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Googlers on the road: Linux.conf.au 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

It’s summer in Sydney and Linux.conf.au (LCA) 2018 is just a week away. LCA, an annual event that attracts people from all over the globe, including Googlers, runs January 22nd to 26th.

LCA is a cornerstone of the free and open source software (FOSS) community. It’s volunteer-run, administered by Linux Australia, and has been running since 1999. Despite its name, the conference program covers all things FOSS. The event is five days long and includes two days of miniconfs that make the program even more interesting.

The Google Open Source team is escaping “wintery” Northern California and will be hosting a Birds of a Feather (BoF) session and co-hosting an event with GDG Sydney, both focused on our student programs.

A few Googlers ended up with sessions in the program and one is running a miniconf:

Tuesday, January 23rd
All day     Create hardware with FPGAs, Linux and Python Miniconf hosted by Tim Ansell (sold out)
11:40am  Learn by Contributing to Open Source by Josh Simmons
5:15pm    Assembling a balsa-wood Raspberry Pi case by Josh Deprez

Wednesday, January 24th
3:50pm    Securing the Linux boot process by Matthew Garrett

Thursday, January 25th
12:25pm  Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in Birds of a Feather session
6:00pm    Google Summer of Code and Google Code-in Meetup with GDG Sydney

Friday, January 26th
11:40am  The State of Kernel Self-Protection by Kees Cook
1:40pm    QUIC: Replacing TCP for the Web by Jana Iyengar
2:35pm    The Web Is Dead! Long Live The Web! by Sam Thorogood

Not able to make the conference? They’ll be posting session recordings to YouTube afterwards, thanks in part to students who have worked on TimVideos, a suite of open source software and hardware for recording video, as part of Google Summer of Code.

Naturally, you will also find the Google Open Source team at other upcoming events including FOSDEM. We look forward to seeing you in 2018!

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

Container Structure Tests: Unit Tests for Docker Images

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Usage of containers in software applications is on the rise, and with their increasing usage in production comes a need for robust testing and validation. Containers provide great testing environments, but actually validating the structure of the containers themselves can be tricky. The Docker toolchain provides us with easy ways to interact with the container images themselves, but no real way of verifying their contents. What if we want to ensure a set of commands runs successfully inside of our container, or check that certain files are in the correct place with the correct contents, before shipping?

The Container Tools team at Google is happy to announce the release of the Container Structure Test framework. This framework provides a convenient and powerful way to verify the contents and structure of your containers. We’ve been using this framework at Google to test all of our team’s released containers for over a year now, and we’re excited to finally share it with the public.

The framework supports four types of tests:
  • Command Tests - to run a command inside your container image and verify the output or error it produces
  • File Existence Tests - to check the existence of a file in a specific location in the image’s filesystem
  • File Content Tests - to check the contents and metadata of a file in the filesystem
  • A unique Metadata Test - to verify configuration and metadata of the container itself
Users can specify test configurations through YAML or JSON. This provides a way to abstract away the test configuration from the implementation of the tests, eliminating the need for hacky bash scripting or other solutions to test container images.

Command Tests

The Command Tests give the user a way to specify a set of commands to run inside of a container, and verify that the output, error, and exit code were as expected. An example configuration looks like this:
globalEnvVars:
  - key: "VIRTUAL_ENV"
    value: "/env"
  - key: "PATH"
    value: "/env/bin:$PATH"

commandTests:

# check that the python binary is in the correct location
  - name: "python installation"
    command: "which"
    args: ["python"]
    expectedOutput: ["/usr/bin/python\n"]

# setup a virtualenv, and verify the correct python binary is run
  - name: "python in virtualenv"
    setup: [["virtualenv", "/env"]]
    command: "which"
    args: ["python"]
    expectedOutput: ["/env/bin/python\n"]

# setup a virtualenv, install gunicorn, and verify the installation
  - name: "gunicorn flask"
    setup: [["virtualenv", "/env"],
            ["pip", "install", "gunicorn", "flask"]]
    command: "which"
    args: ["gunicorn"]
    expectedOutput: ["/env/bin/gunicorn"]
Regexes are used to match the expected output, and error, of each command (or excluded output/error if you want to make sure something didn’t happen). Additionally, setup and teardown commands can be run with each individual test, and environment variables can be specified to be set for each individual test, or globally for the entire test run (shown in the example).

File Tests

File Tests allow users to verify the contents of an image’s filesystem. We can check for existence of files, as well as examine the contents of individual files or directories. This can be particularly useful for ensuring that scripts, config files, or other runtime artifacts are in the correct places before shipping and running a container.
fileExistenceTests:

# check that the apt-packages text file exists and has the correct permissions
  - name: 'apt-packages'
    path: '/resources/apt-packages.txt'
    shouldExist: true
    permissions: '-rw-rw-r--'
Expected permissions and file mode can be specified for each file path in the form of a standard Unix permission string. As with the Command Tests’ “Excluded Output/Error,” a boolean can be provided to these tests to tell the framework to be sure a file is not present in a filesystem.

