Public agenda

On Wednesday 18 December 2019, the CentOS Board of Directors will hold it's last meeting of the 2019 calendar year. Below is the agenda for that meeting that can be shared with the community and wider public.

  1. Looking at if Community Platform Engineering (CPE) can begin to build and release CentOS Linux 8 and CentOS Stream into various public clouds.
  2. Review of signing and release solutions for SIGs in the new year.
  3. Rolling (last from 2019-11-13):
    1. Any other topics aka “What other things do you want on our key initiatives list for 2020?”
    2. New branding work underway
      1. Website update work: https://github.com/areguera/centos-style-websites
      2. Framework proposed into logo discussion: https://git.centos.org/centos/Artwork/issue/1#comment-62 
    3. Looking at new Board membership and structure (ongoing)
    4. Stepping-up our meeting norms (ongoing)
    5. Transparency initiatives (ongoing)

Public agenda consent items

  1. Secretary role revitalized -- not formally in the governance yet, role is delegated meeting organization duties from the Chair to include calling for meetings, managing the private and public agenda for meetings, and handling the creation and release of private and public minutes. Karsten has volunteered to take this role until approximately June 2020.
  2. Board intending to confirm support for planning a shift to sharing auth backends with the Fedora Project.

At the recent SuperComputing event in Denver, I spoke with several of the teams at the Student Cluster Competition. One of them was the team from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. You can listen to the full interview on YouTube at https://youtu.be/HpJRyF5S_4U

Rich: I'm with the team from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. They have just finished participating in the Student Cluster Competition. I wonder if you can tell me about your experience.

Shangai Jiao Tong: We think the competition was quite challenging for us. We're a first-time participant in the SC competition. We think we learned a lot about the competition, as well as other teams - we made a lot of friends. It was a pretty good experience.

R: How do you feel you did?

SJT: We think we did fine within our capabilities. Maybe not state of the art but pretty good, for us.

R: If somebody from another university was interested in participating, what advice would you give them?

SJT: Read the rules carefully before you participate, because we missed some of the points, and that cost us something. But, it's still fine. Just have fun.

R: I was wondering why you chose CentOS for your base operating
system.

SJT: Well, because it's well tested, stable, and performance is good. Mainly because it's well tested. Because we all use that in our test clusters back home.

R: Thank you so much for your time, and good luck.

At the recent SuperComputing event in Denver, I spoke with several of the teams at the Student Cluster Competition. I've already posted one of those interviews. I also had the chance to speak with the team from North Carolina State University, which was especially nice as they had sent a representative to the recent CentOS Dojo in Boston.

In this brief interview, which you can listen to in full on YouTube - https://youtu.be/-ziyUdEt_-M - we talked about their experience at the event, and what they would recommend other teams do to prepare.

Rich: I'm with a few of the members of the team from NCState. I was hoping you could tell me a little about your experience here.

NCState: It was absolutely fantastic. It's amazing to have all this hands-on experience with the cluster, and being in this competition, and while we were able to work with the cluster and practice at our University, here we had a very collaborative experience with a lot of other universities, and we appreciate that. It was exhausting, though.

R: Can you tell me about the mystery application?

Each year, there is a "mystery application" which is not announced until the team arrives onsite - whereas, the other applications they are able to prepare and practice with for months ahead of time.

NC: It was based off of the code they used to find an equation to go to Mars. And so they made a "dumbed down" version for us. That was a not too difficult application. But it was GPU based, which is really nice because a lot of the applications ended up not being GPU-based, and we had a very GPU-heavy system. But we got that up and running pretty quickly.

R: I was wondering if you could tell me why you chose CentOS as your base operating system.

NC: It's open source, which is important to us. And it was pretty stable. We wanted stability, instead of running into a lot of errors because of using too cutting edge. And because we didn't have to deal with any licensing. We just grabbed it and put it on the system. And I had a bit of experience because I put it on a personal computer at home to play around with it as well.

R: If someone from another university were interested in doing something like this, what advice would you give them?

NC: Start early. Definitely start early. Make contact with vendors and get hardware as soon as possible so you can start practicing. We were really new to this, and we've learned a lot, but there's still a lot to go. You have to budget a lot of time for this as students. Especially because you're taking a lot of other classes. It takes a lot of time to learn this. We came into this taking a few programming courses and knowing basic Linux command line skills, and now suddenly we're thrown into this with a lot going on. So, start early. Practice hard.

R: Thank you for your time and good luck when the results come out.

At the recent Supercomputing conference in Denver, I spoke with the University of Washington Boundless DAWG student supercomputing team.

