On behalf of the Board, a group of us is working on an update to the CentOS Project goals that were originally laid out in 2014 and are online at centos.org/about. We’re hosting informal user and contributor interviews in a room throughout the day at the CentOS Dojo later this month in Brussels.

Please join us and share your open and honest experiences with CentOS the project, technologies, community, and so forth. We’d like to hear from you and, ultimately, see how your input can inform the goal-setting process and outcome. You are welcome to bring your questions about community, governance, project direction, other strategic thoughts, and so forth.

If you're interested in participating in this informal opinion-gathering, please come see Karsten or Rich at the Dojo, or at the CentOS table at FOSDEM.

/signed Karsten Wade on behalf of CentOS Board and other co-authors

Public minutes

On 2020-01-08 the CentOS Board of Directors held the first meeting of 2020, welcoming guest Rich Bowen, Community Architect for the CentOS Project.

The group talked through some background for each-other as part of the framework for updating the project goals. The Board is drafting a process that is for refreshing the project's goals openly and transparently. More details including a timeline should start rolling out in the middle of January to the centos-devel mailing list and announced on blog.centos.org.

The Board then heard from Jim Perrin as head of Community Platform Engineering (CPE) about the ongoing work around the EL 8 rebuild, SIG needs, and what the path forward might look like. He covered how the teams have been making realtime changes to build systems due to the differences in how CentOS Linux 8 and CentOS Stream need to be built. Regarding some open requests, discussions on the build root are coming soon, as the team raises their heads from work that has been underway. In general, Jim reported that tooling around the build systems are improving by force. He identified Aofie Maloney as a key contact to work with Rich Bowen on highlighting the ongoing work from CPE that affects various CentOS Project constituencies. We’re all hoping this communication helps raise visibility and focus questions about work to keep everyone better informed.

As a participant in the discussion, Rich Bowen agreed to write up a post for the community that covers the current situation of CentOS Linux 8 builds. This has been subsequently been posted:

https://blog.centos.org/2020/01/update-state-of-centos-linux-8-and-centos-stream/

In support of these efforts, the Board came to the following decisions, resolutions, and agreements:

  1. CentOS Project five-year goals refresh:
    1. AGREED: Available co-authors of the goals will be present to discuss the effort, conduct reviews, and create works during the CentOS Dojo before FOSDEM on 31 Jan 2020.
    2. ACTION: Karsten and Rich to arrange space of some kind at Dojo for open discussions around goals setting.
    3. ACTION: Karsten driving goals process document through current pre-draft phase.
  2. Project build systems discussion:
    1. ACTION: Rich to publish a statement/status for what is happening with CentOS Linux 8.
    2. ACTION: Rich to work with Aoife Moloney on what is being reported out of CPE for CentOS portion to highlight what is happening on an ongoing basis--a lot is happening, how do we highlight it?

Present at the meeting:

  1. Jim Perrin
  2. Karsten Wade (Secretary)
  3. Mike McLean
  4. Ralph Angenendt
  5. Tru Huynh [quorum]
  6. Karanbir Singh (Chair)
  7. Rich Bowen (guest)

We wanted to update you on what is happening, largely out of sight to most of the community, on the CentOS Linux 8 front. We have appreciated the patience of the community, but we understand that your patience won’t last forever.

A lot of the work in rebuilding RHEL sources into CentOS Linux is handled by automation scripts. Due to the changes between RHEL 7 and RHEL 8, many of these scripts no longer work, and had to be fixed to reflect the new layout of the buildroot. This work has been largely completed, allowing us to pull the source from Red Hat without a lot of manual work. This, in turn, should make the process of rebuilding RHEL 8.2 go much more smoothly than RHEL 8.0 and 8.1 have done.

Once 8.1 has been released, work will begin on bringing this new codebase, along with CentOS Stream, in to CBS (https://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/CommunityBuildSystem) so that SIGs can build packages for CentOS Linux 8 and CentOS Stream.

We will discuss this, and give updates of progress, on the centos-devel mailing list over the coming weeks. Some of you have observed that the CentOS team tends to prioritize doing the work over talking about it. While that’s not all bad, it does tend to leave most of you in the dark as to what it is that is being worked on, and we’re committed to greater transparency going forward.

Once again, we appreciate your patience as we work through the growing pains of the 8 branch. We hope to share a more detailed (projected) timeline in the days to come, with the caveat that timelines always change as they are being worked.

Purpose

To build and distribute the Origin 3.x rpm packages to CentOS repository.

https://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup/PaaS

Happy New Year and new endeavors

Happy New Year to all CentOS community!

