What’s New in Beaker 23?

Beaker 23 provides a new recipe state to reflect the provisioning of a machine, generates GRUB2 menus for x86 EFI systems, an improved user experience for job and recipe pages, as well as many other improvements.

Notable changes

New status reflecting the provisioning of the machine

In previous Beaker versions, determining whether the installation had finished and tasks had started was hard to figure out. Furthermore, no timestamp was visible in the UI to see when the installation of the system had actually started.

For Beaker 23, a new status Installing has been added to reflect the provisioning of the machine. The timestamp of the start and end of the installation is visible in a designated tab of the recipe page.

(Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #%s991245.)

Limits on number of results and result logs per recipe

Beaker now enforces an upper limit on the total number of results and result logs in a single recipe. By default the limits are 7500 results and 7500 result logs, but the Beaker administrator can adjust or disable the limits.

The limits are intended as an extreme upper bound which should not interfere with normal testing, but will prevent a runaway task from accidentally producing so many results that it can cause problems elsewhere in Beaker (for example, very large recipes cause excessive memory usage in beaker-transfer, beaker-log-delete, and when rendering results in the web UI).

(Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #%s1293007.)

Improved user interface for jobs and recipes

This release provides an overhauled web UI for job and recipe pages. (Contributed by Matt Jia and Dan Callaghan in #%s1263917, #%s1263918.)

Overall visual improvements

Recipe results are no longer displayed inline on the job page. This change is the basis for future features allowing users to compare multiple selected recipes.

Beaker 23 follows the same style used for systems, rendering quick info boxes for job and recipe pages. These info boxes provide essential information for the user about the job and recipe, as well as quick access to job activity and the system the job is running on.

Recipe sets can now be directly referenced

You can now link directly to recipe sets on the job page. A small anchor symbol appears when hovering over the recipe set or recipe id, allowing to copy the URL and sharing it in emails and bug reports.

Access to more information

The previous Beaker web UI was not showing important information like generated kernel options which Beaker passed to Anaconda or task parameters.

Beaker 23 now shows information about:

  • Job submitter
  • Installation options specified in the job XML
  • Scheduler settings specified in the job XML for autopick and watchdog
  • Generated kernel options which Beaker passed to Anaconda.
  • Task parameters. This is particularly important when a recipe runs multiple instances of the same task with varying parameters.
  • Recipe roles and task roles.

Improved access to logs

Previously, failed results remained collapsed on the recipe page making it harder for users to find the cause for a failure at first glance.

In Beaker 23, the improved recipe page allows you to focus on finding failures quickly. The recipe page provides quick access to logs for the first failed task as well as the console output for finding hardware related issues.

Better support for comments and waiving results

For users who needed to indicate false positives for colleagues, former Beaker versions only provided rudimentary support for waiving of results in the web UI. Furthermore, you could only leave one comment on a recipe set and the page did not indicate whether any comment was already present.

With Beaker 23, we have included first class support for commenting on tasks and recipes, as well as waiving recipe sets.

You can now add comments by clicking on the speech-bubble icon on the recipe or job page. The comments can use Markdown formatting providing additional support to link to corresponding issues or web sites.

Markdown for whiteboards and comments

Users who kick off jobs in Beaker from a CI environment like Jenkins typically use the whiteboard field in Beaker to supply important information about the scheduled job and/or recipe. The whiteboard field of previous Beaker versions never provided room for adding more information than just one line, which is sometimes too little.

Beaker 23 adds support for multi-line whiteboard fields, formatted as Markdown, which will be useful to provide links referencing CI jobs or additional information about the scheduled Beaker job.

Deleted jobs can be viewed

The old user interface did not provide support for cloning deleted jobs, while the improved job page allows to visit the deleted job. Even though the results of the deleted job are gone, one frequent use case is to clone the job, make modifications and re-schedule it again.

Preferences user interface improvements

If your Beaker account is managed by an external authentication service (such as Kerberos or LDAP) the web UI no longer offers to let you change your password. In previous versions of Beaker the web UI would show a field for changing your password, but using it would fail.

The user preferences page has also been improved. Now when you update your root password, the page will indicate how long ago you updated it and its new expiry time.

(Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #%s1019177 and #%s1175586.)

