DebConf23 https://debconf23.debconf.org/ took place from 2023-09-10 to –17 in Kochi, India.
Four employees (three Debian developers) from NetApp had the opportunity to participate in the annual event, which is the most important conference in the Debian world: Christoph Senkel, Andrew Lee, Michael Banck and Noël Köthe.
What is DebCamp? DebCamp usually takes place a week before DebConf begins. For participants, DebCamp is a hacking session that takes place just before DebConf. It’s a week dedicated to Debian contributors focusing on their Debian-related projects, tasks, or problems without interruptions.
DebCamps are largely self-organized since it’s a time for people to work. Some prefer to work individually, while others participate in or organize sprints. Both approaches are encouraged, although it’s recommended to plan your DebCamp week in advance.
During this DebCamp, there are the following public sprints:
- Debian Boot Camp: An introduction for newcomers on how to contribute to Debian more deeply.
- GPG keys 101: Get your keys ready for DebConf’s key signing party: An introduction to PGP/GPG keys and the web of trust, primarily targeting those new to Debian who don’t have a GPG key yet.
In addition to the organizational part, our colleague Andrew also attended and arranged private sprints during DebCamp:
- Debian Installer hacking: Debian installer is a complex project with multiple components. We had an on-site d-i hacker, Alper Nebi Yasak, who guided us in addressing issues specific to zh_TW locale users in the Debian installer.
- LXQt/LXDE hacking session: LXQt and LXDE are lightweight desktop environments for Linux users. Our colleague Andrew Lee leads the LXQt team in Debian and also provided assistance to the LXDE team in the absence of their original team leader from Ukraine.
It also allows the DebConf committee to work together with the local team to prepare additional details for the conference. During DebCamp, the organization team typically handles the following tasks:
- Setting up the Frontdesk: This involves providing conference badges (with maps and additional information) and distributing SWAG such as food vouchers, conference t-shirts, and sponsor gifts.
- Setting up the network: This includes configuring the network in conference rooms, hack labs, and video team equipment for live streaming during the event.
- Accommodation arrangements: Assigning rooms for participants to check in to on-site accommodations.
- Food arrangements: Catering to various dietary requirements, including regular, vegetarian, vegan, halal, gluten-free (regular, vegetarian, vegan), and accommodating special religious and allergy-related needs.
- Setting up a conference bar: Providing a relaxed environment for participants to socialize and get to know each other.
- Writing daily announcements: Keeping participants informed about ongoing activities.
- Organizing day trip options.
- Arranging parties.
The conference itself started on Sunday 10. September with an opening, some organizational stuff, GPG keysigning information (the fingerprint was printed on the badge) and a big welcome to everyone onsite and in the world.
Most talks of DebConf were live streamed and are available in the video archive. The topics were broad from very technical (e.g., “What’s new in the Linux kernel”) over organizational (e.g., “DebConf committee”) to social (e.g., “Adulting”).
Thanks a lot, to the voluntarily organized video team for this video transmission coverage.
On the last day of DebConf, the traditional lightning talks were held. One talk in particular was noticed, the presentation of extrepo by Wouter Verhelst. At NetApp, we use bookworm-based Debian ThinkPad’s. However, in a corporate environment, non-packaged software needs to be used from time to time, and extrepo is a very elegant way to solve this problem by providing, maintaining and keeping UpToDate a list of 3rd-party APT repositories like Slack or Docker Desktop.
On Tuesday, an incredibly special lunch was offered at DebConf: a traditional Kerala vegetarian banquet (Sadya in Maralayam), which is served on a banana leaf and eaten by hand. It was quite unusual for the European part of the attendees at first, but a wonderful experience once one got into it.
On Wednesday, the Daytrip happened and everybody could choose out of five different trips: https://wiki.debian.org/DebConf/23/DayTrip
The houseboat trip was a bus tour to Alappuzha about 60 km away from the conference venue. It was interesting to see (and hear) the typical bus, car, motorbike and Tuktuk road traffic in action. During the boat trip the participants socialized and visited the local landscape outside the city.
