Alex Doyle

Author Archives: Alex Doyle

ONIE 2020 update

Even if it’s free, you still have to sell it. Yet a solution only works if people want to use it.

Last year I became the project lead for ONIE: the Open Network Install Environment. If you’re unfamiliar with this, ONIE is an open source project for installing operating systems on network switches. Manufacturers will start with the core ONIE code, add support for their new hardware (so that their new switch has an industry-standard way of installing an operating system) and then submit those changes back to the ONIE project.

As of 2020, this has happened over two hundred times, along with with well over a thousand contributions of bug fixes and improvements. As these changes are submitted, they need to be quality checked and tested to make sure they build cleanly. When I became the project lead, I had already been working on build tools at Cumulus Networks and decided my first contribution was going to be creating a standard build environment for ONIE that could be deployed anywhere.

This went great until my final test of the new build environment, which was to build every platform ONIE supported, and it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. Continue reading