Targeting Xenial support

The SecureDrop project has always recommended Ubuntu Trusty for the server operating system. In April 2019, the Long-Term Support (LTS) status for Trusty will end. We plan to migrate to Ubuntu Xenial 16.04, which will be supported until April 2021.

In order to evaluate how to support Xenial as we prepare for the transition, we’ve created a developer environment suitable for provisioning VMs based on Xenial.

Running the Xenial dev env

If you’re using the libvirt Vagrant provider, you’ll need a libvirt-format Xenial base image. To set one up, run the following commands:

vagrant box add --provider virtualbox bento/ubuntu-16.04
vagrant mutate bento/ubuntu-16.04 mutate libvirt

Due to packaging logic changes, you’ll need to build the Debian packages with overrides enabled for Xenial support. Then run the Xenial scenario.

make build-debs-xenial
make staging-xenial

The VMs will now be available. Depending your choice of VM provider, you can log into the machines with the following commands:


molecule login -s libvirt-staging-xenial -h app-staging


molecule login -s virtualbox-staging-xenial -h app-staging

To run the testinfra tests against the Xenial enviroment, you can use the commands:


molecule verify -s libvirt-staging-xenial


molecule verify -s virtualbox-staging-xenial

If you encounter errors, re-running the make staging-xenial target may help. Naturally, we want the process to be error-free reliably.