BoxGrinder 0.6.2 finally released!

This should be really a major release. We fixed many bugs, but that's not everything – we added some great features too! I want highlight two of them.

Fedora 14 support

We support Fedora 14 almost on the day it was released! For all platforms: VMware, KVM and EC2 (both S3 and EBS-based AMI's). That's a great news for all Fedora lovers. I must admin this was a very smooth update – Fedora 14 worked perfect, thanks for the hard work on this sfotware!

RPMs available for Fedora 13 and 14

As a part of ongoing inclusion process in Fedora - we released for the first time RPM's for BoxGrinder. Currently these packages are hosted in our repository, therefore if you want to add BoxGrinder to your Fedora box - you'll need to add this repo to your environment. In the future you'll be able to install BoxGrinder directly from Fedora repos. To add BoxGrinder to your box, just grab our repo definition and store it in /etc/yum.repos.d/ directory:

curl http://repo.boxgrinder.org/boxgrinder/boxgrinder.repo > /etc/yum.repos.d/boxgrinder.repo
yum install rubygem-boxgrinder-build-fedora-os-plugin

From now this is the preferred way of installing BoxGrinder on Fedora - please don't use gem command directly! If you have troubles - please fill a new bug report in our issue tracker.

EBS-based EC2 meta appliance

Yes - we hear your voice. There is now an EBS-based meta appliance (version 1.2). This prevents your work from being lost on EC2.

As usual - we're waiting for you in our IRC channel: #boxgrinder on irc.freenode.net and on our forums.

Below you can find full list of fixed issues:

Bug

  • [BGBUILD-57] - Additional packages specified in EC2 plugin aren't installed
  • [BGBUILD-61] - EBS availability_zone should be defaulted to current running instance availability zone
  • [BGBUILD-81] - post command execution w/ setarch breaks commands which are scripts
  • [BGBUILD-82] - Root password not set when selinux packages are added
  • [BGBUILD-84] - Don't use in libguestfs qemu-kvm where hardware accleration isn't available

Feature Request

Task

  • [BGBUILD-63] - Use 'aws' gem instead 'aws-s3' because it's already packaged in Fedora
  • [BGBUILD-64] - Add support for Fedora 14
  • [BGBUILD-65] - Allow to specify own repos overriding default repos provided for selected OS
  • [BGBUILD-66] - Store tarred appliances files in s3-plugin/ dir for s3-plugin
  • [BGBUILD-67] - Add Fedora 14 support for S3 delivery plugin and EBS delivery plugin
  • [BGBUILD-33] - Create spec files for BoxGrinder for Fedora

BoxGrinder Build 0.6.0 released!

I'm really happy to announce availability of BoxGrinder Build 0.6.0! This is major release fixing many bugs. More, we added some great feature I'm describing below and added some usability improvements too! So, let's dive into new BoxGrinder!

EBS AMI support

As I mentioned in earlier post – we added support for building EBS-based AMI's on Amazon Web Services. The process is really easy – you just need bear in mind that you must execute the build on EC2 (we need to mount ESB volume) and instance on which you want to build the EBS AMI is in the same region as you choose for the AMI. But don't worry: BoxGrinder will remind you about this if something is wrong :)

For more info about EBS plugin please refer to EBS plugin page on our wiki or as directly on our forums.

Cross-arch building is now supported

From now you can build 32 bit appliances on 64 hosts. This is supported for all OSes. If you have problems with it, please file a new ticket in our tracking system. To build 32 bit appliances on 64 bit host you need to use setarch command, for example:

setarch i386 boxgrinder-build jeos.appl

That's all!

Many bug fixes and usability improvements

We fixed (with great help from our community!) many bugs. Full (well, almost) list of fixed bugs you can find here. Let's have a look at the improvements:

Meta appliance has now bigger disk

We released a new version of meta appliance and yes it has a 10 GB root partition now! This means you don't have to create and mount a new disk to build appliances. Still, if you want to build AMI's – you need to have more free space. We encourage you to use meta appliance AMI to build AMI's: you get two things "for free":

  • a big /mnt partition where you can build the AMI
  • lighting fast upload to S3.

Automatic Boxgrinder Build installation on meta appliance boot

In meta appliance version 1.1+ we install on boot latest BoxGrinder Build. When the boot process finishes – you're ready to build your appliances! Of course boot process will be slower – meta appliance for slowest EC2 instance can boot 8 minutes. If you cannot log in to meta appliance, please see our FAQ.

Plugin design improvements

It's now easier to write plugins. We unified the interaction between BasePlugin class and your plugin. Take a look at BGBUILD-26. If you're a plugin developer – don't miss our plugin tutorial!

If you have any problems, please report it directly in our issue tracker or on our forums! We appreciate your feedback! You can talk to us on IRC: irc.freenode.net, channel #boxgrinder.

Enjoy!

EBS AMI support for BoxGrinder

There is one issue in BoxGrinder JIRA we have been asked since long time. This is BGBUILD-3: support for EBS-type AMI's. Yesterday I commited initial support for this. What does it mean for you? Simple – you can now build appliances using BoxGrinder and then deliver them as EBS AMI's to Amazon Web Services.

It's here!

This was implemented as a new delivery plugin. Be aware that currently only Fedora 13 is supported – we'll expand support for other platform in the near future.

The plugin is not yet released, it'll be released along with BoxGrinder Build 0.6.0 in the next weeks. If you want try it now – please download nightly artifacts from our CI. Make sure you install also new version of boxgrinder-core and boxgrinder-build (also from CI) because the EBS plugin forced to make some changes in the core. To do this please download all required gems, put them in a directory and install them using this command:

gem install *.gem

How to use it?

It's just another delivery plugin. The only thing which is different is that you must execute the build on an EC2 instance. This is really important. The reason is because we need to mount an EBS volume to the instance and we can do this only on EC2. But don't be afraid – we have meta appliance you can run on EC2 and use it to build your appliances.

boxgrinder-build you_definition.appl -p ec2 -d ebs    

Of course make sure you created valid configuration file for this plugin as described here before you start.

I need help!

If you find bugs in that plugin, please report them in our issue tracker. You can always ask us for help on our forums or on ournew IRC channel: #boxgrinder@ freenode.net.

BoxGrinder Build developer guide: how to write a plugin?

Wile releasing BoxGrinder Build 0.0.5 I promised a developer guide with information on how to write own BoxGrinder plugin. I created a wiki page with the process explained in details.

Let us know how helpful it was!