First official day at Red Hat

This is my first official day at Red Hat. I am working from home, and that first day will most likely be spent setting things up.

Maintaining a daily blog

I initiated the HPVM project while living in California, but I had then to move to France for personal reasons. For 7 years, I worked from France, being the only R&D person living in Europe in the entire “Business Critical Servers” division of HP. To help smooth things out, I started maintaining a daily blog. That was, obviously, an HP internal blog, where I kept a diary of things I was working on, took notes, and so on. It was relatively hard core, with disassembly, stack traces, that kind of things. But it was apparently useful to my colleagues.

I intend to try and to the same thing for my work at Red Hat, for the same reasons. The main difference is that this will be public. But I’m not going to water it down since this also means I’m going to use this for my own future reference. So I apologize in advance if any of this is of mediocre interest to outsiders. To help filter things out, all the Red Hat posts will be in the Red Hat category (and possibly other categories as well).

Administrative stuff

I did not get any information from Red Hat. I assume they probably created an address, for example, but I don’t have access to it yet. Same thing for the internal tools.

There is a “new hire” bootcamp in Munich in a couple of weeks. Until then, I’ll try to guess how to communicate with the rest of the team. I have subscribed to a variety of mailing lists, but for now I’m only reading them quickly, not posting yet.

Comparing visualization solutions

Since I will be working in the Spice team, I intend to compare at least three visualization solutions by using them on a daily basis:

  1. Spice itself, obviously
  2. VNC, with several clients
  3. Microsoft Remote Desktop

On OSX, my experience with VNC is that the built-in Screen Sharing tool has some trouble connecting to Linux. I tried Chicken of the VNC in the past. The Microsoft Remote Desktop client has proven relatively useful. I have a desktop PC that I can connect to using this protocol, which hosts a large number of VMs. I tend to prefer having a single keyboard and mouse and connecting remotely to other machines.

Testing session type

I’m probably going to switch frequently between Xorg and Wayland. To know which session I’m running:

$ loginctl show-session 2 -p Type.

VNC on Wayland

I’d like to have a VNC server on Wayland. I found a prototype here that hooks  directly into the Wayland compositor. But I see “licence key” and “until June 30”, and I stop digging 😉 Apparently, VNC and Wayland are not friends yet.

Got a funny message logging out: Authentication is required to access the PC/SC daemon. Apparently a known issue trying to connect with VNC, but I have no clue what the PC/SC daemon is. I think this is the kind of unhelpful message software developers should try hard to get rid of.

Comparing virtualization solutions

I will also have several virtual machine solutions working in parallel. In addition to HPVM, I have used VMware, Parallels. The big PC is currently running Oracle Virtual Box, with half a dozen VMs configured. The Fedora VM is running Fedora 22, which is a bit outdated, but may be useful for “old stuff” testing, so I’ll keep it around.

Docker containers

Tried two different docker Redmine containers.

The first one, sameersbn/redmine, following instructions here:

docker create --name=redmine -p3000:3000 --env='DB_ADAPTER=mysql2' --env=DB_HOST= --env=DB_NAME=redmine_production --env=DB_USER=redmine --env=DB_PASS=password --volume=/mnt/data/docker/redmine:/var/lib/mysql sameersbn/redmine

This fails connecting to the database:

[root@nano ddd]# docker start -i redmine
Initializing logdir...
Initializing datadir...
Generating OpenSSH client keys...
Symlinking dotfiles...
Installing configuration templates...
Configuring redmine...
Configuring redmine::database...........................................................[root@nano ddd]#

I also tried without the local mapping of directories (the --volume option).

The second one is the standard redmine docker container. Fails differently:

usr/local/bundle/gems/activesupport- `require'
/usr/local/bundle/gems/activesupport- `block in require'
/usr/local/bundle/gems/activesupport- `load_dependency'
/usr/local/bundle/gems/activesupport- `require'
/usr/local/bundle/gems/railties- `require_environment!'
/usr/local/bundle/gems/railties- `block in run_tasks_blocks'
/usr/local/bundle/gems/rake-12.0.0/exe/rake:27:in `'
Tasks: TOP => db:migrate => environment
(See full trace by running task with --trace)

Investigating manually why I can’t access the mysql database. It turns out there is a permission error in how I setup the local user (confused two IP addresses).

Finally got Redmine up and running. The docker container does not setup anything, so you need to setup the workflows, issue trackers, etc, before being able to enter any issue. And I got my first issue going. This will allow me to precisely track stuff at a fine-grained level that Red Hat probably does not need nor want, and to store private information (e.g. details of how the infrastructure works at home).


Everything does not work as expected. For example, I get this on the container output:

fatal: Not a git repository: ''

Not sure exactly why. If I do a git clone locally, it works fine. Found some information about a similar issue. This seems to be a problem with file permissions. Maybe due to the remapping I did over NFS for the data directory?


Author: Christophe de Dinechin

I try to change the world, but that's work in progress. If you want to know me, google "Christophe de Dinechin". Keywords: concept programming, virtualization, OS design, programming languages, video games, 3D, modern physics. Some stuff I did that I'm proud of: the first "true" 3D game for the PC, HP's big iron virtualization, real-time test systems for car electronics, some of the best games for the HP48 calculator, a theory of physics that makes sense (at least to me).

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