Microsoft's Linux work apparently broke itself

Developers
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Microsoft’s official repository, from which it serves all its cross-platform software for several Linux distros (opens in new tab), was knocked offline for almost an entire day.

Microsoft builds and supports a variety of software products for distros such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS (opens in new tab), Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu (opens in new tab), and others, and makes them available via standard APT and YUM package repositories. 

Many users who used these software and tools took to GitHub to raise the issue with the respective projects, including .NET Core, Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab), Microsoft SQL (opens in new tab) Server for Linux, Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab), and others.

While Microsoft didn’t officially acknowledge the issue, one Microsoft engineer, Rahul Bhandari, from the .NET team informed users (opens in new tab) that the repository “ran into some space issues.” 

Bad press

The outage apparently disrupted the workflow of many developers, who were frustrated from the lack of communication from Microsoft.

In response to Bhandari’s update, which came several hours into the outage, one user (opens in new tab) listed several other issues raised by users in other projects that were closed without any update or resolution to the disruption.

A status update on the Azure (opens in new tab) DevOps project by another Microsoft software engineer, Edgar Ruiz Silva pinned the issue on maintenance work. 

“The issue is now fully mitigated. Maintenance work on packages.microsoft.com caused a temporarily unavailability of some files in that package repository. We apologize for the impact this had on our customers,” wrote Silva (opens in new tab).

An outage of this sort and scale by one of the leading cloud providers does not reflect well on Microsoft, especially when its competition is going all out (opens in new tab) to demonstrate the prowess of their cloud computing (opens in new tab) platform.

The least that Microsoft can do now, especially given the amount of disruption caused by the broken repositories, is take the time to engage with its users and explain the issue in detail, along with the steps they’ve taken to ensure such disruptions don’t reoccur.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.