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Jonathan Dieter: Switching to OSTree

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Red Hat

Given our shift towards containers, the most obvious solution would have been to switch to Fedora CoreOS, but a number of our call servers have Sangoma telephony cards with kernel drivers that are, unfortunately, out-of-tree. While there are some elegant ways to load custom kernel modules into Fedora CoreOS, we needed a more stable kernel, due to the (lack of) speed in which these modules are updated to build with new kernels.

So we decided to go with a custom OSTree distribution (surprisingly named SpearlineOS), built using rpm-ostree and CentOS 8. SpearlineOS has two streams, staging and production. At the moment, we’re manually building each new release, pushing it to staging, running it through some smoke tests, and, then, finally, pushing it to production. We are in the process of setting up a full staging environment with automatic builds and automatic promotion to production once a build has been functioning correctly for set period of time. We’ve also setup greenboot in SpearlineOS so that our servers are able to fail back to an older release if the current one fails for any reason.

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