Monday, April 15, 2013

Proposed non-RPM clients for OSG Software

With OSG Software version 3, the OSG has moved to RPMs as the primary means of distributing software to sites. However, we understand that some users need to install client tools without RPMs, either because the install must be performed without root access or because the installed software must be contained within a single, separate directory hierarchy (or both).

The OSG Software team will soon provide non-RPM client packages that can be installed anywhere by anyone. Specifically, each package will install into a single directory on a filesystem and the installation process will work for any user with appropriate permissions. There will be separate packages for the worker node client and full client.

The new packages will be downloadable tarballs (i.e., compressed archives), one for each kind of client (worker node and full), major operating system release (EL5 and EL6), and architecture (32- and 64-bit). The new tarballs will be derived from the corresponding production RPMs of osg-wn-client and osg-client.

Users will download and unpack an appropriate tarball, then run a script contained therein to finish the installation. Before actual use, each user will need to source a setup script, as was done with Pacman installations.

Because we cannot assume much about the host system, the tarballs and their resulting installations will necessarily contain some software components from the underlying OS and EPEL repositories. We will strive to minimize the number of such components, but some will remain. Site administrators should understand that we will not issue updates to our tarballs every time the underlying OS and EPEL repositories change, but instead only as part of normal OSG Software releases. This policy applies to security and non- security package updates from the OS and EPEL.

Administrators will be responsible for updating from one tarball release to another. Mostly, this process will simply be to download and unpack each new release to a separate directory. A symbolic link can be used to provide a consistent path to the current release. Manual modifications to package files will have to be applied for each release or copied over.

Technical work is nearly complete on this project, and we are aiming for a April 30th release. That date should leave ample time to complete updates well before the planned May 30 End-Of-Life for OSG 1.2 (Pacman).

We welcome feedback on this plan at or