(You can listen to the full interview at https://youtu.be/MxzH7k57VHs)

Rich: I'm here with the team from the University of Washington at the Student Cluster Competition, at SC19. I was wondering if you could tell me about your experience. Was this a positive experience overall?

Univ Washington: Yeah, it was a super positive experience. We got to travel. We got to meet all kinds of new people - industry professionals - and we got to go out of our comfort zone. None of us had any HPC experience at all except for Andrei, who's our senior - our leader on the team, our spiritual leader. So we learned a lot in this experience. And we struggled. But we came through it as a team. And we expect that to show in the results.

R: What were some of the struggles?

UW: Well, we came without a rack. And we learned that we could be disqualified if we did not have our cluster in the rack by Monday at 9:30. So our spiritual leader, Andrei, had to find a rack on Craig's List, or Facebook Marketplace, and then drive to Boulder to get the rack for $100. But everything turned out to be alright, and we have our rack, and we're not disqualified, yet. So far.

R: That's amazing.

R: For those of you who didn't have any HPC experience going into this, what convinced you to join a venture like this?

UW: First of all, supercomputers are pretty awesome. So I wanted to learn a lot more about it. Also this seems like a pretty cool competition experience. There's not that many competitions that take place for most of a week. And also there's not that many competitions that allow underclassmen to be involved in supercomputing, let alone on the world stage.

R: Who were your primary sponsors for this?

UW: The primary sponsor was AWS. And we had secondary sponsors Melanox, Intel, Invidia, who provided Tesla V100s. And Melanox provided Infiniband to connect our nodes together. Intel and AWS teamed up to give us money to cover the rest of the hardware.

R: Why did you choose CentOS for your base operating system?

UW: I think one of the primary reasons we ended up going with CentOS is, looking at last year, virtually every team used CentOS in the competition. We knew right away that there was a reason for that, and part of that reason was very likely due to stability, compatibility, and after figuring out what some of the applications were, we also found out that some of the applications were only guaranteed to work with CentOS. So apparently they tested on only CentOS. Might as well not make it harder on ourselves by trying to use something different.

R: Thank you all for your time. Good luck when the results come out.

Dear CentOS enthusiast,

For those of you who celebrate various things at this time of year, we wish you a wonderful time with family and friends.

IN THIS EDITION:

News

On 2019-11-13 the CentOS Board of Directors held their first meeting following the release of CentOS Linux 8 and announcement of CentOS Stream. As part of that meeting, the Board committed to greater transparency with the CentOS community, and you can read the minutes from the meeting on the CentOS blog.

In CentOS Stream news, Red Hat engineering is working on the procedures and tools for CentOS Stream tickets and patches to flow into the next release of RHEL. We expect to have details after the dojo in Brussels, in late January, which we can then pass on to you.

Releases and updates

This month has seen a moderate number of updates/releases:

Errata and Enhancements Advisories

We issued the following CEEA (CentOS Errata and Enhancements Advisories) during November:

Errata and Security Advisories

We issued the following CESA (CentOS Errata and Security Advisories) during November:

Errata and Bugfix Advisories

We issued the following CEBA (CentOS Errata and Bugfix Advisories) during November:

Events

SC19

A few weeks ago we were at SuperComputing in Denver. CentOS is a big part of the SuperComputing ecosystem, with many universities and research organizations using CentOS on their supercomputing infrastructure.

As usual, we spent a lot of time with the student teams in the Student Cluster Competition, where 12 out of the 16 teams were running CentOS. Look for interviews from this event on the CentOS blog in the coming weeks.

FOSDEM 2020, and Dojo

Early next year, we will, as usual, have a table at the annual FOSDEM conference in Brussels, Belgium. This will be held on the first weekend in February, which is the 1st and 2nd of February, 2020. We'll be sharing the space with our friends from Fedora. Please drop by and see us.

And, on the day before FOSDEM starts, we'll be having our annual Dojo at the Marriott Grand Place. That's Friday, January 31st, 2020. The agenda is on the event listing page, and we would love to have you there.

We'll be having a lightning talks section this year, so if you have something you'd like to present about, but don't have enough for a full presentation, bring your notes and your ideas! Tell us about your favorite projects, your interesting discoveries, or your perplexing problem.

Attendance is free, but we would appreciate it if you register, so that we know how many people to plan for.

See you in Brussels!

SIG Reports

The SIGs - special interest groups - are where most of the interesting stuff in CentOS happens. They are communities packaging and testing layered projects on top of CentOS, and ensuring that they work reliably.

SIGs report quarterly on what they've been working on.

