Open Source is about choice, and making choices. One of the choices we made when we introduced SUSE Manager in 2011 was to not re-invent the wheel. Instead, we based SUSE Manager on the Spacewalk project. And we haven’t looked back ever since. Spacewalk provided us with a solid and mature code base that we still could modernize as needed.
A clean slate approach vs. continuous modernization
A few years later, our friends from Red Hat, the original contributors of Spacewalk, made a different decision: To start with a clean slate for their next generation Red Hat Satellite. Naturally, that meant that their interest in maintaining and evolving the Spacewalk codebase decreased more and more, the closer they came to deprecating their “legacy” product.
Salt meets Spacewalk
Meanwhile, the SUSE Manager team discovered their love for Salt. We also modernized the SUSE Manager web UI experience with a new Twitter Bootstrap theme and later with new ReactJS-based interactive components. We added a new framework for subscription management. And we started integrating SUSE Manager with the container world by adding container image building and Kubernetes container auditing. We did all that while maintaining API backwards compatibility with older versions of Spacewalk.
With SUSE Manager 3.2, we’ll add KIWI-based image building for virtual machines and installable Linux images as well as a very cool new Salt-based PXE boot stack that will allow users to configure and install a complete physical system from bare metal to application through Salt.
Many of those changes didn’t make it into the Spacewalk project because they didn’t fit into the increasingly narrow focus of the project’s main maintainers.
Finding new ways
So we reached out to Red Hat a while ago to find out how we can find new ways of governing the Spacewalk project that bring both the need for having a stable base for maintaining Red Hat Satellite 5 “legacy code” and our strive for rapid innovation under one umbrella.
In the end, we had to agree that the only approach that would really work was a “friendly fork” of the Spacewalk project under a new name.
Welcome Uyuni (pronounced /uju:ˈni/)!
And that’s where Uyuni comes into play: We announced Uyuni last at the openSUSE conference in Prague as the new upstream project for SUSE Manager. And we invite the Spacewalk community, our customers, our partners, and everyone in Open Source who wants to join us in further developing what we think is the next generation of lifecycle management for traditional and software-defined hybrid IT infrastructure.
Uyuni will be developed with a model very similar to our openSUSE Tumbleweed project: with frequent releases that go through solid automated testing. It will not be commercially supported by SUSE and won’t get the same rigid QA and product lifecycle guarantees that our customers get for SUSE Manager, but it won’t be stripped down in any way. And all our development will happen in the open on GitHub.
Join us and contribute
There are lots of areas where we would highly appreciate community contributions. Of course, this starts with contributing to the future roadmap and direction of the project.
We would also love to see solid support for even more Linux distributions (and maybe even non-Linux platforms) added.
If you are a hardware manufacturer and would like to see better integration into your hardware automation APIs and software stack, please join us!
The same is true for the myriad of open source infrastructure projects in the cloud and container space that could benefit from integration into a solid lifecycle management and automation framework.
Salt drives Uyuni innovation
Finally, we owe our other upstream community, the Salt project, a lot. It’s one of our goals for Uyuni to foster deep collaboration with Salt. So any contribution that improves Salt will also benefit Uyuni!
To the extent possible, we will always try to keep in sync with the Spacewalk project as long as it’s around. But Uyuni is where the innovation will happen.
More information for you
If you want to learn more, please read the openSUSE news release, watch our sessions from openSUSE conference on Youtube and the interview Klaus Kämpf did on Uyuni, or connect to the Uyuni team using one of the channels mentioned on the new project webpage. Binaries are ready for download today on the project website.
We’re still doing some code clean-ups, but the project source code will soon hit GitHub and open for your contributions!
By the way, we took the name Uyuni from the largest salt flat in the world. This is a tribute to the fact that Salt is used a lot under the hood in Uyuni. And like with the spacewalk we’re coming from, there are almost no limits to where we can go as Uyuni is really vast. With the added benefit of being down-to-earth and allowing us to walk without a spacesuit and life support. 🙂
So long, and thanks for all the the fish!
This is Joe Werner blogging life from South Africa, where the sun shines from the wrong side, proving that with the exception of those large Salt flats, the Earth isn’t actually entirely flat as stated in my eye catcher title.
I’m here for the Expert Days in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Expert Days are a great way of learning more about SUSE’s products and projects!
And one last message to the Spacewalk community: So long, and thanks for all the fish! It was a great time with you in outer space.