IRC chat logs for #ltsp on irc.freenode.net (webchat)


Channel log from 28 December 2012   (all times are UTC)

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02:29
<highvoltage>
4
02:36
<Phantomas>
3
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04:51
<ltspuser_20>
Don't see icons or programs on my thin client after login
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07:31
<FuriousGeorge>
hey all
07:32
im missing an option on my dhcp server, but I can't remember what I need. I have filename set and next-server set
07:32
note that the DHCP server is not the same as the LTSP server
07:40
im getting "connection timed out"
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07:51
<alkisg>
Those should suffice, try booting with ipxe, it has more verbose error messages etc
07:52
!ipxe
07:52
<ltsp>
ipxe: iPXE is the successor to the etherboot/gPXE project, and can be used to netboot clients that don't have a NIC ROM with a PXE stack. To add it to grub, see !grub-ipxe. To add it to the Windows boot loader, see !win32-loader. To download floppy, CD or USB images, visit http://ipxe.org or install the ipxe package.
07:56
<FuriousGeorge>
alkisg: ipxe is what im using here. thats what this client supports
07:57
<alkisg>
FuriousGeorge: press ctrl+b, then type `config` and check that you receive the correct settings
07:57
<FuriousGeorge>
alkisg: dont i have to specify the path
07:57
<alkisg>
No
07:57
Unless you're using an NFS based distro... which one are you using?
07:58
<FuriousGeorge>
im using tftp
07:59
i set this up 5 years ago, so im a little hazy on the details
07:59
<alkisg>
Which linux distribution are you using for the server?
07:59
<FuriousGeorge>
ubuntu
07:59
<alkisg>
OK, so you don't need the nfs root there
07:59
Just next-server and boot filename
08:00
<FuriousGeorge>
next-server is obviously the IP of my LTSP server (not the router), and filename is pxelinux.0, right?
08:01
alkisg: also, ctrl+b is not an option as im remotely connected though a java console that can't send that key combo
08:02
<alkisg>
filename should be /ltsp/i386/pxelinux.0
08:05
<FuriousGeorge>
alkisg: hmmm... for some reason, as soon as I add the "filename" option I go from getting "no such file
08:05
" to "connection timed out"
08:05
from what I read I should only get the latter if it's timing out getting the DHCP address
08:06
<alkisg>
!tftp
08:06
<ltsp>
tftp: Here's a page to help you troubleshoot TFTP problems in Ubuntu: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/Troubleshooting/TFTP
08:06
<alkisg>
Verify that you can download pxelinux.0 from an external tftp client
08:06
Paragraph "Use an external tftp client"
08:17
<FuriousGeorge>
trying that
08:24
alkisg: hmmm
08:24
Error occurred during the file transfer (Error code = 8):
08:24
Unsupported option(s) requested
08:26
i may just be using the client wrong... i did tftp.exe 10.0.0.20 GET /ltsp/i386/pxelinux.0
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08:28
<asmok>
alkisg: are you using Puppet for your 300 schools? What kind of managing system? Just howtos for teachers/managers?
08:29
<alkisg>
FuriousGeorge: try the linux client from the ubuntu server itself
08:30
asmok: nope, we're only providing 4 custom CDs/DVDs that have gnome-fallback as the default session and a few other settings/apps
08:30
And we have PPAs to send package updates to all schools
08:30
<asmok>
ok
08:32
have you any alert/ticket systems for teachers/schools?
08:34
<alkisg>
The central ticketing system for anything related to the school network, is helpdesksch.gr
08:34
helpdesk.sch.gr
08:34
We've put a category about linux/ltsp there
08:35
<asmok>
ok
08:35
<alkisg>
And of course we have bug trackers for epoptes, sch-scripts etc... e.g. bugs.launchpad.net/sch-scripts
08:35
<asmok>
ok
08:37
thank you, i use google translator for your helpdesk, and happy new and better year for you Alkis
08:38
bb
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08:54
<alkisg>
asmok, in case you see the irclogs, the helpdesk requires login to see the tickets, so you won't be able to see anything at all...
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19:33
<alkisg>
sbalneav, stgraber: we're having some LDM cleanup problems but it appears that no LDM hackers are around, could either of you comment on https://bugs.launchpad.net/ltsp/+bug/1093144 ?
