CernVM 2.5.1 released
18/01/2012 Release 2.5.1
In addition to bug fixing, the main focus of this release is migration to entirely new Scientific Linux package repository which is now hosted on CernVM infrastructure and will be kept in sync with an upstream distribution using newly developed procedure. This change is reflected in a new repository label for Scientific Linux (now cernvm.cern.ch@cern:sl-5 where it used to be scientific.rpath.com@rpath:sl-5). In order to base CernVM on this new repository, we also moved CernVM additions to new label (cernvm.cern.ch@cern:cernvm-2). As a consequence, all packages on already installed CernVM instances will need to be migrated to new labels.
While CernVM 2.4 was already built using our new image building system using rBuilder generated images as templates, this release was built entirely from scratch using the latest version of our build system. More details on this new tool that aims to address Virtual Machine lifecycle management can be found on our new Web Site.
In addition to a brand new Web site where now each of CernVM sub-projects has its own entry page, in this release completely (re)designed CernVM Desktop theme which now offers distinct look and feel. For these changes to be effective, one has to start from a fresh 2.5.1 image or follow the upgrade procedure described below.
We encourage all users running older versions of CernVM to download this version. Given that all packages on the system need to be updated, it is much faster less risky to start from a fresh CernVM 2.5.1 image and copy your home directory and modification to the new image. Users of CernVM 2.4.0 can also follow the update procedure described below. The development will continue in development branch (cernvm.cern.ch@cern:cernvm-2-devel) while the production branch (cernvm.cern.ch@cern:cernvm) will be from now on regularly updated ito address serious bug fixes and important security update.
This CernVM release is available for download from CERN's Download page.
Once the virtual machine boots, it will print on the console an URL to which you should point the Web browser and follow the instructions. Please note that default Web admin user name is admin and password is password (you will be forced to change it during the initial setup).
CernVM Installer for VirtualBox
For VirtualBox users we now provide CernVM Installer (available on Mac, Linux and Windows) which aims to facilitate and simplify download and configuration process . CernVM Installer downloads and instructions can be found here.
CernVM images are provided in a form of several CernVM Editions containing preloaded software components that are meant to speed up the initial customization.
The Basic CernVM images contains the most essential runtime environment and development tools. These images are suitable for ssh login and should be sufficient to run LHC applications.
The Basic CernVM images are provided for the following hypervisors:
- VMware Server, VMware Player, Xen, KVM, Oracle Virtual Box, VMware Fusion, Amazon EC2, Microsoft Hyper-V
These basic images can be customized and upgraded to any other profile/edition mentioned below. While we do provide images for a wide range of hypervisors, we cannot test all of them equally well. On our side we have tested VMware and VirtualBox images and those we recommend to users who want to use CernVM on their laptops/desktops.
These images extend Basic Edition and already contain all necessary components required to run a minimal display manager and can be easily customized for particular experiment environment. However, the images are almost twice bigger than the Basic CernVM images.
The Desktop CernVM images are provided for the following hypervisors
- VMware Server, VMware Player, Oracle Virtual Box, VMware Fusion, VirtualPC, KVM
Step by step instructions how to install CernVM on these two platforms can be found here
- Vmware Quick Start guide
- Virtual Box Quick Start guide (Windows and Linux) and Virtual Box On Mac Quick Start (Mac)
Please follow them carefully if you are setting up new CernVM instance.
EC2 Amazon Machine Images
These images are already preloaded on Amazon S3 and can be found by searching for cernvm string in the image name. It is not any more needed to specify kernel image (aki) when instantiating CernVM image on EC2 as this information is already stored in AMI bundle.
We are now providing exclusively CernVM Batch and Head node images on EC2. Unlike the standard images, they do not come with Web interface and have to be configured using amiconfig mechanism described here.
These images are meant to be deployed on the batch clusters or cloud nodes and host user jobs. Unlike standard CernVM do not provide a rAA Web interface to create users with sudo power and must be contextualized using mechanism described here or using locally attached CDROM as described here. CernVM batch images contain Condor suite but the services will not start unless configured using corresponding contextualization mechanism. Another addition to Batch/Head node in this release is puppet and corresponding amiconfig plugin that can be used to delegate part of CernVM contextualization process to puppet (contextualization is described here).
These images are meant to be deployed as a head nodes of the batch cluster. They are Batch images with the following additional components:
These can be configured/started using one of contextualization mechanisms described below.
Another special image type are CernVM BOINC images (VirtualBox?). They are based on Batch Node images and contain the special agents that make it possible to integrate virtual machine with BOINC (), an open-source software platform for computing using volunteered resources as well as to interface with LHC experiments Grid frameworks. The interface to experiment Grid frameworks (CoPilot) currently has an implementation of AliEn and PANDA adapters but the framework can be easily extended to other experiments.
This feature allows owners of VM instances or site managers to customize them at runtime for specific tasks. CernVM supports several contextualization methods that are applicable to different image types.
- rPath Appliance Platform (Web UI and XML-RPC) can be used for contextualization of Basic and Desktop images. For the details please see this page.
