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Akademy 2017 - Recap

Sun, 2017-08-13 05:30

Last month I had opportunity to visit the Almería, Spain for Akademy 2017. Akademy 2017 is KDE’s annual world summit. Akademy makes it possible to meet the felow KDE contributors, some of whom you only know with their IRC nicknames (Yes, I am not old enough to know every contributors yet :p). Here is few things I did at the Akademy 2017.

Plasma Mobile

On the 2nd day I presented a talk about Plasma Mobile, Slides for that talk is available here. This talk covers various topics,

  • Achievements of Plasma Mobile project for year 2017
  • Project Halium
  • New devices

In addition to all the good things, I also discussed about the areas where Plasma Mobile project needs improvement and where community can help.

  • Quality Assurance
  • Testing
  • Applications

There are several external factors which also matters for Plasma Mobile project,

  • Kernel version are too old, hard to maintain security
  • Lack of the open devices
  • Devices requires closed sources BSP to function to full extent

I also talked about the postmarketOS project which aims for the 10 year life-cycle of the phones, postmarketOS is currently using the weston as their reference user interface, and have interest in using Plasma Mobile as the reference user interface.

I also talked about various programs which are working towards the open devices,

  • Open devices program by Sony
  • Effort to support the devices by mainline kernel
  • Fairphone
  • Purism’s Linux Phone(?)

Video recording for this talk is not available yet, but it will be available at soon.

We also had scheduled a Plasma Mobile BoF, where we discussed about the Plasma Mobile Vision, Strategy, Convergence and more planning with rest of the Plasma Team.

Plasma BoF

KDE Student Programs BoF

In addition to being maintainer of Plasma Mobile project I am also the part of KDE Student Programs Adminstration team, on Tuesday we organized a BoF session where students, mentors and admins from various programs such as GSoC, GCI, SoK, OPW took part and discussed how we are doing in this year’s programs, Good or bad? Where we needs to improve? Overall this was quite productive discussion.


KDE Neon BoF

I also participated in the KDE Neon BoF, in KDE Neon BoF I mainly discussed the addition of ARM architecture in the Neon CI and also took lessons about how OpenQA is used on the KDE Neon CI. I do plan to use the OpenQA eventually for Plasma Mobile images.


Overall this was very productive Akademy, where we discussed various topics which are typically hard to discuss over the communication media like E-mail or IRC. I would like to thank the KDE e.V. for covering my flight and accomodation cost to attend the Akademy. I will have another chance to attend another event next month : Randa Meetings 2017. This year’s randa meetings main topic is Make KDE more accessible.

However to make Randa Meetings possible KDE community needs your help, Please donate at Randa Meetings 2017 Fundraising Campaign.

Neon CI was down, Why?

Fri, 2017-08-04 05:30

This post is public service announcement regarding the KDE Neon infrastructure.

Earlier we KDE neon developers decided that we should build the armhf and/or arm64 packages on Neon CI itself instead of the different Plasma Mobile specific Jenkins Instance. First step to make this happen was the adding ARM architecture in the KDE Neon package archive. We are using the Aptly for serving the packages.

Aptly however have a limitation that if you have started with publishing the empty repository, then you need to specify the complete architectures list initally and that list can’t be updated after publishing. See quote from Aptly docs,

Empty local repos could be published as well (as placeholder, for subsequent updates using aptly publish update command). When publishing empty local repos it is important to specify complete architectures list (using -architectures flag), as it can’t be changed after publishing.

Due to this limitation, only solution we had was to drop and republish the repositories with new architectures added. I started working on this at 15:43:14 IST yesterday, following were the steps taken:

  • Suspended neon CI
  • Stopping the aptly service on the server
  • Create a staging public repository and symlink it to older path
  • Take a backup of the old aptly db at ~/aptly/db
  • Restart the aptly service and run a script to drop and republish the public repositories

At this point, script failed with cryptic 404 error instantly however, upon inspection we realized that it was failing for old wily repos, which are unused since we are using the Ubuntu 16.04 xenial nowadays. Since we are not doing any builds of wily currently, script was modified to skip the published repositories of wily distribution. However next run of script failed with 404 API error again. Cause for this error turned out to be different, it was design flow in the aptly REST API which is exposed when the publish Prefix have / or _ in it. To quote from Aptly docs,

if publishing prefix contains slashes /, they should be replaced with underscores (_) and underscores should be replaced with double underscore (__).

At this point checking state of aptly revealed that out of 10 publishing end points we had just 3 publishing endpoints present, At this point we reverted to older db backup and fixed the script, this time execution of script was sucessful. However I wanted someone to verify that everything is in order before making the new published repositories public. So today after inspection of both old and new repositories I’ve made the change final and also KDE Neon Jenkins is now back in service, running builds.

For users

This change affects the KDE Neon archive. I’ve done my best to verify that everything is in order but still if you face any errors while doing apt update or apt upgrade, please let us know by commenting here or in #kde-neon IRC channel. I will keep backup of old aptly db and public repositories for 1 week and then will clean it if no complaints are received.

Edit: Update URL to Mobile CI and update the description of bug which we hit