JUDCon 2010 Boston CoolingTower/CirrAS and BoxGrinder videos

Recently we published slides from presentations Bob gave (thanks Bob!) at JUDCon 2010 in Boston. Now we have also videos thank to our video team! Enjoy!

BoxGrinder Build 0.5.0 release with Fedora 13 on EC2 support and StormFolio update

BoxGrinder Build 0.5.0 released!

I'm really happy to announce new BG release. Many people are waiting, so let's go into details!

Fedora 13 support for EC2

This was a big task. Thank to guys at Amazon and Fedora/Red Hat community we make it come true. Fedora 13 runs smoothly on EC2! This was possible because Amazon released new PVGrub kernel images. With that AKI's we can run our own (installed on AMI) kernel instead of forced by Amazon's. Goodbye old kernels!

This opens new possibilities for Fedora on EC2, for example there is a plan for Fedora 14+ to have official AMI's on EC2. You can see the feature page on Fedora wiki. Feel free also to join Fedora Cloud list and say what you think!

Continuous Integration and nightly builds

We set up a Continuous Integration server for StormGrind projects (BG included!) here. You can watch if we write stable code and download latest builds!

Artifact downloads

Fresh appliances in StormFolio

Yes, we know, you want to start NOW. We prepared new, fresh appliances, among others with Fedora 13 JEOS. It's ready to run on your favorite virtualization platform. We updated also GateIn appliance to latest version (3.1.0.FINAL).

Full list of appliances is available on StormFolio dowload page.

External plugins

We've done another major step in simplifying BoxGrinder. We removed plugins from our core repo and moved them to plugins repo. What's the big deal? From now we can release an update to a plugin (or a new plugin of course!) without pushing out new BG version. It'll speed up new features delivery and make you happy!

Every plugin, exactly like BoxGrinder itself, is released as a gem. For full list of released plugins consult this page.

How to use the new plugins you may ask? It's really simple, install boxgrinder-build gem

gem install boxgrinder-build

and install selected plugin

gem install boxgrinder-build-fedora-os-plugin

…and you're ready to build appliances based on Fedora OS.

In the near feature you can expect an article about writing new plugins, step-by-step, with examples. Watch the space!


Thank you for using BoxGrinder and our appliances. Now, go grab the hot stuff and let us know how it works! We really need your feedback. If you're new to BoxGrinder, start with our documentation and let us know how it goes!

BoxGrinder Build JIRA is always open for issues. /www.citytechinc.com/content/en/home.html) mobile application prepared for JBoss World / Red Hat Summit is based on CirrAS? Thanks CityTech! Read more on how it's made on CityTech blog post.

JUDCon 2010 Boston slides

It's a busy week for JBossians. We're all (well, almost) in Boston attending JUDCon and JBoss World/Red Hat Summit. StormGrind was represented by Bob at JUDCon. We had two presentations: Cooling Tower/CirrAS and BoxGrinder. If you hadn't chance to attend JUDCon – we uploaded slides especially for you!

P.S. Did you know that CityTech mobile application prepared for JBoss World / Red Hat Summit is based on CirrAS? Thanks CityTech! Read more on how it's made on CityTech blog post.

BoxGrinder bugfix release: 0.4.1 and JUDCon

We released today new BoxGrinder Build version that fixes BGBUILD-24. The problem was that SELinux set to enforced mode generated a kernel panic on EC2 and VMware for CentOS/RHEL images.

To update to new version run:

gem update boxgrinder-build


A friendly reminder: JUDCon is coming! We (well, Bob) will be at JUDcon in Boston in a few days (21 June). Catch Bob, buy him a beer and talk about the Cloud and StormGrind!

BoxGrinder Build 0.4.0 released!

I'm very excited to announce new BoxGrinder Build! Before I dive into technical details please let me explain some non-technical aspects. From this version we introduced a new versioning scheme. This will help us to play nice with RubyGems. It'll be "Linux kernel"-like versioning. I created a wiki page to explain it a bit more. If you have still questions, feel free to use our forums and ask.

Announced 0.4.0 release is a stable version.

Let me now highlight some important technical changes.

New usage

After some releases based on Rake we decided to move away from it. Don't understand us wrong - Rake is great when you have many dependencies to be satisfied. It's just not good enough to use it as a command line application. Now we build our command line interface upon Commander.

What does it mean for you? You don't need to have appliances/ directory to put there your appliance definitions - appliance definition is now specified as a command line argument:

boxgrinder-build your-definition.appl

If you have dependent definitions, just put them in the same directory where your-definition.appl file is located; BoxGrinder Build will find it. As a side effect for moving away from Rake we have increased the speed of building. Earlier every appliance located under appliance/ directory was scanned, now only required appliance definitions are read.

The full usage instructions for new BoxGrinder Build are available here.

New architecture

BoxGrinder Build was rewritten to open the architecture for customization, aka plugins. We divided the task BoxGrinder is executing to three types of plugins:

  1. operating system -- this type will create the base image that can be deployed on KVM with a RAW disk image. It's a great base to start converting it to selected platform, example: Fedora or RHEL plugin.
  2. platform -- this plugin will convert the disk image from operating system plugin to a format used by selected platform, example: EC2, VMware. It also creates the metadata required to launch the image on selected platform.
  3. delivery -- this plugin will deliver the image produced by operating system or platform plugin and deliver the image to selected location. For example we may want to upload an image to S3 bucket, or register it as AMI, or upload to a remote server using SFTP, or simply move the image to another folder on our build machine.

Every plugin has its own types - to use a selected type you need to specify it in the command line. To build a base appliance (invoking only operating system plugin) execute:

boxgrinder-build your-definition.appl

If you want to build it and convert to VMware format, use vmware platform type:

boxgrinder-build your-definition.appl -p vmware

If you want to deliver this appliance to a sftp server, use sftp delivery type:

boxgrinder-build your-definition.appl -p vmware -d sftp

Please note, that every delivery plugin has its own configuration file which needs to be adjusted. Consult the plugin list page where all plugins shipped with BoxGrinder Build are described.

Please bear in mind that platform plugins may or may not support all of the images built by operating system plugins. For example Fedora operating system plugin can build Fedora images from versions 11 to 13, but EC2 platform plugin supports only Fedora in version 11. The cause is that newer Fedora requires newer kernels to be uploaded to EC2.

New operating systems supported: RHEL 5 and CentOS 5

Yah, it's true - we have from now support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and CentOS 5. You can build appliances for your favorite operating system. And, yes, Fedora 13 is also supported! :)

Installation and usage

We build also a new 1.1 meta appliance for you. You need only install BoxGrinder and you're ready to go. See also quick start page!

If you have any questions or problems, please let us know! Happy building!