There’s a lot of things I’d like to blog about. The last version of OpenStack, the OpenStack Liberty design summit, Kilo in the official jessie-backports repositories, etc. Maybe the most interesting part of this blog post is the last bit at the end, about a major change in the packaging workflow for OpenStack in Debian. Please read on…

OpenStack release names reminder
Just a reminder to make it easier for the average Debian reader who may know Debian well, but not OpenStack.

OpenStack 2014.1, is Icehouse, and is the version in Jessie. 2014.2 is Juno and was released right before the freeze of Jessie. 2015.1.0 is what has been released just right after jessie, on the 30th of April. Liberty, which probably will be called 12 (as this will be the 12th release of OpenStack), and not 2015.2 (this has been discussed in Vancouver), will be released in about 5 months form now.

The last summit, in Vancouver, BC, Canada, was the Liberty summit, as the OpenStack conventions are always named after the next release (since we are discussing what we will be doing during the next development cycle).

OpenStack 2015.1.0, aka Kilo, release in Debian
5 days after the release of Jessie, OpenStack 2015.1.0, aka Kilo, was released. Since I couldn’t upload to unstable during the freeze, I was holding a lot of packages, and when I did upload them, there was about 20 packages of mine in the FTP master’s NEW queue. Though, since the DSA want to use OpenStack for the Debian infrastructure, the 20 packages were fast track into Sid, thanks to the work of Paultag (thanks man!).

OpenStack Kilo in the official Jessie backports
Previously, I was only uploading OpenStack packages to Debian unstable, and maintaining a non-official Debian repositories for backports to Debian stable. However, for multiple reasons, this wasn’t satisfying.

Then, after packages migrated to Stretch, I started to upload to Debian backports. And right before the summit, almost everything went in. Only python-pysaml2 was missing (as I discovered too late that version 2.0.0 breaks Keystone which needs version 2.4.0). In fact, the last bits of the Kilo release reached jessie-backports in the middle of the OpenStack Liberty summit.

Removal of the Debian install-guide from the official site
As there was not enough efforts working on the documentation, unfortunately, the link to the Debian install-guide has been removed from IMO, this is mostly due to a bad communication between myself and the doc team, and also because one person who promised to work on the Debian side of the install-guide failed to warn everyone that he finally couldn’t (as his managers assigned him to something else).

I hope this will soon be reverted. During the Vancouver summit, I had the opportunity to discuss with the doc team about re-inclusion of the Debian install-guide. Unfortunately, as they are moving away from the XML source format to a more standard RST-based system, the current documentation is frozen, so it seems more realistic to hold on until all of the install-guide is switched to RST.

OpenStack Debian image listed on
There’s a new area on the where images and apps for OpenStack are listed. Under the “glance image” tab, you will see that both the Jessie and the weekly testing image are listed. There’s also a nice, easily identifiable Debian logo to link to these images.

Also, as there are trademark problems with the Ubuntu images which makes them harder to redistribute, the Murano project (which is shipping a system to automatically install apps that to installed within a few clicks on an OpenStack cloud) decided to switch to Debian for their base image.

Debian listed in the OpenStack market place
On the site, there’s a section called Marketplace. In there, vendors supporting OpenStack are listed. To get there, a vendor needs to 1/ have a defined set of OpenStack project supported by the distribution (Debian already has a way more than the required set), 2/ sign some kind of agreement with the OpenStack foundation, and 3/ pay some sponsoring money. During the summit, I discussed this with Jonathan Bryce, from the OpenStack foundation, and he agreed that Debian would not have to pay for this (since we aren’t a big company with big money).

I have put Jonathan and Neil (our Debian Project Leader) in touch so that signing the document may happen, though since we were all busy with the summit, I do not expect Jonathan to send the documents right away. Hopefully, this will be fixed before the end of this month of May 2015.

Debian (and Ubuntu) packages collaboratively maintained upstream
Since about forever (forever is 5 years in the OpenStack world…), I pushed for more collaboration on OpenStack packaging between Debian package maintainers and Canonical. However, for some reasons which I do not wish to expand on in this blog post, it has been socially hard to do so. Also, Canonical always used BZR, which wasn’t to the tastes of everyone.

But during the Liberty summit, some very good things happened. First of all, Launchpad is now able to support Git (it’s been a few weeks it does in fact). Even though it will take a bit of time before the Canonical server team switches to it, we can consider that this problem is already out of the way.

Then it looks like Canonical are now more open than before for collaboration with Debian on the OpenStack packaging. Note that we actually did some work together already, but now we both would like a full alignment of *all* of our packages.

I have discussed this with James Page, who is the head of Canonical’s server team. We will first start to do so on the dependencies: this includes all of the python-*client libraries, but also all of python-oslo.* (the Oslo libs are use by all of the projects and are kind of unifying the project), plus all the third party dependencies the project relies on. James already pushed new versions of some Oslo libraries to Experimental (in order to not overwrite Kilo), which are adding transition packages needed for Ubuntu. We wont need those in Debian, but we want to welcome them to keep the same source packages.

We will then later try to merge the core projects if we can. Unfortunately, since the packaging of the core projects (ie: Nova, Neutron, Cinder, Glance, etc.) was forked, merging probably will be a bit painful. We will have to make some decisions on how this happen. I am however confident that it will be done during the Liberty release cycle.

Move of the packaging to upstream Gerrit
A few weeks after the summit, I wrote a proposal to upstream OpenStack dev list, with as subject: “Adding packaging as an OpenStack project”. What it means is that I have proposed to have Debian/Ubuntu packaging to happen in upstream infrastructure, using Gerrit, and building packages using upstream cloud. We will add all the tests we can, like building with unit tests, lintian, piuparts, adequate, but also maybe a full installation of the packages with functional tests.

My proposal is here:

As everything, this translates into a Gerrit review process:

As you can read in the above thread, Fedora/RDO people, which have used a Gerrit work-flow for a long time already, also would like to join. But it looks like we’ll be doing 2 teams: one for RPMs and one for debs.

The proposal is currently under review by the OpenStack technical committee, which will accept (or not) if the packaging project can be fully considered as an OpenStack project. I expect a final answer next Tuesday. Note that if they deny, we can still use the stackforge namespace instead, their decision is just about the TC blessing the project as being OpenStack or not.

What’s very nice about this, is that not only we will have a better collaboration between Debian & Ubuntu, better automated testing and Q/A, this also opens contributions to potentially anyone. Especially, we welcome operation people, those who are doing actual big deployments.

Sure, it was possible before, but I often had the feedback that many were scared to break anything when trying to contribute. Thanks to the CI/CD form upstream infra, and the Gerrit peer review process, it wont be a problem anymore. So we do expect operation people to contribute more. I will also push more “upstream packaging” within Mirantis, so that MOS (Mirantis OpenStack) aligns fully with Debian & Ubuntu as well.

Another good thing, is that it will be easier for the puppet team to support Debian (they historically were more Ubuntu oriented), and it’s going to be super easy for them to request for packaging fixes. I hope we will be able to work hand-to-hand with them, adding puppet deployment checks in the packaging repo, and packaged deployments within the puppet Gerrit review process.