19:34
Also... I was thinking, if LDM was rewritten in shell and the greeter maybe in python, then more people could maintain it... thoughts on that?
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19:37
<stgraber>
alkisg: very bad idea ;) that's what ldm used to be (python + shell) and it was so slow and memory hungry that we had to rewrite it in C
19:37
alkisg: the current plan is to drop ldm completely
19:38
<vagrantc>
how's that plan progressing?
19:38
it seems a couple days a year might not be enough
19:40
<stgraber>
well, I had it working at BTS but we need someone to test the improvements Scott did after BTS and make sure all of it is packaged, ... then start integrating
19:41
personally I'm busy with so many other projects at the time and not actually using LTSP myself that I won't commit to much more than updating ltsp and ldm in Ubuntu for the next 4 months or so
19:41
hopefully I'll get some period of time where I'm less busy then and where I can cleanup that stuff a bit
19:43
anyway, I expect we'll be doing maintenance on ldm for quite a while still and there's no real way around that. Rewriting it would just make things even worse by having yet-another-display-manager
19:44
alkisg: for that specific bug, my guess is that it's not fixable with the way ldm currently works. Although the greeter and the backend are separate processes, then backend will die when X does, so there's currently no way to run things after X is dead, at least not using ldm scripts.
19:47
<alkisg>
slow + memory hungry => could that depend on the implementation? E.g. now ldm stays around in the user session and needs some MB ram for that, with the shell we'd only need the ldm script to hang around
19:47
So it would need much LESS memory than what it needs now...
19:49
stgraber: and about the backends dying, that's why I think some bigger changes are needed there
19:49
Currently things break on second login, and the way around it is to use NFS
19:49
So the default sshfs setup isn't working
19:50
(the .gvfs can't be mounted the second time)
19:50
<stgraber>
alkisg: why does LTSP even care about .gvfs? isn't gnome-session supposed to cleanup its own mess on logout
19:51
<alkisg>
stgraber: some processes only die when X dies, dunno why
19:51
<stgraber>
that's the bug that needs fixing
19:51
<alkisg>
That might be 20+ bugs in several packages
19:51
I don't think we can do that
19:51
<stgraber>
ldm closes the session when Xsession returns, by that time everything in the user session should be dead, if that's not the case, those need fixing
19:52
though that problem may soon get itself fixed with the work I'm doing at the moment (completely unrelated to LTSP)
19:52
<alkisg>
I think that's the main reason we restart X
19:52
<stgraber>
we're currently busy getting upstart to manage the user sessions in place of gnome-session, which enforces a proper process hierarchy and ensures everything is closed when the session exits
19:53
<alkisg>
stgraber: there's also the point of "what if X crashes, shouldn't LTSP cleanup after itself?"
19:53
upstart won't solve LTSP problems for all distros though
19:53
<stgraber>
nope, the main reason we restart X is to flush all the X properties and similar crap. Killing X to hope that all the user process die is just plain wrong (because there's no guarantee they'll actually die when X disappears)
19:54
<alkisg>
What about the "X crashes" point?
19:54
If we don't restart X, the greeter crashes
19:54
(tested some months ago)
19:55
<stgraber>
that sounds like a bug that might have been worth fixing if we weren't planning on replacing ldm with lightdm :)
19:55
<alkisg>
But at what time frame? In 5 years?
19:55
<stgraber>
for X crashing, we may be able to do some basic cleanup from the xinit scripts, but that's about as much as we can do
19:55
<alkisg>
I think many many problems will need to be solved to migrate to lightdm
19:56
The session stuff, not the authentication part
19:56
OK let me rephrase...
19:57
If I can get ldm with shell + python, working fine with the current backend functionality but without any cluster bits because I don't really know what ltsp-cluster needs, lighter on ram etc, would anyone mind?
19:57
It would indeed introduce some regressions
19:57
But it would be maintainable by the people that do have time currently to work on ltsp...
19:58
<vagrantc>
just call it lldm :)P
19:58
<alkisg>
:)
19:58
<||cw>
pyldm?
19:58
<vagrantc>
shpyldm
19:59
<sbalneav>
alkisg: OK, I'll have a look
19:59
<||cw>
pyldm.sh!