CentOS Opstools SIG quarterly report

Purpose

The SIG will provide tools for operators, system administrators, devops and developers doing infrastructure engineering on content based on CentOS Linux.

Membership update

We are welcoming interested parties or persons to contribute. Over the past quarter, we neither saw increase nor decrease.

Health and Activity

We are waiting patiently for cbs to become updated to be able to build packages based on CentOS 8. That becomes more and more a blocker for us. E.g Opstools packages have been replaced by other sources for OpenStack Kolla, since e.g collectd builds based on CentOS 8 are unavailable. Once artifacts produced by the Messaging SIG become available, we'll gladly consume them rather than rebuilding them from other sources like Fedora koji.

Issues for the board

none right now.

Contributing

As with any open source project, there's a lot more than just code. If you want to get involved, but you're not a programmer or packager, there's still a ton of places where you can plug in.

  • Design - Graphic and design elements for the product itself, the website, materials for events, and so on, are always a great need. This is true of any open source community, where the focus on code can tend to neglect other aspects.
  • Events - While CentOS has an official presence at a few events during the year, we want a wider reach. If you're planning to attend an event, and want to represent CentOS in some way, get in touch with us on the centos-promo mailing list to see how we can support you.
  • Promotion - The Promo SIG does a lot in addition to just events. This includes this newsletter, our social media presence, blog posts, and various other things. We need your help to expand this effort.
  • Documentation - Any open source project is only as good as its documentation. If people can't use it, it doesn't matter. If you're a writer, you are in great demand.

If any of these things are of interest to you, please come talk to us on the centos-devel mailing list, the centos-promo mailing list, or any of the various social media channels.

We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you figure out where you can fit in.

Public minutes

On 2019-11-13 the CentOS Board of Directors held their first meeting following the release of CentOS Linux 8 and announcement of CentOS Stream.

As covered in this meeting, the CentOS Board are taking on an initiative to increase transparency of the working of the Board. This set of minutes for the community and wider public is the first instance of new, more transparent processes in action.

Topics covered in the meeting and via email are discussed below, and remain open on the Board’s rolling agenda for future conversation and actions:

  1. Board membership:
    1. The Board has been considering for some time adjusting the membership of the Board, in particular by adding new Directors. Discussions with potential new Directors will begin.
    2. All Directors discussed the need for future leadership of the CentOS Project to continue being able to straddle the project’s traditional footing on one side, and help drive a vision for the future on the other side.
  2. Transparency initiatives:
    1. All agree that the biggest need for transparency in the Project is at the Board level.
      1. Other groups e.g. SIGs are generally following good transparency practices
      2. Board Directors have been asked directly about this topic and the issue of the Board not releasing minutes from meetings.
      3. The Board’s infrequent meetings have not been configured to easily generate public topics, since most technical and day-to-day leadership happens in the SIGs especially the Core SIG and QA SIG.
    2. Next step -- improving Board meeting norms:
      1. AGREED: Publish (for next and future meetings) that there will be a meeting, and what the public portion of the agenda is, in advance of the meeting.
      2. AGREED: Publish a set of public minutes within 72 hours of the conclusion of a Board meeting
      3. AGREED: There will be a rolling element to the agenda so that items are not dropped between meetings but rather eventually addressed/resolved.
      4. ACTION: Karsten to write and publish this set of public meeting minutes
  3. New branding work underway - Karsten briefed the Board on the community efforts to consider the CentOS brand, logo, and overall branding in light of the addition of CentOS Stream.
    1. https://git.centos.org/centos/Artwork/issue/1
    2. https://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-devel/2019-November/018098.html
    3. AGREED: Board more actively drive approving/rejecting design ideas.
    4. AGREED: There will be a reasonable time for discussion around the potential brand changes, and the Board will ensure the discussion concludes in a timely manner.

The CentOS Atomic SIG has released an updated version of CentOS Atomic Host (7.1910), an operating system designed to run Linux containers, built from standard CentOS 7 RPMs, and tracking the component versions included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host.

CentOS Atomic Host includes these core component versions:

  • atomic-1.22.1-29.gitb507039.el7.x86_64
  • rpm-ostree-client-2018.5-2.atomic.el7.x86_64
  • ostree-2019.1-2.el7.x86_64
  • cloud-init-18.5-3.el7.centos.x86_64
  • docker-1.13.1-103.git7f2769b.el7.centos.x86_64
  • kernel-3.10.0-1062.4.3.el7.x86_64
  • podman-1.4.4-4.el7.centos.x86_64
  • flannel-0.7.1-4.el7.x86_64
  • etcd-3.3.11-2.el7.centos.x86_64

Download CentOS Atomic Host

CentOS Atomic Host is available as a VirtualBox or libvirt-formatted Vagrant box, or as an installable ISO, or qcow2 image. For links to media, see the CentOS wiki.

