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Thomas H Jones II
Thomas H Jones II

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Crib-Notes: Manifest Deltas

Each month, the group I work for publishes new CentOS and Red Hat AMIs (and Azure templates and Vagrant boxes). When we complete the publication-event, we post a news announcement to our user-portal so that subscribers can receive an alert of the new publication. Included in that news announcement is a "what's changed" section.

In prior months, figuring out "what changed" was left as a manual step for the team-member charged with running the automation for a given month's publication event. This month, no one generated that news article and there were several updated and new RPMs included in the new image. So, I set about figuring out "how to extract this information programmatically so as to more-easily suss-out what to include in the announcement posting." The following does so (though, presumably, in a not-particularly-optimized) fashion:

git diff $(
git log --pretty='%H' --follow -- <PATH_TO_MANIFEST_FILE> | \
head -2 | \
tac | \
sed 'N;s/\n/../'
grep -E '(amazon|aws|ec2)-' | \
sed 's/^./& /' | \
sort -k 2

To explain:

  1. Use git log to output the commit-hashes for all the commits for the target file (in this case, the project's manifest-file)
  2. Use head -2 to grab only the two most-recent commit hashes from the output-stream
  3. Use the tac command to invert the order of the two lines returned from the head command
  4. Use the sed command to join the two lines, replacing the first line's line-ending newline character with ".."
  5. Use git diff against the output created in steps 1-4, and constrain the diff-activity to just the manifest-file.
  6. Pipe that output through grep to suppress all information other than the bits containing the amazon-, aws- and ec2- substrings.
  7. Pipe that through sed so that the +/- that git diff uses to show new and removed files, respectively, becomes an easily-tokenized substring.
  8. Sort the remaining output-stream (with sort) so that the lines are groups by manifest-element (the second key/token in the sorted output)

Taking that output and converting to a news article is still manual, but it at least makes it a lot easier to do than either hand-diffing two files or having to "just know" what's changed.


Because Red Hat has placed EL6 is in its final stage of de-support, we've stopped publishing images for CentOS6 and RHEL6. We did this to discourage our subscribers from doing new deployments on EL6 (since the underlying OS will go into final de-support come November of this year).

Similarly, due to current lack of CentOS offering for EL8, lack of security-related build- or hardening-guidance for EL8 and associated lack of subscriber-demand for an EL8 build, we don't yet include builds for CentOS8 or RHEL8 in our process. Thus, for the time being, we only need to provide a "whats changed" for EL7 builds. Given this, (combined with the 99% overlap we implement in our CentOS vice RHEL builds) we currently only need to do change-queries against the "manifests/spel-minimal-centos-7-hvm.manifest.txt" file.

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