plugin-based real-time resource monitoring

Moving from Subversion to Git

Sometimes it's good to have someone basically forcing you to make time to improve a lingering situation. Subversion was a long time a bottleneck (literally in I/O, and figuratively in collaboration) in RPMforge. I also had been using our public Subversion infrastructure for some unrelated Open Source projects.

So thanks to Yury V. Zaytsev (!) we are finally undertaking the migration to Github infrastructure. This will also mark the beginning of the project's name translation from RPMforge to RepoForge.

Dstat 0.7.2 released

After a fair share of improvements and plugins, including plugins to monitor Dstat's own performance, it was time to get another release out of the door. Last week I updated the documentation and manpage, and this week Dstat 0.7.2 saw the light.

New Dstat developments

With the opportunity to talk at the first Japan Linux Symposium came renewed interest to look at what improvements I could make to Dstat that would be worthwhile to get more people involved.

Dstat doesn't lack users, it lacks system engineers writing interesting plugins for cases they have encountered. In a desperate ploy to get more contributors, I simplified some of the internals (functions, variables and object methods). So the upcoming Dstat 0.7.0 release will ship with a (not so) different plugin API that I hope is easier.

Going to Japan Linux Symposium

So I'll be going to the 1st Japan Linux Symposium to present dstat (and wiipresent ;-)) and of course visit Tokyo and surroundings. It will be my first time in Japan, so now is the time to tell me what is definitely worth on the shortlist !

The presentation will be a complete update with the latest features and examples, and if all goes well I'll be introducing something new too...

PS Since I don't eat fish, you can strike sushi already :-)

Red Hat backported I/O accounting to RHEL5

One of the things I do on a weekly basis is follow the kernel development that Red Hat undertakes for their future RHEL5 kernels. This is very interesting because you can check the changelog for fixes, new hardware support, backported features (eg. kvm) and newly supported stuff (eg. fuse, xfs) that is coming in RHEL 5.4.

We discovered xfs was coming to RHEL, new ath5k fixes prove helpful on a friend's laptop, and I was waiting for I/O accounting, kvm and fuse to hit these releases too.

New dstat_ntp plugin

Every year I am confronted with another VMware guest time synchronization problem, it seems. I have become pretty good at debugging such problems :-)

You have 2 different unrelated problems. Either time goes too slow in a VM guest, which is fixable. Or time goes too fast in a VM guest, which is basicly impossible to fix by any time synchronization method.

Another nice Debian innovation

Maybe this is not new for Debian people, but it is the first time I heard about the Debian External Health System.

From: Debian External Health System
To: dstat a-t packages dot qa dot debian dot org
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2008 10:47:12 +0000
Subject: dstat: New upstream version available


The Debian External Health System (a.k.a. DEHS) has found a new upstream version
of the package dstat in the unstable distribution.
The current package version is 0.6.7-1 and latest by upstream is 0.6.8.

Dstat 0.6.8 release

I just released a new Dstat. I finally spend some time doing the boring release-dance:

  • Verifying all changes since 0.6.7
  • Backporting changes to python 1.5 version
  • Creating the release archive without all pending patches and experimental stuff
  • Verifying ChangeLog and documentation
  • Testing on all Red Hat and CentOS/RHEL versions

My first presentation for everyone to mock

Finally FrOSCon made available the video of my first dstat presentation, which was also my first presentation at an Open Source conference *ever* !

I am a bit disappointed that I did not have access to it before doing the same presentation at 3 different other venues, as I could have learned much from it. It shows that I had not slept that night because of the stress and sleepless nights turn me hyperactive :-)

RHEL 5.2 beta announced

RHEL 5.2 beta is released and many interesting features and software updates are expected.

It is very unusual for software to be updated (instead of bugfix backports) in a Red Hat Enterprise distribution (or CentOS for that matter) but there are exceptional cases where this makes more sense than the alternative.

Red Hat has decided that for desktop applications they can make that exception, meaning Red Hat and CentOS desktop users (me!) will soon be able to use a recent Firefox, Thunderbird or OpenOffice.

Late night Dstat release

I was surprised of the enthusiasm and feedback I got during and after my Dstat presentation at FOSDEM 2008. Even though I revisited my older slides and made the presentation shorter, I was not as prepared as I was with previous presentations but apparently that did not affect audience participation :-)

How a presentation made a tool better...

The aim of doing a set of Dstat presentations was not just to promote Dstat, but also to hear people's impressions and ideas. And lots of ideas were shared and ended up in the TODO list.

But one of the questions that I did not quite understand initially, turned out to be an interesting and useful idea. And after the presentation we sat together to show how simple it was to bring an idea into practice.

T-DOSE in Eindhoven, NL

This weekend T-DOSE takes place in Eindhoven, NL. This will be my first T-DOSE, but I expect it to be much like FOSDEM and FrOSCon, although maybe smaller and less developer-oriented than FOSDEM and probably more English-oriented than FrOSCon.