2014-07-27

EuroPython 2014

One full week of Python power is almost more than one can take, but I missing it would be even worse.

This was my first EuroPython and with 1200 participants a big upgrade compared to the previous 2 PyCon.DE events in which I participated. The location (Berlin Congress Center) deserves kudos, along with the perfect organization.

The Wifi worked really well (except for a WAN problem on Tuesday which was fixed quickly) and everybody loved the catering. They even had kosher, helal and vegan food (preordered), which is highly unusual for German conferences. Most amazing was the video crew who managed to upload all videos in about one hour after a talk was given.

I managed to give three talks:

  • DevOps Risk MitigationHow we use Test Driven Infrastructure at ImmobilienScout24 as part of our general automation to reduce the risk of giving everybody access everywhere. (Access Slides or Watch Video)
  • YAML ReaderLightning Talk about the yamlreader Python library, which provides a wrapper for the yaml.safe_load function that merges several YAML files. yamlreader is the base for most of the modularized configuration in our Python software. (Access Slides or Watch Video)
  • Open Source Sponsoring
    About why your company should invest into Open Source projects instead of into proprietary software. I did not plan this talk, but a speaker did not show up and I jumped in. (Access Slides or Watch Video)
I very much enjoyed the international public at the conference and hope to be able to also attend next years event.




2014-07-01

iPXE - The Versatile Boot Loader

iPXE is a lesser known Open Source PXE boot loader which offers many interesting features:

Talk & Article

Since iPXE plays a role in the ImmobilienScout24 boot automation I gave a talk about it at the LinuxTag 2014. The talk is half an hour long and gives a quick introduction into iPXE. It covers build, configuration & scripting and shows how to develop boot scripts in iPXE with a very short feedback cycle.



Download the slides to the talk and the audio recording as a podcast.

At the conference the German Linux Magazin became interested in the topic and asked me to write an article about iPXE:

Der vielseitige Netzwerk-Bootloader I-PXE
Linux Magazin 08/2014


Demo Scripts

For the article I created a bunch of demo scripts that are available on Gist. To try them out follow these steps:
  1. Install QEMU, usually part of your Linux distro but also available for other platforms.
  2. Download my pre-built iPXE boot kernel ipxe.lkrn
  3. Start QEMU with ipxe.lkrn and the URL to the demo script:
    qemu -kernel ipxe.lkrn -append \ 'dhcp && chain http://goo.gl/j8MbXI'
  4. Try out the various options. The login will accept any password that is the reverse of the username.
This demo script looks like that:

And the QEMU boot looks like that:
ipxe-qemu-demo2-menu.png

Try it out

Anybody struggling with PXELINUX should most definitively check out iPXE to see if it provides a better alternative to their needs.