Documentation

Update Channels

GNU GPLv2 Licenced

The code that makes Rockstor possible is developed under the GNU GPLv2 licence and is therefore fully Open Source, there is no contributor agreement and everyone is encouraged to help in what ever way they can. It is very much developed in the open with key decisions made by the community and their interaction with Rockstor representatives, such as its founder and project lead Suman Chakravartula. This flow of ideas and open development is held as a founding principal and is instantiated in the Rockstor forum and within the code itself on GitHub.

Rockstor the company embodies an identifiable software distributor and coordinator of the Open Source product that is the scheduled Rockstor releases. It is also the legal entity necessary for the support of not only the releases (where appropriate) but also the infrastructure necessary to maintain the open development that is an essential component in modern non trivial software appliances that have any hope for qualifying as future-proof.

After an initial development of 2.5 years the sustainable nature of this endeavour was approached and redressed in a thread on the community forum. The consensus was to adopt a two-tiered updates model; testing and stable.

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The update alternatives offered in Rockstor.

Testing Channel

The testing channel for updates is intended for those who wish to actively test Rockstor and who are entirely happy on the developmental edge of releases. There is an ever growing automated test coverage that all testing updates will have to pass prior to their release, but, given the rapid nature of these releases every 2-3 days, it is not recommended to put production systems on this update channel. The flip side is that a rapid release cycle affords fast development and widespread field testing of what ultimately becomes the Stable Channel.

However, it must be understood that appliance development is a difficult business and it is inevitable that along the way fixing one thing will break another. All reasonable efforts will be made to avoid breakage in the testing channel, but ultimately this testing channel is intended to find problems by way of user reports so that they might be fixed in a timely fashion and hopefully avoided altogether in future releases on the stable channel.

Participation in the testing channel along with considered bug, code, or documentation contributions is the heart of Rockstor development and along with patience and understanding can only benefit all those involved. Please see additional benefits.

No charge

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There is really no better testing alternative than thousands of users putting a product to uses that were never envisaged by the developers; and when those users see rapid development in the problems they find and report, everybody wins. It’s the classic Bazaar model described in CatB.

Stable Channel

This is the recommended channel for Production Rockstor use; the frequency of updates is much lower (every 3-4 weeks) than those in the Testing Channel and there is the reassurance that updates in the stable channel have been field tested first on systems running on the testing channel, including the production systems powering various day-to-day operations of the project. This channel will receive the highest attention with regard to bug fixes, whereas the testing channel is more focused on development rather than refinement. There will also be greater attention paid to avoiding regressions, and, via partner programs, production environment testing prior to release should help ensure this channel’s greater stability and dependability.

Below we see the process involved in setting up the stable channel updates. A link is provided to the Rockstor shop where a variety of one-off charge options are available via a drop down. On selecting and purchasing one of the options the activation code will be emailed to the address given. This code is intended for the form shown below. Also note our Testing Email section where the appliance identifier, a UUID generated during install, is contained within the test email. This appliance ID is used to identify an install as qualifying for the stable channel.

N.B. Re-installs will require re-activation of the stable channel. However, every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate, via email (support@rockstor.com), the transfer of an existing stable registered appliance UUID to that of a re-installed system. Please be patient as the practice of this method improves response time.

Participation in the stable channel is key to the future of Rockstor development. The ability to continue to improve and provide future-proof services by way of advanced file system facilities made easy is dependant on a financial component. The stable channel is that financial component. Currently, users can purchase a one-year subscription for $20.00 USD or a three-year subscription for $40.00 USD.

Variable one off charge depending on duration

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Please note that any code or documentation contributions to the Rockstor project repositories makes the contributor eligible for unlimited Activation codes.

Auto Updates

When enabled, auto update checks for all system updates and installs them automatically on a daily basis. This is the recommended setting when on the Stable Channel only. If you are on the Testing Channel it is not recommended to enable auto updates but instead to evaluate all updates prior to applying them; this advice is down to the more unstable nature of the testing channel and its inevitably greater chance of breakage or bugs.

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N.B. Auto updates are only recommended when on the stable updates channel