Managing the Complexity of the Open Source Infrastructure

Mancoosi is a European research project in the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission. The project is situated in the FP7 theme Information & Communication Technologies (ICT), Challenge 1: Pervasive and Trusted Network and Service Infrastructures, Objective 2007.1.2 Service and Software Architectures, Infrastructures and Engineering. The project has started February 1st, 2008, and will have a duration of 3 years.

Free and Open Source Software distributions raise difficult problems both for distribution editors and system administrators. Distributions evolve rapidly by integrating new versions of software packages that are independently developed. System upgrades may proceed on different paths depending on the current state of a system and the available software packages, and system administrators are faced with choices of upgrade paths, and possibly with failing upgrades.

While the predecessor project EDOS had focused on tools for the distribution editor, the Mancoosi project aims at developing tools for the system administrator. We pursue two main avenues:

1. Develop mechanisms that provide for rollbacks of failed upgrade attempts, allowing the system administrator to revert the system to the state before the upgrade (workpackages 2 and 3).
2. Develop better algorithms and tools to plan upgrade paths based on various information sources about software packages and on optimization criteria (workpackages 4 and 5).

The consortium as a whole is entirely committed to the free software movement. All the software deliverables as well as the intermediate revisions will be freely accessible to the public. Software developed in the context of the project will be made available under a free licence. Software, reports and articles produced in the context of the Mancoosi project will be available through the project web site.