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Systems Configuration, Installation, and Replication Environment

Preston Cody  Author
Blackace  Editor

Page updated August 1, 2008

1.  Project Description

The Scire project aims to create a widely extensible common portal for administrative tasks for multiple Linux client machines. Common tasks will include updating software, installing software, customizing configuration files, and running scripts. The goal of Scire is to make administration of massive networks of Linux machines easy on administrators. It will be extremely modular so as to allow users to create modules that extend its functionality. This project is closely tied to the Gentoo Linux Installer project since it shares many developers.

The Scire project is actively seeking developers for help on this project!

2.  News

2008-01-02: New Year, New Plan

After doing very little for many months, a new attempt has been made to revive this project. The original python XMLRPC client/server model is being replaced with a perl SSH-based cleint/server. This resolves some of the drawbacks of the previous model that we didn't like, mainly that it was a pain and not fun to work with. More info will be posted later when this project gets closer to an alpha release.

2007-05-21: Making some progress

Now that the 2007.0 release has occurred, Andrew and I are finally able to devote some more time to SCIRE. Some progress has been made in recent weeks. The permissions system is being fleshed out and new permissions are being thrown in all over the UI. This will allow finely-grained control over which users can do which things in the UI. Also, the database class has been modified to use ADOdb's library, allowing SCIRE to work with a multitude of databases instead of being locked into mysql. This was always the plan, but coding for mysql was a nice way to get the project rolling early on. Many thanks to blackace for the original mysql DB class.

2007-02-18: Project in temporary hibernation

Seeing how it has been ages since the last real update, I bet many are wondering what is going on with this project. The answer is that both leads are also the only developers of the Gentoo Linux Installer. This is a long-existing project that has recently undergone a large overhaul to improve stability. GLI also requires us to make release deadlines. As such, we have been unable to work on SCIRE for the last few months because of a rush to get a new branch of the installer stable.

Rest assured that this project is not "dead" and that we will get back to work on it as soon as possible. Andrew Gaffney has made great progress on Quickstart, an automated gentoo installer written to run in a netboot image. This will be used by SCIRE instead of the existing plan of using the netfe/be of GLI.

2006-12-10: Jobs being run!

Thought I'd over a status report of the progress over the past couple weeks. I have been picking away slowly but surely at the script and job pages. I have gotten the script library functional enough to add scripts. I have gotten the job addition page functional enough to use those scripts and create simple non-recurring jobs.

I set up a vmware machine and launched the scire server and then client on that vmware machine, pointing the server's DB at my main desktop. The client registered itself and put itself as Pending. I used the UI to accept the client and assign permissions to it and then create a job for it. I then ran the scire client program again and the jobs were retrieved and ran successfully, reporting their results into the job_history table.

Things are still quite rough and many aspects are not implemented or tested yet on either the UI or the backend. Also the permissions structure is not yet being enforced in the UI (makes it easier to develop stuff). Overall, however, I am happy with the recent progress. Hopefully we can get most of the core operational by the new year. Cheers, -Codeman

2006-11-13: Scire development status

It has been quite some time since there was any progress made on Scire. This is due to many factors, but mainly because the developers working on it are busy with other projects or real life work. We lost our SoC dev mdisney to school, but he will hopefully resurface soon. Andrew is working with me on a much-needed overhaul of GLI. He is also the x86 release lead, so we will lose some of his upcoming time to that. All that being said, the project is not dead!! It just isn't coming along as quickly as we had hoped.

Areas currently needing work are job creation/management/reporting and the scrpt library. Parts of these components are still really in the design phase, so any/all help is appreciated. -Codeman

2006-10-16: Announcing Quickstart!

Today Andrew Gaffney (agaffney) has announced to the world a new project called Quickstart. This is an entire rewrite of the Gentoo Linux Installer in POSIX-compliant sh. This allows Quickstart to fit in netboot images and run in busybox. The goal was to create something more like what the installer was *supposed* to be.

Quickstart is meant to be closer to Kickstart or Jumpstart (do you see a pattern with the name? :P) than GLI or other single user installers. Quickstart uses an installation profile (which is documented here. It has been designed to be extremely flexible in that every step of the installation has pre/post hooks and can even be overwritten entirely in the profile!

2006-07-05: A Long-overdue update

The Scire project is moving along quite nicely despite some setbacks from disagreements on the implementation of various componenets of the system. The UI is progressing slowly but surely, and the backend is able to connect and authenticate from client to server. There is still TONS left to do but at least it's a start.

We have been blessed this summer with the addition of Matt Disney, a Google Summer of Code student, who will be working on the project and hopefully getting the backend operational by the end of the summer.

2006-04-30: Project page created

The Scire project has been in the design phase for the last few months so it's time we made our project page. A working requirements document is in progress and viewable here.

3.  Developers

Developer Nickname Role
agaffney Lead ( Project co-lead )
blackace Member

All developers can be reached by e-mail using nickname@gentoo.org.

4.  Other resources or documentation in progress

These links are likely very old. See the wiki (top link) for what is likely to be the more current version

5.  How to find us

In the usual spirt of Gentoo, our development is very open and we invite you to watch/idle/lurk or even participate. You can join our mailing list by sending an email to gentoo-scire-subscribe@gentoo.org, or find us on irc.freenode.net at #gentoo-scire.

6.  Meeting logs and summaries

Summaries of each meeting called will be available here, along with raw logs for public viewing.

13 Mar 2006 Log