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Project planning meeting - 4 September 2006

Present: Stuart Yeates (SY), Graham Klyne (GK)

Last report: SakaiVre/PlanningProgress/20060823

This report: SakaiVre/PlanningProgress/20060904

Next meeting: Mon, 4 Sep 2006, 09:00. SakaiVre/PlanningProgress/20060918

Contents

1. Agenda

2. Activity since last report

The conversion to Debian continues to be slow, but is nearly done now.

Looking ahead, activities on the horizon are:

2.1. Actions closed or completed

(No actions closed)

2.2. Actions progressed

20060807.2

[GK+SY] Transfer Sakai installation to a Xen virtual machine on the SPIE system hardware. The new virtual machine is running Debian Linux (a supported kernel is necessary for reliable operation under Xen). The change to Debian is throwing up a few issues of system configuration that we need to work through. We'll keep the old machine running for a while as a Shibboleth test machine. See //wiki.oss-watch.ac.uk/DebianNotes and 20060721.2. We have started this migration. Tasks still be be completed include:

  • Install IPTables configuration. Done. See DebianNotes

  • Install SSSHBlack. Done. (Description of installation on Debian still needed.)

  • Install and configure HFS backups. Done. Manual backups working, need to check whether weekly backups work.

  • Install Postfix Done

  • Install Logwatch Done

  • Configure Logwatch messages Done

  • Configure auto-updater Done

  • Install and configure Apache Done

  • Install and configure Tomcat Done

  • Install and configure JK connector Done

  • Install and configure Shibboleth SP Installed but not yet configured.

  • Install and configure Sakai

See discussion. See also SakaiNotes, ShibbolethInstallNotes and TomcatNotes.

2.3. New activities and notes

20060904.1

[SY] Ensure that gotchas with Sakai installation (esp need for trailing '/' on paths) are recorded at SakaiNotes.

20060904.2
[GK] Check Christian's availability with Mike Fraser, in case of problems using the SPIE IdP (which we don't anticipate)

2.4. Summary of ongoing actions carried forward

20060721.3

[SY+GK] Modify and document Sakai configuration to persist user database. (Currently, new users added to Sakai are lost on each restart of the system.) The configuration change seems reallly easy: see http://maillist.ox.ac.uk/ezmlm-cgi?3855:mss:135:200607:pfcnekgcelolllgcmnmp. This change needs to be applied to Sakai when the new installation is complete (see 20060803.2)

20060301.5
[SY] Analysis of search requirements. (On hold while we focus our efforts on the Shibboleth/Sakai integration.)
20060619.1

[GK] Initiate process of SDSS federation credentials. Have obtained an SDSS CA certificate, but have not yet joined the SDSS federation. See http://maillist.ox.ac.uk/ezmlm-cgi?3855:mss:84:200606:hbmpafckdeclpnjmmgmb. The current plan is to enroll the new machine as an SDSS SP (using the new certificate obtained), and use the SPIE IdP, which is already enrolled with SDSS. Dependent on action 20060807.2.

20060619.4
[GK/SY] Write Shibboleth configuration document, in particular showing how the various configuration elements and functions are inter-related. Also, note relationship between Shibboleth and Eduperson attribute schema, noting in particular Shibboleth's treatment of attributes as a flat namespace, coupled with their more structured interpretation by Shibboleth-using applications.
20060807.1
[GK] Write up things learned about Sakai authentication and authorization structure and the consequent options for integration with Shibboleth.
20060807.2

[GK+SY] Transfer Sakai installation to a Xen virtual machine on the SPIE system hardware. The new virtual machine is running Debian Linux (a supported kernel is necessary for reliable operation under Xen). The change to Debian is throwing up a few issues of system configuration that we need to work through. We'll keep the old machine running for a while as a Shibboleth test machine. See //wiki.oss-watch.ac.uk/DebianNotes and 20060721.2. We have started this migration. Tasks still be be completed include:

  • Install IPTables configuration. Done. See DebianNotes

  • Install SSSHBlack. Done. (Description of installation on debian still needed.)

  • Install and configure HFS backups. Done. Manual backups working, need to check whether weekly backups work.

  • Install Postfix Done

  • Install Logwatch Done

  • Configure Logwatch messages Done

  • Configure auto-updater Done

  • Install and configure Apache Done

  • Install and configure Tomcat Done

  • Install and configure JK connector Done

  • Install and configure Shibboleth SP Installed but not yet configured. (Note action 20060721.3.)

  • Install and configure Sakai

3. Discussion

3.1. Sakai installation problem

We got caught by a requirement of the Sakai installation procedure (Maven based) that requires paths to be specified with trailing '/'.

3.2. Conversion to Debian Linux

Other than the Sakai problem noted above, we have made fair progress on most outstanding system transfer issues. The main remaininmg items are:

We hope these will be completed today (4 September).

4. Notes for next meeting

(Matters arising following the planning meeting.)

20060904.1

[SY] Ensure that gotchas with Sakai installation (esp need for trailing '/' on paths) are recorded at SakaiNotes. Done.

20060807.2
[GK+SY] Initial Sakai configuration completed and persistence of user database confirmed.
  • Continued problems with transfer to installation on Debian. Now, it is the Shibboleth SP software that seems to be incompatible with the Debian setup. This is rather unexpected and very disappointing, since so far the Shibboleth software has been very dependable.
  • Disaster! The system hosting the Xen virtual machine for our new Sakai and Shibboleth SP installation, as well as the SPIE IdP, has become caught in a boot/crash/reboot cycle. And the sysadmin is away for the month. It appears to be a problem induced by a Debian update incompatible with the Xen/Debian kernel of the VM host system.

  • -- GrahamKlyne 2006-09-04 09:43:23

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