[Freedombox-discuss] Chef and Puppet experts?

Jonas Smedegaard dr at jones.dk
Fri Sep 9 08:32:16 UTC 2011

On 11-09-08 at 08:20pm, FreedomBox-Discuss.NeoPhyte_Rep at OrdinaryAmerican.net wrote:
> On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 7:14 PM, l.m.orchard at pobox.com wrote:
> > On 9/8/11 9:15 PM, FreedomBox-Discuss.NeoPhyte_Rep at OrdinaryAmerican.net
>  wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/puppet-chef-ease-transition-to-cloud-computing-09012011.html
> >> Are there any Chef or Puppet experts here who can demonstrate the
> >> configuration of a DreamPlug using either tool?
> >
> > Probably overkill for a DreamPlug.
> Please enlighten me.  If the intent of the FreedomBox project is to 
> reliably set up a server, why would we not use a tool designed to 
> achieve that reliability.

Because Chef and Puppet are tools to help do system administration, and 
the intent of this project is not only to set the server up, but keep it 
running *without* system administration.

> Also, what would you suggest the FreedomBox use that you would not 
> consider overkill.

Debconf preseeding.

For those not familiar with the term: Tell the Debian packages at 
install time how it should behave, and rely on the package to then 
maintain that behaviour also across updates/upgrades of that package.

Yes, this needs more work to convince Debian package maintainers to make 
their packages more (pre)configurable.  But is way more reliable and 
sustainable on the long term!

For *development* phases of FreedomBox, it therefore makes sense to 
"cheat" and use some means of circumventing the too simplistic setup 
done by packages.  I recommend to use FAI for that, as it eases the 
later transition to proper Debian-packaged customization handling.

Have a look at the [boxer] tool which supports FAI tweaks.

[boxer]: http://git.emdebian.org/?p=upstream/boxer.git;a=blob;f=README


 - Jonas

 * Jonas Smedegaard - idealist & Internet-arkitekt
 * Tlf.: +45 40843136  Website: http://dr.jones.dk/

 [x] quote me freely  [ ] ask before reusing  [ ] keep private
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