What’s New in Beaker 0.12?

Noteworthy changes

Arguments for set_hub in workflow commands

If you maintain any third-party Beaker client subcommands or workflows, you should update them to pass all keyword arguments to the set_hub method. This is necessary so that the new --hub option, and any other common options added in future, are obeyed:

def run(self, *args, **kwargs):

Kickstart sections are terminated for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Previously, when Beaker generated kickstarts for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 the %packages, %pre, and %post sections were not terminated with an %end. Hence, additional kickstart commands specified in the recipe using ks_appends were not parsed as commands by the kickstart parser. This has now been rectified and hence allows you to specify additional kickstart commands using ks_appends.

A consequence of this change is that if you want to specify a post-install scriptlet using ks_appends, you will now have to begin a new %post section. For example:

echo 'Custom script begins here'

See bug #907636 for the background behind this change.

Job status is updated asynchronously

The beakerd daemon is now responsible for updating job status based on the latest state of the tasks in the job. This includes sending notifications and returning systems when a recipe finishes.

This change increases throughput for calls made by the harness while running a recipe, and eliminates various race conditions which can leave jobs or systems in an inconsistent state (see bugs #807237 and #715226 for details).

However, the job and recipe states shown in Beaker’s interface (including Status, Result, and progress bars) will lag a small amount behind reality. The amount of lag is expected to be less than 20 seconds (the polling interval for beakerd). While a job is waiting to be updated its status will appear as “Updating…”.

Task names are limited to 255 characters

Due to MySQL index size limitations, task names are now limited to 255 characters.

readahead package is no longer excluded

In previous versions, the readahead package was excluded during installation for all distros because it is known to conflict with auditd, but actually it is only necessary to turn off readahead collection on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

The -readahead line no longer appears in %packages, and readahead collection is disabled only when provisioning a RHEL6 distro.

Logs are no longer sent to the Beaker server

Originally the beaker-proxy daemon forwarded log chunks from the test systems to the Beaker server for storage. During the 0.5.x series, the beaker-transfer daemon was added, to optionally forward the logs to an external archive server instead. In this case the logs would be “cached” on the lab controller (not sent to the server) and then moved to the archive server when the recipe set is finished.

This “caching” behaviour is now unconditional. That is, logs are always stored on the lab controller. This is sufficient for small sites, and is effectively the same if the server and lab controller are the same system. If an archive server is configured and beaker-transfer is enabled, then logs are moved there.

The CACHE setting in /etc/beaker/labcontroller.conf, which previously controlled this behaviour, no longer has any effect and can be removed.

beaker-expire-distros reports network errors

The beaker-expire-distros command runs on the lab controllers to detect distro trees which have been removed. Previously, it would consider a tree to be “missing” if the root directory of the mirror was accessible but the tree itself was not – even if the cause was a network error or server-side failure.

Now beaker-expire-distros checks specifically for the protocol errors which mean the path does not exist (404 and 410 for HTTP, 550 for FTP). Any other errors, including DNS resolution failures, network timeouts, or failed requests, are printed to stderr and the command exits. If the --ignore-errors option is passed, network errors are suppressed instead and beaker-expire-distros continues checking other trees.

If your distro mirror is known to be unreliable (for example, requests time out during periods of high load) you may wish to add --ignore-errors to /etc/cron.hourly/beaker_expire_distros in order to avoid cron spam.

New features

Provisional support for alternative harnesses

This release includes provisional support for alternative harnesses. This includes a new HTTP API for harnesses to communicate with Beaker, a new result type “None”, and a mechanism to select a harness other than Beah in generated kickstarts. See Alternative Harness Guide for full details. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #915128.)

New system loan interface and comment field

System loans are now granted and returned using an AJAX widget on the system page. On top of the existing functionality, a comment field is now available for recording comments about loans. See Loans for further details. (Contributed by Raymond Mancy in #733347.)

Live role environment variables

The RECIPE_MEMBERS environment variable and any other role environment variables are now updated at the start of every task. In particular, this makes it possible to do multi-host testing between guest recipes and their host. The guest FQDNs will be available on the host for tasks executed after the guests have finished installing (in most cases, after the /distribution/virt/install task). (Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #887283.)

Disk information in inventory

The /distribution/inventory task now collects information about disks present in the system and records them in Beaker. The disk information appears under the Details tab of the system page. You can search disk information in the web UI, and you can filter systems by their disks in <hostRequires/> using the <disk/> element. (Contributed by James de Vries and Dan Callaghan in #766919.)

<not/> element in XML filters

The <not/> element can be used in <hostRequires/> and <distroRequires/> to negate the meaning of any filter criteria it encloses. If it contains multiple filters, they are implicitly AND-ed together.

For example, the following filter matches systems which have a disk whose sector size is greater than 512 bytes (even if the same system also has a disk whose sector size is not greater than 512 bytes):

    <sector_size op="&gt;" value="512" />

whereas the following filter matches systems which have no disks whose sector size is 512 bytes:

        <sector_size op="=" value="512" />

(Contributed by Dan Callaghan.)

Other enhancements

  • The scheduler tries to pick systems with more than one CPU core before systems with only one CPU core, as the latter are rarer. (Contributed by Raymond Mancy in #824534.)

  • The netboot configuration for a system can be cleared from the Commands tab on the system page. (Contributed by Raymond Mancy in #559332.)

  • A new command, bkr update-prefs, lets you update your user preferences in Beaker. In this first release, it only supports updating your email address. (Contributed by Qixiang Wan in #832937.)