Beaker client improvements and bug fixes

Subcommands are loaded from setuptools entry points

Third-party packages can now supply their own bkr subcommands by defining a setuptools entry point in the bkr.client.commands group. The name of the entry point is used as the subcommand name, and the entry point itself must be a subclass of bkr.client.BeakerCommand.

Previously the only way for packages to provide their own subcommand was to drop a module into the bkr.client.commands package, following certain naming conventions. This mechanism of loading subcommands is still supported for backwards compatibility.

Managing lab controllers

This release adds the ability to use the bkr client program to create (by using labcontroller-create) and modify (by using labcontroller-modify) lab controllers.

(Contributed by Matt Jia in #%s1211119 and #%s1337812.)

Client bug fixes

  • #%s1229966: The bkr client now supports --pretty-xml and --dry-run options for the following commands:

    • bkr job-clone,
    • bkr job-watch,
    • bkr update-inventory.

    The bkr job-submit command supports now --dry-run. (Contributed by Blake McIvor)

  • #%s1336966, #%s1328313: The bkr group-modify command is now more reliable if multiple options of --remove-member or --add-member are specified. (Contributed by Blake McIvor)

  • #%s1323921: You can now set AUTH_METHOD="none" in the client configuration file to make bkr skip any attempt at authentication. This is useful for automated tools which want to perform read-only requests against Beaker, for example workflow commands with the --dry-run option. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)

  • #%s990943: The bkr job-delete --completeDays option is now consistent with the same option for bkr job-list. (Contributed by Blake McIvor)

  • #%s1323885: A new command bkr system-create has been added to allow creating systems using bkr client. (Contributed by Matt Jia)

  • #%s1268811: The bkr system-modify command now returns a non-zero exit status if no FQDN is given, indicating that no action was performed. (Contributed by Blake McIvor)

Other new features and enhancements

The beaker-pxemenu utility now generates GRUB2 menus for x86 EFI systems. (Contributed by Matt Jia in #%s1087090.)

The web UI now also supports searching for systems associated to a certain lab controller. (Contributed by Hao Chang Yu in #%s704399)

It is now possible for <hostRequires/> to match systems on the total number of disks within a system using <disk_count/>. (Contributed by Blake McIvor in #%s1216257)

The job results XML now includes comments. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan in #%s853351)

If a job is deleted, the recipe_task_result rows are also deleted keeping the database size small. (Contributed by Matt Jia in #%s1322700)

Beaker now supports a Markdown formatted group description. The description can be helpful to add arbitrary information on requesting group membership. It is managed by using either bkr group-modify or the web UI. (Contributed by Matt Jia in #%s960359.)

Bug fixes

A number of bug fixes are also included in this release:

  • #%s1293011: beaker-log-delete does not crash anymore, if it attempts to delete logs for jobs with a very large set of results. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1284368: The reserve workflow now validates the requested duration, only allowing to reserve the system to a maximum of 99 hours enforced by /distribution/reservesys. (Contributed by Róman Joost)
  • #%s1321740: The columns on the systems page are now ordered alphabetically. Previously their order was arbitrary and could change between page loads. (Contributed by Róman Joost)
  • #%s554844: The user-guide has been updated with a chapter on how to create a Beaker task with restraint. (Contributed by Róman Joost)
  • #%s888136: A troubleshooting section has been added to the user guide. (Contributed by Róman Joost)
  • #%s1322219: The rhts-abort command no longer leaves a task in a Completed state rather than Aborted. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1257062: A new conditional skeleton has been added to beaker-wizard. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1087225: The beaker-provision daemon has been made more resilient for longer server down times. (Contributed by Matt Jia)
  • #%s1339034: Beaker administrators can now update the email address and password for the user account associated with the lab controller on the lab controller page. (Contributed by Matt Jia)
  • #%s1328153: Previously, passing harness=restraint-rhts for a recipe on IA64 would cause the restraint-rhts.i386 package to be installed, resulting in SELinux denials. Beaker now uses yum’s multilib_policy=best setting when installing harness packages on IA64 in order to avoid installing .i386 packages in compatibility mode. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1335370: You can now type Ctrl-Enter in any text area to submit the form. (Contributed by Blake McIvor)
  • #%s1319988: The option --ignore-system-status is now accepted by all bkr workflow commands. (Contributed by Matt Jia)
  • #%s1333516: Latest Fedora 24 armhfp can be imported with bkr distro-import. (Contributed by Bill Peck)
  • #%s1337790: The beaker-init tool will now delete left over log_recipe_task_result rows for deleted jobs. (Contributed by Matt Jia)
  • #%s1290273: Updating the active access policy on a system is not reflected in the activity tab if it hasn’t changed. (Contributed by Matt Jia)
  • #%s1309906: The bkr client enforces a 2-minute read timeout on XML-RPC requests. This prevents it from getting stuck waiting for server responses that have been lost, particularly in bkr job-watch which could end up waiting forever for a job that is already finished. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1302942: The beaker-init tool now provides a background mode with the ability to monitor the migration. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)