Upgrading

If you’re running a previous version of CentOS Atomic Host, you can upgrade to the current image by running the following command:

# atomic host upgrade

Release Cycle

The CentOS Atomic Host image follows the upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host cadence. After sources are released, they’re rebuilt and included in new images. After the images are tested by the SIG and deemed ready, we announce them.

Getting Involved

CentOS Atomic Host is produced by the CentOS Atomic SIG, based on upstream work from Project Atomic. If you’d like to work on testing images, help with packaging, documentation – join us!

You’ll often find us in #atomic and/or #centos-devel if you have questions. You can also join the atomic-devel mailing list if you’d like to discuss the direction of Project Atomic, its components, or have other questions.

Getting Help

If you run into any problems with the images or components, feel free to ask on the centos-devel mailing list.

Have questions about using Atomic? See the atomic mailing list or find us in the #atomic channel on Freenode.

Dear CentOS enthusiast,

CentOS is more than just code. If you want to contribute in other non-code ways - documentation, design, promotion, events - we want to hear from you. See the "Contributing" section below for more details.

IN THIS EDITION:

News

This month the infrastructure team has been working hard on getting Centos 8 and CentOS Stream into the CBS (Community Build System). On the 29th, Thomas announced that this work had been completed and detailed what still needs to be done. If you're interested in building packages against either of these targets, you're encouraged to read that mailing list thread thoroughly, and ask any questions you may have there.

Earlier in the month, a meeting was held in Boston including representatives from various parts of Red Hat, discussing what needed to be done internally to facilitate the cooperation between the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Engineering and QE teams, and the CentOS community. There too, plenty remains to be done, but we're making progress towards making this a true upstream of RHEL. We appreciate your patience as we make the many changes that are needed to make this a success.

If you're considering using CentOS Stream, either in production, or as a development platform, we'd love to hear from you. We particularly want to hear what we can do better to help you succeed, so that we can make this platform something that serves everyone's needs.

Releases and updates

This month has seen a moderate number of updates/releases:

Errata and Enhancements Advisories

We issued the following CEEA (CentOS Errata and Enhancements Advisories) during October:

Errata and Security Advisories

We issued the following CESA (CentOS Errata and Security Advisories) during October:

Errata and Bugfix Advisories

We issued the following CEBA (CentOS Errata and Bugfix Advisories) during October:

Events

October was a quiet month for events, but we do have a couple of upcoming events that we want to be sure are on your calendar:

SuperComputing 19, Denver

As you may know, SuperComputing is overwhelmingly powered by CentOS. We'll be at SuperComputing19 in Denver in just a few weeks, hanging out at the Red Hat booth to discuss your SuperComputing and HPC needs.

FOSDEM and the CentOS Dojo

FOSDEM is one of the largest, and oldest, open source gatherings in the world. CentOS has had a presence there for many years, and we plan to be there again in 2020. FOSDEM is, as usual, the first weekend in February (Feb 1-2 2020) in Brussels Belgium.

CentOS expects to have a table in the main exhibitor area (we'll find out for sure in a couple weeks), and, from a content perspective, we encourage you to keep an eye on the distributions devroom, where content relating to CentOS, and other Linux distributions, will be presented.

Also, like every year, we plan to hold our CentOS Dojo on the Friday before FOSDEM - January 31st - at the Marriott Grand Place. Details are on the CentOS wiki. The call for presentations is now open. We want to hear what you're working on which may be of interest to the CentOS community. Have a look at last year's schedule for an idea of what kinds of talks we've run in the past.

The call for presentation closes on November 18th, so that we have time to build the schedule and promote the event a little more widely. So don't wait!

Contributing

As with any open source project, there's a lot more than just code. If you want to get involved, but you're not a programmer or packager, there's still a ton of places where you can plug in.

  • Design - Graphic and design elements for the product itself, the website, materials for events, and so on, are always a great need. This is true of any open source community, where the focus on code can tend to neglect other aspects.
  • Events - While CentOS has an official presence at a few events during the year, we want a wider reach. If you're planning to attend an event, and want to represent CentOS in some way, get in touch with us on the centos-promo mailing list to see how we can support you.
  • Promotion - The Promo SIG does a lot in addition to just events. This includes this newsletter, our social media presence, blog posts, and various other things. We need your help to expand this effort.
  • Documentation - Any open source project is only as good as its documentation. If people can't use it, it doesn't matter. If you're a writer, you are in great demand.