19:59
<stgraber>
personaly, I would mind and I wouldn't ship it in Ubuntu as I actually have extensive experience with the C version and can easily fix it for all Ubuntu versions, whereas having a shell+python implementation will mean different bugs and a completely different implementation, causing me to spend a lot of time to re-learn that stuff
20:00
<||cw>
call it anchietae
20:00
<stgraber>
hey sbalneav :)
20:00
<alkisg>
OK thank you guys, sbalneav I'll be around for a few hours if you happen to need feedback on the bug report...
20:00
<sbalneav>
Just as a note: I'm currently over in #mate, helping get the next version of mate out the door for March.
20:00
Once that's done, I'm going to continue on with the PAM stuff.
20:01
<alkisg>
Ah, cool
20:01
lightdm will also solve some things related to gnome-panel dying, dbus services missing etc
20:02
<stgraber>
I really fell that the right way forward is to spend time releasing and packaging the missing bits of sbalneav's nss/pam code, then switch to lightdm and never again have to care about the display manager and greeter. A stopgap solution will just make us have to maintain yet-another-thing for possibly years...
20:02
<alkisg>
stgraber: there are many bits that I couldn't think of how to implement them with a "generic DM" like lightdm
20:02
Selecting different servers, backends...
20:02
<sbalneav>
agreed. Could we maybe set aside a two week period in Jan or Feb when we could all do an intense "hack a thon" to get the pam stuff going?
20:03* vagrantc cheers sbalneav on!
20:03
<alkisg>
OK, I think lightdm got some support for rdesktop, but I don't know how ltsp-cluster would fit there
20:03
<stgraber>
alkisg: I really hope to have some time for LTSP stuff soon, but I'm currently investing all my limited spare time into Edubuntu Server. During my work time I've been doing a fair bit of DBUS stuff, so I'm pretty sure I can now easily bridge the client and server DBUS and solve pretty much all our bugs there, if only I had time :)
20:04
<alkisg>
I'm not sure we do want to bridge the client and server dbus...
20:04
<sbalneav>
vagrantc: alkisg: would both of you have some time?
20:04
<alkisg>
Fat clients will be a more and more common setup as things move along in the 3d era...
20:04
<stgraber>
alkisg: so lightdm already supports plugins that offer extra stuff in the greeter. That's what Ubuntu uses for the remote login function. The idea is to base our greeter on something like that, which will let us add any extra function we need to the greeter pretty easily.
20:04
<alkisg>
sbalneav: I could make some time as this is too important to pass the opportunity :)
20:05
<vagrantc>
sbalneav: i'll usually have some time, although i feel way behind in understanding the whole thing
20:05
<sbalneav>
That's ok, we can all get up to speed :)
20:05
<stgraber>
alkisg: for now the priority should be to get the authentication/nss side of things to work properly, then I can easily test with a minimal lightdm setup, then we can figure out what's missing and I can talk with the lightdm upstream who happens to be a colleague of mine
20:05
<alkisg>
stgraber: the priority currently is to make 12.04 working - it's currently broken :-/
20:05
<vagrantc>
might also be in montreal mid-may, if there are any folks who'd want to meet up in person for a hacking spell
20:06
<alkisg>
We have too many critical bugs that make the current ubuntu/ltsp solution unusuable
20:06
Schools are uninstalling 12.04 and getting back to 10.04 to get stable results
20:06
<sbalneav>
what's one of the killer bugs?
20:06
<vagrantc>
wasn't the original idea not to be dependent on a single DM? i mean, lightdm is nice, but what if something else comes along soonish?
20:07
<stgraber>
alkisg: can you try and get a list of those, maybe talking to mgariepy? Pretty much everything Revolution Linux found to be a problem with 12.04 has been fixed, but maybe there's a lack of communication there and getting more bugs properly targeted may help :)
20:07
<alkisg>
sbalneav: e.g. gnome-panel not loading - https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-panel/+bug/1078679
20:07
sbalneav: another e.g., sshfs mounts not working at all on second login, so a local /home/username is used, so users can't find their files, and changes are not saved on exit
20:08
<stgraber>
vagrantc: any DM will let you login to the default server. The extra lightdm changes are to make the UI a bit nicer for LTSP.
20:08
<alkisg>
(that was the bug I linked at the start of the chat)
20:08
<stgraber>
alkisg: ah, I guess those are all fat clients related and RLNX doesn't use fat clients, which explain why it's working fine for them
20:09
<alkisg>
stgraber: they don't use localapps either?
