Archive for the ‘Release Notes’ Category


New release

Today we have deployed new versions of both the server and the client packages. Important changes and fixes include the way we deal with network users, errors reporting packages to the server and an end of life announcement for Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy) Landscape packages.

These are the new client packages:

  • landscape-client-1.0.11-landscape1
  • smartpm-core-0.52-landscape10 and smartpm-0.52-landscape10

The important changes are:

  • the Landscape client will no longer list network users. This means that users that come from LDAP, NIS or even Windows will not be listed anymore. The client will only show, and manage, users present in local system files such as /etc/passwd, /etc/shadow and /etc/group.
  • the process list page in the web interface is now much faster, specially when dealing with a large number of processes
  • the “smart update” command that is run hourly via cron on the client could get stuck sometimes, preventing clients from collecting and uploading package data
  • fix for a crash in smart caused by malformed lines in /etc/fstab
  • some smaller UI improvements on the server side

This is also the last release for which we will provide “Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy)” client packages. This version of the distribution is no longer supported or maintained and mirrors do not even carry its packages anymore.

Thanks to all who sent feedback!


Landscape 1.1 released!

Today’s deployment marks the release of Landscape 1.1!

New activities infrastructure

The history system has been replaced by a simpler and more powerful activity system.   This is a significant change that has affected many parts of Landscape.  The new system is used to manage change requests and notices for computers and accounts.  For example, when an administrator performs an action, such as requesting package upgrades for a selection of computers, an activity is created to request that each computer report available upgrades.  If any of the computers have packages available to upgrade, the client reports them to the server.  The server creates an activity to represent each package installation or removal that must be performed to complete the upgrade.

Activity detail view

Landscape won’t install package upgrades without explicit permission. The package installation and removal activities will be unapproved and require manual approval before Landscape will make the changes.  The pending activities section on the dashboard, account and computer info pages will help you keep on top of activities that need your attention.

Pending activities on dashboard

While many activities are requests, such as in this example, activities may also be notifications of events occurring on computers and within accounts.  We’ve migrated data from the old history system to work with the activities system.  Active commands or operations from the old system will be handled seamlessly.  The new summary pages make it easy to see account activity.

Activity summary listing view

We hope you enjoy the new activity system!

Fast graph generation

Performance bottlenecks in graph generation logic have been optimized.  Graphs that used to take minutes to generate now take seconds!

Memory graphs

Other improvements

A new landscape-client package, version 1.0.8-landscape1, has been released with fixes that avoid reporting duplicate groups and ensure that package tasks don’t interfere with each other.  The server now accurately records primary group changes reported by the clients and processes user and group messages much more quickly.

We hope you enjoy the new features!


New release

Right on schedule, here is a new Landscape release!

This time we have smaller changes to the server, and a security update for the client.

Noteworthy changes on the server:

  • better script execution support: if the client is too old to support this feature (you need at least 1.0.6), the server will complain and give a better error message;
  • updated “how to register” documentation regarding the new Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (“Hardy”) release

And now the client, which is at version 1.0.7-landscape1:

  • bumped the API to v3.1 so the server can correctly identify clients older than 1.0.6 as having no script execution support;
  • security fix: when switching users, the code failed to set the groups accordingly, which left the target process running with group “root” (gid=0). This affected the client daemons that run as “landscape” and also script execution. So, for example, if a script was scheduled to be run as user “nobody”, the group was still left as “root”. Now the groups are initialized correctly.

Thanks to all, and keep those feedbacks coming!


New release!

It’s time again for a new release of Landscape. This release brings an exciting new feature and an important client fix that may be affecting some computers.

Script execution

The new feature we introduced with this release is something customers have been asking us for some time now: script execution.

This means it’s now possible to write a script and have it run on any of the managed computers. The script is sent to the machines, executed there and the result is reported back to Landscape.

Script execution is disabled by default on the new Landscape client. In order to enable it, special steps have to be taken whether it’s an upgrade or a new installation.

WARNING: if you run landscape-config again after an upgrade, you can also enable script execution via the wizard. But you also risk re-registering your computer if you answer “Y” by accident to the last question about requesting a registration!

