As I move into using Azure DevOps more and more, there is one thing which I really haven’t got on with and that is release pipelines. I didn’t like that I couldn’t easily define it as YAML like I could with build pipelines, even though I don’t like them, there are a few things I do like — like approval gates.

Environments

Luckily, there are ways to get around this — the most simple way is to add an Environment and then add an Approval. …


When Apple releases a new version of macOS it always takes a few months for everything to catchup, following my last blog post where I mentioned that I was having problems installing Python on macOS Big Surwhich meant that my preferred method of installing and managing Python using pyenv, which is documented in this blog post, didn't work out of the box — and the workarounds suggested workarounds on GitHub made my shell really slow.

Luckily, I noticed that there was an update to both Python andpyenv when I ran brew update today so decided to give pyenv another try…


One of the annoying things about updating to the latest version of macOS is that a lot of the command-line tools I use tend to break or need tweaking slightly from how I have been using them.

One of the annoyances in the move to Big Sur is that Python is a back to being a massive pain, and more so than normal. …


A few weeks after the final draft of the fourth edition of Mastering Docker was submitted Docker made the announcement that they would be making changes to the retention of images in Docker Hub as well as the introduction of rate limits.

These changes make complete sense given that at the time of writing this post there are over 150 million images taking up over 15 PB of storage, of that 10 PB of the images haven’t been accessed in over 6 months and 4.5 …


I got my invite for GitHub Codespaces the other day and I thought I would have a quick play with it as having an an online IDE sounds like it could come in handy.

If you know me — you will know that I am not a developer, but I do a lot of work in Visual Studio Code as that is where I tend to develop work on a lot of the infrastructure as code projects using Terraform and Ansible, as well as Docker projects.

I as didn’t have long, I decided to create a repo which would contain…


In my last post I wrote about how I created an Azure DevOps pipeline using Ansible in a more “Terraform” way, however, although I have used Terraform and Azure DevOps quite a bit I realised I didn’t really have a template for a pipeline.

Before we look at the pipeline itself I should point out that is uses the the Terraform Azure Pipeline extension by Microsoft DevLabs from the Visual Studio Marketplace, if you are following along with this post please ensure that the extension is installed in your organisation before proceeding.

Now we have that out of the way…


I thought it was was about time that I started to have a play with Azure DevOps a little more than I have been doing, one of the things I have always meant to look at in the past is using DevOps to run Ansible playbooks.

However the Ansible Task recommended by Microsoft has always put me off, the reason for this is that this task requires a Virtual Machine to run Ansible — this to me always seemed a little overkill.

As I had some time I thought I would sit down and have a look at coming up…


Over the last few months I have been doing more and more work with Ansible to manage end to end deployments in Azure. For the most part Ansible’s core set of Azure modules work with no problems and more than do the job.

However, with the rate which Microsoft are both adding new features and functionality it is difficult to keep up. The core Ansible modules rely on several Azure python libraries to be updated before the functionality can be added or introduced to the core module set.

One work around is to use the set of preview modules on…


The latest major version of Python 2 was originally release on 03/07/2010 and on 01/01/2020 Python 2 will be no more;

We have decided that January 1, 2020, will be the day that we sunset Python 2. That means that we will not improve it anymore after that day, even if someone finds a security problem in it. You should upgrade to Python 3 as soon as you can.

Interestingly the latest version of macOS still ships with Python 2.7 …

Russ Mckendrick

Geek, Lover Of Shiny Things and Grump.

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