Unfortunately, we had an accident at one of the daytrip options. Abraham a local Indian participant drowned while swimming.
It was a big shock for everybody and all events including the traditional formal dinner were cancelled for Thursday. The funeral with the family was on Friday morning and DebConf people had the opportunity with organized buses to participate and say goodbye.
NetApp internal dinner on Friday
The NetApp team at DebConf wanted to take the chance to go to a local restaurant (“were the locals go eating”) and enjoyed very tasty food.
Sunday was the last day of DebConf23. As usual, the upcoming DebConf24 was very briefly presented and there was a call for bids for DebConf25.
Maybe see you in Haifa, Israel next year.
Authors: Andrew Lee, Michael Banck and Noël Köthe
100% Open Source – 100% Cost Control
The PostgreSQL® Competence Center of the credativ Group announces the creation of a new comprehensive service and support package that includes all services necessary for the operation of PostgreSQL® in enterprise environments. This new offering will be available starting August 1st, 2020.
“Motivated by the requirements of many of our customers, we put together a new and comprehensive PostgreSQL® service package that meets all the requirements for the operation of PostgreSQL® in enterprise environments.”, says Dr. Michael Meskes, managing director of the credativ Group.
“In particular, this package focuses on true open source support, placing great emphasis on the absence of any proprietary elements in our offer. Despite this, our service package still grants all of the necessary protection for operation in business-critical areas. Additionally, with this new offering, the number of databases operated within the company’s environment does not matter. As a result, credativ offers 100% cost control while allowing the entire database environment to be scaled as required.”
Database operation in enterprise environments places very high demands on the required service and support. Undoubtedly an extremely powerful, highly scalable, and rock-solid relational database is the basis for secure and high-performance operation.
However, a complete enterprise operating environment consists of much more than just the pure database; one needs holistic lifecycle management. Major and Minor version upgrades, migrations, security, services, patch management, and Long-Term Support (LTS) are just a few essential factors. Additionally, staying up to date also requires continuous regular training and practice.
Services for the entire operating environment
Beyond the database itself, one also needs a stable and highly scalable operating environment providing all necessary Open Source tools for PostgreSQL and meeting all requirements regarding high availability, security, performance, database monitoring, backups, and central orchestration of the entire database infrastructure. These tools include the open-source versions of numerous PostgreSQL related project packages, such as pgAdmin, pgBadger, pgBackrest, Patroni, but also the respective operating system environment and popular projects like Prometheus and Grafana, or even cloud infrastructures based on Kubernetes.
Just as indispensable as the accurate functioning of the database is smooth interaction with any components connected with the database. Therefore it is important to include and consider these components as well. Only when all aspects, such as operating system, load balancer, web server, application server, or PostgreSQL cluster solutions, work together, will the database achieve optimal performance.
This new support package is backed up by continuous 24×7 enterprise support, with guaranteed Service Level Agreements and all necessary services for the entire database environment, including a comprehensive set of open-source tools commonly used in today’s enterprise PostgreSQL environments. All of these requirements are covered by the PostgreSQL Enterprise package from credativ and are included within the scope of services. The new enterprise service proposal is offered at an annual flat rate, additionally simplifying costs and procurement.
The credativ Group is an independent consulting and services company with primary locations in Germany, the United States, and India.
Since 1999, credativ has focused entirely on the planning and implementation of professional business solutions using Open Source software. Since May 2006, credativ operates the Open Source Support Center (OSSC), offering professional 24×7 enterprise support for numerous Open Source projects.
In addition, our PostgreSQL Competence Center of credativ provides a dedicated database team a comprehensive service for the PostgreSQL object-relational database eco-system.
This article was originally written by Philip Haas.
