Tag: code

Migrating from Docker to Podman

I’ve been eyeing Podman for a while. Being able to build and run containers without the Docker daemon hanging around in the background as an omnipotent demigod sounds nice. Less stuff running = good. Installing it is trivial on Ubuntu (unlike installing Docker): apt-get install podman and it’s done. As the documentation states, it can even be aliased to docker to make migration even smoother. It has tons of features that I don’t think are there in Docker: generating Kubernetes YAMLs from running containers, using container LABELs to make run commands simpler and so on.

Which is all nice and it’s to stay for sure, but I had to realize that at this point this won’t have much of an effect on me (anymore). I hardly ever build container images locally, instead using some CI (Github Actions) to do it automatically. Not having to remember all the build options (even if just in .bash_history) is nice, and if I have to put it into code anyway, I might as well automate it completely.

As for running containers, podman run will be now my go-to for experimentation (instead of docker run). However, most of the time I use docker-compose to orchestrate a local development environment. It’s possible to use Podman’s system service to use docker-compose, but then is there much of a difference from running that and having the Docker daemon running? It’s also possible to use (simple) Kubernetes Pod/Service YAMLs to achieve something similar, and I’ll be sure to consider that the next time. But I don’t think I’ll make the effort to change these stuff for existing projects on my current computer. Not unless Docker kills free users altogether…

Adding Grafana annotations based on Argo CD events

I was thinking about how nice it would be if I could see on my main Grafana dashboard (the only one I use at this point actually) when there are new versions of something deployed. This way if by chance there is a problem with something afterwards I can see at a glance what could have gone wrong. Also I really like just looking at that Grafana dashboard and see that everything is alive and well. (Except when it isn’t.)

The Grafana chart was upgraded! Nice CPU burn…

Fighting an “Unknown MySQL error” when connecting to Aurora from Rails

The other day I was struggling with a very weird error when upgrading to Ruby 3. The initial migrations for a Rails app would fail with “Mysql2::Error: Unknown MySQL error (ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid)”, but only in certain environments. The error would occur when Rails tried to check what migrations are already applied by looking at the schema_migrations table.

2022-01-19 09:12:59.205 +0000 [DEBUG]    (1.7ms)  SELECT GET_LOCK('4252831219231700070', 0)
/usr/local/bundle/gems/mysql2-0.5.3/lib/mysql2/client.rb:131: warning: rb_tainted_str_new_cstr is deprecated and will be removed in Ruby 3.2
2022-01-19 09:12:59.222 +0000 [DEBUG]    (2.0ms)  SELECT `schema_migrations`.`version` FROM `schema_migrations` ORDER BY `schema_migrations`.`version` ASC
2022-01-19 09:12:59.224 +0000 [DEBUG]    (1.8ms)  SELECT RELEASE_LOCK('4252831219231700070')
rails aborted!
ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid: Mysql2::Error: Unknown MySQL error
/usr/local/bundle/gems/mysql2-0.5.3/lib/mysql2/client.rb:131:in `_query'

When I accidentally Longhorn CSI

Symptoms: CPU load on all the nodes, but not the pods. Looking at Grafana, I noticed that CPU load on some of my nodes was constantly very high. At the same time, even the total CPU use of all the pods summed wasn’t above 0.4. What gives? This usually gives that the control plane is getting fried by something. It may be trying to relieve disk pressure, or in this case, trying to revive CSI.

Trying to figure out what was causing problems I checked the pods in kube-system with kubectl get pods -n kube-system. It quickly became apparent that there is a problem: disk-related pods like csi-resizer, csi-snapsotter and csi-provisioner were in CrashLoopBackOff.

I’ll be quite honest in that I’m not sure what the problem was. A few searches later I came to the conclusion that an earlier node reboot had left the pods with a corrupted DNS cache or something along those lines. Basically every issue I found with the symptoms I was seeing came down to DNS problems (longhorn/longhorn#2225, longhorn/longhorn#3109, rancher/k3os#811).

Alas I haven’t touched any of the networking machinery of Kubernetes (nor configured any of it for k3s) so my first idea was just the good old one from IT Crowd: “have you tried turning it off and on again?” So I did. Luckily another restart of the afflicted nodes solved the issue. I’m glad it did because I dread what I’d have had to do otherwise.

Steps to a more stable k3s cluster

It’s all too easy to kill a k3s cluster. I’ve been using k3s for years now and I’ve had plenty of adventures tweaking various aspects of running it. Before it’d take just a small change to an Argo Application to trigger a cascading failure. Hopefully now it’s a bit more resilient. Just a bit.

ship helm

PDF export with the Ruby 3.0.3 docker image

You might happen to use the wicked_pdf gem for PDF output in your Rails app. You might happen to use the wkhtmltopdf-binary gem to provide the required binaries. You might want to get the above to work on the latest (at this point 3.0.3-bullseye) Ruby docker image. Short answer: give up. A bit longer answer: it’s easier than you think.

Patching delayed_job for Ruby 3

Monkey patching is bad. That’s where you should start from. It can cause trouble where you’d least expect it, conflicts with libraries you’d least expect in ways you’d least expect. And yet here I am sharing code for patching the delayed_job gem to (more or less) work with Ruby 3. Doesn’t this violate my own policies? There are a few choices.

  1. give up upgrading to Ruby 3 altogether
  2. monkey patch delayed_job as an emergency fix and make time to figure out what to do
  3. contribute to delayed_job making sure the gem is solid on Ruby 3
  4. get rid of all the .delay calls and switch to another async job library



brown wooden pathway on green grass field near brown rocky mountain under white clouds during daytime

Stuff that broke in Rails 6.1

Rails uses a “shifted” “semantic” “versioning” which pretty much comes down to the following. Major version: “we’ll most definitely break everything you ever depended on, half of them without warning.” Minor version: “we’ll probably break many stuff you depend on, some of them without warning.” Patch version: “we might accidentally some core APIs, but we promise it’s not intentional (or documented).” Knowing that, I still embarked on the grand endeavor of upgrading from Ruby on Rails to What could possibly go wrong, right?

Railway tracks are suspended above the washed out Tank Hill underpass of the Trans Canada Highway 1 after devastating rain storms caused flooding and landslides, northeast of Lytton, British Columbia, Canada November 17, 2021. B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure/Handout via REUTERS
Rails in Canada and on Ruby share (un)surprising similarities (source)

Breaking bad, or versioning is hard

Rich Hickey will tell you that breaking changes are horrible and versioning is stupid. The idea is nice. No breaking changes, ever. You get the API design of whatever you’re building perfectly at the first try. Oh wait. Obviously no one can do that, and no one could ever do that.

The question then becomes just how long exactly are you willing to carry the dead weight of code you don’t really want to carry anymore. Or rather even, how long exactly are you able to pay the costs of maintaining a possibly very problematic old API design.