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Re: [diskimage-builder][ironic-python-agent-builder][ci][focal][ironic] ipa-builder CI jobs can't migrate to ubuntu focal nodeset


On Thu, Oct 8, 2020, at 1:17 AM, Luigi Toscano wrote:
> On Thursday, 8 October 2020 06:18:35 CEST Ian Wienand wrote:
> > On Wed, Oct 07, 2020 at 05:09:56PM +0200, Riccardo Pittau wrote:
> > > This is possible using utilities (e.g. yumdownloader) included in packages
> > > still present in the ubuntu repositories, such as yum-utils and rpm.
> > > Starting from Ubuntu focal, the yum-utils package has been removed from
> > > the
> > > repositories because of lack of support of Python 2.x and there's no plan
> > > to provide such support, at least to my knowledge.
> > 
> > Yes, this is a problem for the "-minimal" elements that build an
> > non-native chroot environment.  Similar issues have occured with Suse
> > and the zypper package manager not being available on the build host.
> > 
> > The options I can see:
> > 
> > - use the native build-host; i.e. build on centos as you described
> > 
> > - the non-minimal, i.e. "centos" and "suse", for example, images might
> >   work under the current circumstances.  They use the upsream ISO to
> >   create the initial chroot.  These are generally bigger, and we've
> >   had stability issues in the past with the upstream images changing
> >   suddenly in various ways that were a maintenance headache.
> > 
> > - use a container for dib.  DIB doesn't have a specific container, but
> >   is part of the nodepool-builder container [1].  This is ultimately
> >   based on Debian buster [2] which has enough support to build
> >   everything ... for now.  As noted this doesn't really solve the
> >   problem indefinitely, but certainly buys some time if you run dib
> >   out of that container (we could, of course, make a separate dib
> >   container; but it would be basically the same just without nodepool
> >   in it).  This is what OpenDev production is using now, and all the
> >   CI is ultimately based on this container environment.
> > 
> > - As clarkb has mentioned, probably the most promising alternative is
> >   to use the upstream container images as the basis for the initial
> >   chroot environments.  jeblair has done most of this work with [3].
> >   I'm fiddling with it to merge to master and see what's up ... I feel
> >   like maybe there were bootloader issues, although the basic
> >   extraction was working.  This will allow the effort put into
> >   existing elements to not be lost.
> > 
> > If I had to pick; I'd probably say that using the nodepool-builder
> > container is the best path.  That has the most momentum behind it
> > because it's used for the OpenDev image builds.  As we work on the
> > container-image base elements, this work will be deployed into the
> > container (meaning the container is less reliant on the underlying
> > version of Debian) and you can switch to them as appropriate.
> 
> I have to mention at this point, at risk of reharshing old debates, that an 
> alternative in various scenarios (maybe not all) is the usage of libguestfs 
> and its tools which modifies an existing base image.
> 
> https://libguestfs.org/
> 
> We switched to it in Sahara for most of the guest images and that saved some 
> headaches when building from a different host.
> https://docs.openstack.org/sahara/latest/user/building-guest-images.html
> 
> 
> I'd like to mention that libguestfs has been carrying a virt-dib tool for a 
> while, but it has been tested only back to a certain version of dib:
> https://libguestfs.org/virt-dib.1.html

The major issues with libguestfs is that it seem primarily used to modify existing images. This has all of the problems that ianw points out above with size and stability. I'm sure you can bootstrap a base image to use with it too, but would you end up in the same toolchain problem as with dib if you did that?

Also, to be clear DIB supports the same use case of starting from an existing image (but using different tools) if you want to avoid the headaches with bootstrapping images yourself.

I think the more specific issue we're trying to figure out is "how do you bootstrap images from scratch for one distro on top of another if they use different bootstrapping tools". I don't think libguestfs helps with that much. And if you are starting from an existing image then DIB or libguestfs should work fine.