I'm sorry for the OT but I thought that some of you could spare me tons
Do you know any very good open source software for remote assistance
that runs on debian (my side) and windows > 7 (customer side). I need to
be able to control kbd and mouse and see customer's screen.
Depending on price I definitely consider paid versions and I would avoid
any cloud service (unless there is no other valid option) that I can not
Time ago I used the google chrome extension but last time I used it gave
me troubles and, in any case, I would definitely go for something more
Another late release, again due to a busy schedule; sorry about that. This time
there's nothing ground breaking, just enchancements to existing roles and
multiple bugfixes. Due to this, we stay with v2.x.y series. Hopefully the next
release around August-September will bring new scripts.
New DebOps release, v2.3.0
You can find the new version of DebOps on:
You can upgrade the Python-based installation by running the command:
pip3 install --upgrade debops
Installation instructions can be found here:
The brief Changelog can also be found on the documentation page:
Complete, detailed changelog can be viewed using the 'git log' command.
You can use the 'git log --no-merges' command to skip the "boring" merge
The DebOps documentation has a separate page which details important
changes from previous release in the Ansible inventory or on the remote
hosts which you might need to perform manually:
The Python packages available on PyPI, as well as the tarballs available
on GitHub are signed with my GPG key. You can get it from the OpenPGP
keyserver network using the command:
gpg --keyserver hkp://pool.sks-keyservers.net \
I wasn't able to finish the new DebOps scripts yet, so the v3.0.0 release is
delayed; check the documentation for the new planned release dates.
The v2.3.0 development cycle finished with ~364 commits (without merges),
Here's a brakdown of committers this time around:
272 Maciej Delmanowski
23 Thomas Blein
16 Robin Schneider
13 Stefan G. Weichinger
11 David Härdeman
8 Imre Jonk
3 Julien Lecomte
3 Jérémy Rosen
3 Nicolas Quiniou-Briand
2 Patryk Ściborek
2 Émile Morel
1 KoS M. Walder
1 Pedro Lucas
1 Pedro Luis López Sánchez
1 Stuart Mumford
1 Thomas Lotze
Thanks to everyone for bugfixes, new functionalities and improvements. See you
around in the commits next time!
It looks like the 6 months between releases are becoming the norm, so I updated
the release schedule. Hopefully this will let me keep the next releases on
time. For the curious, at the moment each version takes about half an hour to
make (update Changelog, create tags and push them to GitHub, make Python
packages and release them on PyPI, make a new release on GitHub, create and
publish Ansible Collections on Galaxy), so with 4 supported versions that's
about 3 hours of focused work. New stable releases take a bit longer, including
time to write the annoucement and setting up new git branches on GitHub,
ReadTheDocs and Docker Hub.
Goals reached since previous release
During the latest development cycle I had to put the new scripts on the
backburner and work on other things, for example Elasticsearch, Kibana and
SimpleSAMLphp (not merged yet). During the summer I will have a bit more free
time, so I'm planning to work on the new scrpts then.
New upstream releases
Ansible v4.0.0 has been released, congratulations to the entire team! The
changes to the version string required an update in the `debops` script, but
apart from that the DebOps playbooks and roles should work with the new release
just fine. If you encounter any issues, don't hesitate to create issues in the
bug tracker, or send them to the mailing list. Ready-made fixes are not
necessary, but are appreciated.
New Debian stable release (Bullseye, 11) should be done in the coming weeks.
I didn't have time to test DebOps with the new release yet, but if you are
planning to do so, please let me know about any issues with the new release.
The 'rsnapshot' package has been removed from the next Debian Stable release
and it will most likely be dropped from Debian at some point unless the
upstream finds new maintainers. It might be a good time to look for
a replacement. Borgbackup and Restic seem to be popular candidates, there's
also Bacula/Bareos backup solution which is targeted towards larger,
The 'autopostgresqlbackup' package will not be included in the Debian Bullseye
release due to a bug that hasn't been fixed before the freeze. It might be
available via bullseye-backports at some point. For now, the
'postgresql_server' role will not configure automatic snapshots on Debian
If you are curious, Michael Prokop has written an excellent blog post about
upcoming changes in Debian Bullseye, it's worth the read. A Reddit thread
about it also exists, if you're looking for even more news.
Due to recent news about FreeNode changing ownership, I created new '#debops'
IRC channels on the Libera.Chat and OFTC IRC networks. There's also
a Matrix room which will be used to eventually bridge the IRC communities
together (currently only FreeNode IRC channel is bridged).
DebOps is now used by the 'ansible-lint' project to test impact of the
upcoming lint rule changes against existing Ansible ecosystem. To ensure
that DebOps doesn't break the 'ansible-lint' testing pipeline, I changed the
'make lint' test to use 'ansible-lint' in autodiscovery mode, the same one
that is used by their CI workflow.
Julien Lecomte has created a custom Ansible inventory plugin called
'ansible-roster'. While in normal Ansible inventory users create inventory
groups and add hosts in them, in 'ansible-roster', users define specific hosts
first, and then assign inventory groups to them. The plugin is designed with
DebOps in mind and can make management of complicated environments easier.
It's available on GitLab as well as through PyPI.
New release highlights
As usual, there are many interesting changes and new features in a DebOps
release. I suggest that you check out the Changelog of the latest release;
below you can find a list of highlights:
- DebOps now has the 'extrepo' role which provides support for the "extrepo"
third-party APT repository management tool. The "extrepo" database
contains details about hundreds of third-party APT repositories and is
curated by Debian Developers. Wthin DebOps, "extrepo" is currently used to
configure the Elastic APT repositories, used by 'elasticsearch', 'kibana'
and 'filebeat' roles; other roles with third-part applications will be
converted in the future.
- Support for SSH access to hosts was Improved. The 'authorized_keys' role was
overhauled and is now focused on managing specific SSH identities on
multiple UNIX accounts instead of managing UNIX accounts with multiple SSH
keys. The difference is subtle, but noticeable. Check the role documentation
for detauls and examples.
Additionally, DebOps now officially supports management of hosts using
a dedicated UNIX account (for example 'ansible') instead of creating
separate UNIX accounts for each system administrator. The 'system_users'
role documentation has the details.
- The 'dovecot' and 'postldap' roles LDAP support was refreshed and now by
default the roles create configuration which utilizes the
'mailservice.schema' LDAP schema included in the 'slapd' role. If you use
LDAP for mail management, you should check the new configuration before
applying the roles in production environment.
Plans for the next development cycle
In the next release cycle, during Summer, I want to focus on finishing the
rewrite of the new DebOps scripts. The gist of the changes is that the new
scripts will support multiple Ansible inventories in a single project, with
focus on primary "system" inventory for privileged access, and separate
"unprivileged" inventories for various applications. This in turn will allow
for new set of playbooks and roles focused on unprivileged operations which use
Ansible without full 'sudo' privileged access. New scripts will also introduce
full support for Ansible Collections; DebOps monorepo will be converted to
a Collection format as well.
Ansible v4.0.0 brings support for role arguments specification and
validation. Adding that support to DebOps roles should significantly improve
usability, this will be a second goal in the next release cycle. Most of the
specs are already written in the documentation, they just need to be translated
into format accepted by Ansible; when the role specs are done they could in
turn be used to re-generate documentation using a structured format.