In November 1999, 20 years ago, credativ GmbH was founded in Germany, and thus laid the first foundation for the current credativ group.
At that time, Dr. Michael Meskes and Jörg Folz started the business operations in the Technology Centre of Jülich, Germany. Our mission has always been to not only work to live, but also to live to work, because we love the work we do. Our aim is to support widespread use of open source software and to ensure independence from software vendors.
Furthermore, it is very important for us to support and remain active in open source communities. Since 1999 we have continuously taken part in PostgreSQL and Debian events, and supported them financially with sponsorships. Additionally, the development of the Linux operating system has also been a dear and important project of ours. Therefore, we have been a member of the Linux Foundation for over 10 years.
In 2006 we opened our Open Source Support Center. Here, for the first time, our customers had the opportunity to get the support for their entire Open Source infrastructure with just one contract. Since then we have expanded and included different locations into a globally operating Open Source Support Center.
Thanks to our healthy and steady growth, credativ grew to over 35 employees at its worldwide locations by our 10th anniversary.
Since then, the founding of credativ international GmbH in 2013 marked another milestone in credativ’s history, as the focus shifted from a local to a global market. We were also able to expand into different countries such as the USA and India.
We have grown now to over 80 employees, with 20 years of company history. credativ is now one of the leading providers of services and support for open source software in enterprise use. We thank our customers, business partners, and employees for their time together.
This Artikel was originally written by Philip Haas.
The PostgreSQL® Global Development Group (PGDG) has released version 12 of the popular free PostgreSQL® database. As our article for Beta 4 has already indicated, a number of new features, improvements and optimizations have been incorporated into the release. These include among others:
Optimized disk space utilization and speed for btree indexes
btree-Indexes, the default index type in PostgreSQL®, has experienced some optimizations in PostgreSQL® 12.
btree indexes used to store duplicates (multiple entries with the same key values) in an unsorted order. This has resulted in suboptimal use of physical representation in these indexes. An optimization now stores these multiple key values in the same order as they are physically stored in the table. This improves disk space utilization and the effort required to manage corresponding btree type indexes. In addition, indexes with multiple indexed columns use an improved physical representation so that their storage utilization is also improved. To take advantage of this in PostgreSQL® 12, however, if they were upgraded to the new version using
pg_upgrade via a binary upgrade, these indexes must be recreated or re-indexed.
Insert operations in btree indexes are also accelerated by improved locking.
Improvements for pg_checksums
credativ has contributed an extension for pg_checksums that allows to enable or disable block checksums in stopped PostgreSQL® instances. Previously, this could only be done by recreating the physical data representation of the cluster using
pg_checksums now has the option to display a status history on the console with the
--progress parameter. The corresponding code contributions come from the colleagues Michael Banck and Bernd Helmle.
