[p2pu-dev] [p2pu-community] Introducing Marvin

Timothy Gaudette tgaudette88 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 22:14:31 UTC 2013

Very cool. I particularly like the inspiration for the name.

-Tim on the Go
On Jun 18, 2013 12:39 PM, "Dirk Uys" <dirk at p2pu.org> wrote:

> Posted at http://info.p2pu.org/2013/06/18/introducing-marvin/
> [image: Image CC-BY-SA John Greenaway]<http://info.p2pu.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/3356358479_a0e3ee8a05_b.jpg>
> Image CC-BY-SA John Greenaway<http://www.flickr.com/photos/johngreenaway/>
> At the start of the year we spent some time on behind the scenes work. We
> had a long overdue software upgrade that we needed to perform on our main
> server. At the same time we took the opportunity to improve how we maintain
> the systems to run the tools we use for P2PU.
> Maintaining a server requires a lot of work. Someone needs to know what
> software is required, then install and update the software in questions,
> edit configuration files, remember what services to stop and start again,
> pick good passwords and remember them, etc!
> Instead of having someone slaving away at a command line and trying
> remember what to do each time, we decided to automate the process. It is
> almost like writing down a recipe and handing it to a robotic cook with all
> the ingredients!
> We named our robotic cook Marvin, after Marvin the Paranoid Android<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_the_Paranoid_Android>from the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. Almost everything that is
> needed to get P2PU up and running can be found in this github repository<https://github.com/p2pu/marvin/>
> .
> You may stop reading at this point if you wish to skip the technical
> details and incomprehensible abbreviations [image: :)]
> We chose to use Ansible <http://www.ansibleworks.com/> to implement
> Marvin. Ansible uses YAML configuration files called playbooks to describe
> the tasks needed to setup and configure a server. These tasks are then
> executed over SSH on the remote host. The advantage of this is that it’s
> easy to bootstrap a system – you just need to know what operating system
> you are targeting and setup SSH access.
> The Marvin repository contains the playbooks to setup lernanta<https://github.com/p2pu/lernanta>running at
> p2pu.org, badges <https://github.com/p2pu/badges> running at
> badges.p2pu.org and Etherpad Lite <https://github.com/ether/etherpad-lite>running at
> pad.p2pu.org.
> There is still potential to improve and better organize these playbooks.
> If you would like to give them a test drive, you can install Ansible, setup
> a virtual machine and run the playbooks! See the repository<https://github.com/p2pu/marvin/>for more instructions.
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