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August 2011 Meeting

Hosted By

Skills Matter


The August 2011 meeting of LRUG will be on Monday the 8th of August, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Our hosts Skills Matter will be providing the space, at their offices on Goswell Road; The Skills Matter eXchange. It's a great space with plenty of room for the group, but you still need to register to let Skills Matter know you are coming.


Managing Web Application Servers with Puppet

Paul Mucur describes his talk as follows:

Joshua Sierles of 37signals once described configuration management as something that "doesn't sound sexy, but it's the single most important thing we do as sysadmins" but what is it and what do tools like Chef and Puppet offer from the point of view of a developer?

In this presentation I want to talk about how configuration management allowed me – a developer with no access to the live servers and working with system administrators in a different time zone – to not only install and configure servers quickly and in a repeatable way but also let me be confident about the consistency of each and every machine I deploy to.

Using the example of getting a server ready to run a Rails application using Puppet (and testing things out with the aid of Vagrant), I will showcase some patterns that we have developed for managing versions of Ruby with RVM, the installation of Phusion Passenger and how to deploy a database.yml when you're not allowed to see live passwords.

Chef and Vagrant

Gareth Rushgrove is a sometimes Ruby programmer and occasional sysadmin. He curates the devopsweekly mailing list, lives in Cambridge and writes code for fun and profit.

Most developers spend far too much time managing a development environment that is different to the one they use for production applications. Different tools, different underlying libraries and different bugs. Local virtualisation provides an answer, but historically it's been time consuming and annoying to setup and manage. Using configuration management tools like Chef to set things up, and Vagrant to easily manage the virtual machines from the command line provides modern developers the best of all possible worlds.


Stephen had to pull out, we'll try to reschedule him for our September meeting.

Stephen Nelson-Smith is the author of "Test-driven infrastructure with Chef" (published by O'Reilly) and is going to talk to us about cucumber-chef:

Cucumber-chef is a library of tools to enable the emerging discipline of infrastructure as code to practice test driven development. It provides a testing platform within which cucumber tests can be run which provision lightweight virtual machines, configure them by applying the appropriate Chef roles to them, and then run acceptance and integration tests against the environment.


We aim to finish up the talk part of the evening by 8pm. At this point we talk a short walk to The Slaughtered Lamb to round off the evening with wine and song. If you're unable to attend the talks, you're more than welcome to turn up at the pub whenever you can.


Skills Matter prefer that you register your attendance with them if you are coming to the meeting. There's plenty of space so you'll get in if you forget, but it is polite (don't forget MINASWAN), so please do register.

You can also follow this meeting on lanyrd, but be aware this is not a meaningful way to tell Skills Matter you wish to attending. It's just for the lols, innit?

Posted by Murray Steele on Jul 18, 2011