Cluster Stack update for Debian

Last week, the Linux-HA project made its Heartbeat 3.0.4 and Cluster Glue 1.0.7 release, and Pacemaker released 1.0.10 a few weeks back. Thanks to the amazing Simon Horman (horms to IRC regulars), those releases have been uploaded to Debian unstable (sid) yesterday.

What’s sid?

sid is the permanent code name of the Debian unstable distribution. It’s where package maintainers upload fresh builds and maintain the latest versions of distribution packages. It’s not meant for general consumption, but acts as a large integration testing platform for Debian developers.

From sid, packages automatically migrate into the testing distribution after a 10-day cooling-off period, and the testing distribution eventually turns into stable at the time of a new Debian release.

So when will these packages show up in testing?

They won’t for a time. The current testing distribution is Debian squeeze, which is frozen pending the upcoming release. As such, the automatic unstable-to-testing migration is currently disabled and the only uploads that are allowed in testing are for release-critical bug fixes. Thus, Debian squeeze will ship with Heartbeat 3.0.3, Cluster Glue 1.0.6, and Pacemaker 1.0.9.

After squeeze ships, the normal testing workflow resumes, and new releases of all packages will then pour in again. These will eventually ship as the next Debian release, codenamed wheezy.

What are the Debian maintainers doing to keep packages in shape?

Fixes for critical issues in upstream code are being back-ported to the Debian packages, and released as normal Debian updates. So what is labeled as, say, Heartbeat 3.0.3 in Debian is not identical to the upstream 3.0.3 release — instead, it’s upstream 3.0.3 plus bug fixes.

Can I get the new versions from backports?

The Debian backports repository is for packages being back-ported from the next Debian release to the current. However, packages going to backports are first expected to pass through testing.

With testing frozen, no new packages go to backports. So before the Debian squeeze release, don’t expect these packages in backports.

But I need these new versions now! What can I do?

If you must, roll your own backport. This is at your own risk and you will be using packages lacking proper integration testing. If things break, you get to keep the pieces.

The example below is for cluster-glue.

Add the following line to your /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb-src http://<your favorite debian mirror>/debian sid main

Then, install build dependencies (as root):

apt-get build-dep cluster-glue

Get the sources and build a package (as non-root):

apt-get -t sid source cluster-glue
cd cluster-glue-<version>

Finally, again as root, install the newly built binary packages.

If you are upgrading the whole stack, make sure you

  • build and install packages from the cluster-glue source package first,
  • then build and install packages from heartbeat,
  • finally build and install packages from pacemaker.

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