Java on Port 443

I’ve been working on setting up a Java based SAML provider. This means that the application needs to handle request and response over HTTPS. And, since often this is deployed in data centers where non-standard ports are blocked, it means that the HTTPS really needs to be supported on the proper port, which is 443. Here are the range of options.
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Java and Certmonger

Earlier this week, I got some advice from John Dennis on how to set up the certificates for a Java based web application. The certificates were to be issued by the Dogtag instance in a Red Hat Identity Mangement (RH IdM) install. However, unlike the previous examples I’ve seen, this one did some transforms from the certificate files, into PKCS12 and then finally into the keystore. It Looks like this:

ipa-getcert request -f /etc/pki/tls/certs/rhsso-cert.pem -k /etc/pki/tls/private/rhsso-key.pem -I rhsso -K RHSSO/`hostname` -D `hostname`
openssl pkcs12 -export -name rhsso -passout pass:FreeIPA4All -in /etc/pki/tls/certs/rhsso-cert.pem -inkey /etc/pki/tls/private/rhsso-key.pem -out rhsso.p12
keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore rhsso.p12 -srcstoretype PKCS12 -srcstorepass FreeIPA4All -destkeystore keycloak.jks -deststorepass FreeIPA4All -alias rhsso
keytool -keystore keycloak.jks -import -file /etc/ipa/ca.crt -alias ipa-ca
cp keycloak.jks /etc/opt/rh/rh-sso7/keycloak/standalone/

Aside from the complications of this process, it also means that the application will not be updated when Certmonger automatically renews the certificate, leading to potential down time. I wonder if there is a better option.

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Virtualization Setup for RH CSA study

While my company has wonderful resources to allow employees to study for our certifications, they are time limited to prevent waste. I find I’ve often kicked off the lab, only to get distracted with a reql-world-interrupt, and come back to find the lab has timed out. I like working on my own systems, and having my own servers to work on. As such, I’m setting up a complementary system to the corporate one for my own study.
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Matching Create and Teardown in an Ansible Role

Nothing lasts forever. Except some developer setups that no-one seems to know who owns, and no one is willing to tear down. I’ve tried to build the code to clean up after myself into my provisioning systems. One pattern I’ve noticed is that the same data is required for building and for cleaning up a cluster. When I built Ossipee, each task had both a create and a teardown stage. I want the same from Ansible. Here is how I’ve made it work thus far.

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Deploying an image on OpenStack that is bigger than the available flavors.

Today I tried to use our local OpenStack instance to deploy CloudForms Management Engine (CFME). Our OpenStack deployment has a set of flavors that all are defined with 20 GB Disks. The CFME image is larger than this, and will not deploy on the set of flavors. Here is how I worked around it.
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Freeing up a Volume from a Nova server that errored

Trial and error. Its a key part of getting work done in my field, and I make my share of errors. Today, I tried to create a virtual machine in Nova using a bad glance image that I had converted to a bootable volume:

The error message was:

 {u'message': u'Build of instance d64fdd07-748c-4e27-b212-59e8cef9d6bf aborted: Block Device Mapping is Invalid.', u'code': 500, u'created': u'2018-01-31T03:10:56Z'}

The VM could not release the volume.

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Creating an Ansible Inventory file using Jinja templating

While there are lots of tools in Ansible for generating an inventory file dynamically, in a system like this, you might want to be able to perform additional operations against the same cluster. For example, once the cluster has been running for a few months, you might want to do a Yum update. Eventually, you want to de-provision. Thus, having a remote record of what machines make up a particular cluster can be very useful. Dynamic inventories can be OK, but often it takes time to regenerate the inventory, and that may slow down an already long process, especially during iterated development.

So, I like to generate inventory files. These are fairly simple files, but they are not one of the supported file types in Ansible. Ansible does support ini files, but the inventory files have maybe lines that are not in key=value format.

Instead, I use Jinja formatting to generate inventory files, and they are pretty simple to work with.

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Getting Shade for the Ansible OpenStack modules

When Monty Taylor and company looked to update the Ansible support for OpenStack, they realized that there was a neat little library waiting to emerge: Shade. Pulling the duplicated code into Shade brought along all of the benefits that a good refactoring can accomplish: fewer cut and paste errors, common things work in common ways, and so on. However, this means that the OpenStack modules are now dependent on a remote library being installed on the managed system. And we do not yet package Shade as part of OSP or the Ansible products. If you do want to use the OpenStack modules for Ansible, here is the “closest to supported” way you can do so.

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Picking the Right Hammer for the Job

Red Hat Satellite Server is a key tool in the provisioning process for the systems in our Labs.  In one of our labs we have an older deployment running Satellite 6 which maps to the upstream project The Foreman version 1.11.  Since I want to be able to perform repeatable operations on this server, I need to make Web API calls.

The easiest way to do this is to use the Hammer CLI. But it turns out the version of Hammer is somewhat tied to the version of Satellite server; the version I have in Fedora 27 Does not talk to this older Satellite instance.  So, I want to run an older Hammer.

I decided to use this as an opportunity to walk through running an RPM managed application targetted for RHEL 6/EPEL 6 via Docker.

Edit: actually, this might not be the case, but the rest of the learning process was interesting enough that I kept working at it.
Edit2: This was necessary, see the bottom. Also, the 1.11 in the URL refers to the upstream repo for theforeman. I’d use a different repo for building using supported RH RPMs.

Here is what I learned.

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