BibOS Admin - a web-based, easy to use admin system for Ubuntu

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BibOS Admin - a web-based, easy to use admin system for Ubuntu
Because Landscape is too expensive
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The public libraries in Denmark wanted an admin system for their new BibOS-system, which is an Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distribution for audience PCs. To achieve this, we built a completely new and completely free administration system for Debian-based PCs. The public libraries in several Danish municipalities are in the process of switching their audience PCs from Windows to Ubuntu. They needed a central administration system to manage it, and Canonical's Landscape product was unacceptable for them; they needed the system to be completely free/open source, and Canonical's licensing when running Landscape as software-as-a-service was too expensive. The available free alternatives are either too technical for library staff, or they don't support Debian-based systems well. In response, we created "BibOS Admin", a completely new administration system for all Debian-like systems. It enables users to remotely manage, maintain and upgrade PCs and run arbitrary, centrally defined scripts on them. The system is designed to be easy to use for non-technical staff who can rely on a set of pre-defined scripts, which should be set up as part of the setup for each organization (source code available here: admin). In the talk, I will discuss the technical and organizational challenges of building a new management from scratch in collaboration with the public libraries in Aarhus and Silkeborg, who kindly funded the effort
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the bicluster 900 told about our memory is easy to use and system for a moment yes this is true and because by way of introduction i want to say that I am a software engineer and that was originally trained as a surgical physicist and I also did some causing computer science but not been working with the administrative the computer systems for the last 18 years in my spare time I volunteer as a local group coordinator for the Free Software Foundation Europe and part time present employed as a python develop but make enter and I've being doing that for the last 2 years of ligand is a Danish free software company which is specializing in always a delivery everything to the because command of free license the sum of all developers for use proprietary software like like if they want to use this to the sign of but we never deliver anything to a custom on this it's under a free license them with 15 employees about 45 customers mainly small government or government organizations charities municipalities the University of Copenhagen and we develop software in my own group of friends who didn't know of the use and program and the debt of Python and Perl and th the and web design and stuff like that wasn't molars and so what are we doing this and that public libraries in always say have a lot of old PCs with Windows XP and the microphone was pulling the support so they would uh they thought there was no way they could run Windows 7 on these species and the did want to throw them out so as a why don't we go open source and would want 1 of the PCs and so that they are to develop the bow in which we use that just like this topic uh mainly he does not stand still in use today from uh full for their audience species band not to maintain all the PCC they wanted a centralized or at system and the the requirement for this at the system was that it must be easy to use and it must also be easy to use for non-technical staff because the library has a lot of non technical staff are actually don't have anything staff to speak of so that was very important and so we start working with them and on December in December 2011 will deliver the the 1st version which was the 1 0 alpha they don't want to 11 10 and 3 devoted to them do using canonical landscape product as an admin system and and uh well they like the the landscape system it was overloaded for them and that was to mind it has too much functionality and they found it a bit confusing but they could use again they like to use it books and it's 100 dollars seat that year that was too expensive for them to be destroyed the economy in the project and its proprietary that means they could no longer say they had an open source solution so it was not acceptable for them uh meaning in May 2013 the libraries asked us to deliver people as 2 0 including a new actin system which was to be free software and so we did but not state of the desktop just system together with men with a new actin system which we decided to design and code from scratch and basically it's an ordinary web which is written in Python and using Django and um well we coded that in May June July and in August we started building up the system and in and generate we have finished the trial period and the testing period and they are officially in production and now they its 1 5 was at the club the rough around the edges as you can see from the in splash screen at but that is so close to the class but that we because of this so this bacon clone now the through is legal and moment to as you can see from the improves the and the design consumers split-screen and and they have a very variously background image to for their audience species and and they advertise will lose we suffer the fear and I have to um and actually uh this background was deployed to all the species using the system we build for them so that's life I think uh so how does it all work and maybe I should be maybe I should just to show you this system for a moment if I can
find the browser window so uh this is the admin system as it looks if you log in as a superuser and use see the various sites that you administer fight for different those CDs uh using the system and this is a test site but actually almost and the mother tongue unsuitable I'm for production of the system but if you enter 1 of the sites you see
becoming you a status window you see some new computers giant on some computer a job at failed I there is a
slot for Global Insight configuration given set of parameters that are valid for the whole side you can see a list of computer so
that you can manage the computers individually
the computers have configuration pair the parameters um
well those pictures on them and uh I'll through some well
maybe someone with a in which
uh this contains the pictures that and that has changed from the original distribution uh this has has no additional pages and if the computer has it is amenable for update uh for operator this supplicants Tania of those pages and and then what's important here is that you can manage the say computers you can manage them by uh if there's that just to the operator you can revise the thing if this and you can tell it's operated so you the clue that the computer can the new threatens a for the patent is but uh you can also
define scripts and run them on all the computers so I can't say once script which is the lower script and this 1 is called activates creates a and an if you look the script I exceeds has detailed description because code and the code is basically an executable file normally at best it could also be a Python script could also be compiled the program but we don't do the reuse of the binary for it but basically the best scripts uh that you can change Cuban et parameters for this that this could take no parameters but you can also running and I can say I want to run this on all the computers in the adult section of this library and that is what works means and the and say next minute states specified