20:10
Login on a thin client, open a localapps firefox, logout, relogin => you no longer have an sshfs /home/username mount
20:10
<stgraber>
alkisg: hmm, they're using localapps
20:10
<alkisg>
And that happens too frequently to ignore... not all the time though
20:11
<stgraber>
maybe some odd setup difference made it not happen for them, or more likely, people don't tend to logout and login again with the same user
20:12
<alkisg>
True, that's why I haven't seen it on my initial ltsp workshops where teachers would only login once to see ltsp...
20:12
But it's been reported too many times on classroom use
20:14
<stgraber>
alkisg: would a lazy umount fix it?
20:14
<alkisg>
stgraber: we're doing a lazy unmount currently, it works for the unmount part but then .gvfs refuses to be mounted again on the second login
20:15
I'd feel really safer if we moved the cleanup part after X dies
20:15
We have frequent X crashes as well ever since the KMS move...
20:16
<stgraber>
the obvious problem with that is that we don't have the environment after X dies, so you'd need quite a few tricks for that
20:16
<alkisg>
We do have the screen-session.d/XS* scripts
20:16
XK
20:16
<stgraber>
I believe we have xinit startup scripts currently, maybe you can implement xinit shutdown scripts
20:16
ah, we already have those?
20:16
cool :)
20:17
<alkisg>
Yes, but the environment variables aren't there
20:17
With a shell-based ldm, they could persist more easily
20:17
<stgraber>
so one way would be to have something in the ldm scripts dumping the environment to a file and then have that sourced from xinit
20:17
<alkisg>
Right
20:17
But for that we'd need to postpone the ssh session closing
20:18
Because some of the cleanup stuff needs ssh access
20:18
<stgraber>
right, but once you have the environment in the xinit kill scripts, there's no good reason not to move the code closing the ssh tunnel, so that's fine
20:19
<alkisg>
For example: # Clean up localapps menu
20:19
ssh -S ${LDM_SOCKET} ${LDM_SERVER} rm -rf "${TMP_XDG_MENU}"
20:19
That should be done before the ssh tunnel is closed
20:20
And it should also be done even if X crashes
20:22
vagrantc mentioned that one of the reasons that ldm switched from shell to C, was security... any specifics there?
20:23
<stgraber>
probably some concerns about the memory
20:23
<vagrantc>
alkisg: one of the reasons it was implemented in python rather than shell...
20:23
<stgraber>
in C we have control on whether variables are completely flushed or not
20:23
<vagrantc>
(and later switched to C)
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20:35
<alkisg>
True, that could be a possible exploit, even if a very rare one...
20:36
I still don't see why the base of ldm can't be in shell though
20:36
The backends and the greeter, ok
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20:42
<stgraber>
anything that at some point will have the password go through it can't be shell, which in ldm is pretty much every part of it
20:43
<vagrantc>
even passed through stdin/stdout?
20:45
<alkisg>
Yeah... programs ran later on might happen to get that part of the memory
20:46
x=malloc(1 MB); check contents of x...
20:47
We can probably find some way to bypass that, e.g. PASSWD="some big string that is supposed to overwrite the stored password", but it's not guaranteed to be safe
20:47
<vagrantc>
but why store passwords in variables at all?
20:47
<alkisg>
It doesn't have to be in a variable
20:47
<vagrantc>
ok
20:47
<alkisg>
Even pipe memory can survive after the processes die
20:48
Although I'm not sure if we actually care about that in the current ldm code
20:48
(zeroing pipe memory...)
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20:53
<alkisg>
"which in ldm is pretty much every part of it" ==> ldm.c doesn't access the password at all, only the backends and the greeter do
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22:33
<vagrantc>
alright...
22:33
raspberrypi booted to LTSP based on raspbian :)
22:33
(though nearly everything is broken, since i couldn't use an initramfs)
22:35
for some reason rpi developers seem averse to building kernels with initramfs support
22:36
need to hack in some writeable filesystem support into an init-ltsp.d hook
22:39
might also play with interesting tricks with kexec
23:00
meh. no aufs.
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23:33
<vagrantc>
and some of our screen-session.d scripts running lspci assume lspci will never error...