A recap of the devops track at Open World Forum 2014

Last week in Paris, the Open World Forum took place over two days and I was asked to organise the devops track of this event. The event itself was beautifully organised in a lovely space right in the centre of Paris (just off the Champs Elysées with several metro lines nearby). Many local companies were […] Read more

Using Mosh

Let’s take a simple situation: you are on a slow and / or unreliable access to the Internet, for example a tethering access on your mobile phone while on a train. You have received an urgent monitoring mail that says a machine from your IT infrastructure requires immediate attention. This is it: you know you […] Read more

Oct, 23, 2014


Manage Jenkins with ncf

Jenkins is an excellent application to automatically build/test software projects. We rely on it in Normation to build, test and package Rudder and ncf, for all the OSes and versions we support; resulting in a lot of jobs to manage (currently over 300). Part of Jenkins’ awesomeness is that it has a neat REST API, […] Read more

Top 10 video game soundtracks to work more efficiently

At Normation, we work hard to make our Rudder software featureful and reliable. To give the best of ourselves, nothing beats motivation by music! Popular wisdom dictates that music is good for the soul but this selection is intended to multiple the speed of your brain’s synapses, and therefore speed up bug fixing, feature development, […] Read more

Oct, 02, 2014


Why are devops more dev than ops in France? Cultural exception or communication problem?

At the beginning of each devopsdays event I’ve been to, the MC asks the audience to raise hands if they identify themselves as mainly “devs” or mainly “ops” or neither. At previous devopsdays I’ve attended in Europe (Rome, London, Amsterdam…) there has usually been a majority of “primarily ops”, (while not always a huge majority, […] Read more

Sep, 24, 2014


Configure vim for CFEngine highlighting

If you edit or read CFEngine files with vim, you may have noticed that the syntax highlighting is at best weird. Just for you, Neil Watson made a vim syntax highlighter.

Sep, 15, 2014


Why true open source is a game changer in IT infrastructure automation

Open source software is the rule in IT infrastructure automation. But what business models do companies like us apply, and how do these affect product decisions and open source users? The so called “open core” model is common, but we believe it introduces schizophrenia, as Chef just announced they do too. This post will explain […] Read more

Selfies in Github Pull Requests

We recently discovered this blog post on how Selfies in Pull Requests would improve morale, fun, and make code reviews more enjoyable. Especially this sentence struck a chord: “Sometimes it becomes easy to forget that the person producing the code is a human being with needs and emotions” The first reaction, after reading this blog […] Read more

Sep, 08, 2014


Best wishes for 2014!

Normation would like to wish you happiness, health and success as we begin 2014 together. Hoping you also had a great 2013 and are looking forward to what this year will bring us ! For Normation, the year included a total of 5 new releases of Rudder, the co-organising and sponsoring of the very first […] Read more

Jan, 14, 2014


How about a new Rudder (2.9 release) for 2014?

Happy New Year! At the foot of the Christmas tree was a new version of Rudder, 2.9 “Liberty ship”! (for the curious: To begin 2014, our latest version, 2.9, further extends usability and adaptability of the previous version, 2.8. There are relatively few new features in this version though it will improve the way […] Read more

Jan, 09, 2014


CFEngine vs Puppet vs Chef vs Ansible vs Salt

Last month Infoworld published an article titled “Review: Puppet vs. Chef vs. Ansible vs. Salt” written by Paul Venezia, that prompted many people in the configuration management community to get in touch with us to ask why CFEngine was not included. Our answer was simple: “No, we have no clear reason as to why this […] Read more

Rudder goes on patrol (2.8.0)

We have just released the latest version of Rudder, v2.8 ‘Patrol Boat’. In this post we will share with you what has been fixed, improved and the new features we’ve added in this release. This release cycle was shorter than usual, just under a month in fact, though it did not stop us working just […] Read more

Nov, 20, 2013



Ed Daniel, open source evangelist, joins Normation

Recently, we welcomed Ed Daniel on-board as our new Head of Marketing. If his name sounds familiar then it certainly should as Ed is a well known figure in the open source community. It is likely that you will have crossed paths at one of many industry events such as Solutions Linux, DevOps Days, InfoSec […] Read more

Oct, 14, 2013


Vagrant: Virtual machine provisioning made easy

During Devops Days Paris 2013 earlier this year (18/19 April 2013) I was surprised to discover that very few people had heard of Vagrant. Luckily; there was an open space dedicated to Vagrant (and its usage) where 15-20 people attended but only 5 among them knew about Vagrant (including my colleague, François Armand and myself). This tools […] Read more

Normation special offer of Rudder support for free!

We understand that starting a new project is often time-consuming. Part of this challenge is making sure you follow best practices, ensuring your design choices during planning will not impact production deployment and service continuity thereafter, that your team is up to speed on your technology choices and fundamentally that you are confident that your […] Read more

Sep, 16, 2013


Speed up your CFEngine by using a RAM disk!

When using CFEngine on a daily basis with a heavy set of promises, it is possible that one day you will encounter the following problem, especially on older releases of CFEngine: the underlying databases can get slow over time and eat some I/O. On a “standard” machine it will not cause any harm, but on […] Read more

Rudder 2.7.0 “Powerboat” is out!

The latest version of Rudder has been released, v2.7.0 ‘Powerboat’! This post provides an overview of new features implemented, bug fixes and performance improvements that have gone into this release. We fought hard against the heat (~ 35° C in Paris, that’s too much!) and holidays to bring you this new version of Rudder. We […] Read more

Avoid CFEngine hanging on start with the ignore_interfaces.rx file

Using CFEngine on a regular basis (and training people to use it), I often have to deploy CFEngine agents on virtual machines. Trouble is that often virtual machines (especially the ones cloned a bit hastily) have broken network configurations (incorrect hosts file, stray network interfaces …). While CFEngine is quite tolerant about network failures, it […] Read more

Feedback on the LOADays 2013 – Small but powerful

For the second year, Normation was present at the LOADays in Antwerp, Belgium, as I went there to do a talk about Cobbler, discover some new interesting projects and enjoy the awesome social event of the first day (and Belgian beer) ! This post will expose my feedback on this conference, what I saw there […] Read more

Per-file compilation time in a Scala/Maven project

Where is Moore when he is needed ? Scala is a fabulous language, the tooling is now quite good, but it still have one big drawback… One that makes wonder if XKCD 303 wasn’t drawn with Scala in mind. Scalac takes forever to compile anything. In a non trivial project, that forever means (tens of) […] Read more

Jan, 29, 2013


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