Compute Clusters Integration for Debian Development and Building – Report 2

Hello, this is the 2nd report regarding my project. I'll offer a brief
summary of how are we doing and then the details, so you don't have to
read everything at all.

I have to start saying that over the last two weeks I made a lot of
progress on the project. The most important part: Debian ARM image
integration with Eucalyptus is now cleared. The work to be done for the
next two weeks is pretty much fully coding to achieve what we've committed:
supporting Debian ARM images for Eucalyptus.

What was done so far
--------------------

- I've have identified and mapped what needs to be modified over the
  eucalyptus source for supporting ARM. I'm puting the details on the
  next section. I think this is the most crucial part that is now
  sucessfully achieved.
- I started a Project Log[1] on the wiki, so anyone can check and
  eventyally use the information I've already gathered. The log is being
  updated constantly. You can also check what I've done and what I'm
  working on.
- We got feeback[2] from Eucalyptus developers and packaging
  team regarding developers and packaging team regarding the ultimate
  source for debian/ packaging bits. This was quite important because
  in the past I've managed to build Eucalyptus from source using the debian/
  included in the upstream tarball. However the people in charge 
  told us that they were using a different one, which indeed was
  different and resulted in different output than I expected. I'm
  still working on fixing the bits to get a clean build.
- I've joined the pkg-eucalyptus team and I've been given commit rights
  to the repo[2].

1- http://wiki.debian.org/SummerOfCode2011/BuildWithEucalyptus/ProjectLog
2- http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/pkg-eucalyptus-maintainers/2011-June/000289.html

What I'll be working over the next two weeks
--------------------------------------------

- Heavily code on the different bits that I've identified and need to be
  changed. They are: 
  C code:
  - node/handlers_kvm.{c,h} - handles nc creation. nc's are node
  clusters for Eucalyptus, the code is in charge of node creation. It
  prepares the "machine" that is able to run a compatible image.
  - util/data.{c,h} - handles instance creation. The code over there
  implements the functions node/handlers_* use, like instance creation
  and libvirt's API parameter passing. Since libvirt's parameters for
  ARM vary from x86's ones, we need to support that.
  Perl code:
  - tools/gen_kvm_libvirt_xml - wrapper tool for creating KVM/QEMU
  libvirt's XML Domain definition. This needs to be heavily
  changed/updated - redesigned, to support ARM architecture.
- Depending on the previous task progress: Modify the Debian packaging
  bits for Eucalyptus and push them to the pkg-eucalyptus's team
  repository. This is not crucial for my project's success but I'd like
  to work with Debian official builds. I've yet to commit the
  Eucalyptus team version to the debian/ dir. I expect to have fixed
  the bits to get a successful and clean build, then commit.

Other plans
-----------

- I expect a slow down on the work pace over the second week due end of
  semester exams on the week from July 3 to July 9. After that week I'm
  on vacations and will be fully dedicated to the project. 
- Code changes to Eucalyptus source will be pushed upstream. I would
  not like to keep a separate repo for this. I'll talk about this with
  Steffen. Changes to Debian bits will be pushed to the appropiate repos.

Other bits
----------

When the project started I noted it was too vague for some people and
it's results/output were unclear. This concerned me. However, while the
project started and we got lot of feedback things got much clear and I'd
like to take the opportunity to explain it a bit.

Currently, developers targeting ARM devices are struggling[1] with having
a development environment. There are missing bits that sometimes are not
in place and result on hard time for them. Also, due mobile devices
growth and vendors using Linux-based[2] operating systems it's a nice
opportunity for Debian to keep it's well known fame of: supporting every
arch over the sun. How this project fits, well by offering the ability
for developers to run ARM-based Debian images over x86/x86_64 CPU's
would impact the way they could be more productive and for Debian to be
more adopted as development environment.

I can say that I'm very enthusiast of this opportunity and I'm
certain that the outcome will result in more adoption. Even the Ubuntu
people is now pushing more and more efforts for ARM official support,
due the facts I've stated.

1- http://lists.debian.org/debian-arm/2011/06/msg00020.html
2- http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/android-builders-summit/back

About Rudy Godoy

Computer Science student, founder, and digital artist by experiment. Bold. Sound.
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