systemdconf(2): 1st day / workshop summary



So it's the second time systemdconf takes place. Again - in Berlin, which I find even more pretty in early Autumn than year before (which was in November) - sunny and warm.

Full schedule of this year's edition is here. Last year there was no workshops, but there was a hackfest on the last day. This time we have a workshop on the 0 - day (I call it "0 - day" as this is an optional and needs an additional ticket).

So first 2 sessions were common for all attendees:

  • Demystifying systemd - Hands On by Ben Breard
  • Using the Journal Efficiently by Lennart Poettering

Afterwards I found it very hard to choose between next sessions that were taking place in same time. I really wanted to take part in Lukáš Nykrýn's workshop about systemd-nspawn 101 and learn about mgmt from James Shubin. But I finally chose almost 5 - hour session about Writing services the systemd way lead by David Strauss.

Session 1: Demystifying systemd - Hands on by Ben Breard

I was late almost 90 minutes as my coach bus was late almost 2 - hours (thanks to traffic jams on south entrance to Berlin). But I quickly synced to the rest of people thanks to wonderful materials prepared by Ben.

I decided to go through this workshop without using VMs but systemd-nspawn container instead. Thanks to this approach I was able to create one container per workshop task in a quick and elegant way without wasting resources on KVM VMs or some other Vagrant abomination ;)

I found a little error in the materials for systemd-nspawn preparation. It should be:

dnf --releasever=24 --installroot=/var/lib/machine/f24 \
install systemd passwd dnf fedora-release

Also I suggest creating this container under /var/lib/machines as this directory already has proper selinux type (and we don't want to run with selinux disabled, yeah?)

Also I'd suggest installing following packages:

dnf install systemd-devel telnet telnet-server procps \
pkg-config make automake gcc git vim-enhanced iproute

And in the end - use this container as template for any following task from all the workshop sessions:

cp -R /var/lib/machines/f24 /var/lib/machines/f24-workshop1

I've published notes from this session on my github

Generally speaking I'm very glad to attend this session - it was a wholesome recap of systemd basics!

Session 2: Using the Journal Efficiently by Lennart Poettering

This session was run by Lennart. If I were asked how to describe it in one sentence it would be: man systemctl with Lennart's incredible comment and things that can't be find in man. I really loved it. And as usual - Lennart explained the matter of logging w/journald so extensively that actually it was hard to even ask about anything.

Beside man systemctl things Lennart talked in details about unit's metadata (see -o verbose and all those uppercase params), cursors and gatewayd.

I've published notes from this session on my github

Again - outstanding session.

Session 3: Writing services the systemd way by David Strauss

During this session we created a simple C application which later we converted into a systemd service with some basic systemd functionalities:

  • journald integration via sd_journal
  • monitoring / watchdog via sd_notify
  • socket activation

Whole session was packed with coding, compiling, re - compiling and trying. It was very intensive, fast - paced and... great! Afterwards we also saw corresponding python-systemd wrappers. Actually one of my ideas for Saturday hackfest is to rewrite this session's subject in Python in order to learn how Python integration works.

Again - totally awesome session!

Materials for this session are hosted on Github. Simply start with starter directory and apply logdaemon, watchdogdaemon and sadaemon on that starter content.

I didn't make notes during this session - there was no time, only coding and compiling.

systemd-nspawn 101 by Lukáš Nykrýn

Unfortunately I didn't attend this workshops. However I asked Lukáš about materials - he already published his slides

Next Generation Config Mgmt: Workshop by James (purpleidea) Shubin

And now for something completely different ;) Also - I couldn't attend this one, but I caught up day after with James and asked about materials. However there're no dedicated materials from that workshops, you can basically hack around mgmt basing on github project page. This is very interesting project which needs contributions (GoLang here) so if you're interested - go for it!

So that's it

Basically that's it. I have to say that I really like the idea of workshops and this day was 100% worth its price. I was able to recap my systemd knowledge, update it, ask questions to people who actually develop systemd and understand concepts which were not tha easy for me. Also I already have some implementations ideas that were born during those workshops so - thank you guys!