- Contextualization of CernVM Batch instances running on Amazon EC2 using amiconfig. For the details please see this page.
- HEPIX scripts using ISO CDROM image attached to VM instance for site administrators. For details plese see this page.
The contextualiation procedure for Batch/Head Node images should be now compatible with EC2 and similar clouds including OpenNebula running EC2 interface as well as StratusLab.
Updating your CernVM to version 2.5.1
NOTE: New users should always start by downloading a fresh CernVM 2.5.1 image.
NOTE: Before starting migration procedure, copy, clone or shapshot your Virtual Machine so that you can quickly undo changes if something goes wrong. Since the update will touch almost all components of the system, run the migration while connected to fast network.
NOTE: If you are upgrading from CernVM version prior to 2.2.0, please remove any CVMFS_HTTP_PROXY lines that might be in /etc/cernvm/site.conf file. We now require this variable to have a meaningful value and do not accept an empty string that we used to tolerate before. This variable is now defined in /etc/cernvm/default.conf (configuration obtained automatically) and can be overwritten in /etc/cvmfs/site.conf (using the Web interface).
NOTE: You can migrate your old CernVM version to new version and preserve your files (home directory and some customizations) providing that there are no conflicts with new version.
These conflicts can appear if you have installed and pinned by hand some packages. If so, you will have to resolve conflict (using 'conary unpin' or 'conary erase' to remove problematic packages, re-running migrate procedure until it completes and then installing your packages with 'conary update').
To upgrade CernVM to the 2.4.0 version, logut from CernVM display manager and login to appliance using ssh and login as root:
Fetch the migration script and run it:
chmod +x migrate.sh
As the upgrade procedure has to download and install ~180 packages, this will take some time. After upgrade, the VM should reboot and come back with new login screen.
Keeping your appliance up to date
The updates will be posted only to fix bugs or to propagate essential security updates. The support list will be notified when updates are ready and will post specific instructions for each update.
In general, to receive the updates, go to
Web interface -> System Updates -> System Update
and click on "Check Now" button. If updates are found you can apply them by clicking on "Apply Now" button.
Running and configuring AFS client in virtual machine environment where network connection goes via NAT, gets interrupted from time to time (host on wireless network), user roams between sites and connects to different network and time can go wrong (upon waking up VM from sleep) can be difficult and we do not recommend it in general. Still, we now do provide openafs client which can be installed by users who understand and can handle these problems. To install openafs client do
sudo conary update group-openafs
sudo mkdir -p /afs
echo cern.ch > /tmp/ThisCell
sudo cp /tmp/ThisCell /usr/vice/etc/ThisCell
(substitute cern.ch with your local AFS cell)
After reboot, AFS should be mounted under /afs. To authenticate use 'kinit' command.
Since CernVM does not by default include java components, adding development environment such as eclipse to CernVM might be rather tricky. To facilitate that process, we now provide a package group (group-eclipse) allowing users to install all required components using one command:
sudo conary update group-eclipse
This version of eclipse comes with some basic plugins pre-installed and if you wish to install some extra plugins such as C++ development environment, go to
Help -> Software Updates -> Find and Install... -> Search for new features to install
Select Calisto site (http://download.eclipse.org/tools/cdt/releases/callisto) as the update source and follow the instructions to install desired components.
cernvm-theme: New desktop theme specifically designed for CernVM
cernvm-config: Adding dhclient-down-hooks
cernvm-context-one: Adding support for StratusLab contextualization
amiconfig: Support for puppet contextualization
cernvm-tools: Using AWS signature version 2 for compatibility with OpenNebula
cernvm-postinstall: Adding noresume crashkernel=1M@16M default kernel options, removing /etc/resolv.conf.predhclient
New packages: boto, bototools, eos, xrootd, cmake, firefox (replaces seamonkey as default browser), puppet
Removed packages: boinc-vm-controller
Updated packages: More than 500 system packages are updated, including important security updates for kernel
CernVM File System
- CernVM FS project now has its own (much quicker) release cycle and its releases are separately announced. This version of CernVM includes the lastest CernVM-FS 2.0.6 for which the release notes can be found here.
- Bug fixes:
- Fixed the mount table handling when the cvmfs service cannot be stopped because of open file descriptors on a CernVM-FS volume
- Fixed two file descriptor leaks when loading file catalogs
- Fixed a multi-threading bug in the cache garbage collection that may result in corrupted files
- Fixed cache cleanup on startup in the case the quota limit was reduced
- Fixed a couple of presentation errors
- New Features:
- Added a default quota limit of 4GB
- CernVM-FS is now able to report a set of basic health and performance figures via extended attributes. This way no root privileges are required to read them out. The new cvmfs_config stat command collects these numbers and presents them in either human readable or parsable manner. Please note that these numbers are only collected for mounted volumes.
- An exponential backoff in case of failed downloads has been added. This prevents request storms to proxies / web servers from applications that try to open a file in an endless loop. The backoff is triggered by consequtive download errors within 10 seconds.
- The new command 'cvmfs_config bugreport' produces a tarball with system information that helps for debugging problems.