Optimizer Inlining of Common Table Expressions
Up to and including PostgreSQL® 11, the PostgreSQL® Optimizer was unable to optimize common table expressions (also called CTE or WITH queries). If such an expression was used in a query, the CTE was always evaluated and materialized first before the rest of the query was processed. This resulted in expensive execution plans for more complex CTE expressions. The following generic example illustrates this. A join is given with a CTE expression that filters all even numbers from a numeric column:
WITH t_cte AS (SELECT id FROM foo WHERE id % 2 = 0) SELECT COUNT(*) FROM t_cte JOIN bar USING(id);
In PostgreSQL® 11, using a CTE always leads to a CTE scan that materializes the CTE expression first:
EXPLAIN (ANALYZE, BUFFERS) WITH t_cte AS (SELECT id FROM foo WHERE id % 2 = 0) SELECT COUNT(*) FROM t_cte JOIN bar USING(id) ; QUERY PLAN ───────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Aggregate (cost=2231.12..2231.14 rows=1 width=8) (actual time=48.684..48.684 rows=1 loops=1) Buffers: shared hit=488 CTE t_cte -> Seq Scan on foo (cost=0.00..1943.00 rows=500 width=4) (actual time=0.055..17.146 rows=50000 loops=1) Filter: ((id % 2) = 0) Rows Removed by Filter: 50000 Buffers: shared hit=443 -> Hash Join (cost=270.00..286.88 rows=500 width=0) (actual time=7.297..47.966 rows=5000 loops=1) Hash Cond: (t_cte.id = bar.id) Buffers: shared hit=488 -> CTE Scan on t_cte (cost=0.00..10.00 rows=500 width=4) (actual time=0.063..31.158 rows=50000 loops=1) Buffers: shared hit=443 -> Hash (cost=145.00..145.00 rows=10000 width=4) (actual time=7.191..7.192 rows=10000 loops=1) Buckets: 16384 Batches: 1 Memory Usage: 480kB Buffers: shared hit=45 -> Seq Scan on bar (cost=0.00..145.00 rows=10000 width=4) (actual time=0.029..3.031 rows=10000 loops=1) Buffers: shared hit=45 Planning Time: 0.832 ms Execution Time: 50.562 ms (19 rows)
This plan first materializes the
CTE with a
sequential scan with a corresponding filter
(id % 2 = 0). Here no functional index is used, therefore this scan is correspondingly more expensive. Then the result of the
CTE is linked to the table
Hash Join with the corresponding
Join condition. With PostgreSQL® 12, the optimizer now has the ability to inline these CTE expressions without prior materialization. The underlying optimized plan in PostgreSQL® 12 will look like this:
EXPLAIN (ANALYZE, BUFFERS) WITH t_cte AS (SELECT id FROM foo WHERE id % 2 = 0) SELECT COUNT(*) FROM t_cte JOIN bar USING(id) ; QUERY PLAN ─────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Aggregate (cost=706.43..706.44 rows=1 width=8) (actual time=9.203..9.203 rows=1 loops=1) Buffers: shared hit=148 -> Merge Join (cost=0.71..706.30 rows=50 width=0) (actual time=0.099..8.771 rows=5000 loops=1) Merge Cond: (foo.id = bar.id) Buffers: shared hit=148 -> Index Only Scan using foo_id_idx on foo (cost=0.29..3550.29 rows=500 width=4) (actual time=0.053..3.490 rows=5001 loops=1) Filter: ((id % 2) = 0) Rows Removed by Filter: 5001 Heap Fetches: 10002 Buffers: shared hit=74 -> Index Only Scan using bar_id_idx on bar (cost=0.29..318.29 rows=10000 width=4) (actual time=0.038..3.186 rows=10000 loops=1) Heap Fetches: 10000 Buffers: shared hit=74 Planning Time: 0.646 ms Execution Time: 9.268 ms (15 rows)
The advantage of this method is that there is no initial materialization of the CTE expression. Instead, the query is executed directly with a
Join. This works for all non-recursive CTE expressions without side effects (for example, CTEs with write statements) and those that are referenced only once per query. The old behavior of the optimizer can be forced with the
WITH ... AS MATERIALIZED ... directive.
