Turbo Charging Ubuntu Server and Cloud Images

I do a bit of devops. I get frustrated with waiting even a few seconds longer than I feel like I should. Here is my list of tweaks to Ubuntu Server and Cloud Images.

First, things that make apt-get update fly, because in testing out packages, I find myself running this way too much.

# disable “translations” of Packages index (½ the downloads)
echo Acquire::Languages \"none\"\; | tee /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02nolang
# disable source repos (½ the downloads)
sed -i -e 's/^deb-src/#deb-src/' /etc/apt/sources.list
# disable universe and multiverse by default
# If it is trusty, you’ll need to
apt-get install software-properties-common
# so that you can...
add-apt-repository -r universe
add-apt-repository -r multiverse
# don’t need 386 packages on amd64
rm -f /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch
sudo dpkg --remove-architecture i386

Next, things which shrink the overall system image. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but I don’t want to wait for updatedb to index unneeded files. I don’t want to wait for xapian on systems on which I never use it. I don’t want to wait for apt-get upgrade to upgrade any of these packages when I don’t use them.

# disable apt-xapian-index - not sure what uses it, I don’t care.
apt-get purge -y apt-xapian-index
# don’t need kernel headers, you won’t compile on your server
apt-get purge -y linux-headers-generic linux-headers-virtual
# if you aren’t using landscape-client you can save 7-10MB:
apt-get purge -y python-twisted-core
# you could go less than ubuntu-minimal by losing x11 stuffs
sudo apt-get purge -y libx11-data xkb-data
# we don’t use interactive commands on our cloud servers - don’t need command not found
apt-get purge -y command-not-found command-not-found-data
# default to —no-install-recommends
echo APT::Install-Recommends \"0\"\;  | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/03norecommends
# don’t need ntfs support
sudo apt-get purge -y ntfs-3g

There. Slimmer, tinier images with less updates to download and install.

Juju makes getting to http2 easier

I stumbled upon https://launchpad.net/~ondrej/+archive/ubuntu/apache2 when looking at http2 options for apache and it seemed to me that it might be easy to add support for http2 on any ubuntu system.

I started by forking the apache2 charm, because I just want to play around.

You can try it out:

juju bootstrap
juju deploy cs:~evarlast/trusty/apache2 –to 0
juju set apache2 ssl_cert=SELFSIGNED
juju set apache2 enable_modules=ssl
juju run –service apache2 ‘a2ensite default-ssl’
juju run –service apache2 ‘service apache2 reload’

Now run `juju status` to get the IP address of the node and try it out.

Open your browsers dev tools and confirm that http2 was used.

Ubuntu 15.10 brings faster add-apt-repository

Wily Werewolf was released yesterday and with it many new things out of the box.

My favorite feature is something that is silly, simple, a tiny patch, and speeds up something I do often.

I work in the cloud and that means I am deploying new machine images many times a day. Anything to speed this up is something that I want.

In Wily, add-apt-repository now has a -u switch.

-u, –update Update package cache after adding

You’ll notice everywhere on the internet where add-apt-repository is used, the next line of instructions is `apt-get update`. This refreshes the package cache for ALL of the configured apt repositories. On a slow machine with slow IO or slow network, this can take more than just a few seconds, possibly a minute or two. This is too long to wait.

The -u option solves this problem. Not only does is remove the need to `apt-get update` by automatically doing it, but it only fetches the package cache for that newly added repository saving much time.

So anywhere on ask.ubuntu.com or wiki.ubuntu.com where you see:

sudo add-apt-repository FOO
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install BAR

add the -u and remove the update command:

sudo add-apt-repository -u FOO
sudo apt-get install BAR

Revel in the time you save.