Chameleon Changelog for July 2023

Dear Chameleon users, Happy Birthday to Chameleon – and many happy returns of the day! It is hard to believe it has been 8 years working with our amazing user community, hearing about your research, reading your papers, and generally watching amazing science being done every day. In this month’s blog we have a cake, candles, silly hats, balloons – and a tiny little gift.

The REPETO Project. We know that increasingly more of you are using Chameleon as a reproducibility platform and would like to draw your attention to the REPETO project that fosters practical reproducibility of  computer science experiments on open platforms. What is practical reproducibility you ask – it is a way of making your experiments available in a way that makes reproducing them cost-effective enough to be part of mainstream scientific exploration. The REPETO project website is well worth visiting: you will find announcements of upcoming hackathons where you can either reproduce experiments on Chameleon or package your own, as well as calls for the Summer of Reproducibility internship opportunities that could give you – or your students – funding to package your experiments or other computer science experiments for teaching, sharing, or scientific exploration. You can also join the REPETO mailing list and follow on social media (Twitter and LinkedIn), which provide a discussion forum for all things reproducibility on open platforms. Please, take a look and tell us what you think!

Trovi Reproducibility badge and experiments. But wait, there’s more! It turns out that some of our users have already packaged experiments for practical reproducibility and put them on Trovi – how’s that for party favors! This means you can find and reproduce those experiments easily – you may be interested in their experiments, or their data analysis method, or experimental methodology, or want to “steal” their recipe for creating an experimental environment on Chameleon – it doesn’t matter what aspect of their experiment you want to interact with, it is there for you to play with. To make it easier to find these experiments we created a new badge – the repeat sign from sheet music that is also part of the REPETO logo. And the best part – if you are interested in packaging your experiments on Chameleon for practical reproducibility, you can apply for the badge quite easily (a link to the application is also on the sidebar on the main Trovi page by the badge explanation). As we reported in last September’s changelog we keep track of views and executions of the Trovi artifacts – we are looking forward to seeing how many of you will repeat the available experiments – and to seeing more experiments with the reproducible badge! 


New Ice Lake nodes at CHI@TACC! More presents for our wonderful user community! We are excited to announce 20 new Ice Lake nodes available this month at CHI@TACC. These nodes are Dell R750 servers, each with 2x Intel Platinum 8380 CPUs, for a total of 80 cores and 160 threads, as well as 256GB of ram. They’re configured with 2x 25G ethernet interfaces, and a 480GB SATA SSD for the boot drive. 

Reservation bug fixes. This month, we fixed some minor bugs with the reservation service. Some of you reported that the system got a bit huffy with allocation and lease extensions so that if you extended your lease beyond our 7 day limit, it would turn its status to “ERROR” and if you tried to create a lease that would exceed the balance or duration of your allocation, the system would spit out a very cryptic message – it now got a good talking to so it became a bit more articulate and urbane. 

Contribute support for new device types in CHI@Edge. Some of you have asked for new device types to be supported in CHI@Edge. Depending on the device, and its kernel, this can be more or less work. To assist in this effort, we’ve published a “template” repository of sorts:
If deployed on your own Balena account, this repository will download and build the relevant kernel modules to get the google coral dev board working for CHI@Edge, and run the validation scripts from the K3s and Calico projects to verify this. If you’d like a different device supported, swap out the kernel and build options until it works, then send us a PR!

Happy experimenting!

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