  • The beaker-sync-tasks command is a new server side tool to sync the task RPMs on a local Beaker instance with those on a remote Beaker instance. It overwrites tasks of the same name on the local instance with that from the remote Beaker instance if they are of different versions. Tasks which are only present on the remote instance are added to the local instance.

    See copying tasks to learn more about how to use this tool. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #912205.)

  • The bkr job-list command no longer prints the number of jobs found. It now accepts a --format option to control its output format. Currently, the two supported formats are list (newline-separated) and json (JSON array). The list format can be used as input to other command line utilities, for example: bkr job-list --mine --format list | wc -l would print the number of jobs found for the user invoking the command. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #907658.)

  • Custom repositories are now made available at install time, using the Anaconda repo command in the kickstart, for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Fedora. This was already being done for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and above. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #902390 and #912234.)

  • You can now set unsupported_hardware in kickstart metadata to provision systems with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 on unsupported hardware. It can be set on a per-system basis in the Install Options tab (see System details tabs) or in the ks_meta attribute of the recipe element (see Recipes). Beaker will automatically add the unsupported_hardware command to the kickstart and provision the system, avoiding the need for manual user intervention during installation. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #907636.)

  • The bkr client now accepts a --hub option (for all subcommands), to override the hub URL specified in the configuration file. This can be used to submit jobs against a testing Beaker instance, for example. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #903865.)

  • You can now limit the distro tree import process to specific arches and variants, by passing the --arch and --variant options to beaker-import. Support for importing trees outside of their compose has also been improved. (Contributed by Raymond Mancy in #880933.)

  • The beaker-proxy daemon now uses gevent instead of SimpleXMLRPCServer. This means beaker-proxy can efficiently handle many concurrent connections using a single process. Previously, a new handler process was forked for every request. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan.)

  • The name prefix for oVirt virtual machines created by Beaker is now configurable through the guest_name_prefix setting. A lab controller can now have multiple oVirt data centers associated with it. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan.)

  • oVirt integration is now enabled for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and i386 recipes. (Contributed by Qixiang Wan in #884898 and #884901.)

  • The special handling for kernel types when importing armhfp distro trees is now activated for arm distro trees as well. (Contributed by Bill Peck in #903709.)

Documentation improvements

  • The Beaker Makefile section was updated to describe the Provides field. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #910725.)
  • The various job XML–related sections were rearranged into a new page, Job XML. This page now includes examples of searching for specific hardware. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #887746.)
  • The Releases section was updated for clarity. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #743579.)
  • The bkr(1) man page was updated to accurately reflect all the options supported by workflow commands. (Contributed by Amit Saha in #916351.)
  • Beaker’s documentation now includes release notes for each new version. The release notes describe any significant changes, new features, and bug fixes which are included in that release. They also contain upgrade instructions for Beaker administrators, supplanting the previous SchemaUpgrades directory.

Bug fixes

The following bugs were fixed in Beaker 0.12.0:

  • #691666: guestname attribute of guestrecipe should not be required in job XML
  • #745971: beaker-wizard should provide ‘None’ as possible value for attachment download
  • #768381: No Fedora repos in kickstart
  • #805791: Typo in beaker-wizard: MaxLenghtTestName should be MaxLengthTestName
  • #807237: Job still running when all of its parts are completed
  • #807991: Unexpected package definition: -readahead
  • #839888: Leading and trailing whitespace is not stripped in search boxes
  • #855703: Storing logs on the lab controller should be possible even without an archive server
  • #855716: beaker-transfer stuck in while loop, when disabling cache with untransferred logs
  • #858944: “autopick” element is not documented in job XML schema
  • #872187: Recipes can become deadlocked if a system becomes free during the scheduling loop
  • #874385: beaker_expire_distros does not enforce timeouts for HTTP and FTP requests
  • #879991: Client should allow interrupt power command
  • #880497: User column is always empty on Recipe Systems page
  • #881387: Order in which recipes are displayed on the job page depends on their database ID
  • #888959: rhts_post snippet doesn’t handle duplicate EFI entries
  • #890261: “like” op in CPU flag filtering does not work
  • #893878: bkr machine-test can submit an invalid job if no matching distro is found
  • #903935: Guest recipes remain stuck in Waiting even though their host recipe is finished
  • #906214: Check image status before starting VM on RHEV 3.1
  • #906715: Invalid vmtype (for RHEV 3.1) specified in VirtManager
  • #906803: bkr watchdog-extend and watchdogs-extend commands are too similar
  • #907650: bkr job-list --mine lists all jobs if authentication fails
  • #912159: Changes to beaker.base_mac_addr not taking effect
  • #912242: Trailing spaces in distro tree URL should be removed
  • #915549: Task table is missing a unique constraint on ‘name’ field
  • #915695: NoSuchElementException is raised for some Selenium tests occasionally
  • #917745: Internal error (500) when adding system to a group twice
  • #917933: Users can delete jobs not owned by themselves
  • #920433: createrepo output is not captured
  • #922721: Notify CC list should be visible to non-admins

The following bugs were fixed in Beaker 0.12.1:

  • #889065: Scheduling deadlock for multihost tests
  • #950922: Upgrade instructions for 0.12 may lead to a long outage
  • #951283: Role environment variables have duplicate FQDNs if recipe role and task role are the same
  • #951309: beaker-provision sometimes runs commands twice
  • #951981: Cannot import naked distro tree
  • #952948: CLIENTS role in a guest recipe halts /distribution/install task of host recipe