the musings of an old programmer

Cloud Penguins

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This weekend I was tasked with setting up a new Jenkins server on EC2. I’ve used a server built from Amazon’s official Linux AMI before and was happy enough with it. So I went that route. But it didn’t end very well…

I did the typical wrestling with Apache, Tomcat and SSL configuration. Our project uses Python 2.7 and when the first test build failed I was a bit surprised that it wasn’t installed. I confidently typed sudo yum install python27 but there was no package for me. Python 2.7 was released almost 2 years ago at this point, what the hell? I searched and searched for a yum repo but there was none.

Very reluctantly I installed Python 2.7 from source. No, I’m not allergic to configure and make, but I like the ability to upgrade everything with one shot. Programmers typically make terrible system administrators so I don’t need yet another thing to remember about this server. But whatever, I installed it and went on with my life.

Our project also uses Ant. When the second test build failed I learned that we specifically require Ant 1.8 and the latest available from the Amazon yum repository is 1.7. Now this is a bit ridiculous, 1.8 was released over 2 years ago. Even though it was past 2am at this point, I decided to kick this installation to the curb.

I chose Ubuntu’s Cloud Guest AMI, and it’s brilliant. Most of the defaults are exactly what I’d choose. And by golly, they have packages for Python 2.7 and Ant 1.8. There’s even a package with Jenkins on Tomcat for me (oh and look at that, they have a package browser on the web, how clever).