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FireHOL infrastructure

Project releases

This section applies to firehol, iprange and netdata.

Note : If there is ever a need to release a new FireHOL 1.x, see the notes in doc/ instead of this procedure.


Ensure local repository hooks are installed, they will take care of all the checking and much of the work.

As well as commit rights to the repository, you need a GPG key to sign and verify the git tag. To automate release signing and signature upload, you must set up an Authentication token.

Create release

Note : If there is ever a need to release a new FireHOL 2.x, use the custom steps in doc/ instead of this sub-section.

Update to remove the version suffix or set it to -rc.nn, update the ChangeLog and any files.

Note : Pre-release tags should be of the form vx.y.z-pre.nn or vx.y.z-rc.nn in order to comply with without limiting the number of such releases.

Run git commit in the normal way. The hooks will detect a release and do the following:

  • Test build
  • Prepare a suitable message
  • Ask you to sign a tag
  • Update the for continuing development and commit it

If not satisfied, since we have not yet pushed anything, it is safe to delete the local tag, and optionally roll back history:

git tag -d vx.y.z
git log
git reset --hard commit-before-our-release

Push release to github

Once satisfied with the results, push the branch and tag e.g.:

git push origin
git push origin tag va.b.c-rc.d

Travis integration will automatically start the build process and upload the resulting packages as a github release.

Signing the results

Run the sign-github-release script e.g.:

./bin/sign-github-release firehol firehol vx.y.z

This will check the signature in git, grab any tar files, verify their checksums and the compare the contents against git to ensure it all matches.

If everything is OK, detached signatures are created for each tar-file and the results uploaded to the github release. It is now ready to be published from the website.

Announce on the mailing lists (doc/announce.template) and website.

Release troubleshooting

Signed tags are created automatically provided the commit hooks are in place. It can happen that we want to remove a bad tag, however, from local and from GitHub:

git tag -d vx.y.z
git push origin :refs/tags/vx.y.z

Note that this will not delete the tag from any other mirrored repositories; they will get conflicts later on if we re-use the tag.

Github and Travis

Continuous integration

Tools are moving over to GitHub actions, so this is mostly out of date. If a project has .github/workflows/publish.yml, the rest of this section can be ignored.

The FireHOL tools are built, tested and deployed by linking the travis-ci with GitHub. Current status can be seen here, by administrators of the firehol project:

Each repository contains a .travis.yml file which controls the environment used and build steps taken.

The CI process aims to:

  • Check that all git pre-commit hooks have been validated
  • Build releasable (i.e. with documentation and configure script) tar-files
  • Run any unit tests

If all of these are successful, the generated files are deployed.


After a successful build, the releasable tar-files and their checksums are uploaded:

  • to, overwriting prior master/stable-nnn branch builds
  • to GitHub (only when a tag is built)

Automatic deployment is set up as part of the .travis.yml.

Repository setup

GitHib/Travis integration for each repository was made using an Authentication token with the "Travis CI command line client" on a development machine:

travis setup releases

Files are SFTP transferred to, from where a cron job will move them to the website, once a final complete.txt file has been created.

The SSH key has been added to each repository, (separately, since each has separate secure environment variables), in encrypted form:

mkdir .travis
cd .travis
cp /from/somewhere/travis_rsa .
travis login -g `cat ~/.firehol-github-oauth`
travis encrypt-file travis_rsa
rm travis_rsa
git add travis_rsa.enc
travis logout

Note that when copying the openssl instruction into .travis.yml, the -in and -out paths need to have the .travis folder added.

The .travis.yml decrypts the key, starts an ssh-agent and adds the key to it, then deletes the file to prevent later parts of the script gaining access to it, accidentally or otherwise.

User setup

These sections explain the extra steps someone with commit privileges to the firehol github repositories needs to take to be able to create releases.

GPG key

The key you sign with needs to be in your git configuration ($HOME/.git).

If not run:

git config user.signingkey KEYID


git config --global user.signingkey KEYID

If you need to locate the identifier, run:

gpg --list-keys

Any new keys that will be used for signing a project should be concatenated to that project's packaging/gpg.keys file. This will extract the key in a suitable format:

gpg --armor --export KEYID

The key used to sign a tag is checked against this file before a build is allowed to proceed.

Authentication token

Signing packages and updating encrypted files both require you to have a github API authentication token. Store it in ~/.firehol-github-oauth.

Set up a token with repo rights here.

echo "long-hex-string" > ~/.firehol-github-oauth
chmod 600 ~/.firehol-github-oauth setup

This repository should be exported as the home directory of a user, firehol, who is a member of group firehol on the server.

