News / 15 July 2015

iRODS Development Update: May-June 2015

This is a quick overview of the May-June iRODS Development Team activities, which were dominated by the iRODS User's Group, our first training session and a series of point releases for the iRODS 4.1.x series. I have included an overview of the Technology Working Group's agendas as well as highlights from release notes.


  • Feature Freeze
  • Focus on Federation Testing
  • 24 issues left, 15 bugs
  • Coverity Clean, 35 issues left in external libraries
  • CI is in migration to Jenkins
  • HPSS, WOS, S3 updated for 4.1, staggered releases
  • Post an Engineering Preview for Community Testing
  • Open call for suggestions for 4.2

June TWG

  • Mime Types
    • Can be expanded into an "info type"
  • Persistent Identifiers
    • Need metadata ACLs
    • Cannot work at scale (100k data objects)
    • Needs to support many types (DOI is not the only type)
    • Each deployment / user may have their own policies
    • Users may need to request one which is applied by iRODS and Maintained
  • Notifications
    • Leverage the upcoming Message Bus
    • Need to standardize interface / message payload
  • Expanded User definition
    • RDF VCard
    • Leverage an external service vs. a new table in iRODS
    • Need to support Friends, Groups, etc
    • Integration with existing institutional systems
    • Cannot share across a Federation, how do we cross the Zones?
  • Stability vs. New Features
  • Quota per user for concurrent connections
    • Rules Fired
    • System wide and granular control
    • Need a list of users with in-flight processes

May Development Activities

58 Issues Closed

  • 43 bugs
  • 5 enhancements
  • 1 testing
  • 4 documentation
  • 1 packaging

Release iRODS 4.1

Notable Features

  • Configuration Management – All configuration files are now JSON and schema-backed.
    • Validated Configuration – JSON files are validated against repository of versioned schemas during server startup.
    • Reduced Magic Numbers – Some previously hard coded settings have been moved to server_config.json
    • Integrated izonereport – Produce validated JSON about every server in the Zone. Useful for debugging and for deployment.
  • Control Plane – New functionality for determining status and grid-wide actions for pause, resume, and graceful shutdown.
  • Weighted Passthru Resource Plugin – A passthru resource can now manipulate its child resource’s votes on read and write.
  • Atomic iput with metadata and ACLs – Add metadata and ACLs as soon as data is at rest and registered
  • Key/Value passthru to resource plugins – Can influence resource behavior via user-provided parameters
  • A client hints API to get server configuration information for better user-facing messages
  • Allow only TLS 1.1 and 1.2
  • Dynamic PEP result can halt operation on failure, providing better policy flow control
  • Unified documentation – Markdown-based and automatically generated by MkDocs, hosted at
  • Continuous Testing
    • Automated Ansible-driven python topology suite, including SSL
    • Federation with 3.3.1, 4.0.3, and 4.1.0
    • Well-defined C API for developers

Notable Bug Fixes

  • Coverity Clean – Fixed over 1100 identified bugs related to memory management, error checking, dead code, and other miscellany.
  • Many permission inconsistencies ironed out
  • Parallel transfer works in multi-homed networked situations, had been resolving IP too early
  • irsync sending only updated files
  • Zip files available via ibun
  • Zero-length file behavior is consistent
  • Delayed rules running correctly
  • Removed built-in PostgreSQL DB Vacuum functionality
  • Removed boot user from install script
  • Removed “run_server_as_root” option
  • Removed roles for storageadmin, domainadmin, and rodscurators
  • Removed obfuscation (SIDKey and DBKey)

June Development Activities

In addition to the iRODS User's Group Meeting and the associated training (workbook found here), the development team has released as series of point releases given community feedback.

32 Issues Closed

  • 20 bugs
  • 2 enhancements
  • 3 documentation
  • 7 miscellaneous

Release iRODS 4.1.1

  • Hardening of upgrade process against bad input [#2725] [#2727]
  • Fix for incomplete development package [#2724]
  • Fix for removing package-manager-marked config files [#2723]

Release iRODS 4.1.2

  • information leakage in izonereport [#2732]
  • misuse of uid for gid in configuration conversion script [#2733] [#2734]
  • documentation tweaks
  • test tweaks

Release iRODS 4.1.3

  • Fix upgrading with obfuscated password [#2749]
  • Fix imeta query comparison bug [#2748]
  • Fix for cleaning up temporary files during installation [#2745]
  • Run-in-Place installations
    • Fix preflight checks [#2744]
    • Fix for stopping server and killing processes [#2746]
    • Fix for finding database binary tool [#2747]

Jason Coposky