Upgrading landscape-client

In order to enable script execution when doing an upgrade of the Landscape client, a change in the configuration file needs to be made. Please follow these steps:

  • open a terminal
  • run “sudo vi /etc/landscape/client.conf” (or use your favorite text editor)
  • add the lines below, replacing <users-comma-separated> with a comma separated list of the users you want to allow to execute scripts sent by Landscape:

include_manager_plugins = ScriptExecution
script_users = <users-comma-separated>

For example, if you want to allow script execution for the local “nobody” and “dsa” users, you would write that line as:

script_users = nobody,dsa

  • after making the changes, save the file and exit the editor
  • now restart the client: run “sudo /etc/init.d/landscape-client restart”

New installations

For new installations, the procedure is a lot simpler. Just run the landscape-config wizard as usual and you will soon get to the script execution
part, which you can then enable and select the users you want to be able to run the scripts.

Here is a sample run:

 Landscape has a feature which enables administrators to run
 arbitrary scripts on machines under their control. By default this
 feature is disabled in the client, disallowing any arbitrary script
 execution. If enabled, the set of users that scripts may run as is
 also configurable.
 Enable script execution? [y/N]y
 By default, scripts are restricted to the 'landscape' and
 'nobody' users. Please enter a comma-delimited list of users
 that scripts will be restricted to. To allow scripts to be run
 by any user, enter "ALL".
 Script users: nobody,dsa

Client fix

The client fix is in the smart package, used by Landscape to resolve package dependencies. We noticed that some computers were not reporting any installed packages, which is odd. We were also getting some customer reports about a missing dependency in smart. Further investigation revealed that some Ubuntu computers had an RPM database installed.

When smart detects this database, it tries to use it. After all, one of the differentiating features of smart is that it is able to deal with many
different packaging and repository formats.

In order to use RPM, however, smart needs a new package called python-rpm. This dependency was not added to the smart because it’s really not usual, or t least we thought so, to have RPMs installed on an Ubuntu system. It turns out, however it’s not that uncommon.

So the new smart package is now able to work on a machine with RPM installed and without requiring the extra python-rpm package. Smart just ignores the RPM channel and keeps working.

That’s it! Thanks to everyone who reported problems and made suggestions for improvement!

Detailed changelog


  • fix for a missing dependency for smart if an RPM database is detected on the system. This would prevent the reporting of packages to the Landscape server if python-rpm was also not installed


  • landscape-config no longer displays the registration password
  • added script execution support, disabled by default

landscape server:

  • monitoring page can now display only selected graphs
  • performance improvements for large numbers of user accounts
  • other under the hood performance improvements
  • support for script execution on the managed computers

Release notes

On April 16th we released a new version of Landscape. It includes several fixes and enhancements for both the client and server.

Server changes:

  • fixed support cases page rendering when using Firefox 3
  • fixed broken command URL after requesting a general package upgrade
  • show the number of pending computers awaiting confirmation of registration
  • other internal changes, not user visible

The client is now at version 1.0.4-landscape1. Important changes are:

  • fixed permissions and ownership of some files and directories which could prevent package data from being uploaded to the Landscape server
  • fixed a problem where the root user password could not be changed
  • the watchdog.log log file is now also rotated

Thanks to everyone who reported problems and made suggestions for improvement!


Release notes!

Today we rolled out the latest set of improvements to Landscape. The changes include:

  • The user management interface has been improved. Action buttons to add, edit and delete users have been moved to the status bar to make them easier to find. A padlock icon is displayed for users that are locked out.
  • Performance improvements under the hood make removing computers faster. In the past, a timeout could occur when trying to remove a computer from an account.
  • A bug that would cause the process listing to break when duplicate UIDs or GIDs are present has been fixed.

In the last week we’ve also rolled out updated client packages. The changes include:

  • Log rotation works correctly with dash.
  • The client start and stop logic has been improved and is more reliable.
  • Mount points mounted with –bind aren’t reported to the server.

There have been a number of improvements under the hood, some for performance and some to improve the ability for support personnel to provide the best service possible.

Thanks to everyone who reported problems and made suggestions for improvement!