Thursday is Software Day

Here’s some news: we’ve moved the DICE weekly release from Thursday to Wednesday afternoons. If you’re already tempted to move on, let me explain.

Most of the configuration of a DICE machine – what software is installed, who can login, security arrangements, that sort of thing – is handled automatically by our LCFG configuration system. Each week we take a snapshot of what’s in LCFG, test it for errors, then release it to the DICE machines. Since they install new software at night, Wednesday nights see the week’s software changes being installed on (almost) every DICE machine in the School. Thus you should find that on Thursdays your machine will have acquired more recent software than it had the day before. It may also have other new behaviour thanks to configuration changes.

If you’re curious to see what’s been installed in your machine recently, take a look at the software install log /var/lcfg/log/updaterpms. If you’d like to know more about the weekly releases see the Releases FAQ. If you’re really very interested indeed, take a look at our Release Management Procedures page.

And the reason for the move to Wednesday? We’ve found that release testing generally finishes on the Tuesday, so scheduling the stable release for the Wednesday means that we have Thursday to fall back on if there’s an unexpected delay. (We can’t fall back to Friday because of rule one of system administration, never make big changes just before going home for the weekend.)

About Chris Cooke

Chris Cooke is a Computing Officer in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He works in the Managed Platforms Unit and rides a very large bicycle.
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