Voiding Your Warranty

In order for TIG to properly manage CSAIL Debian machines, we need to depend on some basic packages and configuration settings. We do our best to allow users a lot of freedom in terms of modifying the configuration of their machine (many sites don't even let users have root access on their workstations!). However, there are some changes that make it impossible for us to reliably manage a system. Some examples are:

  • Switching distributions (e.g. from stable to testing or unstable)
  • Removal of the cfengine package
  • Removal of the python package
  • Reconfiguration such that AFS is not mounted
  • Disabling or removing cron
  • Removing or changing the /usr/local/csail symlink

This list is not, and probably never can be, exhaustive. These are the common changes that we've seen that screw with our ability to manage a system. Please don't do any of them. If you must, consider talking to us first. We may be able to work out an alternative that keeps everybody happy. If you do make these changes, though, we'll consider your machine unsupported, and you'll be responsible for all future management of the machine, including security updates and system upgrades.

If you do void you warranty, the last acts of our automated management software on your machine will be:

  • remove the cfengine package and the cron jobs that run it
  • reconfigure /etc/syslog.conf so log messages from your machine are no longer sent to the CSAIL Debian log server
  • update /etc/motd with a message detailing that the machine is no longer supported as a CSAIL Debian system

Please read the announcement to workstations-announce for some background.

-- NoahMeyerhans - 13 Dec 2005
Topic revision: 20 Nov 2006, JasonDorfman

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


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