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New Self-Service Tool for Installing Ubersmith

By May 15, 2017July 3rd, 2020No Comments

Ubersmith’s Operations Team is proud to announce the availability of our Self-Service Tool. This new utility will allow new users and seasoned system administrators to install and upgrade their Ubersmith environments on any of our supported platforms.

This new tool helps to address deployment situations where special security considerations are in place or for environments that have limited online access. Perhaps neither of these situations apply, but you just prefer a DIY approach — that’s fine too. Maybe you’re a developer and you’d like to create an Ubersmith development environment on your laptop. Now you can!

The Installation and Upgrade tool leverages two technologies we’ve come to appreciate here at Ubersmith: Ansible and Docker.

We’ve been using Ansible for customer deployments for over a year now with great success. Ansible is software that allows for the definition of complex system configuration tasks in easy-to-read plain text. Ansible’s flexibility allows us to take our in-house deployment code “on the road” and forms the basis of the tasks that make up the installer. The installer prompts for a few pieces of information during startup and uses these details to execute the Ansible ‘playbook’ that installs and configures Ubersmith. Should you want to check under the hood, the Ansible playbooks and roles are all defined in plain text as YAML files.

Ubersmith’s components are now run within Docker containers, which greatly reduces compatibility issues for new deployments and upgrades. In the past, an otherwise well intentioned yum update or apt-get upgrade might lead to unexpected downtime. With Docker, Ubersmith is now isolated from the underlying operating system. For some of our users, this arrangement will result in improved security for their systems as both Ubersmith’s components and those of the underlying OS can be easily be kept up to date independently.

For now, we can only recommend this tool be used for new installations of Ubersmith 4.0, but we’re hoping to make the upgrade routines work for existing 4.0 installations as well. Please note: This tool is not compatible with Ubersmith 3.x.

We hope you’ll try our new Installation and Upgrade tool, and we’re looking forward to your feedback! You can check out the latest source from Github or download the latest release.