DRBD on Ubuntu Karmic

Ubuntu 9.10 (aka karmic koala) has a frustrating packaging bug. Even though the stock server kernel includes the DRBD module, the drbd8-utils package depends on drbd8-source. drbd8-source uses DKMS to build the drbd module to match the installed kernel/s. As I stated in the bug report (lp:474660), "really don't like having build-essential installed on production net facing servers, and where possible any productions servers".

As side from personal opinion on whether the module should be bundled or not, the fact is that is bundled and so there is no need for the dependency on drbd8-source. As a work around I have added a meta package to provide drbd8-source, so I don't need to install build-essential and build the module every time a new kernel is installed.

After a quick test it is working well. Here is the

DEBIAN/control

file I used to make it all happen.

Package: dhc-drbd8-source-hack
Version: 0.1
Section: meta
Priority: optional
Architecture: all
Provides: drbd8-source
Installed-Size:
Maintainer: Dave Hall <[email protected]>
Description: Package to hack around drbd8-source dependency for drbd8-utils

If you are unsure how to use the control file above, see my recent blog post on building meta packages for ubuntu and debian.

Setting up a private package repository is outside the scope of this post. If you want to set one up, I would recommend Sander Marechal's slightly dated howto - Setting up and managing an APT repository with reprepro. With a few changes I found it worked well.

If you have your own repository running you can simply run

sudo apt-get install dhc-drbd8-source-hack drbd8-utils

, if you don't you can run the following commands

sudo dpkg -i /path/to/dhc-drbd8-source-hack*.deb && sudo apt-get install drbd8-utils

. Either way you should now have drbd8-utils installed on ubuntu karmic without having to install the redundant drbd8-source package.

To take it a step further you could build a meta package to install both drbd8 packages and allow you to have a potentially smoother upgrade to lucid. The meta package would contain the following line

Depends: dhc-drbd8-source-hack drbd8-utils

This is similar to what I now have in my HA server meta package.