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Re: [atomic-devel] Atomic as Base OS for Standalone Appliance


    I see nobody has responded. To be honest, I read your email three times, and I can't quite figure out your use case. I am guessing others may be heads down working on the new Red Hat CoreOS and hence haven't had time to dig into this. I am a product manager for Containers at Red Hat so really interested in your use case to understand if it's something applicable to others and hence something we might want to capture longer term.

I understand OSTree decently well, but am wondering if some of these changes wouldn't be better captured in an orchestration layer than in customizing an OS with kernel parameters, or perhaps in some super privileged containers that turn things on/off depending on scheduling, etc. In fact, we just did a presentation at Red Hat Summit with Hitachi because they had some similar requirements around sysctl variables...

I will be down in Raleigh on the afternoon/evening of June 5th and would love to meet up and chat. Happy to meet up late afternoon, or early evening. If you are around feel free to respond to me off list.

Best Regards

Scott M

On 05/21/2018 03:09 PM, Shane O'Donnell wrote:

Hey All –

We’re building an IoT edge device based on CentOS Atomic Host and as seasoned sysadmins/developers, we’re trying to break ourselves of “normal server admin” habits and trying to get more into the Atomic flow.  We’ve already stopped doing a lot of stupid things (e.g., remounting /usr rw), but some things still seem impossible.

As an example, we’re trying to follow the “transactional” nature of Atomic, but we’re finding there’s no real “commit”.  When we need to change something in the OS itself, we end up stuck with a “hotfix” flagged deployment that we can’t really “commit” to clear the flag, which leaves us unable to make follow-on transactional changes.

We are also in the process of migrating our Ansible-based platform customization and software-load (i.e., Docker containers managed via Docker Compose) which seems somewhat unnatural in the Atomic world.

The docs seem pretty clearly focused on using Atomic as the OS for a cluster, but our standalone deployments seem to leave us with a lot of questions.  I think the following list is a reasonable summary of the big questions we haven’t really figured out yet:

  * Is there a “commit” that would allow us to commit the current
    “hotfix” to the current deployment?
  * Once in “hotfix” mode, is there anyway to get out of it that
    doesn’t toss the existing changes?
  * All of our appliances start with a common base image.  What’s the
    recommended approach for changing kernel arguments so they appear
    in the common base image?
  * What am I not telling you that would be helpful in this case?

Note that we’re both invested and committed to using Atomic, and we’d like to offer up a resource to help flesh out the “standalone” side of the documentation so we both have some agreed upon contract between users and core devs, as well as to better enable new users with this use case.

Thanks in advance –

Shane O.

P.S.  If you’re in the Raleigh, NC area, I’d happily buy lunch or a beer (or both!) for a chance to pick someone’s brain on some of these issues.

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