ve been using the LCFG F13 installer, so far, to install LCFG SL6 machines…. but we have now have a working LCFG SL6 installer.

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SL6 desktop

After a small amount of work to create a desktop package list, we now have working (and LCFG installable) SL6 desktops. The package list was built up from the following yum groups :-

  • Desktop (basic-desktop)
  • Desktop Platform (desktop-platform)
  • Desktop Platform Development (desktop-platform-devel)
  • Development tools (development)
  • Emacs (emacs)
  • Fonts (fonts)
  • General Purpose Desktop (general-desktop)
  • Graphics Creation Tools (graphics)
  • Ice Desktop Enviroment (ice-desktop)
  • Internet Browser (internet-browser)
  • KDE Desktop (kde-desktop)
  • Office Suite and Productivity (office-suite)
  • Printing client (print-client)
  • TeX support (tex)
  • X Window System (x11)

If we add further yum groups to the desktop, we’ll document this as comments on this post.

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First Install

With a bit of hackery I have managed to do my first LCFG managed installation of an SL6 machine. I took a copy of the F13 installroot and replaced the passwd and group template files with the ones we need for SL6. Beyond that I had to add the template for the SL6 /etc/services file to the lcfg-etcservices component.

Going forward from that basic installation I have enabled Kerberos, LDAP and AFS support for SL6. This means we can now login using our standard DICE accounts and get access to our home directories. This has revealed a need for the new nslcd, at least at the LCFG level and in the minimal “inf” layer. This also revealed that our kdcregister tool does not compile with Krb5 version 1.8, hopefully it is fixable with some minor tweaks to the source code.

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inf layer

We use a lightweight instance of LCFG for developing new platforms as we’ve found that the complexity of the full Informatics instance (DICE) both lengthens the development process and makes it more risky. This lightweight instance, called the inf layer, still uses DICE authentication and authorization. The first stab at documentation is at

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Base SL6 package lists

As with Fedora 13, we wish to have a lean base platform which can be added to; we don’t necessarily want desktop apps installed on servers. To save work, we wanted to use one of the SL6 install flavours for this and, after examining the package lists of each flavour, decided that the basic server flavour was the best match to our requirements (basic machine + perl, X client libs). This flavour includes some largeish software that we don’t really want everywhere (eg java, valgrind, samba and others). We removed these and the resulting base platform is around 500 packages and 920MB.

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Package Lists

The pkglist-tools scripts have been updated to add basic support for SL6. Using these tools we now have auto-generated lists for the SL6 kernel, updates and postship. I’ve also added test profiles so we can test the various package list sets for consistency. So far it’s all looking good, as far as the packages are concerned we can now install a basic SL6 machine. Next step, get all the LCFG components and config data working…

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Users & Groups (pt2)

Following on from yesterday, we now a list of required users and groups taken from the install scripts of the SL6 packages. These have been merged with the stub /etc/passwd and /etc/group files from the setup RPM. This gives us the initial templates which are shipped in the lcfg-defetc-sl6 package for use by the LCFG auth component.

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SL 6.0 is released!

The official Release Announcement for Scientific Linux 6.0 has just been sent out. We had better get busy with the LCFG port!

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