Generated Columns in PostgreSQL® 12 are materialized columns, which calculate a result based on expressions using existing column values. These are stored with the corresponding result values in the tuple. The advantage is that there is no need to create triggers for subsequent calculation of column values. The following simple example illustrates the new functionality using a price table with net and gross prices:
CREATE TABLE preise(netto numeric, brutto numeric GENERATED ALWAYS AS (netto * 1.19) STORED); INSERT INTO preise VALUES(17.30); INSERT INTO preise VALUES(225); INSERT INTO preise VALUES(247); INSERT INTO preise VALUES(19.15); SELECT * FROM preise; netto │ brutto ───────┼───────── 17.30 │ 20.5870 225 │ 267.75 247 │ 293.93 19.15 │ 22.7885 (4 rows)
brutto is calculated directly from the net price. The keyword
STORED is mandatory. Of course, indexes can also be created on
Generated Columns, but they cannot be part of a primary key. Furthermore, the SQL expression must be unique, i.e. it must return the same result even if the input quantity is the same. Columns declared as
Generated Columns cannot be used explicitly in
UPDATE operations. If a column list is absolutely necessary, the corresponding value can be indirectly referenced with the keyword
Omission of explicit OID columns
Explicit OID columns have historically been a way to create unique column values so that a table row can be uniquely identified database-wide. However, for a long time PostgreSQL® has only created these explicitly and considered their basic functionality obsolete. With PostgreSQL® the possibility to create such columns explicitly is now finally abolished. This means that it will no longer be possible to specify the
WITH OIDS directive for tables. System tables that have always referenced OID objects uniquely will now return OID values without explicitly specifying OID columns in the result set. Especially older software, which handled catalog queries carelessly, could get problems with a double column output.
Up to and including PostgreSQL® 11, database recovery and streaming replication instances were configured via a separate configuration file
With PostgreSQL® 12, all configuration work done there now migrates to
recovery.conf file is no longer required. PostgreSQL® 12 refuses to start as soon as this file exists. Whether recovery or streaming standby is desired is now decided either by a
recovery.signal file (for recovery) or by a
standby.signal file (for standby systems). The latter has priority if both files are present. The old parameter
standby_mode, which controlled this behavior since then, has been removed.
For automatic deployments of high-availability systems, this means a major change. However, it is now also possible to perform corresponding configuration work almost completely using the
ALTER SYSTEM command.
With PostgreSQL® 12 there is now a way to re-create indexes with as few locks as possible. This greatly simplifies one of the most common maintenance tasks in very write-intensive databases. Previously, a combination of
CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY and
DROP INDEX CONCURRENTLY had to be used. In doing so, it was also necessary to ensure that index names were reassigned accordingly, if required.
The release notes give an even more detailed overview of all new features and above all incompatibilities with previous PostgreSQL® versions.
“The addition of credativ brings another important Open Source pillar into the OpenChain community and boosts our mission to make Open Source Software compliance easier, more understandable and more transparent,” says Shane Coughlan, OpenChain Program Manager. “credativ is one of the early supporters of Free and Open Source Software in our community. They have engaged at a unique time. We are looking forward to working closely together to channel influence in the European, American and Indian market as we scale OpenChain self-certification.”
“It is an important step for us to join the OpenChain community,” says Dr Michael Meskes, CEO of credativ. “Through our extensive experience with Open Source in business, we work with a lot of different companies and know how to improve upon the positive impact that Open Source provides, not only in technical but also compliance issues. Therefore we would like to further extend the reputation of the OpenChain Project by expressing adherence to their specifications. We think that this leads to more and more companies gaining trust and confidence in Free and Open Source Software. One of the key aspects of the OpenChain certification is, that it builds trust, which, already rooted in the core principles of Free and Open Source Software, thusly provides an essential contribution to the general acceptance of Open Source.“
Thus the project builds trust in Free and Open Source Software by making Open Source license compliance simpler and more consistent.
The OpenChain Specification defines a core set of requirements every quality compliance program must satisfy. The OpenChain Curriculum provides the educational foundation for Open Source processes and solutions, whilst meeting a key requirement of the OpenChain Specification. OpenChain
Conformance allows organizations to display their adherence to these requirements.
The result is that Open Source license compliance becomes more predictable, understandable and efficient for participants of the software supply chain.
credativ is a independent consulting and services company operating in Germany, Spain, India, the Netherlands and the USA. Since the founding in 1999, credativ has been offering comprehensive services and technical support for the implementation and operation of Open Source Software in business applications. For more information, visit https://www.credativ.com
About The Linux Foundation:
The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at https://www.linuxfoundation.org.
The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.
OpenChain Blogpost: https://www.openchainproject.org/news/2017/08/07/openchain-welcomes-credativ