Posts tagged system


Safer Nix installation

:: linux, nix, packaging, sandbox, shell, system, test, testing, tutorial

By: Maciej Barć

Nix is useful for quickly testing out software and providing a strict environment that can be shared between people.

Today I’m trying out Nix again, this time I want to do it my way.

Installation process

Nix store

I know Nix needs “Nix store” installation on / (the system root).

Create it manually to prevent the installation script from calling sudo. 1st I switch to the root account, and then I run:

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mkdir -p -m 0755 /nix
chown -R xy:xy /nix

Running the install script

Download the Nix install script and examine the contents.

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curl -L https://nixos.org/nix/install > nix_install.sh

Then, run it with --no-daemon to prevent it running as system service.

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sh ./nix_install.sh --no-daemon
performing a single-user installation of Nix...
copying Nix to /nix/store...
installing 'nix-2.20.1'
building '/nix/store/1ahlg3bviy174d6ig1gn393c23sqlki6-user-environment.drv'...
unpacking channels...
modifying /home/xy/.bash_profile...
modifying /home/xy/.zshenv...
placing /home/xy/.config/fish/conf.d/nix.fish...

Installation finished!  To ensure that the necessary environment
variables are set, either log in again, or type

. /home/xy/.nix-profile/etc/profile.d/nix.fish

in your shell.

Wait!

modifying /home/xy/.bash_profile...
modifying /home/xy/.zshenv...
placing /home/xy/.config/fish/conf.d/nix.fish...

That’s very rude!

Stopping Nix from making a mess

I need to prevent Nix from mess up with my environment when I do not want it to. Nix puts some code into the Bash, ZSH and Fish initialization files during installation to ease it’s use. I do not want that since I do not want Nix to meddle with my environment without me knowing it.

I keep my .bash_profile and .zshenv in a stow-managed git repo so I can just cd into my repo and do git reset --hard, but for you will have to revert those files to their old forms manually.

Playing with Nix

We do not have nix in PATH but we still can launch it. Nix executables are located inside ~/.nix-profile/bin/.

By invoking nix-shell one can create a ephemeral environment containing only packages specified after the -p flag. I always add -p nix to have the Nix tools available also inside the spawned environment.

I will test out chibi (small Scheme interpreter) + rlwrap (REPL support for software lacking it) inside a Nix ephemeral environment:

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~/.nix-profile/bin/nix-shell -p nix chibi rlwrap

Inside the spawned shell:

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rlwrap chibi-scheme

In the chibi REPL, let’s see the contents of the PATH environment variable:

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(get-environment-variable "PATH")

And exit the Scheme REPL:

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(exit)

After the playtime, run garbage collection:

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~/.nix-profile/bin/nix-collect-garbage

Portage Continuous Delivery

:: gentoo, linux, sysadmin, system

By: Maciej Barć

Portage as a CD system

This is a very simple way to use any system with Portage installed as a Continuous Delivery server.

I think for a testing environment this is a valid solution to consider.

Create a repository of software used in your organization

Those articles from the Gentoo Wiki describe how to create a custom ebuild repository (overlay) pretty well:

Set up your repo with eselect-repository

Install the my-org repository:

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eselect repository add my-org git https://git.my-org.local/portage/my-org.git

Sync my-org:

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emerge --sync my-org

Install live packages of a your software

First, enable live packages (keywordless) for your my-org repo:

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echo '*/*::my-org' >> /etc/portage/package.accept_keywords/0000_repo_my-org.conf

Install some packages from my-org:

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emerge -av "=mycategory/mysoftware-9999"

Install smart-live-rebuild

smart-live-rebuild can automatically update live software packages that use git as their source URL.

Set up cron to run smart-live-rebuild

Refresh your my-org repository every hour:

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0 */1 * * * emerge --sync my-org

Refresh the main Gentoo tree every other 6th hour:

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0 */6 * * * emerge --sync gentoo

Run smart-live-rebuild every other 3rd hour:

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0 */3 * * * smart-live-rebuild

Restarting services after update

All-in-one script

You can either restart all services after successful update:

File: /opt/update.sh

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#!/bin/sh

set -e

smart-live-rebuild

systemctl restart my-service-1.service
systemctl restart my-service-2.service

Crontab:

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0 */3 * * * /opt/update.sh

Via ebuilds pkg_ functions

File: my-service-1.ebuild

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pkg_postinst() {
    systemctl restart my-service-1.service
}

More about pkg_postinst:

Example Gentoo overlays

Genkernel in 2023

:: gentoo, kernel, linux, sysadmin, system, tutorial

By: Maciej Barć

I really wanted to look into the new kernel building solutions for Gentoo and maybe migrate to dracut, but last time I tried, ~1.5 years ago, the initreamfs was now working for me.

And now in 2023 I’m still running genkernel for my personal boxes as well as other servers running Gentoo.

I guess some short term solutions really become defined tools :P

So this is how I rebuild my kernel nowadays:

  1. Copy old config

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    cd /usr/src
    cp linux-6.1.38-gentoo/.config linux-6.1.41-gentoo/
    
  2. Remove old kernel build directories

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    rm -r linux-6.1.31-gentoo
    
  3. Run initial preparation

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    ( eselect kernel set 1 && cd /usr/src/linux && make olddefconfig )
    
  4. Call genkernel

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    genkernel                                                       \
        --no-menuconfig                                             \
        --no-clean                                                  \
        --no-clear-cachedir                                         \
        --no-cleanup                                                \
        --no-mrproper                                               \
        --lvm                                                       \
        --luks                                                      \
        --mdadm                                                     \
        --nfs                                                       \
        --kernel-localversion="-$(hostname)-$(date '+%Y.%m.%d')"    \
        all
    
  5. Rebuild the modules

    If in your /etc/genkernel.conf you have MODULEREBUILD turned off, then also call emerge:

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    emerge -1 @module-rebuild
    

Bubblewrap cross-architecture chroot

:: chroot, emulation, gentoo, linux, sandbox, system, tutorial, virtualization, vm

By: Maciej Barć

System preparation

Qemu

Emerge qemu with static-user USE enabled and your wanted architectures.

