Saturday, 27 March 2021

Debian 10.9 release - 202103272140UTC - almost there - final stage

We're almost there: last lots of AMD64 testing on the debian-live images - a couple of willing helpers are also testing some i386 images though these can be more problematic on low memory. Steve has just started the final stage to start the final scripts. If all goes well, they should be done within 3/4 of an hour - which should put the images in the final locations on the main mirror by about 2230 UTC. It's been something of the order of twelve hours from start to finish which is still slightly quicker than most of the releases we've done - as ever, thanks to all. And that's it for another however long until we get to sort out 10.10 in a while.

Debian 10.9 release - 202103271900UTC - pushing through live image testing

So we're a fair way through the release, then. Testing of almost all the standard images has finished.  Pretty much all of the disk images are now complete and in place.

People are working their way through the tests of the debian-live images in the various desktop flavours. These have to be done on real hardware - so it does take time. A new tester - peylight - has dropped in to help for the first time. Sqrt{not} has also joined us from the other end of the timezone scale - we have somebody at UTC-0700 and somebody at UTC+0430 today. [I can't remember where Linux-fan is timezone wise] All of the help from all the testers is very welcome, as ever.

A slight pause - a couple of us have a meal to eat - but it looks as if we've done well on timings. The original estimate was for 2000UTC - maybe a little after that and we'll be finished and the images release can be published - there were a couple of minor hiccups but we've done well so far.

Thanks, as always, to the people behind the scenes doing all the work, to DSA and admins providing large machines for us to do the builds on and to the people who drop in and spend a few hours of their time on a working day/weekend to help out.

Debian 10.9 release - well underway 202103271600 UTC

And so I'm rather late: Sledge, RattusRattus and Isy and I have all been busy chasing down bits and pieces for images release today. We're well underway through the normal images: live images are still ongoing. We've had help from Schweer and Linux-fan as last time - a couple of other folk have had chats to us. So far, it seems relatively straightforward - we're all experienced at this by now.

As ever, it's a joy to be doing this with a smart set of colleagues. 

 We can now catch our mistakes _just_ after we make them, so it's really getting sorted: the next stage is for me to realise _before_ I make them.


Saturday, 6 February 2021

Debian 10.8 release process - We're almost there - Signing and pushing about to happen

 Steve is about to sign the release and to begin the push across to the mirrors.

Although it sometimes seems like an age, this will be approximately 8 hours rather than 15 hours -  a 50% improvement in release timetable means that the behind the scenes work has been well worth while.

We always find tweaks, improvements, things we forgot and genuine bugs. Once again: We've found that live images can be significantly memory intensive on older hardware or machines with limited memory. 

The boot process for any live CD image expands a squashfs so that the image runs entirely in memory. This is particularly noticeable on the 32 bit i386 images. These really require a minimum of 2GB of memory if you are using the heavier weight desktop images like KDE or Gnome: much less and they will either be unreasonably slow or just fail to work.

There is also now a note on the download pages warning on this.

Thanks once again to maswan early on and Sledge, RattusRattus, Isy, Schweer, linux-fan and sqr{not} for helping out in testing images. I'm listening in to an impromptu chat explaining the behind the scenes steps to run to actually sign and push the final images so we're a short while away from publishing to the principal CD image machine. At the same time, the torrent seeders will be started and the scripts will push to update the mirrors. And so to the next time :)

Handy tip For people running mirrors of debian-cd: If you're low on disk space, perhaps you could remove the 10.7 images by hand before running your next sync scripts to allow space for 10.8 to move in: any ftpsync or rsync process might only remove the old images after copying in the new ones. It's only about 220GB - but you don't want that to be an instantaneous 440GB.

Debian 10.8 release process - And there are always small bugs which catch you out :)

 This is going very well - we've finished many of the tests. A few oversights - a few changes as we've realised we've missed a couple of things: it's always the same, small bugs catch you out as you spot them and Sledge is fixing as we go. A couple of bandwidth glitches for me but nothing special.

Thanks also to Linux-fan and Sqrt{not} who have turned up to help and each taken a couple of tests. Any contribution is a help because it means we get things done faster and, crucially, we get different hardware and another pair of eyes working with us. We'd hoped that we'd be mostly done by 1700 - we didn't specify which time zone.

The release announcement for the point release as a whole has gone out: with luck, we should have all the media released by later tonight so 20210206 which will be faster than before.

Debian 10.8 release process - Yay, it's a lot faster

Thanks to the changes behind the scenes, images are now being produced significantly faster than they were: the embarrassingly parallel speed up has worked, though at slight cost to the predictability of when we get each architecture produced for us to test.

Thanks, as ever, to Sledge, RattusRattus and Isy over in Cambridge and to schweer who painstakingly tests all the debian-edu releases.

83 out of 94 steps done and it's only 13:50 GMT - less popular architectures are coming on apace. There's still a lot of testing to do: we will never be able to test s390x for example. Other architectures - including mips* - we have no machines, we're building as best efforts and we can't guarantee how well they will work for anyone.

Anybody installing the less popular architectures please let us know that you've installed them and how you get on. We'd like to see a positive report as well as bugs: we don't see much feedback at all to know how useful they are: evidence of installs on any architecture is always helpful to us.

And here we go: Debian 10.8 images release testing process is under way

 As is traditional, every three months or so: another Debian point release is being prepared today. This one is 10.8. As ever, not a huge amount of change if you've been updating your Debian machines regularly. CD/DVD/BluRay and other media files are all being produced today.

 Images are gradually being built and rsync'ed: tests are under way and the ususal suspects are taking part. A couple of issues: thanks very much indeed to maswan for chasing up early problems with petersson. 

Some script changes behind the scenes over the last month or so should mean that the images are built significantly more in parallel and this may mean we finish the release process much more quickly today.