Additionally, the File Content Tests verify the contents of files and directories in the filesystem. This can be useful for checking package or repository versions, or config file contents among other things. Following the pattern of the previous tests, regexes are used to specify the expected or excluded contents.
fileContentTests:

# check that the default apt repository is set correctly
  - name: 'apt sources'
    path: '/etc/apt/sources.list'
    expectedContents: ['.*httpredir\.debian\.org/debian jessie main.*']

# check that the retry policy is correctly specified
  - name: 'retry policy'
    path: '/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/apt-retry'
    expectedContents: ['Acquire::Retries 3;']

Metadata Test

Unlike the previous tests which all allow any number to be specified, the Metadata test is a singleton test which verifies a container’s configuration. This is useful for making sure things specified in the Dockerfile (e.g. entrypoint, exposed ports, mounted volumes, etc.) are manifested correctly in a built container.
metadataTest:
  env:
    - key: "VIRTUAL_ENV"
      value: "/env"
  exposedPorts: ["8080", "2345"]
  volumes: ["/test"]
  entrypoint: []
  cmd: ["/bin/bash"]
  workdir: ["/app"]

Tiny Images

One interesting case that we’ve put focus on supporting is “tiny images.” We think keeping container sizes small is important, and sometimes the bare minimum in a container image might even exclude a shell. Users might be used to running something like:
`docker run -d "cat /etc/apt/sources.list && grep -rn 'httpredir.debian.org' image"`
… but this breaks without a working shell in a container. With the structure test framework, we convert images to in-memory filesystem representations, so no shell is needed to examine the contents of an image!

Dockerless Test Runs

At their core, Docker images are just bundles of tarballs. One of the major use cases for these tests is running in CI systems, and often we can't guarantee that we'll have access to a working Docker daemon in these environments. To address this, we created a tar-based test driver, which can handle the execution of all file-related tests through simple tar manipulation. Command tests are currently not supported in this mode, since running commands in a container requires a container runtime.

This means that using the tar driver, we can retrieve images from a remote registry, convert them into filesystems on disk, and verify file contents and metadata all without a working Docker daemon on the host! Our container-diff library is leveraged here to do all the image processing; see our previous blog post for more information.
structure-test -test.v -driver tar -image gcr.io/google-appengine/python:latest structure-test-examples/python/python_file_tests.yaml

Running in Bazel

Structure tests can also be run natively through Bazel, using the “container_test” rule. Bazel provides convenient build rules for building Docker images, so the structure tests can be run as part of a build to ensure any new built images are up to snuff before being released. Check out this example repo for a quick demonstration of how to incorporate these tests into a Bazel build.

We think this framework can be useful for anyone building and deploying their own containers in the wild, and hope that it can promote their usage everywhere through increasing the robustness of containers. For more detailed information on the test specifications, check out the documentation in our GitHub repository.

By Nick Kubala, Container Tools team

Talk shop with Google Open Source

Monday, January 8, 2018

Hello world! The Google Open Source team is ringing in the new year by launching accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to engage more with the community and keep folks up to date.
Free and open source software (FOSS) is fundamental to computing, the internet, and Google. Since 2004, Google Open Source has helped Googlers get code in and out of Google and supported FOSS through student programs and financial support. One thing is clear after 14 years: FOSS is all about community.

We’re part of that community, seeing people at events, on mailing lists, and in the trenches of code repositories. And few things are more enjoyable and productive than talking with people in the community…

… so we thought we’d start doing more of that. We want to:
We hope you’ll come along and let us know. You’ll find us at @GoogleOSS and +GoogleOpenSource, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

Seeking open source projects for Google Summer of Code 2018

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Do you lead or represent a free or open source software organization? Are you seeking new contributors? (Who isn’t?) Do you enjoy the challenge and reward of mentoring new developers? Apply to be a mentor organization for Google Summer of Code 2018!

We are seeking open source projects and organizations to participate in the 14th annual Google Summer of Code (GSoC). GSoC is a global program that gets student developers contributing to open source. Each student spends three months working on a project, with the support of volunteer mentors, for participating open source organizations.

Last year 1,318 students worked with 198 open source organizations. Organizations include individual projects and umbrella organizations that serve as fiscal sponsors, such as Apache Software Foundation or the Python Software Foundation.

You can apply starting today. The deadline to apply is January 23 at 16:00 UTC. Organizations chosen for GSoC 2018 will be posted on February 12.

Please visit the program site for more information on how to apply, a detailed timeline of important deadlines and general program information. We also encourage you to check out the Mentor Guide and join the discussion group.

Best of luck to all of the applicants!

By Josh Simmons, Google Open Source

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