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app-emulation/qemu      QEMU_SOFTMMU_TARGETS: aarch64 arm x86_64
app-emulation/qemu      QEMU_USER_TARGETS: aarch64 arm x86_64

app-emulation/qemu      static-user
dev-libs/glib           static-libs
sys-apps/attr           static-libs
sys-libs/zlib           static-libs
dev-libs/libpcre2       static-libs

OpenRC

Enable qemu-binfmt:

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rc-update add qemu-binfmt default

Start qemu-binfmt:

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rc-service qemu-binfmt start

Chrooting

  • select chroot location (eg /chroots/gentoo-arm64-musl-stable)
  • unpack the desired rootfs
  • create needed directories
    • mkdir -p /chroots/gentoo-arm64-musl-stable/var/cache/distfiles
  • execute bwrap
    • with last ro-bind mount the qemu emulator binary (eg qemu-aarch64)
    • execute the mounted emulator binary giving it a shell program (eg bash)

Chroot with bwrap:

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bwrap                                                       \
    --bind /chroots/gentoo-arm64-musl-stable /              \
    --dev /dev                                              \
    --proc /proc                                            \
    --perms 1777 --tmpfs /dev/shm                           \
    --tmpfs /run                                            \
    --ro-bind /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf             \
    --bind /var/cache/distfiles /var/cache/distfiles        \
    --ro-bind /usr/bin/qemu-aarch64 /usr/bin/qemu-aarch64   \
    /usr/bin/qemu-aarch64 /bin/bash -l

Libvirt with bridge network

:: libvirt, virtualization, vm, kvm, system, tutorial, linux

By: Maciej Barć

User-mode

By default you would probably have something like this, the user-mode network:

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<interface type="user">
  <mac address="00:00:00:00:00:00"/>
  <model type="virtio"/>
  <address type="pci" domain="0x0000" bus="0x01" slot="0x00" function="0x0"/>
</interface>

Bridge

Bridges can be easily created using the NetworkManager’s TUI tool called nmtui.

Bridge XML configuration for Libvirt

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<interface type="bridge">
  <mac address="00:00:00:00:00:00"/>
  <source bridge="br1"/>
  <target dev="vnet2"/>
  <model type="virtio"/>
  <alias name="net0"/>
  <address type="pci" domain="0x0000" bus="0x06" slot="0x00" function="0x0"/>
</interface>

Sysctl options

Be sure the following options are enabled (1):

  • net.ipv4.ip_forward
  • net.ipv4.conf.all.send_redirects

and the following options are disabled (0):

  • net.bridge.bridge-nf-call-iptables

Binary packages in Gentoo

:: binary packages, gentoo, packaging, portage, system

By: Maciej Barć

Binpkgs generated by user

The binary packages generated by user can have architecture-specific optimizations because they are generated after they were compiled by the host Portage installation.

In addition binpkgs are generated from ebuilds so if there is a USE flag incompatibility on the consumer system then the binpkg will not be installed on the host and Portage will fall back to from-source compilation.

Those binary packages can use two formats: XPAK and GPKG.

XPAK had many issues and is getting superseded by the GPKG format. Beware of upcoming GPKG transition and if you must use XPAKs then you should explicitly enable it in your system’s Portage configuration.

To host a binary package distribution server see the Binary package guide on the Gentoo wiki.

Bin packages in a repository

Binary packages in ::gentoo (the official Gentoo repository) have the -bin suffix.

Those packages might have USE flags but generally they are very limited in case of customizations or code optimizations because they were compiled either by a Gentoo developer or by a given package upstream maintainer (or their CI/CD system).

Those packages land in ::gentoo mostly because it is too hard (or even impossible) to compile them natively by Portage. Most of the time those packages use very complicated build systems or do not play nice with network sandbox like (e.g. Scala-based projects) or use very large frameworks/libraries like (e.g. Electron).

They can also be added to the repository because they are very desirable either by normal users (e.g. www-client/firefox-bin) or for (from-source) package bootstrapping purposes (e.g. dev-java/openjdk-bin). Such packages are sometimes generated from the regular source packages inside ::gentoo and later repackaged.

systemd-custom-unit

:: system, systemd, tutorial

By: Maciej Barć

Template

File: /etc/systemd/system/APP.service

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[Unit]
Description=Run APP application

[Service]
Type=simple
ExecStart=/usr/bin/LANG APP_DIR/APP APP_ARGS
Restart=on-failure
User=root
WorkingDirectory=APP_DIR

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Also, the application might need to reference a PID file, let systemD know abut it via PIDFile.

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PIDFile=/tmp/APP.pid

Example

File: /etc/systemd/system/julia_dash_app.service

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[Unit]
Description=Run Julia Dash application

[Service]
Type=simple
ExecStart=/usr/bin/julia /root/julia_dash_app/main.jl
Restart=on-failure
User=root
WorkingDirectory=/root/julia_dash_app

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target