[Lustre-devel] Fwd: The Lustre community and GIT

Andreas Dilger adilger at sun.com
Tue Dec 15 13:05:14 PST 2009

Hello Peter,

As previously announced, we have already made the initial Lustre  
repository available to everyone this week at git.lustre.org.  This  
repository contains all of the main development and release branches  
and their history.  It's where all of the Sun developers and  
maintaners will get their sources from, and it will continue to be  
available under the GPL v2 license as it always has been.

Sun's policy of prioritizing stability, not just for releases but also
to underpin development, makes safeguarding the quality of this
repository paramount.  Everyone contributing to the Lustre sources -
not just internal Sun engineers but also external contributors like
LLNL, CEA, ORNL and DDN - is therefore subject to the same gatekeeping
procedures and must follow the same patch submission, testing and
landing processes.  These are further detailed in the wiki pages that
were in the original announcement:


For people not familiar with Git, it should be clarified that limiting  
commits to the Sun Prime repository does not in any way restrict  
access to the Lustre code, or the ability of non-Sun developers to  
share their own Git clone with the Lustre community.  Developers will  
be able to host their own Lustre clones (essentially full  
repositories) as and where they wish.  The major advantage of Git is  
that anyone can pull from any repository, or in fact from a number of  
different repositories at the same time - this choice is left to the  

This is the same model used by the Linux kernel, and has proven to  
work well with Git.  Each kernel developer hosts their own clone(s) at  
git.kernel.org, or at some other site like repo.or.cz, or github.com,  
and when they have changes to submit upstream they send an email  
(usually containing both the patch, and the git URL to pull from) to  
the subsystem maintainer, or to Linus directly, requesting that he  
pull their changes.  This pull request is normally only sent after the  
patch has been reviewed, possibly multiple times,  by the appropriate  
subsystem maintainers.  Each developer has full control over their own  
clone, and in fact it is rare that more than one person has push  
access to a clone.

The fact that there are many different clones (some more important,  
and others less so) in no way implies that the kernel is being forked,  
but rather that this is the standard way in which to use Git to  
exchange changes.  The location at which a clone is hosted also has no  
bearing on its usefulness.

To answer your specific concerns in more detail,

On 2009-12-13, at 11:47, Peter Braam wrote:
> 1. We need a public repository, where non Sun community members can  
> commit.
> a.  There are Lustre users than have their own branches.  LLNL has  
> probably the best tested branch among all users.  DDN's customers  
> have a version of Lustre that includes patches not yet in Sun's  
> releases.  It would be very valuable if these kind of releases could  
> be collected in a publicly accessible GIT repository.

That is true even today - most of the patches that are in the DDN  
branches were initially developed by Sun and are already in the  
publicly-available Lustre CVS, and many of the LLNL patches have or  
are being landed for the 1.8.2 release.

As you know, there will always be a delta of patches that are not in  
an official release, and will be available in the next one.  With the  
increase in testing to improve the quality of new releases compared to  
the past, releases are by necessity less frequent.  Should anyone have  
a desire for more bleeding-edge code, they have always been able fetch  
the current branch before its release, regardless of whether this is  
Git or CVS.  We maintain a number of different branches (b1_8 for  
incremental development, b_release_1_8_1 for critical fixes on the  
1.8.1 release, etc) these are already available to the public.

> I doubt that Sun will give commit rights to external entities (this  
> is not unreasonable, Sun needs to control what code enters its  
> repositories).  Hence I think that the community would be better  
> served with a GIT repository in a public place, like github, that  
> can give such access.

While CVS was very restrictive in terms of managing external commit  
permissions due to its monolithic repository, some external  
contributors have had commit access to CVS prior our migration to Git,  
based on need.  With the migration to Git there is no need to manage  
such access ourselves, as developers are able to host their clones  
wherever they want.  The git.lustre.org repository will remain the  
canonical source for Sun releases, and we will be happy to pull fixes  
into this repository that meet the quality guidelines stated above.  I  
for one would welcome external inspectors on patches, and we continue  
to work with external sites to do scale testing of Lustre.

> My group at ClusterStor has reserved the "lustre" project at Github  
> and we will give keys to any and all organizations that wish to make  
> serious contributions to Lustre.  I was in particular hoping that  
> LLNL would be willing to commit their releases to that public place.

Note that with Git and github.com there is no need to give keys to  
anyone, and in fact that would seem to be detrimental to ClusterStor,  
because the "lustre" clone you have reserved is within your company's  
private hosting space (i.e. http://github.com/clusterstor/lustre).   
With Github (or Git in general) it is possible for anyone to make  
their own clone or mirror of a repository at any time, no keys or  
permission required, and it will appear ashttp://github.com/{user}/ 
lustre or whatever they want to call it.

> b.  Everyone is uncertain about what Sun will do with Lustre  
> (proprietary Solaris / ZFS server releases and discontinued support  
> for Linux servers have been mentioned to me several times now).  A  
> public repository with the open code will be valuable for the  
> community and promote continued development and access.

