OpenSource Uncategorized Weaveworks

What’s been happening in Ignite

First of all: thanks Dennis Marttinen and Lucas Käldström for helping write this up.

It’s been only a bit over a month since Weave Ignite was announced to the world (others talked about it as well). Time to catch up on what happened in the meantime, the team around it has been busy.

If you’re new to Weave Ignite, it’s an open source VM manager with a container UX and built-in GitOps management (check out the docs). It’s built on top of Firecracker which has proven to be able to run 4000 micro-VMs on the same host. Time to give it a go, right?

Since the initial announce 43 people contributed to the project on Github, 20 got commits merged in the repo. Thanks to every one of you: 

@BenTheElder, @DieterReuter, @PatrickLang, @Strum355, @akshaychhajed, @alex-leonhardt, @alexeldeib, @alexellis, @andrelop, @andrewrynhard, @aojea, @arun-gupta, @asaintsever, @chanwit, @curx, @danielcb, @dholbach, @hbokh, @jiangpengcheng, @junaid18183, @kim3z, @liwei, @luxas, @najeal, @neith00, @paavan98pm, @patrobinson, @pditommaso, @praseodym, @prologic, @robertojrojas, @rugwirobaker, @saiyam1814, @seeekr, @sftim, @silenceshell, @srinathgs, @stealthybox, @taqtiqa-mark, @twelho, @tyhal, @vielmetti, @webwurst

Since then the team got four releases out the door. Let’s go through the big changes one by one and why they matter:

  • Lots of bug fixes, enhanced stability, more tests and more and better docs (find them here)
  • Support for Persistent Storage, ARM64, manifest directories, the improved v1alpha2 API, both declarative and imperative VM management
  • More pre-built VM images (currently there are images based on Ubuntu, CentOS, Amazon Linux, Alpine and OpenSUSE + a kubeadm image)
  • ignited was introduced to move Ignite towards a client-server model and improve VM lifecycle management
  • The Docker-like UX has been further improved, now also featuring ‘ignite exec’
  • Read-write GitOps support, now status updates/changes (e.g. IP addresses) are pushed back to the repository

It’s impressive how such a young project got all of this together in such a short amount of time (only around a month).

We also have been busy growing our community. As mentioned above, documentation was an important part of this: API docs, a very solid CLI reference and short tutorials to get you started were the key.

We also started a mailing list and regular community Ignite developer meetings. These happen Mondays at 15:00 UTC (what’s UTC?) and are meant to get people together who are generally interested in Ignite and want to learn more and potentially help out as well. Project authors Lucas Käldström and Dennis Marttinen are always very approachable, but here especially they made a point of introducing everyone to the goals behind Ignite, its roadmap and the currently ongoing work.

We’ve recorded all of the meetings. Meeting Notes are available too (Please join weaveworks-ignite on Google Groups to get write access).

Here’s what we covered so far:

  • 1st meeting:
    • Team introductions
    • Demo of Ignite
    • Roadmap overview
    • Current work-in-progress
  • 2nd meeting:
    • What’s coming in v0.5.0?
    • Roadmap for v0.6.0
    • Integration with Kubernetes through Virtual Kubelet
    • How to contribute to Ignite
  • 3rd meeting
    • v0.5.0 and v0.5.1 released
    • GitOps Toolkit is being split out – what is it for?
    • Footloose integration – what is it about?
    • Coming up: containerd support
    • Discussion of application logging

And this is where you come in… our next meeting is Monday, 26th August 2019 15:00 UTC and we have an action packed agenda as well:

  • containerd integration
  • CNI integration
  • The GitOps Toolkit
  • Code walk-through / project architecture
  • Discussion: what would you like to see in Ignite? What do/could you use it for?
  • Releasing v0.6.0
  • <you can still add your own agenda item here>

We are very excited to see the direction Ignite is taking, particularly because it contributes a lot to the ecosystem. How?

We realised that all the GitOps functionality of Ignite would be useful to the rest of the world, so we split it out into the GitOps Toolkit.

The team is also working on containerd integration, so that you don’t need Docker installed to run Ignite VMs. Why does Ignite require a container runtime to be present? Because Ignite integrates with the container world, so you can seamlessly run both VMs and containers next to each other. containerd is super lightweight, as is Firecracker, so pairing them with Ignite makes a lot of sense!

If the above sounds exciting to you and your project, please share the news and meet up with us on Monday. We look forward to seeing you there!

But that’s not all. This is just where we felt Ignite could make a difference. If you have your own ideas, own use-cases, issues or challenges, please let us know and become part of the team – even if it’s just by giving us feedback! If you’d like to get inspiration about what others are doing with Ignite, or add your own project, check out the awesome-ignite page.

If you are interested in helping out, that’s fantastic! The meeting should be interesting for you too. If you can’t wait, check out our contributors guide and check out our open issues too. If you are interested in writing docs, adding comments, testing, filing issues or getting your feet into the project, we’re all there and happy to help.