If any of these things are of interest to you, please come talk to us on the centos-devel mailing list, the centos-promo mailing list, or any of the various social media channels.

We look forward to hearing from you, and helping you figure out where you can fit in.

Dear CentOS enthusiast,

If you'd like to help out with the process of putting together the newsletter, please see the Contributing section at the end. We're always looking for help!

IN THIS EDITION:

Releases and updates

The big news in September was the release of CentOS Linux 8, along with CentOS Stream. CentOS Linux 8 is exactly what you expected - a rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 - but CentOS Stream is a new aspect of the CentOS Project that needs a little more explanation.

CentOS Stream is a rolling preview of what will be in the next minor release of RHEL. CentOS Stream will be updated regularly (the exact cadence is still a work in progress) and will give you the opportunity to verify your code and workloads against what’s coming next.

The motivation for doing this is to provide a platform where people can develop against CentOS Stream, and, by doing so, be ready for market the day that the next minor version of RHEL ships. CentOS Stream will be developer beta level code (not alpha) containing features ready for validation to include in the next minor release of RHEL. Red Hat wants CentOS Stream to be a great experience for developers to target the next minor release of RHEL (released every 6 months). Code that is delivered to CentOS Stream is what Red Hat engineers intend to go into the next minor release of RHEL and will have gone through CI.

If you’re interested in building a project on Stream, we encourage you to look into the SIGs - https://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup - which are a place to package and test on CentOS, using the Community Build System (CBS) and the CentOS CI. Bring your ideas to the centos-devel mailing list, and we’ll help you figure out the way forward.

Finally, note that this is still a work in progress. We hope to have regular updates to CentOS Stream within the next few months, but tooling for that does not exist yet, and so there will be a lot of manual processes at first. We appreciate your patience while we get things up and running.

We are working on a feedback mechanism that is going to evolve over time. CentOS Stream must have the ability to get feedback and suggestions to be successful. We will announce details as things solidify.

You can download CentOS Stream, as well as CentOS Linux, at https://www.centos.org/download/ and you can read more details on the centos-devel mailing list, at https://lists.centos.org/pipermail/centos-devel/2019-October/017922.html

Errata and Enhancements Advisories

We issued the following CEEA (CentOS Errata and Enhancements Advisories) during September:

Errata and Security Advisories

We issued the following CESA (CentOS Errata and Security Advisories) during September:

Errata and Bugfix Advisories

We issued the following CEBA (CentOS Errata and Bugfix Advisories) during September:

Other releases

The following releases also happened during September:

Events

In September, we had a presence at the Webpros Summit (formerly the cPanel conference) in Atlanta, Georgia. The cPanel community are long-term supporters of CentOS, so this is always a fun event. It was also a great place for some early conversations about CentOS Stream as a place to develop and test products.

While there, Johnny Hughes gave an excellent presentation about the CentOS Linux 8 release, what's in it, and why it was a longer process than usual.

As usual, there's a number of events coming up where you can find members of the CentOS community.

October 28–30, in Portland, we'll be at LISA19, the\premier conference for operations professionals, where we share real-world knowledge about designing, building, securing, and maintaining the critical systems of our interconnected world. Come see us at the Red Hat booth with your CentOS questions and stories.

Then, in November, we'll be in Denver at SC19 - the international conference for high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis. Once again, come see us at the Red Hat booth. As usual, or main interest there is the always-awesome Student Cluster Competition, where tomorrow's HPC experts compete to build a supercomputer with off-the-shelf hardware and open source software ... and most of them choose CentOS. Supercomputing is #PoweredByCentOS!

Finally, I want to keep reminding you that we'll be doing another Dojo at FOSDEM, on January 31st 2020. Details will be coming soon to the CentOS Wiki. Think about what you might want to present about, and be sure to join us in Brussels!

Contributing to CentOS Pulse

We are always on the look-out for people who are interested in helping to:

  • Tell us what you're working on
  • Provide a report from the SIG on which you participate
  • Tell us about an event that you attended where there was CentOS content
  • Write an article on an interesting person or topic
  • Tell us about a news article that covered the use of CentOS in an interesting way
  • Suggest an topic that you'd like to see someone else write an article on

Please see the page with further information about contributing. You can also contact the Promotion SIG, or just email Rich directly (rbowen@centosproject.org) with ideas or articles that you'd like to see in the next newsletter.

 

 

We are excited to announce the release of CentOS 8, and of the new RHEL upstream, CentOS Streams. Details can be found on the CentOS-Announce mailing list.