Version 4.70 of rhts has also been released:

  • #%s1320320: rhts-reboot no longer hangs waiting for user input. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)

The following user interface bugs/RFEs are solved by the job page improvements in this release:

  • #%s602131: There is currently no easy way to see the job whiteboard when looking at a recipe.
  • #%s894137: There is no possibility to directly link to a recipe set in Beaker.
  • #%s1314271: Job definitions are not preserved when a job is deleted.
  • #%s786793: Task parameters are not visible on the result page.
  • #%s995009: Jobs don’t show the submitter.
  • #%s1064738: Retention tag products can not be repeatedly modified on the job page.
  • #%s872094: Avoid using cookies to store visible state of recipe results on recipe/job page.
  • #%s1169838: Job page is broken when visiting /jobs/<id>/ instead of /jobs/<id>.
  • #%s967481: Commenting on recipe sets which were cancelled before they started resulted in a traceback.
  • #%s646416: Updating the DOM of the job page results in jerky movements of page elements.
  • #%s1122682: The comment text area on the jobs page is too small.
  • #%s1305951: Comment pop-up on the recipe set is distracting.
  • #%s1340141: Allow to turn on reservesys after job submission from the Web UI.
  • #%s846199: The recipes page is slow due to unnecessary code querying the database.
  • #%s1309530: Beaker shows the reboot time to be a few seconds before the recipes start time. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s626529: Guest recipes guestname and guestargs are not visible on the recipe page. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1165544: There is no possibility to easily select the tasks version on the recipe page.

Maintenance updates

The following fixes have been included in Beaker 23 maintenance updates.

Beaker 23.1

  • #%s1362414: The --online-data-migration option for beaker-init has been removed. The data migration is now performed automatically by beakerd as necessary as part of each scheduling iteration. This fixes database deadlocks between beakerd and the online data migration process which prevent large, heavily utilized Beaker sites from successfully completing the migration. Beaker sites which already upgraded to 23.0 using the original data migration process in beaker-init are not affected by this bug. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1362439: Inefficient DELETE queries in beaker-log-delete, introduced in Beaker 23.0, have been fixed. The inefficient queries could impact large Beaker sites causing lock wait timeouts in beakerd. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1334552: Recipe whiteboards are now rendered as Markdown when shown on the job page, matching how they are displayed on the recipe page. (Contributed by Matt Jia)
  • #%s1345735: The bkr client has a new option --insecure and corresponding configuration setting SSL_VERIFY which will disable all SSL certificate validity checks, allowing the client to connect to a Beaker server with an invalid or untrusted certificate. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1353825: The documentation for <reservesys/> now describes how to extend the reservation. (Contributed by Róman Joost)

Version 2.2 of the beaker-system-scan hardware scanning utility and version 1.2-8 of the /distribution/inventory task have also been released:

  • #%s1343347: The kvm_hv kernel module is now detected on PowerNV systems as indicating support for hardware virtualization. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)

