Project Sputnik: Profile Tool update


I thought I would take a break from feverishly preparing for the project Sputnik product launch, to give an update on the Profile tool. 

As you may remember, besides the needed drivers and basic utilities/tools there are two “extra-bits” that are part of the overall project Sputnik solution: the Profile tool and the Cloud launcher.  I will use a future post to give an update on the Cloud Launcher but today I want to focus on the Profile tool.


Project Sputnik Profile tool

With regards to the Profile tool we are doing a bit of reset on this effort and going forward will be doing the development out in the open and asking the community to dive in.

What is the Profile tool

In short, the profile tool provides access to a library of community created profiles on github, such as Ruby and Android, to quickly set up your development environments and tool chains.

As alpha cosmonaut Charles Lowell (aka cowboyd)who originally teed up the idea, put it

What I’d like to see is not only a gold-standard configuration, but also a meta-system to manage your developer configuration… The devops revolution is about configuration as code. How cool would it be if my laptop configuration were code that I could store in a source repo somewhere?

Here’s how it would basically work, when a developer creates a profile based on a development framework e.g rails, this profile template is published to central catalog.  On another machine, the same developer—or another developer if the authoring developer makes his template shareable—grabs the template and runs it. The profile tool then reads the template, brings in any necessary dependencies (packages, package archives, SCM repositories, keys, dotfiles, etc) and places them in a sandbox within the user’s home directory.

Making it so, with a little help for our friends

Our original idea was to build out the profile tool in two phases: Phase I – “System Configuration” and Phase II – “User Configuration.”  We started down the path of building out Phase I but have realized two things 1) we cant look at the two phases separately and 2) we need to be developing this out in the open and incorporating direct feedback.

Given this we are opening up development at the Sputnik page on github and are looking for people like you to steer the course we eventually take.  At this stage nothing is set in stone and the profile tool is experimental beta work with several different prototypes.   If this is something that appeals to you please dive in and help shape the future of project Sputnik!

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28 Responses to Project Sputnik: Profile Tool update

  1. I’m just about hovering over the order button waiting for this, I’d love to have one to work with over my Thanksgiving holiday. It’s time for me to start working on my Christmas card and I don’t think my old netbook has the horsepower for the rendering involved. Plus it’s a good chance to set everything up.

  2. The thing the gets me most excited about this project is the drivers.

    Of the drivers produced please contribute them back to the kernel, the community can do the rest.

    As a developer, I know which laptop I can purchase with full hardware support. I don’t need this profile fluff!

    Please focus on the drivers!

    • Yes, that’s really how I’m looking at this mostly, a commitment by Dell to support developers on Linux for the design life of this laptop on Ubuntu, hopefully any version, but guaranteed that we can fall back to 12.04LTS for it’s supported life.

      This kind of commitment from a manufacturer is very important when I’m considering buying a higher end laptop for running Linux. Fit and finish are very important too, but a commitment to support Linux is your killer feature here. The profiles are gravy.

  3. Jim says:

    Can’t wait! Looks like you guys missed black friday though :(

  4. jimbobco says:

    Do we get an update at least for black friday?

  5. Bryan Siegel says:

    I’ve been waiting forever for the official launch. I can’t wait. You have put together a laptop that has not only peeked my interest in Dell again but has everything I’ve been looking for in a Ubuntu laptop. I’ve looked at others and wasn’t impressed. I hope that you price this right though.

  6. [...] profile tool and cloud launcher are beta open source projects that we have just kicked off on github.  These [...]

  7. [...] at Dell and one of the biggest driving forces behind Project Sputnik. The Profile Tool, described here on George’s blog, is an application that facilitates the installation of preconfigured [...]

  8. [...] Project Sputnik Profile Tool update – Barton dives deeper into what customers can expect from the Profile tool that will be included  [...]

  9. [...] at Dell and one of the biggest driving forces behind Project Sputnik. The Profile Tool, described here on George’s blog, is an application that facilitates the installation of preconfigured [...]

  10. [...] George, Web Vertical Director at Dell wrote on his personal blog about a new “Profile Tool” that could cut the time we developers need to set up a new [...]

  11. brainslide says:

    I checked out the laptop that’s available for sale now in the US and I’m very pleased with the package. A major hardware vendor backing Linux and a major games developer (Valve) recently jumping on board are crucial to cementing a proper foothold for the platform.

    Only one thing remains to lament: the “Windows logo” key in the product photos. It’s a trivial gripe, but it would have been icing on the cake to have the Ubuntu logo there in its place. ;)

    I’ve purchased three Dell machines in the past and while I’m not in the market right now for a new laptop, I’d love to have an option like this available for my next purchase. With that, I wish great success to Project Sputnik!

  12. Greg Williams says:

    This is awesome! It’s great to see a Linux competitor to Apple’s 13″ and 15″ Macbook Pros.

    I looked closely at the specs for the Dell XPS 13, 14, and 15. For me, the XPS 14 is the real bang for the buck. 11 hour battery, and a 1600×900 resolution vs price were the big selling points for me. Unfortunately, only the XPS 13 is in the Sputnik project. So I went ahead and bought the XPS 14 anyway and I plan to replace the OS with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

    I’m assuming I can purchase the XPS 14 and replace Windows 8 with the Sputnik image. Is that what you’d recommend or should I just load the standard Ubuntu image and then pick and choose the other drivers I need from the PPA? I’m no stranger to replacing Windows with Ubuntu, but if you guys have already done the hard work of putting together the packages and it will work on an XPS 14, I’d rather go that way.

  13. [...] at Dell and one of the biggest driving forces behind Project Sputnik. The Profile Tool, described here on George’s blog, is an application that facilitates the installation of preconfigured [...]

  14. Thibault Gardet says:

    Hi,

    I am very interested in your Sputnik Project and I wanted to know when will you release a second version notebook of Sputnik: bigger screen,better ram ….

    Thanks for your answer
    Thibault

  15. [...] profile tool and cloud launcher are beta open source projects that we have just kicked off on github.  These [...]

  16. [...] Project Sputnikは、UbuntuをスタイリッシュなXPS13で動作させるだけでなく、2つの開発者向けソフトウェア(オープンソース)の開発も行ってます。「Profile tool」は、github(人気の開発者向けプロジェクト管理サイト)への簡易なアクセスを提供するOSS。「Cloud Launcher」はLXC(Linux Containers:仮想化技術)を利用してPC上に“マイクロクラウド”を作り、ノートPCからクラウドへのデプロイ(現行はJuju、今後はChefも使う予定)をシームレスにしようというOSSです。 [...]

  17. […] tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dell’s efforts. Far more useful and sophisticated is Dell’s Profile tool, something you’ll need to install yourself. The Profile tool gives you a way to clone and […]

  18. […] tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dell’s efforts. Far more useful and sophisticated is Dell’s Profile tool, something you’ll need to install yourself. The Profile tool gives you a way to clone and […]

  19. […] tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dell’s efforts. Far more useful and sophisticated is Dell’s Profile tool, something you’ll need to install yourself. The Profile tool gives you a way to clone and […]

  20. […] tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dell’s efforts. Far more useful and sophisticated is Dell’s Profile tool, something you’ll need to install yourself. The Profile tool gives you a way to clone and […]

  21. […] tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dell’s efforts. Far more useful and sophisticated is Dell’s Profile tool, something you’ll need to install yourself. The Profile tool gives you a way to clone and […]

  22. […] tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dell’s efforts. Far more useful and sophisticated is Dell’s Profile tool, something you’ll need to install yourself. The Profile tool gives you a way to clone and […]

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