As of 2020, the CentOS PaaS SIG wants to make a step towards a new endeavor to help and provide OKD 4.x as part of a wider community. However, for the time being we would like to announce that CentOS PaaS SIG charter will only be to mantain the existing Origin 3.x rpm packages published in the CentOS mirrors while we transition to the new OKD Working group (where all the development is taking place as we speak) which will ship the next version of OpenShift community.
As many of you already know, the OpenShift 4.x brought in a lot of innovation and changes in terms of the architecture, deployment and packaging compared with OpenShift 3.x and with that there been some changes with regards to the development relation between OCP/ OKD 4 which was very well covered in [1].
And last but not least, we would like to address the 1 mil $ question: Will there be an OKD 4.x based on CentOS as base OS ?

This topic was very much discussed in the OpenShift Working Group kick off meeting as well as the OpenShift dev mailer and the conclusion (captured in the roadmap [2] ) was:
The initial deliverable of OKD 4.x will be based on Fedora CoreOS as base OS since is the only distribution close to Red Hat CoreOS (rpm-ostree based system driven by Ignition) however should there be any community formed/ willing to develop/ create a CentOS rpm-ostree based system driven by Ignition, the OpenShift Working Group would welcome them (please join the meeting to discuss and maybe create a sub project as mentioned in the cahrter [4] )

Note, the CentOS PaaS SIG doesn't have the expertise in building / creating a new CentOS distribution nor the knowledge of any other initiative in the CentOS community.

We would like to send kudos to all our members who helped us with the SIG activities:

  • Daniel Comnea
  • Troy Dawson
  • Larry Brigman
  • Scott Dodson
  • Ari LiVigni
  • And many others...

To find out more information about the OKD Working Group, please visit [3] where you can find out the charter [4] as well as the approved roadmap for OKD 4.x [2]. Please do get involved [5] and if you find issues please open them in [6] (Bugzilla locations coming soon). You can also contact us on Slack in the #origin-users channel on openshiftcommons.slack.com and #openshift-dev on kubernetes.slack.com.

[1] https://github.com/openshift/okd/issues/26
[2] https://github.com/openshift/community/blob/master/ROADMAP.md
[3] https://github.com/openshift/community
[4] https://github.com/openshift/community/blob/master/CHARTER.md
[5] https://github.com/openshift/community#get-involved
[6] https://github.com/openshift/okd/issues

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

December, as usual, was very slow around here, with many people taking some time off around the end of the year. As such, I don't have much news to report this time.

Red Hat engineering continues to work towards on the tooling necessary to have an active CentOS Stream, and we hope to have an announcement about that this time next month.

Continuing the push for greater transparency and community participation, the Board of Directors has published the minutes from the December board meeting.

Releases and updates

Errata and Enhancements Advisories

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

Errata and Security Advisories

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

Errata and Bugfix Advisories

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

Other releases

The following releases also happened during December:

Events

December was very quiet, as it is in most years. If you represented CentOS at an event in December, please do let us know!

We have published a number of interviews from the Student Cluster Competition at the recent SuperComputing event in Denver:

University of Washington Student Supercomputing

North Carolina State Student Supercomputing

Shangjai Jiao Tong University Student Supercomputing

FOSDEM 2020, and Dojo

In just under a month, 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. We have limited space, so register soon before we are all full.

See you in Brussels!

Host a Dojo

If your University, company, or research organization, wants to host a CentOS Dojo, we would love to hear from you. You'll need a space where 100-200 people can attend technical talks, and someone who is able to work with us on logistics and talk acquisition. We'll help promote the event, and work with you to craft the schedule of talks. Drop us a note on the CentOS-Promo mailing list - https://lists.centos.org/mailman/listinfo/centos-promo - with your proposal.

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.

The PaaS SIG has provided their report as a separate blog post, and the Virtualization and Software Collections SIG reports are provided below.

Virtualization SIG

Purpose

Packaging and maintaining different FOSS based virtualization
applications that one can install and run natively on CentOS.

https://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup/Virtualization

Membership Update

We are always looking for new members.

omachace__ joining Virt SIG for oVirt project volunteering for providing
ansible-runner related and mod_wsgi into Virt SIG

Welcoming Miguel Barroso mbarroso to Virt SIG for oVirt

Releases and Packages

oVirt

* upstream released oVirt 4.3.7
* Working on getting oVirt CentOS Stream packages, particularly oVirt 4.4

https://blogs.ovirt.org/2019/09/top-7-things-to-look-forward-to-at-ovirt-conference/
https://blogs.ovirt.org/2019/09/ovirt-and-centos-stream/

Xen

* Xen 4.12.1 available on CentOS 7
* Regular updates to 4.8, 4.10, 4.12 for security updates
* Upstream Xen 4.13 nearing release

Health and Activity

The Virtualization SIG remains fairly healthy. All the projects within
the SIG are updating regularly on biweekly meetings.

oVirt had a conference in Rome on 4 Oct.

oVirt also now has a new driver installer for Windows. If you have a VM
with the old drivers, it is recommended to uninstall them before
installing new ones.

