PlanetLab BootCD updated to support latest hardware

The PlanetLab BootCD has been updated to use the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel. The new version should address the issue of several sites not being able to bring up nodes with recent hardware.

PlanetLab Migrating to LXC

After many years of using Linux vserver as PlanetLab's node provisioning mechanism, we have officially started migrating to LXC - the implementation of container-based virtualization in the Linux kernel. We have been working on this new release for several months and are pleased to announce that it has become stable and mature enough to deploy for users. Here are some of the highlights of the update...

Additions to vsys

Library functions for vsys

I've added some Library functions that can be used to build vsys scripts. Hopefully, they should reduce all the scripts that we'd ever want to write, or at least the services supported by proper, to a few lines of code.

The library:

- connect_fd        [ connects an fd in a slice to an fd on the node]

( implements open_file)

 - mount_dir         [ bind-mounts a directory into a slice ]

 - socket_filter      [ basically a wrapper for the UNIX 'socket' program which restricts you to a fixed set of hosts and/or ports]

Support Summary for Aug 13-19th

Dominant issues or repeated problems and their causes, if known. Suggestions for solutions would also be nice.


  • Privileged operations:
  • Boot manager:
  1. My node doesn't boot with the error 'unable to contact any boot servers' -- This problem has come up often, sometimes because of the high load on the db and web servers, making them fail requests with a 500 internel server error. Faiyaz and Tony have recently resolved this issue. But in general /tmp/bm.log should contain the exact error.
  • General networking:
  1. When you traceroute PL nodes, they don't return the port unreachable message that they're supposed to as the last hop -- I tcpdumped such a traceroute and confirmed that they do emit the message, so the assumption is that they get firewalled off somewhere.
  • Sensors:
  1. I would like to implement a sensor for PL, can I get more details about how CoMon, Netflow etc. implement it? -- The sensor API has been dormant for a long time, and Netflow and CoMon do not actually implement it. Andy is the person to contact about this API.
  • Node manager
  • GUI
  1. I can't upload my public key because the GUI rejects it. -- It turns out that the regex we use to validate keys is quite restrictive and rejects anything not generated by ssh-keyge (eg. Solaris keys). Short answer - use ssh-keygen.
  • Misc
  1. Does PL have a blacklist of IP addresses belonging to administrators who rant? -- No, but Neil Spring @ UMD does.


Sapan's PL development page

This page is outdated. My current activities are summarized in PlanetLab's trac system. An up-to-date version can be found on my homepage.


August 14, 2007  

The 'new vnet', implemented as an iptables extension is now running on alpha. 2 TODO items before rolling it out automatically:

1. Run the following iptables instruction:
    iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -j MARK --copy-xid
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