Alfred 5.5 Release Notes

New Features
Bug Fixes

New Features
  • Alfserver can "setuid" and launch processes as the remote user. The alfserver.ini file now allows process ownership to be configured on a per-launch basis. The AlfProcessOwnerConfig directive currently supports three modes:

    AlfProcessOwnerConfig server
    Processes inherit alfserver's userid. Environment settings are inherited from the environment in which alfserver was started, or overridden in alfserver.ini. This is the default setting, and it corresponds to the behavior of previous releases.
    AlfProcessOwnerConfig setuid "userid"
    Processes are executed as the given userid (unix only, and alfserver must be running as root). An optional "setgid" group can also be specified via "userid.groupid", in the style of chown(1). All environment settings are taken from those overridden or inherited by alfserver.ini, and the process will be started directly with alfserver as its parent using execve(). This setting is intended to provide fast launches and reliable, administrator controlled site configurations. Any per-user settings must be applied in alfserver.ini.
    AlfProcessOwnerConfig login "userid"
    Each command is launched from a full login shell, which is created using /bin/su, similar to rsh (unix only, and alfserver must be running as root). NOTE: when using this setting all environment changes made alfserver.ini will be ignored! Instead, settings come from the user and system configuration files, such as .cshrc and others. This setting incurs far more launch overhead than the 'setuid' mode, such as mounting user home directories from file servers, but it provides users with the most opportunity to configure the environment in which all of their remote commands are executed.
  • Metrics can be specified on an individual server basis in alfserver.ini by including local metrics definitions. These definitions augment those defined globally in alfred.schedule, which are broadcast on demand from the maitre-d.
  • The alfserver -rmap option is now supported in netrender-only mode, as well as the previously available full alfserver mode. This allows netrender clients to pick between multiple installed versions of the renderer on each server, using the 'netrender -R key' option. MTOR users can set this version key in the Render Globals dialog.
  • A new configuration variable in alfred.ini called "timerSendRetry" now controls interval between socket send retries when network buffers fill up. The old interval was approximately one second, the new interval can be specified in floating-point seconds and can be less than one.
  • New alfred.ini configuration variables control the automatic temporary avoidance of hosts which are having "trouble" of some sort. These settings specify the number of seconds that the host slots should be avoided during slot assignment, before they're retried again.

    host was unreachable (shutdown or off the network), or its name wasn't found in the nameserver database
    host was found, and up, but alfserver doesn't appear to be listening on the expected port(s).
    host is up and alfserver is responding, but the system is too busy to accept additional work.
Bug Fixes
  • Alfserver now reports free memory correctly on Linux systems with more than 2 gigabytes of memory.
  • The alfred dispatcher now correctly passes -envkey values to alfserver, when specified as an option to Job or RemoteCmd in alfred scripts.
  • Better handling of 'ALF_EXIT_STATUS' messages from applications launched via RemoteCmd.
  • Job spill-over handling has been improved in both the alfred dispatcher and maitre-d. Previously, secondary jobs would sometimes stall until the primary job completed.
  • Certain active jobs would sometimes stall the dispatcher when they were deleted. In particular these jobs made use of "task-level check-outs," and the dispatcher would enter an endless "deleting, please wait" period. This has been fixed.

 New in Alfred
  • New Alfservers supercede older processes of the same version number, with this fix to Alfserver -supercede mode.

  • Added fix to 'skip this task' broken in the 5.5.2 patch.

  • $HOME fix added for Alfserver setuid mode.

  • Change old irix-vestige restriction on Alfred processes running as uid > 99 to only disallowing uid 0,1.

  • Fixed runaway dispatcher problem when RemoteCmds specify an app which doesn't exist on the server.




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