The Xen Developer Summit was held 9-11 July in Chicago.

After an online discussion / survey, it was decided that the "primary
supported" version of Xen would always be the most recent version of
Xen-1. The current "primary" version is 4.8; once Xen 4.13 comes out
upstream (probably next week) we'll move this to 4.12.1. After that,
when 4.14 comes out, we'll update to the latest version of 4.13, and so on.

Issues for the Board

Both Xen and oVirt waiting for CentOS 8 support in the CBS. oVirt using
copr as a work-around for now.

Software Collections SIG

Purpose

The Software Collections SIG will provide an upstream development area for various software collections and related tools. Developers can build on and extend existing SCLs, so they don't need to re-invent the wheel or take responsibility for packaging unnecessary dependencies.

Details at https://wiki.centos.org/SpecialInterestGroup/SCLo

Releases:

  • The upstream release of RHSCL 3.4 was rebuilt and made available in the testing repositories since public beta. This release include collections of Nginx 1.16, NodeJS 12, PHP 7.3 and PostgreSQL 12.
    Maven 3.6 was also included upstream, but due to rebuilding and packaging difficulties, it is not available as of this report.

The successfully rebuilt collections are in process of being tested and released, and should be available on public mirrors shortly after this report is published.

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 agenda

On Wednesday 08 January 2020, the CentOS Board of Directors will hold its first meeting of the decade and 2020 calendar year. Below is the agenda for that meeting that can be shared with the community and wider public.

  1. Adopt minutes from 2019-12-18
  2. Build pipeline changes
    1. Update from Jim/KB
  3. Project goals refresh
    1. Working session with the draft process doc
    2. Planning to announce and begin process in coming weeks
  4. Rolling (last from 2019-12-18, new items to the rolling agenda highlighted as [NEW]):
    1. [NEW] Reporting on and better understanding the build process for CentOS Linux 8 and the update lag / point release challenges
    2. [NEW] Trademark Guidelines review:
      1. What works & what does not.
      2. What do we want to get fixed; who wants to work on that.
    3. [NEW] Looking at new Board membership and structure (ongoing)
      1. On hold while goals discussion is held, which includes a review and update of governance. We’ll figure out what model we want from that and how this idea might fit.
    4. Any other topics aka What other things do you want on our key initiatives list?
    5. 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 
    6. Stepping-up our meeting norms (ongoing)
    7. Transparency initiatives (ongoing)

Public minutes

On 2019-12-18 the CentOS Board of Directors held the final meeting of the 2019 calendar year.

The meeting was focused primarily on how the Board can lead the project further into being a contributor-centric open source project while continuing to deliver value to our community of users. Of particular interest is growing participation in CentOS Streams in addition to ongoing efforts around CentOS SIGs.

As a centralizing effort, the Board agreed to revisiting the goals document created five years ago, and to undergo an effort to refresh those goals in the light of the project’s evolution. The Board will be inviting various stakeholders into these discussions as we undergo a public revision of the goals at the start of 2020.

In support of these efforts, the Board came to the following decisions, resolutions, and agreements:

  1. Image creation, signing, and distribution:
    1. AGREED: Board agrees there is a significant technical debt in the content flow. To address this the Board authorizes Community Platform Engineering (CPE) to commit engineering toward addressing this in early CY 2020.
    2. ACTION: Jim to work with Fabian/CPE to begin working on a signing and release solution for SIGs, work starting in Jan 2020.
    3. ACTION: Prioritize transparency and reporting to foster a better understanding of the build process for CentOS Linux 8, with an emphasis on the update lag/point release challenges
  2. Project strategic goals:
    1. AGREED: Undergo a revision of the project goals, to include a range of topics from technical to social/cultural. Do this work transparently, reaching out to specific community members and stakeholders such as RHEL Engineering.
  3. Consent agenda items:
    1. AGREED: Secretary role revitalized -- not formally in the governance yet, role is delegated meeting organization and management 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 Wade has volunteered to take this role until approximately June 2020.
      1. ACTION: Early in 2020 Karsten & KB to draft governance updates to reflect the Secretary role.
    2. AGREED: Board confirms support for planning a shift to sharing auth backends with the Fedora Project.

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.