Tag Archives: nixos

Our new NixOS 19.03 Platform Is Ready for Production

We have developed our third-generation platform which is now based on NixOS 19.03. All provided components have been ported to the new platform and VMs are already running in production.

Most of our development work is done for the new platform and new features will be available only for it. We pull in security updates from upstream regularly and will follow new NixOS releases more quickly in the future. The old NixOS 15.09 platform still receives critical security and bug fixes.

Effective March 6, VMs created via customer self-service will use the 19.03 platform.

You can find the documentation for the new platform here:

https://flyingcircus.io/doc/guide/platform_nixos_2/index.html

We recommend user profiles (done with buildEnv) in case your application needs specific packages in its environment:

https://flyingcircus.io/doc/guide/platform_nixos_2/user_profile.html

Upgrading 15.09 Machines

Upgrading existing VMs online is supported and we have already done that for a number of VMs.
Sometimes however, it can be better to create new NixOS VMs in parallel and set up your applications there.

Most managed components will just work after the upgrade. We are working on instructions for specific things that should be done before or after the upgrade.

If you’re a customer with a support contract in the “Guided” or “Managed” service classes
then we’ll approach you directly and discuss when and how to upgrade VMs in the coming months.

If you’re a customer in the “Hosted” service class then we recommend contacting our support team to discuss the upgrade.

If you have questions …

As always: if you have any questions or comments then let us know and send us an email to support@flyingcircus.io.

Announcing fc-userscan

NixOS manages dependencies in a very strict way—sometimes too strict? Here at Flying Circus, many users prefer to compile custom applications in home directories. They link them against libraries they have installed before by nix-env. This works well… until something is updated! On the next change anywhere down the dependency chain, libraries get new hashes in the Nix store, the garbage collector removes old versions, and user applications break until recompiled.

In this blog post, I would like to introduce fc-userscan. This little tool scans (home) directories recursively for Nix store references and registers them as per-user roots with the garbage collector. This way, dependencies will be protected even if they cease to be referenced from “official” Nix roots like the current-system profile or a user’s local Nix profile. After registering formerly unmanaged references with fc-userscan, one can fearlessly run updates and garbage collection.

Continue reading Announcing fc-userscan

DevOps Autumn Sprint Halle 28th-30th September 2016

Next week our Autumn 2016 Sprint starts and we really look forward to welcome our guests. We are in the midst of preparation and hope the weather plays along. All details around the sprint can be find on Meetup. Interesting topics are on the agenda as: backy, batou, NixOS and more – there is an Etherpad to gather them.

If you want to contribute but can’t make it in person, think about join us remote. Just let us know in advance (send a short message to mail@flyingcircus.io or poke us on twitter @flyingcircusio).

Vulnix v1.0 release

Intro

Back in May I introduced you to the development of vulnix, a tool which initially was done to find out whether a system (might) be affected by a security vulnerability. It does this by matching the derivations name with the product and version specified in the cpe language of the so-called CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures). In the meantime we introduced the tool to the community at the Berlin NixOS Meetup and got some wonderful input in which directions we might extend the features. We sprinted the next two days to improve the code quality and broaden the feature set.

Continue reading Vulnix v1.0 release

Automatic installation of Oracle Java

Our customers at times require Oracle Java for their applications. Our new platform is based on NixOS. As with most Linux distributions, Oracle Java cannot be installed just like that. Oracle’s license prevents redistribution or direct downloading from their servers. NixOS is no exception there.

While manual installation is pretty straightforward on NixOS, ultimately an automated process is what makes operators happy. We use Batou for this.

Continue reading Automatic installation of Oracle Java

Thoughts on systems management methods

Reading Why Order Matters: Turing Equivalence in Automated Systems Administration (by Steve Traugott and Lance Brown) 15 years ago has been a career-changing moment for me. In this blog post, I will explore the meaning of some of the points made in this article for today’s data center infrastructures. I will also give a bit of background on what motivated our recent move to NixOS.

Continue reading Thoughts on systems management methods