One thing that anyone who has used the internet for more than a day can attest to, is that we have a lot of credentials to remember. Every new product we purchase, every new website we log into, every system in corporate networks need a unique username and password to access. To help combat the huge number of credentials we need to remember many administrators have started to implement what is known as single sign on.

Single sign on, or SSO, is the practice of having the user to log into a central system which then grants them access to multiple systems. If you have ever logged into a third party website using your Facebook, Google, or Twitter account you have used SSO. From the user perspective this is incredibly convenient because now they only have to remember a single set of credentials for multiple systems. Unfortunately SSO does little to combat users from using simple insecure passwords which, when compromised, will now give the attackers full access to a number of systems instead of just a single one.

As an additional layer of security many administrators are implementing another layer of security called two factor authentication. 2FA simply means that there are multiple techniques used to identify you when you attempt to gain access to a system. This can be in the form of a text message being sent to your phone, or a random key generated by a third party key generator which is required to be entered along side your typical username and password.

This all sounds excellent, but unfortunately it is very complicated and time consuming to implement both systems correctly and securely. To solve this issue the great people in Juju Labs at Canonical have started a project to bring instant SSO & 2FA to Juju users everywhere.

How are they going to do it? Because every system from Apache, to MongoDB requires a different technique to implement SSO & 2FA, a third party repository will be created which will house a large collection of expertly written components which will interface with the SSO & 2FA Juju Charm.

As with everything in Juju Labs this will require buy-in and support from the community to push forward. There are already three contributors out of the required five to move it to the next stage and a number of people who are very interested in seeing this become a reality. If you are interested in being able to add SSO and 2FA into your systems with a few clicks or want to lend a hand as a contributor you can flip through the slide deck below, spread the word around, or sign up as a contributor.

Earlier today I talked with some of the YUI team about the Juju GUI and how we use YUI for the first ‘YUI in the wild'.

The links I mentioned in the video:

It’s been a few weeks since our last Juju GUI release which means here comes another! This GUI release brings with it the latest beta version of the Juju quickstart plugin…

Juju GUI

Our latest work focuses on making the Juju GUI a more effective day-to-day tool:

Juju Quickstart

The quickstart plugin is nearing feature completion and has a lot of great improvements.

To try out our new releases, existing users can upgrade their GUI charm to cs:precise/juju-gui-81; or run:

juju deploy juju-gui && juju expose juju-gui

…or update the juju-quickstart plugin via apt and run:

juju quickstart

New users on Ubuntu can do the following to get everything installed and start an environment with the GUI running and ready:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:juju/stable
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install juju-quickstart
juju-quickstart
## ...edit ~/.juju/environments.yaml file...
juju-quickstart

Next quickstart release will hopefully remove those last two steps.

New users on other operating systems can’t use Quickstart right now, but the Juju installation instructions can get you started, and..

juju deploy juju-gui && juju expose juju-gui

..can add the GUI to your bootstrapped environment.

Juju GUI Installation documentation can be found here.

Today I gave a quick presentation at Barcamp YXE and below are the slides. I’ll be following it up with a screencast within a week for those who couldn’t make it.

Over the past month and a half we have done 3 releases of the Juju GUI and with each release came a lot of great functionality. If you are not on 0.13.0 you should definitely upgrade your GUI charm to take advantage of these great new features.

Bundles!

This is probably the biggest release of the Juju GUI since it was officially unveiled. The GUI now supports importing, exporting, browsing and deploying bundles. A Bundle is a collection of charms, settings and their relations allowing you to deploy entire environments with one click. There is an excellent overview of this feature on the Juju GUI Blog.

Jorge Castro also wrote a great blog post on bundles and juju quickstart where he deploys a bundle with 17 charms, their settings and relations all with a single command.

Juju Quickstart plugin (Alpha)

The alpha release of the Juju Quickstart plugin was also released in the past month. The Juju Quickstart plugin is an opinionated plugin for Juju which makes for quick and easy deployment of the Juju bootstrap node and the Juju GUI. Follow the link for detailed information on it’s functionality.

As always, if you would like more information about Juju or full details about each release they can be found in our changelog.