Released 21st July 2020
Stable Release Candidate
So we finally have our very first Rockstor 4 release. As per the title, this is a proposed release candidate for finally beginning our ‘Built on openSUSE’ Stable channel re-launch. Our last stable channel update was 3.9.2-57 which was almost 3 month ago. And as some of you may have noticed we have, a little optimistically, aimed more recently at a release frequency of 1-2 week or months depending on testing or stable channel respectively. And given our Stable subscribers are critical to the continued existence of ‘The Rockstor project’ as it currently stands, I would very much like to quickly re-establish this critical element of Rockstor’s sustainability. Our CentOS releases became unworkable just a littler earlier than I had hoped, but the silver lining was that we were able to focus completely on rounding out our last 2 years of work in establishing our new distro base and that is what this release represents.
Please test, and report, as the sooner we establish what is hopefully a lack of show stoppers, the sooner we can finalise our preparations for beginning the hopefully far quicker next major task: project wide updates across the board of technologies. Aside, of course, from finally releasing our next installer which is planned for when we have the ‘Built on openSUSE’ stable channel in play. More on this soon.
The technical debt task is much needed and will inevitably break stuff but that is why we have the testing channel: and all our prior stable releases have been developed similarly from the testing channel. But do keep in mind that the degree of change required (Python 2 to 3, multiple Django changes, potential build method change etc) will likely cause significant delays to even our ability to build testing channel rpms, but as soon as we can again create half way workable rpms they will appear as updates within the testing channel. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here.
To the summary of changes:
- hide non functional auto update button until post re-launch fix. Fixes #2196 @phillxnet
- avoid referencing incompatible subdir by-id device names. Fixes #2126 @phillxnet
- add recognition of system disk & pool when on SD or MicroSD card. Fixes #2192 @phillxnet
The first of these was simply a removal, from the Web-UI, of a broken ‘enable auto update’ feature. We don’t want obviously broken stuff around in the Stable channel and I didn’t think we should delay our release and the much awaited new installer (awaiting the stable rpm) for what can, for the time being, be put on hold. Not quite the feature parity on that front but all in good time.
Then we have an issue reported from @bored_engineer re their advanced testing of our ‘Built on openSUSE’ variant on their big old Dell server with PERC/6i controller. This was a strange one but we got there in the end. Thanks again to @bored_engineer for their assistance and patience on this front. It seems our newer kernel/driver base from openSUSE was generating alternative by-id device names within a sub-directory that threw a spanner in the works. But we now ignore all these as a matter of course and have improved test coverage as a result.
Finally we have the very small. As some of you may have guessed, our pending new installer has a Pi4 target, an AArch64 machine, and during initial testing of this target, in real life, I found we failed to recognise microSD based system drives. But not any longer .
So as indicated our focus is now switching to the final preparation of the new installer config with this or a soon to be released successor rpm pre-installed, along with all pending updates at the time of build. I will open a new thread requesting pre-release testing of this installer very shortly, directly after releasing the kiwi-ng config used to create it. But that is another story I will leave for that post.
I would like to thank all our testers for getting us this far; and if all looks to be OK with this 4.0 release rpm I will begin the Stable ‘Built on openSUSE’ channel updates by publishing the exact same rpm there also in a few days time. There after the testing channel updates are likely to be paused as we find our Python 3 feet with regard to our build system, but I hope there after to return to our documented release method once we are again able to build using the newer system we aim to update to.
Thanks also to our intrepid forum moderator and all-round contributor @Flox who has helped massively behind the scenes on our soon to be released kiwi-ng installer config.
As always ‘The Rockstor Project’ is almost entirely dependant on our Stable channel subscriptions for it’s continued existence in it’s present form. Subscribing to the Stable channel is a great way to support the project. Thanks again to our stable channel subscribers who keep all our Rockstor server lights on; in one way or another. As the current maintainer I am constantly looking for additional sustainable models for open source development but there are few examples that don’t involve out right sponsorship, which we don’t currently have. Do please feel free to make any suggestions you have on this topic by simply starting a forum thread as you see fit.