So it happened. What you ask? A very long anticipated release. Gnome 3! Wait, no… well, yes, Gnome 3 was released, and is kinda kewl and you can try it. I’m not totally sold on it yet though, maybe I’ll review it sometime or another. Oh wait, what was I talking about? Yes! The much anticipated release! It was not Gnome 3… it was Func and Certmaster! They have officially reached 0.28. Ya.. not as fancy of a version number as 3, but.. hey it gives us something to aspire to. The releases will be making their way into EPEL-testing soon, but can currently be downloaded in tarball form or from koji.
What are Func and Certmaster? Hrm.. well… so basically they are a set of programs that work together to let a administrator tell N number of servers what to do at the same time, and it will give back a report of what happened. That is the 30,000 ft view. Up close and personal, well… its a programmatic systems management tool that allows you to perform actions across large numbers of systems in an orderly fashion that allows great extensibility and control; which also exposes the basic functionality via a cli so that you can run quick one liners without to much effort. Loose anyone there? Don’t worry, I loose my self trying to follow the code in these programs some times, that’s all part of the learning process.
Why do I suddenly care? Well, its not suddenly really. I’ve been following func for a very long time. I’m not sure if I heard about it before the 2008 Red Hat Summit or not, but it was sometime around there. Its a very useful and wonderful tool, and due to my semi-regular use of it I had started sending bug
requests reports and patches to the mailing list. Recently, I was asked if I was willing to channel some of that energy into helping develop func and certmaster directly. I was very happy to accept, if a bit trepidatious. After several weeks of learning git and my way around some of the code, I was happy to help Seth Vidal (the primary maintainer) get func and certmaster ready for a new release.
We’ve still got lots of work on our plate, but its been a very useful experience for me, and i’m glad to contribute back to an open source project so directly for once.
 Certmaster on RHEL 5 does require a patched, non-supported pyOpenSSL package until RHEL 5.7 is released. See the release announce thread for more information.