Create the user in the normal way, then as root:

cd /home
rm -rf firehol
git clone firehol
chown -R firehol:firehol firehol
find firehol -type d -exec chmod g+s \{\} \;

To update:

sudo -u firehol -i
git pull


The website is built using nanoc version 3. There are newer versions which are not compatible. At some point the site will be upgraded to v4.

Install docs are essentially, this as root:

aptitude install rubygems
gem install nanoc --version 3.8.0


mkdir -p /home/web/firehol
mkdir -p /home/web/firehol/download
mkdir -p /home/web/firehol/static
mkdir -p /home/web/firehol/tmp
mkdir -p /home/web/firehol/webalizer

The sites must be manually installed in nginx the first time, e.g.:

cd /etc/nginx/sites-enabled
ln -s /home/web/firehol/master.conf 10-firehol-master
ln -s /home/web/firehol/master.conf 15-firehol-test

The master site must have a lower number than all the others so that it is used by default.


SSL is provided by Let's Encrypt


cp -rp letsencrypt /usr/local/letsencrypt
mkdir -p /usr/local/letsencrypt/challenge
mkdir -p /usr/local/letsencrypt/certs
git clone /usr/local/letsencrypt/dehydrated
echo "10 6 * * 0 root /usr/local/letsencrypt/generate.cron 2>&1" >> /etc/crontab


openssl s_client -connect
openssl s_client -connect
openssl s_client -connect
openssl s_client -connect

Website statistics

Website statistics are generated with webalizer

aptitude install webalizer

Initial report for all existing logs:

    gunzip -c `ls -t /var/log/nginx/firehol-master-access*.gz | tac` | \
       webalizer - -b -i -c /home/web/firehol/static/webalizer.conf

Rest is managed by daily cron script:

cat - > /etc/cron.daily/webalizer-firehol <<_END_
    cat /var/log/nginx/firehol-master-access*.1 /var/log/nginx/firehol-master-access*.log | \
    webalizer - -q -c /home/web/firehol/static/webalizer.conf
chmod +x /etc/cron.daily/webalizer-firehol

Travis file uploads and publishing to website

sudo -i
useradd -m travis
mkdir /home/travis/.ssh
cp /home/firehol/travis/authorized_keys /home/travis/.ssh
chown -R travis:travis /home/travis/.ssh
chmod 0700 /home/travis/.ssh
echo "* * * * * root /home/firehol/bin/travis-project.cron /home/travis/uploads /home/web/firehol/download /home/web/firehol/static/travis-project.log" >> /etc/crontab
echo "* * * * * root /home/firehol/bin/travis-website.cron /home/travis/website /home/web/firehol /home/web/firehol/static/travis-website.log" >> /etc/crontab

The scripts create a log of the most recent deployment attempt:

To see them from the command line:


Mailing lists

The FireHOL lists use mailman as installed by default on Ubuntu/Debian and customised as described below.

The mailman documentation is here:

Web archive

Connecting mailman to nginx also requires installation of fcgiwrap.

The nginx configuration for is stored as nginx/sites-available/firehol-lists. It should be copied to the live server and linked as sites-enabled/15-firehol-lists.


Ensure is added to /etc/postfix/ for:

  • mydestination
  • relay_domains

and restart postfix:

/etc/init.d/postfix restart

Setting up

The .cfg files are stored under the mailman directory.

For each of firehol-devs and firehol-support:

/usr/lib/mailman/bin/config_list -i firehol-xyz.cfg firehol-xyz

Visit the website and add descriptions, review all settings as required and re-save them with:

/usr/lib/mailman/bin/config_list -o firehol-xyz.cfg firehol-xyz

To import an existing mbox:

/usr/lib/mailman/bin/arch --wipe firehol-devs firehol-devs.mbox
/usr/lib/mailman/bin/arch --wipe firehol-support firehol-support.mbox

N.B. Whenever arch is run, use this to ensure that incoming mails are correctly handled:

    chown -R list:web /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/*

Archive Search

The Gmane archives of the mailing list are searchable. To set up a search box on the mailing list archive replace the default templates:

mkdir /var/lib/mailman/lists/firehol-devs/en
cp mailman/devs-archtoc.html \
cp mailman/devs-archtocnombox.html \

mkdir /var/lib/mailman/lists/firehol-support/en
cp mailman/support-archtoc.html \
cp mailman/support-archtocnombox.html \

Ensure the new templates are used for incoming mail:

/etc/init.d/mailman restart

Rebuild the archives:

/usr/lib/mailman/bin/arch firehol-devs
/usr/lib/mailman/bin/arch firehol-support
    chown -R list:web /var/lib/mailman/archives/private/*

Backing up

These are the key files for re-creating the mailing list:


For the list members use the script which is from:


./ -c -o out.csv firehol-devs pass

Note that the script does not deal well with the complex passwords, so the adminpw may need editing internally.


Project infrastructure for FireHOL







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