We’ll have more news on Ignite soon. But for today’s update we are signing off with a bitter-sweet announcement: Lucas and Dennis will from September step down as project maintainers in order to embark on a new adventure: Aalto University in Helsinki! They have started something very remarkable and we could not be happier for them. Watch this space for more news.

If you’d like to join the journey, you can do so here:


Trip report: UbuCon Summit + SCaLE14x

(This trip report was brought to you by the Canonical Community team, i.e. Alan Pope, Daniel Holbach, David Callé, David Planella, Michael Hall and Nicholas Skaggs. Some individual posts might still pop up in the next days… :-))

For a few years, the Californian LoCo team has been involved in SCaLE and held an UbuCon at the event or an Ubuntu-themed day and always an Ubuntu booth. Because of the immense popularity of SCaLE and the level of planning which went into this year’s UbuCon, the Community team decided to get involved and make this the first ever UbuCon Summit. For a few weeks we had regular meetings, brought on sponsors, got many speakers involved, flew many contributors and Canonical employees to the event and made a lot of noise about it in general.

Picture taken after interview with Swapnil Bhartiya.
Picture taken after interview with Swapnil Bhartiya.

SCaLE 14x happened from 21-24 January and on the first two days (Thu+Fri) we held our UbuCon Summit. There was Mark’s keynote, a few plenaries, a number of interesting talks and an unconference in the second half of Friday.

We registered about 200 Ubuntu enthusiasts (very likely much more drive-by audience) at the event and between sessions everyone had a lot of hallway conversations. The single-most heard sentence during the entire event was “It’s great to see you.” – UbuCon Summit brought together many community members who hadn’t seen each other for quite a while or who had never met. Many used the opportunity to catch up, to fix bugs together, bring each other up to speed on things and talk to people in the audience. For example the local Snappy team (Sergio, Oliver, Daniel, Didier) look at some small bugs together, help the Mycroft people with some snappy questions and answer questions of interested users – one particular success story was that it took two minutes to turn the project of a developer who talked to us into a snap.

Mark’s keynote was well-received and helped many of the audience to understand Ubuntu’s and Canonical’s vision. Many were excited about the new possibilities with snappy and snapcraft. In general there was a lot of interest in convergence and snappy – to many it wasn’t quite clear what the timeline is, what this would mean for the Ubuntu they were using right now and how far we’ve already come.

The unconference saw quite a few concurrent sessions and we got a number of work-items out of them:

  • “Getting more developers”:
    • Developers for other platforms are relying more and more on cross-platform frameworks (eg. xamarin)
    • We lack code snippets and examples. We should re-use and highlight code from what we are actually shipping.
  • “Scopes Q&A”
    • Low attendance but excellent interaction, presentation of what’s coming for scopes to new developers.
  • “Everybody loves team reports”
    • Drafted plan to create a modern team reports website and move away from the wiki to make the process more straight-forward, more inviting and to make it easier to find information. The goal is to give more visibility to what’s happening every month in the Ubuntu world.
  • “Summer of Code”
    • Created plan and work items to ensure Ubuntu applies for Google Summer of Code for 2016.

There were many events in the evenings: the Pre-UbuCon Meet and Greet, the UbuCon Thursday Night Party, Bad Voltage Live and more. It was a great opportunity to meet all friends of Ubuntu in one place, catch up with previous Canonical employees and others.

Other keynotes and notable talks:

  • Mark Shuttleworth – Open Source in the World of App Stores (Video available) – Similar to the keynote at the UbuCon but with a larger audience. Very popular.
  • Cory Doctorow – No Matter Who’s Winning the War on General Purpose Computing – You’re Losing (Video available) – Very popular as well.

Picture taken from Sujeevan Vijayakumaran’s blog entry
Picture taken from Sujeevan Vijayakumaran’s blog entry

The Ubuntu booth was incredibly popular and we were glad both the LoCo team and Canonical employees were there all the time. Many seemed to like that we showed off a bigger variety of systems running Ubuntu: the Erle Spider, the convergence features of the phone (on a Nexus 4), the orange box, a gaming box and all the other devices we showcased.

One downer was that for quite a while the proxy cache for was broken, so some demos or workshops had to work around that. We took a few notes and will discuss ideas with the organisers, so we can make future UbuCons and UbuCon Summits even better.

In general the feedback about our presence at SCaLe14x and the UbuCon Summit there was overly positive and there were attempts to talk us into committing to the same next year already. 🙂

Other trip reports:

Ubuntu Uncategorized

Surprising stats

Sébastien Bacher told me I was a bit obsessed with Ubuntu Packaging Guide translations and maybe I am, but I do believe that we’re thus eliminating one blocker on the way of people becoming Ubuntu developers.