parameters for the unknown parameters but we have this that anyway because we want the user to sink just once before pressing he'd facing run and then is a kernel which means from and
then this script is to be run
on all the PCs uh in that group and it is to get you to be run on 2 PCs in that group because in this test side there are only 2 features in that group and that's basically how it works and learning
the architecture is like this that if you want to attach a clients to this system you install a Python package on uh which is called the boys client and call a script called radiation new people with client and this activates a process which is called the job manager and the job manager runs every 5 minutes and asks the server instructions so every 5 minutes adjustment awakens say what are my orders and then if you see that makes a in XML-RPC call it TVs and receives disorder also which can be operators pay gets to run this script so please update all your page influence and that to me uh this over the decides everything uh and it uh the you Jumpman John executes all of us and tells us how it went and sends the result back and you and then that's and then it's the judgment of falls asleep for the next 5 minutes and if there's some PCs are behind a firewall and they aren't always and that's why we have to handle this uh we can say to 1 of the people as this helps you are all gateway so everybody can communicate with the would also run through this case with the only thing that's acquiring suspected that the quickly has and they quickly is allowed to speak to also go through the firewall so in overview of the architecture is here you have the central server and here you have a library which has a lot of this stuff which are not attached we don't go through a gateway which speak directly to the so here you have uh a library which are talking through an internal gateway and there you have a library which is talking to the service external gateway which may be placed at a 3rd party which may be there I feel whatever and and all principles for coding this as well as to make it all we made an object-oriented analysis and we made a lot of classes and we made a lot of general process and we make some mock ups and sent to all its you know the sign and the it's HTML design retaliated and send us a lot of HTML and then are not above my space and pages and we start cutting everything as some of the principles as everything is free software and all the Atman clients are pushed tool pipeline so you can download them from their and from from the the set of source code is available on the top and the all normal development from we don't use it for moment development but each time we take a release would push it to get up and running I we have a coding style uh stick headaches we have an automated test which will that all the create code is pick it apart from that we don't bother with making automated test because we think this is very complex and is about the user experiences variance and we don't think the automated test proves enough to justify the expense of making them uh but basically this was made uh in 3 months by tool developers and when you sigh interface design and around 500 men men are so and we have identified seems to challenge us on the way out of the scripting interface and the page interface it must be very easy for non-technical users to understand the link 1st that was it's easy we write the script Opel descriptor nondescript but and many of our users don't really have a conception of what it means to run a script they don't always understand the difference between running a scripts and installing at dish and they expect strips to be something you can on do like you can undo the installation of a page but so in the scripting interface has to be very point click it must be easy for scripts developers to operate news news groups but it must also be very easy for users to just point at this script which say something like activates screen saver out change background image and then executed and don't and without having to understand any more than now I am pointing clicking and doing this on 100 but uh pieces and and how do we keep the list of pictures on the server always synchronized with that on the PC without drowning the server information from the PC's um and this should be it should be very easy but it has proved challenging and then the actually I come a few weeks ago we were just about sharing our and these serve upon by sending too many page lists and performance when which brings along it's best if the theory is that normally uh there will never be instruction for computer was very rarely so uh if there is a lot of traffic then this gives a recording because there's only once and for so long and if you have a car park in the scripts that please do not make a joke meant to craft because if you make a judgment men depressed then that computer is not to the ATIS system and if the computer is system it needs to be restored manually and that that when you want to have a centralized and system and if you do this on your whole network please note that by joining this value giving out the root access to your computer and so this is this is for organizations who logically older computers uh they're running and and the statuses it is currently in production 200 effect PCs and we have 2 or 3 outstanding a critique of books and more will be found I think we consider this a user-friendly and light weight of additive to landscape all spatial all puppets and I'm going will only for the piano uh systems and we think it could be used by libraries schools people was several parts hospitals where have large amount of debt in the desktops also lost and you can use it so if you want if you can go to the top I mean you can go to get up and uh download the source code and there are very readable instructions which can get you started in 5 minutes it's a it's an an advantage if you work with Django before and it's only in danger if you want to make an English translation you're welcome contributions I will come out and yet we expect into a new face this year but we really don't know we don't have any funding we expect the library is to find a couple of hundred dollars more this year but well we're company we can't do anything without funding we don't have to look for another we hope that we hope to where we think we do grow slowly but steadily and I want to thank the danger a culture and the public libraries in all was in Singapore for funding this unfolding all customers and any questions questions because everyone no yes mother it's domestic he said it's only Danish currently there however translations are welcome non-speaking deletion from the obviously Danes
is the code itself in English in common English to the extent that you could you translate it without actually understanding necessarily during their their their anybody anybody was like anybody would want to volunteer translation would have to figure out what all the use of the user interface effects of doing all who would translate them on all of the love in the dictionary but I think I don't think that's too hard code is an invasion reasoning about and all the all comments in the code I English and the other the development of documentation on the top is an English and of the questions and concerns that came from the same once again you have any questions please and she's not at the front of the room no wall-sized just out so after the
talk was lost carcinoma had 1 and he talk in the in the condition and the next 0 cost of