Can Hardly Contain Myself, Plus a Bonus
Thursday, January 20, 2022 - Peter O'Connor (Performance Guy)
One of the core steps for building a package is setting up a minimal environment with only the required (and stated)
dependencies. Currently we have been building our stones in an
systemd-nspawn container, where the root contains every
package that’s been built so far. This makes the environment extremely difficult to reproduce!
Today we announce
moss-container, a simple but flexible container creator that we can integrate for proper
Versatile For Many Use Cases
Containers have a multitude of uses for a Linux distro, but our immediate use case is for reproducible container builds
boulder. However, we have plans to use
moss-container for testing, validation and benchmarking purposes as well.
Therefore it’s important to consider all workloads, so features like
networking can be toggled on or
off depending on what features are needed.
moss-container takes care of everything, the device nodes in the
/dev tree, mounting directories as
tmpfs so the
environment is left in a clean state, and mounting the
/proc special file-systems. These are essential for
a fully functioning container where programs like
python and even
clang won’t work without them. And best of all,
it’s very fast so fits in well with the rest of our tooling!
The next step is integrating
boulder, so that builds become reproducible across machines, and
makes it much easier for users to run builds on their host machines.
moss Now Understands Repositories
Previously (but not covered in the blogs) work was also done on
moss so that it can understand and fetch
packages from an online repo. This ties in nicely with the
moss-container work and is a requirement for finishing up a
proper build process for Serpent OS. We are now one step closer to having a full distribution cycle from building
packages and pushing those packages as system updates!
Check Out The Development
In case you’ve missed it,
ikey has been streaming some of the development of the tooling on his
Twitch channel. DLang is not as commonly used as other languages, so check it out
to see the advantages it brings. Streams are typically announced on twitter, or give him a follow to see when he next
Bonus Content Refresh
This year we’ve had a considerable number of new visitors and interest in Serpent OS. Unfortunately the content on the website had been a bit stale and untouched for some time. There was some confusion and misunderstanding over some of the terms and content. Some of the common issues were:
- Subscriptions is a loaded term relating to software
- Subscriptions only referred to a fraction of the smart features
- Seemed targeted at advanced users with too many technical terms
- Lack of understanding around what moss and boulder do
- That features would add complexity when the tools were actually removing the complexity
The good news is that a good chunk of it has been redone, including two new pages for our core tools
Subscriptions has been renamed to
Smart System Management to reflect its broader nature (which you can read
Much of the content has also had a refresh or a rewrite, so if you’ve seen it before, it will likely be a lot easier to digest now. But this isn’t the final state of the content, as more features will need to be added and there’s still a few rough edges (and I like to rewrite things every once in awhile). Many ideas have been raised by our community in the matrix channel, so a shout-out to the good folks we have hanging out there.