I agree that a public repository is important, and we will continue to  
host one at git.lustre.org as we have in the past for CVS, and it can  
and should be cloned as needed.  As you are hopefully aware, with Git  
every checkout has a full copy of the repository, including all  
history, so the code is already very "open" and "public".  Lustre is,  
and will continue to be, available as GPL software.

We definitely welcome external contributions to Lustre, which have in  
the past been done by a small number of people outside of Sun.  I  
don't think the choice of CVS or Git or hosting site has ever been a  
limiting factor in this regard.  We look forward to contributions of  
fixes, designs, and features, from ClusterStor, as we would with any  
Lustre contributor.

> 2. We need MUCH more in the repository than Sun is putting into it.
> There are many development branches and sometimes abandoned projects  
> that still have a lot of value.  For example, there is a nearly  
> complete OS X client port - what if someone wanted to pick that up?   
> Similarly, there are projects like size on MDS or the network  
> request scheduler that may need help from the community to get  
> finished or re-prioritized.

All of the Lustre history is still available in CVS, as it has always  
been.  As far as I know (I've never checked it out myself) even the OS/ 
X client port is publicly available today, which was not true a few  
years ago.

Due to the convoluted branch, repository, and tag abuse that was used  
to manage the Lustre code in CVS, there is a non-zero effort required  
to migrate any of the branches in CVS to Git.  Rather than bring all  
of the old detritus along into Git, only the main development/ 
production branches are being automatically migrated initially.

Now that the Git migration is complete, the Sun maintainers of non- 
release features (HSM, SOM, CMD, NRS, etc) will be creating Git clones  
and landing their work into them as time permits.

If anyone wants to import one of the other CVS branches (e.g. OS/X),  
all they will need to do is create a patch from that branch and then  
commit this into their own Git clone.

> It is unclear to me if these kind of branches can be found in the  
> publicly available CVS.

Yes, they can, as they always have been.  The CVS repository will  
remain available indefinitely for spelunking expeditions should the  
need arise.  Note that the full history that leads to the current  
release branches (b1_6, b1_8, HEAD) is available in Git, so there is  
at least a trail of breadcrumbs leading to where we are today.

> If they can, a collection of relevant branches, broadly along the  
> lines of what I mention above, should be placed in the public GIT  
> repository.

For currently-active branches this was already our plan.  For  
historical and inactive branches, and we welcome any contributions  
that bring these ancient CVS branches back to life.  Nikita is  
probably best positioned to know what needs to be imported from the OS/ 
X branch in CVS, and if there are other particular branches that  
contain important work we'll be happy to discuss them with you.  It  
will of course be possible to create Git clones for these old branches  
as needed.

> 3. Brian's email message seems to indicate that Sun's git repository  
> will be used for Sun development.  In the past there were two CVS  
> repositories - a read-only one that was publicly accessible and when  
> I last controlled the group it was updated very frequently with all  
> open source code (presently, it seems to only contain releases, not  
> the development stream of commits).

That's not correct.  The public cvs.lustre.org repository in fact  
contains all of the Lustre commits and all of the history.  I just did  
a checkout and there are in fact tags and branches for the pre-release  
1.8.2 builds, lprocfs rewrite, CMD, etc. that are very much works in  

One of the very last commits on CVS HEAD was on Thursday before CVS  
went read-only, from a patch submitted by LLNL:

revision 1.593
date: 2009/12/10 13:52:51;  author: dzogin;  state: Exp;  lines: +5 -0
Branch HEAD
Description: Allow non-root access for "lfs check".
Details    : Added a check in obd_class_ioctl() for OBD_IOC_PING_TARGET.

> It is unclear how Sun can manage development with this git  
> repository given that parts of its work are proprietary (like the  
> Windows port) or unreleased (like the ZFS work).  Can we get more  
> insight in what Brian is alluding to?

I'm not sure what "alluding" you are alluding to?

Of course, if there is any proprietary code developed it will just not  
be pushed to the public git.lustre.org repository.  I expect that any  
proprietary or unreleased code that ClusterStor is already or will  
develop will similarly not be posted publicly until you are ready to  
do so.

Sun's current in-progress code will very likely reside in separate  
clones at git.lustre.org, but will not be merged into the Sun Prime  
repository for an official release until it is inspected, tested, and  
has permission to land.  Pulls into the Sun Prime repository will be  
done by the release manager for each branch, as previously stated.   
The Lustre engineers at ClusterStor are already familiar with this  
process and have already had their first patch pass inspections and it  
is ready for landing.

That is one of the major benefits of Git over CVS - that there ISN'T a  
single repository, and in fact every clone has a full copy of the  
history and can be used by anyone.  There is no need to have all of  
the development done in branches on a single repository, but rather to  
keep projects in their own clones.

That allows developers to do local commits on their machines, to push  
it to their public clone if they want to share their work and/or make  
an offsite backup, and people are free to choose which clone one they  
use.  Sun's Prime repository used for releases will only contain  
stable Lustre code.  This is the Git usage model for the Linux kernel,  
and think it is a good one to follow for Lustre as well.  You are free  
to manage your clones in some other way.

Cheers, Andreas
Andreas Dilger
Sr. Staff Engineer, Lustre Group
Sun Microsystems of Canada, Inc.

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