Beaker 23.2

  • #%s1366442: The initial watchdog time for a recipe (after the system is first rebooted) is now set to the running time of the first task in the recipe plus 30 minutes. This restores the pre-23.0 behaviour, which was unintentionally changed. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1368509: The beaker-transfer and beaker-watchdog daemons now re-authenticate to the server only if their session expires. In Beaker 23.0 they were unintentionally re-authenticating every 20 seconds. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1369305: The beaker-provision daemon now correctly re-authenticates to the server if its session expires. The fix for #%s1087225 in Beaker 23.0 was incomplete. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1362599: The Ack and Nak radio buttons on the legacy job page have been restored. These were originally removed in Beaker 23.0 as part of the waiving/commenting overhaul. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1368352: Beaker’s Anaconda monitoring script now uploads /tmp/packaging.log as soon as it is available. Previously under some error conditions the log would not be uploaded back to Beaker. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1197608: The bkr workflow commands now accept a new option --taskfile for specifying tasks to be run. Each line in the given file beginning with / is treated as a task name. (Contributed by Jan Stancek and Róman Joost)
  • #%s1350959: The bkr client now prints a more helpful error message in case the CA_CERT configuration option refers to a non-existent file. (Contributed by Róman Joost)

Version 4.71 of the rhts test development and execution library has also been released:

  • #%s1342406: The URL field of the RPM metadata is now populated with the SCM location of the task’s source code. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)

Version 0.7.10 of the Beah test harness has also been released:

  • #%s1365853: The harness no longer considers the Installing status to indicate a finished recipe. This fixes a problem where the harness would occasionally skip all tasks in the recipe. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)

Version 4.0-92 of the /distribution/virt/install task has also been released:

  • #%s1351666: The new virtlogd log rotation functionality in libvirt is disabled for Beaker guests, because it prevents the guest console log from being captured. (Contributed by Jan Stancek)

Beaker 23.3

  • #%s1347239: Beaker now prevents systems from being set to Automated while not associated with any lab controller, since they cannot be used by the scheduler. (Contributed by Róman Joost)
  • #%s1298055: The bkr job-modify command accepts a new option --whiteboard to update the whiteboard of an existing job or recipe. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1362596: The system hostname is now shown for each recipe on the job page. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s874387: Systems are no longer marked as broken if the configure_netboot command fails, since that usually indicates a problem with the download URL for the distro rather than a problem with the system. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1375035: Fixed an edge case with the scheduler’s logic for handling <reservesys/> which could cause the reservation to be skipped if the recipe contains only one task which finishes quickly. (Contributed by Róman Joost)
  • #%s1376645: A recipe is now marked as “reviewed” only if the recipe page is opened after the recipe is finished. Previously a recipe would be marked as reviewed even if it were still running and producing more results. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1369599: When the scheduler increases the priority of a recipe set because it only matches one candidate system, this change is now recorded in the job activity. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1083648: The beaker-provision daemon now only applies the quiescent period delay between consecutive on and off operations. Previously the delay would also be applied unnecessarily between other commands, such as configure_netboot. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1380600: The /login endpoint no longer redirects based on the HTTP Referer header, instead an explicit redirect URL is always passed. This avoids an issue with bad redirects when using mod_auth_mellon for handling authentication in Apache. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1387109: Beaker now accepts a quiescent period of 0 in the system power settings. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1379565: The Beaker server now avoids looking up its own name in DNS whenever possible. Previously the server would perform many DNS lookups of its own name, even when tg.url_domain was set in the server configuration. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1364311: Fixed URL generation to obey the server.webpath prefix. On a number of pages the prefix was not correctly applied, causing HTTP requests in the browser to fail. (Contributed by Jon Orris)
  • #%s1390412: Fixed absolute URL generation to obey the tg.url_scheme setting in all cases. Previously some pages would include an incorrect URL when the Beaker server is behind an SSL-terminating reverse proxy, causing HTTP requests in the browser to fail. (Contributed by Dan Callaghan)
  • #%s1350302: The beaker-init tool now considers a database to be “empty” even if it contains a lone alembic_version table. This is to work around the behaviour of beaker-init --check, which will create that table when run against an empty database. (Contributed by Jon Orris)
  • #%s1362598: The wording of the Hide Naks option on the job matrix has changed to Hide Waived to reflect the changed terminology in Beaker 23. (Contributed by Jon Orris)

Version 1.0-6 of the /distribution/virt/image-install task has also been released:

  • #%s1333456: Fixed a regression in parsing guest recipe arguments. (Contributed by Jan Stancek)