Re: Providing official virtualisation images of Debian
awesome and timely thread -- yet to read it in full -- and shame I am
not at debconf atm.
For our NeuroDebian project we have been providing exactly that
for slightly more than a year:
virtual appliance image (since Virtualbox 4.x it is just a single file,
.ova, which is a tar archive of the .ovf and .vmdk) with stock Debian
stable + apt link to our neurodebian repository to get the most
recent releases of neuroscience-related software.
It is generated (complete script is available ) using stock debian
installation .iso's with d-i preseeding for 32- and 64- bit, then
consecutive pruning of various caches and some development libraries and
shrinking filesystem using zerofree . It allows to get image size
under 600MB for a fully functional stock Debian desktop installation
with virtualbox guest additions.
Upon initial start we have a little welcoming guide which helps with
initial customization (apt-get upgrade, install optional
components, e.g. java; asks to participate in popularity contest, etc).
As a result -- we have quite a few people starting using Debian via VM
on their Windows and OS X boxes, some upstream developers started to use
it to troubleshoot problems with their software on Debian systems...
Altogether utility of readily available appliance is HUGE.
If you wondered how popular virtualization already is (at least among
neuroscientistists) -- 44% of our recent survey participants use
virtualization to some degree -- see full results/data of the
survey  for more details.
On Mon, 25 Jul 2011, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> It would probably be nice to have a debian-installer based way to
> generate the images, so they're as close to a real, installed system
> as possible, but vmdebootstrap (or one of the other similar tools)
> will do in a pinch.
Keep in touch www.onerussian.com
Yaroslav Halchenko www.ohloh.net/accounts/yarikoptic