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I have a mostly working MAAS cluster.

I'm still learning juju, but while I'm doing that, I wanted to take this opportunity to do some clean-up tasks.

Here are my goals:

  1. Configure ntp on the nodes.
  2. Set the video mode on the nodes.
  3. Set the timezone on the nodes.

Are these juju tasks? Or is this better attacked by mounting the disk image on the MAAS host, and doing the configuration there? If I do it that way, how do I get the nodes to recognize that they have to re-install the image to pickup my changes?

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Each node that MAAS prepares for you has your ssh key on it, so you can automate these tasks using any method that can use ssh as transport, so that certainly includes Juju.

That pushes you into the realm of customising your charms to do these set-up tasks, which might fit your expectations, but is going to be awkward if you're using off-the-shelf charms. However, I'm not the best person to talk about the Juju side of things, but I can address the other tasks.

Below I'm talking about MAAS in Quantal (i.e. 12.10, out soon) which is fairly different from MAAS in 12.04, though there is an upgrade path. I suspect that none of the following applies to MAAS as shipped in 12.04.

  1. Configure ntp on the nodes.

    By default they'll be set-up to run ntp, using ntp.ubuntu.com. If that's not suitable, and you'd rather not add a post-allocation step to do it (i.e. configure via ssh as above, once the machine is up and running), you may want to change the preseed that MAAS uses.

    Search for the file preseed_master; that and the generic file in the same directory are templates used to generate the final preseed sent to booting machines.

    The Debian Installer page links to the manuals. Choose one of those and see Appendix B, Automating the installation using preseeding for an introduction to preseeding.

    Bear in mind that any changes to preseed_master or its siblings will be overwritten during upgrades, so keep a record of your changes around. We will almost certainly be making this whole process easier for 13.04.

  2. Set the video mode on the nodes.

    Nothing is set in the preseed right now, so you'll have to do this in a post-allocation step, or by editing the preseed templates.

  3. Set the timezone on the nodes.

    It's set to UTC by default. Do you really want to change this? For servers, at least, it's very normal to run with UTC. Your mention of video mode setting makes me thing you're using this for desktops though, in which case the answer is the same as for #2.

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