Learning lita at hack nashville

I spent last weekend at Hack Nashville, which as always was a blast. Lee Jones and I decided to spend the weekend exploring a chat bot framework called Lita. Lonely Planet uses Slack heavily, and we already have an instance of Hubot running that we use for things like interacting with PagerDuty and viewing pugs. Lita caught my interest because of its excellent documentation, its emphasis on testing, and its usage of Ruby, a language many developers at Lonely Planet know well.

Configuration management and init systems

I recently performed a fixup of the service management aspects of the logstash chef cookbook. This took more effort than I expected. Ohai doesn’t provide a working means of detecting the init system (I checked puppet’s facter and it doesn’t handle this either), so any cross-distro cookbook has to include a lot of nested conditionals to choose the right init provider. Much of this logic was wrong, so I fixed it up and added tests. Once I had it writing configurations for the right init system, I had to tweak those service configurations to make them valid.

Run aws commands with mfa

There are a number of programs I use frequently that interact with AWS, such as aws-cli and test-kitchen. I haven’t found any programs that natively support multi-factor authentication with AWS. Thankfully most programs will check the right environment variables, but you have to do a song-and-dance with STS to set them up. I’ve just made a public a program called aws-mfa that I created for work to simplify this process. Enjoy!

Massaging ovf for virtualbox

VirtualBox and VMware’s ovftool have a different idea of how a storage controller should be described. This prevents exporting a VM from, e.g. VMware Fusion, and then importing it into VirtualBox. However, this can be worked around.