Fleet Commander 0.10 up and running!

Long time has passed since my last entry in this blog.

Fleet Commander is one of the main reasons of that. I was working hard with Alberto Ruiz and focusing on having a production ready version of Fleet Commander available for Fedora 26. Now, we have it, and also we have an official website designed by Jakub Steiner that has done a superb work in giving the website a very professional and appealing look.

Lots of changes to do

Doing that wasn't going to be easy. First of all there was a lot of changes we needed to make in the codebase. The most important of these changes was modifying Fleet Commander to effectively integrate it with FreeIPA and SSSD, to delegate on them profile storage, deployment and distribution tasks that we were currently doing by ourselves.

That will simplify the code and let us focus in adding new features in the future, enhancing the security and integration with enterprise environments that use identity management systems in their everyday work, but on the other hand, that implied to learn how FreeIPA works and where were the integration bits we needed to find.

Thankfully, FreeIPA and SSSD folks had been very helpful and guided us on the process to make this possible. We wanted to thank them for their help. We really appreciate it.

FreeIPA integration

Fleet commander has been integrated with FreeIPA to store the profile data and on it. Also we use FreeIPA for linking the profiles to the users, groups, hosts and hosts groups they should apply to.

For achieving this task, Fleet Commander relies on the freeipa-desktop-profile plugin created by Alexander Bokovoy. Without that plugin, the server side integration would be a very harsh process, so our sincere thanks go to him for making our work easier and all the support he gave us in the integration.

SSSD integration

On the other hand, we have the client side. Linux clients work with identity management systems by using SSSD. SSSD's mission in Fleet Commander terms is to determine what profiles apply for the user that is currently logging in a network workstation, and retrieve that profiles from FreeIPA to an specific directory.

Once those files are retrieved, Fleet Commander Client is called by SSSD to apply the configuration contained in the profile data in the files previously downloaded.

This part of the integration would not be possible without the hard work and support we got from Fabiano Fidencio. He had done an awesome job on adding needed modifications to SSSD to work tightly with Fleet Commander Client and he was very helpful giving support to us during all the development process. Thank you Fabiano!

The future

There is a long road in front of us. We are planning to do awesome things with Fleet Commander, and give support for more software. For example: Browsers bookmarks.

We also want to enhance the user experience by enhancing the UI, and adding more tools for more control on profile configuration settings.

Now it is time to know your feedback about it, and knowing the scenarios that would be interesting to cover. Let us know your impressions, ideas and feedback using the issues system at our Github issues page