Looking at the level of completion of translations of the packaging guide (or Ubuntu Development Guide), you might need to know that

  • with 70% of completion and above we publish the translated versions of the guide online and packaged in the archive
  • translations by newer team members are first reviewed, then accepted

If we just look at approved translations in Launchpad, things look like this:

If we look at what’s in the unreviewed queues of all translations teams, things get a lot more interesting:

Translations stats

If all unreviewed translations should get approved today, this would happen:

  • French would jump from 14% to 83% (soaring past German) and across the magic line of 70%.
  • Traditional Chinese would move up from 28% to 44% (just 26% away from the magic line).
  • Japanese would move from 15% to 25%.
  • And we’d have two more languages over the 5% line: Italian (0% → 17%), Turkish (2% → 15%), Greek (0% → 5%).

Thanks a lot to all the translators who put hard work into this. You all are awesome!

If you’re an experienced team member of your translations team, help out with reviewing all unreviewed strings. From the above you can easily see which impact it’s going to have.

(Earlier this week, my good friend and office buddy Rouven showed me this tumblr, translators might enjoy.)

Ubuntu Uncategorized

Accompanying a new generation of developers

The Ubuntu Developer Advisory Team has been in place for two or three release cycles already and it’s been a fun journey so far. We’ve got in touch with many many new contributors and old contributors as well. If you don’t know what this team does, here’s what our wiki page has to say:


  • Reach out to new contributors, thank them for their work and get feedback.
  • Reach out to people who might be ready to apply for upload rights and help them.
  • Reach out to contributors that went inactive and get feedback from them and offer help.

I personally found this very rewarding as I got to talk to many new contributors and see how they feel about Ubuntu Development.

You can help!

If the above sounds interesting to you and you enjoy engaging socially, if you have made a few experiences in Ubuntu Development and want to help out, please talk to me or comment below. It’d be great to have you on board!


Ubuntu coming to more devices near you

Ubuntu devices
Ubuntu devices

What’s been going on?

It’s been three weeks since we published the Porting guide for Ubuntu Touch. Since then we have Ubuntu Touch running on 34 devices (in addition to the original four) and work is in progress on 22 more devices. This is pretty amazing! Kudos to everyone involved who built images, rebuilt kernels and probably flashed their devices a hundred and two times in the process. You can see the an overview over what’s happening on the Touch devices list.

These are super exciting times for Ubuntu as a project. While everybody’s working hard porting Ubuntu Touch from quantal over to raring and daily images are produced from automatically tested and landed code another group of people enables Ubuntu Touch on new devices while yet another group of people is busy writing apps for it. This is epic teamwork! 🙂

What you can do?

Easy… if you have phone or tablet you can port Ubuntu Touch, check out our porting guide and ask on the mailing list if you get stuck.

If your device is listed on the devices table, and you’re comfortable backing up your device and flashing it, try it and let us know on the mailing list how it works.

If you’re into writing apps and building awesome stuff for Ubuntu Touch, you’re lucky, because we have a great event lined up for you. Thursday and Friday, 14+15 March, we will have the Ubuntu SDK Days. Just check the timetable and make sure you’re there. We’ll have Ubuntu Touch app authors and some of the Ubuntu SDK maintainers who will delighted to see you, your friends and your questions in the sessions!


Live from the Automated Testing Hackfest

Today is the first in a row of Automated Testing Hackfests for Ubuntu in the 13.04 cycle. The QA team is already busy, fixing, improving and adding test cases for all kinds of packages in Ubuntu.

If you have a bit of background in programming you can easily get involved. Just join us in #ubuntu-quality and ask all the questions you have. Everybody’s super-friendly and knows their stuff. We have documentation and a list of tests we want to look into, but if you have your own packages you want to take care of, that’s fine as well. Just have a look at the wiki page to find out how to get started.

At 12:00 UTC Martin Pitt will give a demo of autopkgtest and how to use it. So make sure you join in and let Martin help you get cracking on making Ubuntu the best-tested collection of software out there.


LoCo Directory progress

I’m very very pleased with the progress we’ve been making on the code of the LoCo Directory. Lots of ideas, patches, translations and fixes have been pouring in and it has been a pleasure to work with a lot of people from various LoCo teams of the world.

0.1.0 was the first milestone we wanted to release. It was supposed to be “just functional” and help to replace the long list o’ LoCos. Now we’re at 0.1.1, which luckily is a bit prettier and we managed to fix some other nasty bugs.

At UDS we envisioned events to be the next target of the LoCo Directory. So while we’re still fixing bugs and making 0.1.x more usable, we also work on 0.2.x which will be give LoCos the opportunity to list events, link to announcements, collect links of reports and show who’s attending. Just imagine looking back at the page of your LoCo team after 2-3 years. It’ll be interesting to see what all happened. 🙂

Unfortunately maintaining two separate branches is a little bit painful, so we hope we make some progress with 0.2 and can quickly abandon 0.1 again.

I’m incredibly happy with all the work everybody into the LD and I’ve been learning something new almost every day. Django and Python in general are a fantastic framework to work with.

If you want to get involved, here’s how.

PS: Merry christmas to you all, big hugs and a great start into 2010! 🙂